Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml en-gb 30 Mon 26 Jan 2015 17:17:38 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=98#comment57 58) I have not got a transcript, but I understood Nutt to say that tobacco and alcohol need to be included in the roster in order to give a proportionate view of data and that, in terms of the scale of use, alcohol presents the greatest health risk of all drugs today. "In his October 2009 paper (based on a lecture given in July 2009,) Nutt had repeated his familiar view that illicit drugs should be classified according to the actual evidence of the harm they cause and pointed out that alcohol and tobacco caused more harm than LSD, ecstasy and cannabis." If you type "nutt alcohol" into Google, the top click is the "Mirror", reporting "Sacked government drugs adviser David Nutt continued to court controversy yesterday by saying alcohol prices should triple...." Sat 07 Nov 2009 20:39:02 GMT+1 elizabeth taylor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=96#comment56 redhelyn @56"urgent danger of alcohol": I thought he just compared alcohol with drugs. Did he actually make any recommendations as to how to keep alcohol consumption under wraps? I know some people have asked to ban Happy Hour, raise prices in supermarkets etc. but did that come from him? If so he was a brave man after all Sat 07 Nov 2009 17:13:53 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=94#comment55 53 - the desire to "always look on the bright side of life" might have informed his judgement on cannabis. That's possible, but if he were a maverick optimist, I think;1) He would not be trying to convey the urgent danger of alcohol.2) He would not have people resigning in support.I'm really sorry about your young friend who is spaced out. Perhaps you could show him what Prof Robin Murray has written. Perhaps it might at least help him to moderate his intake.No, thanks for your concern, but he is perfectly well. If a young person refuses advice, becomes antisocial, lets their life revolve around a drug, falls behind with their work, then there's a problem. Otherwise, in fact, there are often certain benefits - that is often overlooked. Nevertheless, the "psychedelic experience" in those who are, say, in emotional conflict, conditioned to supernatural beliefs, socially maladjusted or genetically predisposed may be indistinguishable from psychosis and may not "go away". I told him "listen to what I am say" and he said "I ALWAYS listen to what you say". I think he listened to what I said. Yes it would be nice if we could run a quick check on everyone's genetic/neurological or whatever it is makeup and say "you are not the kind of a person who is most likely to suffer such consequences". In the absence of such knowledge I guess we hav e to stick to Russian roulette with people's sanity.Many societies still manage rites of passage that involve powerful drugs. We can only find these things out if the phenomenon is accepted. The use of drugs is crude and dangerous but extremely prevalent in man and frequently linked, not without reason, to initiation, whether we speak of soma, peyote, ganja or the wine of the sacrament. It is frequently argued as a religious human right by isolated cults. I'd like to suggest it is a fundamental human right, simply because the general phenomenon of drug use is so frequently associated with the phenomenon of religion it follows that, in today's amorphous "spirituality", drug experimentation is bound to occur. But you cannot take them through it unless they admit they do it, and you cannot bring them out of it unless you can point to the next step. Sat 07 Nov 2009 01:34:42 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=93#comment54 51 "the government" did an absolutely appalling job educating the children at the school where I worked before I had children, and "the government" also did a shocking job when it was in charge of our children before we adopted them.I really think it was probably the school that was doing the "appalling job", not "the government" or "the state"? Education has directors and heads and county authorities in charge of schools, no? This national admin has messed with the curriculum rather a lot, but this is still basically the case. It is better to be exact because it prevents emotive generalities arising just, say, from the fact that one resents ones father!"my husband and I are the ones who will lay down our lives for them and will love and seek their best until the day we die." A noble heart indeed, but it can only function within the parameters of our knowledge and ability. Suppose, then, that with the knowledge and motivation and experiences you have, you had chosen instead to work to become a school director, education minister or such? Then you'd be obliged to extend the same feelings towards or on behalf of many children, whose circumstances are unknown. That's very onerous. Who knows what may be going on? And only you to protect those unknown children from all kinds of unknown dangers. Particularly children who are "under the radar" - like the "home educated". Next thing you know, there you are, passing a bill that you must be able to walk into...You see? And so, the well-intentioned but intolerable Badmanery you detest. Just people trying to make sure your kids are alive before they get vilified in the Daily Scandal for letting you kill 'em.Do not think for a single moment I am against home education; I am all for it. The only problem is that peer-group need.But Big Sis is right; your views on teachers are out of proportion. Often - I do not know about you - the contempt extends to health workers, policemen, govt officials..... so please do not overlook the possibility that you may indoctrinate a basically anti-social message that could have a kid shooting junk at twenty. I've seen it happen. Sat 07 Nov 2009 01:01:13 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=91#comment53 "Nope. One of my daughters is a nurse." -Sorry, I thought you said "Parents should have a right to know their children's teachers". They do. I agree, then, that I should hardly have asked, at enrolment, whether all lessons were taught by teaching staff. I find it a strange state of affairs. The questions I am asking: why was the authority unable to staff all lessons, and what was the nature of the arrangement that led to the employment of a student nurse? Is it not possible that it is the very peculiar status of the subject we are discussing that has led to the arrangement? - for one would hardly expect either to be told that; we never mentioned it but the person who teaches your child English is a secretary, not a teacher, and you can not speak to her. It sounds most unsatisfactory."The majority of faith schools in this country are C. of E. or Roman Catholic. I've been a parent of children at four of them. I don't recognise any part of the picture you paint here." And I have long ago lost count of the people I have met who have claimed to have been abused by nuns, yet have heard very few glowing accounts. Look a few up on wikipedia; you will not go far before you come upon some scandal or allegation. We have all lost count of the number of people who have died as a direct result of the segregation of Protestant and Catholic schools. And yet the two are so close in doctrine that the Pope can invite disaffected Anglicans to join Rome. What is this exactly - (and how can a church possibly value the attendance of a parent who does so purely to secure better exam results) is it really necessary in order to secure some obscure moral goal, or is it not, rather, a matter of indoctrination AGAINST other groups and a desire to conserve the power of numbers in one's own?I am sorry to hear that you have not come across any report of the unfortunate side-effects produced among sexually segregated adolescent "celibates" and the even more unfortunate fixation that causes them to corrupt others as they were themselves corrupted. It reminds me of the sin of Adam.... it just goes on and on. Start here;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_casesAnd you had also not heard that religions have different standards for boys and girls, rather to the detriment of the latter? Well, well. Tell you what. Get back to me when you've looked into it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases Sat 07 Nov 2009 00:02:37 GMT+1 elizabeth taylor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=89#comment52 Redhelyn at Wednesday's blog.Sorry if you thought my argument was "ad hominem" or a smear. I was genuinely trying to find the "equasy" article but on the way stumbled on this article by Prof Heather Ashton in which she was obviously very alarmed by benzodiapines (think I spelt it right this time!) and was complaining long before the 'Nutt' affair that he was telling students and young doctors that there were no sinister side-effects. She felt neither he nor anoyone in authority was listening to what the actual patients said. Despite her requests there has actually been no research on these side-effects. What I was trying to say was that maybe a similar disregard of clinical experience, or the desire to "always look on the bright side of life" might have informed his judgement on cannabis. When someone in a powerful position as he was speaks his mind on such a controversial topic isn't one allowed to question who he is and whether he genuinely speaks for "the scientific community" as the media simplistically like to call it. I admit the categories of A, B and C are really not very helpful (just heard Clive James on the subject and like him find the message of The Wire very persuasive)I'm really sorry about your young friend who is spaced out. Perhaps you could show him what Prof Robin Murray has written. Perhaps it might at least help him to moderate his intake.Yes it would be nice if we could run a quick check on everyone's genetic/neurological or whatever it is makeup and say "you are not the kind of a person who is most likely to suffer such consequences". In the absence of such knowledge I guess we hav e to stick to Russian roulette with people's sanity. Fri 06 Nov 2009 22:03:20 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=87#comment51 51: I won't criticise your decision to home educate if you will kindly refrain from suggesting that teachers are either half hearted or not equipped to do their work. The vast majority of teachers I know and have worked with are extremely dedicated and very intelligent - not the halfwits you appear to think they are. Fri 06 Nov 2009 09:10:52 GMT+1 mimpingmimmy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=86#comment50 Redheylin, well, "the government" did an absolutely appalling job educating the children at the school where I worked before I had children, and "the government" also did a shocking job when it was in charge of our children before we adopted them. So I don't trust the state to care for or educate my children - my husband and I are the ones who will lay down our lives for them and will love and seek their best until the day we die. Teachers? Not so much. They do their job - some do a half-hearted job, some just are so dense it amazes me they even get through a job interview, and then the children leave the class and are gone.And why is it always portrayed as some kind of battle between the rights of home educating parents and the rights of the "poor down trodden" children? We home educate because our children want it - in fact I would find life easier (but less interesting) if we did just put our oldest into school. But because he wants to be home educated we help him learn at home (and everywhere else we go). What he wants to know about sex we tell him. What he needs to know about sex, drugs and "relationships" he will gradually be told at the time that is best for his needs and those of his siblings - so for example, because of our children's backgrounds, they already know about drugs and substance abuse. Fri 06 Nov 2009 08:49:36 GMT+1 bar958 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=84#comment49 bar958: "Shouldn't they have the right to know and approve the teacher" redheylin wrote: - they do.Nope. One of my daughters is a nurse. She goes into schools to teach sex education, and had to do so even as a student. She visits a different school each day. The parents and pupils don't know her or her views.redheylin wrote: "The majority is horrified at the morality of religious schools that commonly function as mills for ignorance, benefit dependency, abuse, female disenfanchisement and perversion." The majority of faith schools in this country are C. of E. or Roman Catholic. I've been a parent of children at four of them. I don't recognise any part of the picture you paint here. Fri 06 Nov 2009 08:48:08 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=82#comment48 "But isn't it a shame to take away their innocence?" (before I have had the chance to load them with MY guilt) Fri 06 Nov 2009 05:15:10 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=81#comment47 (franchisement) "but whatever my weight in pounds, shillings and ounces/ I always seem bigger because of my nounces". Fri 06 Nov 2009 05:13:02 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=79#comment46 I third Preston (44). I keep missing answers because they have been whisked away to an unsearchable archive.Another thing I'd like (apart from returning to "recent comments") is that these pages updated when you clicked them and when you entered a message. I know it's my browser caching, but Wikipedia can do it. Also deep agreement with lucien "Parents do not own their children and they do not have the right to conduct their own prejudice-based social experiments on them." This is right, education presupposes the paramount interests of the child and also the interests of society as a whole. And let's see, oooh, paedophile priests are rather evidently both a product of religious education that is against children's interest and simultaneously a problem thrust upon the rest of society. This is no better than arguing for the right to teach children to blow up the houses of parliament.bar958: "Shouldn't they have the right to know and approve the teacher" - they do."Making the age 15 (rather than 16 or 18) is just a snide slap in the face to caring parents, forcing a year of unwanted sex education on their children"If it's the children who do not want it, why is that the parent's face being slapped. If it's the parent: then "caring" is spelt c-o-n-t-r-o-l-l-i-n-g. You may be horrified by the morality of schools. The majority is horrified at the morality of religious schools that commonly function as mills for ignorance, benefit dependency, abuse, female disenfanchisement and perversion. It IS society's problem and society should NOT tolerate it, certainly not pay a penny towards it. Fri 06 Nov 2009 05:04:52 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=77#comment45 Some very interesting comments on this thread. I'd like to second Preston's @44. Adding the day really helps navigation. Please bring back 'recent comments' which helps further. Frances, you are a witty little bunny. Fri 06 Nov 2009 04:34:17 GMT+1 needsanewnickname http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=75#comment44 Ah, Sprouty, the time for that was long ago. I doubt he'd even go near the poisoned chalice now. Moving on and stuff.Nounce? Er, is it nous with added bounce? Sort of active intelligence? I quite like that. The brains of Rabbit with the energy of Tigger or Roo.[Ponders] I suppose there might be some politicians with the brains of Tigger or Roo and the energy of Rabbit. But it's time to go to sleep and I don't want nightmares, so no more on that. Fri 06 Nov 2009 00:45:54 GMT+1 U14138029 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=74#comment43 Initiating a thread called 'The PM Glass Box' or 'The AM Glass Box' is not very helpful as some discussions last more than a few days. It would be much better if the day of the week could be added, as Sequin helpfully does. The 'AM Glass Box for Tuesday' and the 'PM glass box for Wednesday' still have interesting discussions continuing. Fri 06 Nov 2009 00:42:57 GMT+1 lucien desgai http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=72#comment42 41 Bar958This issue shouldn't be about the parents wishes, it's about the children.Young people have a right to the education that will prepare them for life and for adult relationships. Parents do not own their children and they do not have the right to conduct their own prejudice-based social experiments on them.For many young people - especially those from religious households - school is the only place where they'll get relevant sex and relationship education. Parents should not be allowed to deny their children this basic right. Thu 05 Nov 2009 23:03:36 GMT+1 DoctorDolots http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=70#comment41 40. SproutGhost - you admire Kitchener's ghost, yes, of course you're ex military.By the way what's nounce? Thu 05 Nov 2009 22:57:33 GMT+1 bar958 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=68#comment40 Why does it matter that 70% of people who don't want to opt their children out of sex/relationship education don't want 0.4% of people to be allowed to opt their children out? Surely it's none of their business. The state studies and records our every move ... has it discovered a rise in teenage pregnancy or STDs among the children who missed these classes?I've brought up five children, and over the years the contents of sex education in state schools has become less morally based, more "anything goes so long as you don't get caught". I'm horrified that it is never suggested to children that it is a good thing to be a virgin at 17, or it's a good idea for sex to be kept for marriage or at least a loving, long-term relationship. Many parents can't get their children into the school of choice, faith or otherwise. Shouldn't they have the right to know and approve the teacher and content of this very personal education, just as they vet their children's TV and computer viewing?Making the age 15 (rather than 16 or 18) is just a snide slap in the face to caring parents, forcing a year of unwanted sex education on their children. Thu 05 Nov 2009 22:28:38 GMT+1 SproutGhost http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=67#comment39 Paddy Ashdown for PM!Go Paddy GoThat bloke has more nounce in his left big toe than then the whole of New Labour and Cameron's lot put together.*Mind you, I am biased, as I am ex military!* Thu 05 Nov 2009 21:03:03 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=65#comment38 BTW - are you sure it would be THE GOVERNMENT educating your child? I've heard of micro-management, but have things come to that? Thu 05 Nov 2009 20:33:05 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=63#comment37 36) "We home educate because we simply don't trust the government with our children, and my 5 year old does know quite a bit about sex but it has all been in answer to his questions and not according to a curriculum, and all shared with him in comfort and privacy by the people who love him best, not by a teacher in front of 30 other children."- There's much to be said for private education if you can afford it, though I do not know whether your five-year-old agrees with your view that there is something intrinsically undesirable about being part of or speaking in front of a group of thirty children.But, since you obviously take that view of education overall, this is not really relevant to sex-education in particular, is it? Thu 05 Nov 2009 20:31:48 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=62#comment36 35) "The role of schools in teaching religion should be limited to the facts about the major religions" - Quite agree, but the present administration has poured our money into "faith schools" and can hardly blame them for any present obstructions. It is just a multicultural response to the necessity of ensuring our schools remain named after "Saint this or that" and are directed by honorary clergymen and old ladies with blue rinses and sharp elbows."and I have spent a lot of time working with teenagers who have become pregnant."Well, all I can say is; with comments like that, a web-name like yours and me in a mood like this, you are sailing close to the wind. Otherwise I can only reflect if that your efforts, while no doubt laudable, cannot communicate that adoption, abortion, STD and unwanted fatherless kids are not things to trifle with, nor elicit the reasons that your charges nevertheless continue to trifle, then something about the effort must be misguided. Because elsewhere, the more sex education, the less of that stuff. Thu 05 Nov 2009 20:21:06 GMT+1 mimpingmimmy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=60#comment35 didn't someone say that less than 1% of parents exercise their opt-out right on sex ed? Are the vast numbers of under-age pregnancies and sexually transmitted illnesses found among the tiny minority of children kept out of sex education lessons? In which case, should the government not be justifying why they are spending time and money on educating the children of the 99% majority of parents so badly? We home educate because we simply don't trust the government with our children, and my 5 year old does know quite a bit about sex but it has all been in answer to his questions and not according to a curriculum, and all shared with him in comfort and privacy by the people who love him best, not by a teacher in front of 30 other children. Thu 05 Nov 2009 20:18:05 GMT+1 Gayle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=58#comment34 32: YES! The role of schools in teaching religion should be limited to the facts about the major religions, which give a person the knowledge they need to live in today's world and co-exist with others of the same or different faith as them, ie like knowing who not to offer a bacon sandwich. It shouldn't involve plugging any particular religion. That kind of religious education belongs within families and whatever religious establishment they frequent, if any. Same for other subjects like politics or anything where a wide variety of views are held to be acceptable.Sex education in a school setting appears pretty useless to me, and I have spent a lot of time working with teenagers who have become pregnant. The message is not getting across. I agree that young people need accurate information about what they are doing but school is not the place to deliver it. Thu 05 Nov 2009 20:04:34 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=56#comment33 34 Excuse me, Sid - you have my greatest respect but it is the mood that I am in. I just tried out the 6.30 comedy but decided to switch it off and entertain myself. However a short routine involving Balls and sausages that smell like a dead man I have omitted, as adjudged puerile and offensive - so I have forwarded it directly to the Head of Light Entertainment.Still, yes, Guy Fawkes, eh? Don't bangers smell funny. What? No, bangers, fireworks. I think someobody just let one off - oh no, it really was a firework. Sorry, there I go again. Thu 05 Nov 2009 19:46:12 GMT+1 Sid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=55#comment32 And just as a matter of interest, my last class made a drama out of the Guy Fawkes story ... and they could still remember the salient facts a year later. Thu 05 Nov 2009 19:23:45 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=53#comment31 13. The role of schools is to educate. Not to bring up children,which is the role of the parents. - What's that? No religion in schools? Great idea.15 To think this country can be turned into a replica of Surrey is insane. They are family and tribal, nothing else comes close...- On the contrary, I have known some quite cosmopolitan folks from Surrey."The Afhans to a man looked sullen, surly and angry, body language and facial expression said everything."See? Just like Surrey.22. I've spent half my life teaching five-year-olds. - What, the same ones? Thu 05 Nov 2009 19:05:50 GMT+1 Kiwi Gem http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=51#comment30 If parents are too embarrassed to talk to their children/YP about sexual relations and safe sex why not sign post them to services who can do just that in a non-judgemental way. By informing YP of risks, how to negotiate safe practices and make clear informed choices means they are less likely to 'mess up' - research has shown this time and again - good quality education/information reduces risky behaviour and allows individuals to control their own destiny in terms of fertility and sexual health!Alcohol is a major factor in risky sexual behaviour and we are now in a society that is media driven and in lifestyles that dont consider the consequences!Kiwi Gem Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:57:08 GMT+1 Redheylin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=50#comment29 4) Why must Ed Balls bend right over for "faith schools"? That's what a religious sexual indoctrination does to you.9) If children don't know all they ever will about sex at fifteen they must have led a very sheltered life. No - but it means they are going to.10) If it stops the sniggering in the playground... then I'm all for it. But then what will the BBC do for 6.30pm comedy?12) "it was muslims who objected, and this government traditionally bends over backwards for them"This demonstrates the superiority of Catholic sex-education (see 4). Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:56:12 GMT+1 Kiwi Gem http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=48#comment28 I am so pleased that the govt has been brave enough at last to provide proper education on sexual health, relationships and person development!! I have been working in young peoples sexual health for 20yrs and have been so frustrated by the lack of good information and education in schools where we have girls of 12yrs upwards getting pregnant and all young people (YP) being exposed to the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). Few adults even would know that we have had an STI epidemic for over 9yrs now and altho many YP still mention 'AIDs' as the thing to fear/dread few know or understand how STI generally can also affect their health let alone know what they are!Many have told me over the yrs how they have had no education in this area and if any it was between 1-2hrs and often presented under science or in biology lessons. How many people in this country know we have had a National Chlamydia Screening Prog for 2yrs now trying to reach 15-24yr olds who have the highest prevalence, for screening? Most adults I speak to dont know and some as usual resist the notion of good education as a key to reducing unprotected sex and all the risks that are associated with it, rather than increasing it!Where are the national public health campaigns to raise awareness of these issues - we hear a lot about obesity why not Sexual health, it is still part of our body and general health? We need education for adults and not just young people if we are to stop the impending fertility crisis down the road!Why has the Chlamydia Screening Prog been prevented from implementing the prog into maternity units and bringing their services into the screening fold? What proportion of babies are born with Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea because the mother was not screened in pregnancy? Many pregnant young women I have treated for chlamydia thought they were being screened and were shocked to find out they were not as they are always having urine tests etc during pregnancy.It is not rocket science but obviously heads in the sand are predominant!Kiwi Gem Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:47:18 GMT+1 Milly carmichael http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=46#comment27 I wish that coverage of the change to parental rights with regard their children's education about sex and relationships was reported accurately! Parents do not have the right NOW to withdraw their children from ALL sex education. I am very surprised that Ed Balls didn't take the opportunity to make that clear when he had a golden chance to do so. Anything in the National Science Curriculum is already excluded from that right and has been for some considerable time. NC Science covers the process of human reproduction and conception, the hormonal control of the ovulation cycle and associated use of hormonal methods of contraception, and infection control with specific reference to sexually transmitted infections, particularly HIV. Ironically perhaps, the only bit parents can currently withdraw from is the PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education) content that is likely to cover things like communication skills, making informed decisions, exploring your own moral compass, relationship skills etc. I wish too that the people chosen to comment on these news pieces were also better informed and stopped making narrow reference only to 'Teenage Pregnancy' as the only issue for young people's sexual health today. It is so much broader than that and inaccurate coverage only serves to perpetuate closed and polarised arguments, which are putting yet another generation of our youth at risk of only learning about this complex subject from pretty poor sources. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:40:49 GMT+1 Looternite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=44#comment26 #19. Richard_SMThe problem with Paddy Pantsdown is that when he starts dronning on it's like the weather forecast, I just drift off and don't remember what he has been saying. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:34:46 GMT+1 Looternite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=43#comment25 #15. DoctorDolots"I don't think we can ever turn Afganistan into Surrey" - of course not. However a lot of Afghans seem to want to live in Surrey and so they maybe would like it so. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:31:32 GMT+1 fiona leach http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=41#comment24 Can't shake the smell of rotten sausages - yet there was so much more to the programme... Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:28:36 GMT+1 Lord Nathan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=39#comment23 And even easier to say how someone else ought to solve it Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:27:08 GMT+1 Lord Nathan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=37#comment22 Sid,It's much easier to point out the problem thanit is to say just how it should be solved.--John Kenneth Galbraith, Economist Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:26:23 GMT+1 Sid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=36#comment21 I've spent half my life teaching five-year-olds. One of the features of a class of five-year-olds is that between them, there is usually at least one younger brother/sister on the way throughout the year - a very handy visual aid, both before and after the birth. Why this government thinks they can take such a natural happening and turn it into a 'curriculum' is beyond me. I rather suspect that teachers of young children will carry on doing what they've always done - following the interests of their children and developing them with care and understanding. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:25:29 GMT+1 needsanewnickname http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=34#comment20 News story: Parents will no longer be able to stop their children from learning about 'sex' (a broad term) and contraception at school before they are of the age of consent.'News'paper headline: Sex And Drugs Lessons At FivePar 1: 'All children will be forced to take sex and drugs lessons at school...'If I had a fifteen-year-old I'd want them to know as much as possible about such things, taught calmly and non-judgmentally by a well-informed adult (assuming I hadn't done my best to talk to them by then anyway).The unpalatable truth is that quite a few children will have already taken freelance practical tuition in sex, including intercourse, and drugs by then.Others may still believe in belly-buttons and toilet seats getting you pregnant/giving you a disease. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:24:30 GMT+1 Sid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=32#comment19 Ashdown didn't say he was going to create his own war cabinet. He was saying what Gordon Brown ought to do. Simple! Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:20:50 GMT+1 Richard_SM http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=31#comment18 Listening to the list 'excuses' as to why we're in Afghanistan is like listening to a Vicky Pollard offering a series of unconnected reasons for their latest misdemeanour.As for Paddy Ashdown saying he’s going to create his own war cabinet, what IS he on about? Does anybody know? Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:18:07 GMT+1 DoctorDolots http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=29#comment17 17. Lord Nathan - and there's a world shortage of morphine and people are suffering needless pain because of it. That's poor countries though. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:17:43 GMT+1 Lord Nathan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=27#comment16 Doc,Too right. We should just offer to buy all the opium they can grow at a price slightly better than the farmers presenty get from the warlords, but that would be too simple for our politicians to grasp (though they seem pretty good at grasping), and too costly for the warlords and the politicians in their pockets (e.g. Karzai et al) Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:15:53 GMT+1 DoctorDolots http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=25#comment15 14. Lady Sue - in many ways yes, but she and her agegroup are very aware, they live in the world, have watched TV all their lives, girls their age are married in Afghanistan and a few other countries, at fifteen a few of them will be mothers here, but not she, she is already aiming for university. To deprive any child of education in the fullest sense is criminal. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:14:29 GMT+1 DoctorDolots http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=24#comment14 Ashdown sounds like Kitchener these days, perhaps he shoud retire from military expert. On TV last night, a piece on this latest killing showed groups of soldiers, UK and Afghan, the mentors and the mentored. The Afhans to a man looked sullen, surly and angry, body language and facial expression said everything. Our troops are arming and training a potential enemy who could turn on them any time. Perhaps this was a rehearsal to see how easy it was and more are planned. To think this country can be turned into a replica of Surrey is insane. They are family and tribal, nothing else comes close, ivaders have always been repulsed, and they beat the Red Army, albeit with CIA help. This is America's mess and we should never have been dragged into it. There's even been attempts to try to excuse it as part of the war on drugs! It's a mess and the quicker we get out the sooner young men will stop being sacrificed for politicians' egos. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:10:24 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=22#comment13 DoctorD: your granddaughter may appear "blase and 'cool' " at 13 but I suspect that may be a front. She is still a little girl. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:05:40 GMT+1 Gayle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=20#comment12 Dear Ed Balls,May I suggest an alternative solution to your problem that does not involve people having to contradict themselves in front of pupils who they are trying to retain some authority?The role of schools is to educate. Not to bring up children,which is the role of the parents. Surely it remains then the responsibility of parents to talk to their children about the "facts of life" or the "birds and bees?" If this responsibility remains within the family then no opt-outs are needed, the parents can be satisfied that they know what they have told their children and that it is in line with whatever views we hold. There are plenty of resources around for parents to use and lots of websites aimed at young people eghttp://www.ypsh.net/index.html so lack of knowledge is not really an excuse. It is not an area for Government to legislate but a family matter. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:04:36 GMT+1 DoctorDolots http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=18#comment11 4. newlach - I thought he said that catholics had been involved in the consultation and had agreed to the change, it was muslims who objected, and this government traditionally bends over backwards for them, it apparently shows their anti-racist PC credentials. I was unsure whether Eddie was defending their right to ignorance or seizing the opportunity of teasing Ed Balls on hypocrisy. Thu 05 Nov 2009 18:02:22 GMT+1 Looternite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=17#comment10 If a "faith" school receives funding from the tax payer then they have to teach what we want them to - It's that simple. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:59:22 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=15#comment9 Peter H (7):If it stops the sniggering in the playground and the scary misunderstandings/deliberate lies, then I'm all for it. If it produces a society that doesn't have the stupid hang-ups about sex that ours does and treats it as something completely normal all the better. Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:59:19 GMT+1 DoctorDolots http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=13#comment8 1. alanparker - an unelected body who make a lot of noise protesting aspects of British culture they object to.If children don't know all they ever will about sex at fifteen they must have led a very sheltered life. My grandaughter at eleven appeared pretty knowledgeable, at thirteen she is blase and 'cool'. No parents should be able to vetoe any subject at any age, how about science, some object to that and would prefer chanted verses and creationism. Parents hands their children over to be educated by a system they pay for and vote on, no need for opt-outs. Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:57:48 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=12#comment7 They thought the sausage factory smells like dead bodies!?! Interesting direction to take the item in, Eddie. Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:54:15 GMT+1 Peter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=10#comment6 Sex education from age 5? Call me old fashioned, but I think HMG has lot its collective mind if they are thinking of drawing the attention of youngsters as young as five to the sexual functions their bodies will one day [in the distant future] have.All in good time, I say. At five, children need very little information, and what they are curious about they usually aren't afraid to ask - at least my children weren't.Life was so much simpler when we didn't have 'sex education' at school, but discovered what we needed to know by the time-honoured methods of asking our friends and parents, reading books, and straightforward trial and error. Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:51:20 GMT+1 Ian Brown http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=8#comment5 I noticed with interest the reports of more deaths of British soldiers in Afghanistan.While I can, of course, empathise with any family whose nearest and dearest son or daughter has lost their life, I find myself wondering if there is a simple, if unpleasant, reality which has been lost. If you decide that a career in the Forces is for you, you intrinsically accept that part of the job is the risk of dying. The fact that soldiers die in the course of fighting a campaign is the unpleasant reality of fighting that campaign. In some ways I find myself reminded of the reports some time back of soldiers who had fought in Northern Ireland who attempted to sue HM Government for the stress of being shot at. What did they expect when they signed up to a military career? Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:43:57 GMT+1 Lord Nathan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=6#comment4 4.,I'm afraid it makes perfect sense to me. So long as both duties are attended to. Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:39:37 GMT+1 newlach http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=5#comment3 Why must Ed Balls bend right over for "faith schools"? Catholic schools whilst implementing the education policy on contraception can apparently tell pupils that contraception is a bad thing. Ed Balls said that this made sense to him - it is complete nonsense to me. It is akin to permitting creationism in a biology class. Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:31:47 GMT+1 bright-eyedwendym http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=3#comment2 Half a million jobs, eh? I love it. Say it often enough and it becomes true- leaving out the all the nuances of course. How New Labour. Alastair's lessons have not gone unheeded. Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:27:55 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=1#comment1 Hugh's report was wonderful, as ever. I had to stand still and just listen. I can't believe he sounded so calm with all that is going on around him. You be careful out there Hugh! Definitely time to pull out of Afghanistan. Enough is enough. Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:27:13 GMT+1 alanparker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/11/the_pm_glass_box_92.shtml?page=0#comment0 Sex education. With Ed Balls. Classic.By the way, who is this Muslim Council of Great Britain - I don't recall being asked to vote. Perhaps I missed the election? Thu 05 Nov 2009 17:19:59 GMT+1