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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Nanny Bans Pens

Nanny Bans PensThe penis...Oops sorry...spelling mistake!

Start again Ken.

The pen is mightier than the sword, or so the old saying goes.

Evidently Nanny believes in these old sayings, as her chums in the British Standards Institution (BSI) have decreed that fountain pens are too dangerous for children under the age of 14.

Rather frightening to know that for decades children have been using these dangerous instruments, now to be told by Nanny that they can't. I myself had one at the tender age of 10, and ink blotted and smudged exercise books galore with it.

It seems that the BSI are worried that children, who apparently these days are congenital morons (if Nanny were to be believed), will swallow the cap.

Nanny has got so excised by this latest threat to civilisation that she has persuaded Waterman, the well known pen manufacturer, to insert a small slip with its pens which reads:

"This product is not intended for use by anyone under the age of 14 years."

Regrettably, owing to the failure of Nanny's education system, many children are in fact unable to read/understand this warning.

British Standard 7272, drafted in 1990 and updated several times, sets out strict guidelines on how pens should be made.

It says a pen cap should have a small hole to allow a child to breathe if he or she swallows it. Pens with no hole are seen as unsuitable for under-14s.

Needless to say nothing is ever simple in Nanny's Lah Lah Land, some adult pens are now defined as jewellery and therefore fall outside of BS 7272.

Kevin Jones, the headmaster of St John's College School, Cambridge, with 460 pupils aged four to 13, said:

"Perhaps I will have to employ pen police."

Don't joke, I am sure that there will be a some form of Nanny Citizens' Militia formed to deal with this threat.


  1. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Don't be ridiculous. There won't be a citizen's militia !

    There'll be a massive public sector one, with extensive salaries, pensions, and executive offices in Mayfair.

  2. Ken,
    Keep up this style of writing. I was in stitches about this. Unfortunately, it is real life and not a story but at least you can make us smile about it.

  3. Now I heard this story as well, and I must apologise to Nanny and the nation for my complete misunderstanding. Being a simple man, rendered even simpler by Nanny's continual mollycoddling, I assumed - I feel quite naturally - that they were being banned for fear that some of these young morons might stab other children with the sharp nibs! Oh, what a prize wally I am, but am becoming so confused by Nanny's regulators that I don't know which way is up or down. If Nanny is so worried about children swallowing the caps, why not attach then to the pen with a cord or something similar.

    Reminds me of a fine story I heard of the pen problem in outer space. The Americans spent millions of dollars inventing a pen which they could take up in their rockets and which would write in zero gravity. The Russians took a pencil.

  4. Anonymous2:50 PM

    I thought most liquid based marking implements had caps. What is so special about fountain pens - or is it merely to do with the size of the caps?

    What the kids might do with the ink is more of a concern these days - we had great fun in my day ...

    By the way spiv - he Russian Pencil story is a good one but not entirely true - a bit of a Clinton really - by all accounts.

    The American special pen was in fact developed privately at some cost and then offered to NASA at a commercial price. NASA accepted. The Russians also used the pen as I understand it. That was because they could not come up with a break and dust proof pencil and the little bits of lead and other detritus material were difficult to trap once thay started to float around in the space craft. Potential danger was that they would get into places where they should not have got and cause malfunctions. Very undesirable in space.

    I suspect the real reason for this instruction is that Nanny just wants to continue to nibble away at out responsibilities, point out our fallibilities and stop us blotting our copybooks. She needs to draw a line somewhere ... and put a cap on it.

  5. Grant, why do feel you always want to spoil a good story!!!

    There's always one, isn't there!!

  6. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Hmm, well I was going to say that my excuse would be that Nanny has obviously infected me with her need to spoil things for others ..

    .. but then that idea seems to be at odds with the apparent desire I have to correct half truths whereas Nanny is more than happy for untruths to be repeated ad infinitum until they become accepted 'fact'.

    Perhaps Her technology in that regard is not yet as complete and consistent as she would wish? I am still resistant to questionable truths expressed as hard facts.

    Maybe we could persuade Nanny to ban pencils due to the danger of lead poisoning? ;)

  7. Anonymous7:04 PM

    "Maybe we could persuade Nanny to ban pencils due to the danger of lead poisoning? ;)"
    Should be quite easy, as her specially commissioned focus group wouldn't realise that the "lead" in a modern pencil is.......graphite!

    "I feel quite naturally - that they were being banned for fear that some of these young morons might stab other children with the sharp nibs!"

    Ooh, no. They carry knives for doing that.


  8. Will the nibs have to be registered as lethal weapons? Since people do write nasty things on paper with pen and ink I suppose, therefore that ink will be next, to protect someone's self-esteem?

  9. I had my first fountain pen when I was about 10 and it was coloured to resmble tortorshell which would not be allowed now I suppose. And it had either one or two little hole in the cap which I was told were for allowing the air in the cap to expand as it got warm in my pocket.
    This shows once again that there are too many people in thrall to No10 and they have to do something to show that they are doing something