Chiiiildren

I’ve vaguely noticed over the past few days that there’s firstly been a furore over some schoolgirl who went to France with one of her teachers, and secondly another one along similar lines about the late Jimmy Saville.

I think I know what the problem is: it’s these darn chiiiiildren.

I’m seriously beginning to think that the distinction between adults and children should be erased, and that they should all simply count as ‘people’, with exactly the same rights and protections as all other people.

I must confess that I’ve never understood why the distinction is made. When I was a child I found it puzzling. I remember being told, at age 6, that I hadn’t yet reached ‘the age of reason’ (somehow mysteriously set at the magical age of seven). I was puzzled because I could add and subtract, and that seemed to be something to do with the ‘reason’ thing. Then there was ‘the age of consent’ business, which was equally mysterious, because I’d been not consenting from my earliest days. “Eat your food,” my mother would say. “No!” would be my regular reply. Equally, while I’d been told that people became sexually active when they were about 15, I found that I took a deep interest in women well before I was 10 years old.

And I was very glad when adults treated me as another adult rather than a child. On one sea journey across the Atlantic, I was introduced to one of the crew, who I was told had a peculiar affinity with children. I was sceptical until I met him, and he got talking, and I suddenly realised that he was talking to me as if I was an adult. He told me about his hope that he’d get married, and his job prospects, and experiences. He didn’t talk down to me at all. He treated me as an equal. And I spent hours and hours with him, and could well understand how other children did too.

The only justification for the distinction that I can see is that children are dependent upon adults. They can’t earn their own livings, because they’re not strong enough, or knowledgeable enough, or experienced enough to take on an adult role. But then, many so-called adults are no better.

Also, as dependants, they tend to get ordered around all over the place. For instance, as already mentioned, “Eat your food!” I’m not sure of the legal basis of this, but it would seem to go back to the Roman family, and the paterfamilias who had absolute command over everybody else in the family, and they had to do what he said. He even had power over their lives.

Anyway, if the distinction between children and adults was erased, there wouldn’t have been either of the two furores I’ve mentioned. No one would have said anything if a 15-year-old-girl went on holiday with a 30-year-old teacher. And no one would have said anything about an old man taking an interest in young girls (unless he raped them, in which case it would be exactly the same as if he raped an ‘adult’ woman).

What pushes me towards this view is not these two rather uninteresting cases in the news, but rather the fact that the chiiiildren are being used these days as a battering ram to remove rights from adults, and to convert them in their turn into chiiiildren as well. We are all being turned into dependent children who are supposed to do as they are told.

Which is more or less what drove me to remark yesterday that I was going to get a few children to start smoking as part of my #OCTABBER pro-smoking activity. And why not? If children are the equal of adults, then they are equally as deserving of tobacco as any adult. And, as far as I know, quite a few of them already smoke anyway.

There really ought to be a Children’s Lib, a bit along the lines of Women’s Lib, that sets out to achieve equality between adults and children. The idea that men and women are equals is as unremarkable now as it was once remarkable. So we ought to encourage exactly the same with children. They should be able to vote. They should be able to marry. They should be able to fight in armies. They should be able to get jobs. They should be able to drive cars and fly planes and captain ships. If they can demonstrate that they are able to do it, then they should be permitted – even encouraged – to do it.

As for schooling, they would be allowed to make their own choices, just like any adult. They could sign up for any class in any school, and attend for as little or as long as they wanted. I would imagine that, at the outset, children would not wish to attend school, but would rather do something else. But it would seem equally likely that, when they became aware of certain of their deficiencies – like not being able to read or write – they might of their own accord set out to rectify these deficiencies, and do so with a determination seldom displayed by modern children.

I suppose it would come as a bit of a shock if, on boarding a transatlantic flight, you heard the captain pipe up and say, “This your captain speaking. When I’ve finished my ice lolly, we’re going to take off.” But it was probably just as much a shock when it was a woman who announced herself as the captain. Or a black man. Or a Frenchman.

And when that day comes, there will be no more traction in campaigns that use “We’re doing it for the chiiildren” as their principal method. For what’s noxious about something like the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids is that there are no kids involved in it at all, but it’s something run by adults for their own corrupt adult goals. Most likely the ill-written logo wasn’t even created by a child, but by an adult posing as a child. On the Kick Butts Day facebook page, there are a number of young girls. They’ve probably all been abducted, and made to participate in the obscenity.

Roll on the day when they can make their own free choices, and not have them made for them.

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34 Responses to Chiiiildren

  1. waltc says:

    The thing about Tobacco-Free Kids is that it presumes to treat adults (if they smoke) like children.

  2. For a moment there, I could have been reading Jonathan Swift!

    As the sainted Hicks said: “I hate this fucking child-worship syndrome going on at the moment – ‘think of the children, what about the children, oh, the children’ – what, does someone reach a certain age and fall off your fucking love list? Fuck your children if that’s the way you feel, and fuck you with ‘em, you either love people in general or you shut the fuck up!” :)

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    My daddy always said kid you dont have any rights except the ones ”I GIVE YOU”!

    Dad always backed up those rights if they conflicted with somebody elses views.

    Ya it led to a few fist fights with a few neighbors, But Dad would say no once,thats all it ever took.

    If you know that limit a dad has to bullshit,your a smart kid.

    • Barry Homan says:

      I’d agree. There was a line you didn’t cross around my dad, and if you did, that belt came off fast. It did NOT happen very often though. Kids do need to taught about limits, with everything else.

  4. beobrigitte says:

    The problem with chiiiiiiiildren these days is that they are not allowed to be such. By now it seems that every activity is adult organized and adult supervised. There are no more “chiiildren” communities playing in the street, looking after the younger ones even though getting up to mischief at times.

    Anyway, if the distinction between children and adults was erased, there wouldn’t have been either of the two furores I’ve mentioned. No one would have said anything if a 15-year-old-girl went on holiday with a 30-year-old teacher. And no one would have said anything about an old man taking an interest in young girls (unless he raped them, in which case it would be exactly the same as if he raped an ‘adult’ woman).

    Erasing the distinction between children and adults is unfair on the children. Even though each child matures at his/her own rate, they are still too easily influenced and are open to agenda driven abuse as seen by the anti-smokers. For what’s noxious about something like the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids is that there are no kids involved in it at all, but it’s something run by adults for their own corrupt adult goals.
    Although being a parent I do NOT wish to encounter children EVERYWHERE. Most certainly not in the evening in pubs or the streets.. I was pretty rigid about bed times, my ADULT time was equally important.

    It was difficult to miss the teacher-pupil case; the BBC prattled on and on; always mentioning giving the girl’s family “privacy”……… But since no-one but the girl and the teacher knows exactly the ins and outs I will not be led into a judgmental view.

  5. margo says:

    I’m totally with you here, Frank. That teacher in the news is the latest victim of the arbitrary ‘age of consent’ rule: he’ll probably go to prison and she’ll have counselling. He’s transgressed the ‘teacher/pupil relationship’ – big mistake – but the crime he’ll be done for is ‘sex with a minor’.
    When my oldest was 5 she was making me cups of coffee (handy) but at school they thought her too young to change the flower-vase water. I had a friend at the time whose 6-year old could roll her cigarettes very nicely. Kids can do all sorts.
    The chiildren/adults distinction is totally artificial – little people were working 12-hour shifts in the mines not that long ago and wearing cut-down ‘big people’ clothes. The magic age when you’re supposed to ‘grow up’ is variable – depends on where and when you live. It’s all a complete myth.

    • Frank Davis says:

      little people were working 12-hour shifts in the mines not that long ago

      And climbing up chimneys, because they were the only ones who could get up them.

      • margo says:

        Precisely. We ‘think of the chiiiiildren’ – when it suits us.

      • beobrigitte says:

        And climbing up chimneys, because they were the only ones who could get up them.

        This reminds me of when being a child our village chimney sweep telling us kids that he had been doing his job since the age of nine with his dad. His job was it to climb up the chimney and drop the big brush + weight attached down and heave it up again a few times.
        We, as kids, were much luckier. We only had little jobs around the house. Since housework was something that made me climb out the toilet window and disappear for hours, I was allocated the hacking of kindling wood from big pieces of wood for the next morning. This I did really well; by the time I was 12 I was pretty fast doing it, too. (My dad also taught me how to use a shot gun and I do remember many Sunday mornings target shooting competitions. By the time I was 10 he cursed that he taught me – it’s not my fault he taught me so well……….)

        Needless to say – had I asked my kids to do any of the above they would have ended up taken in care. Enough said.

    • Marie says:

      No ma’am, the crime he will be charged with is abduction.

      • margo says:

        Well, that’s probably as daft – only she can tell us.

      • beobrigitte says:

        No ma’am, the crime he will be charged with is abduction.

        This is very likely to happen, even though it wasn’t against the girl’s wishes. I have no idea when she will turn the magic 16 and I do not believe this day makes a difference.
        The guy: he is a 30 year old, married with children bloke. If anything, he seems very immature and will need to grow up quickly as what he faces is not only a messy divorce, it is also the end of his career as a teacher. A hell of a lot to give up for a girl!

        Other than seeing upset parents I don’t understand the fuzz being made in the media. Lets face it – there are many couples everywhere whose age gap is 15 years and above.

        • nisakiman says:

          Indeed. My wife is 22 years younger than me. However, as we get older, the age difference becomes less of an issue – my wife is not a young girl, she is a forty year old woman. That said, the girl in question is obviously (judging by the photos) a young woman, as opposed to a little girl. There’s a difference. I know, having had two daughters. My eldest was a young woman by the time she hit thirteen. In another era, she would have been considered marriageable at fourteen. The ‘age of consent’ is a construct of the self-appointed moral guardians of our time, and in real terms means nothing apart from its legal implications. I think this elopement was ill-considered, and is destined to failure as a relationship, but I certainly don’t see it as a crime worthy of destroying two people’s lives.

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    An oldy but a goody:

    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
    (Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler; 1943)

    • margo says:

      Ah! Very good one.

    • Reinhold says:

      I read this quote for several times now in English, but never the German original. I even didn’t find it with a search engine by using some of the words it contains translated into German.
      Can anybody help me by providing a link to the same Hitler statement in German?
      It could be useful here, too.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank just in hot off the press:

    Tobacco law delaying tactics condemned
    2 October 2012
    The BMA has criticised the tobacco industry for taking further legal action that will delay a ban on displaying cigarettes.

    Imperial Tobacco’s legal challenge against the Scottish government’s legislation to ban unstaffed tobacco vending machines and tobacco displays at point of sale will be heard at the UK supreme court in November.

    The law has twice been upheld by Scottish courts, and similar measures have been implemented around the rest of the UK.

    BMA Scottish council deputy chair and public health consultant Charles Saunders said: ‘The tobacco industry needs to accept that point-of-sale display is a form of advertising; it promotes pro-smoking imagery, especially to young people.

    ‘The industry must stop trying to undermine the Scottish Parliament in its bid to improve public health.’

    Chief executive of ASH Scotland Sheila Duffy called on the court to uphold the legislation.

    Delaying tactics
    She said: ‘This is part of a growing international problem. We have heard from partner organisations from Australia to Uruguay that, having lost the battles over scientific evidence and public support, tobacco companies are resorting to delaying valid public health measures in the courts.

    ‘I am looking for the supreme court to rule against Imperial Tobacco, and clear the way for Scotland to implement these important public health measures.’

    Imperial Tobacco claims the law is outwith the scope of the Scottish Parliament.

    It said there was no credible evidence that display bans had reduced tobacco consumption or youth smoking, and they went against the principle of adult choice and placed an unnecessary cost burden on retailers.

    http://bma.org.uk/news-views-analysis/news/2012/october/tobacco-law-delaying-tactics-condemned

    • nisakiman says:

      The BMA has criticised the tobacco industry for taking further legal action that will delay a ban on displaying cigarettes.

      WTF? Of course they are going to resist stupid bloody legislation! Christ, these people live in a parallel universe…

      • beobrigitte says:

        The BMA has criticised the tobacco industry for taking further legal action that will delay a ban on displaying cigarettes.

        What’s the rush with these legislations? Could it be so the public does not have a chance to get information?

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Look to the right of the story you will find this:

    Contact your MSP
    Lobbying is a way of informing your elected representative of your real concerns.

    Contact your MP or MSP

    Thats direct lobbying even Shelia Duffy is lobbying when she states:

    Chief executive of ASH Scotland Sheila Duffy called on the court to uphold the legislation

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Quite obviously ASH is worried why else would they post such a bizarre story on the BMJ. Id bet we see it in a few UK papers in the next few hours too!

  9. smokingscot says:

    “having lost the battles over scientific evidence and public support”

    Public support? Shiela Duffy / ASH? Dream on babe.

  10. Junican says:

    Can I draw people’s attention once again to the McTear Case? (A summary of that Case can be read at the Bolton Smokers Club):

    http://boltonsmokersclub.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/mctear-summary2.pdf

    That case only concluded in 2005. Tobacco Control had the perfect opportunity to produce their scientific evidence of tobacco harm but failed completely to do so. The Judge roundly condemned them for that failure.
    And what, pray, does ‘public opinion’ have to do with legislation? Does any government pay attention to public opinion about the EU, immigration, the death penalty, or any other survey other than the one’s they agree with?
    Another outright lie from Duffy – on behalf of the Advertising Agency known as ASH.

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