Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Timid Britain to be the first home of Two species humans ?

Two different stories have caught my eye in the past week and I wonder if there could be a connection.

First a survey out shows Britons are the least likely "Europeans" (the question of whether Britons are really Europeans can wait for another day :-)) to "correct" or intervene against vandalising youths.

The Institute for Public Policy Research found that of Europeans, Britons would be the least likely to step in if they saw a group of 14-year-old boys vandalising a bus shelter. Only 34 per cent said they would intervene, compared with 65 per cent of Germans ("Vot do you think you are doing ?"), 52 per cent of Spanish and 50 per cent of Italians. Those who said that they would turn a blind eye feared being attacked or verbally abused.

See also http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,170-2417126,00.html

This is a shocking statistic but one borne out by anecdotal evidence from friends and colleagues. The general attitude is that it is foolish to intervene against youths for fear of being attacked, stabbed or generally abused. This is the pervasive view in London but not one that would have been shared in rural areas at least when I was growing up in the country 20 years ago.

I feel,media horror stories of "have-a-go" Dads ending up stabbed to death over-state the real risk. In my own case as a home-owner I have had to ask for music to be turned down, fires to be put out or given a stern stare out of the window to prevent noise. I do not consider myself intimidating but have never had any problems from adopting a polite but firm approach.

However the trend of people to be too afraid to intervene is likely to continue in the current climate.

The second story is apparently unrelated but raises a grim prospect at some point in the future.

This is that current human development will eventually lead to 2 distinct "species" of human in around 10,000 years. Racial differences are likely to have been largely eliminated by then but selective breeding is likely to have resulted in one species of tall, intelligent and timid humans and a second species of short, stocky, stupid but wild humans.

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6057734.stm

The two groups are likely to be in conflict. This story has strong echoes of HG Wells' 1895 novel, the Time Machine when two sub-species Eloi and Morlocks inhabit the earth.

The Eloi are intelligent but timid while the ignorant Morlocks use their strenght to intimidate the Eloi. In suburbs of London it sometimes feels this situation has already arrived.

The fear of "middle England" to tick off its errant youngsters is a warning sign that the time of Eloi and Morlock is coming sooner than we expected.

We have been warned. We should not be intimidated and we should stand up to both vandalising youths or local Morlocks !


SimonHolyHoses said...

Britons would be the least likely to step in if they saw a group of 14-year-old boys vandalising a bus shelter

No way! Us Brits are always game for a spot of random vandalism!

SimonHolyHoses said...

Seriously though, I kind of feel that this goes hand-in-hand with a general rubbishing of ethical values in favour of commercial ones. A sort of "cogs are the important thing: let's do away with the lubricant oil: it's wasteful" mentality.