Letter: Children have no place in this or any other area of conflict

This letter sent to the Star was written by Neville Martin, Castledine Gardens, Sheffield, S9

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 9:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 6:09 am
Youth Climate Strike outside Sheffield Town Hall. Picture Scott Merrylees

There is a long tradition in this country, and most others in the western world, that when trouble breaks out we shield our children from harm and protect them from whatever evil might befall the adult population. Hence the 1941 evacuation of children to the countryside, for example.

It is therefore unconscionable that the likes of Extinction Rebellion and their co-conspirators in the global warming hoax should have filled a generation of children with fear and dread, utterly convinced that they are teetering on the very cusp of destruction, and thrust them into the very front line of this war on affluence and prosperity.

This abuse of children would be bad enough if the war was in the furtherance of a just cause, but to regimentalize an army of schoolchildren, fill them with alarm and anxiety and allow them to be sent out to strengthen the barricades on the say-so of this death cult is beyond the realms of decency. I have every confidence that the climate warriors genuinely believe their mantra of combating the threat of planet-wide devastation, but to impose their mistaken perceptions on impressionable children is a step too far.

Having observed the responses of my own grandchildren, it is clear they are more taken by the romanticism of participating in direct action and social conflict than in the cause of climate change; (manning the blockades presents an exciting prospect in the mind of any child). This factor underlines the reason we traditionally keep children clear of idealistic struggle: it is much easier to inculcate young minds with antagonism and belligerence than it is to extricate them from it in later life.

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Children have no place in this or any other area of conflict and to allow it amounts to gross child abuse by any definition. Those who engage in encouraging the involvement of children should be ashamed of themselves.