Whilst making my way down New Street in the centre of Birmingham, late this Thursday afternoon, I found myself walking towards four Asian youths, one moving to the left, and the other three moving to the right. Stepping between this group, I suddenly felt a massive blow to the side of my head before falling to the ground, as the group casually carried on into the depths of the city.
Thankfully, the right side of my head seems to be pretty well glued together, and I was only left slightly shaken and momentarily grounded. Two people came over to help, checking that I was okay, and called the police. They also pointed out the group of youths to some security guards working outside a nearby Tesco.
The security guards had to be persuaded to chase after the four lads, and the police had to be practically begged to come to the scene. I’m not sure they would have either, had it not been for another member of the public further up the high street, alerting two constables to come over and check out what had just happened.
The security guards apparently failed to find the group. The police just took down everyone’s details, and then (as is usually the case), spent 5 minutes explaining how and why they are powerless to act in this case. I’m just another statistic.
It’s easy to turn this into a racist incident. Birmingham has a large Asian population, so I guess you could say it was more likely to be a group of Asians than a group of white youths. It’s also easy to say that the two security guards (who were reluctant to chase), failed to catch any members of the group as they were of the same race.
I don’t want to think along those lines – though of course such thoughts immediately come to mind. I actually think it’s more a question of age, and the increasing disrespect people have for each other in today’s sorry society.
Much was made of Tony Blair’s ‘Respect Agenda’ from last year. I’m pretty sure this was just another line of spin to come from Number 10, and anyway, I’d imagine keeping his job, or that of his deputy is likely to be more important to him these days.
I’ve recently been wondering if this country is deteriorating as much as it seems to be. I’ve just been punched in the side of the head, whilst somebody else filmed it. I think the facts speak for themselves.