Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Nanny Is Mother Nanny Is Father

Nanny Is Mother Nanny Is Father
It seems that Nanny has few views on what constitutes a "good" parent, as Vincent and Pauline Matherick found this week. They have fostered 28 children, but have had their latest foster son taken away because they have refused to sign new sexual equality regulations.

They are practising Christians who are worried that the agreement would force them to promote homosexuality.

The 11 year old boy, who has been in their care for two years, will be placed in a council hostel this week and the Mathericks will no longer be given children to look after.

They became foster parents in 2001, but no longer.

Somerset County Council's social services department asked them to sign a contract to implement Nanny's Sexual Orientation Regulations, which make discrimination on the grounds of sexuality illegal.

Nanny told the couple that under the regulations they would be required to discuss same-sex relationships with children as young as 11, and tell them that gay partnerships were just as acceptable as heterosexual marriages.

They could also be required to take teenagers to gay association meetings.

Mr Matherick said:

"I simply could not agree to do it

because it is against my central beliefs.

We have never discriminated against anybody

but I cannot preach the benefits of homosexuality

when I believe it is against the word of God

Mrs Matherick said they had asked if they could continue looking after their foster son until he is found a permanent home, but officials refused and he will be placed in a council hostel on Friday.

An extra 8,000 foster parents are needed to fill the gaps in the service.

I am not in the slightest bit religious, I don't care for religions very much and don't believe in God.

I don't like bigotry.

However, the Mathericks don't come across bigoted and it seems that commonsense has been thrown out of the window in the interests of policy.

How does this help the 11 year old?

Nanny will be taking the same line with biological parents next.


  1. This is one of the more sinister sides of Nanny.
    When I was young it was a criminal offence to be a practicing homosexual.
    Imagine if something that today most people consider sexually depraved, is legalised and given "special status" in terms of law etc. I say given special status in relation to so called "hate" laws as many of the special hate crimes are already illegal and therefore do not need a special law for a percieved special group.
    Now many of us would have problems accepting the new law and certainly struggle to positively promote it.
    For example, at the moment peadophiles are held rightly as the lowest of the lows. Assume for the purposes of argument that this perversion was legalised and heavy handed laws were put in place to protect peadophiles and positively promote their activities. I suspect many would struggle with this concept. The same thing has happened with homosexuality, we cannot expect people that have been brought up to believe homosexuality is wrong and indeed a crime, to suddenly change their minds overnight.
    The main religions in this country believe homosexuality is immoral and should be entitled to their opinions.
    The real loser in this case is the poor child. Taken from a caring, loving family enviroment to a council run hostel, all because the foster parents have a moral opinion. The officer that made this decision should be ashamed of their self.

  2. Anonymous3:39 PM

    ''They are practising Christians who are worried that the agreement would force them to promote homosexuality''

    I wonder would this have been the case were they practitioners of the 'Religion of Peace' or are they granted a special dispensation?


  3. grumpy10:50 PM

    Nanny seems addicted to indulging herself in the sort of sinister, evil activity about which people once wrote the darker sort of novel. Kafka and Orwell are only two of the more obvious practitioners.

    Because it was the stuff of fiction, in the past such novels were often condemned as 'the flights of fantasy of a sick brain' or 'a slur on humanity'and its authors' considered to be 'moral defectives'.

    Now, the 'sick brains' are no longer writing parodies of human nature but, more and more frequently belong to the occupants of seats in some local council office; designing and implementing ever-more tortuous, demeaning and humiliating 'laws' with which to torment the rest of us.
    When will we decide that it is time to say 'NO MORE'.

  4. Of course this is all the fault of you young uns. You blithely accepted feminists, not thinking that women would want children without parturition.
    And now they get them via schools, social workers etc.
    Still there is a saviour - the Muslims won't stand for this nonsense and likely will protect you.

  5. I'm afraid I think this is rather a load of bullshit. Having spent much of my public life fighting to end prejudice and discrimination against homosexual people [see my recent post 'Award for Anticant' in Anticant's Arena], I don't agree with 'thought control', and no-one should be obliged to teach children what they don't believe in.

    However, this is an entirely separate matter from denigrating homosexual people and denying their human dignity, as distinct from believing that homosexual practices are sinful. Nobody is being asked to 'promote'- a weasel-word! - homosexuality.

    It is prejudice and bigotry that these regulations are aimed at. While I understand their rationale, I don't think they are the proper way to tackle the issue, which should be dealt with through education, not legislation.

    If there is to be legislation against 'hate speech' - racial, religious, and sexual - it should apply right across the board, or else there should be no such 'crimes' [my own view]. Either way, there should be a level playing field.

    This case raises a wider issue - namely, that people should not expect special dispensation for their religious beliefs when undertaking a job or vocation. It is similar to Muslims who refuse to handle alcohol in supermarkets.

    And finally, if these foster parents disagree with this law they should campaign to change it, as I did - not seek to disobey it on grounds of 'conscience'.

  6. Anticant:

    Good post...Interesting points and well made.

    I think there is a difference between promoting a practice that one finds sinful or wrong on any grounds on the one hand and accepting that it takes place on the other.
    Much of the success of our society was based on a religious set of values that held us in good stead for hundreds of years....It could be argued that, since society has moved away from religious beliefs, so society has declined. I think of the rise in murder, drunken yobbish behaviour, the rise in single parenthood etc etc but that is another debate.

    I am a practicing Roman Catholic, my church has never changed it's stance on moral values just to be modern and PC. If I worked in a supermarket, I would not have any problem putting condoms through my checkout. I would not however, be prepared to stand in the aisle and "promote" their use.
    I adopt the same attitude to gay people. I know they exist and have not found one I dislike. People cannot choose their sexual orientation.
    In my profession (Nursing) I have worked with many gay people. Their sexuality has never been an issue. The problems arise when it is rammed down peoples' throats. I have attended many difference and diversity sessions...not through choice I have to say, at the last one a gentleman in charge stood up and said,
    " My name is Dave and I am gay."
    When I stood up to introduce myself I said that my name is ....and I prefer to make love to women.
    Dave jumped all over me telling me that it was irrelevent. I agree it is, but I also feel the fact that he is gay is irrelevant also.
    I feel that many single issue groups do themselves harm by over promoting their cause, I suspect most people do not have a problem with any of the "special" groups.
    I do not believe people should be forced to act against their conscience, especially in areas such as abortion for example.
    I feel people can have a choice, for example, if one objects to serving alcohol then don't take a job in a bar or a shop that sells it. I believe the Muslim alcohol stance was more about showing how "special" they were and what special protection they have. Most Muslim owned shops in my area have an off-license attached.
    I would imagine the couple in the main piece could say to the child that gay people exist and that we should not dicriminate against them for being gay, they could go on to say that if you have gay feelings that is fine and we still love you as you are the same person and we will help you find the right people to talk to about it. There is a difference between promoting something and accepting something exists.
    As my generation dies out so the new generation takes over, the young are taught PC things at school and so the level of perceived predjudice will naturally die out as we die out.

  7. Thanks for that, Tonk. It seems to me that both the PC brigade and the religious folk who think homosexuality is an especially horrid sin shoot themselves in the foot by failing to recognise that free speech and freedom of conscience are both bedrocks of a free society. You cannot compel people to be tolerant, or to be moral - the only way forward is by reasoned discussion and, hopefully, deeper understanding.

    I am always baffled by the way religious people rush to single out sexual sins, and homosexuality in particular, as the most abhorrent of all when there are other far more wicked and socially damaging sins which they habitually overlook.

    No-one wants a child to be harmed, and I am sure that in this case you are right to say that if the foster parents treated the matter wisely and sensitively there would be no need to remove this little boy from what is obviously a loving home where he has been happy for two years. They do need, though, to face up to the possibility that as a teenager he may turn out to be gay, in which case he would need their support and comfort - not condemnation.

  8. Anticant:

    Yes on the whole I agree with you.
    Although I, as a practicing Roman Catholic should not judge, I would say that some of the least Christian people I have met were Christians!!

    I believe that a life philosphy of live and let live is what we should all aim for.
    Tolerance as you rightly suggest, cannot be imposed by either side of any conflicting debate. Morality I believe can be, starting with the parents.
    This is where many "special interest" or "single issue" groups fall down. I suspect most people do not have a problem per se with most of these groups, where many may get upset is when the views of that group is imposed on others by clumsy or petty legislation. Assault is a crime and I donot see why we need to make a special case if the victim happens to be one on Nanny's special groups. Most of the other "hate" crimes are already crimes so no additional laws are required.
    I do not like the idea of the rights of the "special" group being held above my rights.
    I have my own moral code that I live by and I do not expect to have my moral code imposed on others or theirs imposed on me.
    For example, I don't like the concept of abortion and having watched a recent TV documentary about it, my view, if anything has hardened but I would not seek to impose my views on abortion on others and outlaw it. However if asked, I would gladly give my views using all the emotive language I could, but at the end of the day, abortion is a personal matter that the person concerned will have to live with. I do however believe there is a case for decreasing the maximum time limit to having an abortion, it seems a real juxta position that in one room a doctor can be fighting to save a premature baby of 23 weeks and in the next a surgeon is destroying a baby of a similar term. Surely that cannot be right.

    I have enjoyed our discussion and wish you well.

  9. Grant7:41 PM

    tonk and anticant have managed to provide an mist interesting and civilised exchange. Congratulations.

    Sadly such things seem rare these days, especially where emotive subjects or minority (no perjorative intended - we are all members of a minority by one measure or another) interest groups are concerned.

    I take people as I find them. Either at first impression or at second impression when one gets to know them better. If one does.

    Race, creed or sexual preference are not an issue so long as the individual does not force it upon me. Or if they do they need to do it with charm and justification and not get upset if I don't buy the story.

    I can like or dislike anyone - in that respect I am not biased, except to people I do not take to.

    Laws that attempt to make me see things differently are to be abhorred. Just because there IS a law does not in anyway mean that it is a correct or good law. One a day durinmg the term of the Bliar years surely suggests there have been a lot of bad legal changes brought to the table.

    One could see a Green world encouraging gay relationships if only to suppress population growth. Support for abortion for similar reasons.

    I puzzle though at the thought of medicine seeking to find ever more ways to make early birth survivable whilst seemingly paying no attention to MRSA and the like. I'm not sure that we can afford either, though in terms of the population controllistas both problems might be positively desirable for 'saving the planet'.

    Opinions are opinions and many people will have many opinions and personal moral positions. That is right and proper.

    To enshrine any of these opinions, almost certainly minority opinions since we are a diverse society, in one sided Law seems wrong and ultimately counter productive.

    But then again we are discussing short term positions in the cntext of very long term social developments.

    When Nanny assited industrialised sefl destruction finally happens it seems likely that whoever takes over the subjects of sexual orientation or how to deal with unborn children may not be subjects for open discussion for a while.



  10. Thanks, Grant. I quite agree with you and Tonk that these 'special interest' groups over-reach themselves. However, in a free society that is their right until they start encroaching on others' freedoms and rights.

    As you both rightly say, there are already sufficient laws on the books to deal with any anti-social behaviour, whoever it is aimed at. Unfortunately, politicians believe that they have to justify their existence by passing a stream of new, unnecessary, laws. I have often said - and I'm sure you both and Ken will agree with me - that a government that was elected on a pledge to remove 50 per cent. of existing laws from the Statute Book would be wildly popular.

    On morality, I don't think moral codes can, or should, be imposed by parents or teachers; their task is to sensitise children to the issues involved, and then trust them to make wise choices. I believe that children are born with an innate moral sense which becomes confused when they encounter - as we all do - the hypocrisy and double-speak of adults.

  11. Anticant wrote:

    "On morality, I don't think moral codes can, or should, be imposed by parents or teachers; their task is to sensitise children to the issues involved, and then trust them to make wise choices. I believe that children are born with an innate moral sense which becomes confused when they encounter - as we all do - the hypocrisy and double-speak of adults."


    I would love to agree with you on this but, unlike a child's view of what is 'fair', which does tend to be rather black and white when comparing how they see themselves being treated to their perception of how their peers are being treated, I don't think that any broader moral positions are at all innate in childhood.

    In so far as learning enough to survive in one's surroundings I suspect children learn and maybe even unlearn and adapt if required, quite quickly. In a social sense there are great differences around the world (though many similarities too) which must make any innateness questionable on that basis alone.

    One innate characteristic that seems to apply to most creatures (except maybe Giant Pandas) is the driven need to breed. Whilst there are a few species based anomalies to the concept of distinct sexual orientation and not unusual ambiguous sexuality developments within a species the majority innate direction is for separate sexual identity. Only by that means, until human technology came recently to the fore, would a species survive. What innate guidance we may possess would have been founded, surely, on that survival drive, more recently moving from survival to dominance.

    Religious systems' aversion to anything that distracts from breeding, where such teaching exist, seem to be based on the demands of survival. Safety in numbers. One might also see some enthusiasm for outnumbering the competition and obtaining a larger share of the 'riches' of the earth along the way thus building a bigger social pyramid on which to sit.

    To tritely simplify my interpretation of your suggestion one might decide that children, having innate moral sense, could do no wrong up to a legal age of responsibility. Thereafter they could not be accused of anything since they would not have been given any moral guidance related to the defining laws of society so no laws could apply since their innate senses may have led them along different paths to form, most likely, different groups of connected individuals. (Humans mostly like group connections though without being exclusively and perpetually connected to a single group with completely shared interests.)

    If children were to reach the stage of personal responsibility with a mix of innate moral positions (any kindergarten is likely to offer a sample of some that may persist through childhood if un-influenced) how would they then be brought into line with the laws of their supporting society? These laws would, in all likelihood, not be aligned with the concept of innate moral tendencies even if by some chance the entire generation evolved with exactly the same moral understanding and maws. Indeed in matters of sexuality it seems very unlikely that they would.

    I am of course merely scratching the surface of this issue. I agree with you about the propensity for adults to talk double-speak - but children do that as well and mostly are natural manipulators fully self-centred from their earliest days.

    Aldous Huxley offered an alternative suggestion in "Brave New World" though I don't recall him diving deeply into the world of sexual preferences in that novel. Perhaps the laws of the time made it unwise to do so. Interestingly his advanced society scenario would effectively remove the need for reproduction thus taking away the need for one primary innate driver.

    Of course I have moved a little away from what you wrote. To come back towards it I have difficulty with a concept of adapting innate morality to the presumably different form that is suggested by the use of the word 'issues'. If a child's innate morality is acceptable untainted, why would there be issues?

    If a child is expected to develop acceptable moral (broadest sense of morality, not just sexual preferences) beliefs that fit with those of tainted 'adult' society how is that change to be introduced? Indeed WHY would that change be introduced since it would subvert the innate and double-speak free morality the child had previous been allowed to adhere to?

    My suspicion is that such an experiment is taking place around us and has been, perhaps unplanned, for the last generation or two.

    Perhaps it is the recent apparent reduction in moral guidance (or one might say spread of influences about morality presented to the growing mind) that has encouraged and resulted in the ever increasing number of regulatory laws both negative (thou shalt not) and positive (though shalt) that clutter up our lives.

    A rather American social model in many ways, the difference seems, to me, to be that America has enough space to allow a variety of moral codes to co-exist and that people can probably find the means to move to somewhere more amenable to their personal needs if so motivated. That seems less possible in the UK. It is difficult to say whether it is more possible in the EU, though EU law making seems to be even more fond of both DO and DON'T laws for allowing those at the top of the pyramid to control the population.

    We could of course recruit reality TV to the cause and set up some sort of 'Lord of the Flies' experiment to see what happens.

    Should I call Endemol with that idea?

  12. Maybe I should have said "an innate sense of honesty" - by which I mean that we all of us, children and adults, KNOW when we are lying, even when it is an incorrigible habit.

    I've never met a liar - and I have known some pretty monstrous ones - who had deceived themselves to the extent that they honestly believed their lies were the truth.

  13. Stephen Law has a very interesting post on his philosophy blog [link on my Arena] on "Lying to children". Well worth reading and commenting on.

  14. Hi all...I love sensible debates and this certainly fits into that catagory.

    When I say morality can and should be taught, I mean in the sense that one can guide one's children as to what is generally accepted to be right and wrong. We can teach it is wrong to kill, wrong to steal, wrong to lie etc etc. We can adopt a version of " as you wish men to do unto you, do so unto them." Yes it is a biblical quote, but it is still a good starting point for the so called "respect" agenda so preached by Mr Blair and now by Mr Cameron and Mr Brown.

    I feel children pick up a lot more than many adults give them credit for. Sadly when parents have the morals of a dog on heat, their off spring see this as the norm. In many of the single parent ghettos we have, as a society created, the kids see the lifestyle as the norm. Statistically the daughter of a young single parent, is more likely to become a young single parent herself compared to a girl brought up in a two parent family in a nice up market area.

    I believe we need to teach the child right from wrong to enable them to make their own minds up about moral issues when they have the experience and maturity to make those decisions.

    In my experience, most gay people knew from a fairly young age they were gay. I do not believe you can force gayness onto anyone in as much as that person is or is not gay. Children can be told that different people sometimes have different sexuality compared to the "norm," I never felt the need when talking to my children or grandchildren to go into any further detail other than outlining the basic facts about both lifestyles, ie straight and gay. I was also careful to present the facts with out the use of emotive of derogatory language as I wanted my offspring to make up their own minds, I also did not want to make my children feel alienated and unable to talk to me should one or more of them turn out to be gay.

    If I had a gay son, I would not allow him to have gay sex under my roof, but I would also not allow my straight son to have sex under my roof. That is MY moral attitude, if they grew up and chose to allow their offspring to have sex under their roof, then that would be THEIR moral choice. I hope I have given them the tools to make their choices wisely.

  15. You are quite right, Tonk. Most gay people know that they are gay from a much younger age than most non-gay people realise. It follows from this that much of the hysterical hullabaloo about paedophilia is misplaced - but that is another issue.

    Do as you would be done by is the Golden Rule, which predated the Bible by several centuries. Personally, I prefer Bernard Shaw's version, which is "Do NOT do unto others as you would have them do to you - they may not like it!"

  16. Anticant:

    Nice one!!

    Yeah, I do not think it matters too much where the idea came from, biblical or otherwise, the point is that the saying is correct in it's message.
    Perhaps a modern version could be:-

    Yeah you know like, when yer r d.ling with other bros and all that like, yer shud treat them with respect yeah as if you are them init der yer know wot I'm sayin'!

  17. You can only respect others when you respect yourself. I once made this - to me fairly obvious - comment to someone who worked with young offenders. He retorted: "they've way too much respect for themselves, they don't give a damn for anyone else".

    I still believe my point was valid, though.

  18. Grant9:44 PM

    The word 'respect' has always, to me, had a certain meaning despite the dictionary definition being, at best, vague.

    I modern use it has, in my opinion and sadly, become a weasel word. You only have to look at the majority of the politicians who have adopted it to their instant causes to conclude that it can be used to mean all things to all people.

    Sadly I suspect, Anticant, that your friend working with young offenders was closer to the mark.

    I also take your point about liars though I rather suspect there are a few around who do manage complete self delusion most of the time. And that, to my way of thinking, is what matters.

    That they can perhaps be broken in such a way that they will admit they are lying on occasion does not mean that they cease the habit of lying. In child terms one might sometimes accept it as 'finding the boundaries'.

    Of course that assume there are boundaries. There probably are, but are they innate or are they learned by example or, as in the case of the young offenders of your friend's acquaintance, do they only exist when enforced guidance from and external source is brought to bear?

    Children can only decide what is right or wrong, for them to do or for others to do to them, in the context of their current experience.

    Each year adds another series of layers which can obscure what went before. Perhaps that is how at 8 or 9 years old one's actions towards a 2 or 3 year old may not be quite 'sound'. At the same time it would be rare, outside the street children population in various cities around the world, for an 8 or 9 years old child to be aware of the way of predatory adults if they had never been offered guidance. I am not referring only to sexual predation. There are many things that adults might coerce children to do that would put then in physical danger or lead them into undesirable areas like drug abuse and general crime. In fact you pointed that out early on. I child living mainly in its own immediate world, as they do, and expecting learning experiences may well not notice that they are being ensnared unless they have been provided with prior knowledge and advice, no matter how generic. In this context it fits with your 'sensitising' concept.

    But without guidance about how to react and respond - since often there is no time to sit around and think about it even if one had a framework of examples to choose from - the child will still be drifting in a potentially hostile sea.

    I fear we see the results of the sensitization (no matter what the source) walking among us every day. My guess is that your previously mentioned friend sees more than most of us how the reduction of social moral guidance (or in some ways the spread of the different values of moral guidance often through different cultures) has changed our society in recent decades.

    My teenage years, adult in the forming, were in the 60s. Hippy dream and such like. They were liberal times in my view and I still hold to the concepts of freedom of speech and action that emerged from that period. However the other principle that allowed the concept credibility was that things had to be balanced - live and let live for the most part. Somehow the balance seems no longer to be in place. To me that is a problem that undermines the entire concept.

    I am certainly no expert but I rather suspect that Rome went the same way - and probably a few other leading social developments before and after the Roman empire come to think of it. In the popular vernacular it might be referred to a 'taking your eye off the ball.'

    I am not at all convinced that offering excess power to minority groups is a good thing. I refer you to politicians as an example.

    I rest my case.


  19. Agreed. We are living in a decade ruled by politicians mostly born half a century plus ago [i.e. younger than me!] whose only morality is "whatever you can get away with". This corrupt attitude seeps into the general populace. The rot started with Thatcher's infamously silly remark that "there is no such thing as society".

    Yes, the 'swinging sixties' - wrongly blamed for all subsequent social ills by right-wing bigots like Tebbit - were a much kinder, gentler, more wholesome time than the present. But the essential liberal notions of tolerance and free speech have a much longer history.

  20. Grant6:53 PM

    Yes. I would like to apologise for my generation. It seems the thing to do these days.

    Do I get a gong for that now?

    Would I want one?

    I'm not quite sure I agree about the 'Only morality' bit. It implies there might be some morality. I doubt that is an issue for most of them. Not through elective abandonment of morality, rather through lack if observant intelligence. Ultimately the wrong people in power.

    I do not claim I would want power or would wield it any better, but that does not disbar me, IMO, from making the observation.

    I think the rot, whatever it was, started before Thatcher. She seems to have predicted rather than created in respect of her 'society' comment. In absolute terms I think she was right. Society is a nebulous term floating on the wind of change. But for it's 'whatever is current' relevance I would hold it to be a weasel word.

    Looking back I'm not entirely sure the 'Singing sixties' really existed other than as a melting pot of ideas.

    The real problem, as I see it, is the loss of focus resulting after the 'victory' claimed form the collapse of Russian controlled communism. It left the 'western' world without an external point of focus and the last period of history has been spent trying to find one.

    As it happens several have been identified, adding to the confusion.

    The ancient liberal traditions of free speech, etc., an observation with which I agree, seem to have been lost in the sixties somewhere. How else could one explain the sixties generation (by age of maturing not birth) making such a hash of such proud principles in subsequent decades?