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Thursday, November 02, 2006

More doom and gloom about UK teenagers

Another shock horror report today claims the UK's teenagers are the worst behaved in Europe: they drink more, take more drugs, get involved in anti-social behaviour, and are more promiscuous. Another report today claimed that "ASBOS" are becoming a status symbol.

These reports follow others in recent months which have highlighted high levels of obesity in Britain's youth and that Britain has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies.

I'm sure the tutting readers of the Daily Mail would instantly blame parents or the government; some may blame schools. I don't think it's a case of blame, but changing sociological factors.

Nowadays we have more women working, and as a result, we've had to change the way that meals are cooked and eaten with the growth of convenience foods.

We've seen a huge rise in the number of consumer electronics appliances, starting with the TV through to the computer, the mobile phone, hand-helds and game consoles. These have replaced the parlour games, outdoor activities and good old conversation of old.

And we have become more selfish and materialistic. We throw out goods simply for being unfashionable; we do the same with our elderly. Happy to use 60% of the UK's grandparents for minding the children while we work, we are less happy to have the parents living with us when they need support and we're more inclined to put them in homes (which, we also know from reports, have even lower standards of food quality than school meals).

Add to this the mix of religious hatred and mistrust, the political correctness that is overplayed to the detriment of this country's own indigenous religion- as seen by BA banning staff from wearing the cross, or various loony councils banning the word "Christmas", and you have a society in the UK that is heading for catastrophe.

There is also a greater class divide than there used to be. The chattering classes, with their organic food, fairtrade t-shirts, private schooling and 4x4s are even more contemptuous of those caught in the poverty trap.

We need to restore some sense of balance. Children don't have to eat junk food all day. They don't have to sit glued to their TV or PSP either. It's clear we need to improve people's education on nutrition and good parenting, and we need to think of community based ways to do that, not foolish "nanny state" directives or supermarkets being expected to show people how to eat fruit. And the key here is that we should all take responsibility.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well said...finally some one who thinks like me!


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