Monday, December 22, 2008

How (Not) To Deal With Abusive Thirteen Year Olds

It's odd being me sometimes. This lunchtime I popped down to the BBC South East studios in Tunbridge Wells to do a quick live piece on their lunchtime news programme. They then wanted to do a recorded package for the evening news programme. The reporter took me out into Calverley Park to record it. Bad move.

As soon as he set up the camera in inquisitive 13 year old approached us and wanted to know all about the camera and what we were doing. So far so good. Then a group of 15 years olds wanted to know what I was going to be talking about. They were rather well versed in the Damian Green issue, much to my surprise and went away assuring us they'd be watching tonight.

But then two of the 13 year old's friends showed up. It then became a competition between them as to who could distract me by making burping noises. I tried a softly softly approach to try to get them to shut up. The reporter was having none of it and demanded their names, telling them their behaviour was disgraceful. Perhaps not the best way to get them to shut up, I thought.

Well, you can imagine what happened then. "F*** off, you p***k," spat one of them to the reporter. "You're a c***," said the other. The third one laughed nervously. The reporter decided we'd better do it in the studio so packed up his equipment. The three of them then accompanied us back to the studio hurling insults at the report. Only when I turned to the ringleader and told him he looked ridiculous in his white tracksuit and that "it looked a bit gay", did he shut up. And the others then directed their fire at him. "Ha ha, he said you look a bit gay." Needs must.

In the middle of all that a young guy walked past and said, "hello Iain, I read your blog." I managed to stutter a "hello" and "hope you enjoy" it while keeping an eye on my phone and very expensive Christmas present, which I thought might be the next target of the three Tunbridge Wells urchins.

I am so very glad I never became a teacher - which was my original career intention. I think that by now I would be serving a prison sentence.

So if you spot me on the BBC South East News tonight in a studio, and not in the lovely Calverley park, you'll now know why.

UPDATE 6.45pm: Well, they did show the one answer I gave in Calverley Park before the little buggers did their worst. Victory!

22 comments:

ghanimah said...

"it looked a bit gay"

Good call, sorry I've never been that restrained, I found from experience a swift right hook works even better, then they all run off scared.

Norfolk Blogger said...

If they were wearing hoodies you could have given them a hug Iain. You would have made David Cameron very proud.

Unsworth said...

Yes, slapping is the answer. I'm all in favour of extreme violence - get your nuclear retaliation in first.



WV = Pershing. How very apt.

Jabba the Cat said...

Behaviour that in the old days would have been addressed by a clip round the ear followed by a further clip from the child's parents.

curly15 said...

They'll be writing libertarian blogs in ten years time, LOL!!

trevorsden said...

Fortunately you can make comments like that without getting arrested.

Hi Norfolk ... of course 'Dave' never said hug a hoody did he. That was a labour spinner.

The Wilted Rose said...

They were probably Middle-class independent school kids out 'acting street' (I kid you not). At least it wasn't Sarf London as they would have been carrying knives or worse.

no longer anonymous said...

"Only when I turned to the ringleader and told him he looked ridiculous in his white tracksuit and that "it looked a bit gay", did he shut up. And the others then directed their fire at him. "Ha ha, he said you look a bit gay." Needs must"

Nicely done!

Am just waiting for the PC patrol to pop up and accuse you of objectively promoting homophobia or some similar tripe.

Alan Douglas said...

So you finally ran into Disgusting of Tunbridge Wells. Lucky you.

At least they will not be able to make a charge of homophobia stick on you !

Alan Douglas

The Black Fingernail said...

You may not be aware that 'gay' no longer has homosexual conotations. For the age-group which hounded you, 'gay' simply means 'bad'. You were telling the boy that he had no dress sense, not that he looked a little effeminate or camp. However, your insult would have been all the more withering for this.

Iain Dale said...

Black Fingernail, Indeed I am aware of that meaning. Not sure if they were though. Bovvered!

Iain Dale said...

And the prize for the first person to call me homophobic goes to...

http://lansonboy.blogspot.com/2008/12/bit-gay.html

Zeddy said...

Am I really the only one on here prepared to say that needs mustn't?

It was no random etymological process that led to "gay" being playground slang for crap. I'd've thought you might have had a bit more principle than to indulge and then boast about it on your blog in the manner of a schoolboy running to tell his mates - guess what I just called so-and-so.

But I suppose that's what you get for cosying up to the likes of David Davis - the gay man's best friend (but only outside the division lobbies).

Bird said...

Why do TV reporters have to stand in the rain in front of Number 10 or have to go 200 miles to deliver a news item where it occured?
Want to save money BBC?
Stay in the studio.

Dick the Prick said...

Well if you will mix with the Guido bloggers - whaddya expect?

Zeddy said...

***Well if you will mix with the Guido bloggers - whaddya expect?***

Yes, what can we expect next from the new Guidoish Iain? A thought provoking article explaining why what that Hazel Blears needs is a good seeing-to?

norman said...

rsThe pupil discipline of the school in Islington which Blair shunned was such that the son of a friend of my collegue who was raised in the very rough area of Belgrade said to us during his first day at the school that he can't take the thuggish behaviour of his new class mates! Even for this tough kid, the pupils in that Islington school were beyond the limit that he experienced in war torn Serbia!

That is 'Education, Education and Education' legacy of Blair and Brown. Now the school is resurrected as City academy which I can say will not work as long as the stupid 'admissions for all kids' is Practiced.

Another school in Islington,the Highbury Grove School where Dr Rhodes Boyson (the Tory minister) worked as the headteacher and in his days it was the most desired secondary school in North London is grappling with pupil indiscipline of the worst kind.
The credit for transforming both the above schools which were grammar schools of distinction, goes to Margaret Hodge,then on the loony left wing of Labour and another councillor by name Jack Straw, an ex-lefist NUS president.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

inside next time Iain!

I hate Red Ken and Fatty Brown said...

Violence works. It's great. You should have shoved a size 10 up their backsides Iain.

Dick the Prick said...

Steady on Zeddy ol' bean. Guido just sets them up, it's the players that knock 'em down.

I love the Rab C Nesbit quote of: 'I'm no' working class, i'm genuine scum'.

You don't have to read it if you don't like it but it hits a genuine strata of pissed of folks. I'm sure he'll offer you a refund. No need to be a Hoon about it.

haddock said...

'gay' simply means 'bad'...... no, in current usage it means not working properly, as in 'my computer's gone all gay'

and Iain you have realised why a great many of us who love teaching do not teach any more.

Me said...

It's funny, but when I last visited Tunbridge Wells, a couple of years back, I found it full of particularly repellent youths of the kind you describe. I was the 'disgusted' one, not them.