Thursday, 14 January 2010

Snow and the Interfering State

School was open today and weather forecasters are predicting a big thaw over the weekend. Now I’m starting to panic how I will cope next week without my “snow day”. Despite my objections to the principles, I’ve got used to our days off. It's become a treat to be protected by the muffler of snow from the normal requirements to chase and chivvy and frantically dash to school. The twilight, ethereal, glowing world of snow has become a sanctuary where we can enjoy being at home and catch up with ourselves.

Joking apart, my whole point in these last few postings has been to highlight the bigger issues behind the decision to close schools. With this in mind I thought this article in The Sunday Times was interesting. Jenni Russell discusses how the state has interfered in our lives to such an extent because Labour don’t trust us to make our own decisions. This goes to the core of my problem with schools closing – we can’t be trusted to decide whether it's safe for us to get to school and there are endless petty health and safety rules strangling every practical decision. “By putting the state in the middle of everything, we’re destroying society” says a mother whose 15 year old son was forbidden to do work experience with a stockbroker in London because the council’s health and safety officer had to check all premises beforehand and he was not allowed to travel that far.

I appreciate that all these rules are supposed to be for our benefit, but they are actually counter-productive because, rather than protecting people in a practical and pragmatic way, they simply annoy and frustrate, turning people away from what would be sensible behaviour. I’m not launching into politics on this blog but I would love to see a government who can allow society to be responsible and stop marring our lives with petty and nonsensical regulations.


Muddling Along Mummy said...

I hate this whole nanny state thing - its stopping us thinking for ourselves and using common sense

I'm an adult, surely I should be able to make adult decisions on my own? And to make them for my children?

Motherhood and Anarchy... said...

I completely agree Muddling Along Mummy!