A children's charity has hit out at the "stereotypes and prejudices" behind the Bluewater shopping centre ban on baseball caps and "hoodies".
This little story continues to have "legs" because it is revealing about attitudes. John Prescott has joined the debate, complaining that he feels "intimidated" by youths dressed in this way. As a man who has actually assaulted a voter in full view of TV cameras, one would think Mr. Prescott would stay out of this one!
New Labour really has become the New Establishment and seems determined to create "New Snobbery", "New Exclusion" and "New Boring-old-fartness" to cement its position. Its conviction that it has the right to rule as a "natural party of government" will distance it more and more from many who still think a Government is there to serve them, not to tell them how to live.
Those who commit crimes should face prosecution and punishment on an even-handed basis. Private shopping centres should be able to exclude any visitors they don't want, without having to resort to stupid rules which lump offenders together with the honest and respectable. But dressing in a way that frightens old sailors should not be the concern of Government.
BBC NEWS | England | Kent | Call to boycott 'hoodie' ban mall