Find me online!

twittergoogle plusemail

March 2, 2010

Trying to be a parent in the UK - Let the government do it!

I am seriously beginning to wonder what's going on in the UK.  Can any of my readers from there enlighten me?  Stories like the one about British Airways not allowing male passengers to sit next to children who are not with their parents, or allowing parents to be on the playground with their kids unless they've had a thorough background check to make sure they're not pedophiles, all seem to be the coming of Big Brother, but "for the kids' sake!"  We worry about that kind of thing over here in North America, but the UK seems to be well along that road already.

Two more stories have been brought to my attention, each more outrageous than the last.

First, let's stay on the pedophile kick for a moment.

You're a dad, and you've taken your son to the store/amusement park/mall/whatever.  You see one of those coin-operated little horses that go back and forth, giving the kid the thrill of a lifetime.  That's so cute!  I'll bet little Ricky would love to be on that thing.  Awww, look.  He's even cuter with his little plaid coat on!  You just have to take a picture of this for your wife to see.  You get out the camera, take the picture, and then collect little Ricky and go.

But wait!  A cop stops you and demands that you hand over your phone.  Why would he possibly do that?  You haven't done anything wrong!

In some areas of the UK, you actually have.  You see, they don't allow you to take pictures of children in places like this, even your own, in case you are a pedophile.  That's what Kevin Geraghty-Shewan discovered when his 4-year-old boy saw a train ride he just had to try.

"A father was stopped from taking a photo of his son on a children's train ride after an over-zealous security guard accused him of being a paedophile.

Kevin Geraghty-Shewan, 48, was approached by the guard after he took the picture of his four-year-old son Ben on the toy engine outside a shop.

He was then threatened with arrest after refusing to hand his mobile phone containing the picture after a row with a policeman."

Every time I think stories like this can't get more amazing, the UK proves me wrong.  When Mr. Geraghty-Shewan said that the kid was his, the cop said that he couldn't prove it.  What the hell is going on?

Are we raising our children to be Bubble Boys?  Keeping them so protected that they can't actually live? I know there are dangers out there, but sometimes we go so far overboard in protecting from these dangers that I can only imagine what the children will be like when they grow up.

The second story isn't about protection from pedophiles, which in a way makes this an even worse intrusion on parents' right to decide how to raise their children.

Evidently, in the UK they have something called the "National Child Measurement Programme", where kids are examined to see if they meet the BMI standards for weight.  When 5-year-old Lucy Davies was examined, they found something they considered wrong.  So they wrote a note to the parents:

"Sports mad, always full of energy and certainly not fat, five-year-old Lucy Davies' parents had no concern about her health.

But when she was examined at school as part of a Government initiative to turn the rising tide of obesity, they were shocked to be told that she was 'overweight and unhealthy.'

They said Lucy may have an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer as her body mass index (BMI) was outside recommended guidelines by just one per cent."

Again, I understand that childhood obesity can be an issue, but again, they're going way too far.  Healthy and active children can still be slightly overweight when going strictly by statistics.  It's something they grow out of as they mature.  Kids at this age shouldn't even be thinking of body image to begin with.  Let them be kids!  Obviously, there are clear examples of kids who do need to lose weight, those kids whose parents allow them to eat nothing but pizza, chocolate bars, potato chips and stuff like that.  But an active 5-year-old who doesn't have those problems is at risk of cancer because she's one percentile off of the BMI index?  This is insane!

And that's not even going into the main issue of why this pisses me off so much.  The government has no business doing this in the first place.  Campaigns to raise awareness of obesity in kids?  Getting the word out encouraging parents to keep their kids healthy?  Those can all be good things.

Measuring kids and then writing stern letters to the parents when the kids don't measure up to some perfect ideal?  That's not ok.

"She said the letter illustrated how far the 'nanny state' had intruded into the private lives of families.

Mrs Davies, who is married to 41-year-old financial advisor Tony, said: 'What business is it of theirs? They seem to want us all to be round pegs to fit into round holes.

'If it wasn't all so official, and a nurse who knew the children could ring up the parents for a chat, then it might do more good. But this is a horrible scare tactic.'"

Soon, parents won't even need to bother raising their kids.  They'll be able to hand them over to the government because, as we all know, government knows best.  The UK government apparently thinks so (as shown here, here, and here).

Many thanks to the incomparable Mark Steyn, for pointing these stories out while also talking about  a hardware store in California that is no longer allowed to serve free coffee and doughnuts to its early-morning customers because they don't have a government permit.

Oh no, it's creeping over here!!!!!


  1. Just doesn't make sense at all does it!

  2. No, it certainly doesn't. And they keep coming up with more!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.