Grant Woodward: The sex and violence bombarding our kids isn’t just unsuitable, it’s toxic

x-rated: US pop singer Rihanna is known for her explicit music videos but she will evade the new age limits. Photo: Andrew Mulligan/PA
x-rated: US pop singer Rihanna is known for her explicit music videos but she will evade the new age limits. Photo: Andrew Mulligan/PA
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A BATTERED Morten Harket emerging from the pages of a comic book. Peter Gabriel’s head morphing into a bunch of vegetables. Michael Jackson lighting up the flagstones with his twinkling feet.

A BATTERED Morten Harket emerging from the pages of a comic book. Peter Gabriel’s head morphing into a bunch of vegetables. Michael Jackson lighting up the flagstones with his twinkling feet.

The music videos of my youth remain imprinted on my mind – and they’re just as jawdroppingly great as the first time I saw them on Going Live, The Chart Show or MTV.

These days, you might as well head straight to the porn channels. Or plump for a handpicked 18-certificate gorefest.

You see, I reckon the average meeting between record company bosses and the latest hotshot video director goes a bit like this...

“So guys, should we try and come up with something original and quirky to plug Rihanna’s new track?”

“Nah, we’ll just get her to writhe around in her bra and knickers again.”

It’s no wonder the Government has pushed for age limits to be slapped on music videos in the same way they are for films.

From now on, record companies will submit their videos to the British Board of Film Classification to put 12, 15 or 18 certificates on them before they hit YouTube.

The trouble is the whole thing’s got more holes in it than a Jeremy Corbyn manifesto.

For a start it’s on a voluntary basis, so the labels can pull the plug any time they like. Secondly, it only applies to British firms – so Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and the rest are still free to go starkers with the whole world watching.

Then there’s the fact that tech-savvy youngsters always seem to be one step ahead and will no doubt find a way round it.

Still, without sounding all Mary Whitehouse, at least they’re doing something.

The sexualisation of children these days has reached terrifying levels. Walk into any supermarket or high street and the range of kids’ clothes is more suited to Little Mix than little girls.

High heels for eight-year-olds. T-shirts for three-year-olds plastered with “Future WAG” across the front. It’s little short of child abuse.

And music videos play a big part too. I still remember the horror of visiting a friend’s house and seeing his four-year-old daughter twerking along to Miley Cyrus.

Why is modern society so desperate to wish away childhood barely after the nappies have come off? My son has come home from nursery telling me all about the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. He’s never seen it – but his pals at nursery have.

The Power Rangers – in case you didn’t know – face a constant battle to save the world from their evil nemesis. And apparently the only way to stop evil is to kick and punch your way to peace.

It probably explains why those kids at nursery keep shoving my son up against the wall and punching him in the stomach.

A mate of mine suggested a bit of playground aggro might do him good, toughen him up a bit. But he just turned four the other week – surely he shouldn’t need to don the knuckledusters just yet?

Last parents’ evening our twins’ teacher told us the pair of them were “very innocent”.

“Good,” we said at the time. “They’re three.”

Kids today are constantly bombarded with images that aren’t just unsuitable, they’re toxic. From a Rita Ora music video to Grand Theft Auto Five.

And don’t even get me started on the ease with which young lads can find online porn.

Funnily enough, it’s the people who make this stuff that keep telling us it doesn’t do any harm, whereas parents – the ones with their heads screwed on at least – can see full well it does and are doing their damndest to shield their kids from it for as long as is humanly possible.

I don’t want my daughter wearing heels and lipstick by the age of eight and my son desensitised to sex and violence thanks to a steady diet of video games and dodgy websites.

If that makes me a prude, I’m a bloody proud one.

It’s not you Asda, it’s us

THAT’S it. Finito. Sayonara. Goodnight Vienna. Our love affair with the big British supermarket is officially over.

Leeds-based Asda’s tumbling profits – the chain’s biggest sales slump in its history – is more proof that the party’s finished for the so-called Big Four.

Just last Christmas boss Andy Clarke was upbeat about the future, pointing to the fact the US-owned giant was the only one of the four major supermarkets not to have lost any of its market share having suffered the smallest fall in sales.

Now he’ll be nervously looking over his shoulder hoping he doesn’t suffer the same fate as axed rivals such as Morrisons’ chief Dalton Philips and Phil Clarke at Tesco.

God forbid there are job losses – especially not among the scores of people employed by Asda in Leeds – but while bosses blether on about cashback vouchers and five-year plans, the truth is the British public have moved on.

We no longer want the cavernous, all-singing, all-dancing superstores that Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco keep turning out – the Danes and Germans have shown us a better way.

Ok, so the stores aren’t particularly pleasing on the eye, and you’ve more chance of spotting Shergar than a shop assistant, but the food is good and – above all else – it’s cheap.

If there’s one hangover from the recession we don’t mind it’s that it has finally opened our eyes to the fact the Big Four have been milking us for years. For them it’s now a case of adapt or die.

Raheem’s gaffe cheered me right up

HAVING bought a new house this week, I immediately started having second thoughts. The windows need replacing, the garden’s a disaster and the less said about the decor the better.

So I was delighted to take a peek inside the £1.5m “mansion” that Raheem Sterling is flogging after his move to Man City.

Complete with a Michael Jackson-themed bar, barber’s salon and the sort of black striped wallpaper you begged your mum for in the 80s only to be completely ignored, the place is a wall to wall horror show.

Whoever designed it – and I’m looking at you here, Raheem – was clearly inspired by Brewster’s Millions and the flat in Only Fools and Horses. Right down to the zebra print rugs in the bedroom that would make even Del Boy blush.

It’s proof positive that money can’t buy you taste –and it’s cheered me right up. You may be persona non grata on Merseyside, Raheem, but you’ll do for me son.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is facing fresh questions this week over his decision-making.

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