That was my reaction to a headline in the press the other day. It got me thinking. Just let this one sink in:
38% of men born in Scotland in 1973 hav e a Criminal Record.
That’s nearly two in every five of 40 year olds! How can that be? Is it ‘normal’, or has a generation undergone some sort of cultural change? I think I’d like to know the equivalents for say 1963, or 1953; 1923 even. Surely we haven’t been running at that level of criminality all these years?
And if not, why the increase? What has happened to our society to have it so broken? Today’s 40 year olds will have grown up, rose through their formative years, reaching maturity, as society did indeed start to fracture. Just what did a generation learn through those years?
The 1980s – strikes, miners, riots -what else can I remember? And I’m not going to mention politics. I don’t think I need to, do I? Those were the years of mass unemployment, industries decimated. The years of boom & bust, and greed, and boom & bust again; leaving us where we are today – totally gubbed.
These of course are the years when we’ve turned ourselves into the 4th most unequal society in the developed world. And as we’ve learned this week our wage structure is also in the top 4; the four most decimated in the EU that is. Oh woe.
And I’m wondering too, if there’s any deeper analysis into those startling figures. For instance what is the percentage of those convictions that might be related to, say, drug offences? I think we should be told much more of this.
And don’t think our wimmenfolk can rest easily either. For there’s almost one in every ten of them with a similar record, though I suspect a fair percentage may be something to do with TV licenses and fines, or drugs, or both.
Are we proud of this? Are we doing anything to improve our society? Is anyone taking responsibility? Answers please.
Well one answer is clear, evidenced by that most recent Panelbase poll – we need to take charge of welfare, and we want to do it. A bit of Common Weal is a screaming necessity. It’s time. You know it; I know it. Let’s do it. Shall I play you that song again?