Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Tooth-brushing lessons in school? Why doesn't the state just remove children from their parents at birth?

I'd just finished writing my last post on costly government social-engineering schemes when I came across anitem on the Telegraph website about new advice for local authorities from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) under which "schools will be asked to run daily sessions, physically helping children aged between three and 11 to brush their teeth up to twice daily"(full story here).

Look, I've checked, and it's definitely not April Fool's Day.

The article went on: 'Health officials said the plans were necessary because too many parents did not even realise that their children’s teeth needed brushing, while others assumed the task was “trivial”.'

What sort of parents don't realise that their children's teeth need brushing? No such person exists. I think that what the health officials meant to say was that there are members of the underclass who are so lazy and selfish and so unfit to bring up children that the matter of their little benefit-magnets' dental hygiene literally never crosses what passes for their minds. If they were ever to wonder why Wayne or Shawneessa's blackened, stumpy teeth tend to fall out of their mouths whenever they tuck into an Iceland pizza, they'd dismiss the thought of wasting money on toothbrushes or toothpaste because that would mean dipping into the weekly booze and drugs budget.

The problem, of course, is that Wayne and Shawneessa's parents can't be arsed to look after their own teeth. Theodore Dalrymple, who was a prison psychiatrist, once wrote a truly horrifying article about the generally disgusting state of prisoners' teeth - and I'm assuming the parents of the children NIce is concerned about spend quite a bit of time in prison (I certainly hope they do).

Not only does Nice want to waste time that should be spent on teaching the three Rs overseeing twice-daily toothbrushing sessions (no doubt sandwiched between daily "bottom-wiping" and "how to hold a knife and fork" demonstrations) - it inevitably wants to provide all children with a goody-bag consisting of 'free toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste to take home, in a bid to stop children being “condemned to a life with rotten teeth".'

Three points: (a) don't be so bloody silly, you goofballs (b) how exactly will these toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste be "free" - presumably someone will end up having to pay for them, and, as it won't be the useless layabouts responsible for bringing these poor little blighters into the world, I guess that'll be you and me, as per bloody usual, (c) why should the vast majority of state school children whose parents care about them enough to ensure that they brush their teeth be subjected to the same regime as the offspring of the underclass, and why should decent parents be tarred with the same brush as a moronic minority?

This, of course, is an example of the same one-size-fits-all mindset that devised the mad scheme thanks to which the infant children of well-off parents will receive free school meals as well as the children of the poor. Well, after all, we wouldn't want to embarrass anyone, would we? Much easier to revisit the magic public-sector money tree.

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