Some things strike such an obvious nerve. The immediate emotional response of ‘hear, hear’ seems to prevent us scrutinising the details of the proposed policy. David Cameron’s much publicised comments about the sexualisation of children are almost universally agreed (probably excepting Lily Allen’s management co). Children are under immense pressure from the testing, testing, 1, 2 culture of schools and more pertinently, the relentless drive of advertisers to find younger markets with teenage (adult) content as the hook. Who didn’t want to be more grown up when they were a child? As I’ve blogged before, there are radical solutions we could look at to reduce this incessant, corrosive flow that steals our mental space and provokes our most consumerist instincts.
Then I was reading today about another area where ethics are often called into question, developing the world’s natural resources. If we could use the stock market as a tool for penalising bad behaviour in environmental concern, why not try it for companies who flaunt their inappropriate wares to our most impressionable citizens. This would be a substantial policy that would encourage ethics… with teeth. It goes much further than denying companies government contracts if they transgress the line, after all, that may not hurt a large proportion of them. As Dizzee reminds us, ‘Money talks…’ The sharpness of our regulatory molars demonstrates our commitment to social justice. And as Justin Dillon has put it ‘justice is what love looks like in public.’