WELL done David Beckham for hitting back at the haters who slated him for giving little Harper a dummy the other day.

Explaining that the four-year-old felt ill, he asked: “Why do people feel they have the right to criticise a parent about their own children without having any of the facts?”

Simple! Some folk just hate the sight of children being treated like the precious little people that they are.

When my eldest was five, a nasty old woman yanked his thumb out of his mouth in a shop and I was always getting it in the neck about my youngest and his dummy, as if allowing these things was going to end civilisation as we know it.

It’s the same with letting kids play out unsupervised. In yet another baroque piece of why-oh-why-ism we’re told that English parents are some of the world’s most ‘overprotective’ when it comes to letting the ankle-biters play outside and move around without supervision.

The Policy Studies Institute at the University of Westminster’s Ben Shaw is reported as saying: “Children’s freedom of movement has declined in recent decades and danger from traffic is the main reason parents give for not letting children go out alone.”

And the problem with that is what, exactly? You don’t bring your kids up to get run over by some moron who’d prefer to yak on his mobile than pay attention to the road, do you?

What always amazes me about these surveys is that they appear to take little account of all the other facts influencing how we bring up our kids. Most mums now work - which means that far from letting little Jonty and Jessica roam free in the holidays and after school, they are being cared for at the play club which would never let them out of its sight, in case they are sued.

Another reason that I wouldn’t let my kids out of earshot when they were young was because, as a journalist, I knew damned well that the predatory paedophiles the authorities blithely assure us are ‘rare’ are in fact swarming over this nation like a plague of evil locusts, and only the naive or feeble-minded would believe any different.

Even if you do let your children play unsupervised they invariably get ticked off by intolerant adults - usually the same adults that spend their days tutting over stories about how Britain’s kids are all dying of obesity because they don’t get out enough.

Whether it’s handing them a dummy, deciding when to give up the sippy cup or keeping their babies safe, it should be up to parents to assess the risks, not remote academics and interfering busybodies.

If your kid wants a dummy, give it one. If it wants to suck its thumb and twiddle its teddy’s ear, let it. Even if he’s 10. If it wants a cuddle, give it one of those, too, because they are only little once and kids were put on this earth to be loved. And, if anyone does dare to criticise, tell them to get stuffed. Just like David!

Corbyn happy to be his own man 

NOW THAT Tony Blair has said that voting for Jeremy Corbyn will send the Labour Party over cliff there’s no way he can lose.

Corbyn is popular because he isn’t the sort of ‘socialist’ who appears to think other people’s kids should attend state schools while his go private (Diane Abbott). He doesn’t look like the sort who, when asked about his kitchen, poses in what appears to be the one used by the lodger or the nanny (Ed Miliband). He doesn’t whinge about his wages or fleece the public for thousands on expenses (quite a lot of MPs, a lot of the time). And while I reckon that quite a bit of what he says is utter bunkum, he’s happy to stand up and defend his beliefs, not cower behind spin doctors.

Ladies; wear the shortest skirt you can get away with 

LADIES are being urged to get themselves a ’stylish midi skirt’ to see them through what the fashionistas call AW15.

Unless your pins resemble those of an ageing elephant, my advice is to always wear the shortest skirt you can get away with, if only to distract the old man - and everyone else - from everything that’s going wrong above. Wearing midi skirts is like announcing that you have given up on being a woman. Like culottes, beige slacks and elastic waistbands, they scream End of Days.

Memo to Jose: you're not that special 

FOR too much time Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has gone around appearing to trade off the idea that he’s a sex-symbol and a bit of a special one. Now, in what looks like a hissy fit, he’s dumped Chelsea’s pitchside doc, Eva Carneiro, and in so doing made himself look like every other grumpy, moany middle-aged bloke who’s had a bad day at the office. Memo to Jose: some of us never believed you were that special, anyway. But thanks to Doctorgate I reckon you now look more than a little bit sexist.

Breastfeed rant DJ clearly had far too much of a look 

THIS IS Alex Dyke, the hapless Radio Solent DJ who complained about ‘librarian-type, moustached women’ breastfeeding in public. He reckons he saw a mum doing this on a bus and: ‘I didn’t know where to look.’ Sounds like he had had far too much of a look, if you ask me.