By Geoffrey Pearson
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Additional info for Hooligan: A history of respectable fears
It is a problem that will dog us repeatedly in this history of respectable fears. One of the most active centres of pre-war discontent was the 'Scrutiny' group gathered around F. R. Leavis at Cambridge, who repeatedly and bitterly indicted the degeneration of standards and the old 'way of life'. Cheap literature, popular music, cinema-going, the newly acquired habit of listening to the radio, advertising gimmicks, educational bankruptcy and 'Americanisation' were all targeted as symptoms of decline.
Whereas it was common in their own time for the Teddy Boys to be contrasted with a nostalgically remembered state of pre-existing harmony 'twenty years ago' or 'before the war', given the real horror which greeted their arrival we can perhaps only marvel at the way in which the nostalgic trick of amnesia can now work in the Teds' favour. Here they are, for example, joining in the patriotic raptures of Jubilee Year: TEDDY GROUP 'TURN ON' SHOPPERS Bradford Teddy Boys turned the clock back 20 years on Saturday when they gathered at an open-air concert in the city centre.
Levels of recorded crime certainly did shoot up in the years following the implementation of the 1933 Act, and the crime rate for boys under 14 years of age found guilty of indictable offences almost doubled in only three years. 58 However, the recognition which is generally held was that the increase in the criminal statistics was because police and public alike were more willing to bring charges against young offenders because of the reshaping of the court Since the War: Past Perfect 47 system towards help and reformation, rather than punishment.