23 October, 2006

IPPR Report

The Institute for Public Policy Research is a left wing think tank which nobody takes any notice of. Yet many of today's papers, including the Guardian the Telegraph feature a report it has produced, claiming that "paedophobia" is somehow making childhood a worse experience for children and that British adults are afraid to intervene in cases of anti-social behaviour by young people.

The Institutes' director certainly knows his left-wing jargon:

The debate about childhood in Britain is polarised between false opposites: that either children or adults are to blame. It also ignores inequalities in the transition to adulthood. Many children are safer, healthier and better educated than in the past, whilst others suffer complex, traumatic routes through adolescence. Complex structural changes to our society, coupled with changes to how young people behave, have produced this situation.

"A rise in social paedophobia will simply make matters worse. In the past, local parents tended to look out for children in a community, deciding what behaviour was appropriate, how it should be dealt with and supporting each other in doing so. In closer knit communities, adults supervised their neighbours' children. These days, adults tend to turn a blind eye or cross over on the other side of the road rather than intervene in the discipline of another person’s child, often because they fear they might be attacked.”
In fact, for all its pseudo-academic complexity, the IPPR misses the simple point. It is the police that are afraid to tackle the yobs and when ordinary citizens do anything about the problem, the police inevitably emerge from the safety of their police stations only to protect the yobs under human rights legislation.


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