I saw this a while back; illness got in the way of commenting about it. I was surprised that no other blog that I frequent had spoken about it.
‘Future criminals can be spotted at nursery study suggests;
And the first section of the article reads thus:
‘Future criminals and council house tenants can be spotted as early as nursery school, a study suggests.’
Does that seem a ‘off’ to you? The using of ‘criminals’ and ‘council house tenants’ in the same sentence, as if the two are inherently connected somehow?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived on a social housing estate for nearly 30 years, and there have been people in trouble with the police, but you’d probably get that in any area. A friend of mine says, ‘if some youths are gathering and causing trouble, they get an asbo; if the children of middle class parents do the same, they call it ‘high jinx’.
It’s quite a nice area here actually: semi rural; stunning views; a real mix of social groups. Many years ago, whilst traveling with someone when we were driving through the roads where the private housing is situated however (the dominant housing here), an ex copper told me that there was more crime per square mile around here, than in London. I was quite shocked about that. He wasn’t speaking about the small areas of social housing, but the majority of the area made up of private housing, some quite exclusive.
I came from a middle class background, but I went from your spoiled brat, to your ‘typical’ council-house-trash-single-parent overnight: my family were mortified. It did me good though; knocked me down more than a few pegs. I don’t think that I ever got over the shock of first realising what life was really about – how the poor struggled. Meantime, I felt that I was constantly looked down upon in the family and the wider community, made to feel ashamed: living in a council flat was synonymous with being a ‘bad un’ in one way or another.
When I moved out of the flat and into a house, if ever I had a taxi, I wouldn’t admit to living on a council estate; I felt really embarrassed. As it happens my house is by fields and opposite to the private section of the area, so the taxi driver wouldn’t know where I came from. I did not want to be identified as from what people saw as being part of an ‘under-class’. This is how you were made to feel; that you were worthless, nothing, scum. I was in my 20s then though, and had some learning to do; I don’t think twice about it now.
Just a few months ago, on a very rare visit to the real ale pub in the area, one of the group of old fellas (whose mum used to baby sit me in the 60s), called me over and asked me if I’d seen the article about a woman who lived in the flats near me, as she had been imprisoned for being a drugs mule, taking drugs into prison. He said, ‘Well, it’s always been rough up your way hasn’t it?’. I told him that it had never been rough really; it was a pleasant place to live. It made me realise that people still view social housing tenants as trouble makers and prison fodder.
Do an experiment to see how true this is. Every day, scan the Daily Mail online, for articles about people who have committed benefit fraud. I can guarantee you, that most all of those cases are people who already have well paying jobs, money in the bank, and property: they generally don’t live on council estates. You can’t get that through to people though.
With regard to the above study nevertheless, what was their ‘control’? Did they study children in private nurseries to see if the personality traits led to trouble in their later lives? Did they take a look at the prison population as a whole and see the proportion of criminals that grew up in social housing as opposed to private housing? I think not. It is also quite well known for example, that well-spoken middle class people who commit crimes receive lighter sentences, than those who are part of the underclass, so such studies can have skewed results.
This actually happened with a situation I went through a few years back. An old friend who lived in London, had some post coming here for a while when she was going through a divorce; the couple were from middle class backgrounds. It turned out that she sold the London property, pocketed the money without giving her ex husband half (some £450,000), and went back to Europe, a part that has no extradition agreement with the UK. 10 years later, she stupidly flew back. She was arrested at Heathrow, having been on a watch-list. She was tried, and her punishment was a year’s community service, despite not only taking the money, but having someone pose as her husband, and falsifying legal documents. I looked in the newspapers at the time to compare cases, and even when someone stole tens of thousands they were generally imprisoned, but not her.
Getting back to the newspaper article and the issues that arise from it, can you imagine what the continuation and advertisement of such studies will do to those children who live in social housing? They will likely be picked on throughout their schooling. But it’s more sinister than that. The government are obviously intent on studying children like this; the researchers wouldn’t have obtained a grant unless it would be of some use or other to the government (research funding changed in the 2000s). For example, there were questionnaires handed out a primary schools this year, that encouraged children to identify extremist tendencies in their family; quite rightly the questionnaires were scrapped. The whole thing reeks of social engineering and interference, ‘minority report’ predictions and control.
This study stinks of the same old shite to me. The pointing of the finger to blame someone as long as it’s not the middle and upper classes; the working classes do this now too, influenced by the propaganda of ‘newspapers’ like The Sun and Daily Mail. The vilifying of the under class and their children.
Moreover, I do not believe for one minute that children who are reared in social housing are any more likely to commit crimes than in any other social group, but that’s the intimation. You know the old saying: ‘keep telling a child that he/she is no good and he/she will end up being a no good.’ Kids from poorer backgrounds have enough on their plate coping with the drudgery, corruption, and stress of school life, without being told that they’ll never amount to anything just because they live in a council house. On the contrary, a married couple near me – who were very under educated themselves – had a daughter who went on to be a doctor: that’s aspiration for you! Another couple who are dear friends, were brought up on council estates, and one of their daughter’s studied medicine too.
I could tell you many tales like this: these are the stories that we want to hear, that if you work hard at school, or at something that you love doing, you’ll likely do OK for yourself, rather than being told that you’re more likely be council house extremest trash: which statement do you think we should tell our children…?