Easy to comment from our rural idyll

I HAVE had occasion in the past to suggest that your frequent correspondent John Hill is not always right, for which I was severely criticised by his fan club.

Mr Hill now feels able to comment on the recent urban rioting - from the comfort of his self-proclaimed rural idyll - with the usual mixture of doddery nonsense concerning respect, education and discipline.

The reason for the riots cannot be ascribed to the apparent absence of these features without asking the questions a) who deserves the “respect”?, b) who is responsible for the education of young people? and c) why is there so little discipline?

Education and discipline are the direct responsibility of older generations than most of those involved in the riots belong to, and - as a result of these responsibilities having been overlooked or shoddily dealt with - the “respect” to which Mr Hill refers has not been earned.

Further, the continued sense of hopelessness - caused partly by older generations’ having made their nests comfy and then ‘pulling up the ladder’, so excluding huge numbers of younger people - will continue to simmer away among the residents of deprived urban city areas until their real needs are addressed.

Mr Hill is indeed in a lucky spot in rural Battle but, although there is some merit in the notion that the police and, in particular, teachers are becoming gradually disempowered, his other observations ring hollow when it comes to understanding the social problems of the distant urban hotspots to which he refers.

Denis Delahunt

Mitten Road