Thursday, 3 April 2014

Cinderella laws in an increasingly Grimm society

It was hard to believe that the 'Cinderella Law' under consideration by the British government was anything other than an early and  remarkably far-fetched and dystopian April Fool. Not so, it seems:
"The government is considering whether to introduce a new offence of emotional cruelty to children, it has been confirmed.
The proposed change to neglect laws in England and Wales would see parents who deny their children affection face prosecution for the first time.
It follows a campaign for a "Cinderella Law" from charity Action for Children.
The government said child cruelty was an abhorrent crime which should be punished.
Social workers have a definition of child cruelty that they work on but because it is not written into law, this makes it difficult for the police to gather evidence.
Currently social workers operate guidance in civil law that does recognise emotional abuse of children
But police are limited because criminal law only recognises physical harm
Action for Children's chief executive, Sir Tony Hawkhead, said the change would be a "monumental step forward for thousands of children".
Robert Buckland, a Conservative MP who has backed the charity's campaign, said the current law was outdated as it is based largely on legislation first introduced 150 years ago.
And he stressed that non-physical abuse could cause "significant harm" to children.
"You can look at a range of behaviours, from ignoring a child's presence, failing to stimulate a child, right through to acts of in fact terrorising a child where the child is frightened to disclose what is happening to them," Mr Buckland told BBC Radio 5 live. " [Report from the BBC here]
It is quite remarkable how our increasingly dysfunctional 'democracy' is concerned to increase the intrusion of the State into our lives and even to legislate on matters such as the denial of perceived 'rights' which themselves bear a highly subjective interpretation.  I'll leave any further comment to Lord Tebbit [here]:
"The idea of the state giving the Law Courts power and responsibility to decide whether parents have given sufficient love and kindness to children is beyond even anything Orwell conceived.
Coincidentally it comes just as psychologists and others are raising the alarm of the effects of the exposure of children through the internet to the depravity, violence and cruelty of computer games and programmes on mobile phones and over the internet. Scientists, behaviourists and psychotherapists, even sociologists, have concluded that what many of us have been saying for years is indeed true. Such exposure does normalise depravity and violence.
So what should a loving parent do? Should he or she deny their children access to such programmes? Or would that be emotional cruelty and an offence against the criminal law? We know that the agencies which are supposed to protect children all too often fail to do so. How would they, the police, prosecuting authorities and courts cope with pursing parents or guardians who might offend against a Cinderella law?
All we can be certain of is that the lawyers will do well out of it, as appeals grow in numbers and the ECHR sticks its obtrusive nose into our legal system. Mr Clegg has shown his illiberal side rather too often in blocking such things as the long-overdue reform of constituency boundaries. I hope that his Liberal instinct will now persuade him to block this spasm of illiberal and poorly thought through legislation."

There is nothing more sinister than the modern liberal state 
which is utterly convinced of its own infallible benevolence

 On a related theme, Spiked has this article from Brendan O'Neil, chronicling another example of the suffocating authoritarianism which lies beneath the 'compassionate' mask of contemporary liberalism:
"...So in a stunningly short period of time, not only has gay marriage been normalised, but opposition to it, traditionalism itself, has been denormalised. This reveals the extent of the corrosion of the old conservative values of long-term commitment and family life, whose one-time proponents in the church and elsewhere have effectively vacated the moral battlefield and stood back as marriage has been redefined. (‘The terms of our surrender’ was the fitting headline to a recent sad article by one such conservative.) And it also reveals the ability of newer cultural elites, especially the media classes, to impose new narratives on public life and to set political and social agendas. The media have been key to the gay-marriage crusade, playing a leading role in promoting it, defining it, and demonising those who question it. As a consequence of an historic emptying-out of political life in recent years, of the decline and fall of the classes and interests whose tussles were once the lifeblood of politics, the media have come to be an increasingly important political actor, their concerns and prejudices often taking centre stage in public life. The unstoppable rise of gay marriage really speaks to the replacement of older, conservative elites with a new elite, one that is, remarkably, less tolerant of dissent and more demanding of psychological affirmation of its every idea, whim and campaign than its predecessors were. 
So perhaps we should put all that champagne on ice. For the transformation of gay marriage from just an idea to a juggernaut in the blink of an eye actually has little to do with the expansion of tolerance, but rather speaks to the very opposite phenomenon: the emergence of new forms of intolerance that demand nothing less than moral obedience and mandatory celebration from everyone - or else."
And the most concerning issue for many of us is the response of the Church. Due to the creeping 'Scandinavianisation' *  of British Anglicanism, our leaders will not only acquiesce, but without doubt begin to act as the cheerleaders for the new social 'orthodoxies' .... 

* the by now tried and tested way of preparing the ground begins like this - see here

1 comment:

  1. Looks like the Archbishop of Wales is already ahead of the game (and the Governing Body) on this one. Look at the comment by Neville Stephenson @7:50pm http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/006516.html#more There seems little point in the GB debate if the archbishop is going to go ahead and do what he likes.

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