Livewire - September 26, 2012

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Have your say

By Andy Dobson of Blackburn

What’s your emergency? Perhaps it would be more appropriate to ask what’s our emergency?

As a former social worker who has settled in Lancashire after retirement I’d say it’s the rot that is running deep in society that is undermining quality of life for us all.

I visit Blackpool regularly to see my mother in sheltered accommodation. I noticed the last time that the benches had gone outside their flats because of misuse by drunks and addicts. My mother loved her gardening but was forced to sell the family home when it got too much for her. Sitting on the bench was a rare pleasure on an even rarer sunny day with friends from the centre.

Why couldn’t they have found a way of discouraging the drunks and addicts rather than punish the pensioners?

It’s a further erosion of what freedom is left to her. She can’t get on a bus any more so her world has shrunk to her flat and the immediate surrounds and wherever I take her on my twice weekly visits.

The other day I took her to the cinema for the pensioners special as we can both enjoy it. We heard two little girls effing and jeffing in the queue for a children’s film.

It was shocking as both were dressed in their best party frocks as they were going on somewhere. They looked lovely but had mouths like cesspits. My mother speaks her mind so ticked them off. She got such a mouthful of abuse it put her out of sorts for the rest of the day.

They were joined by their mothers, slobs with mouths to match. They clearly took pride in the appearance of their children but not in their behaviour or manners, and that speaks volumes about how superficial society has become.

People have protested about the image of Blackpool portrayed by the Channel Four 999 series but it’s real life in any town or city these days. Standards have slipped because people don’t have the work ethic any more, they have been brain washed into a benefits culture, and children don’t have proper role models to respect or look up to. They should respect those who man the thin blue line, such as the beautiful young woman officer who spoke about never wanting her own children to witness what she goes through on duty.

I was most moved by the tears of a female paramedic at the plight of children who, as she put it, 
“deserved better” from their parents. As a social worker I did my bit but ultimately walked away from it all, retired early. Lucky escape.