Monday, July 09, 2007

Sometimes England scares me.

When I go to visit my in-laws in England, I am always shocked at how many really violent, anti-social crimes get committed in the course of a week or two (not by my in-laws, silly, by the residents of their town).

For example, over Christmas a couple of years ago, there were three acts of violence that really shocked and sickened me. Swans were shot dead in the local park. A pensioner was stabbed in his bungalow. And to top it all off, a little old lady had her hair set on fire on the train. One week. One town.

Now I want to explain something. My country is not perfect. By any means. I am not picking on England.

Canada has 30 million. The UK has approximately 50 million. Perhaps there is more widespread coverage of the news in England. Perhaps Canada really does have as much crime, as much animal cruelty, etc. That being said, in the UK, they were mutilating ponies in their fields and shooting swans in the park. I have NEVER heard of such things here. Never. Not even close. Certainly not over the course of a week.

It disturbs me. England seems socially restless. Problematic. Troubled. Angry. What is with the delinquincy of the youth? Social canary in the mine? The degree of yobbish crimes, vandalism, violence and ASBOs (anti-social behavioural orders) seems over the top. Or does Canada just cover up her crime better?

I wonder if England is what made my husband so obsessively paranoid about personal safety. I really do. It would make sense. I would be paranoid, too, if I grew up with news stories such as those that I read that Christmas.

Now there is this story coming out of the England: Three people locked an epileptic man in their shed for four months, during which time they fed him potato peelings and beat him on a daily basis. He died.

The captives videotaped their prisoner. No violence follows, but it is an extremely disturbing interview with a clearly confused, emaciated man.


At 10:18 AM, Blogger Old Goat said...

I am an Englishman and I have never set fire to an old lady, kept someone in my garden shed for months at a time, or engaged in other similar hobbies. I put it down to space. If you pushed the entire population of Canada onto, say, the Isle of Skye then they'd soon resort to putting each other in sheds and the like. Us rural Britons are (comparatively) civilised as we have space to breath (and badgers on which to vent our occasional frustrations).


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