These rioters are Tony Blair’s children

Nihilism and disorder have been fostered by the state. On the third day of the London riots I received a telephone call from Mash, a member of a Brixton gang who I befriended three years ago. He was standing outside an electronics shop in Clapham, watching the looting. I could hear shouts, glass breaking but never a police siren. I urged him to go home. ‘HarriContinue reading “These rioters are Tony Blair’s children”

Prison’s just what a young yob needs: structure and discipline

As Learco Chindamo is about to be released claiming to be reformed, Harriet Sergeant finds jail is also working wonders on her hoodlum friend Tuggy Tug. Chindamo was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Philip Lawrence (Reuters) ‘Hari, I am in prison, call me in a hot minute.” I was standing in aContinue reading “Prison’s just what a young yob needs: structure and discipline”

The state sector’s big evil: it does not sack

It has not been a great week for the state sector. On Friday, Basildon University hospital pleaded guilty to health and safety failings over the death of a severely disabled young man. His mother, Gill Flack, called for bosses to be “held accountable” and demanded “staff sackings”. She might as well have cried for theContinue reading “The state sector’s big evil: it does not sack”

Schools are churning out the unemployable

Eight million adults are ‘economically inactive’ — which means that one in five people of working age do not have a job The latest unemployment figures are a shocker. Eight million adults are “economically inactive”. That means one in five people of working age does not have a job. A new and expanding group, poignantlyContinue reading “Schools are churning out the unemployable”

My cure for violent gangs: museums and a night at the theatre

The distinguished social affairs writer has made unusual friends: two teenage hoodies from Brixton I first met Tuggy Tug a year ago. He was one of about a dozen 16-year-old boys gathered outside a chicken takeaway in Brixton, south London. He wore black trainers, a black tracksuit and a black cap beneath the hood. HeContinue reading “My cure for violent gangs: museums and a night at the theatre”

The blunders forcing children at risk to compete for care

Talk is cheap – or, rather, recommendations are. Lord Laming has just issued 58 to transform the “Cinderella” social services that allowed Baby P to die so horrifically. The problem is that not one of these recommendations translates into extra funding. Ed Balls, the children’s secretary, has, according to Solace, the body that represents localContinue reading “The blunders forcing children at risk to compete for care”

Sorry, kids, you’re all going to Smoke-and-Mirrors High

The government has stars in its eyes – and it is proving confusing. It has introduced a new A* grade at A-level to help universities distinguish between top candidates. Then, last week, it instructed those same universities to ignore the new grade “for several years”. What has brought about this abrupt change? The government saysContinue reading “Sorry, kids, you’re all going to Smoke-and-Mirrors High”