NEDS…..the Terror begins

I went to see the film NED’s this week. Jasus! You almost needed subtitles, and I’ve lived in Glasgow for 6 years! And don’t know what they’re going to do in American, given that I’m not sure exactly how you translate “You’s going it chibbed by the way”:## into more polite American English. Gritty, depressing, violent, but still very watchable film. A slight SPOILER alert, there is a dream sequence where Jesus gets chibbed, should that be the sort of thing that will upset you’s. I’m surprised the Church didn’t complain…..then again, I think they’ve long worked out through bitter experience that by putting guys waving crucifixes and placards with “Careful Now” and “Down with this sort of thing” outside cinemas will just increase sales, not reduce them>:XX.

It’s also interesting to explore the theme behind this film, the rise of the Glasgow NED culture (or Chav’s as they or known in the rest of the country, or Norries back in Cork). The Ned’s came about as a result of the large scale redundancies of the major manufacturing industries during the 1970’s to 1990’s. This led to increasing poverty in (former) working class communities, broken homes, increased social problems (alcoholism, drug abuse, watching of Daytime TV), which in itself led to a rise in gang culture among disaffected youths, whose parents were either unwilling (alcoholic), or unable (too busy trying to make ends meet, arguing, or watch Daytime TV….while arguing….or arguing on daytime TV) to keep them in check.

Of course the then Tory government not only failed to prevent this slide, because it went against what was written in their good book (the Gospel’s according to Gecko), but they actively encouraged the collapse of many critical heavy industries as they feared the powerful Unions. Now granted, it is clear that some (Bolshe) unions at the time were using strike action not to settle genuine grievances with they’re employers :crazy:, but as a means of brining about social(ist) change, which is not what unions are meant to be doing (if they want to bring that about, found a party and stand in election, spilt into 5 separate parties who all then vote Tory to stop the others getting in). The Tories would incidentally point to globalisation and how many manufacturing jobs moved to low wage economies in the Far East. Not entirely true, most of the ship building jobs in Glasgow & Newcastle for example went instead to places like France, Finland, Germany, South Korea and Japan, mostly to unionised highly paid workers. It is only very recently (the last decade) that substantial ship building activity has started in places like China and India, thought they are rapidly making up for lost time.

The fact is the Tory governments of the era could have averted the collapse of heavy industry but they took a conscious choice not to do so. I would put it to any Tory supporter that you have to acknowledge that even the most Bolshe Glasgow shipyard workers or Welsh miners of the 70/80’s did do his job (when not on strike) earn a wage, pay his taxes, support his family and contribute to his community….fast forward and some areas of what were once working class suburbs of industrial/mining towns are now basically welfare colonies. Large numbers of the inhabitants therein (i.e not all, lets now start making unfair generalisations) are totally dependant on welfare (paid for by taxes), and these areas have become breeding grounds for Ned’s & Chav’s who have zero respect for society and often a criminal record, which of course means increased costs to the taxpayer in terms of policing & social care. Quality of life has also tumbled, plus life expectancy as well as the health costs brought on by these many social ills.

So when the Tories talk about “Broken Britain” lets not forget who did the breaking. It’s about time they acknowledge that the Sun does not indeed shine out of Maggie Thatcher’s ar$e. Her political legacy on this country is basically what you see wandering down the streets in a Burberry cap with a Buckie bottle, and its going to be a lot harder to fix these social problems than she and her predecessors created, than it originally was to create them.

And the Tory polices cited for fixing the country might sound like a great idea in Middle England garden parties, but they just aren’t going to work in the real world. For example they’ve been talked about welfare chain gangs – making people work for they’re benefits. Now, aside from the fact that most people who are unemployed are in this position not by choice, and are often rather busy looking for another job, the problem with Ned’s is getting weapons off them, I don’t like the idea of the government issuing them with pickaxes and shovels :>…not unless you want to see a few coppers disappear…we’ll have to deploy the SAS to guard them while they work ;D! In any event, have you ever hear the expression “if you don’t want to be asked to do a job a 2nd time, do it badly the 1st time”. I’m quite sure the Ned’s have! And in fairness to the Ned’s, its not so much a case that they’ve abandoned all respect for authority (as right wing newspapers will often state), no its more a case of the authorities abandoning them. Until the government gives the right incentives to these areas, in other words good well paid jobs (like say building offshore renewable energy systems), things are not going to change. Like I said, its harder to fix social problems that it is to create them, maybe if past Tory governments had been a bit more forward thinking they won’t have sat on their hands while Britain was reduced to a 3rd rate industrial power.

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