Thursday, 18 December 2008

Leaders' legacies - Letter to The Observer 18.12.08

Dear Sir

Andrew Rawnsley is spot on regarding the need for our Prime Minister to be bold enough to leave a positive and long-lasting legacy, especially in terms of our nation’s infrastructure (If we’re going to spend, then let’s invest in Britain’s future – Observer, Comment, last week).

For too long successive governments have lacked vision in their policy making and, instead of investing in long-term initiatives, merely offer short-sighted, short-term, and wholly inadequate quick-fix solutions to address our need for the high quality public transport, energy and communication systems that Mr Rawnsley suggests.

However in order to be politically bold you have to be politically brave and make decisions, for the common good, that may well require political sacrifices. This would involve having to challenge influential groups such as the road lobby and airline, energy and communications companies, while making some tough choices that may well upset part of the electorate into the bargain. Sadly there is no politician on our political horizon prepared to make the ultimate political sacrifice, which is to relinquish power.

Yours faithfully

Ashley Gunstock
Leading Spokesperson
The Green Party - Redbridge

Redbridge's rubbish recycling record - Wanstead & Woodford Guardian letter 15.12.08

Dear Mr Yeatman

The Green Party figures quoted in your newspaper of December 4 – which Councillor Mark Aaron refers to as being out of date (Guardian, December 11) – were those that were available to it at the time of writing.

However, compared to this minor error on our part, what is quite disturbing is that Mr Aaron is proud to boast a 7.8% composting waste rate for the borough of Redbridge.

The Greens have been campaigning for a fully integrated and co-ordinated national waste management scheme for almost 40 years, of which re-cycling is just one part. We have been trying to educate individuals, schools and businesses to understand the principles of the waste management cycle: reduce (the need for unnecessary goods & packaging), re-use (goods & packaging where possible), repair (whenever possible mend goods, instead of merely discarding them) then recycle (including composting) before dumping what remains for landfill.

In view of this and the fact that the ‘recycling’ rates of many other European countries far exceed ours, especially in light of the need for at least a 90% reduction of all waste, the government’s national strategy in general and that of the London Borough of Redbridge in particular is, despite the hard work of some of its employees, quite frankly, a load of old rubbish.

Yours sincerely

Ashley Gunstock
Leading Spokesperson
The Green Party - Redbridge

Pious pronouncements - Letter to the Observer 09.12.08

Dear Sir

I must confess that my 'eyebrows were amongst many other pairs that were probably raised' on reading of the Vatican’s recent declaration, by Pope Benedict XVI. ('Pope attacks tax havens for robbing the poor', News, last week).

It would be fascinating for us all to know the true extent of the investments (offshore or otherwise) owned not only by the Roman Catholic Church, but indeed by all of the ‘major religions’ of the world.

The revelations of the relative wealth of these Faiths, I am sure, would make their pious pronouncements, regarding the poor, all sound rather rich.

Yours faithfully

Ashley Gunstock

Monday, 8 September 2008

Carbon Reduction Campaign

I would like to draw your attention to a ‘Friends of the Earth’ campaign, to reduce CO2 emission limits, that I wish to promote.

The details of the campaign are as follows:

In October 2008 the European Parliament is to vote to adopt the European Commission’s proposed regulation on CO2 emission limits.

The proposed limit for new cars registered in the EU is to be 130g CO2/km instead of the existing 160g CO2/km.

However ‘FoE’ believes that 130g/km is not enough and is campaigning for a more restrictive limit of 120g CO2/km with further reductions to follow – 80g/km in 2020 and 65g/km in 2025.

To highlight this ‘FoE’ has set up a micro-site: to get people, concerned about this, to write to their MEPs, encourage bloggers to discuss this in their blogs and link to the micro-site and urge people to sign up.

LATEST NEWS: Carmakers should have an extra three years’ breathing space to implement carbon dioxide emission reductions, according to a report adopted by MEPs on 1st September 2008.

The Environment Committee will vote on this matter on 9th September, with Environment Ministers discussing the proposals in October, so it is vital that we give ‘FoE’ all the support we can before then.

Please support this campaign!

Moving onwards & upwards together

Ashley Gunstock speaking at the Leadership Hustings
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those people who helped, supported and voted for me during the recent Green Party Leadership election – which I am very proud to have contested – and also congratulate Caroline Lucas & Adrian Ramsay on becoming The Green Party's first Leader & Deputy.

The Green Party has evolved through many upheavals and we should now look upon the recent, fundamental changes as a challenge for us all to meet and do our best to embrace.

Now that The Party has a Leadership team I wish it - and all Party officers - success in developing a strategy that will work for the good of The Party and take it forward and, as a Green Party member, I will do my best to make that happen.

However if, given a good chance, the strategy does not work positively for The Party don't count me out of standing at another leadership election. I may well be back..."

Yours sincerely

Ashley Gunstock
Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party
General Election Candidate for Leyton & Wanstead

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Radical v. Racist

Letter to The Observer: 19th August 2008

Dear Sir

The Green Party has long recognised the importance of its existence in the political arena. However, as Rafael Behr's article (The race to be the fourth party matters more than you think, Comment, last week) perfectly highlighted, especially in light of the recent rise in support for the BNP, its presence has never been needed more.

Whilst the Government and its opposition persist in targeting ‘Middle England’, which they believe will be more likely to turn out at the polls and use its vote, a growing number of Working Class (for the want of a better term) citizens are becoming evermore disenfranchised and embittered and are now looking for a radical alternative.

Sadly, having ditched its boots & braces campaigning style for a slightly more sophisticated albeit disingenuous disguising of its violent multi-phobic tendencies, the BNP is reaping some benefit from this collective Westminster negligence and is enjoying a modicum of success of late; incidentally though not nearly as much as the Greens who hold 117 seats on principal authorities nationally, not 47 to the BNP's 37 as quoted in Mr Behr's article.

In any event, due largely to the indifference of all the Parliamentary Parties, BNP support has grown enough to be of concern to the majority of the electorate who abhor far right nationalism and its inherent virulence. In view of this, The Greens have for some time now been discussing the very real possibility of being offered the option to speak on platforms where the media may allow the BNP representation.

Should that be the case, rather than burying my head in the sand in the hope that the problem will simply go away, be assured that every such situation would be used to put forward a positively radical agenda and be seen as an opportunity to discredit and denounce fascism in all its unacceptable forms.

Yours faithfully

Ashley Gunstock
Green Party Leader Candidate

See also:
Greens Versus BNP - Peter Cranie
Greens have a key role to play in combating the BNP, says Lucas

Thursday, 14 August 2008

53 Questions - with Answers

The Daily Politico has invited me to complete their questionnaire. This will appear on the Total Politics web-site at some point, but they are here now.

Q1. Why did you get involved in the political world?
A1. Rather than waste my time complaining about the state of affairs, I thought that I had better get involved in the Affairs of State.

Q2. When did you join [The Green Party]?
A2. November 1989

Q3. What is your earliest political memory?
A3. The assassination of John F Kennedy

Q4. Which one law would you repeal?
A4. I would rid us of the law that permits 42 days detention without trial.

Q5. Which one law would you introduce?
A5. I would introduce a law to ensure that there were no single faith/cult schools, colleges or universities and which would turn all educational institutions into community centres of learning.

Q6. What’s your favourite view in the world?
A6. My favourite view in the world is that of the Sun rising and setting each day.

Q7. What’s your favourite political quotation?
A7. "You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you can please most of the people most of the time."

Q8. What music gets you up to dance?
A8. I will get up and dance to any sound with a strong beat and a good rhythm.

Q9. If you could have been present at any debate in the House of Commons over the last three hundred years, which would it have been, and why?
A9. I would dearly have loved to have spoken during the debate to decide whether or not to take the UK into the US War of Terror, if only to register the fact that The Green Party was the only political party to object to the conflict from the outset.

Q10. Imagine you are planning a dinner party, pick six people (living or dead) to invite.
A10. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Adolph Hitler and their partners.

Q11. Who is your best friend in politics?
A11. I do not have a best friend in politics.

Q12. What’s your favourite form of transport?
A12. I feel good about using a bicycle as my preferred mode of transport, for so many varied and different reasons.

Q13. What’s your favourite dish?
A13. I enjoy eating any well cooked, preferably hot & spicy, vegetarian dish.

Q14. Do you have any phobias?
A14. I have an aversion to filling in forms or questionnaires, for so many varied and different reasons.

Q15. What do you dream about?
A15. I’m sure that I still do have dreams, everybody is supposed to; but I’m probably too tired, by the time that I get to bed these days, to be able to ‘watch’ them.

Q16. When did you last cry, and why?
A16. I am quite sentimental, so am often moved to tears. However the last time that I truly sobbed was after I had found out that a political opponent of mine, whom I greatly respected, had died.

Q17. What’s the last thing you bought in a shop?
A17. I bought some Pick ‘n’ Mix Sweets for my son & I to enjoy while watching a film.

Q18. What’s the funniest You Tube video you’ve recently seen?
A18. The Mom Song sung to The William Tell Overture.

Q19. What is the best speech you have ever heard (and been present at)?
A19. My brother’s best man speech at my wedding.

Q20. Who’s your favourite comedian?
A20. Robin Williams.

Q21. Have you ever cried at a film? Which one(s)?
A21. Cyrano de Bergerac with GĂ©rard Depardieu. Please also see A16.

Q22. Which is your favourite political biography or autobiography?
A22. Adolph Hitler: A Study in Tyranny by Alan Bullock.

Q23. What is your favourite novel?
A23. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey.

Q24. Name a book you have read which has failed to live up to expectations.
A24. On the Road by Jack Kerouac.

Q25. Who would you like to say sorry to, and why?
A25. The list is endless.

Q26. What job would you be doing if you weren’t involved in the political world?
A26. I would spend more time pursuing my career as an actor and make more use of my Football Association coaching qualification.

Q27. Do you have a party trick, or hidden talent?
A27. Not that I know of.

Q28. What’s the best holiday you have been on?
A28. My honeymoon in Italy.

Q29. Where in the world would you most like to go on holiday?
A29. Cuba.

Q30. When was the last time you used public transport?
A30. Today.

Q31. When was the last time you went to the theatre and what did you see?
A31. I last went to the theatre in June of this year to see a friend in Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis – Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate.

Q32. What do you collect?
A32. Almost anything re-useable or re-cycleable.

Q33. What is your most unusual hobby?
A33. I don’t have one.

Q34. Which newspapers do you read regularly?
A34. The Observer and any that I pick up on the Tube or in coffee bars.

Q35. Which websites do you visit regularly?
A35. I only visit websites in the course of my work.

Q36. Which blogs do you love or hate?
A36. Ditto for blogs.

Q37. Which magazines do you subscribe to?
A37. I don’t have any subscriptions to magazines, but I regularly read Greenworld and The Big Issue.

Q38. Which five words would your friends use about you?
A38. Unprintable.

Q39. Which five words would your enemies use about you?
A39. Ditto.

Q40. Are you into sport? If so, which ones?
A40. I enjoy most sports, especially football!

Q41. Which is your favourite football team and player?
A41. Chelsea is my favourite football team and I’ve been a ‘glory hunter’ with them for only 42 years. My favourite player at present is Michael Essien, whom I consider to be a superb footballer of immense character, who does not complain even though he is often asked to play out of his natural position.

Q42. Who is your political hero?
A42. Martin Luther King.

Q43. Who is your political hate figure?
A43. Pick a fascist, any fascist.

Q44. What’s your most memorable time in politics?
A44. Having opponents who had in the past looked down their noses at me for my political affiliation – and whom I have had ‘run-ins’ with – come over to me to respectfully shake my hand before a recent election.

Q45. What’s your most embarrassing moment in politics?
A45. Not getting my nomination papers delivered in time for a local by-election.

Q46. What’s your prediction for the next general election?
A46. The Green Party will hold the balance of power.

Q47. Who is your favourite and least favourite political interviewer?
A47. Jeremy Paxman is my favourite political interviewer, because he ‘cuts to the chase’ and my least favourite political interviewer is Nicky Campbell, because he is far too smarmy for my liking.

Q48. What do you never miss on TV?
A48. I always try to catch the News and really big football matches, when I get the chance to watch TV.

Q49. Which current foreign politician do you most admire?
A49. Nelson Mandela is the current foreign politician whom I most admire, because of the dignified way in which he always appears to conduct himself.

Q50. What do you listen to/watch when you get up in the morning?
A50. I can’t bear to listen to or watch anything first thing in the morning. However after I have ‘got it together’ I tune in to Radio 5 Live.

Q51. Complete this sentence: The thing I hate about politics is...
A51. ….that, although there is a right way of achieving what is necessary, most politicians screw up because they tend to go for the cheapest and/or easiest option.

Q52. Complete this sentence: The thing I love about politics is...
A52. ….that there is a right way of achieving what is necessary and often it is the most obvious option.

Q53. What would you like your political epitaph to be?
A53. Job done!

Internet Hustings

There are some unofficial internet hustings over on Jim Jays blog with answers from both myself and Caroline Lucas.

Also coming up are answers from Adrian Ramsay, the candidate for Deputy Leader.

Plus plus similar hustings for the position of Chairman.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

An Interview with Ashley has a Feature on the Green Party Leadership Election with an interview with Ashley.

Please ignore the double negative spotted by "Green Gordon".

Next week: Caroline Lucas.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Leadership Statement

GP Leader Candidate statement - Ashley Gunstock

If you are looking for a Leader – who will unite the Green Party in preparation for government – then I am the ideal candidate for the post.

Now in my twentieth year as a GP activist, I have continually promoted the fundamental values of the Party and worked hard to help these to evolve with the continual changes that affect our society. This has enabled me to more easily express to all, regardless of their original political persuasion, the need to embrace our Green vision for the future. Such long-term thinking has ensured that my vote has risen by 50% at each recent Council, GLA and Parliamentary election.

As GP Leading Spokesperson in Redbridge I am regularly consulted by the borough’s residents, campaigning groups, opposition Councillors and the media, as I was when a member in Barnet.

I am a committee member of: Fairtrade Redbridge, about to receive its accreditation; LA21 and FoE groups, with whom I influenced borough recycling and planning improvements and peace, anti-war & anti-fascist movements, seeking my Green Party endorsement.

Lately I was instrumental in ensuring that the Council, TfL and The Corporation of London implemented much needed road traffic safety measures (especially for the elderly and school children) and am at present involved in the ‘Tube re-zoning’ campaign that I established to start making travel on the London Underground more affordable.

In Barnet I was active on the Homeless Action committee – which oversaw the building of a day centre for the homeless – and remain Chair of Barnet Green Co-op, having been largely responsible for setting up The Green Room Environmental Centre.

All this has been achieved mainly due to excellent communication skills, acquired during my 30 years experience as a professional Producer, Director & actor and teaching & FA coaching in a variety of schools, attuning me to what is happening with today’s youth. This invaluable ability coupled with my assured knowledge of our Green agenda enables me, authoritatively and confidently, to maintain successful dealings with the televisual media and also appeal to the readerships of both broadsheet & tabloid press.

Therefore if you are looking for true leadership – based on compassion, knowledge and an understanding of the make-up of the electorate, our membership and our agenda, which must be delivered with resolute confidence – I urge you to elect me as Green Party Leader.Contact details – Telephone: 020 8530 3900 or 07989 255061 or e-mail

July 2008

Education and Discipline

Letter to Wanstead & Woodford Guardian – 29th July 2008

The Green Party believes that neither corporal nor capital punishment, or indeed wars, are the solutions to societal problems either here at home or abroad.

I therefore write with reference to your ‘Angry parents ban pupils from school’ front page article and the letter form Harry Valentine, entitled ‘Bring back physical retribution to schools’ (Guardian, July 24). The former reporting what was effectively an anti-army recruitment drive/anti-war demonstration at Wanstead High School and the latter prescribing a physical approach to the misbehaviour of boys and young men (due to the misbehaviour of some of the school's pupils) have struck the perfect discord to illustrate exactly why violence is not the answer.

Unruly school children are often the products of unfortunate circumstances, perhaps even brought about by their parents’ own doing. They may come from deprived backgrounds and have low self esteem, or even comfortable homes and been spoilt to blue blazes. In any event if a mischievous child’s life at home is far from ideal, what good can come of giving it a beating at school?

Aggression breeds yet more aggression. It is not a means to an end, it becomes the end. Children that are beaten into submission and then ruled by fear will learn to believe that that is the way in which they should conduct themselves, when they get into a position of physical advantage. From our homes, to our classrooms, to our streets and onto such far flung places as Afghanistan & Iraq the term for this type of behaviour is, quite simply, bullying.

Education, education, education was the mantra of our government during its early stages of power. And, yes, a good education is vital. However that should not mean stuffing our children’s heads with facts and figures and then instructing them in how to just pass assessments, for the benefit of school league table performance indicators. That approach, instead of making what is important measurable, has made what is measurable important and left almost a whole generation of people disenfranchised from the education system.

What is required is an holistic approach to the subject, with investment to make schools community centres of life-long learning, where would-be parents and mothers & fathers having parent hood difficulties could be given courses in child development and, especially in their early years, children would be allowed to discover themselves, how to socially interact with their peers and adults and understand the true meaning of the concept of respect.

Furthermore governments would do well to learn not to meddle with teaching, which should be left in the hands of professional educators, in order that much more caring, compassionate and comprehensive syllabuses may be delivered. Whatever the situation it will certainly not be helpful to go back to the dark days when sparing the rod was seen to spoil the child; nor is conducive to attack the problem by sending in the army.

Yours sincerely
Ashley Gunstock

Monday, 28 July 2008

Green Candidates support the Compassionate Charter

Both Ashley Gunstock, the Green Party’s candidate for Havering and Redbridge, and Aled Fisher, the Green Party’s candidate for North East London, have given support for the Compassionate Charter produced by the animal rights group Animal Aid.

The Charter promotes eight practical and achievable goals, which will benefit animals, people and the planet. They are: purchasing only cruelty-free cleaning products and toiletries; banning circuses with animals from council land; banning pets as prizes; promoting and subsidising spaying and neutering programmes; stopping the sale of foie gras and veal; speaking out against fur; adopting only the humane, non-lethal management of pigeons and other animals and birds; and making their towns a plastic bag-free zone.

It is a fundamental belief of the Green Party that animals have the right to live free from suffering and harm caused by human exploitation and believe that this right must be properly protected in law. The Green Party opposes all forms of factory farming and the fur trade, campaigns for an immediate ban on all sports that involve cruelty to animals and advocate the ending of animal experimentation.

“The Green Party strongly supports animal rights” said Aled Fisher, “I believe these principles should not only be adopted by councils but also by the GLA” added Ashley Gunstock.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Road Safety and Urbanisation

Letter to Wanstead & Woodford Guardian – May 2008

The Green Party wishes to congratulate the local residents’ group, which successfully campaigned for a pedestrian crossing in Snaresbrook Road.

This scheme – which has the backing of Waltham Forest Council and the offer of funding by Transport for London, to the tune of £120,000 – has now (after some objection) been given the go-ahead by The Corporation of London, which manages the land that part of the crossing is to be built on.

The Green Party, as does the Corporation, always seeks to protect, preserve and conserve green spaces. However there is a school on one side, along with an entrance to the Forest on the other, of this busy stretch of road where motorists often exceed the speed limit. We therefore feel that common sense has prevailed and are delighted that this road traffic safety scheme is finally being implemented.

As Greens we too wish to halt the spectre of ‘creeping urbanisation’, which looms large over us all. Nevertheless this is a good road traffic calming measure which, we believe, would be inclined to encourage people to walk more and use congestion and pollution causing cars less and thereby be of good value to all parties concerned.

Yours sincerely
Ashley Gunstock

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Sign our petition for cheaper tube fares

Ashley Gunstock, the Green Party GLA candidate for Havering & Redbridge, is at present campaigning on an initiative that is gaining momentum, a good deal of publicity and local and regional interest.

Ashley was approached by a resident, with whom he is working on another ongoing issue, about whether or not he could do something about getting Wanstead, Snaresbrook & Redbridge Central Line Tube stations being re-designated into Zone 3.

After further investigation Ashley found that, although on the Underground system they are mapped as being in Zone 4, Wanstead, Snaresbrook & Redbridge stations are, in fact, geographically in Zone 3. Furthermore it turns out that other tube stations that have Zone 3 status, eg. Northfields, are further from central London than the three stations in question.

In view of this Ashley confronted Mayor Ken Livingstone - at a People's Question Time at Redbridge Town Hall - and asked him if, in the spirit of his Fares Fair initiative of the 1980s, he would be prepared to look into the possible re-zoning of the three stations that are situated in the borough of Redbridge. The Mayor in turn requested that Ashley contact Roger Evans - Transport Committee Chairperson for the GLA and his Conservative constituency opponent in the last two and forthcoming GLA elections!

With the help of Green GLA member Jenny Jones, Ashley was put in touch with Mr Evans. During their subsequent meeting at City Hall, Mr Evans agreed to put the matter before the Ken Livingstone provided that Ashley drew up a petition to gauge interest in the issue. Weight has since been added to the argument, as a precedent has recently been set, with the re-designation of Hampstead and Willesden Junction Tube stations from Zone 3 to 2, so there is good reason to be optimistic that Ashley's campaign will be a success.

Ashley has a petition posted on the Number 10 Downing Street site at: which already has over 150 signatures and that he hopes that you will put you names to, if you have not already done so.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Greens call for boycott of Starbucks

Picture: From left to right, Ashley Gunstock, Mark Dawes

Members of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party protested at the opening of the new Starbucks coffee shop in Wanstead and called for people to boycott Starbucks and use local coffee shops. They leafleted local people outside the premises warning of the threat to local, independent coffee shops and cafes. The majority of people supported the campaign not wanting to see Wanstead become another clone town full of multinational chains.

There is a record of the opening of Starbucks leading to the closure of local coffee shops and local people are concerned that this could happen in Wanstead too. Local coffee shop owners also supported the campaign being concerned about the effect on their businesses.

There are other concerns about Starbucks too:
· Starbucks is a major player in the global coffee industry that results in the impoverishment of thousands of workers in the developing world.
· Starbucks pays lip service to Fair Trade when genuine commitment could lift coffee producers out of poverty.
· Starbucks domination and unethical business practices, such as "clustering" that results in a Starbucks monopoly, has resulted in the closure of numerous small coffee shops.
· Starbucks treat their workers poorly. The staff are paid just above the minimum wage and are subject to excessive working hours and unpaid overtime.

"Wanstead is a great place, full of character with a variety of local coffee shops and cafes but this is being threatened by the arrival of chains such as Starbucks" said Havering and Redbridge GLA Green Party candidate Ashley Gunstock. "We will continue to campaign for a boycott of Starbucks and also against the proposed KFC which could also have a further detrimental effect on the High Street" he added.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Crime and Punishment

Letter to Wanstead & Woodford Guardian – January 2008

I, amongst many I am sure, was appalled to read of the sickening treatment meted out, by mindless thugs, to the poor nine week old puppy that was featured in your front page article last week under the headline 'Butchered' - Guardian, January 24.

Gandhi I believe it was who once said that the quality of a civilisation is measured by its treatment of its animals and its elderly. Unfortunately the standard of our society has fallen to an all time low given the horrific crimes, we now hear of daily, that are committed upon the most vulnerable members of our society of late.

No matter what figures the government put out to the contrary, the perception is that there is more violent crime now than ever before. Remember in this instance (and others of equally diabolic nature that we have heard of recently) we are not talking about crime carried out on a run down estate in some inner city ghetto here. We are talking about the leafy suburb of Wanstead, for goodness sake!

However, although the gut reaction of many is to punish the perpetrators of such sickening acts of violence in a fashion that mirrors their crimes, this would only serve as a short-term solution to the symptoms of a much more profound problem that afflicts our lives.

This dreadful situation has come about, in part, because of the short-sighted policies of successive councils everywhere that have stopped the funding of local youth clubs and community centres for better looking short-term cash-flows on their balance sheets. This has left the young disenfranchised and caused long-term damage to local communities where the cost has been paid in lives.

Yes, there should be a more visible police presence with real powers to act on our streets and yes, sentences for crimes of the horrific nature that is becoming more prevalent should be handed out. But this societal problem must be addressed by a radical, positive and comprehensive strategy that needs to be implemented as of now. This should involve terms of mandatory work for the reparation of damage caused to communities in which it is executed.

What is also needed is the courage to confront not only the perpetrators of these crimes, but also the parents of these so called 'feral youths'. The parents must be made to act to stop their children from committing these atrocities or, if they have let the situation get out of their hands, they must be forced to hand their wild offspring onto agencies that are better equipped to deal with these problems.

The worst part of all this is that not only are these youths losing respect for animals, their elders and even their own parents; they are also losing their self respect and are simply becoming statistics to remind us of a world that doesn’t care.

Ashley Gunstock