From elf and safety to blithering Balls
So now he tells us. Now he tries to repent. Well, thanks for nothing, chum. After 10 years of suffocating legislation, the Labour Secretary for Children and Schools, Mr Edward Balls, appears to have woken up to what his government has done.
After 10 years of elf and safety lunacy, Balls has plaintively called for children to be allowed to take a few risks: play conkers, have a snowball fight, climb a tree, get a few scabs back on their knees. Bring back the joys of childhood, says the blithering Balls, as if Labour had nothing to do with the creation of our grossly over-regulated society and compensation culture.
“Children should not be wrapped in cotton wool,” said Balls yesterday, as if he hadn’t a clue about the innumerable prohibitions his Government has placed on nursery schools alone. Cotton wool? My dear Balls, if a nursery teacher tried to wrap a child in cotton wool, she would almost certainly be disciplined for engaging in inappropriate physical contact.
I’m quite serious. Nursery school teachers are not allowed to apply plasters, in case the child is allergic to plasters. Calpol is verboten. As for suncream! You need written permission to smear suncream, because any adult seen doing so is assumed to have some pervy purpose. It is technically forbidden to ask a child to stand on a chair (he or she might fall off), and as for disciplining children – you have no idea of the Pol Pot terror that can be visited on an adult caught in the act of trying to exercise authority.
Take the case of poor Olive Rack, 56, who has 20 years experience as a nursery teacher, and who last year saw one of her charges – a two-year-old – whacking a baby over the head with a large wooden brick. The toddler was about to have a second crack when Olive intervened and took her by the hand to the naughty chair.
Continue reading Ed Balls and Nursery provision