Well the “riots” of last week seem to be well and truly over and it seems like everyone is chipping in their twopennorth as to the causes of this unprecedented outpouring of selfishness and greed. They’re also chipping in with solutions to the problem of disaffected youf.
So far it has been the fault of the parents, education, the national curriculum, the police, authority, people who have things – such as a work ethic, morals, conscience, pride, a job, an ability to communicate without every second syllable beginning with f, shoelaces, jeans that fit, more than three functioning brain cells – capitalism, consumer society, advertisers,Princess Diana… oh go on just add your own to the list.
Solutions have ranged from bringing back National Service, vocational education, scrapping the national curriculum, making all children do maths till the age of 36, street cleaning, community service, beating, drowning at birth, shooting and imprisonment, to name but a few.
So we at Boggartblog thought we should outline our plan for re-establishing the nation’s stiff upper, ramrod backbone and a firm belief in the values espoused by Rudyard Kipling, not least the ability to enjoy afternoon tea with exceedingly good cakes.
We don’t need more police, we don’t need riot squads, we don’t need frowning politicians.
What we do need are more old bags.
Opinionated old ladies who are not afraid to make their feelings known, no matter whom they may upset, old bags just like the Grandma from the Giles cartoons and our dear old Mum.
We need a whole army of them, patrolling the streets with their winter coats firmly buttoned, their umbrellas furled and ready to point, their beady eyes peeled to all manner of things that weren’t like that in their day, and their tongues duly sharpened to let anybody and everybody know just what they think at any given time.
The old bag who lived next door to us when I was just knee high to a grasshopper could stop a child dead in their paces with one steely glance over the garden wall.
The one we lived next door to after that, who probably wasn’t really that old given that she had children that were knee high to me, only had to twitch the net curtains for us kids to scatter to wherever we had come from.
Old bags would shame the recalcitrant child into giving up its seat on the bus to an older person.
Old bags would calmly accost a litterbug and point out that they appeared to have dropped something.
Old bags thought nothing of telling miscreants off for spitting, swearing, not covering their mouths when they coughed, walking three abreast on the pavement, wearing skirts too short, not having your coat done up, getting soaked through in the rain, not forming an orderly queue, pushing in, snogging in public, snogging on the bus, snogging in the cinema.
Old bags were omnipotent. They saw everything, they knew everybody.
How many times has the phrase, “I know who you are Johnny Smith, I know where you live, I’ll be telling your parents about you…” followed the retreating figure of a wannabe arsehole down the street?
And how often did those all seeing eyes and uninhibited tongues prevent a little mischief that could have led to so much more?
Unfortunately the old bag appears to be a dying breed, but Boggartblog says ladies, and men but you would have to drag up, get your coats, get your hats, get your umbrellas and take to the streets. Stick your nose into anybody’s business, say what you want without fear of political correctnesss or other people’s feelings, name and shame those around you who don’t conform to your ideas of good public behaviour.
YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!