In my lifetime, the attitude of society and government to the care of children has radically changed. Children were once just that, they went to school, they played, they had fun, they had loving parents who cared for them, and they interacted, often cheekily, with people of all ages.
The thin end of the wedge was probably the start of it often being unacceptable for another adult to look at someone else’s child, to smile at them, to talk to them even or, horror of horrors, offer them a sweet. Looks of suspicion would shoot at the adult engaging with the child, and one could feel the “he’s a paedophile pervert” suspicion almost radiating from other people. It would not surprise me if there have been cases of the Police being called for innocent glances or exchanges such as this.
Then there is the way that children appear to grow up earlier, or rather engage in adult activity at an earlier age. This may be as relatively innocent as a ten-year old girl applying some of mum’s make-up, but it can extend right into the realms of under-age sexual activity, sometimes driven by the sexual desires of the post-pubescent child, rather than the member of the opposite sex they are targeting.
The change in the way society relates to children is changing in ever more scary ways, too. There is the way that social workers will swoop, with the aid of police, to take children into care on very flimsy evidence, like that of the UKIP-member couple in Rotherham with an East European foster child. Then we get the opposite, also featuring Rotherham as the location, with 1400 sexually abused children, where cases are quietly swept under the carpet, with the connivance of both social services and the police.
The state also appears to have desires to control our children more and more. With more mothers being driven back to work, many children are now cared for during the working day either by carers or pre-schools. And here, there is a politically correct agenda to start “indoctrinating” them in all sorts of political causes, such as the “benefits” of multiculturalism and the “evil” of man-made global warming.
This week, we have an even more worrying case. Two very responsible, informed and concerned parents, the Kings, did not agree with the treatment that a hospital was planning to give in treating the brain tumour of their son, Ashya. They had been arguing for an alternative (but expensive) treatment that the NHS sometimes funds, but the consultant would not hear of it. For fear that the known side-effects of the NHS treatment would affect their son adversely, they removed their son from hospital, with the requisite support equipment, to go to Europe to find a private provider of their preferred treatment.
And now they are treated as criminals. They have probably not broken any laws, but still the Hampshire Police applied for an extremely blunt instrument, a European Arrest Warrant, in order to arrest an innocent couple whose “crime” was caring for their son. They have been detained behind bars and were taken to court in handcuffs, and, if they refuse to be extradited back to UK are at risk of being detained in jail for months while the Spanish legal system grinds into action. Meanwhile, they are forbidden from seeing their son in a Spanish hospital, albeit their eldest son has finally been granted permission to see the young, and no doubt distraught, boy.
The country has gone mad. The state must back off from wanting to control our children, except in the most extreme cases of abuse, where sadly they also fail badly in the current regime. We must restore parental responsibility for children. We must make the state the servants of those parents when they express their opinions on the health, education, safety and welfare of their children. Nanny state has proven herself to be extremely fallible.