Back in the good old days, when the children were thrashed and the women bashed ...
Shock, horror, the streets are awash with violence, we're all cowering in our homes behind bars - yet another report from a "think-tank" tells us.
Oddly enough, I just came home on a central London night bus, and walked a kilometre from the stop, and I wasn't even murdered on the way.
The Observer today, reports however, that the Wave Foundation (new to me) has concluded we're now "25 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime now compared to the Fifties. Based on official police statistics, the study calculated that in 1950 there were 47 violent offences per thousand people compared to 1,158 for 2003/2004".
It looks like the full report is not out until Monday, but I think I - and I bet you - have already spotted the enormous hole in it.
How much domestic violence made it to the violent crime statistics in the Fifites? Just about none.
How much child abuse made it to the violent crime statistics in the Fifties?
So close to none as to make no difference.
How many kids been beat up by older kids for the lunch money made it to the crime statistics in the Fifties? None. (Now of course the kids have iPods and mobile phones stolen, so a police report goes in.)
And if a kid beat up another kid in the playground then? Well it was "character building". Now it is "call the police".
It's not that I'm saying the police involvement in all of these things is bad - indeed it reflects the fact that we are a far less violence-tolerant society than we used to be.
And that shows in the statistics, which right-wing think tanks and the Daily Mail use to scare witless those people who haven't got the sense to see through the headlines. (The Observer really should know better.)