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Children dish out rough justice to their peers

CHILDREN can be as severe in doling out punishments as Mr Justice Potts, the judge who sent Lord Archer to jail, especially when it comes to their misbehaving peers.

Liverpool's pupil MPs have recommended a fine of up to pound;200 for youngsters caught skateboarding on the steps of the city's St George's Hall, described by council leader Mike Storey as "one of the finest architectural features in the world".

A quick rap on the knuckles is not enough for these serious custodians of their city's heritage, the young justices decided. Hitting them where it hurts - in their low-slung, O'Neill pockets - is the only way to put the skids under these skateboarding scallys, they agreed.

But the two school parliaments, representing the primary and secondary sectors, have also shown that they are shrewd political operators who understand the "you scratch my back" quid pro quo.

In exchange for supporting the ban, the city council has to give them purpose-built skateboarding facilities, with supervised areas and safety lessons. And they are displaying this deal-brokering prowess before citizenship is introduced into the classroom.

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