Better Safe Than Sorry
The scrapping of the vetting for people who work with children in the UK is a tragic mistake, Eyewear feels. While authors, like Phillip Pullman, claimed lofty indignation, the Soham murders established that the person next door can be - and sometimes is - a dangerous, even murderous, predator. To deny otherwise is not very literary - writers and poets, of all people, should be aware of the depths of human behaviour, and especially sensitive to the risks of child abuse. Many poets and writers I know have had such abuse experiences themselves. What would have been a cautious, but sensible, tracking of all those who sought to work closely with children in positions of trust has now been removed - and while civil libertarians can rejoice, sadly, and ominously, so will those with more sinister interests. The recent history of priests, and boy scout leaders, established, I think, that society needs to guard against institutional laziness around child abuse and predation. This government just erred on the wrong side of being Liberal.