22 February 2011

Playgrounds are not a children's right

An interesting if somewhat lighthearted story was covered by the beeb this morning. It involves a 10 year old boy's campaign for a playground in his village of Barton on the Sea.

He seems to have upset the mainly elderly villagers who not unnaturally point out the village has a meadow repleat with stream and trees.

Now I'm fully aware of the attraction of the swings for small boys, being the proud owner of three such scamps, but they are equally (if not more) happy running around, getting wet and climbing trees. As a convinced urban dweller I find it somewhat incongruous that swings are a necessary part of growing up in rural areas.

But what annoyed me most was 10 year old Ellis telling the BBC that 'playgrounds were a children's right'. They're not and never have been. They're not even an essential part of growing up.

Sadly I fear 13 years of Labour's conflation of rights, responsibilities, entitlements and access to services has left young people with little sense of perspective and unrealistic expectations about what can and should reasonably be provided to them by the state.

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