Friday, 16 September 2011

Thoughtcrime in the nursery

Thanks to Britain's anti-bullying laws, 20,000 children aged 3 to 11 are on a national database for saying forbidden words and it will follow them into their university or employment years–or until they're hauled off to Room 101 (Kiddie Division).

I've always been deeply suspicious of anti-bullying laws because they are tailor made for totalitarians.  They're nothing less than a mandate to rummage about in children's minds and correct all those "inappropriate" beliefs without let or hindrance.  In the totalitarians' nasty little social-engineering souls, the act of bullying is irrelevant and punishment isn't even to be considered. Re-education in its crudest form is always the best, indeed only option.

It's the opinion behind bullying that is always at fault, never the character of the bully. It isn't enough to tell a bully that it doesn't a matter a fig what's his opinion of the other fellow–even if that opinion is accurate.  Nor can you tell him that his opinion is certainly no justification for shoving someone's head in the bog.  Nor is it enough to punish the bully with six of the best, warn him  to leave his victim alone and make him understand that further bullying will be even more harshly punished.  He must be forced to"accept" and even endorse his victim without reservation.  Why?  Because in the minds of the sort of people who write anti-bullying laws, the fact that someone is being bullied means that they are a victim and being a victim means having unquestionable moral authority.  The bullyee may be a fractious, ill-mannered oaf with the table etiquette of a baboon and the body odour to match, but in the bully/bullyee relationship, this immediately turns his stench into perfume.  Or, at least, everyone must claim that it is. Loudly and publicly. Especially if the bullyee is a member of a protected class.  To this end, it's up to the Thoughtpolice to make sure that children of Outer Party members are indoctrinated in the correct (that is, Leftist) thoughts.  Then and only then will bullying cease. Most of it, anyway.  Enemies of the Party will always be fair game, of course.

If anyone objects, then they must, by the mere thought of objecting,  be racist, sexist, homophobic or a follower of Goldstein and therefore ignored.

Or bullied into silence.


Sergej said...

I think that this is a neat example of a government department that comes pre-useless, right out of the box. Seriously, what kind of employer will care that little Jimmy called a fellow student a, and I quote, "stupid booger-head" (not knowing any stronger language) in second grade, or referred to something as teh ghey? Will there also be a department for keeping up with what is currently considered offensive among the 5--7 age group?

I can see the Primary School Criminal Records Division becoming a place where all the incompetent bureaucrats who can't be fired for some reason end up getting sent. In a sane world, this would be the reason for setting it up in the first place.

Ironmistress said...

One of my classmates in the comprehensive school was bullied into suicide.

It's almost thirty years now, and hardly a day passes of not thinking about him.

This is a dead serious issue. Literally.

eon said...


Agreed. And I am sorry for your loss of your friend.

I am speaking as someone who was bullied unmercifully throughout public school. (Hint; being the child of a school official the thug culture hated for not winking at their thuggery is very bad joss, indeed.)

Telling the victim "Just ignore them and they'll go away" was the stock response when I was a kid. It didn't work; they took being ignored as a cue to escalate. ("Oh, you're ignoring me? Ignore THIS!") Appealing to their parents usually ended with the parents piously proclaiming "my perfect child can do no wrong"; far from having "low self-esteem" as per the old theories, most bullies are spoiled-brat, malignant narcissists with colossal egos.

The only realistic answer to bullying is, indeed, six of the best across the backside, and a warning to stop it permanently Or Else. And the Or Else has to be at least as painful for the parents as the bully. (Expulsion, criminal charges for assault, etc.)

This "action" by the British educational system accomplishes absolutely nothing, except to make it possible for bullies and other trouble-makers to get other children "in trouble" by just swearing they heard them say something "politically incorrect". Far from a deterrent to bullying, it is a weapon the bullies can use against their victims- with the full backing of the school authorities. Nice going, guys.

It smacks of yet another round of "enlightened" thought being used instead of common sense. But common sense rarely gains autocrats the power they are addicted to.



David said...

eon & Ironmistress: I agree with both of you, which is why I find this law so appalling. It also strikes very close to home because I was a Royal Navy brat and spent much of my childhood bounced from one school to another from Portsmouth to Hong Kong. Being the perpetual New Kid means being a perpetual target–especially when you're a scrawny runt with specs.

I didn't get out of being bullied by the sort of PC bromides handed out today. I was left alone because I fought like an insane ferret. I was beat up a lot, but never twice in one school because no rotten little coward likes going up against someone who keeps coming at him no matter how often he's slammed against the wall.

Sergej said...

Clarification is in order. Actual bullying is not a good thing. Reintroduction of corporal punishment might do something to improve the situation. However, putting teasing, and non-PC language, and anonymous accusations of being non-PC by word or thought into the same category as serious bullying, and then making violations part of a student's permanent record, is a good way to get that section of the record ignored. And also, doesn't seem likely to solve the real problem.

Ironmistress said...

Let's say the bullies are usually clever enough to arrange their victim to the caning rack instead of getting themselves there.

We are dealing with small psychopaths here and not some misbehaving brats.

Having to witness continuous harassment going on year after year, knowing it is wrong, being able to nothing and it ending up into death is the sure-fire way to lose your faith in both God and humanity. For me, Homo sapiens is nothing but a mischievous, malevolent tailless ape. I simply cannot believe in any loving or caring God since I do not have any experience of such. If there are any deities, they must be evil.

Homo homini Cthulhu.