I read your editorial with a sense of disappointment (0-19, June
2005). Your suggestion that “I assumed that these jumpers… were
no more than practical articles of clothing” is false naivety on
your part. Clothing does not exist in a cultural vacuum. It is a
truism that hoodies are not worn by young people purely for
practicality; there is fashion, identity and culture (and in some
cases – the pertinent cases here – escaping detection).
You make the joke that you wouldn’t be let in to Bluewater because
of your hooded jumper. But you are wrong – you would be let in
because you don’t belong to the demographic group that commit the
highest incidence of shop-lifting and, when wearing hoodies, are
hardest to identify.
You ask if Tony Blair is happy for new prejudices to spring up and
thrive unchecked. Well, I promise you his answer would be
Young people are not “outcasts” however much you worry – and they
may feel – that they are. I could fill this page with information
about schools, the welfare state and the judicial system ad
infinitum. You yourself point out the positive government steps
You ask for the debate to begin. It already has – that is why
Bluewater has done what it has.
Music teacher and director of the Charnwood Juggling Club, 101
Dance Group, 101 Drama Club