Yob Nation

23 March 2006

Yob NationThe truth about Britain’s yob culture

Francis Gilbert takes the reader on a frightening journey to the dark heart of Britain’s yob culture.

Starting with his own encounters with yobs in his childhood and while working as a teacher, Gilbert moves beyond his own experiences to investigate the thuggery and foul behaviour that blights our streets, our workplaces – and even the heights of the British Establishment. Francis Gilbert’s last book – “I’m a Teacher, Get Me Out of Here” – was described by Clare Short in the “New Statesman” as ‘a funny, moving and worrying memoir’. His new book is also funny, but far more alarming; it shows how the relentless march of yobbery has infected every aspect of our lives; violent crime has quadrupled since 1979, and foul language and abusive behaviour has permeated the whole of society. It’s not just football hooligans (and footballers) who’ve gloried in yobbish behaviour; politicians have played their part. With the old moral codes no longer existing, society has become engulfed with fear and distrust. Francis Gilbert draws on his own experiences (working in a tough inner-city comprehensive), and of people all round Britain, to vividly illustrate his thesis.


  1. An excellent book very well researched and covers a subject that in my view often conveniently and quite frustratingly gets put to one side by some segments of society.

    Well done Mr Gilbert.

    from Paul Stevens
  2. Appalling mishmash of newspaper titbits treated as though they are serious history and personal prejudice (is it only New Labour which fails to practice what it preaches?). As a retired HMI, I have certainly seen in schools some of the behaviour described, but hardly ever when the teacher was half competent.

    The author practises all the rhetorical and presentational tricks which he castigates in others. Strangely, this is mixed with an astonishing level of naivete: I think most of the ‘yobs’ he interviewed saw him coming!

    from Andrew Bennett
  3. I’m sorry that you didn’t like the book. I wrote it a few years ago, and can see now, having started a PhD, that my methodology wasn’t what it should have been. I think if I was to write a book like this again, I would aim to make it more systematic and rigorous. Once again, my apologies that you didn’t like the book.

    from francisgilbert
  4. Thank God the HMI has retired. He obviously wore blinkers. I taught in London (I have been a successful teacher and university lecturer since). I moved to New Zealand because they told me it was 20 years behind England. It was, the kids were polite, generally well behaved, but now 25 years on the Yob culture, whilst diluted compared to home, is in full swing. The genie is out of the box here and it is unlikely to ever go back in. So how do we get community sell policing back? What is interesting is my kids and their friends enjoy the boundaries that are imposed upon them by caring parents, teachers and others in their day to day life.

    from Bob

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