Here’s a list of interesting points about the beliefs of young Britons today, put together by the Economist in a recent leader.
Most young people believe…
1) Sexual preference and homosexuality are just non-issues. Young people in Britain really don’t care what others get up to at home – or even in public – and the government shouldn’t either. Gay marriage? Meh.
2) Mass immigration is something we should worry about. Facing appalling job prospects, young people are concerned that immigration is becoming a problem. All the same, they wish politicians wouldn’t keep banging on about it.
3) Less than 30 per cent of those under 35 think that welfare is one of Britain’s proudest achievements (compared to 61 per cent of post-WW2 baby boomers). They think Britain actually spends too much on welfare and support cutting down on the amount of government funding it gets.
4) Global warming is a biggie.
5) Tesco can rule the world if it wants, just so long as it still sells cheap food.
Getting cleavered to death is a nasty way to go. It’s emotive and graphic. But it’s also very small scale. The country’s reaction to Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder on the streets of London has been completely overblown.
Most of the controversy among the media and politicians is about Home Secretary Theresa May’s proposals to revive legislation to increase police powers over hate groups (popularly called the snooper’s charter). This would include possible banning orders for extremist groups, even if they don’t explicitly encourage terrorism, and a crackdown on internet activity.
This is missing the point. Even if you prevent radical speech online, you can’t stop it in the privacy of people’s homes. At least online you can monitor it, whereas if you start banning online preaching, it’ll just go off the radar. Plus, two radicalised young men with cleavers cannot be stopped because they no longer have access to their favourite YouTube cleric. You have to detain them, which is a whole other slippery slope.
Mahatma Gandhi apparently once said that “an eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind.” But that didn’t stop two young men from using the old proverb to justify butchering a British soldier with cleavers in broad daylight, yesterday.