Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Britain Bottom of Children's League

So Britain is a shameful bottom of the UNICEF league table in virtually every category listed in their survey of children's well-being. And you know, guess whose fault it is? Yup, Margaret Thatcher's. You couldn't make it up. Apparently, according to left wing commentators on the radio and television child poverty only really started in 1979 (bit of a coincidence, that).

I think it is more than a coincidence that British children have become more obese, ill-educated, sexually active, drunk and impolite under a government which purports to put children at the top of their agenda. We even have a Minister for Children? But when the two most memorable holders of that post have been Margaret 'Islington Childcare' Hodge and Beverley Hughes, perhaps it is becoming all the more understandable.

The truth is that Government can set an agenda on issues like child obesity and improve the education system, but the focus here should be on parents rather than government. It is parents who guide a child and set the parameters for acceptable behaviour - or at least it should be. Let me tell you a story to illustrate what I mean.

A friend of mine had a handbag stolen by a group of schoolkids. In the handbag there was a quantity of jewellery. My friend knew the children were from a particular school so she contacted the Head Teacher who managed to identify the five kids involved. He contacted their parents and asked them to return my friend's jewellery. Of the five sets of parents only two agreed to do so. The other three verbally abused the Head Teacher. Is there any hope for children when their parents act like that?

And we also hear today that children with step-parents are about to outnumber those with two married parents for the first time ever.

I have tried to look for previous versions of this survey, as I do not recall Britain coming bottom before but I can't find anything on the net. Anyone able to help?


Anonymous said...

And since when have you taken UNICEF surveys as gospel truth?

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Ive never believed that the issue of having step parents matters. If we are saying kids with step parents are more likely to be naughty I disagree.

If we are saying children brought up in a single parent household are more likely to ne naughty and get into trouble, then again I disagree (as someone from a single parent household).

It's not the quantity of parents - but the quality.

I think you are right to give the anecdote about the parents and the verbal abuse to the Head teacher.
Too many parents set awful examples to their kids.

I'm actually not sure what the solution is.

Anonymous said...

Actually Iain we do know who started selling off school playing fields.

The answer is to militarise the schools and instill discipline and heavy duty team sports with very heavy workouts and running and diet plans.

Use peer pressure to build sports teams and discipline.

dizzy said...

As I said over on my blog, it is not "Britain" that has failed tis children. it is a signficant majority of Britain's parents who have failed their children. The entire report is based on the assumptiont hat it is Government's job to ensure the quality of life of everyone because of a flawed historical theory.

Nich Starling said...

Iain, it was on the news yesterday that this was the first time such a survey had been carried out, so there is no comparitive data.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...
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The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Iain, on the subject of "Teenage behaviour"
Are you and the Conservative party proposing
1.English divorce laws move back in favour of the male?
So that "sensible" males are no longer put off from the huge financial risk of having children?

2. The re-introduction of stop and search powers for the police? Especially confiscation rights so that they can remove cigarettes and/or mobile phones from unruly young teenagers hanging around?
This would shift the balance of power back to adults which is so desperately needed on the street.

If not your part of the hug a hoody crowd.

Anonymous said...

Margaret Thatcher and the years of Tory rule did play a role in this, by unleashing a very individualistic society and freeing the country to become more like the US. The fact that Labour hasn't perhaps arrested the change is as much down to the fact that they had to accept the legacy of Thatcherism to get elected as it is about government ineptitude. I do get tired of Labour constantly blaming the Tories for everything even after ten years of government, but these problems are systemic and longstanding. And, the most significant challenge to that system has undoubtedly been Thatcherism (for good and ill).

Anonymous said...

Is this of any interest to you, a UNICEF league table of child poverty in rich nations published in 2000.

Anonymous said...

This was on Newsnight last night, but I missed it, but hope to catch up on the internet. I did catch a black gentleman, who I think had been a teacher, saying that children were much more responsive to more strict teachers, and the kids actually like them more. Because they don't have this guidance at home. Paxo pointed out that the most popular word on the 'website feedback' about this issue had been 'boundaries' - children want and need these, but the adults aren't able to set them.

Although it is disappointing that the Tories don't seem to have any clear policies which would address this issue - so would they be any better ?

Newmania said...

Iain the appalling Hodge was responsible for so much harm in Islington ,it is a source of amazement that she is employed anywhere.The memory still lingers and I doubt there is a living human being I detest as much. Seriously (usually I`m kidding).

This compex of issues , housing , benefits , family breakdown , social disorder , educational failure are all very prevalent where we are with something like 50% on the Borough not only in Socila Housing but also on benefits. Whole areas are father free.Gun crime is at a death a week
I wonder if it is this sense of a government that cares about every trendy issue but attacks families that has lead to the Gay lobby being perecieved as part of the problem. If we were in a political enviroment that ever showed anyhting but contempt for the traditional family I think you would find much more willingsness to tolerate a small number who choose different life styles, in the usual English way.
I am not at all suprised at this and I hope people will begin to see what a socila catastrophe New Labour policies have been exactly as predicted by Frank Field.
Perhaps I get a certain view of things but living where I do , confronted with these real problems daily it really is difficult to listen to Cameron witter on about trees .
The benefits and housing system is poisoning the country starting at the bottom and if Cameron can`t see that then he should get out a bit more. This arguement has to be won and cannot be avoided forever

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

I'm always suspicious of the methodology of any survey which shows "everything in England is shit", which our left-wing media revels in its normal self loathing way.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid you can't pin this one on Labour, Iain - most of the data in the survey is around 8 years old (i.e. from 1998/9).

If any government is to blame, it's the one that was in power for the 18 years directly before the data for this urvey was taken.

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain,
This is the seventh UNICEF Innocenti Report Card on children in industrialized countries. You can find the first six at
The first, published in 2000, presented a league table of child poverty in rich nations. The sixth, from 2005, also looking at child poverty, was billed as "the first in what will be an annual Innocenti Report on Child Poverty in Rich Countries".

Newmania said...

DIZZY SAID-it is a signficant majority of Britain's parents who have failed their children.

No Dizzy it is the government that have failed children by creating a marginal taxation, benefits, and housing system which has torn the white working class family to pieces.The goverment`s Soviet style Sure Start should not have to exist but they have made a society wherere it does.

Again and again we see this . They remove peoples power , money and freedom and dignity and then appear the benevolent fairy godmother by giving back a small part of what they took.

Unless we win the arguement don`t you see what will happen , every sign of social disintergration will be interpreted as showing the need for greater benefits and higher taxation.
Educational failure shows that parents can`t cope so higher taxes and greater benefits. Crime increases which shows parents can`t cope so more suppirt is required and so on and so on.

You cannot expect self reliance to flourish when, in some areas , 90 % of the households cannot affect their income with their efforts.

Anonymous said...

Bad parents are the issue but we keep barking up the wrong tree. We cannot face the truth.

Britain embraced the 60's me too, do anything I like without having to pick up the pieces. Our self indulgent behaviour backed by a craven 'dish out dosh' Govt are the causes. Of course we will throw more money at it because we are too gutless to face the truth and to act.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

You say its shameful Iain who is to blame?

Wafty liberals who don't want corporal punishment, who think "childcare" is a right to be enjoyed by everyone, so that the little dears can be herded by some abusive harridan all day?

All the people who think that children shouldn't be seen in restaurants and all the parents who won't sit down and read with their kids but who nevertheless max out their credit cards at Christmas in an orgy of consumerism?

All the parents who trounce about in front of their children, wearing their hearts on their sleeves like Jimmy Porter without regard for the emotional development of their offspring?

All the people who demand children as a right and get fertility treatment on the NHS when there are kids waiting for adoption?

All the people who see kids as an accessory, who have taken on a partner, and then decide to split because they are bored and fed up?

The abuse of teachers who are not only inundated with a new policy every few months, but who are subject to violence and intimidation by parents and pupils alike?

The complete lack of moral authority by the government and unfettered distrust and deriding of religion?

The refusal to deal with immigration from countries who send us teenage gunslingers, and the utter refusal to recognise the correllation between ethnicity and violence?

The failure of social services, who , riddled with lefties cannot bring themselves to make judgements that might cause offense?

Take your pick..there are plenty more where that came from.

Those of us who have managed to stick with a partner for more than five minutes, who take responsibility for our lives, who see children as a priveledge and not a "right", and once we have them want to spend time with them should be proud of it.

A society that blandly accepts underage pregnancy and rewards it with an instant council flat and pocket money is not tackling the issues or being compassionate - it is merely pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Frankly, it isn't rocket science. Children are not little adults, they are weak, impressionable and emotionally unstable. Giving them too many choices is a recipe for disaster, as is a general lack of boundaries. There is a joint responsibilty - between the Education services and parents - to serve the needs of kids.

This government has opted out of that responsibility, but nevertheless likes to send its own children to decent schools.

And finally, if other countries can get it right, why can't we?

(rant over)

Anonymous said...

So what's the problem - all of which happened when New Labour was in power.

High house prices - forcing BOTH parents to work ONE with long hours.

COMPENSATION culture making it difficult to run out of hours clubs at school.

IMMIGRATION - pushing up house prices and causing OVERCROWDING

BAD road planning meaning kids can't play on the street.

TOO SOFT on child crime - meaning parents are worried about their kids from playing.

TOO HARD on people requiring police checks - giving the message that all men are child molestors unless given a police check.

EDUCATIONAL pressure on kids to achieve good results - trying to get too many kids to read too soon and go to University.

TOO SOFT on FOOD producers who flog fatty food and sugar to kids.

TOO much marketing at kids to encourage pester culture

Anonymous said...

Cue lots of leftie baiting...except where are the tories in all of this? Under this research what kind of countries do very well for their children, oh look, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland. And who is near the bottom with the UK, oh look 2nd bottom the USA. What is clear are the significant achievements of the European Social Model combining economic innovation with strong public services and very generous welfare states. All totally different to what tory types want to unleash on this country. As usual, on all the issues that matter Cameron and the Conservatives are nowhere.

Anonymous said...

the appalling Hodge

Margaret Oppenheimer came from a very rich family but being a stupid child could not excel despite huge educational advantage.

As Margaret Hodge she has a husband in charge of Immigration Appeals

If you are rich and incompetent nothing can stop your career progress

Anonymous said...

It's easy for some to talk about monitoring child negligence and abuse and such issues. The way they go on, you'd think they want an Orwellian telescreen in every home!

The problem is, how do you get parents like those you, Iain, talked about to get their act together without bringing on 'Nanny State' syndrome?

On "blaming Margaret Thatcher", Paxman said on Newsnight that he thought the great degree of social change that occured under Thatcher's government was partially responsible.

Vicky Ford said...

If you read my blog you will find the story of Charlie - 15 year old victim of a mugging.

We are all working longer and longer and travelling further. We struggle to make time for our families - for our children let alone our older relations. Blaming the parents alone is not going to solve the problem - and it is a problem.

We live in a society where people aren't taking responsibility, where adults are frightened by children, where adults won't stand up against the bad guys. The result is that the good guys like Charlie have lost their freedom. That freedom is something worth fighting for.

Anonymous said...

its ridiculous. by Unicefs own yardsticks, the likes of Cuba and North Korea would come out on top.

its a load of socialistic nonsense.

Sir-C4' said...

The UN shows its true colours once again. Not only is it a corrupt, dictator-loving organisation that would rather like the Iraqi people to be buried in more of Saddam Hussein's mass grave, it is also the new Comintern with it's support for theif or "redistribution" of wealth as these lefties like to call it!

Anonymous said...

It’s pretty simple really. What do you expect when you reward self interest (politicians down), make everyone a victim (PC culture), remove any discipline from kids in their formative years (can’t get disciplined by the teacher or they may get sued) and you positively encourage a society built on dishonesty. The PC culture is based on the suppression of free expression and the demonising of certain sectors of society. You cannot debate the truths of immigration, personal responsibility etc for fear of being denounced as a heretic. We now have the government of the day hiding behind EU and Human Rights legislation whilst taking more of our money when they have little responsibility. We see government hypocrisy everywhere; preaching freedom and tolerance and then invading innocent countries.

Against this backdrop what chance do kids have? We need to reject, in its entirety, this multicultural, victim culture that leaves everyone ashamed to be British and immigrants in fear of victimisation.

Anonymous said...

Methinks Mr Griswold hits the nail on the head.

A while back I was looking at historic crime figures for a post on my own blog and it's amazing how the number of crimes per capita started to move inexorably upwards from the mid-sixties onwards.

This was the same time that the prevailing attitude to things like the traditional teaching of responsibility, morals and discipline coupled with putting those teachings into practice started to be seen as a "bad thing".

Of course it's taken a while for this effect to filter through to the whole population. What we are seeing now is the cumulative effect of these idiotic philosophies on generation after generation of children.

Meanwhle the people who lived before this time continue to die out. And the number of kids who, like me, were fortunate enough to grow up in households where more traditional values held sway grow fewer and fewer each year.

Sadly I suspect that this state of affairs will continue to get worse as those responsible for this mess cannot summon the courage to admit that they were disasterously wrong.

paige said...
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Anonymous said...

We have to recognise the limits of state intervention. Many "problem families" see the world as a battleground between "them and us." Anyone in authority: police, teachers, social workers, doctors, is one of "them" against whom they will close ranks. Such families find their only role models in Eastenders and Celebrity Big Brother.

For generations now, intelligent children have broken out of such families and built their own lives. Those who remain, from one generation to the next, are the most feckless and the least intelligent.

There is a limit to how much taxpayers' money should be spent on this problem. But we could make a start by introducing workfare in place of welfare, build more prisons and give head teachers the right to expel any troublesome pupil permanently, with no right of appeal.

Anonymous said...

Whatevahhhhhh! Yeah, but, right, you see, no, yeah, c'mon Miss!!

Anonymous said...

Now that the United Nations has placed Britain last in a "quality of life for children" league of 21 industrialised nations, perhaps Gordon Brown will shut his big fat hypocritical mouth about "ending world poverty by 2020" and providing "a place in full time education for all the world's children" and do something about the festering sores multiplying on his own doorstep.

This, despite the fact that he has taxed the working population til the pips squeak and poured it into the bottomless pit of welfare and other public spending on a scale never seen before so that many unemployed are now financially better off than some who are working.

He should be feeling embarrassed and ashamed this morning, though I doubt it as his stooges are already out attempting to spin it.

Perhaps he'd care to tell us where all our money went and why we have ended up with the most drunken, promiscuous, ill-educated, violent, spoilt, depressed, uncouth young people in the indusrialised world?

Anonymous said...

I listened to Newsnight too, and found it depressing.

Some good thougths about setting "boundries"; and getting teachers to guide and educate as they did before the 60's(rather than just offer options and say every lifestyle is of equal value).

But then they all agreed that the solution is to "listen more to children" !!!! And Paxo suggested it was all Thatcher's fault anyway - there is no hope of any change.

Guthrum said...

Javelin hits most of the points- Tom Paine has the best comment on this today for my money.

Roger Thornhill said...

To me this has been brewing since 1948.

Courts must throw out malicious or mischevious litigation, fining those for wasting court time if necessary. Sort this and people will not bother anymore. Boundaries can be re-introduced without ridiculous PC mentality.

Taxation needs to be more family friendly - married couples with kids should be able to transfer and aggregate tax allowances, ideally so that one parent can give up full time work. Co-habitees? Spend your £40 and get hitched.

Welfare should stop funding the poor to have more children. Once you are on welfare or a dependent of another, no increases in benefits (housing or cash) should be provided if you have additional children. This includes going from 0 to 1 child.

wessexblogger said...

This confirms my suspicions. My kids have become the victims of a disfunctional education system that has been over regulated by the luny left. They are scared to voice their opinions because of what others think. They are scared to be different when it comes to wearing their home clothes on a mufty day and if they don't like football they are classed as freaks! The Media are part to blaim here but who runs the mainstream media in the UK? AND who is compelled by law to pay for it? I moved from one end of the country (Dover, Kent) to the Southwest and things have improved hugely for my kids. It was a gamble that has paid off...thank God!

Newmania said...

Actually Croydonian has driven a coach and horse through the methodology

Tremendous work

Anonymous said...

BBC Says "UK is accused of failing children"

Honestly, criticising this Government is like spitting teeth for them. This Government has been in power for 10 years and the BBC still can't bring themselves to blame the Government. The sooner the BBC is privatised, and start to live in the real world, the better.

paige said...

Why has my post not been put up?

The society that we have, has come about more and more since our integration with the EU it was not noticeable at first because they were not passing all the laws they are now.

When the British public were lied to by the politicians in the 70's things began to change in this country. When those who govern a country lie to the country, the country begins to wonder what the point is!

Yes Thatcherism played a part but not as much as this Government. This Government offered hope to the people of the UK, and after all the lies and sleaze of the Conservatives, people went out in their droves for honesty! - They told the politicians quite clearly had they been bothered to look 'please do not lie to us, do not let us down'.

Britains have always been proud of their country, their government and their queen, Now however what have we got.
Their country is ruled by the EU, their Queen despite a 4 million signature for her to intervene for her subjects about the EU, she handed it to the Government. Then we have the Government, who we cannot trust. We have a Parliament who we can in the main not distinguish between.
We have liars, selfserving, money grabbing, I'm all right jack politicians running the country and it gets no better.

So for the British people who have lost the essence of who they are, how do the politicians tackle it?

Parents cannot smack their children.
cannot make them do anything they do not want to do.
will be imprisoned if they do not go to school,
will be arrested if they try to get them out of bed to go to school.
House wives are failures if they stay at home.
mothers are failures if they go to work.
Women who cook are not as successful as those who buy M&S ready meals.
Now women who buy ready meals are not as heathly as those who cook.

BUY BRITISH.. So we do - Bernard Matthews, then we find out he is importing it from the EU.. Yet another lie.
Cameron came to the Tory leadership with I am a EUsceptic. Then he tells his party there'll be trouble if they sign the better off out campaign.
If you haven't got a car you are a failure, if you have a car we'll tax you through the hilt.
Save for you pension - Gordon Brown steels it.
With millions out of work and promises of future employment the Gov't opens the flood gates to immigrants. Fiddles the voting areas to get back into power on 22% of the vote.
Children who used to go strawberry, blackberry picking etc on the farms during summer for pocket money are no longer allowed to,and these typically British Children's jobs have been taken by Eastern Europeans. Washing cars, can't do it incase Kid has accident on your drive.
So you have parents and grandparents who have been let down by all who are there to protect them and their country. They do not know if they are coming or going, what they can and cannot do.
You have children who can do anything, who are not reprimanded at home, at school, are not taught properly at school, are not allowed to be christian and help their fellow man. Are not allowed to be disciplined.

Prior to the EU we had communities who looked after each other, there was the post office, butchers, bakers, everything we really needed to survive. But then money came into the equation and Politicians were first in line with their greedy hands out. Globalisation,village shops closed big supermarkets out of town opened. And we were regulated against everything in all of our lives.. Hell they've even done a study in the EU about which nationality uses more pieces of paper to wipe its arse.
Naturally its the British because we have to put up with all the bloody shit from the inept EU down.

Problem in the UK? Too bloody right there's a problem, but this is not one the policiticans from any party wants to sort out.. They stand to lose too much money.... THAT IS THE PROBLEM!

Rich Tee said...

I think of Thatcher that she had to do what she did in order to sort out the economic mess of the 1970s which was - guess what? - a Labour achievement. But then we could continue this argument back forever.

I noticed like Labour Humanist the preponderance of socialist models in the top ten. But then, to misquote my parents and teachers, what have the Swedes ever given the world? Abba and Volvos. It also does seem to confirm the socialist bias alleged by other bloggers.

Comparing social trends between countries is always perilous because countries have different histories, different social values and different global roles.

But I think a re-emphasis on personal qualities such as honesty, loyalty, discipline, consideration for others and self-sufficiency would not go amiss.

Anonymous said...

Once again the assumption is that the government must wave its socialist magic wand and make all the poor children richer and happier.

Alternatively, how about the government gets out of our way to let us deal with our own problems?

Anonymous said...

"Margaret Thatcher and the years of Tory rule did play a role in this, by unleashing a very individualistic society and freeing the country to become more like the US."

Society was individualistic in the Victorian period before the welfare state. Absolute poverty existed. Yet there was a yearning amongst the working classes for respectability. Now in an age of welfare and plenty we see the rise of the chav.

Anonymous said...
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Little Black Sambo said...

Blaming Thatcher is so idiotic. She was powerful but not that powerful. The pathetic creatures who keep blaming her for everything short of original sin simply can't do without her. There was a good documentary not long ago on tv called "I hate the 60s" which pointed to the origins of some of our present troubles.

Etzel Pangloss said...
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Anonymous said...

This is the saddest debate on British Culture or the we live Iv'e seen ,even Iain has gone onto new things , it appears to me people all the media do the same thing move on ,it hasn't happened ,everything is lovely ,we can't even talk about it not PC ,so what do we all do now ,I presume like me nothing.

Terry Hamblin said...
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Martin Curtis said...

Whilst I absolutely believe that Blair, Brown et al. should shoulder most of the blame for this problem, a large proportion of the blame has to lie with our failed political system which is consistently ignoring this sort of problem at the expense of personal and party political quests for power which, every time, our MPs seem to place as a higher priority than the need to improve the lot of the people they represent.

If politicians continue to ignore this problem then, in time, they will have todeal with it as a response to a media onslaught. They have a choice, deal with it now and take the inititive, or deal with it later and be dictated to by the media agenda.

indigo said...

Erm, I think that successive governments since the early 1970s have gradually infantilised the population more and more, until it came to the so-called "abolition of Parliament" bill.

For decades, people have been encouraged to "know their rights" but not their duties. When I was a teacher-training student in the mid-1970s, I remember one pupil saying to another with whom I was remonstrating at the end of a lesson, "get her to hit you". Also in the 1970s, I worked as a volunteer in a reconciliation centre in Northern Ireland and learned how youths become gunmen (an older man puts a gun in your hand and says, "Shoot X, or I'll shoot you"). In the 1980s, when my next door neighbour's two sons slid into delinquent behaviour, their (working) mother said, "what can I do about it?" (the father, who worked in a white-collar job, said nothing).

I've also been a step-parent to a girl whose every whim had been indulged since she was a toddler. No present was big enough, no one could have a treat unless she had it as well, she couldn't see the point of school (she'd rather be shopping, watching Neighbours, or meeting boys "off the Internet"). And so dissatisfied. A more screwed-up child I have never known, before or since. An absolute bloody nightmare.

DiscoveredJoys said...
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Anonymous said...

Marxists dont believe that the answer is with the parents. They believe the problem is that there is parents influencing their childrens lives in any way at all.

For "good" or "bad."

What they nead for all their Marxism to work properly is for all of our children to have gone though the same socialist indoctrination that they went though.

Therefore how can a socialist minister have any good idears on how to help OUR CHILDREN that could possibly work for individuals?

Parents must ultimately be made surplus to requirements,or socialism will die. Lets just hope it dont take the rest of us with it.

Johnny Norfolk said...
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Anonymous said...

Absolute poverty existed. Yet there was a yearning amongst the working classes for respectability

There were also urban riots in the 1840s which the militia had to put down. Northern towns - unincorporated boroughs without police until the 1850s had Irish migrants living in slums and the yearning for respectability was only among the skilled working class who looked down on the rabble

Bradford had cholera in 1846 and Leeds had typhoid in 1890 and slums existed right into the 1940s and 1950s untril replaced by high-rise slums in the 1960s.

You can see slum areas of major cities and where the slum-dwellers were relocated.

The UNICEF Report used the PISA study (OECD) for its education section. In Germany it seems the report is region specific showing Bremen to be an absolute pit (true) and Bavaria and B-W to be superior (true)

Anonymous said...

German TV has a series of highly-stylised programmes on modern children sent back to 1958 to some "schools" for preparing brides for their household duties, and even mainstream Realschule of the era.

The children seem unable to grasp the notion that they are not landed gentry with domestic servants and it takes quite a while for them to adjust to having to perform as oppose to stand on status.

We live in Status-Conscious Societies whereas Performance is frowned upon. It is 'what you are' not 'what you achieve'

I recall being bemused by Texan males years ago who were so mummy-oriented that they could not even wash their own clothes and German males obsessing about curtain colours.

It is quite a change when you have to be up at 05.30 with sheets and blankets in a nice pile with clear right-angles and kit laid out for inspection.

Just lining up at the school bell to enter the classroom is a start, but modern society is run for pubescent schoolgirls and is simply going to get eaten alive by the new kids on the block - the child labour in the mills of Victorian England built the nation and the Consumerist youth of modernity will deliver it toChina on a platter

Laban said...

Ian - this survey states "The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy or views of UNICEF."

It's written by breast-beating leftie Peter Adamson, founder of the New Internationalist, a chap who 'divides his time between Oxford and Tuscany' - as one does.

The only useful thing about it is that he (correctly IMHO) treats not having both biological parents as a negative point. Despite what Jonathan Sheppard says, there's a mountain of evidence to support that view.

I'm sorry to see senior Tories who should know better using this report as a stick to beat the Government with. Far better to ignore it.

bgprior said...

Good to see someone (laban) finally questioning the validity of this report. Everyone else (and I don't mean just here) has taken it at face-value, in their excitement at using it as a stick to beat their favourite drum with. In fact, as I have argued in a post over at, what the authors have mainly proved is that, if you measure childhood well-being on the basis of how well the economic and social system conforms with the continental, egalitarian, social-democratic model, then countries will tend to be ranked according to the extent to which they conform with that model. Not a surprising result.

I'm not saying there aren't many things wrong with Britain or British childhood in particular, but I would be careful about drawing any conclusions or making any comparisons on the basis of this report. You need at least to read it, rather than rely on the media's rehashing of the inaccurate and partial press release that went with it.

Anonymous said...

was only Proper british children questioned in this survay, because i find that hard to believe with all the immigrants in this country.
However if any other nationality was asked would that not make the survay void?