Well, we didn’t feel guilty enough about eating animals, smoking, drinking, being above or below the British Standard Human weight, so here’s a new thing to feel guilty about.
Like we’re blameless. Near Merthyr Tydfil, where one side of my family came from, there were iron mines and toddlers were down there chipping away at rocks less than a century ago. Ho hum…
Guilt is a great way to control people. I speak from long experience, long enough to have immunised me against guilt entirely. I can now strangle a kitten while you watch and feel no shame at all. I’ve never done it, but trust me, you cannot touch me with a guilt trip any more. I won’t feel a thing.
So now there is a big push on the ‘child labour’ guilt trip. Apparently Kinder egg toys are made by underpaid children for the children of overpaid Western families. That actually made me chuckle. Kinder egg toys made by children… Who else would know what kind of toys children like? There is, so far, no evidence of any truth in this accusation but Kinder (Ferrero) pulled the plug anyway. The guilt game is a hard one to win.
Now the palm oil. I have no idea what this stuff is for but we buy a lot of it so it must be good for something. Anyway, it seems children in Indonesia are getting paid the square root of bugger all for helping with the harvest.
Well now. In Indonesia, the money we regard as pocket money could well be enough to buy a week’s groceries. ‘Underpaid’ is relative. So kids are missing school to earn money doing real work. Some of ours should too, it gives them an experience of reality they’ll never get in modern schools and saves them a few days of mind numbing indoctrination and that can only be a good thing.
If the Indonesian parents were paid well enough to produce stuff we pay silly money for here, they wouldn’t need to send their kids out to help. But really, when we are only just getting past iron mine toddlers and thin kids cleaning chimneys, are we really so superior?
Look at what we do to our kids now. Mollycoddling and overprotectionism. Those palm oil kids will grow up strong and self supporting, ours will grow up whining about imaginary rights and demanding their utter uselessness is deemed normal.
One of these things must count as abuse.
Which would you choose for your kids?