Torture and killings rot to lawlessness

EVENTS of the past week may well make 2008 become the year when Britain turned - a pivotal point in history that changed its population forever.Violent crime - no, that phrase has been so overused we're immune to its meaning - rather brutal, evil, savage, deranged barbarity has hit close to home with the shocking torture and killing of 17-year-old Simon Everitt.

EVENTS of the past week may well make 2008 become the year when Britain turned - a pivotal point in history that changed its population forever.

Violent crime - no, that phrase has been so overused we're immune to its meaning - rather brutal, evil, savage, deranged barbarity has hit close to home with the shocking torture and killing of 17-year-old Simon Everitt.

The engineering student from Great Yarmouth was tied to a tree, forced to drink petrol and was then set alight. Words defy such treatment of another human being. For such an act to take place so close to home shakes any feeling of safety in the provinces we might have had.

As his body was uncovered in a shallow grave near Caister, police discovered the mutilated bodies in London of two French students who had been tied to chairs and stabbed 243 times then set on fire in an attack so appalling it devastated hardened police officers.

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Three teenagers were stabbed to death in London in separate incidents and the city's worldwide reputation as a culture fun capital shifted to Blade Danger City with foreign newspapers warning their readers to avoid travelling there.

At home, families, scrimping and saving to buy necessities as bills go up and up, are so scared for the future of their children they've had enough and are investigating emigrating, desperate for a better, safer life, for their children abroad.

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Britain is rotting to lawlessness, cowering in fear, forever expecting more attacks, more violence and becoming more difficult to shock.

On top of the violence, there's the Shameless culture in every town and city. Generations of families refuse to work, live on benefits and scams.

A website was revealed this week that guided people how to con the benefits system, qualify for disability allowances and live “on the sick” without being rumbled.

Immigrants are so scared of life here they're fleeing back to their homelands or other countries taking their hard work ethic and skills with them.

Those across the world planning to move to Britain as professionals, trades people, for all those minimum wage jobs our own work-shy population refuse to do because they're better off on benefits are changing their minds about coming here and looking for other, safer and more pleasant, countries to settle in.

Decent families will be emigrating, decent immigrants will refuse to come here and the nation will be left with what's left. Not a happy prospect.

In the meantime, as gangs rule streets with their blades, we're told not to stand up to them, to empty our pockets and hand over our valuables if we're threatened and never to take on the gangs.

So the thugs get the message they've the upper hand and we capitulate to them in fear. And not just in cities, the message is the same for thugs anywhere.

Slowly and surely the gangs will take over. Fast-forward a decade and the prospect is terrifying.

Do we keep our teenagers inside behind locked doors to save them from being stabbed or do they risk their lives every time they go out into communities where life is cheap and respect for it is long dead?

Violence is becoming more and more sadistic and those who should fear the police have no concern whatsoever for the law. Those of us who shouldn't have to live in fear are terrified about what comes next.

Tens of thousands of people will leave this year and more will change their mind about coming here. What we're left with will be rotten to the core.

What will be so Great about Britain then?

NO sooner did 14-year-old Laura Robson hit her winning shot to take the junior Wimbledon championship on Saturday than did all the hopes and dreams of Britain's tennis future pile on to her shoulders.

Poor girl. No pressure then.

A Brit player who's actually won something and she's only 14. Tennis commentators could barely control themselves, spinning her into a future Wimbledon championship and the best thing to come out of British tennis since Dorothea Lambert Chambers.

We're so good at talking up a champion only to pull him or her down if they don't deliver our expectations.

Leave the poor girl alone to do what she loves to do and what will be will be.

Let her enjoy the moment, the money and, more importantly, her youth.

MY older son is among the children told they will have to wait an extra week for their SATs results.

All the bunkum from Children's Secretary Ed Balls about more time needed to mark the papers and “resolve technical issues” is Whitehall shorthand for a gargantuan cock-up.

It's bad enough that 11-year-olds are forced to take these exams, spend a year working within rigid curriculum boundaries to be prepared for them and then have the pressure of knowing their results will probably determine their sets at high school.

But then to make their marking process such chaos and tell them so cavalierly that they'll just have to wait to find out how they did is an insult.

Perhaps next year the teachers and children will tell Whitehall it will have to wait for them to do wretched tests and concentrate on what primary school should be doing - a broad subject range with creative teaching rather than funnelled learning for a pointless exams.

And as for the 14-year-olds - I'm sure they've got a few choice comments of their own to make to the minister.

WHAT would be the point in charging Kate and Gerry McCann with neglect?

What greater punishment could a court impose for leaving Madeleine and twins Sean and Amelie than the hell the poor couple live with every day?

They know they can't turn back the clock and are paying the ultimate penalty for taking a risk with their children. Talk of a prosecution is yet another vindictive cheap shot by Portuguese police to hurt the McCanns for daring to expose their shortcomings in such shoddy procedures during a so-called “investigation” into a three-year-old's disappearance.

SOCIAL historians will have a field day with the Noughties and the way we live will make fascinating study for generations to come.

Women's success in the workplace, independence and economic strength and men's emasculation and economic shakiness is bringing about an interesting shift in demography.

We're becoming a nation of Mummy's boys. Men are still living with their parents, clinging on to mummy's apron strings because they can't afford to move out and are happy to be looked after.

And they're petrified of the independent strong-minded women they meet.

Women on the other hand - who once became surrogate mothers as young wives looking after their men - look witheringly on these men, are less concerned about marriage and are happy to stride confidently through life as a single woman. Looking after men is seen as an unnecessary hassle.

I blame the mothers. It's time they booted their boys out of the home and made them fend for themselves to stand a chance of forging a relationship.

Because of doting mum, young men want young women to be their mothers - adoring them and waiting on them hand and foot. They'll be waiting a long time then.

A study by banking group Cater Allen found that 2.3 million men still lived at home with their parents compared to 1.6 women who were out building their own lives.

Are we on the road to making men redundant?

If we're not careful, by the next century we'll have a nation of Boudiccas and Timothys from Sorry.

A VICAR who ejected the two-year-old son of a couple he was marrying from his church because he was chattering might have been having a bad day.

Or he might have seen red at another couple using his workplace for a venue for pretty wedding pictures.

Or he might have objected to people not knowing how to behave in church or show respect for the marriage service.

I have no idea but I'm sure he didn't ask for the child to be removed for nothing.

Of course his parents, 20-year-old Vicky and 21-year-old Ashley Thorpe, are outraged that their son, who they'd wanted to be a pageboy, didn't witness their nuptials because she kept repeating his father's name through the vows.

They want the world to know the Rev David Cameron's meanness for saying: “This is a legal ceremony and I cannot proceed with that (the boy's chattering) going on. Will somebody please take him outside?”

At least he said please.

No one can expect a two-year-old to be quiet in a marriage service but then no one should expect a child to play a major part in it.

A HIGH Court judge has caused a right old rumpus in our household.

His ruling - is this really what the law is for? - that Pringles are not crisps but more like biscuits has sparked our own legal argument over the kitchen table.

My mini-barrister boys are putting up a fine argument why they should be permitted Pringles now on a regular basis rather than a treat because I'm always more lenient when it comes to granting biscuits than crisps.

The biscuit tin is usually full, they argue, while crisps are only purchased occasionally and only at weekends. Therefore, if they're allowed a digestive biscuit every day they should also be allowed a handful of Pringles which, they point out eloquently, have little or no sugar in comparison.

I'm too exhausted to put up a counter-argument other than “No.”

When did children get so feisty?

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