Tuesday 30 November 2010

NSPCC Render CRB Checks Pointless

The NSPCC's rent-seeking MO of painting everyone with the paedophile brush continues apace, I see.

Via the Manifesto Club comes this prime example of normal adult/child interaction being presented as potential kiddie-fiddling (pun unavoidable in this instance).

As teaching musicians point out in this forum discussion, not only is the video a 'caricature' of their usual (and in no way sinister) instruction methods to elicit the correct creepy response, it is also unhelpful to the student.

Teachers note that touch essential - it is the simplest way to straighten backs, reposition hands, or deal with all the myriad errors in technique reproduced in every young player. They also note that no-touch policies make everybody anxious, and make the whole thing into a big (and potentially seedy) issue.

The Musicians Union, who collaborated with the NSPCC in this dirty-minded effort, say that the kids being taught may feel 'uncomfortable' but - anecdote alert - my only uncomfortable moment when being taught the cello in my youth was when the handlebar-moustachioed teacher loudly farted in the middle of a mock grade 3 exam, thereby right putting me off (perhaps that was the point, I never asked). His moving my fingers up and down the strings never raised any thought in me except that I was ballsing things up.

That aside, what I find quite extraordinary about this is that it would appear to suggest that the system of CRB approval is entirely useless. Here we are, as a country, suspiciously checking up to 14 million people in order to ensure they are safe to work with children yet - even after being cleared, as every personal music teacher will have been before holding lessons - any touch is still automatically considered to be grubby and assumed as a precursor to abuse.

The NSPCC are very good at spreading such irrational fears, which have led to sports days excluding parents, grandmothers being banned from taking pics of their grand-kids swimming, and friends being barred from looking after each other's children. But then, if they didn't, donations may suffer and their consultants wouldn't be able to sell as many books.

Oh yeah, and without such funds (£157m last time of asking), they also wouldn't be able to produce scaremongering videos about music teachers, or loan employees to political election campaigns.

If you ever wondered how we came to be in the position where parents aren't allowed to take photos of a nativity play; where mothers require a CRB check to help out on school day trips; and where voluntary theatre groups deem it not worth their while to accommodate kids, you should look carefully at the NSPCC and their self-serving scaremongery.

Call me old-fashioned, but people who see filth in every natural life situation used to be derided as 'sex cases'. Now they are respected and given money.

That's progress, I suppose.


Anonymous said...

Create an imaginary problem then profit from it.
I suppose it could be called a modern disease .
No ,not a disease,a crime.
I believe the charge would be fraud.

timbone said...

I used to support the NSPCC, including directing a concert (with a band which included kids I taught) to raise funds for them. This was however a long time ago. This was before they started receiving government grants and metamorphosed into what they are today.
I also used to be a member of the Musicians Union. Now I don't have to as Thatchers government removed the 'closed shop' restriction.

Woodsy42 said...

It's the do-gooders who are the perverts isn't it. Finding evil in normal human interaction.
We will end up with a generation who have no concept of caring or emotional comfort, and believe that any physical contact is a peversion. Goodness only knows how that will warp and devastate their lives.

Malcolm said...

This is scurrilous and, as you say dirty-minded. As a violinist and singer from the age of 8 I expected and indeed needed physical contact from teachers; posture is important to a musician. I can state quite categorically that nothing untoward ever occurred.

let's stay focused on the real problems and not invent scenarios to frighten children and their parents.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Timbone: Naive, I know, but I hadn't considered the Musicians Union to be a union in the proper sense, just a trade association or something. It makes things a bit clearer with that in mind.

SadButMadLad said...

Or there is the case where the school year book had all the kids faced "censored" except for the kids to whom the book was given. Basically each family got a personalised book.

All the major charities have devalued themselves. NSPCC doing the utmost to further the reason for their existance but actually making the situation worse, and the RSPCA money grabbing £2m from a will which they lost at appeal and are still trying to get - even when the story behind the case would make any reasonable person side with the relatives and not the charity.

I've given up giving money to charities. They've all effectively become quangos because of the government money they take.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Woodsy and Malcolm: This why I, personally, find it all quite disturbing. Yet again, it appears that kids will be the ones who suffer.

banned said...

The only ones who would level a charge of 'innapropriate behaviour' at that teacher are the the NSPCC themselves but, have they succeeded in establishing this no-touch policy to the level of say the Highway Code which is not law of itself but can be quoted in court by the Prosecution?

Possessor of CRB check (enhanced).
Any news of the fate of the ghastlier Vetting and Barring Agency, supposedly cutbacked?

banned said...

ps, gave the vid a thumbsdown

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Country now isn't it?
In one decade the politicians have turned every Englishman into a paedophile and racist. Add to that the amount of people I'm killing with 4th hand smoke and my obsession with drinking too many 'units' there is no hope.

JuliaM said...

"Call me old-fashioned, but people who see filth in every natural life situation used to be derided as 'sex cases'. Now they are respected and given money. "

It's like the punchline to that old joke about the Rorschach test, isn't it?

"Me obsessed with sex?! You're the one showing me all the dirty pictures!"

Turing word: sobbi Seems about right...

JuliaM said...

"We will end up with a generation who have no concept of caring or emotional comfort..."

That experiment has already been carried out. With monkeys. I see no need to repeat it in the hope of a different outcome.

Gawain Towler said...

Dick, it is the NSPCC that are the outriders of the Govts long standing attack on Home Schooling. They think that they will get the contracts to run the oversight/control of the sector

J Bonington Jagworth said...

That is so depressing. If I could play the damn thing, I'd be seriously tempted to form a group called the Kiddie Fiddlers...

ReefKnot said...

I used to support the NSPCC but no longer. I will not support them until they stop criminalising men and families.
As for the RSPCC - this is an organisation that actively supports slitting the throats of thousands of conscious animals whilst prosecuting somebody who drowned a squirrel.
They are both absolute tossers and will get none of my money until they get the shit out of their heads and start behaving properly. They are not real charities - they have morphed into politicised campaigners and I for one loathe them. I used to give them money, but not any more.

Dick Puddlecote said...

SBML: Just had time to read your links. The last paragraph of the RSPCA one is disturbing. We see the same intimidatory methods used by public health charities to sway government with emotive pleading.

As Reefknot said, they're no longer 'charities' in the sense that many would identify with. More businesses, really.

Anonymous said...

I'm told by a colleague who's a trustee of various charities that the trustees are obliged to pursue gifts like terriers.

The RSPCA trustees fulfilled their obligation - and so did the Judge in denying it the gift because the will was invalid and, under the rules of intestacy, the daughter was entitled to her mother's estate.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Anon: Not good PR though, is it? :0

timbone said...

Here is some fat to chew concerning the NSPCC. I have gone off the guy because he believes in passive smoking, and can't find a contact address on his website to let him know. Having said that, this is worth a read if you havn't seen it before.


Woman on a Raft said...

I wouldn't want to give the impression that no music teachers are ever at fault because I've heard of at least one account (untested in court) which I believe was precisely that: a music teacher taking advantage of their position of trust and the fact that children tend to be left in their sole care.

However, I suspect that the current flap is related to the over-reaction in the Huntley case where something extreme and unlikely has been treated as if it is a common threat.

Unluckily, the case was again in Cambridgeshire and was that Brian Davey, of Milton, Cambridgeshire.

Davey was a nationally well-known recorder teacher and wrote some of the best primers.

In the late 70s and early 80s he abused a number of children, including his step daughter, then appears to have stopped offending.

However, approaching his retirement years he became well-known as his books became the standard ones and he took up part-time teaching, helping to coordinate at least one large recorder festival which attracted teachers, virtuosos and fans from all over the world.

By then his previous victims where comparing notes and were alarmed to find he was back in contact with children. As adults they felt able to make complaints.

Davey was convicted but Cambridgeshire county council (which employed him) pointed out that nothing showed up in CRB checks because nobody had made any complaints at that point. Indeed, none of the complaints appear to be connected to his behaviour in this decade.

I met Davey. He was slightly eccentric and not quite at ease with adults, but that is nothing unusual in highly focused individuals.

Amongst the things I find objectionable in the NSPCC adverts is that they once again target white males.

In my personal experience, when it comes to inappropriate touching and a tendency to think they can lay hands on those they consider inferiors and a class of property, there is a culture where that is regarded as acceptable. It isn't the one in the advert. But I doubt the NSPCC would care to tackle that.

JuliaM said...

"Amongst the things I find objectionable in the NSPCC adverts is that they once again target white males.

In my personal experience, when it comes to inappropriate touching and a tendency to think they can lay hands on those they consider inferiors and a class of property, there is a culture where that is regarded as acceptable. It isn't the one in the advert. But I doubt the NSPCC would care to tackle that."

Indeed! You don't see the RSPCA campaigning vigorously about halal slaughter, do you?

J Bonington Jagworth said...

I attended a summer barbecue (hard to believe, looking out the window!) put on by one of my employers, and where there was an electric ride-on bull, in a large cushioned area. Everyone had a go, including children, and all fell or were thrown off in fairly short order (this was the point).

A colleague's young daughter was among them, but she fell rather awkwardly, needing assistance to get up and out of the ring. The adult onlookers, mostly male, all had the same instinct, to jump in and help, but we all then had the same thought that it might be misinterpreted.

Very unlikely, in the circumstances, but it was enough for us all to wait for her Dad to appear. It was a horrible feeling that I simply wouldn't have recognised a few years ago. Thank you, do-gooders...

Anonymous said...

@Dick 22.11 - I think it's a case of a 'bird in the hand'...

IF I left a gift to a 'business' charity, I'd leave a legacy of a specific sum of money (& I'd make clear whether or not it was to be index-linked and whether or not it was to be free of IHT).

Personally, I wouldn't leave the buggers anything - I used to gift by subscription to NSPCC and CRUK but now I wouldn't put 10p in their can.