It’s strange how the BBC can take almost any issue and use it to advance the notion that whatever the problem the answer is always more Nanny Statism. Take the story of the 63 stone Welsh teenager, Georgia Davis,  who was “allowed” to become so large that she needed to be cut free from her house after collapsing with breathing problems. The BBC had Sunday Times columnist Minette Marrin and Enver Solomon, policy director at Children’s Society, on Today to discuss this issue earlier today.

Leaving aside the curiosity of someone getting to the 63 stone scale tipping point in a society which is allegedly characterised by people starving to death due to the wicked cuts at no point in the discussion is the catastrophic failure in modern parenting discussed.  Once upon a time, parents were rightly held responsible for what their children ate but in this case Marrin was arguing for an even more intrusive State  whereas Solomon demonstrated a lamentable lack of wisdom. The real crisis behind this story is the collapse of the family and the rise of the irresponsible parent – both encouraged by the liberal intelligentsia and their pals in the media, the BBC in particular.


No, I’m not talking about one of pouting and posing Rihanna’s hits but rather this curious tale the BBC has put out this morning that some children are going to nursery school without knowing what their name is. I admit this does seem bizarre and I accept Frank Field brought the topic up in the first place but the item they ran does suggest that this actually is the case. So far, so good. The BBC were quick off the mark to get the Headmaster of the school concerned to explain that these kids who do not recognise their own name are “white” children – whatever that is meant to suggest. A pre-emptive strike lest any of us bring up the impact of immigration, I wonder?

Jean Gross, the government’s communication champion for children, agreed that anecdotally “we do have a problem” and teachers were increasingly concerned that it was “getting worse”. She told Sarah Montague that hidden speech difficulties were sometimes to blame, but other times children were not getting “wide, rich dialogue” from their families, partly because parents “don’t know how” to talk to their young ones.

Hang on. HOW have we arrived at the point where some parents do not know how to talk to their children to the degree that the kids cannot even recognise their name? Has the breakdown of the traditional family unit – cheered on by the anything goes BBC – had any impact on this? I suspect that there is a lot more to this story than the BBC seeks to portray and wonder what your views might be?


Bit of a double whammy on how we Brits treat our kids today, care of the State Broadcaster. First we have the Rudd ritual apologies concerning the alleged “institutionalised” abuse that went on in Australia before many of us were even born. With Brown also poised to apologise for a programme that commenced before he was born and which he could have done nothing about, this is a good old liberal tear sandwich to start the day. Then, the BBC also runs an item claiming that Britain is the most punitive nation in Europe and that its child protection services are “not fit for purpose”. We’re all so bad, aren’t we? Nice way to start the week…


There was a rather surreal debate on the BBC this morning on the issue of parenting. I suggest to you that the BBC is antagonistic to the essential idea that a traditional family unit provides the optimum environment in which to bring up children which is one reason why it shills for “gay marriage” and other such bizarre inventions. So in this discussion at 7.50am, we have a really strange debate on parenting which has a lady, Camila Batmanghelidjh of charity Kids Company, who seems to believe that the State can be an effective substitute for parents. Richard Reeves from Demos suggests that those on a low income struggle “to parent well” and thus need government “help.” So much jargon employed, so little common sense.


BBC running the line that Single Mums are just fine and dandy and broken families just don’t matter. They use a specious OECD report to imply that there is no evidence to suggest that children brought up in a traditional family are any better off than those brought up by a single mother. I am sure that there are some single Mums who do a great job in bringing up their kids but the political left, and the BBC, know that the traditional family unit is the best defence against the all powerful State – and that is why they never miss the chance to try and undermine it.


The traditional family unit remains the very best bastion against the growth of the State. One of the devastating consequences of decades of marriage breakdown here in the UK has been the resultant weakening of the family unit – so allowing Nanny State to enter our lives, interfere and contort things. I rather think the BBC appr0ves of this so that may go some way to explaining why a programme examining the connection between broken Britain and the sustained weakening of the family unit is buried away in a late night slot – having already been postponed during the local Council/European elections. To the Statist Beeb, Mum and Dad are optional extras. To any sane person, they are the essential bulwarks against the State. Tune in to BBC2 tonight at the 11.20pm to hear the connections the BBC would rather you didn’t! It’s a crucial topic and one that the multiculti moral relativists shy clear off lest we be judgemental. But without a strong family unit, the State just grows more powerful, more intrusive and it is a scandal that a topic of this importance is tucked away at a time when few will view it.

Burial of Respect

Melanie Phillips has an article about the Tories’ new policy on marriage and the family. Towards the end she writes:

“A two-part programme for the BBC by the respected journalist John Ware about ‘The Death Of Respect’, which identifies family breakdown as an important reason for the rise of aggression, incivility and crime, has been moved by channel controllers from a prime 9pm slot to the ‘graveyard’ 11.20pm time because it is considered to be ‘too dark’.”

I couldn’t find any more about this cowardly decision by the ‘channel controllers,’ but if this is true it’s pathetic.
I did find:

“What a pity, therefore, that the BBC have chosen to schedule this show in a graveyard slot instead of putting it on earlier opposite Big Brother, for instance.”

Moral Panic

(started this morning – I see David has put in a post, but as this story was still the main lead on Five Live news this evening …)

Of all the lobbyists, “campaigners” and special interest groups in the UK, two get a particularly ready and uncritical hearing from the BBC.

One is the anti-prison lobby – the Howard League and NACRO can always get a Today interview and news coverage – the other the “children’s charities”, today mostly run by unreconstructed 60s and 70s liberals (and also the recipients of massive taxpayer funding – £119 million last year for Barnardo’s – more than half their income. Tax-funded Barnardo campaigns are amplified by the tax-funded BBC. Do we see a pattern here ?).

Barnardo’s, an organisation that in today’s incarnation would make the good doctor turn in his grave, have a new political campaign about to kick off. Hey, man – the kids are cool. Stop dissing them !

And it’s been all over the BBC all day, alomg with no less than four news online items, at least one of which is a work of fiction straight from Barnardo’s campaign. But it’s this one, by social affairs editor Kim Catcheside (following in the footsteps of her predecessors Polly Toynbee and Rita Chakrabarti) which strikes me :


“The manners of children are deteriorating… the child of today is coarser more vulgar… than his parents were.”

A leader from the Daily Mail in 2008?

No, that was CG Heathcote, the stipendiary magistrate for Brighton in 1898, giving evidence to an inquiry on juvenile delinquency.

CG Heathcote is quoted by the criminologist Geoffrey Pearson, the author of the influential book, Hooligan.

Hmm. Daily Mail, eh ? No “twitching net curtains“, Kim ?

By an unbelieveable coincidence, that same quote is used in today’s Guardian by … the criminologist Geoffrey Pearson.

Catcheside’s piece is a textbook example of what I call the liberal “Myth of the Myth of the Golden Age“. But she’s right that the Pearson book is influential, although it was restating the themes of an earlier and equally influental work, Stanley Cohen’s 1973 “Folk Devils and Moral Panics”.

There’s a wonderful and inadvertant parallel with Pearson’s book in Catcheside’s piece.

Campaigners for the rights of children blame the media for whipping up hostility to children. According to the chief executive of Barnardo’s, Martin Narey, the British public overestimates the amount of crime committed by young people. “The real crime is that this sort of talk and attitude does nothing to help those young people who are difficult, unruly or badly behaved,” he says.

But the statistics show that while negative attitudes to children may be exaggerated, they are based on fact. In England and Wales, children aged 10 to 17 are far more likely to be arrested than adults. The most recent figures show that they account for a quarter of all arrests. Children and young people under 21 account for two thirds of arrests.


So the message is that “the British public overestimates the amount of crime committed by young people“. And the actuality is that two-thirds of arrests are of people under 21 ! While there might not be a 1-1 correlation between being arrested and being a criminal, this isn’t good supporting evidence for Mr Narey’s claims.

Just so with the Pearson book, which has been pretty comprehensively demolished by the sociologist Norman Dennis in his book “Cultures and Crimes” (Chapter 4, pdf)

Pearson argues in his 1983 book that the Edwardian and interwar periods were as violent as or more violent than the late twentieth century. Yet the statistics show that there were only 122 felonious woundings and other acts endangering life in 1927. (Between 1900 and 1927 the national figure for felonious woundings and other acts endangering life had more than halved.) Between 1969 and 1978, the period immediately preceding Pearson’s research for his book, the figure rose by 1,800, i.e. by seven times the total for 1900, and by 15 times the total for 1927.

Or (there’s lots more) :

The case of street robbery is particularly important for his thesis, he says, ‘because this is commonly the most sensitive area for registering public concern about crime and violence’. There is ‘ample evidence’, he writes, of ‘sharp increases in crimes of this nature’ in the interwar period. The ‘ample evidence’ he adduces is an increase of 90 per cent in the number of ‘bag snatches’ in London between 1925 and 1929. The fact that there was ‘an insubstantial public reaction’ to these figures at the time shows that substantial public reactions at the end of the twentieth century to much the same thing reflected merely a higher propensity in the later period for respectable people to panic about their personal safety and the security of their property.The rise was 90 per cent. Pearson does not say what the actual numbers were in the source to which he explicitly refers. The numbers were an increase from 66 bag snatches in the whole of London in 1925 to 127 in 1929. No numbers could show more decisively that London in the 1920s was a low-crime city compared with London today. In the whole of the ‘high’ year of 1929 there were 127 snatches. In the first half of 2003 the average number of snatches each month was 1,678.

Pearson’s most famous work is a mixure of omission, anecdote, selection and exaggeration hung on one observable fact – that throughout history people have tended to idealise the past. Yet it was, and is, influential – because people wanted to believe it. Kim Catcheside’s one of them. And by the way, Kim, if Barnardo’s are “campaigners for the rights of children“, whose rights are NACRO and the Howard League campaigning for ? It would be nice to hear you say it straight out.


It’s so touching, isn’t it? I refer to this article on the BBC portal concerning the news that GOP star Sarah Palin’s family is human after all and that her 17 year old daughter is ..gasp horror…pregnant. B-BBC favourite Justin Webb weighs in pointing out that this news “may” not hurt her politically although this is immediately followed by the suggestion that there may be other skeletons in the Palin closet. But here’s the thing; why does the BBC not compare the Palins reaction to the news that their daughter is pregnant (They call the pregnancy a blessing) with what Obama thinks such a pregnancy would mean to him (He calls such a pregnancy a punishment). Here is the link. Surely THAT is a story? Also, when we are at it, where is the BBC when it comes to the news reported elsewhere that Dem V-P nominee Joe Biden reckons Israel better get used to a nuclear Iran? It seems to me that the BBC is so preoccupied with its own toxic narrative (The US must elect a black democrat to the White House) that many more interesting stories get dropped. On purpose.


I see the BBC uncritically reports the suggestion from the health Nazi’s in local government that they be granted the power to take overweight children from their parental homes – if deemed necessary. This outrageous power grab, this further intrusion by the State into the sanctity of the family unit, is a disgrace and yet you will do well to find any BBC reported objections to it. One of the areas where the BBC and the Government have blissful agreement is that they know what is best for us and the ever increasing size of the State is the means of delivering it. First they came for the smokers, then they came for the obese…