Near 20 years ago, Jesper Juul, a Danish psychologist, wrote a book which electrified the world of social workers, teachers, and child advocates. It was called ‘Your Competent Child‘ – half a million copies winged their way around the world in 16 different languages, self seeding its revolutionary ideas in every sector of the liberal agenda. It identified a new underdog ‘victim’, a valuable commodity in that peculiarly middle class world of million pound Islington mansions that provide shelter for hand wringing chief executives that totter by night on shoes that each cost more than the minimum wage but consider themselves experts on poverty and deprivation.
It was a stroke of genius – for the world was running short of starving Africans, or oppressed communists, and there weren’t enough over-worked donkeys to justify so many generously paid executives – but children as the new oppressed class! – why the world was full of them, a never ending supply of ‘underdogs’, virtually the entire female race was engaged in pumping out fresh victims! Those that weren’t were to be helped along with IVF…..
Children were said to be the victims of the ‘destructive values’ of an ‘authoritarian hierarchy’ bent on ‘enforcing ideas of obedience and conformity’ – by brute force if necessary. Naturally the first step in their ‘rescue’ by ‘the enlightened’ was to outlaw the brute force – and Denmark became the first country to criminalise smacking. Other ‘enlightened’ countries rushed to follow suit.
Very soon, ‘what shall we eat tonight’ became ‘what does our precious child condescend to eat tonight’; does he want to go to school; where would he like to go on holiday? A new authoritarian hierarchy had been established; the pyramid reversed. Hard working executives no longer left their children with the grand-parents and took two weeks in the Seychelles to recover from their labours; they queued up for the fifteenth time for the magic mountain trail ride and dined on chicken nuggets, mopping the tears of their fledglings who were convinced that the tomato sauce provided was not exactly to their taste. It wasn’t their fault, they pleaded, Ryanair had taken the bottle of Heinz out of their hand luggage, next year they’d pay an extra £50 and bring an entire suitcase full of Heinz…it wouldn’t happen again.
Now the first batch of these ‘rescued children’ are of working age. The best part of a million of them are unemployed. They would have you believe that this is due to a couple of years of Tory government, and something the BBC refer to as ‘the cuts’. It isn’t.
For at the same time, it has been revealed today that 4.25 million, four times as many, young people born in ‘unenlightened countries’ to ‘cruel and authoritarian’ parents who made them do their maths home work, get where they were supposed to be on time, and accept ‘no’ as an answer sometimes, are now mopping up not just the carrot washing manual jobs, but the highly paid engineering and banking jobs as well, in the UK.
The media like to portray the 400,000 young French people now working in London as refugees from a terrible country – the truth is, they cannot believe their luck, the British are so desperate to employ youngsters who can add 2 and 2 and consistently come up with 4, who arrive in the morning looking fresh and eager, and do exactly what they are asked to do, that they will pay far more than any French employer who takes these things for granted. The same applies to the Asian youngsters.
Afternoon television is full of guilt inducing advertisements for endangered species; Siberian tigers, Syrian children, starving Somalians. £2 a week for each please! (£3 for Oxfam’s victims, something to do with the Chief Executive’s salary I suspect) but where are the appeals for help to save the home grown endangered species? £2 a week for Jason and Clint, languishing on their sofas, unwanted – I’m forgetting, of course that isn’t a voluntary contribution on your part….
How though, are they supposed to take their children to Florida Disneyland, and ferry them to school in Range Rovers? We are going to have to up our contributions if they are to bring forth a new generation of ‘enlightened parenting’. I read an article the other day regarding ‘fuel poverty’ where the writer was explaining that though she was now a well paid columnist she had ‘known hard times in the past’, in fact she had had to dress her baby in a restrictive fleece baby-grow and dressing gown so he could play when she couldn’t afford to heat her home to ‘nappy only’ temperatures – wow! Such deprivation.
If this new generation are unemployable, forced to live on benefits, they won’t be able to afford all the ‘carrots’ – and will just have to resort to the ‘stick’.
We should be OK in a generation or so…..just hang in there folks.