Azara Blog: The world should allegedly stop so that children can play

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Date published: 2007/11/14

The BBC says:

Children are being pushed out of public places because of excessive traffic and adults' fear of anti-social behaviour, says a report from a play charity.

There are now three times more cars than children in the UK says a report commissioned by Play England.

The disappearance of places where children can play demands a "robust and urgent response", says the report.

The report calls for a hotline to identify anti-social adults who obstruct children from playing outside.

"With cars outnumbering children by three to one, the acceleration of house building, and the privatisation of public space, places once used by young people for playing and exploring rites of childhood are quickly being swallowed up," says the report's co-author, Celia Hannon.

There are 33 million cars in the UK, says the report, compared to a population of 11 million dependent children.

The report, produced for Play England by think-tank Demos, proposes that more cities should adopt 20 miles per hour limits in residential streets where children might be playing.

And it highlights community projects which have temporarily closed roads to cars.

But the report presents a picture in which too few children walk to school and too many are shuttled in cars between their front door, school, shops and organised activities.

Yes, the problem is not one of cars, but one of parents, who refuse to let their kids grow up as they once grew up. Of course Demos, one of the zillions of useless consultancies that plague the nation, and Play England, one of the zillions of dreadful special interest pressure groups that plague the nation, hate cars, so the message has to be an anti-car one.

And why is it relevant how many cars there are relative to how many children there are? Surprise, there are a lot more adults than children, and a majority of adults have cars. How dreadful. How dare the peasants go about getting to work, when the number one priority of the nation should evidently be to let children play. (Of course it is not very surprising that the non-workers of the world, such as Demos and Play England, think little of the workers.)

And hopefully Demos and Play England will pay for a hotline to identify anti-social children who "play" outside the houses of adults. Even better, hopefully these children will go "play" outside the house of Celia Hannon, so she can see how wonderful it is to have children wreak havoc on the world.

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