Tuesday 8 February 2011

Parents Ask Government To Hold Their Hand

BBW has highlighted the case of a mother who has been suspended from her job for leaving her 14 year old and 3 year old sons home alone for 30 minutes while she popped down to the shops. There's no law against it, but the caution she received from police now appears on her CRB disclosure hence the suspension.

Infuriating, yes, but not as maddening as this in the Express article.

PARENTS last night said there needed to be clearer guidelines over leaving children.
Err, why? Are parents so piss poor nowadays that they aren't able to work out for themselves if a child is mature enough to be left alone in their own home? Such an understanding of one's kids' personae is one of the most important aspects of parenting, for crying out loud!

[Charity officer Janet Cropper, 49, from Windermere, Cumbria, said] "I believe people need firmer guidelines."
Janet, dear, if you require government to instruct you, perhaps you shouldn't have become a parent in the first place.

[Mother-of-three Vivienne Smith, 60, from Sale, near Manchester, said] “I think it boils down to the age of the children and the teenager’s intelligence and maturity.”
And who knows the teenager's intelligence and maturity better than anyone else? Yes. The parents. Certainly NOT the bloody government!

It's called self-determination. How difficult can that be to understand?

Obviously some just don't get it and cannot function without instruction, so here's a bit of Puddlecote logic on the subject. The NSPCC state that "no child under 14 should be left home alone and no child under 16 should care for someone younger than themselves", but considering they could find danger in a pile of marshmallows, one can safely knock at least 2 or 3 years off each of those ages.

This would seem to be confirmed by the fact that TfL Oyster Cards are issued for kids aged 11+, presumably because that is the general age when kids are able to use public transport on their own. And if they can handle crossing roads and not tripping over pavements at 11, they are sure as shit able to sit on the couch, watch TV, and not open the front door while Mum gets a few groceries.

Here we are constantly being told that kids are growing up too fast these days, yet they're paradoxically also not mature enough to do things that came naturally to our generation at the same age. It can't be both, can it?

Good grief.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't it just make you want to scream "FUCK OFF!!" into these busybodies' faces?

JuliaM said...

Yes. Repeatedly.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Yes, Henry, very much so
. In fact, I also shouted it when reading Janet's plea for government help. Sheesh. :(

Bucko said...

Thats a big bloody problem of modern Britain.

When an adult is told off by Nanny, their first reaction is to claim its not their fault because the guidelines are unclear ect, then demand more nannying.

What they should be doing is telling the state to fuck right off.

You can only get a caution by accepting a caution.
Folk should see the bastards in court rather than bending over.

Ashtrayhead said...

This reminds me of a case from a couple of years ago when a certain two parents received government help after they left their 3 children (aged 3yrs and under) alone for a few nights when they went out on the piss on holiday, and even though they only came home with 2 children they have still escaped prosecution.

Anthony said...

Playing devil's advocate here...

In the first case you highlight, it would appear the woman knew her own children better than the state did and left the care of the 3 year old in the hands of the 14 year old. No death or injury ensued.

However, she still gets a caution.

When I was a kid I was walking to school alone from about age 8. That would now be unacceptable, it appears. So what is acceptable? Right now I have absolutly no idea what "the law" is in this regard. This does not mean I want more nannying - just some clarification as to just how wet and pathetic the nation has become.

Cazzy Jones said...

Thanks for the tip - my take on it is here.


Good analogy with walking to school - how long before it becomes an offence for parents not to add to the congestion of the school run, on pain of another legion of snoopers spying on a lone child's daily travel routine (arguably legalised paedophilia, but that's another story) before turning up mob handed to accuse the parents of neglect?

Angry Exile said...

Oh Jesus. I was getting a fucking train on my own to a town an hour away to go to fucking school when I was 11. And these fucktroons think a kid 3 years older than that can't cope looking after his 3 year old brother for 30 fucking minutes? What did they think would happen, that the pair of them would fucking disintegrate or something? Christ, my babysitter when I was younger was only 15 and she had two of us to mind - I've just checked and I am definitely not dead, so she couldn't have been that bad. And how the fuck can they caution the Mum for anything? Nothing happened and she broke no law. Sounds like they just made up a bullshit non-offence and went for a caution as a quick addition to the clear up points. Anyone know how long she was at the station for? Long enough to think, 'Fuck it, I'll accept anything to get out of here and get home with my kids before someone takes them into care' perhaps?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Anthony: I do understand your point, and if we had a state and its agents that we could trust, that would be fine and dandy. But we know from experience that 'guidelines' soon become rigid and enforceable in the eyes of the state. eg. Weekly alcohol units used to be guidelines, now government passes legislation on the back of it, UKBA issue guidelines for imports, but now confiscate and harass contraventions.

The only guidelines we should accept are ones in which the state tells parents that it is entirely up to them and that politicians have nothing to do with it. All IMHO, of course. :)

Anthony said...

Yup, entirely agree.

However, if the woman received her caution because she broke a law it begs the question "what law?"

What does it stipulate? Under 14's no longer allowed to babysit? Under 16's? Under 16 but only in the presence of Social Services? Over 16 but must be CRB peodo checked?

On the other hand, if the woman had only broke a "guideline" then the caution could and should be ripped apart by the nearest ambulance-chaser.

I think that is the point here - that our masters have introduced so much shite that we no longer have any idea whether we are breaking laws or not. And, as such, even some pointers would be helpful. We are not governed by common sense. We are governed by reaction to hysteria.

Bill Sticker said...

Henry, I'm right with you on this one.

Strikes me that it wouldn't do much good because the people who make such demands suffer from infantilism. Specifically they want Mummy and Daddy (a.k.a. 'The State') to run their and other people's lives.

Anonymous said...

I think the government (both past and present), need or want us all to be criminals!


Anonymous said...

Unnecessary Department of This and Department of That, each funded for the purpose of nannying.

Imagine the solvency of the first country who just defunded Department of This and Department of That - and threw it back onto the people to think for themselves and make free choices and decisions while government went back to the task of patching the roads and defending against invaders.

Why that would be horrible as it might revert the country back into a state of democracy, freedom and liberty - and horrors yet, people might actually be happy and find purpose in life, outside that dictated from the dictatorial government.

Oh no, mustn't have that.

DC said...

Where does the NSPCC advice come from - I checked their website a while back to see where I stood and what the advice was. Under 14's don't appear on this page on their site:


The pdf linked to on that page recommends that under-12s should only be left alone for 'a very short time' but doesn't indicate what they believe a very short time is.

Anonymous said...

" .... and no child under 16 should care for someone younger than themselves"

Interesting to see that the NSPCC (being mouthpieces for the Government, as so many large charidees are) specify a "child younger than themselves," thus neatly letting their masters off the hook for doing precisely nothing to alleviate the problems faced by children - often considerably younger than 16 - who are abandoned by the state and left as the only people available to look after disabled or chronically sick older people - their parents.

God, sometimes I despise these huge, rich, self-important charities almost as much as I despise politicians.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

I know a young woman, now in her middle twenties, who wanted to go shopping one day when she was NINE - she took a bus twelve miles to the nearest town that had a train station, then a train 17 miles (with one change on the way) and did her shopping - then the reverse trip in the evening. She was fine, and her parents were happy with it.

When I was nine I walked x-country one and a half miles to the nextvillage to sctach a bus 21/2 miles to get to school every day. I had to look after my 7-yr-old sister who made the same walk/bus ride.

At four I regularly babysat for various people in our village - real baby babies. Loved it - I got to stay up late and got half a crown each time. And I used to nick their fags while they were out.

Was it somehow wrong ? Was I abused? Can I now claim compo?

Anonymous said...

That is an interesting proposal, about demanding compensation for prior years' abuse. If the fake-charities and government agencies want to declare everything unsafe and everyone conform to endless nanny rules, then maybe it is high time people who actually survived all those years when the world was normal turn to the courts and sue the government for compensation for failure to respond sooner. One could use all the present day propaganda campaigns as evidence of the "truth" and demand payment based on their own propaganda, turned right back on them. Why have no solicitors figured this out yet.

Anonymous said...

Bucko wrote..

"You can only get a caution by accepting a caution.
Folk should see the bastards in court rather than bending over."

This, times a gazillion.

I believe in employment law you cannot sign away certain rights through contracts. Maybe it should be illegal to abdicate your own rights on this issue. Otherwise what was the point of Habeus Corpus in the first place.


Dick Puddlecote said...

Sir Henry: I do like that idea. Suing for prior negligence, good call

Woodsy42 said...

There is of course a different interpretation of the parent calling for clearer guidelines.
If someone is going to be cautioned, or maybe prosecuted, they need to know what the authorities expect, regardless of whether they are being a sheep or resent it and just want to know what law they are breaking.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Woodsy: Perhaps, but that lends creedence to to idea that the state can make it up as they go along and we have no choice but to succumb.

There is no law here, nor should there be, it should solely be up to parents concrning their own kids in their own private space. Nothing to see here for the state.

Anyone challenged on it should argue like stink.

nisakiman said...

Without wanting to get into a Pythonesque "When I was a lad we lived in a cardboard box in the central reservation...etc", following on from a couple of posts above, when I was 8 or 9 my trip to school involved a one mile walk to the train station, a half-hour train journey which sometimes, but not always involved changing trains en route, and then a 20 minute (public) bus journey followed by another 20 minute walk.

This was not considered remarkable then, in the late 50s. Many of my peers had similar journeys to school. My parents were highly respectable, solidly middle-class people, for whom the welfare of their children was paramount. These days they'd probably have social services round accusing them of child-abuse.

Just what is it with government agencies these days....?

And parents, come to that..

Clarissa said...

I was often left alone (at least once a week when my brother and I were in secondary school) and somehow managed to live to tell the tale.

I suppose if I were to say that we were even left alone asleep at home as very young children if my parents were at a neighbour's for a party (one or other popping back to check every 30mins or so) I suppose the likes of the NSPCC would spontaneously combust...

I blogged about a piece in the Telegraph about a week ago regarding three nurses who are suing as a result of being dismissed from their jobs by the ISA for similarly stupid 'offences'


Anonymous said...

There is a critical thing here that we are all skirting around but not quite saying it, and this is it:

It is not for us to ask, "What law am I breaking?", it is for the police or whoever to tell us what law we are breaking.

We used to be able to trust the police, but not any more.

Woodsy42 said...

Sorry, didn't mean it from the point of view of giving them creedence, just that if they make stuff up it's reasonable to ask then to define exactly what they have made up!

Angry Exile said...

"It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?"

James Madison, 1788