Stories for Tuesday 11 March

A number of subjects to mull over as possible talking points on the programme today.

Why are our kids so unhappy, arranged marriages are they a good thing, and citizenship – what does it take to be a good citizen?

Why are children so unhappy? This is the headline across the Independent newspaper here in Britain this morning.  It says that teachers are to take the extraordinary step of calling for an independent Royal Commission to investigate why so many of Britain’s children are unhappy.  This comes on the back recent evidence highlighting the fragile states of mind of many of the country’s seven million primary and secondary school pupils.  

We blogged about happiness yesterday asking: What makes you happy?

Well if British children are unhappy, I wonder how they would feel about this story? The British government is considering holding citizenship ceremonies for all school leavers, with teenagers being asked to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. Nothing unusual for WHYS regulars in America, where school kids swear allegiance to the flag everyday.. But what does it take to be a citizen and will these ceremonies make any difference?

And finally , the missing kids at Britain’s schools. A British parliamentary committee has published the results of an investigation into hundreds of children from ethnic minorities whose names have disappeared from school registers. It fears that some of them, mostly of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, are being taken out of education and forced to marry against their will.

So why does the rest of the world allow these marriages to take place ?

Plus, are minority communities the biggest casualties of climate change? The Minority Rights Group certainly seem to think so. In a report out today they say that people least equipped to deal with droughts and floods are those from poor backgrounds, ethnic or religious minorities and indeginous people.

Does your position in society really affect how much of an impact climate change has on you?

6 Responses to “Stories for Tuesday 11 March”

  1. 1 VictorK
    March 11, 2008 at 12:08

    Here in Britain the teaching profession is one of several that attracts a disproportionate number of people whose political opinions are on the liberal-left. This is reflected in the kind of issues that teachers and their representatives choose to agitate about, and those that they choose to ignore.

    Any opportunity to extend the control of the state over our lives, to treat children as a special interest group, and to further weaken the family by undermining parental authority always seems to be welcomed by teachers and their representatives. But the happiness of children ought to be a matter for parents alone. Only people who cannot distinguish between the state and civil society, and who care little for the need to maintain liberty by circumscribing the role of government, would think that a Royal Commission would be warranted for such a matter.

    By contrast, the same teachers and teachers’ organisations have for years turned a blind eye to certain illegalities practised by the parents of some muslim children. Some muslim families routinely withdraw their children from school and send them back to countries like Pakistan for months on end. Their reason for doing this is to prevent their children being acculturated to British ways and to ensure that they retain the language, customs and identity of their countries of origin. This is why you sometimes come across young British-born muslims who, to my constant amazement, speak English with a slight foreign accent. The teachers’ are, of course, all zealots for multiculturalism and anti-racism, and it is presumably out of deference to these idols that they have never taken action over this practice, even though it’s illegal and schools/local authorities have .powers to tackle it. The same applies to forced marriages, which have been happening for years and which schools and teachers must have been aware of, or at least had suspicions about. The silence and inaction of teachers over this has been remarkable.

    For the liberal-left multiculturalism and anti-racism is often taken to mean never ever criticising a minority group for conduct that would be immediately recognised and challenged as unacceptable if engaged in by the majority. And though it may inflate liberal-left egos with a sense of pride about their impecaable anti-racist credentials, the losers are always the children.

  2. March 11, 2008 at 12:57

    Well, WHYS, issues of Cliamte change and the minority groups being affectd could be tru. I mean all the efforts are geared towards the well developed and well to do societies. I think many governments and agencies put their focus upon those socieities they believe will be easier to transform than poor and few communities.I think we need to change our perception towards this.

  3. 3 Will Rhodes
    March 11, 2008 at 14:11

    I read your points, Victor and the vast amount I agree with, well said, sir!

    I would like to also point out that it [children’s happiness] is about children being children. There is so many scares in the UK these days parents will not allow their children out to play – and if they do the children must be supervised at all times. We have to recognise that children need to be naughty sometimes – it is a learning curve toward adulthood. If there is adults always around they feel they cannot express themselves so feel controlled – this is as applicable to adults as much as children. The State is over-baring!

    The State has taken the lead roll of bringing up children – and this is where I have no pity for the State when those children act up, you took away the parenting rights, so now you have to deal with it. It is no longer surprising that the State doesn’t want to do this any more – it is a bit of a hassle for them. But as you have those who will not recognise their mistakes they will not give back the parenting role to parents – they, instead, will continue in making the same mistakes again, and again.

    In the BBC magazine they did a story on something similar – it was about growing up if anyone at the BBC has a link it would be worth bringing to this debate as a link because it showed that children don’t leave home or do many of things in past times, more they stay at home until their 30’s. My point being that children have to be allowed to grow up – they cannot be perpetual babies.

    I have never agreed with ‘arranged’ marriage. That, to me, is another term for forcing girls to marry whom they do not know nor, in reality, care for. Children should be in school not meeting their future husband several thousand miles away.

    I won’t go into the pledging allegiance – I am a republican and I would like to see the end of the monarchy in the UK – I certainly would like British people to be proud and to feel comfortable with society where all are included. Pledging allegiance is not the way to go – but as we see with many things this, supposed Labour, government are doing is putting a plaster over a broken arm.

  4. 4 Anthony
    March 11, 2008 at 15:19

    It’s because today, kids are more and more judged my material things, unlike years and years ago when we judged OURSELVES by our intelligence/ethics/morals. Kids around my town would rather have a fast car, an Iphone, and be drinking vodka than play the violin, help the community, and read “The Art of War”. With the material, it won’t last, and you need to constantly upgrade and be better than everyone else. With the later, these are carved into you, will keep you satisfied longer, and you do it for yourself.

    Kids these days don’t really know what makes them happy, at least thats what I think.

    -Anthony, La, CA.

  5. 5 eric aka eks321
    March 11, 2008 at 16:12

    random thought:
    bbc, dw, npr, etc man on the street interviews will always slant to the left because normal hard working people are inside their office buildings actually doing something productive, working. the next time one of these organizations wants to find out what productive citizens think about an issue, the man on the street correspondent should go inside a bank and interview the workers.

    why are children unhappy? parents who work and don’t spend any quality time with them. a society that bombards them with messages that they need things to be happy and the can not possibly get any satisfaction from things. the inability to just be children and be able to play outside. doctors prescribing drugs to control them. this stream could go on for ever…

    global warming is completely due to the sun. if anyone analyses the issue they will see that man’s influence is negligable. the polar bears are not dying. the sea level is not rising. the temperature is going down since 2003. there was a very interesting photo just released by nasa showing that the polar glacial caps on mars are receding. what martians are polluting their environment to cause martian global warming. none. its the sun!

    education time for the citizens of the world. america is not a democracy. it is a federal republic. we do not subsribe to democratic mob rule. minorities are protected. we are a country based upon the rule of law and government control.
    in order for a law to be passed it must have an overwhelming majority. democracy will institute changes base upon a simle majority. our political system is not democratic either. the president can be elected with the minority of the political vote. abraham lincoln, bill clinton and george bush all were elected with a minority
    of the popular vote.

    see you all again tomorrow where i will educate you all again. have a blessed day.

  6. 6 john in Germany
    March 12, 2008 at 12:40

    Hello erik-aka ecks 321.

    No thanks, i will let life educate me if that’s all you have to offer.

    According to you only blue collar workers work, or have i miss-read your writing?.

    The normal man on the street could also be a hard worker, but the end result is not as much as the man in the bank, 90% of success starts from day one, your birth situation. So dont ever make reference to the man on the street being a lazy do no good, it offends. And what has it to do with left or right?. i thought republicans were a bit of everything. On top of that what’s being lazy or hard working to do with politics?. One of the most conservative man i ever knew was a steel worker turned soldier.

    According to you only Bank workers children are unhappy because their parents are working. So the children from the man on the street are all happy.

    According to you the sun is causing global warming, so why wern’t we all slowly knocked out from day one.

    God Save America.
    And i hope that man fighting Clinton wins, and then wins the Election to become the first coloured President of America. A change is as good as a rest. Dont get me wrong i admire anyone that becomes the American President, no easy task, and they will never get it right. has something to do with not being a democracy.

    John in Germany

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