I do not think standards have deteriorated a great deal, but I also do not think they have improved. In 1968 there were student riots. The riots in Britain were, admittedly, not as bad as those in France, but the teenagers in Britain, nevertheless, caused havoc. The cause of this could be the abolishment of National Service, for this, quite certainly, quietened down the teenage element in the late Forties and Fifties, when it was compulsory. It seems that nowadays, as can be seen at football matches, teenagers almost seem to enjoy fighting and hurling things at each other, but if National Service was resumed, these warring factions would undoubtedly have a dampener put on their sadistic (or is it masochistic) activities.
But social behaviour appears to be more or less the same. Now, as then, there is a trend on the go. This is of course Punk. Then, in the early Seventies, it was skinheads, and are not skinheads assumed to be the most violent race of people? They wore ‘bovver boots’, braces and knee height trousers. The gangs of ‘skins’ certainly caused ‘bovver’, wrecking telephone boxes, each other, and other people’s property. This also goes on nowadays to much the same extent as it did then, so it cannot be said that standards have deteriorated too much.
So far the essay has been concerned with the rowdy element, the brainless thugs, who inhabit our everyday life. I the upper class element are taken, their social behaviour has not deteriorated. The parents of this class probably have had the same morals and standards over the past ten years which they have taught to their children, and which they in turn will probably teach to their children.
So any deterioration seems to have occurred in the lower classes. An undoubted contributor to increased violence nowadays is television. Censorship will have slackened since then, no doubt, therefore more violence is to be seen on the screen, and the television addicts no doubt will copy what they see. A decline could be attributed to the adults, who do not tell children to stop whatever they are doing wrong, for fear of being cheeked or even hit. Our police force could do with toughening up as well. On the television one can see how the police in other countries deal with rioters. Smash them over the head with a stick or kick them. The worst a policeman in this country ever does is perhaps a smack on the head with his hand, and that hardly deters hooligans. If football hooliganism is taken into account, in this country we have the most violent supporters and the softest police. Other countries have violent police and controllable supported.
Taking everything into account, social behaviour has not deteriorated a great deal, it just seems that way. In another ten years’ time, provided the earth has not been obliterated by nuclear fallout, today’s behaviour might seem positively saintly.
This was not marked.
(c) M. Robert Gibson
This is a school essay.
It was written well before the internet. It is full of inaccuracies and assumptions; bad punctuation; bad grammar and a woeful lack of research, but, it is also a first draft. It was also hand-written in an exercise book, none of your fancy electronic gizmos back then.
And don’t forget, it was written by a schoolboy in a time before political correctness.
It is published here for purely selfish vanity reasons, so read it at your own peril and do not expect any great revelations.