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Speaking Out

Philip Pullman refuses to undergo 'insulting' child safety check - Telegraph

Mr Pullman, who stressed he had a "non-existent" criminal record, said he was prepared to give up speaking in schools to make a stand against Britain's creeping surveillance culture.
He said: "It is insulting and I think unnecessary, and I refuse to be complicit in any scheme that assumes my guilt."

He, and the other authors supporting him, can afford it financially and reputionwise unlike the thousands of others who help in schools. His stand is on their behalf and very welcome.


This kind of vetting should only be applicable to staff who are going to be in sole charge of children.

But I have often found that school staff are very eager to get freebie educational visits, eg to business and industrial establishments, or presentations from visitors, and very reluctant to accept their responsibility for the children they are in charge of. They tend to hope third parties will accept all the liability if anything goes wrong. This makes folk very reluctant to get involved with them.

There is no way I would ever volunteer to work with children or 'vulnerable' adults while this CRB nonsense is in operation. And as for having to make a fresh application for each establishment you deal with... ? It's madness verging on paranoia. The kids will lose out as there are many of us who have a lot to offer but who agree with Mr Pullman's stand. Society will become fractures with children having a very limited contact with the adult world. What sort of nonsense do the authorities think Mr Pullman can get up to during a book reading? And how about Messrs Brown and Balls? They're always bothering small children in schools. Do they have to be on the list? And why should a volunteer helper have to pay £69 to be vetted? Do they not understand the meaning of the word volunteer? It means you don't get paid but it doesn't mean you pay for giving up your free time. What a sick world Nu Labour has created.

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