Saturday, May 19, 2007

"they haven't succeeded with any of us"

Ex-smackhead Mark Johnson notices something about social workers.

"They said I was a product of my environment and upbringing. That made me feel it wasn't my fault, so the last person that I looked at was me and that's the first place I needed to look."

As the Wicked Uncle put it forty-five years ago :

To give them the idea when they get here that they're important, their only trouble is they're misunderstood, they need sympathy: well to me, quite frankly that just seems ridiculous. They get more attention paid to them here, more mollycoddling, more listening-to than they’ve ever had in their whole lives outside. It makes them feel, it can't help it, that they're not really bad people at all; it's everyone else outside who's wrong, not them.

Mr Johnson seems to have them taped.

The social workers at the first rehab he chose to attend in preference to staying in prison, are described as "kind-hearted but misguided".

"They have tried hard to persuade us to change but as far as I know, they haven't succeeded with any of us," he writes. "Social workers are so far behind," he adds. "Our whole society has changed."

Damn right it has. And most of the change was cheered on, if not actually engineered, by Guardianistas.

He points to the collapse of apprenticeships. "On the outside it was about employment. But it was really about an older man showing a younger bloke how to live; how to get up at 7am and to emotionally correct his behaviour. That's gone and we're dealing with the wreckage."

It's not just the industry that's gone - in the welfare age the need to work - and all that went with it - the learning, the cameraderie, the role model - has gone for many. To repeat: In ancient days (the Golden Age that never was) the disciplines of work and marriage subdued man's natural tendencies to naughtiness of all kinds. No work meant no food - and perhaps more important for socialisation, no respect from your peers.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"no work meant no food"

And no sex either.

The only(unpaid) sex that was available,generally speaking,was from a girl to whom some level of commitment had been made which was intended to lead to marriage.

Since most girls were completely uninterested in boys with no prospects of being able to support a family,i.e. boys with a job,and most boys primary concern was getting laid,things just kind of knit together in such a way as to civilise young lads and turn them into useful members of society.

pommygranate said...


An interesting article.

Recently one of my friends fell spectacularly off the wagon. He had a lovely wife, beautiful daughter, great job and nice home.

He has always been an infrequent coke user but over the last couple of years has upped his habit to one of a daily nature.

His life started to fall apart. He started neglecting his daughter and abusing his wife. She eventually left him and he got sacked from his job.

Nothing unusual about this except for the reaction of his wife's friends. Rather than kick him harder than John Terry, and demand he get his act together, they tried to empathise with him and took to describing him as being 'ill', removing all blame from him. This of course, reduced his incentive to kick his habit, convinced him that it was not his fault and exacerbated the problem.

I have lost many friends in this circle because of my criticism of his actions. I seem to be the only one who expected more from him and refused to excuse away his violent behaviour on the grounds of illness.

I have always believed that if you are absolved from blame from your damaging behaviour, you wont change it.

Maybe it is I who is out of touch with the times.

Anonymous said...

"No work meant no food"

What goes around comes around. I suspect that eventually this culture in the UK will come apart at the seams and no work will mean no food again. I expect me and mine will have left long before then....