A better class of yob?

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The Independent Online

"You can't touch me; my father's a barrister." As war-cries go, that may not be the most bloodcurdling one we've ever heard, but it has a certain resonance, redolent as it is of every nuance of class resentment that a thousand years of history have thrown up on this small, hierarchical island.

"You can't touch me; my father's a barrister." As war-cries go, that may not be the most bloodcurdling one we've ever heard, but it has a certain resonance, redolent as it is of every nuance of class resentment that a thousand years of history have thrown up on this small, hierarchical island.

The teenager who shouted this taunt to the constabulary of Rock, in Cornwall, was one of hundreds of "public-school louts" who, complains the local MP, are smashing up the town of an evening - kicking in the sides of passing automobiles, intimidating residents and getting publicly smashed on drink and drugs.

In the United States, Daytona Beach in Florida has long been renowned for the fraternity lads and lasses who come down from universities all over the country for a summer's drunken mayhem; but Rock attracts a younger crowd and, it would seem, a more sinisterly destructive one.

It's hard to see the solution to this too-familiar problem - surely the scheduled visits to Winchester and Marlborough by the local police inspector are unlikely to yield much. But perhaps we can take some comfort in a John Majorish observation about classlessness. High or low, we've become a nation that just can't drink in public.

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