The Third Leader: Cutting edge

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Today, beset as we are by our own pressing concerns, it is all too easy to lose sight of the problems of others, especially when they lack a powerful voice of their own. I refer, of course, to our children.

Here we are at the height of the holidays. And holidays, as we should remember, are particularly stressful for children since, apart from anything else, they are prevented from being at school where, as everyone knows, their happiest days are spent.

On top of that, many of them have been forcibly removed from their homes, and often their country, at the whim of adults who think that sand, sun, sea and swimming are better than sitting inside in the dark, minding your own business and zapping at a screen. And please don't mention sunblock again.

It can get much worse, too, because quite often the so-called grown-ups want "to go somewhere" and you end up walking miles in the baking heat looking at stuff you can see on a screen anytime when you're not hot. If it's in Britain, it will be raining, and you just have to walk, unless it's yet another of those "experience" things.

And now, if all that were not enough, Hovis have introduced crust-free bread. Don't they realise that leaving the crusts is one of the few protests left to children against the control-freakery of ultra-authoritarian Adultland, and that this means they'll have to wash their hands first?

Sugar-free drinks, boring cereals, amusingly coloured vegetables: all very well. But this is different. Hovis may win royal approval for easing Buckingham Palace garden party sandwich prepping, but I fear for an eventual, terrible revenge.

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