|Should this be illegal?|
A few years back a national ruckus was raised about 'Sin Parties'. Letters to the editor, radio phone-ins and discussion programmes were all about Judgement Day being around the corner and evil-doers on the fast lane to hell to a hip hop beat.
The current stories in The Times about young teenagers dancing on boxes in skimpy clothes at alcohol-free parties bring back memories of those years. We are back at Hades' gates.
The furore over Sin Parties was silly because it was about the behaviour of consenting adults. What the fire and brimstone crowd wanted then was to make fun between adults illegal.
It is true that now we are talking about underage boys and girls. But underage for what exactly?
“I’m worried that there is no age bracket. In the photos [above] ... there are children younger than 13 and men and women in their 20s. This is not a healthy mix,” said Helen D'Amato, the Children's Commissioner. Her solution? Change the law to impose an age limit for entry to these teenybopper parties.
On what basis would such a revision of the law be based? How can you prevent 20-year olds from mixing with 13-year olds for fun if neither of them are breaking any other law? What will the criteria for the law to classify an event as a party going to be? Would an alcohol-free, multi-age party organised by the parish priest on the parvis be legal?
Hopefully, after everyone has stopped gawking at 13-year olds wearing trailer trash attire, sense will prevail we won't go down this preposterous legal route.
It is not the law which needs to be changed but minds. Parents' minds.