James Forsyth James Forsyth

Helping the kids be all right

Tomorrow sees the publication of the report David Cameron commissioned on how to address the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. Thanks to a leak we already know most of what’s in the report. It proposes, among other things, that sexualized advertisement shouldn’t be displayed in places near where children go, that the watershed should be more strictly enforced, that lads mags shouldn’t be displayed at eye level and that it should be easier for parents to block access from home computers to certain internet sites.

There’ll be those that dismiss these proposals as gimmicks or as too small to make a difference. But making the public square more family friendly is a noble purpose and something that it is appropriate for government to get involved in. Companies that want a race to the bottom in marketing should be called out on their behaviour. Equally, parents are entitled to expect TV shows that bill themselves as family entertainment to maintain certain standards.

Politically, this is fertile territory for Cameron. This is a subject where he is fluent and passionate and where, polls show, that most people agree with him. If Cameron does follow through on this agenda, it will go some way towards fulfilling his commitment to make Britain a more family friendly place.

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