December 08, 2004

Staying out of Manchester (But It May Not be Enough)

A three-year-old boy ran out in front of a car as the climax to constant misbehaviour, so his father smacked him on the bum. Unfortunately, one of Manchester's finest was putting up murder inquiry posters and saw the man apply one smack.

So the father was charged and banned from going home or seeing his son unsupervised. For six months. He was even banned from speaking to him on the phone. That's how long it took for the case to come to trial.

But it didn't just remove him from his son for a sixth of his son's life. He had a newborn baby daughter and he has missed her entire life. He is a stranger to her. He has missed every exciting development and event in the lives of both children and his partner has had to raise them without any help.

At trial, he was convicted of common assault and given a two-year rehabilitation order. That's right - no, I am not making this up - common assault.

The immoral police and courts of Manchester have ruined a family. Because of a combination of the rehabilitation order and fear, that boy will probably never be disciplined again. He may end up like the 40 hooded students wearing balaclavas who attempted to storm Priestnall High School in Manchester this week and attacked students on their way to take their mock GCSEs.

The Government, the police, social services, and the courts want to remove every shred of discipline from the family, just as they have from the schools, and yet they think they can somehow bring order out of the chaos of their own creation. Children run wild, violence is ever on the increase, the world has gone mad.

Maybe if they weren't so busy arresting fathers smacking unruly children, they wouldn't be putting up so many murder inquiry posters.

Now the Government has officially announced proposals that will put financially responsibility on parents of children under 10 who are found deliberately damaging property. They can't be smacked, but they can saddle mum and dad with a bill for 5,000. If the parents fail to pay, magistrates (like the idiots on the bench in Manchester) will allow property to be seized from their homes or cash deductions made from their wages or benefits. If that doesn't settle the bill, jail is also an option.

Posted by david at December 8, 2004 09:02 PM | TrackBack

Outrageous. But now I'm curious--you continue to live in the U.K. because....?

Posted by: S.K. Davis at December 8, 2004 10:05 PM

There are a lot of factors. Mrs H's family is here. The cost of moving and re-establishing myself in the US. Having recently been out of work here for almost a year, I have to restart the cycle of having enough income over a long enough period of time to statify US regulations to immigrate Mrs H to the States. If I stayed in teaching I would be looking at a drop in pay of about $10,000 a year, though admittedly a drop in cost of living as well. If I went back into law (which I have no desire to do) I would have to go back to Indiana and try to find a job whilst learning all the changes I've missed over the past five years. Otherwise I would have to take another state's bar exam which would be very difficult having been out of law school for over eleven years, not to mention expensive.

No, I'm pretty well chained to this island. And as I admit from time to time, it does have its pros as well as its cons.

Posted by: Dave at December 9, 2004 12:35 AM

This is absolute total insanity!!! Completely ridiculous!! As the magistrates and government continue to interfere in the daily life of people, the more power is put into the hands of CHILDREN, the more out of control our society will become. This just makes me totally nuts!

What a shame.

Posted by: philippa at December 9, 2004 02:49 PM