Family Issues

Send in the Supernannies!

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Brit PM Tony Blair, fresh off calling Iraq a "disaster," is ready for another troop deployment, this time domestically. According to ITV News, in an attempt to undermine "yob culture" in Jolly Olde Englande, Blair is dispatching a special force of "supernannies" to attack the root causes of behavior by adolescents.

A hit-squad of nearly 80 "Supernannies" is to spearhead a new drive to stamp out anti-social behaviour.

The Government is determined to get to the root cause of yob culture and believed that taming unruly children at an early age could be the answer.

Prime Minister Tony Blair is promising £4 million to set up a network of experts to treat the problem.

Mr Blair is also expected to announce plans to force more people to attend parenting classes….

"This should be no surprise given the huge popularity of all those television programmes in which experts help parents with their problem kids," said Mr Blair…

"So I don't believe any Government, particularly one determined to tackle anti-social behaviour, can ignore parents' cry for help."

Mr Blair said he wanted experts appointed in 77 areas, adding: "The nanny state argument applied to this is just rubbish. No-one's talking about interfering in a normal family life.

"But life isn't normal if you've got 12-year-olds out every night drinking and creating a nuisance on the street with their parents either not knowing or not caring.

"In these cases, a bit of nannying with sticks and carrots is what the local community needs."

More here.


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  1. Good Christ, don’t these morons realize “nanny state” is a term of derision, something to be avoided, not aspired to?

  2. Where’s all the data framing just what the behavioral problems are? How many 12-year-olds are out there drinking and swearing on the street corners for instance?

    What qualifies one as an expert in this domain and why does Blair think that government-identified expert nannies will deliver any better result in this domain than all his intelligence and military experts have delivered in the ME (as an example of expertise not being so expert)?

  3. Years ago, the British supernanny was a very cute Julie Andrews and Dick VanDyke doing the worst English accent ever. Harmless.

    But now it has come down to this.

  4. At least his strategy doesn’t involve fining people who curse at the yobs (as recently featured in Daily Brickbat).

  5. Ugh. And what the hell is “yob”?

  6. And when the army of supernannies fails, they’ll send in an army of Dog Whisperers to really get the job done. Tssssssst!

  7. Didn’t Labour just waste millions of dollars on programs to “improve” education?

  8. Or rather, millions of pounds.

  9. Did I accidentally go to The Onion’s site? Government dispatches nannies, disputes claims of “nanny state”? Sounds more like parody than reality.

  10. Sounds more like parody than reality.

    Britain has been becoming a parody of itself since about the late 1950s.

  11. OMG, there was a Python skit about this — a bunch of superannuated pepperpots going around, terrorizing the nation’s youth!

  12. Call me suspicious of a plan to send nannies out onto the streets to deal with yobs when there was just recently a story about an elderly lady who was repeatedly harrassed by teenaged yobs, poked one with her walking stick, and was then knocked to the ground by them, breaking her arm. And was then arrested for assault after the outraged mommy of one of the little thugs complained.

  13. Well I’m as anti-nanny state as anyone here, but I have to admit that seeing chavs, yobs and football hooligans rounded up into camps and beaten senseless by blue-haired harpys would bring a smile to my heart.

  14. A yob is a generic thug.

    Chavs are a more specific variety.

    Now I am going to have Bill Hicks’ “hooligans” routine stuck in my head all day.

  15. What if drinking and smoking at age 12 is the culture of most people, and the ones at odds are the upper crust?

    Seems like it was similar in victorian times but they didn’t try to change the behavior of the lower classes, so long as they dug the coal and enlisted in the army.

  16. mk, I’m with you on this, especially if they include the lowlifes who drive by my house at midnight blaring their stereos at top volume. There’s also the teenage goons who hang around some of our neighborhood parks and scare the little kids. They scare me, too. Thinking about those guys makes me want to grab a really big stick and join the Nanny Militia. We’ll force them to listen to Bach cantatas, drink tea, and administer powerful electric shocks whenever they complain.

  17. Yes Karen, let us don our wigs, comfortable shoes and Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and teach these punks a lesson.

    Seriously, the first thing I would do once they were rounded up into the camps, um “re-education centers”, would be to force them to memorize Lord Breaulove Swells Whimsy’s The Perils of Sportswear. I’d then make that cute Lady Sovereign girl put on a nice Laura Ashley dress and marry a nice banker or something.

  18. So what about the London Sillynannies? Is there a sponsorship deal in the works?

  19. From birth you tell kids they have no responsibility over their life and in fact are incapable of making decisions about how they want to live, and that the government is going to take over all the authority and care for them cradle to grave.

    So the kids figure “well screw it” and decide they might as well drink, smoke, and raise hell to have fun.

    Who’da thought?

  20. I believe the proper title is “The Supernanny State”

  21. It’s going to take a lot more than supernannies to change this country – this is not a problem which requires a short term solution like drafting in child psychologists who are still using old ideas – it needs a long term program of change and support over several generations.

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