Friday, September 11, 2009

Guilty of looking at the government in a funny way

The new Independent Safeguarding Authority marks another stage in the Labour Party's attempts to fracture our society into one where individuals fear each other. That we have come to such a point where ferrying the local kids, one or more of whom might be yours, to their Scout meeting requires you to apply for Government 'approval' is, to be blunt, yet another nail in the coffin of community.

It appears that we are, as Mark Thompson puts it, dangerous until proven safe. Now pardon me, but isn't it a basic tenet of English law that we are innocent until proven guilty? Not anymore, it seems. Now, the government, supported by people like the Children's Society (who should know better, frankly), have decided that, because a small number of people have slipped through the net, some of whom were under suspicion but not charged, everyone who is involved with 'regulated activity' must register with the new Authority.

Now, bear in mind that this legislation was part of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which might imply that this legislation wasn't exactly urgent. But it's worse than that. Here's the definition of 'regulated activity';

Regulated activity is any activity which involves contact with children or vulnerable adults. This could be paid or voluntary work.
Such activities include:
·       Any activity of a specified nature which involves contact with children or vulnerable adults frequently, intensively and/or overnight.
·       Any activity allowing contact with children or vulnerable adults that is in a specified place frequently or intensively.
·       Fostering and childcare.
·       Any activity that involves people in certain defined positions of responsibility.

Is it me, or is that a bit on the vague side? There will be a rather more precise definition somewhere, right?


Tristan said...

It just gets worse and worse doesn't it.

I'm sure we'll see Labour (and Tory) politicians shouting about the decline of community. Never will they stop to look and think that perhaps their legislation and governance has anything to do with it.

If society is broken, its mostly because of attempts to 'fix' it.

Mark Valladares said...


I fear that you are right. The question is, is this legislation proportionate? I would say not. Will it save lives? Possibly. Enough to make people feel safer? No.

Therefore, don't do it. Unfortunately, 'something must be done'. It makes you despair just to think of it.