Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Broken society: 1751-2011

I traced David Cameron's phrase to describe Britain as a 'broken society' back to Tony Blair in 1995, so I am happy to see this from the Economist, tracing British hooliganism back as far as 1751:

The seventeenth century saw moral panics about violent and rowdy apprentices, as well as about organised fighting among gangs (wearing coloured ribbons to identify their troops). Professor Pearson ends with the sixteenth century and puritan fears about, if not gangsta rap, popular songs that treated criminals as heroes.

Each generation terrifies its parents with bad behaviour, forgets the lessons of its youth and is terrified in turn by its children.

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