1. So back in 1998, The Economist ran an article entitled “When Children Should Be Screened And Not Heard”. It was a semi-sarcastic call for child-free zones on planes:
WE LIVE in increasingly intolerant times. Signs proliferate demanding no smoking, no spitting, no parking, even no walking. “No blacks” signs have thankfully disappeared—but elsewhere the imperative of denial seems to be ubiquitous […]
[Children] just like cigarettes or mobile phones, clearly impose a negative externality on people who are near them. Anybody who has suffered a 12-hour flight with a bawling baby in the row immediately ahead or a bored youngster viciously kicking their seat from behind, will grasp this as quickly as they would love to grasp the youngster’s neck.
2. A week later, the magazine featured this letter from six-year-old Jessica Morley.
Sir, you are wrong when you say that children are like cigarettes or mobile telephones. No one has to smoke or use a mobile phone, but everyone has to be a child and you were once one too. You need children to pay for the pensions of miserable old people like you.
Now pick on someone your own sise.
Jessica Morley (aged 6)