Wednesday, 31 October 2007
I'm baffled every year at the casual attitude towards what is quite simply an explosive. Those who peddle illegal fireworks should suffer the same punishment as iff they were peddling illegal weapons. As for the rest, if individuals really want to buy fireworks (and let's face it in terms of value for money any public display is going to be much better) then they should have to buy a license. £20 should cover it plus two forms of i.d. This will act as a disincentive to those who might be buying them for reasons outside of pleasing entertainment. It also means that sales can be tracked. Personally I would be happy to see fireworks banned from sale to all but organised events (which would also need to apply for a license).
Thursday, 25 October 2007
The Government once again turned down the opportunity to completely outlaw smacking of children claiming that it was okay as long as it didn't cause harm. Smacking involves hitting a child. The claim being that unlike adults who can be reasoned with, children require the threat (which sometimes has to be carried out) of physical punishment in order to ensure that they comply with a parental request. Firstly, it is perfectly possible to bring up children to be responsible and well-behaved without ever having to resort to physical punishment (it does however, require a degree of thought and effort). Secondly, if many parents still believe that it is okay to enforce behaviour in this way then why is this option not extended to teachers and other authority figures? If it is okay to smack children, but not adults, at what age does this distinction occur? In law, affray can be caused by motion towards, a smack on another adult would at the least be considered assault. It is never right to smack a child and all it does is teaches the child that bigger people can force smaller people to do what they want by force (don't be surprised then when older siblings smack younger ones, they are, after all, only following your example). Violence leads to violence and a civilised society should find it abhorent in all its forms.
Thursday, 11 October 2007
So says the paper this morning with figures released by the Howard League for Penal Reform. We should all be ashamed. That we live in a society where parents are allowed to abdicate responsibility for the moral upbringing of their children. That 'low level' crime is considered part of growing up. That schools are unable to enforce discipline and are not supported by parents or Government. That respect seems to be a dirty word and the call for equality means ignoring authority. If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Everybody has a responsibility to address this situation and those that don't or won't need to be re-educated or marginalised.