Friday 3 July 2009


Here we go again. An incredible over-reaction to a negligible problem, and as usual, it's the law-abiding who suffer. In the aftermath, life takes another step into the realm of joyless paranoia for everyone involved.

Schools bar parents from sports day... to keep out paedophiles

Parents have been banned from attending their children's sports day in an extraordinary measure to protect pupils from child abductors and paedophiles.

More than 270 pupils from four primary schools took part in the event - but there were no spectators because the organisers said they could not prevent 'unsavoury' characters from sneaking onto school grounds.

The decision to bar parents was made after a risk assessment concluded that Sandy Upper School in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, could not 'guarantee the children's safety' when it hosted the athletics day.

Those who decided this are unrepentant.

Paul Blunt of the East Bedfordshire School Sports Partnership, which ran the event, said the 'ultimate fear' was that a child could be abducted.

He said: 'If we let parents into the school they would have been free to roam the grounds. All unsupervised adults must be kept away from children.

As pointed out in the comments, is not that last sentence particularly chilling? All adults are now considered to be paedophiles and have to be 'supervised'. Even when just turning up to watch their children.

A child might be abducted? This, as is common practice with those who overthink tiny dangers, is the 'nuclear' scenario designed to sell a ludicrous measure to a staggered public. It has no basis in fact, it is merely the excuse. The righteous are well aware of the persuasive qualities of a scare.

There is, of course, no previous example of such an occurrence at a sports day - I wouldn't fancy the chances of a sex case who attempted to abduct a kid in front of the parents of 270 fellow children, would you? If I were a nonce, a school sports day would be the very last place I'd trawl for kicks (the kicks would end up being exclusively aimed at my head, for why). And even if such an outrage did happen, it would be because there was inadequate corralling of the pupils (sorry, students) by the teachers themselves, rather than staff supervision of parents, which would be at fault.

Where do these ridiculous people get the impression that paedophiles are lurking behind every tree and lamppost in the country, just waiting to pounce on some stray child?

Why, from charities such as the NSPCC, of course.

In May, the NSPCC ran a newspaper ad campaign to coincide with the Baby Peter case telling all and sundry that ...

The latest research reports that 1 in 6 children are sexually abused before they reach the age of 16.

Seems a tad alarmist, I'd say. That's because it is (remember that this is the same organisation who asserted that home schoolers were to be viewed as probable child molesters).

Let's number-crunch for a bit. There are approximately 30,000 on the sex offenders register, this figure appears constant whichever report you read. The NSPCC's own figures estimate the child population to be in the region of 12 million. As such, thus far discovered sex offenders must be screwing around 67 kids each to reach their ratio of 1 in 6. If they are less prolific, let's say they only manage to fiddle with 10 each, we are talking about 170,000 undiscovered paedophiles roaming around looking for young flesh.

Actually, there are probably more seeing as having sex with a bicycle, and being an inquisitive guitarist with The Who will get you listed, as will countless other transgressions which fall way short of abduction and buggery.

No fucking wonder everyone is scared!

But then one must take into account that the NSPCC is not so much a charity anymore, but a business operating in a crowded charities sector. They take hundreds of millions of pounds every year and roughly half of their income is spent on encouraging more donations.

To do so, the basics of marketing dictate that you must create a need for your product. The 1 in 6 figure is exactly that. It is trotted out at regular intervals, including the Baby Peter ad, and is a main plank of the Stop It Now campaign document [pdf]

The latest research reports that 1 in 6 children are sexually abused before they reach the age of 16.

By 'latest research' they mean a study in 2000[pdf] of just under 3,000 18-24 year olds, conducted by Pat Cawson. It was published by the NSPCC and they have been quoting that figure ever since. You won't be surprised to learn that Pat Cawson is Head of Child Protection Research at the NSPCC and, as well as her NSPCC salary, has a tidy sideline in selling books on the subject.

Cawson's study didn't just focus on what most people would term as abuse, but also consensual kissing and hugging between under 13s and those 5 years older than them (I hate to brag, but by those terms, I was 'abused' by a girl when I was 12 who kissed me lustily. I bloody loved it). It also encompassed activities where the child might have been asleep or unaware, and we're not talking being touched up here, merely being watched. Not only that, 30% of those asked couldn't be bothered to reply so the study is fundamentally flawed straight away. Plus, of the 16% who the NSPCC class as being abused, only 6% actually said they felt they were.

It's clear that the 1 in 6 figure is astonishingly over-stated as regards the dangers that parents fear from paedophilia. Saying that 1 in 6 kids are being 'sexually abused' is a sound-bite to strike the fear of Ian Huntley into any parent, and I venture to suggest that the NSPCC fully intended their figures to be taken that way.

As with other forms of charity fear-mongering, the lie is spread with their tin-rattling chums and is twisted to ignore the loose definition of the abuse being desribed.

Result? Parents banned from sports day. And it has to be re-emphasised.

All unsupervised adults must be kept away from children

It's getting to the point that we need a charity ourselves to protect us from the wolf-crying of money-grubbers who are destroying the fabric of life in this country, merely to inflate the coffers of their bloated payroll.

So, I've been thinking about this as it is not just the NSPCC who take the piss. Regular readers here will have seen the misapplication of funds endemic in Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, but all the major charity names are at it. Enriching themselves on the back of skewed studies, massaged statistics, scare stories and shameless tapping of the public's pathos and goodwill for financial gain.

As a result, I was thinking of starting my own charity - Stop Charities Ruining Everyone's World with Egregious Mendacity (SCREW EM) - I reckon it's a goer.

I've even thought of a slogan/ad mantra.

Just give £2 a month and we can eradicate these greedy fucks forever. Together we can beat the blight of charity cash-trousering on the back of misery and fear. Give a national charity chugger a direct debit mandate, and their commission will feed them with McDonalds for a day, give them the tools to shoot their supervisor in the head, and they will live a lifetime not bugging you on the High Street garnering funds for their marketing department to lobby politicians into ruining your life.

OK, it might need to be made snappier, but it's a start.


IanPJ said...

This is Terrorism on the part of East Bedfordshire School Sports Partnership, plain and simple.

The number of children who must now be absolutely terrified, by a purposeful act by this partnership in implanting the absolute fear of an imaginary bogey man into the minds of children. This action by staff is totally unacceptable.

Parents should now make a formal complaint to the police under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

The politics of fear must be challenged at all levels.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Agree entirely, Ian. I may have been somewhat tongue-in-cheek with this post, but what I was trying to point out is the underlying climate of fear that is being promoted by charities, and then extended to all of our lives via gullible administrators such as those at East Beds.

Litigation fear also comes into play, one assumes. And everyone loses. Not just the pleasure of a sports day, but also the right to a life free of irrational fear, as you highlighted.

RantinRab said...

It's part of the conditioning of our children, the teachers represent the state and are 'keeping them safe'.
Think about it.

Helen said...

I can't comprehend that.
I'm frog-marched to sports days. Highlight of the year for my kids.

My God - what a sad and depressing life we have ahead of us.

That is was OTT. This government has a hell of a lot to answer for. No wonder we're the most violent country in the EU.

Ordinary, law-abiding citizens are getting very, very angry.

IanPJ said...

I am beginning to challenge this politics of fear, and am calling out 'political terrorists' wherever I now see it.

For instance the totally unsubstantiated claims in David Cronin's article in the Guardian is only one of many such actions of terrorism in the media and elsewhere.

manwiddicombe said...

I thought that it was convicted paedophiles that were 'supervised' and not the other way around.

Silly me for making such a stupid mistake!

Frank Davis said...

I can't help but think that this dread of paedophilia must be closely connected with the recent emergence of the chiiiildren as a newly endangered species.

Passive smoking. Global warming. Unsupervised adult child molesters roaming the streets. Threats and dangers everywhere. These people have obscene minds.

IanPJ said...

Frank, it is what is known commonly as Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse.

They are usually described as terrorists, drug dealers, pedophiles, and organized crime.

The four supposed threats may be used all at once or individually, depending on the circumstances:

Mr A said...

I spend so much time railing against the fake charities like ASH and Alcohol Concern that I tend to forget about the more established ones like the NSPCC.

While the fake charities need to be expunged from the face of the Earth, the whole sector needs to be heavily, heavily regulated (as much as it pains me to say it, being a Libertarian and all). There ARE some good charities out there, doing good work and with the best of intentions, but so many of them are now just businesses run by high salary managers whose sole concern is to increase revenues and gain funding, so this exaggeration of what they are fighting for is an obvious consequence. Child protection is clearly important, but if they turned around and said something like, "Actually, only 1 in 10000 children are abused by strangers" they might be telling the truth but their funding would drop. Of course they're going to make it seem like they're the last bastion of defence against a sea of harm that could otherwise overwhelm us.

Quangos first.
Then the fake charities.
Then the charities.

There's a plan of action to improve our quality of life right there. Shame no politician has the balls to do it.

Anonymous said...

At first, Dick, I thought that you'd misinterpreted the 1 in 6 figure: they didn't mean that 1 in 6 children are abused but that, of children who are abused, in 1 in 6 cases, the abuse happened before the age of 13. This would make sense given that most abuse takes place in the home by family members and, in those circumstances, the younger the child, the easier for the abuser. Then I read the bit about the 'study'!!!

I stopped giving to the NSPCC a while ago. They are a bloody disgrace. They know damned well that paedophiles are not lurking round every corner and that smacking a child across the legs is a far cry from the insidious, prolonged and sometimes appalling abuse that goes on behind closed doors, yet they promote fear and guilt among the majority of decent parents. It would fit them better if they were to lobby government to provide adequate resources to treat the victims of abuse who really are scarred for life.

On a brighter note, I come across people in my job who want to leave some of their estate to charities and I've noticed that more are rejecting the nationals in favour of local ones. Even if people are not generally aware of the fake charities' generous funding from government and their politicisation, they have a shrewd idea that much of the money is misspent!


Dick Puddlecote said...

IanPJ: Talking of terrorising kids, it was nagging at me last night but only just realised where I'd seen it. Regarding your comment.

The number of children who must now be absolutely terrified, by a purposeful act by this partnership in implanting the absolute fear of an imaginary bogey man into the minds of children. This action by staff is totally unacceptable.

You are correct, and the NSPCC agree with you. It's in their 2000 study (page 13) as one of the elements of child abuse.

Terrorising - threats to harm the child or someone, something the child loves, threatening with fear figures

Anonymous said...

All adults must be supervised? Who supervises the supervisors? Pope Benny?!

They are all mad. Isn't it the teachers who traditionally touch-up the kiddies?

Is this just so the parents can't see it happening?

Will all schools be renamed "Neverlands"?

banned said...

If there was any truth in the statement that " 1 in 6 children are sexually abused before they reach the age of 16 ", how many of those were in the supposed Care of of such charities, local authorities and the like and how many were abused not by lurking strangers but by members of their own family for whom a public sports day would not be the opportune moment ?

There seem to be only two versions of childhood these days, either chavvy slaggs and thieving scrotes or hapless victims of abuse; I didn't know any when I were a lad.

timbone said...

Frank, you said "These people have obscene minds."
Absolutely. Do you know, I had never even heard the word paedophile until the 1980's, and I was a teacher as well!
banned, you said "I didn't know any when I were a lad."
As one of my favourite comedians says, 'There weren't any when I were a lad, I had t'buy my own sweets'
Sorry if anyone feels that joke was out of context, but it is obsvervational comedy.

Anonymous said...

It's just a matter of human psychology: most people who are slapped down by self-righteous zealots just don't open their mouths again. Thus:

"Don't you think that banning parents is going a little too far?"

"The chiiildren MUST come first: it's their SAFETY we're talking about." [Implication that questioner doesn't 'care' about the children and likely is a paedophile himself]

Silence. The terrorists have won.

BTS said...

I live in daily expectation of getting arrested - I live opposite a school..

banned said...

Over to you Dick

State Still Abducting Our Children

CAFCAS = Child Abduction For Clients Against Socialism

JuliaM said...

"A child might be abducted? "

And yet, if you have a genuine fear of this, because of your status and connections, it'll be taken as grounds to lock you in a mental hospital and take your children into care...

Henry North London 2.0 said...

Its separating parents from children and divide and rule A new generation is being indoctrinated whilst their minds are still completely pliable.

Its criminal behaviour

Anonymous said...

Henry: a stolen generation on top of the existing lost generation? At this rate we'll run out of generations!