Pointless surveys must be stopped

PUBLISHED: 09:26 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:16 11 May 2010

EVERYBODY seems to be suffering from the effects of budget cuts these days. No public sector department - local or national - seems to be immune, with corners being cut and money being saved all over the show. Personally I reckon the government could save

EVERYBODY seems to be suffering from the effects of budget cuts these days.

No public sector department - local or national - seems to be immune, with corners being cut and money being saved all over the show.

Personally I reckon the government could save a few quid by producing less reports. It seems that not a week goes by without some organisation or other coming up with some "ground-breaking" study or another.

The latest one comes from Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who was commissioned by the Home Office to investigate the amount of sexual imagery our children are exposed to.

She has concluded that children are now exposed to more sexual images than ever before.

"Unless sexualisation is accepted as harmful, we will miss an important opportunity (...) to broaden young people's beliefs about where their values lies," said Dr Papadopoulos.

In other news China has built a big wall and the German army has marched into Poland.

I really fail to understand the point of these surveys when all they do in the end is draw the most obvious of conclusions.

Surely nobody could argue that increased sexualisation of children is good? Or that children need to be taught proper values? I think as a society we all know this is the case already, what we need are ways this can be done.

And, as usual, all this study does is come up with a list of things which should be banned; no explicit music videos, no sexual imagery in advertising, and no lads mags for under-16s.

Again, it doesn't take a genius to realise that getting rid of all these things might be helpful, but how exactly are you going to do it effectively? Usually when you ban something all you do is make it more attractive - youngsters will find a way of getting hold of Nuts or Zoo (other lads mags are available) if they really want to, especially if they are made taboo, so what would be the point of a ban?

It seems to me that if we are going to have these experts stating their views, some effort should at least be put into coming up with some original thought. Otherwise it is just more tax-payers money down the drain.

Well done to the residents of North Royston for eliciting a change of heart from developers Fairview Homes.

As you will see elsewhere in the paper, the firm has decided to scale back plans for houses on farmland adjacent to Burns Road and Coombelands, thanks directly to the pressure applied by the North Royston Action Group.

Their success goes to prove the importance of people power.

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