It must be very difficult for foreigners to understand the British attitude to children. On the whole, we don't really like them as a nation, much preferring dogs and horses, which is why the upper classes have traditionally sent the children away to kennels whilst allowing dogs the run of the house. This week there has been story running in the newspapers that is so unbearable that I started crying in Waitrose when I went to pick up my Telegraph and saw the pictures prominently displayed on the front pages of other newspapers. The story concerns a toddler who was beaten to death by his drug addict mother, her boyfriend and their lodger. Despite 60 visits from social workers (and multiple inspections by doctors), the doomed child was returned to these monsters and abandoned to a short, miserable life. Meanwhile, we read that
The Local Government Association warned that the worst cases of obesity will be increasingly seen as evidence of "parental neglect," and that social workers will have to step in to offer advice to protect the child's welfare. In the most extreme cases, children could be taken away from parents.[From FOXNews.com - England, Wales Government Councils Propose Taking Obese Children From Parents - Health News | Current Health News | Medical News]
It's modern Britain in a nutshell. You can torture your children to death with impunity, but if you give them too much junk food they'll be taken away. If you smoke, social workers won't let you adopt a child: passive smoking is beyond the pale, torture is apparently reasonable.
I'm afraid my reactionary rachet has been turned up another notch. It's a shame that the maximum penalty that can be imposed on the murderers is only life imprisonment (which in the UK means a few years of a comfy bed, three meals a day and your own Playstation). Somehow it just doesn't seem enough.
[posted with ecto]