Like most people, I guess, I've become increasingly immune to the news stories detailing the rising tide of yobbishness and youth violence which to seems to plague most British cities. So today's news story describing the stabbing to death of a teenager at London's Victoria Station, while traumatic for those caught up in it, is just depressingly familiar for those of us who aren't. What makes it of slightly more than just passing interest to me is the revelation that the assailants were all in school uniform.
Being caught in school uniform doing anything we shouldn't have been doing was in my day a cast-iron guarantee of being hauled up and punished for it, and while I'm not suggesting that those concerned are going to get off scot free, the point is that for us it would have been a sufficient deterrent to stop it happening in the first place. I remember there was always a certain amount of 'rivalry' between us and the boys from Warwick School, whom we derided as being posh stuck-up little snobs, but it never to the best of my knowledge escalated into open violence - certainly not in a public place, anyway.
Sadly, I fear it's all part and parcel of the decreasing ability of schools to exercise any real control or discipline over their pupils, and I shall be interested to see what degree of responsibility (if any) the school concerned in this case accepts for what happened.