There is no shame at all in being considered ordinary

From: Kendal Wilson, Wharfebank Terrace, Tadcaster.

Much is talked about levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in youths, but much is also forgotten about.

Not long ago, certain part-time jobs were allowed for those under 16. No longer.

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And with the Blair era agenda of “fun, fun, fun” thrill rides and guaranteed places in universities now waning, we are still left with a mass of youngsters who have material expectations beyond their realities and the resources of hard-pressed parents.

If the Big Society is, indeed, going to exist, then pragmatic agendas must prevail for young people who are – or who should be – bounding with energy and enthusiasm.

Many, as has been pointed out, do not, or will not, engage in competitive sport.

I am suggesting that there are physical activities beyond sport that actively engage and encourage responsibility among the young – why not youth community projects or more employment placements for practical reasons?

A great deal of physically challenging work has gone; now menial aspects of industry have disappeared, but what we see now cannot be healthy.

When I pick up my 12-year-old son from his school, I observe the sixth-form college students leaving in nearly new vehicles, bought, presumably, by parents, possibly on the back of property profit.

And then, when we observe the hard-working teachers, the majority of their cars are 10 years old or older.

There are thousands more youngsters caught up thinking that this is normal, but they do not have the means.

I have to ask myself where does the term “working class” fit into this?

Politicians of all persuasions have made it such a dirty word that no-one, even if they are by economic definition in that stratum, wishes to be identified as such.

It is about time this playing field was more equal and that young people realised there is no shame at all in being considered ordinary.