For some of you that have seen the film ‘Scum’, which was an unyielding account of life in a British juvenile offenders institution in the 1970s, the BBC banned this years ago for being too graphic, and yet organisations cloaked people like Jimmy Saville for decades.
This movie brings back memories for some, recollections that they might want to forget. And some didn’t get put in these places for doing wrong, sometimes maturer children would get separated from their families home because parents couldn’t get along.
Some were put in institutions for delinquent boys for years and were reminded every day that they were no good. And imagine being sent to a juvenile facility because you weren’t attending school, imagine having a learning disability and being so ashamed you left school, and for that punishment, the government put you in an institution.
Those kids came out different people, and rarely talked about it, then years later on the stories came out in the media about the abuse at those facilities, horrific stories, and a number of those institutions had bad people looking after those kids.
They also used to put people in those places because they might have run away from home because there was an abusive father in the house, yet the kid was put down as a tearaway. Maybe the system didn’t know any better, either that or they were very sick themselves.
Mind you, the schools back then and before had some right tough nuts and the teachers were pretty much like the wardens in prisons.
But have teachers been too soft since it’s been against the law to slap a child, and now teachers can be arrested for dishing out such discipline, even though some teachers only had that job because they enjoyed being cruel to kids, and many went the extra mile, going too far because they got a thrill out of being cruel?
School, of course, could be harsh with kids bullying and picking on each other, but it’s not any different today, there’s still bullying that goes on, only now, instead of fists, its knives and anything they can find, which usually ends up in deaths, and no one can ever forget that brand of cruelty, which could scar you for life and then makes you realise that it’s a harsh world we live in.
Plus being bullied from a young age could cause permanent mental health difficulties and distrust of people, and countless parents would rather not put their kids through this cruelty in the school system.
After all, who enjoyed a grown man caning your backside when you were a kid? It’s a tad pervy don’t you think? And it was shocking in the 50s and 60s, and many of those cruel teachers, well, I hope they come out in a cold sweat each time there’s an allegation of historic injustice that comes to the fore.
Of course, kids could be wicked but the teachers were the biggest bullies and it was particularly unmerciful, and it was great to see this gem of a film, and maybe it should be shown in schools as a history lesson and how harsh it was because today kids live a charmed life where teachers are concerned.
Although it might not be such a good idea to show a movie where a teenage lad gets violated by 3 others. On the other hand, it might show the kids of today that life isn’t that bad in school now and that it could have been much worse.
And that at some secondary schools there were a few damn cruel teachers and the headmaster and deputy headmaster was so ruthless, sadistic and sarcastic that when he whipped the pupil’s butts they would urinate in embarrassment, and that was for just making a sound in class while the teacher was talking.
Mind you, if any teacher did that to a student these days, the pupil would have beaten them to a pulp.
No wonder these lads came out bigger and worse and also angrier in the real world. Although some of those lads that went to places like Borstal, some did get decent trades in there and did go onto live normal lives, but sadly many didn’t and finished back in the system again and again.
Some of those lads that went down the stupid route and finished up in institutions, some changed their path and ended up on the straight and narrow, perhaps they should bring back National Service? But that’s still no justification for brutality.
Although this snowflake society seems to have ruined people, and maybe these places gave character building? Because the youths of today have got worse since the closing of these institutions, and these offenders are worse now than ever before and the murder rate amongst youths has grown as well as immoral sex and drug behaviour, and perhaps we’re simply mollycoddling our children.
But numerous kids killed themselves in these institutions. My father was in one when he was younger. His father had sent him there for stealing a little bit of money out of his pocket.
I remember my father telling me about it. He told me that a kid in there couldn’t hack it and slit his wrists and my dad attempted to stop the blood by ripping up a bedsheet to make it into a tourniquet. The kid lived but these places were crap holes and the wardens that worked them were arseholes.
You have to take your hat off to these people that done there time in these institutions because the kids of today just don’t listen, and not only don’t they have respect for the world around them, but they don’t have any respect for their parents either and these little gangsters going around shanking and bashing people in their gangs have no concept of how easy they’ve got it these days.
Now instead of the adults treating these kids like animals, it’s the kids treating the adults like animals like praying mantis.
Institutions like this, you learnt a lot and you learnt how to survive because you had no other option. And these wardens were tormentors who relished beating the kids, they got a thrill out of it, and they just tyrannised these kids until they’d had enough.
But these kids of today are out there, with kids of their own, pandering to a life of weakness, learning nothing of respect, but in these institutions you had to learn respect, you had to learn to be clean and tidy and to respect your elders, and it was arduous.
Now the system has softened up and inmates take more liberties, and these institutions for young kids back then, well I bet they wish the system was as soft then as it is now.
The wardens then used to tell you to stand to attention, then twist your nipples between their finger and thumb and God help you if you lifted your hand to stop the warden doing what the perverted rat wanted to do.
They would get you in a wristlock, make you stand on tiptoes, then boot your feet from under you and you would land on the back of your spine and couldn’t walk properly.
Other lads were so severely beaten that some ended up in the infirmary, and then the wardens would put them on light duties for the rest of their stay for keeping their mouth shut.
Of course, you had sex perverts at these places and if you were a big kid they wouldn’t pick on you, they just picked on the frightened small quiet boys, no wonder the suicide rate was somewhat high.
There was square bashing in the rain, running barefoot on the exercise field, shovelling coal from one side of the parade ground and then when they went to tell the officer that they’d moved it, he would tell you to move it back to where you’d moved it from.
It was good training if you wanted to go into the Army, but a complete negative waste of time otherwise, and it was an extremely sad experience for those young men to have to endure and perhaps the authorities should have been held accountable for their immoral actions.
Riots in these institutions were settled in one of two ways, either someone from the Home Office attended the institution in question to discuss the events with the governor and a representative inmate to hopefully work out a resolution or the institution’s governor could just call in the Riot Squad or the Army.
The Riot Squad or Army suppressed the uprising and the majority of inmates were locked up in their cells or dormitories, and those who were seen to be the instigators or troublemakers, they were dragged off by the wardens for a good kicking, somewhere out of sight before being tossed into solitary.
Of course, there were some truly committed people out there, but when you watch the film it does strike a nerve because some Private schools were like this as well, well, let’s say, they weren’t much better than these institutions.
The purpose of the cane was to beat you until you would vomit, and if you went whining to your parents, the punishment was even harder, and to think these parents spent thousands to send their children to private school.
Some of these kids were targetted by violent teachers, wardens, well, almost anyone with some authority. The punishment was harsh and no wonder some of these kids left school early to get away, and the psychiatric doctors and nurses were the most sadistic of all.
The wardens were a shower of rats who would set you up and give you a thrashing as quickly as taking a breath, and one could not forget these kids were severely spanked by a teacher simply because a kid said they didn’t understand.
Pupils are encouraged to speak up now if they’re not sure what’s being taught to them, but back then, you got spanked, and all that taught was that you would get punished if you weren’t sure on what was being taught.
Nowadays kids are being encouraged to talk up if in doubt, but being beaten for not understanding back then affected a kids development in understanding knowledge, and it’s not until they became adults, they found that the way that they were taught was totally and utterly wrong, and I wonder if Jimmy Saville had a few keys for places like that.
This might be one of the most honest and saddest movies you’ll ever see. There were a lot of people that didn’t like watching it, but I believe that was the intention so that it would frighten the crap out of you, and I don’t suppose we’ll ever see another film made like this again.
These were the good old days when punishment meant punishment, those days have well and truly gone, it’s all spice heads now and complete chaos, and thank God they outlawed all those places that were run by psychopaths and what a nightmarish bunch of heels they were.
It was extreme violence from the start because back in the day, that’s how they taught the meaning of respect. After all, it was thought that the more you beat the kids, the taller they stood, and how the world has changed.
And these institutions were run pretty much on military lines and indeed some schools at that time used the same policies but it appears that nobody has found the right way to maintain discipline, educate or support these people that are put away by society.
Those wardens needed stringing up because most were nefarious and corrupt and worse than most of the cons and inmates and this film demonstrates quite clearly the contempt the establishment had for its people here in the United Kingdom.
And there were schools back in the day that had teachers that were unmerciful and who thought they were above their stations and got off from being sadistic and who were obvious losers in real life, hence the bullying of kids.
Can you imagine today’s generation in these institutions?
Detention Centres back in the day was what succeeded borstal and that was also violent and your six sense was the main one that you used as would be gangsters in small clicks slashed your face off just to earn a rep and some of the wardens were animals, constantly slapping the crap out of you and they had you marching around everywhere like you were in the army.
Bed block, kit and room inspection every morning and if you never had a job you couldn’t just lie on your bed during the day and in some places, smoking was banned but the offenders would always get it from other cons on another wing at a cost.
The only upside was the food wasn’t that bad and they came out much fitter than when they went in and unquestionably wiser, although I’m sure many came out with emotional and anger issues that developed because of the torture they suffered.
Power corrupts and these places were run on minimum salary, unschooled, unchecked thugs who enjoyed abusing kids and it was an out of control spiral of violence and it was designed to teach these kids a lesson.
There were bullies and kids were battered stupid and they had to fight back and most went on to commit further crimes because it was survival of the fittest and total insanity, and it was there to put the fear of God into these kids, but then the world is run on fear.