Monday, May 17, 2004

More doubts

It seems that the 14-year-old was advised by a 21-year-old who has been variously described as a "counsellor" or an "outreach worker". I often moan about professionals, but a 21-year-old cannot possibly have the level of education or supervised practice to be called a professional.

It is never a good idea to make too much of one case reported in the newspapers. And there are hard questions here. Why didn't the daughter feel able to confide in her mother? Was the mother right to go to the newspapers?

Yet it worries me that most liberals and left-wingers will unhesitatingly side with the authorities here. Think of their attitude towards Victoria Gillick, who tried to uphold parental rights a few years ago. They did not just disagree with her - which is a perfectly defensible position - they ridiculed her.

But if we have such a low opinion of the average citizen that we doubt her ability to give sensible advice to her own daughter, where does that leave liberalism or even democracy?

Meanwhile, here are two good article from the Telegraph. (You will need to register, but it is worth it if only for the obituaries.) The first disagrees with everything I have just said rather convincingly, and the second shows how the authorities have been passing the buck:

"The next call was to Irene Kakoullis, the teenage pregnancy strategy manager for Nottingham city council. But a woman answering the telephone said we had to speak to a marketing and brand development company, Diva Creative, in Sheffield."

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