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The Wright Stuff

Video clips: UK: Bring back the cane

With comments by C. Farrell

This 5-minute clip is from a daytime TV tabloid chat show in March 2007. It follows up on a February 2007 news story about a public opinion survey which had found widespread concern about discipline in British schools, and some parental support for restoring corporal punishment.

The host, Matthew Wright, waves a cane around in the studio as he discusses this issue with his three guests: entertainers Jenny Agutter and Len Goodman, and the ubiquitous all-purpose token Muslim liberal woman, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

As usual with this sort of thing, the debate is superficial and ill-informed. None of the speakers says anything remotely original or interesting, or has any positive answer to the collapse in school discipline. The two women trot out the standard currently fashionable line, with the usual half-baked argument about "violence".

Typically, only the man, Len Goodman, who is old enough to remember being caned at school, has anything positive to say about CP, but, as he points out, the discussion is a complete waste of time because caning has gone and there is not the slightest prospect of its being reintroduced.


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