Posts tagged Neets

Dr. Anarchy answers your mail #5: Wherever I go, he goes….

… the occasional advice column that’s taking the world by storm, one sovereign individual at a time.

This week’s question comes from a troubled teen, who wrote to us on the recommendation of long-time reader Chris Acheson. She wrote because she needs help with a question is about relationships and boundaries. How do you know when a concerned friend really has your best interests at heart—and how do you know when that concern crosses a line and endangers the friendship?

Dear Dr. Anarchy,

I have a friend who says he’s really worried about some of the bad decisions I’ve made in the last few years. He thinks that I’m acting out. I know I haven’t always made the smartest decisions, but now he’s following me around all the time to try and make sure I’m not getting into trouble! He even says he wants me wear a shackle around my ankle with a G.P.S. unit, so that he’ll always know where I am! I told him that sounded too much like Big Brother for me! But he says: You can paint this thing as either Big Brother, or this is a device that connects you to a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate.. I know he’s just trying to look out for me, but this makes me really nervous! Is he right? What should I say?

Sincerely,
Truant in Texas

Dear Truant,

If this guy were really your buddy, then he would respect your boundaries, and he would try to support you instead of trying to make you do what he thinks you should do. I know that he tries to cover up his controlling behavior by using euphemisms and acting superficially friendly. And I know that you want to believe that after all these years, he really does want what’s best for you. But you need to take an honest look at this relationship. The truth is that your buddy is acting like a control freak, even a stalker, and you deserve much better than buddies like that. You need to break off this relationship as soon as you possibly can.

Yours,
Dr. Anarchy.

That’s all for today. Just remember, folks: people are more important than power. And everything is easier when you reject the State as such.

Next week: Dr. Anarchy answers your romance and marriage questions!

See also:

Perpetual state of supervision

I first heard about this thanks to an entry in Reason’s March 2008 Brickbats column.

TEENAGERS who refuse to work, attend training or go to school are to be issued with on the spot fines under government proposals. Any who still fail to comply would then be taken to court where they could face further penalties.

The measures are designed to enforce a new law which will be outlined in this week’s Queen’s speech. It will say that all teenagers must remain in education, training or employment until they are 18.

The change will be phased in by raising the age to 17 in 2013 and to 18 in 2015. Details of the new age of participation will be outlined by Ed Balls, the children’s secretary, in a television interview today and in a speech tomorrow.

The new law will effectively outlaw Neets, teenagers and young people who are not in education, employment or training. In a speech to the Fabian Society tomorrow, Balls will put the proportion of Neets at about 10% of 16 to 18-year-olds.

On today’s Sunday Programme on GMTV, he will argue that the change is the biggest educational reform in the last 50 years.

To provide places for the teenagers, Balls will announce the creation of an extra 90,000 apprenticeships by 2013 for 16 to 18-year-olds to add to the current 150,000. There will also be 44,000 new places at further education colleges.

Tomorrow he will also issue a pamphlet detailing how the changes will be put into practice: These new rights must be matched by new responsibilities … young people are responsible for their participation and this can be enforced if necessary.

If someone drops out of education or training, their local authority will try to find them a place.

According to Balls’s department, if they refuse to attend, they will be given a formal warning, in which the local authority will clearly explain their duty to participate and the consequences of not doing so.

The next step will be to issue a formal notice, followed by a fixed penalty ticket. The Neet could then be taken to a youth court and fined, but the sanction will not go as far as imposing a custodial sentence.

— Jack Grimston, The Times (2007-11-04): Teenagers who refuse to work face on the spot fines

What sort of lessons do you suppose this educational reform will be teaching British teenagers, if the Labour government goes through with this plan to use police force, on the spot, against any youth who attempts to exist, even temporarily, outside of the direct supervision of more powerful adults—parents, teachers, bosses, crafts masters, etc.? What sort of a life, and what sort of a livelihood, and what sort of a society, do you suppose that those lessons will be preparing them for?