not answered by Save The Children

Still not answered by Save The Children since Jun 29.

Maurice Frank
15 Jul 2006

Glad you sent me your latest supporter’s mag.

On page 4 there was an upsetting item about the child author Libby Rees becoming a backer for you. In publicising any child author, there is an act of mass child cruelty done unless a fact about child authors is AUTOMATICALLY referred to. You may well not have known the item, as it is unjustly little publicised, but you will know it now – see [linked to page then existing on Phad‘s site] – and this needs updating urgently in your next literature. The item is, that there exist wronged child authors, whose chance to complete books was ruined by adult abuses towards us. I’m one, and my case represents a whole missing generation of child authors after Lindsay Brown in 1978. I was covered as a child author with a sci-fi/relativity novel in progress, by 2 Welsh newspapers in 1980-2 when they were reporting on early O-level passes at my school. The first item was by the young Rod Liddle. But my chance to complete it and succeed like Libby was ruined by abusive school homework pressure, which would eventually reach breaking point and a crisis situation. The school, deservedly now closed, had the abusive stupidity to benefit from the public mention of my writing but then not give me enough spare time in my life to do it! and teachers believe they know best and give orders, they don’t allow the child to decide.

This is a crime of child ill-treatment and a deep wound. Given child authorship’s now apparent association with Asperger Syndrome, not saying they all have it, it’s even a medical wrong. As recently as the launch of an Asperger needs-survey project in Manchester 2 months ago, Aspect Action, I discovered a case of this school pressure happening to a child author RIGHT NOW.

Don’t you think wronged authorship is experienced worldwide by exactly the children wronged by poverty or wars who your work is full of? The crime upon all of us is worsened every time publicity of a child who WAS allowed to succeed does not mention wronged authors’ existence. So you urgently need to mention it in follow-up to your Libby item and in all the work you intend to do with her.

ETHICALLY towards children, you must not take an institutionally cynical position of wanting to prove for the sake of it that there is a discretionary choice over this. I have campaigning openings, as mentioned, to spead the word about that if it happens.

You would agree is right to put to anyone, simple obligations against child ill-treatment. Hence, you must not feel insulted to be told that the responsibility to publicise wronged child authors is UTTERLY AUTOMATIC. It is demonstrated truth to say on public record that any party who wants any discretionary choice over this to exist even in theory, or who changes the word “automatic” to any other word a shred less committal, commits culpable and potentially actionable child cruelty thereby.

You have not committed that because you likely didn’t know of the issue, and now you can do the right thing for a group of child victims.