British parents told by government: avoid morality in sex lessons
PARENTS should avoid trying to convince their teenage children of the difference between right and wrong when talking to them about sex, a new government leaflet is to advise. Instead, any discussion of values should be kept "light" to encourage teenagers to form their own views, according to the brochure, which one critic has called "amoral".
Talking to Your Teenager About Sex and Relationships will be distributed in pharmacies from next month as part of an initiative led by Beverley Hughes, the children's minister. The leaflet comes in the wake of the case of Alfie Patten, the 13-year-old boy from East Sussex who fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl and sparked a debate about how to cut rates of teenage parenthood. It advises: "Discussing your values with your teenagers will help them to form their own. Remember, though, that trying to convince them of what's right and wrong may discourage them from being open."
The leaflet suggests that parents should start the "big talk" with children as young as possible, before they pick up "misinformation" from their peers in adolescence. The best way to raise the topic may be while performing mundane tasks such as "washing the car . . . washing up, watching TV, etc", it says. The leaflet provides technical information on different forms of contraception, from condoms to implants, and will reignite the row over the government's "value-free" approach to sex education.
Simon Calvert, deputy director of the Christian Institute, attacked the leaflet, saying: "The idea that the government is telling families not to pass on their values is outrageous. "Preserving children's innocence is a worthy goal. We would like to see more of that kind of language rather than this amoral approach where parents are encouraged to present their children with a smorgasbord of sexual activities and leave them to make up their own minds."
Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist, said educating older children and teenagers about sex had to be a process of negotiation. "We do not know what is right and wrong; right and wrong is relative, although your child does need clear guidelines," she said.
Hughes said the government "doesn't bring up children but . . . it does have a role to play in supporting parents and giving them access to advice and information".
Labour's attempts to cut the rate of teenage pregnancy through education are showing signs of faltering. From 1998 to 2006, the under-18 conception rate fell by 12.9% to its lowest level since the mid-1980s. But last year it began to edge up again. New figures will be announced this week.
British police abandon anti-white racism
Police are to scrap controversial race 'diversity' targets that made it harder for white men to win jobs. The decision could end the positive discrimination which has seen ethnic minority applicants selected where white rivals were at least as well qualified. The targets were imposed after police were labelled institutionally racist in the 1999 Macpherson Report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Forces were told to recruit ethnic minority officers in direct proportion to the make-up of their local community. The targets, dictated by Whitehall, left many forces under severe pressure to employ thousands of black and other minority groups as soon as possible.
Some overstepped the mark into positive discrimination. Gloucestershire Police even went to the extent of 'deselecting' more than 100 potential recruits purely because they were white. The force later admitted it had acted unlawfully.
Now police minister Vernon Coaker has decided central targets can be dropped, even though few areas have met them. Individual forces will be able to decide their own recruitment pattern. The news came as the Association of Chief Police Officers insisted the service was no longer guilty of institutional racism. ACPO said repeating the charge now was 'unfair and unhelpful'.
Since the blistering Macpherson Report, ten years ago on Tuesday, the number of ethnic minority officers nationwide has doubled. But it is still only around 4.1 per cent, compared to seven per cent in the population as a whole.
Steve Otter, ACPO's lead officer on race and diversity, welcomed the decision to axe the Whitehall targets. He said: 'There is no doubt that the targets set in 1999 were very ambitious and the scale of the challenge they posed has acted as a catalyst for change across the police service. 'As with all targets, crude measures can drive output but come to the end of their usefulness eventually.'
Asked if it was still fair or accurate to describe the police service as institutionally racist, ACPO said: 'The short answer is no. 'That is not to say that racist incidents within the police service never take place. Regrettably, they do. 'But in the years since Stephen Lawrence, the police service has shown it is willing to listen and learn from past events. 'When prejudice does occur there is a firm desire throughout the service and especially among its leadership to tackle it robustly. 'As a term, "institutionally racist" attempts to sum up in two words the entire experience of thousands of men and women across the police service who daily do their best on the public's behalf. 'That is both unfair and unhelpful, and it fails to take any account of the very real progress which has been made.'
Mr Otter said he agreed with recent remarks by equalities watchdog Trevor Phillips that it was time to move on from focusing on the single issue of race and from a 'box-ticking culture' around racism law.
The tenth anniversary of Macpherson will be marked by a special conference on Tuesday. Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who commissioned the Macpherson inquiry when he was Home Secretary in 1999, will say he is 'proud' of the progress that has been made over the past ten years.
Stephen Lawrence, 18, was stabbed to death in Eltham, South-East London, in a racist attack by five white youths in April 1993. No one has ever been convicted of the murder. The Macpherson Report said the Metropolitan Police investigation had been 'marred by institutional racism'. It was accepted at the time that the charge of institutional racism applied to the police nationwide.
Today Mr Straw said Macpherson had been 'a watershed'. He added that, while recruitment had dramatically improved, there was still much work to be done on the retention and promotion of ethnic officers.
Mr Coaker said: 'We are determined to work with the police service to offer fair and equal opportunities to all its members, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or background.'
Gloucestershire Police pursued its discriminatory recruitment policy in 2006. Chief Constable Dr Timothy Brain's force confessed it had acted unlawfully by dashing the men's hopes because of their sex and skin colour. White women who applied were not discriminated against because of a separate policy, unrelated to Macpherson, aimed at encouraging the recruitment of women.
Earlier this week, however, the Runnymede Trust said problems in the police service meant the criticism of institutional racism still applied. The report said: 'Ten years after the publication of the inquiry report, there is still significant progress to be made - notably in relation to the career experiences of black and minority ethnic officers and the disproportionate use of stop and search procedures against black groups. 'It is difficult, in light of these continued challenges, to argue that the charge of institutional racism no longer applies.'
Free speech - ACLU Style
Freedom for Leftist viewpoints only, of course
"I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion," wrote one particularly ambitious contributor in his 1935 Harvard 30th anniversary classbook. "I seek social ownership of all property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."
Seventy-two years later, the American Civil Liberties Union still abides by those words - penned by its founder, Roger Baldwin, who, incidentally, also said that advancing "civil liberties" in countries like the Soviet Union or its satellite nations really wasn't all that important. Happily, most of those nations have come around to a different viewpoint. But while the rotten tree of communism has fallen around the world, there remains one last stubborn root not far from the coast of Florida: Fidel Castro's Cuba. Cuba remains the ACLU's "Fantasy Island," where - to hear them tell it - happy Marxist children play together in perfect harmony, and the state makes sure its citizens are cared for from cradle to grave.
At least that's the glorious depiction in a book titled Vamos a Cuba ("Let's Visit Cuba") that the ACLU wanted to keep on the bookshelves of a Florida school. The book makes the communist state sound like a trip to DisneyWorld. But as it did on the TV show Fantasy Island, illusion in Cuba quickly gives way to harsh reality. While the book is filled with commentaries on how Cubans enjoy chicken with rice, it neglects to mention that, under the country's subsidized ration plan, the average Cuban is allowed only 8 ounces per month. Cubans are shown "boating," but "boating" for most Cubans means trying to escape from the repressive regime on fragile, homemade rafts. And mysteriously missing is any mention of the 20-year prison sentences handed out to Cuban poets, journalists, and priests who don't fall on their knees and worship the communist regime.
When a Cuban-American parent who had escaped political imprisonment in Castro's "utopia" expressed his concern that the book only showed the Cuba its communist leaders wanted children to see, the Miami-Dade County school board evaluated the book and agreed. They pulled the book from its school libraries. That's when the ACLU - always eager to preserve delusion - got involved and sued the school district. This is the same ACLU that endorsed an amendment lifting the ban on tourist travel to Cuba - a long distance slap in the face to Cubans, who now watch foreign tourists feed corruption, pesos, and dollars to the communist government.
Thankfully, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently came down on the side of the school board and ruled they could remove the book. But the ACLU is not giving up, pledging "further legal action."
Now, you might be saying, why all this fuss about a little book - one more annoying gnat amid the ACLU's swarm of legal mosquitoes? Well, the irony is that even while the ACLU is suing to allow communist indoctrination into public school libraries, it is suing to keep a lot of other books - which don't line up with ACLU ideology - out. Want your child to learn about other views besides evolution? The ACLU says no. Evolution must be taught, and other options, such as intelligent design, must be silenced. Want your child to learn that marriage is the union of one man and one woman? The ACLU says no. "Alternative lifestyles" must reign supreme in the classroom - all in the name of tolerance and "diversity." Want your child to learn that abstinence is the only 100-percent effective way to prevent teen pregnancy? The ACLU says no. Schoolchildren must learn how to engage in potentially harmful sexual behaviors at any time and any place.
When it's something the ACLU wants your children to learn, regardless how inaccurate the presentation, they will sue to silence parents and force-feed their leftist view of "education" on America's children.
A majority of American parents clearly don't realize how determined the ACLU is to impose its will on them, to indoctrinate their children, and to promote its own warped legal "vision" for America. It's a vision that's closer to the harsh reality of Castro's Cuba than the fantasies books like "Let's Visit Cuba" want America's children - and grown-ups - to believe.
How to protect the guilty and endanger the innocent
Criminals allowed to hide their past in the Left-run Australian State of Victoria
Violent criminals and sex offenders are being allowed to change their names by deed poll, helping them hide their pasts and reduce the risk of revenge attacks. Criminals and sex offenders not listed on a registry can pay $58.80 and change their name by deed poll. And while the worst sex offenders face name-changing restrictions, they can still apply to authorities to hide their identities.
The Adult Parole Board said 21 of 25 parolees who had applied for a new name were approved. But the State Government and police have refused to say how many registered sex criminals and prisoners in total have been given the green light for new identities. All three agencies have refused to identify the criminals granted new identities, saying it would breach confidentiality.
But the Sunday Herald Sun understands some criminals are listing fears of revenge attacks from vigilantes as the reason for wanting to change their names. Laws were toughened after it was discovered notorious pedophile Brian "Mr Baldy" Jones wanted to change his name to Shaun Paddick, in an insult to his victims, whose hair he cut. Frankston serial killer Paul Denyer also announced plans to change his name to "Paula".
Crime victims' advocates have slammed the process as a free ride and warned name-changing criminals could easily strike again. The revelations came amid concerns that a serial pedophile jailed this month could be out by October. Jamie Armstrong, 28, of Mt Duneed, pleaded guilty in Geelong County Court to 30 counts of sexually assaulting seven children under 16, and two counts of assault with intent to rape. Armstrong's victims were aged two to 11 and he told police he was always in danger of reoffending, the court heard. He had previously been placed on a community-based order and completed the sex offenders' program, after admitting to indecently assaulting a girl at a pool in 1999. He was sentenced this week to four years' jail with a minimum of 18 months. But having served 10 months on remand he could be out in October.
Anti-child abuse campaigner Hetty Johnston said child sex criminals should be given life sentences on their second offence and no sex offenders should be able to change their names. Parole Board spokesman David Provan said police were notified when criminals changed their names.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.