A LUCKY GENERATION
We oldies were, all those years ago, now weren't we? Of course we were. Driving our parents to distraction, loudly playing 45rpm "singles" in our bedrooms, "stacking" them up on the central spindle of a portable "record player,", six at a time, to avoid getting up to change the record every two minutes (most 1960s pop songs were so short they were almost over before they began).
That was just the beginning - we grew our hair long, wore floral shirts, brightly coloured trousers and all manner of other unheard-of adornments. Avoiding being marched off to the barber’s shop by a bewildered "what do you look like?" father was one of the prime objectives of my teenage life. Bringing girlfriends home, mother worrying they would lead me astray and me hoping they would! "Dossing" on Bridlington beach with pals, stuffed in an overcrowded tent, surrounded by beer cans. The inevitable transistor radio blasting out "pirate" radio (in my case "Radio 270" bouncing about on the North Sea, just off Scarborough). Nipping into the nearby caravan site, under cover of darkness, to secretly use the convenient conveniences.
One night, my trip back to the tent was, shall we say, hazardous. With the Rolling Stones latest parentally-horrifying "hit" echoing across the caravan site, I was verbally accosted by an irate, elderly holiday maker (he was probably in his Forties). "Hey, you. Are you with that lot down on the beach? Turn the bloody music off! Can't sleep a wink". "Oh, no Sir, I'm staying in that caravan over there" (you can see how I ended up in politics, can't you?). "I see, sorry lad. You know they sneak in here just to use the loos, don't you? Cheeky blighters. Shocking!" My route back to the tent was consequently a bit more circuitous than I had originally intended. Hardly revolution, but great fun.
I know there are still lots of decent UK kids out there who mirror our mildly rebellious teenage example. They are not all on laughing gas and other more dangerous substances. The problem is, too many of them are. I understand, why after a long "lockdown", young people want to get rid of all that pent up energy. Perfectly normal, except in a so called "post Covid 19" period, abandoning all thoughts of social distancing at illegal raves is hardly sensible, now is it? "Raving mad" would be a better description. Be under no illusions, these drug addled events are not the creation of some socially conscious, kind hearted, philanthropist. They are courtesy of your local drug baron. The very same crews responsible for so much of the knife crime and gang warfare that is blighting UK cities and a whole generation. It makes you sick, literally, if you are foolish enough to attend. Witnessing the ease with which these gatherings happen, apparently unhindered, saddens me beyond belief. To mirror the words of "he whose name shall not be mentioned" (Enoch Powell) - "it is like watching a nation build its own funeral pyre" (used in a slightly different context, of course). Quite.