I read in the Sunday papers yesterday that 53% of parents wanted a 9pm curfew to be imposed by law on children. I have only one thing to say about this. If you want your children to come home by 9pm then you need to impose that restriction yourself and not expect the rest of society to manage and raise your children for you.
If you raise a curfew for selected parts of society in law then it can be applied to other parts of society in other ways. Let’s say that the government take a dislike to teenage drinkers. It’s reasonable, you might say, to restrict the drinking of alcohol to those able to drink responsibly (i.e. not while wearing a cowboy outfit) and so impose a curfew on under 21s on Friday and Saturday. Let’s suggest that most crimes are committed after 9pm by white males from low income households. Imposing a curfew on white males wearing baseball caps might seem like an effective barrier to crime.
It’s not though, it’s a restriction on our civil freedoms. As long as it is imposed on others most people would let it slide but when it gets applied to you how will you feel? What happens if you got stopped on the way home after working late and charged with breaking a curfew because you happen to fall into a group who matches a certain band? This could be gender, age or skin colour. It could be the type of car you drive, the length of your hair, the cut of your gib, anything that can be justified by law officers. How do you punish these people? Shouldn’t the police be, oh I don’t know, investigating or preventing crimes or something rather than wasting time sending children home to mummy.
If we want to stop living in a nanny state who wants to set everyone’s bed time for them then we have to take responsibility for ourselves. I’m sick and tired of people demanding government solutions to social problems. Government should set the environment for people to flourish not restrict people so they can only act in one way. We don’t want a society of drones, we want people. That means ensuring that our children are provided with the parameters needed to be members of society rather than wanting to stay outside of it.