Monday, September 18, 2006

The Archbishop of Canterbury follows my lead

Last night I spoke at a Liberator fringe meeting based on the recent book Liberalism: Something to Shout About, edited by Graham Watson MEP and Simon Titley.

I talked about our general sense that something has gone wrong with modern childhood, though no one can quite say what it is. It is a subject I have written about quite often, without coming to any firm conclusion.

Lately I have been coming round to the idea that the problem lies not with our children but with ourselves as adults. We have lost confidence in our ability to deal with children and New Labour's interventions - which are turning parenting from a normal expectation of adulthood into something that appears impossibly difficult and complex - are making things worse.

This morning I turned on the television to see Rowan Williams saying much the same thing. Add to this the hundred psychologists, headteachers and children's authors who wrote to the Daily Telegraph the other day and it seems that I am no longer the only person worrying about these questions.

Incidentally, the archbishop's eyebrows are magnificent - up there with Denis Healey's and late-period David Hemmings - but I often find myself looking at them and not listening to what he is saying.

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