Ah, this’ll be those not-at-all-nanny-state Tories, will it?

Jesus wept. I know I’ve said this about eleventy squillion times already, but it really is like Labour never left office.

Children who appear on television talent shows or reality TV programmes will have to be licensed under Government plans to prevent them being exploited for ratings.

Anyone under 16 who appears in front of Simon Cowell and the other judges on Britain’s Got Talent will have to be cleared in advance by their local council under an overhaul of rules on child performers.

The local council. Well, that’s a relief. I was worried that the job might get handed to a bunch of witless, rubber stamping, chair polishers who’d just cash the cheque and send back an approval or a rejection depending on whether the requisite number of boxes are ticked. But if it’s going to be the councils, the same mobs who’d reject a planning application on the grounds of a Tree Preservation Order on a tree that isn’t actually going to be cut down, then I’ve clearly been worrying for nothing. Yeah, I can’t think of anyone better to take up the new and hitherto unneeded role in deciding whether an under 16 can appear on Simon Cowell’s freak show than a bunch of local government officials who don’t know the kid from Adam.

Tim Loughton, the Children’s Minister, said on Thursday that the current rules, drawn up more than 40 years are no longer “fit for purpose” in the era of reality television.

Ironically “not fit for purpose” has become such an overused phrase in politics, and has whored itself to promote new legislation that some government shitwit deemed desirable so fucking often that it itself is no longer fit for purpose. When you hear “not fit for purpose” the subtext is usually “we’re going to make a pointless change that will expand the size and role of the state and its ability to interfere with your life, and we want you to think that it’s necessary because one politician once said ‘not fit for purpose’ about something that really wasn’t”.

Tim Loughton, incidentally, is allegedly a Conservative. To be fair to him he probably believes he is, and since the Tories have a long and less than illustrious history of being paternalist bastards this might even appeal to him as a Conservative. But the people who run the government department that he’s the nominal head of probably aren’t and since they were there for the last lot and will mostly be there for the next lot, whoever the next lot turn out to be, you have to wonder whether this is a Conservative/Cobbleition policy or a policy of the real party of government, the Civil Service. And you also have to wonder if they have to do much more than dream up some shit, plonk the draft policy in front of the minister, and give a nice, long pull on the talk cord in the back of his head.

“New policy needed… no longer fit for purpose… I love you, mummy… let’s play…”


18 comments for “Ah, this’ll be those not-at-all-nanny-state Tories, will it?

  1. May 25, 2012 at 7:57 am

    You know what really isn’t ‘fit for purpose’? This shower of arseholes in the House of Commons!

    • May 25, 2012 at 9:48 am

      Depends what the purpose is. If it involves a large spring loaded device and people shouting ‘Pull!’ then what would you say? :mrgreen:

    • ivan
      May 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      You forgot to mention the top three layers of the Civil Service as well.

      Get rid of those two groups and things MIGHT start to improve.

  2. Jack Savage
    May 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Let me be the first to congratulate you on the beauty of that rant. I am an ethusiastic student and utiliser of sweary words and I think that was perfectly judged.
    Helped by every word being true.

    • May 25, 2012 at 10:23 am


    • May 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      I assure you, it was from the heart. And the bile duct.

  3. May 25, 2012 at 10:23 am

    You may have noticed that right at the beginning the government got in and did a couple of good things; it stopped the ISA in its tracks and commissioned a review of the CRB system to try to stop it being applied as a medieval guild system which prevented people from giving childcare or being anywhere near children.

    The pruning was not wholly successful; these bindweeds always grow back and it would seem that this is an example of a minister reverting to statist-type. Perhaps he should have checked with Michael Gove before creating a Trojan for the local authorities to demand access to every school theatre.

  4. Tattyfalarr
    May 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    It’s not the rules that aren’t fit for purpose…it’s the parents chucking their kids into the bearpit that is “reality tv” then whining like toddlers when it inevitably goes tits up.

    Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington !

    • May 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Indeed, and if Noel Coward had lived to see Britain’s Got To Be Desperate and The Y Factor I’m sure he’d have cursed that he’d already written the perfect song all those years ago.

      • Tattyfalarr
        May 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

        Perhaps nowadays he’d have been have been publicly castigated for writing a Hate Song but got off with a small fine due to the mitigation of his sexuality. He’d have appreciated the irony in that.

        Apologies if that’s a little too surreal…I have a stinking head cold bang in the middle of summer…my snot-clogged brain is going places stranger then ever before today. I should probably stay off the blogs for the duration…

        • May 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm

          Perhaps nowadays he’d have been have been publicly castigated for writing a Hate Song…

          Don’t tell me – tedious wannabe talent show whores have been given official recognition as a minority group?

          Edit: actually I’m tempted to put that on my next census. Hope I remember.

          • Tattyfalarr
            May 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm

            But…but…you can’t say nasty things about children…especially the poor and/or not-white ones. All children are now practically almost a “Protected Species”.

            Except the ones under Social Care…obviously… 🙄

            • Stadtler
              May 26, 2012 at 12:13 am

              All children are now practically almost a “Protected Species”.
              Nearly correct.

              Actually , the politically correct term – in government circles- is to “have a protected characteristic”.

              Doubting Thomases should Google “protected characteristic” for depressing reading.

              • May 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

                “Have a protected characteristic?” Jesus!

                /checks gun
                /shoots self

  5. David A. Evans
    May 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I think it may come under employment law which is an EU incompetency!

    In other words, he’s trying to own something he’s effectively been told to do by the EU!


    • May 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      Ah, torn between trying to sell it as a good idea and looking like a softcock crying ‘They made me do it!’ On the whole I think I’d rather he was torn between two steroid abusing elephants.

      • David A. Evans
        May 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm

        That’s about the mark of it. They’ll take the blame for any half arsed idea rather than admit they’re impotent.

        EDIT: They think it’s spelt important


  6. May 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Restrict under 16’s in ‘Talent’ contests? Now there’s an area I’d actually support a complete ban. No more kiddie talent shows!

    Damn. It might even work.

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