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Donna Gee - Spain's Grumpy Old Gran


Cane me, life in Spain is so much safer for us wrinklies!
04 December 2010 @ 20:10



I know it’s not funny, but I couldn’t help laughing at Home Secretary Theresa May‘s announcement that slapping ASBOs on young British yobs doesn’t work.

There is only one way to deal people who have no respect for others and repeatedly flout accepted norms. And that is to take them off our streets and remove them as a threat to decent law-abiding citizens.

In other words, lock them up until they are prepared to behave properly. And if that means years rather than months, then so be it.

The politically correct brigade repeatedly tell us that we must try to re-educate the poor young souls whose sorties into crime, violence and vandalism  are no fault of their own. It’s all caused, they insist, by the deprivation and broken homes they come from.

If that is so, then how come so many people from miserable backgrounds grow up to become decent law-abiding citizens without a blemish on their character?

I’ll accept that circumstances often play their part in juvenile delinquency. When one’s role models are jailbird fathers and drug-addict mothers, what hope does a child have?

They need pointing in the right direction – and with only negativity in their home life, unless they are taken into care, that positivity can only come from their school and its teachers.

But thanks to the do-gooders, the disciplinary guidance these battled-scarred kids so desperately need is banned from the outset. So how on earth is a wild child ever going to be tamed? It’s no wonder so many of them never learn to respect anyone – least of all the laws of decency.

Embryo thugs are left to openly attack any sort of authority without fear of a penalty. Drag them before the courts and namby-pamby lay magistrates tell them not to be naughty boys. Not once, but dozens of times before even minimal custodial terms are even considered.

These low lifes laugh in the faces of their schoolteachers and, knowing that no-one dare raise a hand against them, taunt officialdom relentlessly. It’s no wonder that decent teachers have been known to lose control and end up in court

In 21st century Britain, the punishment does not fit the crime – at any level. A young car thief  runs over and kills a young mother with her own car and gets a paltry six years in jail for manslaughter. Ludicrous.  In the absence of the death penalty, the correct sentence for should have been LIFE imprisonment . The murderer (and make no mistake, that is what he is) has no right to live in freedom. Ever.

As ever, the victim and her family must suffer for ever while the villain milks the state  and the taxpayer – and emerges in a few short years probably to commit more crimes.

I know this is contentious, but many of us who remember the 50s and 60s would bring back corporal punishment in schools as a matter of urgency.

The problem is that matters have been allowed to deteriorate to such a point that if teachers were allowed to deliver six of the best, every school would need to employ 100 policemen to ward off yob parents bent on attacking the staff.

Once upon a time, policemen were allowed to give cheeky kids a friendly clip around the earhole. Barbaric, I hear the 21st century do-gooders scream. If that’s so, then how come I’ve yet to meet anyone who was permanently damaged by being physically punished for misdeeds at school.

What did happen was that the sting of the cane or slipper taught naughty kids that defying authority could be a painful experience they would not want repeated.

Certainly there was much less delinquency in the UK in those days. And decent people could go out at night without fearing they’d be either mugged by drug addicts or molested by drunken louts.

And while 50s and 60s society did admittedly contain an undesirable element, they represented a tiny proportion of the population. At least, that’s how it seemed to me.

 In contrast, the sub-culture Britain has spawned over the last 40 years seems to be growing by the day. It’s an element of society which milks society of every benefit possible, has no interest in working – and supplements its assets by stealing from others.

Its members have no respect for ANYTHING. And until the authorities start making the punishment fit the crime, things will just get worse.

Custodial sentences are becoming all too rare – and when the worst offenders ARE locked up, they live it up in comparative luxury with all mod cons. Why on earth don’t the warders take them out in chain gangs, American style, to clean up all the rubbish that litters Britain’s streets?

Is it barbaric to make criminals put something back into the society they have exploited?

OK, my argument is very simplistic and it’s certainly not a case of black and white. But how on earth does a schoolteacher inculcate respect into an insolent, defiant child with absolutely no moral standards?

 There used to be saying that went: ‘‘Spare the rod and spoil the child.’’ Sadly, that seems to have been replaced by a new adage: ‘Spare the rod and spawn the yob.’

One thing is all too obvious. The softly-softly approach is not working in the UK. So I’ll stay here in Spain, thank you very much – and feel a lot safer.      

Published in Female Focus magazine, 2010


Like 0


jack said:
04 December 2010 @ 23:51

Couldn't agree more. Without discipline how do you control peoples natural desire to do as they want without regard to the effect on others. If they can do as they want without sanction they will continue doing so.
The lesson of mutual respect needs to be taught as the person grows up. They need to be taught that if they do not care about the effect their actions have on others then there will be unpleasent consequences. These consequences need to get prgressively stronger if they do not change their ways.
These lessons need to be taught from a young age.
I believe in the old saying "Treat others as you would like to be treated".

Roberto said:
05 December 2010 @ 20:03

Me again, G-O-G! And same again, I love your article and couldn't agree more - except the title again: "life in Spain is so much safer for us wrinklies!" I don't understand these comparisons you make. I have been asked to appear in court as a witness to a beating up that occurred outside my home (on a busy well lit Spanish town centre street) - the victim was walking home alone and heard three guys say "let's beat that guy up". The poor fellow was so badly beaten that while I waited for the ambulance to arrive, trying to keep him conscious, I didn't even recognise him although he was known to me. I hear the perpetrators will probably get off with a warning, as it was their first offence. (More likely the first time they got caught). This week, my boss's 75 year old mother was mugged by three nice young ladies who held the door open for her as she left the bank (on her Zimmer) where she had just drawn out some cash.
You're spot on with your observations, and I whole heartedly agree with your suggestions - but sadly, this problem is not unique to the UK, and is happening right here in Spain too. I no longer feel safe here.

Donna Gee said:
05 December 2010 @ 21:41

Roberto, I appreciate that Spain also has a yob problem - but I doubt it's anywhere near as bad as the UK. The menacing, ever-growing 'scum society' that runs parallel with the law-abiding majority frightens me. I am sure there are violent areas in Spain's major cities but in Guardamar, the Costa Blanca town where I live, unprovoked attacks like the horrible one you witnessed are very rare. I have never even seen a rowdy group of Spanish youngsters, let alone anyone who looks threatening. The only real problem is market-day pickpockets and handbag snatchers - and their victims often only have themselves to blame. But that's another story.

Sally said:
12 December 2010 @ 18:12

Why do you think Spanish kids are better behaved than English ones, then? Corporal punishment is banned in schools here too, and there just as many socially deprived families as in the UK.

Donna Gee said:
12 December 2010 @ 21:14

Sally, I can only go on what I see (see my earlier comment in response) to Roberto - although the comparison is admittedly a little unfair in that I live in a considerably quieter area of Spain than I did in the UK. Perhaps it's just that English youths LOOK more scary than their Spanish counterparts.

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