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Ben Chu

Ben Chu has been a leader writer at The Independent since 2004. Before that he worked at the paper on the comment desk, letters department and the personal finance pages. He studied history at Jesus College, Oxford between 1997 and 2000.

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Easton points the way on gang culture

Posted by Ben Chu
  • Friday, 10 July 2009 at 01:04 pm

The BBC news website's blog has given some of the Corporation's more thoughtful journalists an outlet for their talents which simply didn't exist before. (How much insight can you squeeze into a one minute two-way on the 10 o'clock news?)
           I'm mightily impressed by this impassioned and acute posting by the BBC home editor Mark Easton on the "poisonous" gang culture in parts of this country, pegged to the murder of Shakilus Townsend.
            As Easton puts it: "When fighting al-Qaeda-inspired terror, the focus is not on the weapons but the ideology. When fighting murderous gang-culture, it seems to me, the focus is not on the ideology but the weapons. Politicians obsess about knives and guns but do far less to counteract the values which inspire the behaviour."
           I also agree entirely with this point: "There are examples of brave individuals who are working hard to fight against the preachers of gangsterism. But too often they are shouting into the wind. The billions spent on marketing gang culture, by businesses who deny responsibility, blow away the counter messages."
         Linking advertising to gang violence is controversial stuff. So is Easton's rejection of the idea that a police crackdown is the answer. The first will not please some powerful commercial interests. The second will annoy the law and order lobby. Some will question whether it is wise for a BBC journalist to step into such treacherous waters. Bring it on, I say.

Comments

Please, Ben...
pinhut wrote:
Friday, 10 July 2009 at 09:08 pm (UTC)
"Ben Chu has been a leader writer at The Independent since 2004. Before that he worked at the paper on the comment desk, letters department and the personal finance pages. He studied history at Jesus College, Oxford between 1997 and 2000."

You've really been on the front line, haven't you?
Gang Culture
blueraven6 wrote:
Saturday, 18 July 2009 at 09:14 pm (UTC)
When a newbie first joints a gang, a positive mentor or male role model will occasionally save a life.

If they've been involved to the point where they're prosecutable, you might as well lock and load with the rest of us.