Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Another day, another Quango

Apparently our children are not safe on the internet thanks to armies of paedophiles, cyber bullies, pornographers and identity thieves. It’s a jungle out there in cyberspace and that can mean only one thing. Yet another fake charity or quango is needed to regulate things and make life even more difficult for the rest of us.

This week’s newest Quango (Quasi Autonomous Non Governmental Organisation) is the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. According to government spin doctors, it is “a coalition of government, industry and charities that should be the conscience of the industry”. God spare us from government-funded consciences.

I’m sure the internet is rammed full of inappropriate sites and sights but so is life. If you don’t want your kids to see bad things then take responsibility and either use the internet with them or severely restrict their access to the web. If you were to take the government’s conclusion on internet safety to something else that’s dangerous – like cars, for instance – we’d all be forced to hide our car keys in case a child got hold of them and nipped off for a joyride. It’s insane.

Why do we have so many of these committees interfering and busybodying their way through our lives? Quite simple… can you say ‘consultancy’. All those reports to be written on child internet safety won’t write themselves you know. Oh no. Someone will have to be paid to do it. Then there are the travel expenses, the away-days for team building, the secretariat to support the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, the plush offices, the ever-increasing staff with their gold-plated pensions. It just goes on and on.

The UK is now full of pseudo charities that appear to exist just for the benefit of their large staff and armies of fundraisers. Very few of these charities actually do much, preferring instead to be political pressure groups and lobbyists. It’s often a nice little job to cut your teeth on while you wait for a safe seat in Parliament.

Fake charities (find out more at www.fakecharities.org) represent a disturbing aspect of modern life. Increasingly, politicans take more notice of these publicly funded do-gooders than they do of their voters. And each organisation enjoys some spectacular tax breaks, top salaries and a light workload. Nice work if you can get it.

Got a problem? There’s a Quango for that!


  1. When i was growing up in the 70's, my parents accepted responsibility for me, and tried their best to keep me safe (obviously couldn't stop me from climbing trees to set-up a tree swing over a stream...) but these days, kids seem to be let loose and allowed to run wild, you quite often see 5 & 6 year olds wandering the streets doing whatever they want because the parents are too busy watching sky movies/sports, drinking the 2 or 3 bottles of wine/case of lager, or taking their drugs to care.

    It's time these parents took responsibility for their actions. If you have kids, YOU, not the state will teach them right from wrong, and you (the parent) will be responsible for their safety.

    I'm sure the rest of society is fed up of feral kids ruining other peoples quality of life...

  2. You can bet your life the quango will inadvertently teach the kids how to avoid all the precautions

  3. Think you've picked the worong target here - unusual for you. It's not a QUANGO (which incidentally don't exist any more and cannot legally be created)it's a campaign which brings together IT service providers with charities and other bodies that exist to protect children from exploitation and abuse...and if you saw where the worst excesses can lead (as I do during my working day) you would not sneer at relatively low key and low cost attempts to stop the spiral from starting in the first place.

  4. Not really the same thing but 15,000 official delegates off at the Climate Change junkit plus another 10,000 hangers on.

    They are all being paid by someone and don't seem to be over-worried by the carbon footprint of all the aircraft needed to get them there...


  5. I thought I'd get at least one adverse comment from the child protection lobby. I've actually worked as a technology journalist for a large part of my life and I'm fully conversant with the inner workings of this new group. And as far as quangos go... call them what you want but they still exist and are flourishing. Let's call them fake charities or government agencies, shall we? What's in a name?

  6. I totally agree with XTM about parental responsibility.

    How many small children have TVs, DVDs, computers with internet access in their bedrooms? Not to mention games consoles with very inappropriate games? The answer is far too many! Too many young children who have unsupervised access to the internet and who have no idea what to do if things go wrong! It is our duty as parents to help our children find their way and learn to make the right choices in life.

    No quango is going to make someone be a good, responsible parent. Only the parent can decide that is what they are going to be. Yes, it means being unpopular with your child at times but that is a parent's job! If you can't cope with saying 'no' to your child when it is neccessary then, in my opinion, you are not being a responsible, caring or loving parent.

    Keeping kids safe online? Easy! SUPERVISE and say NO when needed!

  7. Chris of Melbourne8 December 2009 at 15:05

    Hi XTM.
    Keep calling them QUANGOs, anything else would be something rather impolite.
    Flipping do gooders, holding far too much sway I'll be bound.
    Can I go off subject for a tick please?
    Being nosy I was wondering how your physio program works. Does someone help in between the main Hospital trips or are you left to your own devices? Hope all is going well on that front.
    Cheers, Chris of Melbourne

  8. Good afternoon ETM.

    I fully agree with the Nurse - not possessing kids myself, I have to watch my siblings and their attitude - best is my sister - and the word "NO" or if that fails "wait 'till your father gets home" (and brother in law is quite fierce) - seems to work - their child has respect and manners (plus she thinks that I am the coolest aunt ever which also helps)!!

  9. Respectfully....you do rather undermine the good parts of your argument if other parts of it (like calling it a "QUANGO" when no such thing exists) are simply factually incorrect.

  10. A quango is and always has been an umbrella term to describe a semi-autonomous government agency. The term is still in use by MPs, journalists and civil servants. Your comment really is a little pedantic. What word would you suggest I use instead?

  11. My teens are fully aware of the dangers and benefits of the internet thanks to sensible parenting, early supervision and lots of information available through school. So far, they have come through unscathed and have learnt from their mistakes.
    I do know that ill-advised decisions such as meeting a stranger 'off the internet' can have disastrous consequences and am not belittling the danger of this in any way.
    My point is that there is lots of info available already: plenty of leaflets in school, info given out at Circle Time or PHSE or whatever it's called. What can another SAGA (semi-autonomous etc.) add to this? A better platform would be the FRANK drugs info site as teens know, visit and respect this (to the best of my knowledge as an old 40+ fogey).

  12. Hi Chris... I get physio for 30 minutes once a week. I wish I could have more but that would cost me £45 an hour and I don't have that sort of cash. It's going to have to be me on my own I'm afraid.

  13. chris from Melbourne8 December 2009 at 22:37

    Hi! It's me again. the bother from down under.
    So worried was I that the quangos may have become extinct I did a little research to discover that the Local Government Association.UK are under the impression that they still exist, at least they did at the 13th November, and they hadn't yet been included in the banned word list. If they have disappeared since then one can only imagine it must be the result of some covert operation.So there.
    ( some people might say Ive obviously got nothing better to do today-well they would wouldn't they )
    Keep going, Chris from Melbourne.

  14. You're a star, Chris. I was sure the term was still current. Mind you, I can see why some government types might want to convince us otherwise.

  15. Chris from Melbourne, call it what you like but Australia can match it. How about PMAGOBI (Prime Minister's Advisory Group on Body Image)? It really exists right here in Oz.
    Cathy from Perth

  16. Chris from Melbourne9 December 2009 at 08:16

    Hi Cathy! Hello?
    I'm over here in Melbourne Oz: that's me waving from the lower bit of the eastern seaboard.
    I agree, there literally hundreds of them her, and they could do with a good cull. The PMAGOBI you can access through the Pm's website. pm.gov.au. The thrust of the earlier post is that Quangos still exist by name and legally in the UK, and you can still set up one. As far as I can read and research the party's are talking about sorting them out, but probably after the next Election. Just a small problem of what to do with the gazillion bods that work for them. huddled as they are in the South east of England. Even the Highland bloke 'Broon' that runs the joint calls them Quangos.Still,to borrow a bit from Bill Shakespeare, 'that which we call a Quango would smell as much by any other name'.

    Cheers Chris.of Melbourne Oz, not Florida.

  17. " It's not a QUANGO (which incidentally don't exist any more and cannot legally be created)"

    "Anonymous said...
    Respectfully....you do rather undermine the good parts of your argument if other parts of it (like calling it a "QUANGO" when no such thing exists) are simply factually incorrect."

    the more you say they don't exist, the more i will say you are wrong. and call them quango's just to wind a pedant up ... ;-)

  18. How interesting that you sad people think arguing about a word or descriptive term is more important than the abuse and expoloitation of children. I knew it was a mistake to get drawn into the loony world of the blogosphere. Won't make that mistake again. Signing off, anonymous pedant

  19. chris fro Melbourne9 December 2009 at 15:24

    The only sad thing about me today,I am assured, is the shirt I'm wearing.
    Besides I have to at least pretend to be happy as the children are due up from the mine in a minute for their early morning gruel.

  20. Dear Chris

    You allow your kids out of the mine to eat their gruel?? What a treat!

    Cats' Mother

    Oh and afternoon ETM - how goes life - leg, Mrs ETM and Whisky.

    Best wishes

  21. Hi XTM!
    I got caught by the word quango, (I seem to have missed this entry), then I read that you only get 30 min of physio a week?? I can't fathom it! I'd have thought they order you in five times a week for three or four consecutive weeks! And not just for physio, but also water gym, massage, stimulating electrical current ...! Why don't you qualify for rehab after this long hospital stretch?
    Greetings from Barbara!

  22. Our health service is good for some things but rehab is not great. Even at the specialist orthopaedic hospital I was in, the physio was only average. It seems a shame to have saved my life and limb and then not to help me get back on my feet. Unfortunately, with our health service you cannot opt to go elsewhere.