Par­ents usu­ally know best. The State must NEVER shut them out

The Mail on Sunday - - News -

IN A free so­ci­ety, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween par­ent and child is one of the strong­est and most im­por­tant there is. And so it should be. The enor­mous ma­jor­ity of par­ents are re­spon­si­ble and lov­ing. They have raised their chil­dren from the be­gin­ning, know them bet­ter than any­one else and would fiercely de­fend them against any dan­ger.

As chil­dren turn slowly into adults, dur­ing the long and of­ten fraught teenage years, this re­la­tion­ship nec­es­sar­ily changes. But it re­mains strong, and wise in­sti­tu­tions value and re­spect it. Our most suc­cess­ful schools, for in­stance, are those who in­volve par­ents most closely in the ed­u­ca­tion of their off­spring.

This is why it is so dis­turb­ing and dis­tress­ing to find that a pub­licly funded or­gan­i­sa­tion is se­cretly en­cour­ag­ing girls as young as 13 to take se­ri­ous steps down the road to­wards chang­ing their gen­der.

It can­not be stressed enough that those un­der­go­ing such doubts about their gen­der de­serve sym­pa­thy, sup­port and help from ev­ery quar­ter. But at the age of 13, it is surely vi­tal that their par­ents are aware of what is go­ing on. Their knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing are in­dis­pens­able in such a cru­cial mat­ter.

The State, whether in the form of po­lit­i­cally cor­rect teach­ers or Gov­ern­ment and lot­tery-funded pres­sure groups, should not have the ex­clu­sive right to dis­cuss these mat­ters with any­one so young, or to help them take se­cret steps to­wards pro­found changes in their lives.

The in­volve­ment of Gov­ern­ment-backed bodies in keep­ing par­ents out of any dis­cus­sion of the fu­ture of such young chil­dren surely amounts to State in­ter­fer­ence in pri­vate life, which would ap­pear to in­fringe Ar­ti­cle 8 of the Euro­pean Hu­man Rights Char­ter, now in­cor­po­rated in the UK’s law.

Leav­ing the law aside, at very young ages, it is surely es­sen­tial for the young per­son’s wel­fare that par­ents are at the very least aware that their daugh­ters are us­ing gar­ments such as chest binders, which can have se­ri­ous long-term ef­fects on the phys­i­cal health of their users.

Out­siders with strong pas­sions or agen­das are cer­tain to place more im­por­tance on their trea­sured goals, and less on the risks to the in­di­vid­ual. The LGBT Foun­da­tion must ei­ther stop be­hav­ing in this fash­ion, or cease to re­ceive pub­lic funds of any kind.

A far-Right UKIP is a men­ace to us all

NO­BODY could dis­miss Nigel Farage as a soppy lib­eral, or as a mem­ber of the Es­tab­lish­ment. So mem­bers of UKIP can­not eas­ily ig­nore his fer­vent warn­ings against the party’s alarm­ing flir­ta­tion with Stephen Yax­ley-Len­non, the rau­cous and highly con­tro­ver­sial founder of the English De­fence League who calls him­self ‘Tommy Robin­son’.

UKIP’s new leader, Ger­ard Bat­ten, has cho­sen Mr Yax­leyLen­non as an ad­viser and now pro­poses to in­volve him in a planned pro-Brexit rally in Lon­don next Sun­day.

Mr Farage – who fears that any as­so­ci­a­tion with Mr Yax­leyLen­non will de­stroy not just UKIP but the whole Brexit cause – is threat­en­ing to tear up his UKIP mem­ber­ship card un­less Mr Bat­ten is re­moved at a spe­cial meet­ing to­day. He warns of ‘scuf­fles, vi­o­lence and worse’ if his ad­vice is ig­nored. He may well be right.

UKIP, for all its faults, has played an im­por­tant part in trans­form­ing Bri­tish pol­i­tics and per­suad­ing the es­tab­lished par­ties to take the EU is­sue se­ri­ously. And Mr Farage, for all his faults, al­ways kept UKIP away from the foot­ball-hooli­gan fringe of the far right, help­ing to put paid to the highly un­pleas­ant Bri­tish Na­tional Party.

It will be bad for Bri­tish pol­i­tics, and for the coun­try as well, if UKIP now seeks sal­va­tion in grubby and un­pleas­ant street pol­i­tics.

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