What the hell happened?

When I was six years old I knew every inch of the council estate and all the woodland around it. Unsupervised other than by my equally filthy-urchin peers.

The woods are gone now, under more houses. Modern kids cannot come home with a jar of lizards or wellies full of water and tadpoles or covered with so much mud we had to send the dogs in first so our mother would vent her rage on them instead of us (that really happened, my mother still talks about it).

Now? Now you actually get a criminal record if your six-year-old is out of your sight for 45 minutes. I was out of my parents’ sight at that age for most of every day. Now they’d get life for that.

There are those who will not leave a 16-year-old home alone overnight. What? At that age I was off for two weeks holiday with mates (no mobile phones or internet in those days) and when I came home my parents were away on their holiday – I didn’t see them for four weeks. It was not a problem. I recognised them immediately when they came back because I’d known them all my life.

At sixteen you can legally have sex and in nine more months you can join the army and die. Before you can smoke or have a beer.Β  Does the army want these mummy’s boys? I think not. They will not get through basic training without crying all the water out of their bodies and demanding someone tie their bootlaces for them. They have been brought up to be totally fucking useless.

You used to be able to leave school at 14. The thinking was ‘Well, this one is not going to be an academic, send him off to learn plumbing or something’ and it worked. It worked really well. So well that those plumbers, electricians, plasterers, brickies, were paying into a pension and paying off a mortgage before the rest of us smart arses were out of education. I’m still paying my mortgage. The ‘thickies’ my age who went off to be plumbers etc own their homes and have retired. So who’s the thick one now?

The next generation is going to be tied to Mummy’s apron strings like a lifestyle garotte. They will have no clue how to function as individuals and that’s the idea. They will be dependent on someone else (the state) telling them how to live and what to do next. When they go to university to study tofu-knitting or Sharia bacon-slicing or some other pointless thing that will leave them in debt forever, they will be ripe for control by the useless-idiot academics who still cannot remember who every Socialist revolution shot first.

It beggars belief that serious advice to parents is to guard their child as if every single other person wants to kill it. It is not everyone. It’s just me. Bring them up afraid, dependent and useless. That is the official message now. Do not bring up the next generation of real people. Bring up easily controlled drones.

And they do.

I have lived just over half a century and have raised eyebrows at those telling me how to live who have been doing it half as long as I have. Half a century. Not all that long really. I have, as a child, gone to the corner shop for my father’s cigarettes and bought sweets with the change. It was a good arrangement until the government stopped it.

Now I see the under 18s hiding their cigarettes from me as I pass. Oh, there are a lot of them, even in this little shithole of a town. In Local Shop I am often faced with under-18 staff outside, smoking. Local Shop recruits 16 year olds. Some of them smoke. Why? Because it has been made out to be rebellious by the antismokers. And teenagers are naturally rebellious. I used to be one too. Don’t remember much about it, I was pissed most of the time because it was stil illegal to drink under 18 back then. The ‘rebellious’ point is thus proven.

Is that what the Puritans are so scared of? That left alone, kids might smoke or dink or eat a burger or worst of all – think for themselves? Are they terrified that the new generation might imagine they don’t need to be looked after 24/7 by nanny?

It didn’t take all that long to get here. Getting out of it would take less time if parents were to say ‘Fuck off, these children are mine, not yours’.

I think, however, it will take quite a lot longer than it should.

The current kids are not the first indoctrinated generation. They are the second.


33 thoughts on “What the hell happened?

  1. I sympathise, my grandchildren will never know the freedom I had or even my son had and they are far less restrictive parents than most. They do their best to give the kids as much freedom is acceptable these days without being reported to the SS. When my grandson had an accident, jumping off the sofa and cut his nose on the coffee table, his dad had to be ‘observed’ in A&E to see how they interacted ! This is what the law is now for a childhood injury, cameras in the cublcles. No wonder people are scared to take their kids with who knows what consequences. It is all very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I see them everyday. Being walked to school in the morning and walked home afterwards and some that are picked up and returned at lunchtime. At times it looks like there are more adults than there are children.

    Some kids still play out but they don’t roam nearly as far as I did in the 60’s. I walked to school and back again every weekday which would be about 3 miles maybe. We played in the woods, at the garages and sometimes in the primary school pitches. Sure we had the odd incident with “bigger boys” or getting hurt but nobody died, nobody did anything really stupid and we survived better for it.

    Nanny has a lot to answer for it. Presumed guilty is being pursued with vigour. The latest is that car drivers will be responsible in all accidents involving a cyclist. The cyclists can carry on like idiots, going the wrong way down one way streets, going through red lights, not signalling, being crap at cycling… The are the lefties they must be protected, they are special. Insurance? No. Compulsory training? No.

    There is a parallel to the current cycling mania. After the war guys bought motorcycles in the tens of thousands. Lots of them were killed and injured. Training and licenses were brought in and the deaths and injures reduced dramatically. Much as I hate nannying we need a small amount sometimes.

    Oh well….

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Being walked to school in the morning and walked home afterwards and some that are picked up and returned at lunchtime. ”

      Walked? Sadly nowadays, the vast majority get driven to school and have to walk only across the pavement & into the playing ground.

      No wonder there’s so much child obesity around.


    • I don’t see training and licensing as ‘nannying’. If someone wants to operate a potentially lethal piece of machinery, it’s common sense to make sure that they know how to use it before they are unleashed on the public roads. The nannying starts when they are told that they have to wear a crash helmet when riding or face prosecution. Not knowing how to ride a bike properly endangers others. Not wearing a helmet does not endanger others – it should be a personal choice.


      • I would add that by ‘bike’, I mean motorbike, not pushbike. All kids should have mastered the art of riding a pushbike by the age of 10. The lycra-louts should be expected to follow the same road rules as everybody else.


        • Dam Mods and Rockers, taking up all the road and having fights on Brighton beach. Can’t see the scooter for the lights. Those leather-louts on their BSAs and Triumphs, whatever next.

          I’ve go a bike, you can ride it if you like. No basket or bell but it looks good. πŸ™‚


            • The actual Syd Barrett lyrics are…

              I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like.
              It’s got a basket, a bell that rings
              And things to make it look good.
              I’d give it to you if I could, but I borrowed it.

              And no, I didn’t have to Google it.

              I went to school in the Twyn Primary school aged 4, the school my Great Grandfather was the first headmaster of, and was walking to school on my own aged five. I was always late. I used to stop on the bridge over Caerphilly Station and get a blast of the steam trains pulling out for Cardiff. No smell in the world like it!

              By six, my little gang and I were roaming over Caerphilly mountain and Evans farm, all the way to the Van Farm via the woods and the Tar Plant and even Cefn Onn. A pack of sandwiches and a bottle of Clark’s Pop in our bags, gone from dawn to dusk, and nobody worried one iota about us. Goddam were were a lucky generation!

              Liked by 1 person

          • I remember all the wing mirrors on the Lambrettas and used to wonder what it felt like if the car behind put full-beam on… Unfortunately they had moved on from that by the time I was old enough to drive.

            Then there were the punk-rockers acting hard with their peircings. They used to have a chain from the pierced ear to the pierced nose. You could defuse any hostility in an instant with ‘If you want to fight me, fine, but the first thing I’m going to go for is that chain’.

            Tended to put them off a bit.


      • “it’s common sense to make sure that they know how to use it before they are unleashed on the public roads”

        I don’t ride motorbikes -even mopeds scare me to death (which rather spoils the shaved headed ‘hard man’ look) but in regard to cars and the driving test I do question if there need be a test/licence at all.

        I think I failed the then ‘piss of piss-once round the block-3 verbal questions’ GB test maybe 4 times due to nerves not because I wasn’t able to operate a vehicle on her Majesty’s highways safely. A point I proved by moving back to Germany and passing the toughest driving test in the world, at that time, on my 2nd attempt, a test that required a far greater driving competence.

        Anyways, long and short of it is that the problem with the driving test/licence is that it only ensures that someone is technically capable of driving , yet how many fatal accidents are caused by someone crashing the gears or missing the ‘biting point’ ?

        The single biggest danger to the public is ATTITUDES- two of them. One, the teenage wounded indignation the ‘I am immortal and it is my duty to punish any mere mortal who tries to take the piss’. The other, and in some ways worse, is the fact that every experienced driver believes that they are ‘an above average good driver’ when in reality 99% of us are pretty crap at driving-despite holding a licence.

        Driving back from McDonalds (12 miles on ‘norfolk’ roads-ie twistier than a politician on the “Today” program and blacker than Newgate’s Knocker) last night I know i made at least 2 basic mistakes, mistakes that could have gotten me, and anyone else unfortunate to have been on the road with me,killed.

        I KNOW I am a shit driver but I remain alive because i clammer to two basic rules; the 2 second Rule and ‘Always drive with lights even in the brightest sunshine’.

        Oh bugger, I have now wandered off what I was actually planning to say. Sorry, blame Old Age.

        Short Answer. We should ensure everyone is techinically capable of driving by making, say, 100 hours of mixed driving (Motorways, night, ‘Norfolk’ roads) tuition complusory and insist every young driver have “Only A FOOL Breaks The 2 Second Rule” etched into his windscreen and perhaps his retina or accepts voluntary chemical castration.


    • With regards bikes, there really does need to be a clause in any law that effectively says “This party was being a complete nitwit, and is therefore responsible”. Or, on the other hand, do what we always used to do with regards health and safety; some regulations and stick every case where there is even a sniff of negligence in front of a court and let the court decide.

      One example of “Cyclist being a moron” would be the case of one Olympic champion, who decided to go out training one night dressed all in black, on a dark bike without any lights or reflectors. The HGV driver who killed him literally did not ever see him; first thing the lorry driver knew was a god-awful bump at the nearside of his vehicle.

      Prosecuting him for manslaughter under such a law would be manifestly unjust, simply because the cyclist was breaking the law by not complying even with the legal minimum of lighting. Personally, if I’m out on my bike even on a dark day (or when the sun is setting; dangerous low sunlight) I stick the lights on, and wear a jacket of the same spec as that which railway workers use. Bright orange, EN-specified reflective panels, ultra-bright flashy LED rearlight set up very, very carefully to be as visible as possible.

      I am very, very visible at night. I also never jump red lights. Ever.


      • I used to cycle a lot and like most sensible people I took responsibility for my own actions when I did. That’s not to say that I didn’t have a couple of close from people getting too close or swerving inti my path.

        It’s just a section of the new “save the world” cyclists that cause most of the issues. A great pity really.


      • You are unique – just yesterday an LL (Lycra lout) rode onto the pavement beside my car (because the traffic lights were red), narrowly missing a mother with pushchair, and then cycled straight across the cross-traffic, causing some rapid braking by two cars. If the following car had hit the back of the 1st, the LL bastard would not have been held responsible in our crazy modern world.
        This happens so often no-one seems surprised any more. But if I’d been driving that leading car there would have been a squashed LL.


  3. This was the first thing I read this morning. It was wonderfully uplifting to find such truth before breakfast. We (us oldies) are the only ones who wonder what the hell happened. Younger people think their lives are “normal”!


    • There is a whole generation now who cannot imagine sitting in a pub having a drink and a smoke at the same time. Or carrying a pocket knife.

      There is even an age restriction on Christmas crackers under the Explosives Act. I kid you not. We used to buy boxes of bangers every November and it was obvious what we intended to do with them. They were small boxes containing only bangers. Matches? No problem. We could buy as many as we wanted.

      It’s not true that if you put a banger in a bottle, the bottle will explode. We tried and tried…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My elder son was being picked on by a bigger kid in primary school. I advised him to stick up for himself. The next time it happened, on a school outing, he hoisted the kid into the ditch. Much screaming and shouting.
    And that was that. No school involvement, no angry parents. I only found out because my son told me.
    Come back,1973.


    • A conversation with my Dad from the late 1960s –

      Dad – ‘Is that little bugger up the road still picking on you?’
      Me – ‘No. I stopped him’.
      Dad (warily) ‘What did you do?’
      Me – ‘I just asked him if he wanted to see tomorrow.’

      I didn’t mention I had my hands on his neck at the time, and Dad did not pursue the matter. In those days we were expected to look after ourselves. Within reason, obviously, but parents didn’t get involved in child-fights unless someone started bleeding.


    • All my teachers were ex army/Navy, and one wierdo from the RAF. The school dinner attendants as well. One, an ex CPO.

      Often heard; “Sir! Billy bloggs hit me!”

      CPO “Really? Then go and hit him back, and make sure he STAYS hit!”

      I should imagine he would not last long in todays shool system.


  5. I’m not sure I would leave a 16 year old home alone – they would probably arrange a party, it would get advertised on facebook and the house would be wrecked. But otherwise I agree entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I walked to school when I was six+ during the war.
    I was instructed that if the air-raid siren sounded and I couldn’t see a shelter to knock at the nearest house and ask to share theirs.
    Bombs were obviously of more concern than paedophiles!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. ” … left alone, kids might smoke or dink or eat a burger …

    C’mon Leggy. Even you can’t fail to agree that teenage “dinking” has now reached epidemic proportions … Tee, hee! πŸ™‚


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