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The idealism of the young

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Young people are twice as likely to show respect to someone in a uniform than are the older generation, the survey by G4S Security Services (UK) reveals. While a quarter of 16-to 24-year-olds said they have respect for a person wearing a uniform just 13% of 55-64 years olds agreed.

But what sort of uniform? G4S used to be known as Securicor and is the largest supplier of uniformed jobs-worths in the country. I have a feeling this question isn't about respecting proper people in uniform but instead shows that older people have come to despise all the make believe forces who order us about in car parks and shopping centres.

I tried to buy a bench once in B&Q and the only one left was the display model. which the manager refused to let me buy. So I walked out the entrance - the cashier said - "You can't go out that way". I pointed out to her that I could, and I would, the word she had be looking for was "mustn't". Her reply was a puzzled "eh" and I was then chased across the car park by a security goon who insisted that I went back into the store and left the "proper" way. I asked him what he was accusing me of and how was he going to make me. The fact I wasn't respecting his cheap man-made fibre suit and cardboard hat perplexed him and he eventually moved out the way before I ran over his foot.


This post strikes home - where I live, even grocery stores have camouflaged commandos with epaulets and walkie talkies. Some have taken to carry around clubs, but, despite all this, they manage to be rather friendly. Off-putting, but you get used to it...

There is a tendency for us to forget that the 55 - 64 year old cohort are the very same bunch who were the first soap dodging, long haired hippies back in the 60's. I was reminded of this on that occaision that the WI booed and barracked the PM. This is not a generation renouned for its respect for authority.

Curiously I suspect their children have rebelled against their parents' generation by reverting to more traditional ideas of respect.

Then again, as you say, even those oldies who managed to retain an instinct for personal hygene have had years to learn to despise these would-be gaulieters in their cheap uniforms. A lesson that the younger generation are also learning.


Love the story about the B&Q goon.

As one that deeply resents the routine violation of personal rights by "appointed" police, I suggest that we routinely use the "wrong" exit, carry our own badges for attitude inspections and change our minds about buying several items (leaving them by the cashier) in locations that employ these gaulieters (great word RM).

P.S. What is soap dodging?

I like the idea of carrying your own badge, but suggest that you carry two or three of increasing size, so when the Neo-Gaulieter shows you his you can double-up! Soap-dodgers are dirty hippies.

Badges? We don't need no steenkin' badges!

isn't a "dirty hippie" redundant?

As I live not unreasonably far from Dodge City, At first I thought perhaps a soap-dodger was akin to a corn-dodger. The image of sinking my teeth into a soap-dodger... yuck. :)

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