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The Ros Dodd column



Zinedine Zidane is a sporting legend, no doubt admired by the ‘hoodies' blamed for the rise of anti-social behaviour on the streets of Britain. Yet there he was, in the dying moments of the World Cup final, acting more like a hoodie than the yobs themselves.

His brutal head butting of Marco Materazzi was, it's being suggested, prompted by the Italian making a derisive comment about Zidane's mother.

The French footballer presumably adores his mother, which is why he turned from a hero into a hoodlum. Hoodies also presumably love their mothers; the difference is that their mothers - and, perhaps more crucially, their fathers - don't love them, at least not in the way parents should love, nurture and protect their kids.

Britain's oldest new mother, Patti Farrant, has just given birth to a baby boy at the age of 62. She and her 60-year-old husband, John, have been widely condemned for acting ‘selfishly' in seeking to become parents at such a relatively decrepit age. They point out that by the time the boy, called JJ, reaches 18, his mother will be in her 80s.

My hunch is that Patti and John will be hugely better parents to JJ when they're in their dotage than many of the hoodies' parents are in their 30s and 40s.

Age has a bearing on parenting, but common sense, wisdom, a responsible attitude, the care of a supportive family and an understanding of right and wrong are undoubtedly more important.

JJ might lose his parents when he's still young, but his crucial formative years will be filled with love and care supplied by two parents who also love and care for one another. The hoodies, by and large, don't have that - which is why they become angry, disenfranchised and law-breaking young men.

David Cameron, the Tory leader, yesterday called on the public to show more love to the hoodies. In an attempt to banish his party's tough image, he said people needed to be more understanding of the reasons young people turn to crime.

He is right, although he would have been better saying that parents - rather than the public - ought to show more love to these miserable youngsters. Love is not about allowing kids all the freedom they want, buying them expensive toys and showering them with designer clothes. It's not about letting them roam the streets, not knowing where they are or what they are doing, allowing them to bunk off school and turning their home into a broken one.

Love is about bringing up your kids responsibly - Patti and John Farrarnt know that, though I'm not sure about Mme Zidane.


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