15 August 2007


The day started with one of my field officers ringing in to say that the site hut had been broken into and vandalised. The total tally for the theives was one roll of plastic sheeting, two water containers, three mattocks and some boxes. They wrote "we am good" on the outside of the portacabin. Presumed protagonists are bored teenagers on school holidays.

En route to the office I went past part of the rather grim Woodside estate, as I do every morning. Alas I did not have my camera to record the graffitti daubed on the wall, which read "nein polonskia". Little "NF" symbols as well. Presumed protagonists are ill-educated Telford chavs resentful that some people are prepared to get off their backsides and work, rather than sit in drug-addled idleness at the tax-payers expense.

Three thoughts revolve around my brain as a result of these unconnected but symptomatic incidents...

1. Graffitti is one thing, wanton destruction quite another.

2. Disenfranchisement? Or deliberate 'resistance' to authority? Or mindless destruction by barbarian hordes?

3. Complete and total failure of the state education system.

I mean if you are going to write a message of resistance, then at least make it understandable. I guess my reaction to the "nien polonskia" is in part reminiscent of the 'Romanes Eunt Domus' scene from the Life of Brian. I suppose this sort of thing has always gone on but it is quite depressing.

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