Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Welcome to Gordon Brown’s Broken Britain

The unelected moron in charge and his sniveling, thieving entourage, has not only brought our country to its knees but ensured that for generations to come it will only get worse. But do you know the worse thing about it? They just can't see it.

The following article was in today’s Mail online.

Drink, promiscuity and a cycle of low aspiration among children mean Britain is becoming the 'bad parent' of the western world, it has been revealed.

A vast study of youngsters' well-being in 30 industrialised nations ranks Britain among the worst for health, lifestyles and school standards relative to public spending levels.

Underage teenagers in Britain are more likely to get drunk than those in any other country, and Britain has among the highest proportions of teenage mothers and single-parent families.

In 'risky' behaviour - drinking, smoking and teenage pregnancy - Britain's performance is worse than all nations other than Turkey and Mexico.

Educational achievement is low given the billions being poured in by Labour, with more than one in ten 15 to 19-year-olds not in school, training or work - the fourth highest rate in the OECD, ahead only of Italy, Turkey and Mexico. Social mobility in Britain is also stalled, the report concludes.

The report, published by the economic think-tank the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, compared data from 30 leading countries around the world on children's welfare.

It found that public spending on children is well above average, at more than £90,000 from birth to the age of 18. Family incomes are relatively healthy, too, ranking eighth out of the 30 countries studied.

But education results remained 'low relative to spending levels,' the report says, while the ability of children to break out of their class structures and earn more than their parents is poor.

'In the United Kingdom... each new generation is more likely to find themselves in the same position in the earnings distribution as their parents,' it says.

Figures show that 33 per cent of 13 and 15-year-olds in Britain had been drunk at least twice, despite being too young to be served alcohol, compared with just 12 per cent of American youngsters and 14 per cent of French.

Unlike in many other countries, drunkenness is more common among girls - with half of 15-year-olds having been drunk at least twice - than boys, with 44 per cent.

Teenage pregnancy is also far higher than average across the OECD. The UK has the fourth highest teenage pregnancy rate after Mexico, Turkey and the United States.

In Britain, 23.4 teenage girls per 1,000 gave birth in 2005.

Britain ranks a poor 20th out of the 30 in terms of children's 'health and safety', with infant mortality rates higher than average and among the lowest numbers of toddlers being vaccinated against measles.

The report criticises the Government for paying out generous benefits for single parents, saying that they keep them out of employment for too long. Once children start school at 4 or 5, benefits should be withdrawn, it says.

'There is little or no evidence that these benefits positively influence child well-being, while they discourage single-parent employment,' the report says.

Only 70 per cent of under-16s in England live with both parents, a figure which falls to 68 per cent in Scotland and 66 in Wales. This is well below the OECD average of 75 per cent.

The report echoes research two years ago from UNICEF that put British children bottom of a list of the 21 most advanced countries.

That report cites family breakdown, drink, drugs, teenage sex and fear of violence as the issues confronting teenagers.

Shadow Schools Minister, Nick Gibb said: 'The low levels of social mobility and high levels of inequality are a serious cause for concern.

'The OECD is right that money needs to be targeted at poorer pupils if we are to close the educational gap between the top and the bottom.

'That is why two years ago, the Conservatives proposed a plan for education reform with an explicit pupil premium attached to children from less well-off backgrounds.

'Labour has failed a generation of children which is why we need a Conservative Government that takes the necessary steps to remove this block on opportunity.'

Joyce Moseley, chief executive of youth charity Catch22, said: 'The UK has consistently scored poorly in OECD reports on the levels of young people not in work, education or training; teenage pregnancy and youth substance abuse.

'Unless we can start to improve this situation the UK risks becoming the bad parent of Europe.

'The OECD makes it clear that although the UK spends more than most on young people, the money is poorly targeted for older children.

'It is important that the good work done in the early years is backed up with consistency and targeted support for the most vulnerable young people.

'Now is the time for those of all political stripes to make a commitment to improving the situation of young people in the UK.'

Dawn Primarolo, the Children's Minister, said: ‘It is disappointing to see the UK rated so low for risky behaviours.'

But she added: 'We have introduced a number of initiatives to help teenagers and their families make informed decisions about their behaviour, including the plans to introduce statutory Personal, Sexual and Health Education lessons to equip young people with the knowledge, understanding and practical skills to live healthy, safe, fulfilled and responsible lives.'

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