Monday, December 12, 2005

Government reinstates Christmas

When I started writing for Liberal Democrat News I pointed out that all new columnists are obliged by law to sign an undertaking not to use the phrase "political correctness gone mad". The same duty applies to bloggers.

This can make some stories difficult to cover. One such is today's withdrawal of official advice on how to organise school Christmas parties. As the Daily Telegraph said this morning:
Children should be protected from "terrifying" Father Christmas, shielded from "alarming" pantomimes and encouraged not to send wasteful Christmas cards, a Government website has advised teachers.
Meanwhile, congratulations to Lib Dem shadow education secretary Ed Davey for rushing out a press release on the subject.

The advice may have been withdrawn, but thanks to the wonders of the Google cache you can still read it.

Looking at it dispassionately, it is by no means all ridiculous. But it does suggest that the safety first view, which takes such a pessimistic view of children and their capabilities, is deeply ingrained in the public sector.

I do not give much for our chances in the medals table at London 2012 if our children are too fragile to stand losing at Pass the Parcel.

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