Don't ask


Never give a bureaucrat the opportunity to say no. (See here for the other 44 points in Blackwell's guide). Unfortunately for the parents of a Dutch girl they failed to understand that by seeking to play by the rules they would lose their decision making powers over their own daughter for two months. Laura Dekker is a keen sailor, and has been sailing since she was born (she was born on a yacht) she's so competent that at 13 she wants to sail the world. However it's not the seas or the winds, her boat or even her lack of courage that is stopping her from going. It is the Dutch authorities who after denying a request from Laura's parents that she be allowed to take two years of school to complete this challenge then found in favour of the Dutch Child Protection Agency that she become a ward of court.

Of course, I'm sure Miss Dekker has been followed everyday since birth by this agency and they, and the child psychologist who will assess, her, must know her far better than her parents do. In fact, I imagine that Miss Dekker expressed a fear that she was in fact possessed by the spirit of Willem Janszoon and he was controlling her every action! Therefore the safest course must have been to take was this, she needs to be protected. It is such a pity that her parents did not pay any regard to their child when she was growing up as they would then know whether she is capable and mature enough to sail around the world. She has been saved and she will now spend the next two years of her life in school. She might of course ignore everything and learn very little, but it's where the state says she is supposed to be.

Her parents should have pushed her off at the quayside and told her to write rather than doing things by the book. Perhaps others will learn from this and disregard the state as being nothing other than a service for idiots run by idiots. The Dutch should celebrate as another child's life is successfully destroyed.