Julia: 'Why is Meghan Markle bigger news than a child being shot dead in broad daylight?'

'The fight against gang violence must begin in primary schools', says journalist

A 14-year-old was shot and has died (Stock image)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Julia Hartley-Brewer says it's ridiculous that newspapers pay more attention to celebrity tittle-tattle and the nightmarish gang violence unfolding on Britain's streets.

Julia was speaking specifically about a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the head in east London on Monday (September 4) and has died today in Forest Gate, in an incident which has been linked to recent gang violence.

Although the issue was covered in some sections of the media it received far less attention than the story of Meghan Markle declaring her love of Prince Harry.

Our presenter said it was "bewildering" that Markle's declaration was bigger news than the Forest Gate shooting.

"Ten years ago this would have been a massive crisis and front-page news for weeks," Julia said.

But now "there's an acceptance that 'you know, that's what these people do."

Julia was speaking to Harriet Sergeant, author of Among the Hoods: My Years with a Teenage Gang.

Sergeant pointed out there was no evidence to suggest the Forest Gate victim was in a gang, but nonetheless said the fight against gang violence needs to begin at primary school by giving boys other interests and teaching them properly.

"If you can't read or write that's a one-way ticket to the edges of society," she continued.

"As adults we just left these boys to sort of bring themselves up any old how, and create these sort of terrifying existences."

"Unfortunately what boys need to make them drive are things that are ideologically unfashionable in our state schools... enormous amounts of activity, adult males, hierarchy, competition and structure.

"When they don't get that, in the vacuum that's left... there's nothing more structured, hierarchical or competitive than a gang. It's a Lord of the Flies equivalent."

Listen to the full interview above