Monday, 28 September 2009

Moral Panic will Save our Seats!

Yes. Forget the economy. Forget the War on Terror. In fact, forget pretty much everything, as new Labour discover the dangers of "shagbands".

These, to the uninitiated - and I have to say I was pretty uninitiated until Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, a whip in the Department of Health, shattered my illusions on the subject - are thin plastic wristbands, available in a range of colours, and worn on the wrist by young persons desperately seeking sex.

Each colour represents a particular sexual act and, as the urban myth has it, girls wear these fashion atrocities, and if a boy manages to snap one, then the girl must carry out the sex act that corresponds to the colour snapped.

At least, that's the story as far as the Daily Mail is concerned, who also provide a handy guide, revealing that yellow means "hug", purple means "kiss", blue means "oral" and black means "sex".

(The full guide, according to Urban Dictionary, suggests that young people are not quite so limited in their sexual choices, and that many more colours and activities are available).

It is not altogether clear what is more shocking: the fact that our delicate youth are being exposed to such lewd thoughts - or the horrid word. The Mail writes: "it is their name that causes alarm bells to ring: Shag-bands. And they are worn by children far too young to truly understand what that crude term means".

Shame therefore on Mary Creagh, for daring to flaunt her lewd title of Government Whip so openly.

But seriously...about all that one is able to conclude from this little piece of confected hysteria is that children today, as children of every generation since year dot, play with concepts that mean very little to them. Might as well rail against the playground terrors who point their finger at another child and go "bang: you're dead".

Has no government Minister time to pop up and have a go at this senseless invocation of violence? Or is it possible that most sensible adults realise that little Johnny, aged 8, may well talk about "sexing" his companions, and have next to no understanding of what he is talking about: whilst his big sister, aged 15, may use the selfsame phrase, and know exactly what she has in mind?

As a local commentator put it (one of the teenage horrors with which I share this household): "Shagbands. Everyone knows what they are - and no-one takes them seriously".

Still, if it pleases a Labour Minister to believe that the nation's youth are so depraved that one only has to snap a plastic wristband for them to instantly fall into depravity, then who am I to disagree?

The real question is: which is more serious? That an allegedly grown-up Labour Minister believes this sort of tosh? Or that she - presumably - takes her policy pronouncements directly from the Daily Mail?

1 comment:

Steve Jones said...

Interesting article from the Guardian about Ms Creagh following a three-and-a-half year, £1m investigation by the Standards Board into an accusation she'd made against some Lib Dem councillors over the appointment of a new chief executive

The tribunal included this observation in their report about the then Labour councillor for Islington.

an "insensitive witness, lacking in balanced judgment and one who was prepared to make assumptions about honesty and integrity of others without any proper basis"

So lacking in judgement and (apparently), according to them, likely to think the worst of people without evidence. No evidence of her doing the same in this latest piece of nonsense of course...