Popular Posts

22 June 2015

Crime and punishment: Why Britain's schools must bring back the cane

During my time in junior school, I was petrified of the cane in Mr Coleman’s study. As headmaster, he was the only teacher allowed to dish out ­ punishment to errant 10-year-olds. 
I worked hard to make sure I never crossed him, or any other teacher for that matter.When I think back, the fear of bamboo on youthful fingers was  the biggest deterrent of all in keeping boisterous pupils on the straight and narrow.

My Dad wasn’t averse to clipping me around the ear when I stepped out of line at home; indeed he occasionally whacked me on the back of the head and was promptly ticked off by my stepmother for overstepping the mark. 

“Jack, that’s dangerous,’’ she’d complain. ‘’If you must hit the child, a smack on the leg is sufficient.’’

To anyone under 40, the above scenario must sound Dickensian and to some extent it was. But whilst I was a bit of a naughty kid at home, I made sure I kept on the right side of the school authorities.

Only once was I marched to Mr Coleman’s study and that was for stupidly lobbing a lump of coal onto the school playground. Don’t ask me where the coal came from because I haven’t a clue. 

Mind you, this was South Wales and at the time I was very much a minor. Anyway, you can imagine how this cowardly coal-chucker ­reacted when the headmaster brought out his cane. 

I burst into a flood of tears and apologies... and literally begged for mercy.

My emotional plea had the desired effect on Mr C, though I’ll never know if the cane would have hurt my hand more than his alternative punishment – the exertion of writing by hand 100 times, ‘I shall not deliver coal to the school playground’.

Even the most badly-behaved kids I grew up with were angels ­ compared to the arrogant, rebellious, knife-carrying yobs of 2015. And I am convinced the appalling behaviour of so many 21st-century youngsters is rooted in the absence of physical discipline.

What makes it worse is that in many cases, the parents of these kids are as bad as their offspring because they also grew up knowing they could take liberties with adults with no fear of punishment.

The fear of physical retribution certainly taught kids of my generation to respect authority. And you’ll struggle to find anyone over 60 who doesn’t agree with that sentiment.

I’ve a message for David Cameron his Commons cronies. Corporal punishment works. And it’s largely because Britain has abandoned corporal punishment that young yobs and yobesses run riot everywhere from Manchester to Magaluf.

I have never come across anyone who was permanently damaged, either physically or mentally, by the after-effects of six of the best. In fact, every victim I’ve spoken to said the experience did them good.

But try telling that to the politically correct dummies of Westminster who decided in 1987 to outlaw corporal punishment in state-run schools. 

The idealists had a ridiculous conception that they could sit brain-dead Neanderthals on their knee and talk sense into them.
\Instead, we saw the emergence of a superbreed of yob - the potentially violent rebels whose behaviour is prompting more and more teachers to turn their backs on the profession they used to love.

When the cane was king, the morons didn’t bother going to school. These days they revel in the opportunity to intimidate the helpless men and women charged with educating them.With no fear of painful retribution, they bombard their teachers with insolence and defiance, hoping to push their helpless victim ‘over the top’.

Unless there is a dramatic turnaround in political attitudes, I ­despair of the UK escaping the scourge of the blood-and-plunder demon it has brought on itself.

A scum society of scallies is running amok while their mothers and fathers enjoy the pleasantries of a comfortable jail cell or are out of their minds on drink and drugs.These lowlifes are a tiny minority, yet they are destroying British society. 

They respect nobody, live off the proceeds of stealing, mugging, drug pushing and benefits fraud - and even a step up into the gutter is too high a hurdle to jump.

In a country where the police are  not even armed, there is little chance of ridding Britain of these scumbags, or of educating them.

Personally, I’m all for establishing  a no-nonsense UK Guardia Civil to sort the problem out Spanish style, by treating the yobs in the only way they understand. 

Is there a realistic solution? I’m sure the ex-policemen and other law enforcers among The View’s readers will have something to say about that.

But those of you who grew up in the days when attacks on schoolteachers were unheard of will probably view the situation the same way as I do. To hell with all this political correctness.  Mr Coleman, your cane is needed. Desperately

13 June 2015

Boris Becker: Nico, 15, is a better tennis player than I was at his age

I  don’t know about you, but the next few weeks are going to be a real pain in the neck for tennis fans.
It’s all down to catgut racketeers pinging shots from end to end as Wimbledon is transformed into a giant ball-room with Chubby Checker conducting the orchestra and every spectator’s head simultaneously doing the twist . 
Try pivoting your neck with a prawn sandwich in one hand and a bowl of strawberries and cream in the other. I guarantee you won’t put on weight unless your mouth is on back to front.
I’m not normally a huge fan of tennis but am rapidly becoming hooked by a rising star who I am convinced has a great future.
His name is Nicola Kuhn, he was born in Austria, is the son of a German father and Russian mother – and is a local lad from Torrevieja., just down the road from where I li
Nico Kuhn on his way to the German Under-16 title
ve in Spain.
To make the European flavour even stronger, 15-year-old Nico and his family have close ties with British neighbours whom he regards as his surrogate grandparents.
The blond Torry bombshell also happens to be one of only two players born in the year 2000 with an official Association of Tennis Professionals ranking. And I am convinced he'll win Wimbledon or one of the other Grand Slam singles titles by the time he's 21.
Nico’s rise and rise has been phenomenal. Hooked on tennis since the age of three, he eats, sleeps and breathes the game.
Last weekend, he was crowned Under-16 champion of Germany, the country he opted to play for when they offered to pay his massive travelling and equipment expenses. The cash-strapped Spanish tennis authorities had been unable to help but I suspect they already regret their decision.
Titles have come thick and fast for Nico, who led Germany to the Under-14 World Junior Championship last year, along with both European team titles, the Winter Cup and Copa Del Sol.
Those successes came after he had emulated Rafa Nadal a decade earlier in reaching the final of the prestigious Les Petits As junior tournament in France.
Kuhn went on to win the 2014 European Junior Masters title and in May, at the age of 15 years and two months, won his first-ever ATP point after being introduced to the professional scene via the $10,000 Futures circuit. Nadal was eight months older when he achieved the same feat.
However, while hyped-up hacks like yours truly get carried away with the idea that Nico is the No.1 15-year-old on the planet, his coach Fran Martinez insists: “We don't want to transmit that he is the best in the world. We like to say that he is in the top group of best players in the world. It is more realistic.''
There is no chance of the young six-footer’s ego disappearing into the clouds, either. Martinez, a former doubles partner of Australian legend Lleyton Hewitt, tells me: “The main objective for the team has been to build a player for the future, not to become obsessed with results now but  looking very much at Nico’s development both as a player and also as a human being.''
At the age of 12, Kuhn joined former world No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero’s Equilite Tennis Academy at Villena, near Valencia, where he now lives and trains when he is not travelling between tournaments.
Nico and mentor, former World No 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero
“They are doing a very good job,’’ says Nico, who has already attracted lucrative sponsorships from Nike and Yonex.
“Juan Carlos is on court with us most of the days, and that’s very helpful. Everybody at the academy supports everybody else.''
Meanwhile, coach Martinez muses: “Where are Nico's limits? We don't know – he is a very young player with his whole life in front of him. At the moment he is working very hard with humility and we are focusing on the Junior (under 18) circuit and starting to play in ATP Futures events.
“We are very lucky that Juan Carlos Ferrero is very close to him, watching him improve day by day. Next year we want Nico to play all the Junior Grand Slams and compete in more ATP tournaments. ''
Perhaps the best guide to Kuhn's potential is the verdict of Boris Becker, Germany's greatest-ever player, who a couple of years ago ­labelled Nico ''a better player than I was at his age.''
Coming from Wimbledon's youngest-ever singles champion, that is some compliment.

6 June 2015

Why Britain's refuse-collection system is rubbish

LAST year it started when the residue of a half-eaten McDonald’s big-belly burger, or something equally obnoxious. was jammed between the balustrades on my garden wall.

The Britterbugs were back to declare their annual war on overseas territories – and the streets of the Costas were about to be adorned with the summer trappings and wrappings of the chip-butty brigade. The very same chip-butty brigade who litter Britain's streets an countryside with everything from chewing gum and cigarette ends to beer cans, coke bottles and of course fast-food waste.

Informed observers reckon Britain is the dirtiest country in western Europe – and I have no doubt that observation is correct. Whenever go back there seems to be more litter on the streets than in the dustbins. But how can local councils expect their citizens to keep Britain tidy when they allow the locality to be littered with smelly bins that are emptied a couple of times a month at most? Black, brown, blue, green – my family in north Manchester are so confused that they invariably put the wrong waste in the wrong bin. And that means a curt note left on the unemptied bin when collection time eventually arrives.

If UK authorities weren't so stupidly blind to the ideas of Johnny Foreigner, they'd switch to the Spanish refuse collection system tomorrow. Here's why.

UNITED KINGDOM - Method: Individual wheelie bins for recyclable rubbish, non-recyclable waste, cans/bottles and garden refuse; daytime collections once a fortnight at best. Problems: Pile-up of household waste because of insufficient collections; traffic disruption during collections, particularly in side streets and cul de sacs.

SPAIN - Method: Large communal bins for various types of waste within easy walking distance; collections every evening. Advantage: No unsightly bins outside houses; no interference with traffic; no pile-up of waste. Problems: None as far as I can see.

As for cleaning up the mess that's already there, we have a ready-made workforce in our prisons. A close friend was talking recently to a man who had just completed a three-month jail sentence for assaulting a man who had abused his daughter. The released man said it was the easiest three months of his life.

Never mind digging into the Treasury coffers. It's time to get those chain gangs working to clean up Britain, American style. With proven litterbugs and pooper-nonscoopers sweating alongside.

What is also needed is for us all to take the Jeremy Paxman approach to litter louts – and reprimand the perpetrators. Easier said than done, you might say, bearing in mind that the 6ft 3in former Newsnight inquisitor is as physically intimidating a he is with interviewees.

Paxman says: “I have found when you confront people and say 'excuse me, you just dropped this', nine times out of 10, you might be unlucky on the 10th one, but nine times out of 10 they will say 'oh, sorry' and will take it away," he says.
“It's a beautiful country and I just don't understand why people want to make it full of sh**."

Maybe he should ask the mucky pups responsible for making it virtually impossible to tread the pavements of El Raso without kicking up a stink.