Monday 8 February 2010

Thanks For Your Kindness, Pervert

Last week, the boy Puddlecote's school e-mailed their regular newsletter. At the end of the sterile but cheery message was a plea for parent participation.

"The children are always pleased when parents hear them sing at our assembly shows, so please come along if you can. Remember to bring your CRB checks with you"
Now, I'm CRB checked but was working. However, there are plenty others who would be able to attend but have never required clearance from the CRB in work or voluntary activities. And seeing as the process, in my experience, can take up to three months, anyone without clearance who wished to attend was effectively barred on the remote premise that they might be a paedophile.

Sorry if that appears simplistic, but how else can one view it? Guilty until proven innocent by the state machine.**

Even if I had been able to turn up, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done as I don't like the implication that I am required to produce documents to prove I am safe to watch my child at his school.

Similar requests for help at school events have carried the same eligibility criteria, which is why they struggle to stage the fucking things at times.

Imagine a scenario where you see an old lady struggling with heavy shopping bags and decide to offer your help. You don't have to, but are a kind sort and feel that it's the community-spirited thing to do. Then imagine she says she would very much welcome a hand but she wants to see proof that you're not a criminal first.

I don't know about you, but I'd bid her a polite good day and leave the ungrateful bitch to wear her old bones out dragging her kippers and lard home. Likewise if I offered someone my seat on a bus and they sniffily asked to see my medical record before they risked it ... they would remain standing for the rest of their journey. In fact, considering I'm fit and well and able to get myself home by any means, even jogging if I feel like it, I might even pass my stop just to keep the anti-social bastard on their feet longer.

Tim Gill, writing at CiF, encapsulated all such thoughts of mine with this.

All the fundamental questions remain. [...] most profoundly, about the wider implications of living in a society in which casual, freely given offers of help are met not with appreciation but with deep suspicion.
This is where Labour have taken us. To a very dark place in which kindness is frowned upon unless given with government sanction; where we are all encouraged to view others as criminals and perverts unless a piece of paper says otherwise.

If the next government is serious about repairing the broken respect for others in this country, they should start by scrapping the CRB system entirely. It might also stop the rest of Europe laughing at us (because they do) for treating everyone as a potential pervert.

It's a good piece by Gill, well worth a read in its entirety if you haven't already.

** Even though one of the vilest child abusers of recent years was cleared by the CRB.


Dick Puddlecote said...

Too late! A better title hits me ... 'Mama, weer all peedos now' ;-)

Anonymous said...

However though up the CRB thing is definately not right in the noggin.

Unknown said...

Thank fuck I have no children and at my age I now never will. Parents today have my sympathy.

Anonymous said...

Unknown paedos have it made haven't they? Get clearance and your home and dry. No one dare object to your presence anywhere where children are because you have clearance.
Existing known paedos can circumvent the system in one way or another.

subrosa said...

I'd have been tempted to reply to their email saying until they treated me with the respect I deserve and not as a pervert, then they will receive no help from me.

The email would be copied to my MP, MSP and all councillors.

Then I may just be tempted to have a word with Dave, who runs the local paper and ask him if he'd be interested in a wee article to fill his weekly rag. He's usually amenable.

Then I'd feel as if I'd done something. The government know they can get away with this because we take it without protest. Remember when they tried to augment the CRBs? They backed down speedily once they realised the public wouldn't accept it.

All the CRBs do is make public service jobs for people and shuffle tax payers' money around from service to service.

As junican says the system can easily be circumvented. Ask any police officer.

JuliaM said...

"The government know they can get away with this because we take it without protest."

Very true! What happened to us?

Angry Exile said...

'Remember to bring your CRB checks with you'



Incidentally, I've just relayed this to Mrs Exile and I'm quite shocked at the language she's used. "Fucking silly poms" was only the beginning.

Constantly Furious said...

"..imagine she says she would very much welcome a hand but she wants to see proof that you're not a criminal first.

I don't know about you, but I'd bid her a polite good day and leave the ungrateful bitch to wear her old bones out dragging her kippers and lard home

Egg-fucking-zactly. Well put.

Furor Teutonicus said...

I am not wishing it on any one, because it WILL happen. But I look foreward GREATLY to hear what the "Government" have to say when the first peado case comes up, where the perp WAS "cleared".

I just hope it is BEFORE the next election. For once in opposition, they will not give a shit.

Dick Puddlecote said...

This one was cleared by the CRB, Furor.

Furor Teutonicus said...

I suppose it was too much to expect the Dictatorships willing servant, the press, to follow that angle up.

How much do the press earn for covering up for their masters I wonder?

Unknown said...

How long, I wonder, will it be that if a parent complains about CRB's will be put onto a file marked "potential child abuser?"

Paranoid, moi?

Furor Teutonicus said...

subrosa said...

I'd have been tempted to reply to their email saying until they treated me with the respect I deserve and not as a pervert, then they will receive no help from me.
Then stand back with a stop watch and see how long it takes before the SS and police are on your door step wanting to take the bastards away.

Which I reckon fits in with the way The Big Yin is thinking.

Little Black Sambo said...

Intolerable as the CRB system is, it sounds as though in this case the school is making it stricter still. Are they really obliged to require visiting parents to be checked?
And has a single word been said by the Conservatives about reversing all this nonsense? I trow not.

Anonymous said...

Well since you need a new one of the bloody things every time your job changes (even just the name) I have invented a new game. The rules are simple, how many different CRBs can you collect in a single 12 month period? I currently have NINE with two more applications being processed! As Arthur Daley would say "It's a nice little earner My Son!"
TTFN and keep smiling (or is that a grimace?)

JohnRS said...

Mind completely boggled!!

So if you just turned up at the school and walked in what would happen? Do they guards on the door?

If they stopped you seeing your own child is that then some sort of kidnap?

Would they really try to throw you out once you were inside?

Who would actually lay hands on you and do it?

Could you charge them with assault?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Unlikely. Bloody teachers are too scared to lay hands on the damn bastards, let alone someone who may hit back.

They call the police. But what their powers are in the U.K in such a case, I WOULD have known 10 or 15 years ago. Now????

Reason said...

"Remember to bring your CRB checks with you"

You're making it up, surely.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous.

What happens when you pick up your child from school? Do you have to show your CRB as well?

However, this is more one headteacher being a dick than anything else. I am not even sure this requirement is legal.

Instead of doing nothing, why don't you get an appointment with the headteacher to tell him/her about their being idiots? I would have thought you could get quite a few parents to go with you.

If you do nothing, then do not be surprised things like this happen.

skidmark - a reader from America said...

CRB = Criminal Records Backrgound Check. You apply to the cops for a search to see if you have a criminal background. If nothing comes up you get a certificate, suitable for framing, saying there was nothing in the computer about you. You then bring the certificate to places like your kid's school where they copy it and put it in a file so they will know you will not molest your kid if you come to pick them up, or molest any other kids if you come for a conference with the teacher, or to watch your kid sing at a school assembly.

But that's not actually accurate, as this one school wants you to bring your CRB certificate in your hot little hand to wave at them before you are allowed to come in and watch your kid sing at the school assembly. Forget about it being on file.

At least they did not say it had to be current - whatever that might mean in a land where it takes 3 months to go from applying to be body-cavity searched for perversions and criminal misbehavior until you actually get the certificate (suitable for framing) in the mail.

Here's an idea - it would be easier if we just had folks wear a badge. It was a scheme that worked in an earlier era, and there is no reason why it can't be revived. Check it out:

stay safe.

word verification = miderp. What I did after reading about this mindless BS.

Anonymous said...

I started a portrait photography business last year. Parents wanted to see my CRB checks first, which CRB wouldn't do because I was self employed, they said I wouldn't need checking anyway as the kids would be supervised by their parents. I was instructed to ask customers to fill out a form to allow me to use their childs picture for commercial purposes in order to start a portfolio,which everyone always refused point blank to do. I also took some pictures of some kids my mate fosters and wasn't allowed to use their pictures either. 0 portfolio, 1 big nightmare, 2 much red tape.My business fell flat in 4 weeks.