""The last thing you want is a children's author on a soapbox," he says. "It's an unpleasant sight, and it's misguided to think that, because you have influence over what children like to read, you have any authority to speak on their behalf."
Just try stopping him, though. "What we've done over the past 13 years is utterly to demonise kids; to alienate them; to separate them from ourselves – as if they're not actually what we once were. The Government has done everything in its power to marginalise them, turn them into little bleeps on a database, surround them with even more foolish laws, even more foolish targets, to manage every aspect of their lives from cradle to the grave. And the bitter fruits of that misjudgement and selfishness are becoming ever more apparent.""