It’s Not Often I Agree With Mary Dejevsky….

November 10, 2012 8 Comments
By

…but she’s spot on here:

Last week was half term; streets teemed with children, offices were parent-free zones, and the airwaves throbbed with indignation about Jimmy Savile, Welsh children’s homes and the stratagems deployed by high earners to keep their child benefit… It is at such times that I want to grab the ear-muffs, shout to everyone to shut up, and take one of these child-free flights that travel companies talk about – but don’t provide – to a resort catering to grown-ups only.

Oh, I well know the feeling! A child-free commute on my C2C train in term-time as well as half-term would be sheer heaven!

What is it about Britain and children? In most continental countries, children have a place, but it is not a political place, as it so often seems to be here. Nor is it one that treats childhood as the be-all and end-all of existence rather than less than a quarter of most people’s lives.

Spot on!

When did we start allowing children to be elevated above adults, to be cosseted and given the ‘rights’ to make demands we often wouldn’t entertain from other adults?

It seems to me it was the same time that the rot started setting in…

But in none of these countries is such a stark line drawn as there seems to be here between children as little angels (potential victims) and children as little devils (already despoiled). Nor is there anywhere that seems to suspect men of being more interested in children (in quite the wrong way) than in the opposite sex.

Oh, I don’t know. I think Australia (with its ludicrous Quantas ban) is fast approaching our levels, and as for the US, well, that’s a pretty hopeless cause…

I have little doubt that many other countries manage this better; that parents elsewhere have more time – if not more money – for their children, and that, in their early years at least, their children are more secure, less unruly and better attuned to their place in the predominantly adult world. The endurance of old-fashioned social codes may also mean that depravity is either less prevalent or less likely to be exposed. Those parents brought up in traditional families may also know, from their own childhoods, that parenting does not have to be perfect; good enough will mostly do.

It’s certainly true that other country’s children tend, on the whole, not to be the ghastly little brats that can always be found in the UK, and I’ve been struck many times, on travel to France and Belgium, by the manners they often display. Sadly, very much a rarity over here, even in the better areas.

The Coalition may be surprised at the popularity of its plans to reduce child-related benefits. Some even think them too tame. But it should not be. Somehow a healthy consensus has survived that, while children are an essential – and, at best, a delightful – part of life, their rights have been progressively elevated over parental responsibilities. For all the hue and cry over deviant stars, it is established that most abuse is committed by someone known to the child. It could even be said that it was a misplaced desire to make children’s dreams come true that gave Savile his chance. The most productive outcome of the latest witch-hunt would be a counter-reaction that put childhood back in its proper place.

Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!

Tags: , , , , ,

8 Responses to It’s Not Often I Agree With Mary Dejevsky….

  1. November 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

    ‘It could even be said that it was a misplaced desire to make children’s dreams come true that gave Savile his chance.’

    Well spotted – hits the nail right on the head!

    • November 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      Indeed! Even scarier, I though Peter Wilby’s column in CiF today on the #paedogeddon brouhaha was excellent.

      I mean….Peter Wilby of all people!

  2. Twenty_Rothmans
    November 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Oh, I don’t know. I think Australia (with its ludicrous Quantas ban) is fast approaching our levels,
    Naughty Julia! Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service!
    You can always ask an Australian how to pronounce ‘Towcester’ as revenge.

    BA has been doing this for years: link to en.wikipedia.org
    My reaction would simply be “Why must that boy be moved – do I look like a poofter?”

    Unruly children are not confined to the UK, or even to the Dominions as well. German children are a nightmare.

    Get yourself some Japanese or Thai children (well, not literally ;-) ) if you want to see well-behaved.

    • November 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Whoops! Maybe adding in that ‘u’ was why I couldn’t find the story at Angry Exile’s blog? I was sure he’d covered it… :oops:

  3. Tatty
    November 13, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Urgh. A gods-awfully written article slagging off children in so many seemingly disjointed twists and turns and all to lead to this conclusion (?):

    The most productive outcome of the latest witch-hunt would be a counter-reaction that put childhood back in its proper place.

    Stunning. Just… stunning.

    In fairplay, yes there are many reasons to look at how far (and why) children’s “rights” have tipped a balance…and she names a fair few that I’d agree are reasons to scale back…but to divert suspicion from the deviant behaviour of adults isn’t one of them.

    It’s certainly not the fault of children that the adult authorities fail so consistently and miserably to deal with such deviants in the first place.

    I do wonder what the hell she actually means by “a proper place” for childhood, anyway. A return to the days of “seen and not heard” is not the answer. Not least when it’s precisely because of that attitude we are in the mess we’re in today.

    Let’s not go round in circles. :|

    • November 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      I hope what she means by ‘a proper place for childhood’ is a recognition that adults have rights and responsibilities that may often impinge on the rights we’ve been forced to grant to children (who, of course, no longer have responsibilities).

      A withdrawal from the idea that children are ‘little Emperors’ who must be pandered to 24/7/365 and who should – by right – be consulted on everything would be no bad thing.

      • Tatty
        November 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

        I hope what she means by ‘a proper place for childhood’ is a recognition that adults have rights and responsibilities that may often impinge on the rights we’ve been forced to grant to children (who, of course, no longer have responsibilities).

        Then perhaps she should spell that out. As it is she comes across to me as someone who can’t stand todays children and the (alleged) victims of the past now splashed all over the media somehow deserved or asked for it. There’s a nasty implication in her final statement that it’s an inevitable consequence of indulging children that they will be abused. If she believes this to be true then look to the adults for their failures and not the children concerned.

        Choices were made FOR them, back then and not necessarily BY them and …despite all apparent appearances to the contrary …it really is still that way today.

        A withdrawal from the idea that children are ‘little Emperors’ who must be pandered to 24/7/365 and who should – by right – be consulted on everything would be no bad thing.

        Agreed…in so far as adults should stop using children as human shields for their own social engineering projects. They only appeal to a minority anyway and there’s more than enough children out there who don’t want and can’t handle the responsibility that some rights give them.

        I don’t necessarily disagree with you on certain points Julia but the sweeping generalisation of this woman’s article gets right up my nose and her conclusion is abhorrent.

United Kingdom Time

Subscribe

Email us at contact orphans of liberty [all one word] at gmail dot com

Authors

For more about these renegades, click on the name to go to a short profile:

AK Haart
Churchmouse
James Higham
JuliaM
The Quiet Man

Orphans logo


Feel free to take this for your sidebar.