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Your friend, the government

Britain's government seems to have a minister for everything. The results can be hysterically funny, as long as they are viewed from the outside. But if I lived in England, I'd view the following proposal as a call to arms. From the Telegraph's editorial page:

Margaret Hodge, the minister for children, is quietly extending her empire to embrace parents, too. In a green paper due out next month, she proposes to teach millions of mothers and fathers how to bring up their children by sending them to parenting classes at public expense.

Such classes can already be made compulsory for parents of truants and thugs. But Mrs Hodge has noticed that middle-class families are rarely summoned before the courts to be reformed in this way. So she plans to spend vast sums of taxpayers' money on a mass programme of re-education. She seems determined that no child shall fail to be indoctrinated with the political correctness that made Islington council the nursery of the "Loony Left" in the 1980s when Mrs Hodge was its leader.

The arrogance of such a policy is breathtaking. It meets no demand, solves no problem, has no empirical basis.

If Tony Blair does nothing, "nationalized parenting" will become government policy. This is nuts. Chalk up one more item in the column for limited government.