It is certainly true that if you don’t have a vote, you don’t count in a democratic society.
One of the (many) demonised groups in the UK now seems to be the “youth” – of which the middle aged, middle classes seem to be inordinately frightened. Coincidentally, this is also an age group in which most are unable to vote, and most of those who do, don’t seem to bother. As a result, it seems, they have become fair game for any crackpot ideas. Oddly, they are also a group politicians seem to constantly appeal to (obviously knowing they wont be arsed to vote…). Isn’t the world strange.
Two recent mad ideas spring to mind. First from the Guardian:
Road safety: Impose total alcohol ban for teenage drivers, says chief medical officer
A zero drink-driving limit should be imposed on all drivers under 20, the chief medical officer recommended yesterday, saying that such a ban would save lives.
This hits two of our current “fears.” First it panders to the idea that the UK is in the grip of a “Booze Culture” and secondly it cries that some new restriction will “save lives.” Nicely it wraps all this up by targeting a silent group of society, so the fall out would be minimal (and it was).
For me, despite being neither “yoof” or a novice driver so immune to any resultant laws, this is insane. I completely, 100% fail to see any logic. I am reasonably sure that any young driver mature and grown up enough to go out and stick to the 1 pint limit is also likely to be mature and capable enough to drive sensibly. The problem, and it isn’t just young drivers, is being over the limit.
Some figures are bandied about:
Justifying his call for zero alcohol for 17 to 20-year-olds, Donaldson said they were six times more likely to have a car crash if they had been drinking. A young person who had been drinking was 2.5 times more likely to have a crash than an older person who had been drinking. “I’m aware it is a controversial recommendation, but I believe it would save lives,” he said.
Now, so far I have been unable to clarify this, but I am reasonably certain that the problem is young people are more likely to be over the legal drink driving limit – I seem to recall the alcohol level is not recorded by the police if the person is under the legal limit.
Basically, this is saying young people over the limit have more accidents than old people over the limit, so lets lower the limit for young people.
Madness. But it is the madness that comes from some one with a fantastic knowledge of one subject area (medicine) being given implied authority in another area (crime reduction, driver safety etc).
The next bit really annoyed me. From the Times a few days ago:
Curfew tames feral yobs of Cornwall
An experiment to bring peace to a yob-plagued town by imposing nocturnal curfews on its teenagers had a promising start this weekend when the streets of Redruth in Cornwall were free of the usual intimidating gaggles of youths.
Under the experimental curfew, named Operation Goodnight, parents in the most troubled part of the town have agreed with police that they will keep children under 16 indoors after 9pm, and that under10s will not be allowed out after 8pm.
What a wonderful culture we live in. When you read things like this it really makes you despair for what the adults of 2020 will be like.
I have two big issues with this. First off – why are we sending kids so many mixed signals? We (as a society) say they should be more involved in the community, say they should spend less time on their playstations and more time outdoors, say they should spend more time interacting with others. Simultaneously we say they cant go out, cant hang round together and everything they do means a paedophile will get them.
Secondly, the sheer unadulterated nonsense behind this.
- It is a voluntary scheme. So if you are a NAUGHTYKID™©® all you need to do is ignore it. All the good, well behaved kids will stay at home. Hang on, isn’t that the wrong way round?
- It is being done with the approval of the parents and targets the children in the most troubled part of the town. What? It actually says “a Sunday Times poll showed that nine out of 10 parents backed restrictions on their own children going out after dark.”
Right, let me get this straight. The parents of these “feral” children want restrictions on when the children go out. They have enough control over the children to stop them going out but wont do this simply because their children are little s***s, they demand that the police tell them to do this.
Nope, still cant get my head around it.
Why in the name of Zeus dont the bloody parents control their children? Why do they have to agree with police to follow this “trial” curfew (which will, no doubt, report a positive outcome and then spread to other areas – just like the criminal nonsense that is congestion charging)?
Our children are fine. They are the same mix of evil little turds and fantastic kind angels they were 30 years ago, 60 years ago, 90 years ago and even 900 years ago.
The bloody feral parents are the problem…. but then, they can vote…