If you have a young child in Europe and allow him to blow up a balloon or blow on a party whistle, you might just be a criminal under new safety rules handed down by the EU Nanny State.
You know that thing kids like to blow on and it makes a thing sort of like a tongue roll out? (I have no idea what it’s called.) That thing’s banned, too, for all kids under the age of 14.
When I oppose giving bureaucrats the power to make up rules for us to live our lives by, I frequently make up examples of things such bureaucrats could do with their power. And I ask, “Would you like it if they made up a rule about what color you could paint your house?” Or whatever. The response is always the same. “You’re just being silly,” they say. “They’d never do that.”
But as people grow comfortable with the idea that bureaucrats have the power to rule their lives, the bureaucrats do take more and more and more of these absurdities and turn them into reality. What starts off as absurd hyperbole or even satire ends up turning into reality. Parents are no longer exercising their judgment about what’s safe. Games that have been safe and reasonable for generations are suddenly banned or made hard to get.
It’s a trend in this country and it’s obviously a trend in the EU. The story in the Telegraph quotes Frank Furedi, a professor of sociology at the University of Kent, who says governments are micromanaging safety at the expense of letting them explore and lear through play:
“Toys and activities, such as blowing up balloons, are part and parcel of the type of children’s play that helps them become independent and self-reliant.”
It’s moves such as this that are making modern society less and less resilient and independent. There’s no such thing as a perfectly safe world. There’s also no such thing as one right rule for all situations. Even if you believe the coercive state is a good thing in theory, the monster is out of control. We need to take the power back from the politicians and bureaucrats.