Monday, August 02, 2010

Why Sarah's Law is wrong

It seems that the pilots of "Sarah's Law" have led to no outbreaks of vigilante violence. This is a useful corrective to the view, paradoxically popular on the left, that people cannot be trusted very far.

Certainly, as Brendan O'Neill once showed on the BBC website, the story that a mob attacked a paediatrician, having confused the term with "paedophile", grew greatly in the telling.

But I still have doubts about this law, because of the way it encourages people to talk of adults "having access" to children. Isn't that the normal way of things in a free society?

The idea that every contact between adult and child needs to be licensed or policed by the state seems to me a totalitarian fantasy. But it seems that Theresa May is just as much at home with it as her Labour predecessors were.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This isn't just Theresa May's whim. This is your government's policy. The Liberal Democrats now support this - you are not in opposition.

When the government does something, unless you voted against it in Parliament, it is your policy too.

Jonathan said...

I am an individual not a party: I have opinions not policies.

dreamingspire said...

Jonathan, having read this post three times over two days, I have doubts about your stance.
The announcement emphasised the assurance that the national scheme enables is about checking on those who have regular access - and the obvious scenario is that of the single mother who has a new partner who is not the father of her children.
And I am uncomfortable about "licensed or policed by the state", because the check that you make should only turn up information that is in the public domain - but if in fact it also turns up that so-called police intelligence, unsubstantiated by the due process of law, then we do have a problem.