Thursday, 13 March 2008

Every Child Matters

So the Government tells us. They want to make sure every child is safe when they go on the internet - that they can't get access to pornography etc. That they get the best educational start in life etc. etc. Surely this should have been a priority years ago - the internet is only a "final straw" nowadays. Pornography abounds in our society - All you have to do is take your child shopping down any high street in any town in the UK and your child will be exposed to some titillating imagery selling anything from cars to knickers. We moved from a fairly large city where indecent imagery was commonplace, to a small country town where we thought we'd be safe from such things to a certain extent - but right next to the one tiny toyshop in our town, was a "lingerie" shop, which had a full window display of "sexy" undies, just the thing you want the children to walk past on the way to the toy shop! Well, we didn't often go to the toy shop, and we prayed that the other one would close down, and after a few months - the good Lord answered our prayers, and it is now gone. But I still have to make my eyes form an advance guard as we walk past the newsagents, or video shop. And then there's, which petrol pump to park the car at, as you don't want your child to be able to see the front pages of the newspapers set out for everyone's delectation - yes, it's adult material, but it's being displayed for all. And again in the supermarket, the newspaper stands will be displaying Betty Boobs, or Brenda Buttocks, right at child's eye level. So you try and whisk past them and on in to get the fruit and veg, but as you are waiting in the queue at the checkout, you then have to contend with the special selection of magazines that are such essential reading for the British public these days, and of course, because every child matters, and the government has been doing its job on getting our 4 & 5 year olds to read, our little ones will be able to read the lurid headlines too, let me give you some examples from "Chat" magazine -
"Mr Perfect, then he hammered my skull"
"My Poor Babies, Slaughtered while they Slept"
"I Had this Beautiful Baby, for my Best Mate" all accompanied by glossy photos.
Or maybe "Now" magazine, where the stars can show off their bodies, with accompanying headlines to reveal so and so's "Secret Boob Job" .... well, you get the gist.
Is there any reason why these are displayed at the end of the conveyor belt, below the sweeties? just to enhance our children's reading skills perhaps?
I have a friend who is an Educational Psychologist. We go back a long way together, but she does not share my Faith - or any faith for that matter. She tells me that there is plenty of evidence to show that the children who do best in school are those who have been looked after in the first three (or more) years of their lives by... can you guess ... their Mums, not those who get shoved into nurseries at an early age. Of course, there are cases of disfunctional parenting, but for your average child from a stable two parent relationship, it actually does the child good to be with its Mummy. The Government has been presented with this information, but it chooses to ignore it. That must be why, when I received my child benefit information the other day, a jolly little leaflet had been inserted into the envelope, giving me some government information... they are definitely trying to tell me something... mmmm...there are lots of little toddlers saying things like:-
"Mum goes to the office, I go to Karate, Aiiiiii-ya!"
"Mum goes to work, I go to afterschool club, Rat-a-tat-tat!"
"My Mum goes to work, I do art at pre-school, splat!"
Oh, I've got it now, we stay at home mums are a waste of space - every child matters to the Government, they need them under control so that mums can get out to work.

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