AUGUST 14th 2007
A Chief Constable today blames alcohol for street violence in Manchester. This is representative of our current failure to understand what our ancestors learned thousands of years ago. In Vino Veritas was how the ancient Romans put it. The people who are violent when they are drunk are violent people. If they become unprovoked murderers of innocent people then that is what they really are, knowing no better. Putting up the price of drinks, the Chief Constable's recommendation, will make no difference. Raising the drinking age will have an effect in some places but will be difficult to enforce. There are perfectly good ways of dealing with such people and of wonderfully concentrating the minds of those who might imitate them. Sterilisation would be a great idea. The chief constable also blamed parents, so sterilisation would solve the problem preemptively and render surgery less necessary in future generations..Of course we will do nothing of the sort.

It is a mistake to think this is something to do with alcohol, or young people, or even older people. It is a mistake to think it is to do with race. It is to do with a failure to set standards and examples. The values that were once prized and aimed for no longer are.  There are many young people, the majority, who are superb. They are the hope of the future, their behaviour is exemplary, but they are not famous celebreties. We talk of 'role models' but get it all wrong. Trevor McDonald is a lousy role model - in fact no TV presenter is a sensible role model. The unseen, unsung people who together make our world function, who do not seek fame, these are the role models that should be imitated - the local as well as the remote.