All y’all remember Einstein’s famous quip about the definition of insanity? “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Case in point from the UK.

The number of teenage pregnancies leapt last year, despite all Labour’s efforts to increase sex education and contraception among children and the young.

The increase appears to have struck a death blow to the Government’s long-standing pledge to halve rates of pregnancy among girls under 18.

It means Britain will entrench its position, already deeply embarrassing to ministers, as the country with by far the highest teenage pregnancy levels in Europe.

Officials in Whitehall admitted yesterday that last year, far from falling, the figures were ‘slightly higher’.

In fact, the indicators show that 2007 is likely to have seen the first major jump in teenage conceptions in a decade.

The obvious solution? More of the same.

The sudden rise may have inspired a series of new efforts by ministers to intensify sex education and persuade more girls to use contraception.

This week the Health Department announced trials of a scheme to allow women to get the contraceptive Pill at chemists without a prescription. The idea – aimed mainly at teenagers – is likely to develop into a nationwide system to make the Pill available over the counter.

I am officially dubbing this particular brand of insanity Abstinence Shunning Syndrome (ASS). Those suffering from ASS cannot see the obvious. Teach more about sex. Give out more contraception. Get More sex.

In order to reduce teen sex and unwed pregnancy, we must first treat those ASS sufferers. The preferred treatment for this malady is to smack the ASS (sufferer) as many times as needed to get them to stop being an ASS (sufferer). Now, even if smacking the ASS (sufferer) does not stop them from being an ASS (sufferer) or even if they become more of an ASS (sufferer), be sure to continue smacking the ASS (sufferer). I am quite sure that it will eventually work.