Children need to learn early on in life that they need to toe the line and what happens if they don't. Children always push the boundaries of behaviour until some adult stops them. But this is where the trouble in society all starts. How often have you seen (or more correctly heard) a child screaming its head off in the supermarket because it wants some sweets? A short, sharp slap was all that was needed the first time they did this and refused to stop when asked. Lesson learnt - path for future good behaviour established. Unfortunately the parent has probably been intimidated by some PC idiot into thinking she shouldn't hit her child. So what does she do - she buys the sweets and the child learns that it can get what it wants by screaming and being disobedient. Lesson learnt - path for future bad behaviour established! (A friend of mine was approached by some do-gooders when he smacked his child in a supermarket for doing just this - he quite correctly dismissed them with a flea in their ears!)

When this child gets to school - bad behaviour now deeply entrenched - it finds it can disrupt the class and stop others learning and of course the school can do little about it. Caning has gone - there is no bottom line (no pun intended). The child learns again that society can do nothing to stop him - he is supreme.

Of course, a few sensible parents still chastise their offspring in the time honoured manner. They remember how it kept them in line when they were children. These children go to school and behave. They try to learn as best they can in the noisy and disruptive atmosphere that prevails. But hang on - the Government has now made smacking illegal (if it reddens the skin) so I can only presume they are going all out for 100% anarchy in the classroom. The consequences for society will now be dire. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that. How on one hand can parents be prosecuted for not making sure their child attends school when on the other hand the government is taking away any means of them achieving this. It's a bit like prosecuting motorists for being involved in road accidents when the government has made it illegal for cars to have brakes and steering wheels!

Of course, as with all PC legislation it will just make the situation worse. Those that abuse their children will take no notice and carry on but it will divert a lot of social services resources away from helping those children who are really in need into investigating 'criminal' parents who are trying to bring their children up with some respect for society. Children will be questioned at school by an army of snoopers as happens in Sweden. More jobs for the PC boys! How long before we see the adverts appearing in the Grauniad - Wanted - Smacking Outreach Worker £40,000 p.a.

At least some common sense was injected into this situation in early 2008 from the unlikely source of the Sentencing Guidelines Council, which sets down rules for magistrates and judges. Regular readers will recognise that the above body is usually at the forefront of PC in its advice. However, in a rare burst of common sense, it called for leniency in sentencing parents who are brought to court for smacking their children - a sea change in attitudes from just four years ago, when the right to a defence of ''reasonable chastisement" was removed under the Children Act.

Another serious problem for children is that they are not now allowed to grow up in a normal manner and experience risk and learn to handle it. A study has revealed that youngsters are not allowed to roam free and are instead confined to ‘safe’ places such as specific parks and roads. As a result, the size of the area in which children are allowed to play in has shrunk dramatically since the 1940s, according to the study by Lancaster University. Researchers interviewed 156 adults and children who were aged 10 or 11 in four categories – the 1940s, 1960s, 1980s and the present day – in North-West England. They found that in the 1940s, children roamed freely over a wide area but 21st century youngsters are much more strictly controlled. Few of the children interviewed had the opportunity to learn to deal with ‘risk’ compared to earlier generations. One member of the 1940s group, Derek described how he would jump on to logs in a local canal as a ten-year-old despite knowing the danger. Another, Pamela, admitted that she walked across a large water pipe despite not being able to swim just to be allowed to join a boys’ gang. Colin Pooley, project leader and professor of social and historical geography at Lancaster University, said: ‘In the 1940s children did things which they believed to be risky – playing in potentially dangerous areas or contact with strangers. ‘They had handled these things often without telling their parents because it wasn't something that was seen as important.‘

Talking to children today, relatively few were able to give us examples of things they had encountered but they all believed there was something dangerous out there. Even something as every day as learning to deal with traffic doesn't happen anymore as so many parents insist on driving their children to school as they say the traffic is so bad. Ironically, most of the traffic the children have to avoid is parents taking children to school. Look how empty the roads are during half term.

And would you believe it - in February 2004, Education bosses in Manchester are to try to bribe children to turn up to school by offering them cash prizes! I would print the whole story but I find it far too depressing to do, so if you want to read the whole shameful affair then click the link here.

The good people of Manchester don't think much of it either - if you want to read their comments on the matter click this link - Comments What does this teach our children about life? That they can blackmail their way through it? How do the hard working children in the same class feel about it? They must be wondering why they bothered! What a sick (or politically correct) society we live in!

I thought that the above incident in Manchester was a one off but apparently it is quite common and still going on in August 2007. Anne Widecombe MP made a TV series in which she confronted dole scroungers and truants. She found that bribery was one method still used to get children to attend school. She also found that as I predicted, parents were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea in trying to get their children to attend school if they didn't want to. On one hand, if they the child doesn't attend school then the parent(s?) face jail. On the other hand, the only way to ensure they do is by using physical force and then of course, they face jail. Catch 69? You can watch the program by clicking here.

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