As you read this account, and then click over to the Mail to read the rest of this shocking description of how utterly screwed are English urban zones, imagine how bad it will be when the state can no longer pay out ‘benefits’ to all these entitled-feeling thugs. Just think of what they will do when they can’t just get a hand out for all they want. And this day is coming soon, either because the state can’t pay it out anymore, or because sooner or later people realize that money only has value so long as someone actually is willing to do service or trade goods for it. And as less people actually produce wealth, tokens of it lose meaning.
One mother’s terrifying account of why her middle-class neighbourhood suddenly doesn’t feel so safe any more…
Last updated at 8:15 AM on 8th March 2012
Walking home from school, my two eldest sons, then aged four and five, were chomping their way through Rice Krispie cakes bought at a school sale, while I pushed their baby brother in a pram beside them.
Typically for 3.30pm in the part of North-West London where we live, the pavements were awash with children and pushchairs. This area, with its wide tree-lined avenues, smart family homes and good schools, is hugely popular with young families.
We were almost home when four-year-old Zach pleaded to be allowed to put the rest of his cake money towards his favourite Fireman Sam magazine.
Shaken: Lisa with her boys (from left) Rocco, Mallik and Zach
We’d just left our local newsagent’s, magazine firmly in my little son’s hand, when we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a 12-strong gang of hooded youths who were chasing a girl who looked no older than 14.
One grabbed her and started battering her with an umbrella, but she managed to get away. Then the youths gave chase, throwing bottles and shouting obscenities. It looked as though they meant to kill her.
As members of a rival gang appeared from nowhere, bottles rained down all around us. When one ricocheted off the pram canopy — waking my one-year-old with a start — I froze.
As a journalist, I’d devoted years to infiltrating London’s violent teenage gangs, and filmed two TV documentaries on the subject. Slowly gaining their confidence, I got close to several of the hardest gang members, entering drug dealer-controlled ‘no-go’ zones where even the police wouldn’t venture.
I’d wanted to understand what triggered their anti-social behaviour and to help them articulate their feelings without resorting to violence. But as a mother of three vulnerable children terrified by this pack of youths, my overwhelming instinct was to protect my offspring.
Grabbing my sons and frantically pushing the pram with one hand, I rushed to get them home as quickly as possible. Then to my horror, Zach broke free of my grip and blindly ran back into what was now a full-on turf war.
Our cakes spilled out over the pavement. It was the wrong thing to do, of course. I’d drawn attention to my fleeing family, and a splinter group gave chase after us, calling out ‘get the whities’.