Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

MPs' attempts to ingratiate themselves with yoof culture may have given the impression that the teenager's clumsy and often unsightly attempts to express himself are now to be celebrated rather than frowned on. But it is not true that teenagers now enjoy a more liberal regime than their parents did.

When punk rockers, safety pins dangling from their noses, first appeared in public in 1976, they were treated to much derision from old folk at bus stops, tut-tutting about how men had died to preserve their freedom, but I don't remember anyone seriously proposing to outlaw the practices of punk.

That is something that has been left to our touchy-feely, supposedly more tolerant, 21st-century Labour party. David Chaytor, Labour MP for Bury North, has launched, along with ten of his colleagues, a campaign to prohibit body-piercing among the young. Should Chaytor have his way, only adults will be allowed to dangle safety pins from their nasal quarters or insert studs in their tongues. …

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