03 November, 2006

IPPR report on teenagers' bad behaviour

The Institute for Public Policy Research has produced a report, to be published next Monday, which argues that parents who leave children to their own devices are responsible for producing the most delinquent teenagers in Europe.

The press are already having a field day: the Daily Telegraph has a fairly straightforward report; the Guardian, which ran the story yesterday, lets loose Polly Toynbee; and the Times links the IPPR report with the latest hoodie-hugging plea from David Cameron. This time Cameron has called for a "tough love" approach to the problem, which has been dubbed "love a lout" by one Labour wit.

We will have to wait to see the detail but it seems from the initial reports that the IPPR is up to the old trick of taking a widely accepted common view - parents leaving their children unsupervised causes disciplinary problems - and using statistical evidence to generalise a localised problem - "bad" behaviour by some young people - into a national crisis.

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