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The misdirected talent of Mizzy, the 'TikTok terror'

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Tessa Jowell once ignited a furious political row by claiming that inner-city youths active in criminal gangs were exhibiting a misdirected spirit of enterprise.

'These people have very formidable entrepreneurial skills which they have put to bad use,' she claimed.

I was put in mind of her observation when watching the teenage TikTok miscreant Mizzy being grilled by Piers Morgan on television this week.

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For the benefit of the vanishingly small number of people still unaware of the exploits of Mizzy, real name Bacari-Bronze O'Garro, this youth has become notorious for videoing himself carrying out extremely unpleasant and traumatising 'pranks' on unsuspecting members of the public. These have included taking an old lady's dog, invading people's homes uninvited, mocking an Orthodox Jew and stroking the hair of young girls while asking them 'do you wanna dye?' (Geddit?).

Like most right-thinking people, I was outraged by the cruelty and criminality he exhibited and conferred instant 'scrote' status upon him.

Then, after being handed a paltry fine for his law-breaking, he accepted an invitation to go toe to toe with Mr Morgan on Talk TV. And what we saw really did amount to a misdirected talent. Initially Mizzy resorted to what was once known as the Ali G defence ('is it cos I am black?'), telling Morgan: 'I'm a black man doing these things and that is why there is such uproar on the internet'.

And frankly, why wouldn't he deploy the race card given that it so often succeeds in sending posh white liberals scurrying into apologist mode when wielded by the likes of the Duchess of Sussex? To Morgan's credit, it didn't work on him. For he told his young interviewee: 'I don't give a damn about your skin colour…I just think you're an idiot.'

'I think you're an idiot too,' Mizzy shot back at Morgan and it would have taken a heart of stone not to laugh at that one. When Morgan told him that what had really got his goat was the tiny fine handed down to him by the courts, the young miscreant replied: 'The UK laws are weak, simple as, and that's not my fault.'

Now this was interesting and could have done with further exploration. Someone on the urban frontline was clearly up for an honest discussion about how soft sentences have eroded deterrents against law-breaking - a social conservative in the making if ever I saw one.

Yes, Mizzy really has been a scrote and shown himself capable of remorseless cruelty as many young men are. But clearly he is also someone with talent that is being misdirected in just the manner once diagnosed by Ms Jowell. He has proved sufficiently entrepreneurial to have garnered himself tens of thousands of online followers too.

He does not deserve to become rich and famous off the back of his appalling conduct but his 15 minutes of fame should remind us that we are a long way as a society from harnessing the potential of all our citizens. He must do better but we can do better too.

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