29 comments on “You might want to listen to Women’s Hour tomorrow

  1. I don’t think I particularly fancy the prospect of hearing our host being harangued by some dreadful harridan.

    The chances are slim of Tim being allowed to point out the potential benefits to the children of this change in Bolivian law; and there will be at least 3 other strident lefties there with minds closed to any possibility that this might be the correct thing to do, and making damn sure that he won’t be able to explain his point.

    This is the BBC after all, where ‘balance’ means ensuring that there are equal numbers of Marxists and Trots in any debate.

  2. It’s interesting Bolivia is legalising child labour from 10 y/o.
    One can’t help wondering what’ll happen to children under 10 who work.
    This is, after all, Bolivia. Not Buckinghamshire.

  3. I don’t see a major problem.
    When I were a lad we allowed 13 year olds to work – I delivered free papers for years. We still allow 13 year olds to work now.

    So while we can argue about how many hours and what age, we cannot argue against child labour when we as a nation use it.
    To paraphrase someone else, ‘I know what kind of woman you are, now we are haggling on the price’

  4. You were lucky, Martin. I started delivering newpapers when I were 12. Ten shillings a week. The real scrotes were at my local church. 10 bob a quarter for singing in the choir. I enjoyed the music. The religion: fuck that.

  5. Turns out my missus used to clean school classrooms, wipe down desks, sweep floors etc. From younger than 13.

  6. This could develop into a cock-comparing contest with Murphy.

    I was on Newsnight
    Well I was on Women’s Hour

    etc etc

  7. It’s a pissing contest only if you want it BraveFart. That’s how things were.

    I was well pleased at about 13 to get a much longer newspaper round, with a lighter bag that paid me 12/6d.

    At 14 I moved to a Saturday job cleaning up at my local slaughterhouse. One pound a week, and The Boss (old man Snelson) used to cut me a steak and give me a bunch of sausages too. Riches.

    School holidays, I’d be in on the killing and cutting and cutting the tripes too.

  8. Well we used to have to get up half an hour before we went to bed … lick road clean wi’ tongue … etc, etc..

  9. Where does one draw the line? Girl guide cookies and lemonade stands? Sponsored walks for charity?

  10. Bloke in Japan

    You misunderstood me, it was Tim’s media appearances I was referring to.

    I too had a paper round, although I think it started the year we went decimal, so I was not paid in lsd.

  11. “Turns out my missus used to clean school classrooms, wipe down desks, sweep floors etc. From younger than 13.”

    Which I presume she then received an education in?….So she had the chance to become something slightly more than a floor cleaner?

    Did you fit your paper round around your education? Had your employer demanded that you quit school to do it, would you have done so? Would your parents have let you? In places like this, the parents are often the ones suggesting it.

    The problem is that by foregoing some economic gains today to educate the young, the logic is that later on the payoff is a larger pool of educated labour that can do more valuable and complex work. That requires literacy and the ability to add two numbers together.

    That is, unless your goal is to basically have a handful of privately educated families who own all of the land, all of the businesses and all of the government lording it over a population of serfs…Which is what you see a lot of in just about every nation in south America.

    In the UK, the practice of sending 14 years olds down the mines in Yorkshire was effectively ended by the Sankey Commission in 1919 when it demanded modernisation in return for not nationalising the mines entirely. The boys ran pit ponies and coal tubs back to the lifts while the men mined coal. The mineral owners, including the Church of England couldn’t be bothered to press coal mining companies into investing in powered machinery (Conveyor belts) to do this, since child labour was more profitable.

  12. Yes, there is rather a difference between having to work a “proper” job when you’re very young, and getting a part-time job for extra pocket money, which is very attractive to teens, and a good thing generally.

    The alternative to child employment is also pretty unpleasant in many of these countries, though Tim will have a hard time trying to explain that.

  13. As a lefty liberal, I ensure that I am out of hearing of a radio when Woman’s Hour (the name of the programme) is broadcast.

    My life quality depends on not hearing its giggling and insincere platitudes.

  14. My daughter, back from doing Bolivia on the cheap, informs me that the cheap end of the tourist trade seems to be manned entirely by ten year olds doing their homework, especially when it comes to keeping the wifi and public computers going.

  15. Arguably, most people only make use of their education up to age 12 or so. Beyond that you’re just paying for cheap childcare, at least for those kids who are planning to leave school at 16 anyway. (Although nowadays they’re forced to stay in school til 18).

  16. You know you’ve made it when you’re a vox pop on Woman’s Hour (despite post after post of ‘radfem’ diatribe attributable to this blog) about Bolivian children.

    Fuck it, I’ll get Radio Guernsey to comment.

    Can I be your agent?

  17. “It’s many years since I listened to anything on BBC radio. Early ’92 perhaps.”

    To condense years: Mr Snowy married an Archer, and Snowy dived from a roof. And some people fancy other people.

  18. Interesting to read through memories of child labour, imagined or real.
    But a hat-tip to Jack C.
    I have someone in my life can tell all about it. S. America. Their reality. Lived it. Legalisation’s the least of their concerns.

  19. Isn’t Bolivia under a socialist government these days?

    So Tim is defending the neo-liberalism of South American socialists against the BBC?

  20. Tim came across well, at least it got to say his piece without being shouted down.

    Here’s hoping for more opportunities.

  21. Indeed Tim did well but it was, clearly, 2 against 1: the BBC’s “impartiality” remit being conspicuous by its absence.

  22. Can we move on from child labour being synonymous with chimney-sweeps, coal mines etc.? Children in this country, excepting those with the rare parents who have ability to home school them, are forced for at least 12 years five days a week to sit and listen to a teacher (the modern equivalent of a monk; beats me why a system designed for a time before the printing press is still considered appropriate, but there you go). Many of these children hate it. Many and perhaps most derive no benefit once theyve learned to read, write and add up – assuming they learn even that. Yet we’re cool with this in a way that we wouldn’t be if they were in an office tidying filing cabinets, refilling printers, running errands. Why?

  23. BBC Radio is one of the nation’s glories in my view. TMS, ISIHAC, Just a Minute, Eddie Mair, etc etc.

    We’ll miss it terribly if/when it’s gone.

  24. An assured performance on Woman Sour, Tim. Well done! Most impressed. You came over as rational and concerned about the plight of the poor globally, though the soggy leftist feminist audience will have thought otherwise.

  25. The problem is that by foregoing some economic gains today to educate the young, the logic is that later on the payoff is a larger pool of educated labour that can do more valuable and complex work. That requires literacy and the ability to add two numbers together.

    ‘Literacy and the ability to add two numbers together’ doesn’t take the best part of twenty years to learn. I was thinking the other day that I probably use at most 20-25% of the things I was forced to study at school. That’s about ten years of my life wasted, which I’d rather prefer to have back, actually.

    If you really want to educate kids, get rid of the 19th century school system which has degenerated so far that it’s barely even teaching them to do reading, writing and arithmetic, and replace it with one which only teaches them that, and then gives them access to the Internet and a good library to learn whatever the heck they want.

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