Alex Massie

No Country for Young Men (or Women)

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Scotland on Sunday's splash yesterday highlighted a report to the UN written by from the country's Children's Commissioner which presents a ghastly, even dystopian vision of Scotland as being, it would seem, one of the worst places on earth in which to bring up children. We won't even let them play, apparently. The report highlights a culture dominated by:

• Adults who are so afraid of being accused of harming or neglecting children that they do not volunteer to work with them, leaving youngsters bored and harming their development;

• Children often having difficulty accessing everyday services such as shops and buses, because they are treated with fear and mistrust by the adults who operate them;

• A lack of leisure facilities and play areas in Scotland, forcing youths to hang around in large groups doing nothing, which leads to them being viewed with fear and suspicion by adults;

• Overly cautious parents being less likely to allow their children to take part in organised leisure activities as they fear they will be injured or put at risk;

All that, plus europe's highest percentage of incarcerated children. How did it come to this (if indeed it has)?

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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