Piers Morgan: 'We should stop teaching kids that the entire world is wicked'

It sounds very difficult to be young in today’s world. Barely a day passes without stories of profound woe.

“Kids’ mental health is in crisis,” we're told. "Anxiety and depression rampant among children”. There’s even a “child anxiety epidemic” right here in the UK.

This is all very alarming, and also a bit confusing, because generally speaking the world is only getting richer, safer and more interesting.

It stands to reason that young people should be happier. But clearly they’re not. Social media probably hasn’t helped. An entire digital world of vipers where self esteem can be measured directly in likes.

Even I would worry about that... If I wasn’t so well-liked. But perhaps there’s a bigger problem here. And it’s us!

Ghastly adults, who at some point decided we should teach children to be mortally offended by everyone and utterly terrified of everything.

Fresh from ransacking Roald Dahl’s legendary children’s stories, so-called sensitivity readers have now set about cancelling this.Yes, the Bash Street Kids, those mischievous little rogues in the Beano, Britain’s best-loved comic book, have been deemed problematic. They’ve entertained children for 67 years without complaint.

But consultants from “Inclusive Minds”, the very same people who censored Roald Dahl’s books, have quietly decided there needs to be some changes.The Beano now takes professional advice from this committee of fun police, which has helped it to rebrand characters and vet its back catalogue.

“Spotty”, who was called spotty because he has… spots… is now known simply as Scotty. He does still have spots, though.And “Fatty”, who was called fatty because he is fat, is now known as Freddy. But he is still fat.The kids have been joined by five new pupils - including Harsha, Mahira and Mandira, in order to be more inclusive.Mandira is featured in storylines about mental health to highlight the anxieties facing kids. Perhaps they should do one about Mandira being warned that her friend Fatty is offensive.

This is from the same set of geniuses who changed “cloud men” to “cloud people” in James and the Giant Peach, and decided that the black tractors in Fantastic Mr Fox could not be described as black.

There’s two points here. The first is about censorship. If you rewrite every work of fiction based on today’s sensibilities, you’ll have to do it again every 10 years until you’re left with a sanitised slab of nonsense which bears no resemblance to the original.

The context of when something was written is part of what makes it informative and interesting!The second point is simply this: we heard a hell of a lot less about child anxiety when Fatty and Spotty were at large. Because they were supposed to be funny! It’s a joke! It's a cartoon!

If we want kids to feel happier, maybe we should stop teaching them that the entire world is wicked.

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