Monday, October 16, 2006

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill

This morning Russell Eagling was one of the signatories of a letter to The Times on the government's Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill. It began:
We believe that the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill is a misguided response to a small number of tragic, but fortunately rare, incidents involving the abuse of children. The Bill will mean that up to a third of the adult working population — those who come into contact with children through their work or volunteering — will be subject to continuous criminal-records vetting. This could include babysitters and private tutors, as well as those who merely have access to information about children. The massive expansion of vetting is driven by suspicion and paranoia.
Russell writes about this issue on the Centre Forum's FreeThink blog.

There is more over at Spiked: articles by Josie Appleton and David Clements, and a link to the Manifesto Club report: The Case Against Vetting: How the Child Protection Industry is Damaging Social Relations.

This is one of those issues I worry away at, hoping that one day the Liberal Democrats will one day here something the Labourite mainstream of professionals might disagree with. The omens are not good. Already in this parliament John Pugh has been heard sounding regretful that "children are necessarily brought up by amateurs".

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