HARRY Potter always was dangerous, of course. I was never sure about Topsy and Tim or the Gruffalo.

As for Peppa Pig – such smug, pink middle-classness is enough to topple any Communist state.

Which is what’s worrying China at the moment.

The Chinese Communist Party is having a crack down on foreign children’s books being printed in the country. They want to stem the “inflow of Western ideology.”

Well, good luck with that one.

China is the country, remember, which has built a replica Eiffel Tower, Austrian village and an English town complete with statue of Winston Churchill. They seem to have embraced Western ideology pretty thoroughly already.

And they’re worried about Peppa Pig?

But maybe they’re right. Never underestimate the power of a children’s book, if only for marketing opportunities. Think of all those Beatrix Potter plates and eggcups, Gruffalo T shirts, I Love You To the Moon and Back wall hangings and just about anything with Harry Potter.

China has 220million children under 14. Books are a great way to get to them.

We’re living in a glory age of children’s literature and have some of the best children’s books in the world. They’re funny and encouraging. They calm children’s fears and stretch their imaginations.

They promote independence, free thinking and a willingness to do the right thing. Heroes and heroines, from Winnie the Pooh to Harry Potter are often rebels and rule breakers.

You can see why the Chinese are getting nervous….

Still, if the Chinese Communist Party wants to ban them, then it only goes to show how powerful our children’s books are.

Make the most of them.

MHAIRI Black, the Scottish Nationalist MP elected to Westminster straight from university when she was only twenty, has brought a sparky irreverence and enthusiasm to parliament.

But already she’s jaded.

She’s thinking of quitting, she said over the weekend, because she finds it depressing that she can achieve so little in opposition, the travel from Scotland to London a pain and some of the people she works with she finds “troubling.”

Only some? Then lucky her.

She’s 22, in her first job and earning £75,000 a year.

Many of her former fellow-students are quite possibly earning little more than the minimum wage – if that – struggling to make ends meet, get a rung on a career ladder and have any influence on anything. First jobs are little more than stepping stones.

Even at £75,000 a year.

ST Patrick’s Day today where in America nearly everything will go green – including rivers, dyed emerald in honour of the day. There will be shamrocks, shillelaghs, parades , and an awful lot of Guinness drunk. Good luck to them all.

Yet most of the early Americans – including the founding fathers – were English. Even today about a quarter of Americans have English ancestry while just 10% claim to be Irish.

So what about St George’s Day?

Let’s see New York deck out in red and white, with lots of beer and gin being drunk and compulsory morris dancing.

That’ll make them realise what they gave up in 1776…

HOW did Kate let him get away with it?

Prince William’s been criticised for skiving off royal duties at the Commonwealth Day ceremony at Westminster Abbey to go partying with his mates. While his father, brother, grandparents and uncles all turned up at the service, solemnly suited and booted, he was enjoying himself at an expensive Swiss ski resort.

He’s entitled to a holiday but his timing was rubbish.

Did William not realise? Or did he just not care?

Not only was he skiing but he was making the most of the nightlife, dancing and flirting with attractive models.

I bet Kate was really pleased when she saw those pics…

Bad enough that William should go partying while leaving his wife and children at home. But by enjoying himself so obviously and so publicly – and he’d know there would bound to be photos – he was really snubbing her, too, as well as the Commonwealth.

I bet he’s in the right royal dog house. He’d better come up with something absolutely brilliant for Mother’s Day…

MARKS and Sparks are in bother for the labels on their school trousers. They have reinforced hems that stay up longer “so there’s less work for mum,”

Ooohhh. That got people going, saying it patronised mothers and assumed that dads never mended the school trousers.

Well yes, there are a few men who are very handy with a needle – one of husband’s uncles even used to make skirts for his wife – but they are still, I guess, a very small minority. Sewing seems to be a step too far for even the newest of men. In most homes, most of the time, it’s mothers – if anyone – who do the mending.

The answer is to teach both boys and girls from very early age how to sew. Then they can mend their own trousers – and sew their own name tapes on too.

JUDGE Lindsey Kushner spoke good sense when she warned young women of the dangers of getting drunk and the greater likelihood of being raped.

They are perfectly entitled to drink as much as they like, she said, but warned that potential rapists are drawn to vulnerable targets. And getting smashed out of your skull makes you very vulnerable indeed. Not least because you’re more likely to abandon your friends and wander off alone.

The judge has been accused by many people, not least Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird of victim-blaming.

Not at all.

But if you’re too drunk to know what you’re doing, you’re effectively handing responsibility for your safety on to all the people around you – friends, strangers and nasty bits of work who see you as an easy target.

Like it or not, that’s just the reality of the situation. And thank goodness a judge, at least, sees the world as it is and tries to shock some sense into potential victims.

Let’s hope people are listening.

HAVING children prolongs your life. According to Swedish scientists, people with children live an average of two years longer than those without.

This could be quite cheering if parents hadn’t already used those extra years – and many more – in worrying about everything from teething babies to waiting for a teenage driver to come safely home.

And just when you think you’re home and dry, you start all over again with the grandchildren.

AT a reunion of a radio station where I long ago had my first job, an old colleague recognised me instantly and swore I hadn’t changed a bit.

Now that’s really worrying – because surely it means I must have looked pretty rough 40 years ago…