Saturday, 12 February 2011

See What They Did There?

Sorry, I was going to leave it, but this has been bugging me for 24 hours now.

Millions of people in England and Wales who work or volunteer with children and vulnerable adults will no longer need criminal record checks, ministers say.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he wanted to lift the atmosphere of suspicion and distrust cast over adults who simply wanted to help.
So, let's run a timeline on this.

Government brings in kneejerk legislation to fix an emotive problem. Their solution is to treat everyone as guilty until proven innocent, charging them for the privilege to pay for a brand new avenue of bureaucracy.

It is a huge success, because paedophiles are of course everywhere, and all of them - without exception - come with a handily labelled track record. There is also no collateral damage whatsoever.

The drive to create more pen-pushers make kids safe does, though, get a bit out of hand and is unpopular for many good reasons.

The coalition moves quickly to say that those who should never have been under suspicion in the first place will no longer be under suspicion.

Everyone applauds.

Meanwhile, the original kneejerk measure - which has had no discernible effect on preventing abuse - continues to regard double figure millions of the public as assumed guilty, ruining lives in the process, but providing a pointless security blanket for the small cost of £64 times 14 million.

How great art our benevolent state!


7 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Be grateful for this small mercy, as it's about the only stupid Labour law that the Lib-Cons will actually repeal - that is. if they ever get round to actually repealing it, of course.

But now that employers have added this extra box to tick on their application forms, what's the chance that most will leave it on anyway, by force of habit, or because they don't realise the requirement has been lifted, or merely to cover their own arses?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the total be higher though?

These figures assume each person registers only once, when that isn't necessarily true.

I know a bloke who registered five times, one for each job.


x

Dick Puddlecote said...

MW: Agreed. Mission creep, and not necessarily unintended IMO.

Anon: I don't doubt it. I have two separate CRB clearances myself. However, the ISA scheme is different and is additional to CRB clearance as I understand it. It's a layer of bureaucracy upon another layer of bureaucracy.

Curmudgeon said...

Surely a case of four steps back, one step forward, and "aren't we great champions of liberty?"

JuliaM said...

"But now that employers have added this extra box to tick on their application forms, what's the chance that most will leave it on anyway, by force of habit, or because they don't realise the requirement has been lifted, or merely to cover their own arses?"

Definitely the latter! Who'd want to be the first to risk it?

banned said...

I think that you will find that the two organisations are to merge and that the plan is for each individual to have their own transferable 'clearance' just as pub landlords now do but I expect that the entire state sector will demand these from anyone in their employ, are licenced by them (hot dog vans incl) or who use their services (ie Council recreation facilities) who might have the slightest contact with vulnerable groups.

Last time I renewed my Enhanced CRB they blithely told me that I didn't need too fill out the bit listing my criminal convictions because they "had all the information on The Computer". Really? Just like the DVLC which admits a huge margin of error over car registrations or the DoW&P which does not know why way more NI numbers exist than people entitled to them or...

Thusly I was not required to tell them whether I had aquired any new convictions since my last check, 3 years ago.

Jack said...

I know personally a couple of (perfectly worthy) people who have been deterred from volunteering to work with children purely as a result of the current levels of general suspicion evn before the intoduction of these checks.
The effects of this there must be rolled out nationwide must be huge.
Sad.
Quite what the unintended consequences are going to be for our cosseted overprotected youth is yet to be revealed.