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On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: Toby Young. Again.

Oh, Toby, it's almost as if you like being told off. Just weeks after we last sanctioned the founder of the West London Free School for describing special needs children as "troglodytes", we feel that we've little option but to do so again.

Mr Young, the celebrated author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, has been explaining, you see, how he would back caning in his school if it were still legal. (Only for boys, mind.)

Why such a retrograde stance? It was, of course, because the experience of being beaten by one of his PE teachers never did him any harm. "Now, many years later, I am the co-founder of a school and I would have to decide whether to allow corporal punishment if the law should change. I think the answer is yes, but only for exceptionally bad behaviour," he told the Sunday Express.

"I can imagine circumstances in which beating a boy - never a girl - would be preferable to expelling him, for his sake, rather than the school's."

So to the Naughty Step with you for the second time, Mr Young, even if you do rather enjoy it. We just wonder, though, what the sanction would be if we had a "three strikes and you're out" policy. We couldn't threaten the cane - it seems you might rather enjoy it.

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