It all kicked off today during a fiery debate on Good Morning Britain about whether children should give up their seat for an adult when they’re on public transport.
Jeremy Kyle and Kate Garraway hosted the debate between mother of two Dipti Tait and etiquette expert William Hanson on whether a child should be expected to give up their seat for an adult who is not disabled, pregnant or elderly.
Dipti is a hypnotherapist and author who has been on many TV programmes in the past to contribute to debates. She argued that children have just as much right to a seat as an adult and shouldn’t have to give up their seat to someone who isn’t in obvious need of it.
She said: “I think safety is so much more important than etiquette, especially on public transport. The modern day world that we live in is a little bit dog eat dog, the morning rush hour commute is stressful enough for mums trying to get their kids out the door.
“When you finally get that seat you think the angels are smiling down on you and then someone expects you to give that seat up. It’s just not right.”
She did agree that if the person is in need of a seat, for example if they are elderly, then the seat should be given to them.
William started his argument with saying that children are not taught the correct manners. He said: “The trouble with a lot of modern parenting is that we are raising children to think that they are angels and that they’re marvellous.
“Once they get older and they go into the workplace they transfer that philosophy that they’ve been brought up with and actually they have a real shock because that’s not how life works.”
He continued his argument about why children should give up their seat saying: “A child is resilient, a child can stand up for the short journey.”
At that point Jeremy interjected and asked him: “Do you have kids?” to which William said he did not.
William argued: “The child can offer the seat, the adult doesn’t need to accept it but a child should be trained and educated that they have to defer to adults.”
Dipti then posed a question to William, whose answer left many viewers angry. She asked him: “Are you saying that children are less important than adults?”
When William replied “Yes” Dipti’s face was shrouded in complete shock as she exclaimed: “Oh my god!”
The etiquette expert explained: “Children are lovely but actually an adult deserves the seat.” But Dipti was still in so much shock that she repeated the question again to him and elicited the same response.
William said: “The respect goes to adults, that is the way of life.”
His answer caused a wave of angry tweets from viewers who couldn’t believe what they were hearing. One viewer said: “This William can’t say children aren’t important! he isn’t a parent so don’t pass comment!”
Another viewer tweeted: “William has no children and has probably never travelled on public transport in his life.”