Where's my hoodie?

In my next life I want to be a hooligan, says Susan Erasmus. This law-abiding life just isn't working for me.

I have always played by the rules, and apart from being able to go to sleep with a clear conscience, it hasn't benefited me hugely. I have never got something for nothing (I did win a chicken once), the only thing I ever stole was a chipped coffee cup at work, I pay my bills and my taxes and I renew my vehicle license.

Silly me, as there are many people in this world who clearly get away with not playing by the rules, and having no shame about it to boot. And today, hurrah, I am not writing about my fellow citizens, many of whom do know what REAL poverty is, but moving a little further ashore.

Political correctness in the UK seems to have reached such ridiculous proportions, that police will stand by and watch a mob loot and burn a shop rather than doing a baton-charge (guys, rational argument has its place, but this is not it) and putting a stop to this lawless behaviour. So some poor corner shop owner loses his livelihood, because the police are scared to ruffle a hooligan's hair.

I don't think that violence is often an answer, but in some cases the soft approach isn't just going to be useless, it's going to make you look ridiculous. Right, so at this point it's Rioters 1, UK police 0. The message that's being sent is, 'this isn't a very nice thing to do sweetie, and next time you burn down a house, I might even rap you over the knuckles if I feel vewy, vewy cross'.

If Hitler made his appearance today, he would probably have been excused on the grounds of his miserable childhood. None of this 'we will fight them on the beaches' stuff - the new thing is to learn to share.

Friday morning on Sky News there was an interview with four heavily hooded looters. It would have been funny if it wasn't so tragic. When one was asked whether he felt any guilt about what he had done (stolen 2 truckloads of stuff from various stores) he said he didn't have time to think about it as he was too busy watching his new plasma-screen TV. None of them showed any fear of possible consequences.

Here are 10 reasons why it pays to be a hooligan in the UK

  • The police are not encouraged to take action.
  • I can loot a shop of my choice, and that includes hi-fi and liquor stores.
  • I can get to wear all my hoodies on camera.
  • If I get convicted, I will only serve a fraction of my sentence.
  • I can have fun on the Supervision and Surveillance Programme if I am under 18 years of age.
  • I can cock a snook at the taxpayers by staying on the jobseekers' allowance as long as I can wangle it.
  • I will be seen as a victim of social circumstances and nothing will be seen as my fault.
  • I can burn down the houses of law-abiding citizens and then return to my funded council house.
  • If I get caught, court officials will work through the night to process my case to spare me the indignity of days in a cell.
  • It's exciting to be out and about, the centre of attention, and to have 10 new size 6 Marks and Spencers hoodies  for which I didn't pay.

OK, just two quick things. About that coffee cup I stole. I had two cups at work that were both stolen on the same day. I then found the ugliest chipped cup in the cupboard – it was up against stiff competition – I waited a week and when no one had used it, I took it. So come arrest me.

Secondly, I can understand people being disenchanted with a system that just didn’t work for them. If you've lost out, why should you support the system? But, if I'm getting a state allowance, living in a council house, twittering on my new cell phone, and wearing a state-of- the- art hoodie, I'm winning all the way. The suckers who are paying for me are the losers.

Just a final thought: whatever happened to the spirit of "We shall defend our island,... we shall never surrender"?

(Susan Erasmus, Health24, August 2011)

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