As Team Nice and the Niceties Campaign is a year old, last week we spoke of niceties tokens, which is the mechanism that started Team Nice. So this week I thought I would speak a little bit more about Team Nice.
Team Nice is an ever-growing group of people (currently just under 1,000) who are proud to be thoughtful and nice.
Originally, it was because I heard so many people say that London commuters are rude. And I thought well, I am not rude, I am just a bit shy and defensive because I think everyone else is rude. So that made me think that perhaps other people were actually the same as me. The way to prove this is to grow a group who are proud to say ‘I am not rude either’ – Team Nice.
Developments in communication, particularly social networking sites, have influenced our online interaction, so it’s hoped that Team Nice can become proactive to reduce elements of anti-social behaviour. But all elements of anti social behaviour – not just grubby school kids gobbing like llamas at people’s shoes at bus stops, or commuters too defensive to look up and see 80 year old Edna spinning on the roundabout in the middle of the bendy bus.
As Councillor for the Lewisham Socialist Party Ian Page said to me recently:
There are different aspects of anti-social behaviour. I think the worst is corporate anti-social behaviour. Big companies closing down factories or forcing small businesses out of business. These cause more breakdown in communities than a few hoodies! Also the policies of government and councils. A very good example was shown on the BBC1 documentary ‘The Towers’, which recorded the story of the Pepys estate, where Lewisham council sold off a tower block (against residents wishes) to a property company instead of renovating it for local people. The tower block is now luxury apartments for the rich whilst local people still live in poor housing conditions. Also cuts in youth service provision are causing many of the problems caused by a section of young people on the streets. Few jobs and reduced youth services are bound to increase the culture of gangs and mugging as sections of young people become disenfranchised.
Society is getting more interactive with each other, communities are developing, otherwise Microsoft wouldn’t have bothered buying their piece of Facebook cake. So actually, we are all becoming less anti-social anyway, Team Nice just hopes to speed it up a little bit.
This week has been very busy for Team Nice as we prepare for the first birthday party.
By Liz Akers