{Sun 1 November 2009}   Safety obsession makes UK unsafe for normal people
Safety obsession makes UK unsafe for normal people

I was going to post about how uncomfortable it is becoming to live in the UK, because one risks being declared a criminal if one responds spontaneously to a child, whether in greeting, helping, comforting or challenging, … but I’ve just read an article that says it brilliantly.

So please read Jenni Russell’s article ‘Crazy law leaves a child out in the cold’ in The Times Online: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6898212.ece. I very much agree with her assertion that the “insistence on the importance of distrust is eating away at our society. ”

She doesn’t describe yet what campaign might be appropriate, but offers her email address, presumably for suggestions.

Addendum (17:07) I emailed Jenni to let her know I had blogged about her article. She replied today and included the following suggestions for action each of us can take right now:

” I think we have to start both by changing peoples’ minds ( we don’t need more laws- terrible things will sometimes happen, and we can’t eliminate risk) – and by lobbying politicians. It’s worth writing to your MP and to Ed Balls and Jack straw now, before Singleton reports on his review in December. Most of all its worth lobbying the Tories, especially Cameron, Chris Grayling, Dominic Grieve and Michael Gove. The Tories want to do what the public wants – we have to let them know. Best wishes, Jenni ”

I totally agree with argument expounded by Jenni Russell and indeed have been following her stance for some time. Any legislation that is designed for the minority but affects the majority is ill conceived and morally wrong.


Tia says:

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your comment. You’ve put it succinctly – legislating for the minority but affecting the majority – yes, that’s the crux of it. But what does one say to anxious parents who want more, not less protection? It seems to me that we cannot live happily unless we return to the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but that when s/he is proven guilty, punishment should be swift, severe and seen to be done.

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One murder yesterday, and today 2 murders and one suicide. These are the remains of boom-and-blast ‘bollock Blairite Britain.’

Tia says:

Hmm… there’s a lot of negative stuff to be laid at the door of Blairite Britain, but I don’t think any government in the world has ever put a stop to all murders and suicides (and many governments have been directly or indirectly reponsible for many murders and suicides – they just don’t use those terms when the killing is “official”).

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