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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 17 July 2008
Address the cultural, not just knife problems

• WHEN my father was young in the 1920s he collected cereal coupons from Nestlé.
He saved them up and the corporation sent him a sheath knife. Imagine this happening today, when all they want is our loyalty! It’s not the knife but the culture we need to address.
I think the present street gang knife warfare was predictable and should have been well understood by those in power and authority by now. It is, of course, a mixture of things.
On-screen violence (I have just seen the BBC showing a Palestinian being shot); computer games (mostly aggressive and violent). Violence and sex are shown in disturbing amounts even before 9pm, let alone at the cinema.
A lack of parental control, mothers often single and at work (many on low-pay and extra hours are exhausted), no male authority because, of course, they are all scared of someone prosecuting or blaming them (Matthew Wright and friends said this). When that is just what we should be doing, to protect our children. It takes two to produce a child but it seems easy for some men to walk away; leaving them powerless in children’s eyes and mine.
Women may be fighting for equal rights but it seems to be the complete opposite for men, who are cowering behind the “if I touch or talk to that child I may get told I was behaving unacceptably”.
Perhaps if we sent the eminent schools the odd young offender the world would be better balanced then.
Instead we are going down “the them and us” route which leads to a third world country reputation and from history won’t work but is great for revolutions.
Many new immigrants come from war zones and have witnessed atrocities of various degrees; most have not had counselling or any grief processing.
I watched a gang of 25 chase one lad down the street.
There was nothing I could do except watch, which I did; it probably only delayed the beating he was to receive. However, several of the youths didn’t continue with the chase.
I tried to remember the faces of the ring leaders but felt powerless to say anything as I was just as vulnerable in my wheelchair as he was.
Not one car slowed down or stopped, no one looked out the window and no one called the police. Have we become a nation of cowards?
Address supplied, NW6

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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