City Folk and Children

I have never been much of an anarchist and usually have don’t envy other people’s wealth but suddenly I find myself feeling more than a little bit annoyed with wealthy folk in the capital city.

Quite apart from the pathetic debacle that is Parliament at the moment, my hackles rose when I read about householders in the posh St John’s Wood suburb of London complaining about the noise made by kids having football lessons on Sundays. Apparently, the sound of referees’ whistles disturbs their Sunday morning so they have prevailed on their council to close the facility down.

In that particular suburb, people like the Beckhams – he should know better – Elton John, Richard Branson and some ‘celebrity’ called Rihanna have their piles. Just who do these people think they are?

A bloke called Eliot Tang started a group called Rising Stars to tackle childhood obesity and not only did they run football classes for two hours on a Sunday morning but they also put on sports birthday parties in a local school. Over a hundred youngsters took part in the football, but in May, Mr Tang was informed by Westminster Council that his classes could no longer take place. He has not been able to find an alternative venue so the kids can go back to being twenty-first century layabouts, glued to their phones and far too fat.

I can remember being with a friend of mine when her young grandson appeared, soaking wet, covered in mud and grinning all over his face.

‘What have you been doing Josh?’ Granny scolded and his grin grew wider.

‘I have been having fun,’ Was his reply and although that was years ago, I have never forgotten it.

Childhood should be fun and modern children – and their parents – have forgotten this. Take Greta Thunberg for example. How has this young zealot so taken the world by storm? I suppose I have a sneaking admiration for her pluck and commitment to her particular cause, but however passionate she might be about the apparent dangers we are all facing, she is after all, still a child. The thing about sixteen year olds is that however impressive they may seem on the surface, they need protection and guidance, even if they don’t believe that themselves.

The worthy Miss Thunberg has a problem inasmuch that because she is somehow compelling and has Asperger’s Syndrome anyone who speaks out against her views is branded as a bully. So it is that the world at large and the fawningly hypocritical media is willing to indulge her unquestioningly.

Why? She is a teenager with a problem damnit! Watching her emotionally charged speech at the United Nations a few days ago, I could only wonder where her parents and those who ought to be guiding her path through life were.

Where her disciples saw an inspirational rallying cry, I could only see a somewhat distressed child having a teenage temper tantrum. She accused world leaders and my generation of failing her generation and threatened ‘never to forgive them’ if they refused to meet her demands

Anyone who has been a parent will know that feeling when your child throws a wobbly at you and slams the bedroom door in fury. ‘I hate you,’ they scream but nothing ever comes of it.

Real life is not as simple as this silly girl wants it to be. Yes, the climate is changing and this will doubtless have its attendant problems. But this has happened repeatedly through the millennia and life goes on. If Miss Thunberg and her supporters would stop blaming the adults – as all silly little children seem to do – she might consider that it is actually her generation that is the biggest problem. With their phones and allied technology, with their need to always be on the move and with their fondness for the good things in life, they really have made a mess of the lovely world we live in.

Climate change will always be part of this world, but the biggest problems that we face now are nothing to do with the weather. They are people and plastic. If anything good is to come out of this century, we must cut down on both. In a supermarket yesterday I bought potatoes and onions. Both were wrapped in plastic bags.

Why, why, why? This is a modern phenomenon and nothing to do with previous generations, no matter what the eco fanatics tell us. Plastic is choking the world and the more people we get, the more plastic is used. Empty spaces are being taken over to house the burgeoning population and nobody seems to have any desire to curb that population.

It is only in modern times that IVF has been introduced, which is fine for a few couples, but goes against what Nature wants. Some people are fertile, others are not. We have to accept that and not interfere with normality.

At the moment, all Miss Thunberg and her crusading eco warriors are doing is terrifying an entire generation of youngsters who now believe that we are standing on the edge of a frightening abyss that will probably end the world.

We are not damnit. Mankind has been here before.

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