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back to article Think tank slams paedophile paranoia culture

An independent think tank has today blamed the government's increasing reliance on "anti-paedophile" criminal record checks for making UK adults scared to have any contact with other people's children. Civitas' report Licensed to Hug claims the checks have driven suspiscion of all adults, which has led in turn to a breakdown of …

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Unhappy

Tabloids and New Labour

Very sad... and brought about by a combination of tabloid scaremongering and a government hell-bent on regulating every area of our lives

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Ash
Joke

I'm not scared...

... and I work in a Secondary School, sub-contracted to a Primary.

Then again, i'm not middle aged, slightly balding, have my eyes too close together, or wear a trench coat in public parks.

Nor do I have puppies in my van.

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Boffin

Suffer, little childDren

If wwWe Continue this Course to IT's Logical Conclusion, the NeXXXt GeneRATion of Children are Going to Grow Up with a dDistinctly Skewed Concept of Love, Affection and Friendship. The Logical NeXXXt Stage is a Population who are, on AveRAGE, Emotionally RetardDedD, Psychologically dDamaged and Completely Incapable of Forming a Reliable wwWorld View. This must Result in an Increase of "UnsuITable" Interactions between all Humans (Men/ wwWomen, Boys/ Girls, AdDults/ Children, etc) and thus Perpetuate the dDamaging StupidDity of the Law as IT StandDs.

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Flame

PC gone mad

I was cautioned by the police when I took a photo on my cameraphone of a local tearaway in the act of scrawling graffitti all over my car and neighbours cars,

Within 10 minutes I had the boys father smashing down my door calling me and my partner Paedophiles, and when i explained that it was evidence to report crime to the police he started threatening to do more than report us. Luckily my partner had managed to call the police who turned up and ordered the evidence deleted off the phone, when i asked about the damage to the cars, they then said " there is no evidence he did it so we can't do anything" They had just deleted the evidence. Talk about PC gone mad

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Silver badge

Wouldn't it be funny if...

Supposing, just for a moment, you believed that the present government has an undeclared strategy of destroying all ties and support systems that stand between citizens and the government. Then you might well believe that the facts given in this article show that strategy is well on the way to success. No one must dare to have any relationship with anyone else, unless the government's permission has been obtained and both parties have been exhaustively vetted and placed on The Database.

Of course, only a paranoid nutcase (moreover, one who wanted to figure prominently on government hit lists) would entertain such a ridiculous belief.

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Thumb Up

cracking article, that furedi bloke is spot on

Top marks, shame the govt won't listen as usual and won't curtail plans.

I keep thinking of the new rules in schools, where a teacher can't clean up sick, so said poor child has to wait for a female staff member to change into bio hazard outfit to come and clean them up.

female because male teachers are automactically kiddie fiddlers and specially trained because sick is a bio hazard which H&S requires special training.

Said poor child is left traumatised with all the other kids laughing (coz that is what kids do) for twenty minutes at least.

What a sane and caring nation we live in.

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Pirate

Define "unsuitable"

MY partner had an allegation from a junior social worker that was proven malicious rumour in the RCJ in London, yet she cannot get work as a classroom assistant anymore due to this "allegation" being on her CRB check.......10 years of child related work down the drain...and yes, we have 5 children ourselves. children have more power than a mafia don nowdays, then Brown and Blears wonder why under 16's are out of control? I have been warned by the school that i will be reported for shouting at my child across the playground not to run out of the school gate (on to highbury corner) as it's "not appropriate to raise my voice at a young person" better that than my 6 year old being dead from some trendy people carrier vegitarian idiot. PC gone mad

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Stop

Oi, stop the selective editing, Reg!

The phrase "More frequent contact and openness between adults and kids would benefit everyone, he concludes." isn't quite the same as the reports "If we could encourage greater openness and more frequent contact between the generations, we would all benefit." and is either treating the Reg. readership as idiots (who need to be told 'generations' == 'adults and kids') or is much more open to missinterpretation and inuendo.

Personally I don't much like either option - leave dumming down to Sky News and the BBC.

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Black Helicopters

If it saves just one child's life...

...then it's worth it....

...allegedly...

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Anonymous Coward

Vast majority

The vast majority of child abuse is at the hands of relatives. One can only speculate what legislation the government plans next.

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About time there was a back lash.

I originally trained to be a infant school teacher and I was disgusted by some of the insinuation about a male wanting to be an infant school teacher. Despite the fact that in inner city schools there are few positive male role models.

I ended up leaving the profession (that not being the only factor I should mention!)

Papers like the Daily Mail and NOTW are some of the worse offenders in this. Some people are actually genuinely nice and shouldn't be looked on with suspicion.

However we should be vigilant and protect our children from those elements in society but we should take a measured approach.

Unfortunately there are large swathes of people that believe everything they read and watch and these are the people that are most dangerous.

Making sweeping statements about very complex issues.

Anyway thats my rant for the day!

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wo tier system

Maybe the should implement a two tier system where you can work with the fat ugly kids without a check but you need supervision with the hot ones.

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Bronze badge

My...

The Anonymous Cowards are out in force today. Three posts in 6 minutes -- how the fingers must be flying! (Or, as is more likely, it's a series of cut-and-paste canned rants).

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Stop

PC Gornmad, the famous village bobby...

Err, in what way shape or form is this about "political correctness"? Isn't PC to do with apocryphal stories about Chalkboards and "baa baa white sheep"?

Surely this is closer to Helf-Anne-Safti Gornmad, the PC's delightful wife?

I tell you, it's not a million miles from what Hitler was trying to do.

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b

Robert Sneddon

is a cock.

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AC.s

Not everyone can be arsed to make up an account to comment. It takes time to come up with a nomme de guerre like 'gilbert wham', or the highly unlikely 'robert sneddon'...

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Silver badge

@AC

My own father was similarly accused, though of violence towards a youngster. Even after it was proved to be BS the mother still wanted him suspended from teaching! Fortunately the union took up his case and demanded the allegation be removed from his record, which it has been. Perhaps your friend could do the same?

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Anonymous Coward

@Anonymous Coward

Re: Cameraphone evidence - It shouldn't have been deleted and the police would have been forced to arrest you (if they dared to). Then you could sue the police for wrongful arrest and the father for false accusations plus you would still have evidence for a criminal damage conviction.

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Stop

Not so 'New Labour'...

Occurs to me that this (and the numerous other examples of intellectual diarrhea coming out of government these days) smacks of more like a leftist soviet-style 'grand design' philosophy (or orwellian nightmare, at least this isn't dressed up as 'good for you' though!), than mere 'poorly thought out good intentions'.

'We know better than you, so trust us to do what's best for you comrade!'

It's very clever, but very scary if you think about it (i'm not usually a paranoid, but i'm starting to think i should be!!). Surely this is 'social engineering', in that the end-game from this and similar initiatives will be a society that no longer trusts each other, only interacting with persons on various issues with those deemed 'fit' by various govement departments.

Add to this a government with a database of everyone in the UK, along with details of everything they have ever done, are interested in, who they interact with, where they go and genetic makeup (plus all the other myriad non-commerical, commercial and other information).

I'm off to live in the jungle somewhere me thinks!!!

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Burn Frank Furedi!

He is obviously a paedo!!

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

@Tom Welsh

I think you're giving goverments to much credit there. They're not able to think up a master plan. It's more a case of solely profit oriented media and modern democracy being a popularity contest. The media make money from the paedo scare and the politians think they get re-elected when they look like doing something against what the media have picked as the most pressing problem of our time (this week, who knows what it'll be next week ...). The decline in common sense and civil rights is just collateral damage.

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Guilty until proven innocent?

Guilty UNLESS proven innocent.

Innocent UNTIL proven guilty.

.Take more care please el'reg.

I have nout against the CRB checks (face it they check for the people who don't get caught), but anything further is ridiculous.

And this 'You mustn't call children children' culture is driving me mad. They are NOT young adults. They are children, it defines an age, not a level of personality.

Baa, baa black sheep have you any wool?

No it was shaved off in case any of the children in the village suffered from bloody wool allergies.

Who do I introduce to my friend the baseball bat? The media, or the pathetic creatures who can do nothing but mimic it.

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Flame

"If you tolerate this...

...Then your children will be next."

Manic Street Preachers, from the album "This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours".

Of course, since it is your Government enforcing and encouraging this sh-1-t, you *have to* tolerate it and unfortunately your children *are* next...

Flames, cos as a responsible, sane adult I'm obviously destined for that place where they send kiddy fiddlers and people who talk in the theater.

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b
Flame

By the power invested in me by prurient wishful thinking

I pronounce All Of You to be Paedophiles.

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@ Robert Sneddon

I think Cut and paste Bullshit..

Im sorry, but "The police told me to wipe the pictures of a crime off my phone" What utter rubbish. Have you seen the BBC HYS? I think you might like it better there.

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Silver badge

Re:If it saves just one child's life...

Unfortunately it has resulted in one child's death.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/coventry_warwickshire/4837614.stm

***"During the three-day hearing at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall, the court heard how a bricklayer had passed a toddler, believed to be Abigail, walking alone near the nursery.

But he did not stop to help in case he was suspected of abducting her. "***

Personally I believe putting his own 'safety' before that of a child is rather reprehensible, but it *does* illustrate the way the current pervophobia is making some people think.

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Thumb Down

that think tank is spot on imo

im glad people are really starting to stick the boot into this bullshit 'government' - though i doubt any future governments will do anything about such laws and instead just leave them alone and legislate over them with yet more layers of shit. for a socialist goverment theyre really doing wonders for society arent they.

fuck the government - im emmigrating.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "If you tolerate this...

Gee, thanks for that earworm. From the band's magnificent, epic beige phase.

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Anonymous Coward

@Robert Sneddon

Of course the ACs are out in force, in today's regime commenting on child protection issues is evidence that you might be a peado who needs locking up for 42 days to find out.

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Anonymous Coward

bunch or dirty pervs

Naked flying cupid cherubs illustration will be banned for valentines next year, be quick and get your card NOW. Alternatively you should hand yourself in to your nearest police station and inform them you have been able to buy pornographic material from the local charity card shop.

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Anonymous Coward

He's right

The guy makes some fair comments.

After a few years away from the UK I have to ask what kind of twisted and sick country is it turning into.

Where I live now kids are allowed to be kids and you're expected to kiss your friends children. It all seems a lot healthier, we don't get nearly as much yoof crime.

It's not that kids aren't abused here, it's just that it's kept in proportion so that the vast majority can enjoy healthy relationships with children.

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Go

@Ash

"Nor do I have puppies in my van."

So you admit that you have a van, then? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

I thought

it was "If you tolerate this, your children will shop at next"

anyway this is stupid stuff and its not really anything new. I know several local cricket coaches who stopped doing it because they refused to be vetted for something they had done for 20 years

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Black Helicopters

@Robert Sneddon

Since many of the comments on here are somewhat anti-Government, I would say there are a large number of people posting as "AC" in the mistaken belief that it keeps them safe from being tracked down should Big Brother decide that they have been a little too free with their 'speech'.

I have used AC on occasion as it saves hassles at work, from family and friends and means that it ain't so easy for anyone I "offend" to track me down (the Government already knows where I live so I know it's no protection if they decide I'm a threat to Notional Security...).

Black helicopter - just because I'm acting paranoid does not mean nobody is watching me...

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Coat

Exempt

Will people of the cloth ie: vicars (not sure what other religious figure you could add as i believe in 42)? be run through this check or just us working class terrorists?

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Paris Hilton

It's the bureaucracy

I think the problem with applying for a job to work with kids, or e.g. starting a sports club such as a martial arts club (which I have done in the past) is the amount of bureaucracy and the cost involved, not the belief that anyone is under suspicion. You have to get at least two adults through CRB. It takes a lot of time and money and there are a lot of other complex rules to follow, enought to put anyone off.

I am not sure how much bureaucracy is needed. Common sense combined with a willingness to confront any suspicious action or even suspicious traits is sufficient. For example, it was well known to all the adults in my local town that one of the school teachers was on some level a kiddy fiddler, but no one actually went down the line of confronting him until about 20 years after I left the school. However, everyone warned the children not to be alone with him at any time. I think this was wrongful inaction to some extent (the warnings were not specific enough e.g) , but otoh no amount of bureaucracy would have sorted the problem as no criminal record or specific allegations existed.

Informal interactions with kids are possibly a more difficult area but it's quite easy to signal a 'harmless' intention by simply making good use of personal body space i.e. interact with a child at a suitable distance .eg. about 5 foot to indicate lack of suspicious intention.

NOte, self defence tip, 5 - 8 foot is a good distance to interact with anyone to avoid conflict and help de-escalate the situation - should, for example, someone decide to confront you over an interaction with a child. It takes you out of immediate strike range, including knives, gives you room for any escape manouvres and also actually works to calm the person down because you are not perceived to be 'in their face'. It also helps telegraph any intention to attack i.e. at 5-8 ft the person has to make a strong deliberate effort to reach you which gives you time to respond. Also don't try logic in these situations, the person is emotionally high and needs to come down before they will listen to reason. Just ask them repeatedly (using different phrases) if they are calm, or ready to talk and meanwhile maintain the distance. If it's not working, run and put as many obstacles between you and them as possible.

Liked the camera one. Technically, the police officer also destroyed the evidence that you were 'wrongfully' using surveillance techniques to gather evidence. otoh maybe he or she thought that discretion was the better part of valour and that you were going to get your @$$ kicked if you insisted on pursuing the case - which would mean even more forms to fill out! I know I'd chicken out of that one for that reason. Why didn't you just shout or swear (from a suitable distance) at the kids, hopefully causing them to run and minimizing the damage? by taking a picture you were clearly signalling you were going to call the police and just inviting further hostility. Paris, because even she isn't as thick as you are.

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@Eponymous Cowherd

I don't think the guy did anything wrong -- giving your life (or thereabouts) on the off-chance that you might save another is a pretty big ask. I know I'd not help a distressed child if I saw one -- I don't want to live in a hostel, unemployable and in fear, because someone else can't look after their child.

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Unhappy

@Anonymous Coward

If it saves just one child's life...?

Works the other way too.

There was a sad case recently (I no longer have the source of the story in the media) where a child drowned even though there was an adult in the vicinity who was too afraid to go to the child's aid, fearing accusations of paedophilia.

And if children choose to bully you in public then you just put up with it, otherwise you get banged up by the police if you try to defend yourself, just to be on the safe side.

Sick society.

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I'm involved in the child care industry

CRB checks are our only way of knowing if our employees and volunteers have an unsuitable past. It is precisely because paedophiles can't be identified by using stereotypes that we need that clearance.

I have never met anyone who wouldn't help a lost child "for fear of being branded a paedo", but I've met a lot of people who think this is a common fear.

Two years ago, there was a story that our CRB checked staff weren't allowed to apply sun protection to our children. I researched it: there is no such rule - in fact, if we didn't and our charges got burnt and hurt as a consequence, then we would have failed in our duty.

Please people, think and check. Even professors who write reports have 'positions' and track-records that might, perhaps, indicate a not-entirely objective viewpoint.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/comment/story/0,,1103025,00.html

(Regarding vomit, it is a bio-hazard. Very silly comment. Obviously handling bio-hazards should involve training and some protection.)

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Anonymous Coward

Not true

"The vast majority of child abuse is at the hands of relatives"

No, the vast majority of child abuse is at the hands of non-relatives living in the same household ... or "wicked step-parents" as they were once called.

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Pirate

Check out the site

Re: titled Suffer, little childDren

By Anonymous Coward

Posted Thursday 26th June 2008 11:03 GMT

I hoped the capitalised letters would produce a hidden code but all it in its taggeled form is:

WCCITLCNXXXGRATCGGUDSCLAFTLNXXXSPARAGEERDDPDCIFRWVTRIUITIHMWBGADCPDSDLITD, which I won't pronounce because it might sound rude.

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Coat

@About time there was a back lash

........can we cross referrence this with a "free tasers for the over-60's" article???

The daily mail would love it.

Mine's the grey mac with the bus pass and the lead acid batteries in the pocket.

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Unhappy

Paraoia Country

I recently moved “Darn Sarf” from "OOP North" and yesterday went to the local post office during my lunch break. After posting my mail I bought a paper and sat in the park on a park bench, started to read the paper and have my smoke (bad enough in itself, causing untold damage to the people walking by, they were only about 20 yards away) I hadn’t noticed that said bench was located in a park outside a school!

15 minutes I was there for reading my newspaper, enjoying the southern sunshine before I was asked by the PCSO "good afternoon sir, can I ask what you are doing? some of the mothers are worried"

Now I didn’t have a dirty mac on, wasn’t even taking any notice of the people around me and I WAS reading the Daily mail (so the PCSO should have known that I was really keeping a look out for any signs of impending paedophilia / terrorism / house price crashes etc) but I was asked to move on (from a public bench in a public park) because my "activities" (reading the paper and having a smoke) were causing worries for the parents of the children at the school!

Anonymous for obvious reasons, they're watching me you know.....

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Silver badge
Flame

It's not PC gone mad after all.

Those who would bleat about it all being the fault of P.C. are playing double-standards again. They are the very people who say "Something must be done about (choose your own favourite tabloid bullshit scandal)" They are the ones who stir up the manhunts for suspected pedophiles and kill innocent people. They are the ones responsible for labelling anyone with a hoodie or wearing Burberry as a menace to society. Yet they are the same hypocrites who complain about a lack of civil liberties.

Middle England/America has never existed, it's a myth for those who want to feel superior to others, who need to find a social class they can blame for everything and then are astounded when it ends up being applied to them.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Paraoia Country

I think that sort of thing isn't so much a product of modern paranoia as old-school village paranoia. That whole "he's not from round here, he looks shifty" mentality. Also, given my experience of both 'ends' of the country, I'd say it's a lot more likely to happen up north where everyone thinks everyone's business is their business.

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Pirate

it's all true

As a white 40-something male, I must say I have thought about this regarding things I see on my walk to work, involving kids being daft, and my decision is that no way will I ever physically help a child. One real example, some young children on bikes with stabilizers were crossing at a pelican crossing, and they did all the right things, apart from one falling off half way across. The light went green again. Of course I helped by standing in the road to make sure no idiot driver/cyclist/motorcycle overtook the stationary vehicles, until the child got itself up, and back on the bike; another passer-by picked up the bike; but no way would I touch the child to help it back to its feet, 100% due to the wild accusations that can result, and the police's possible response.

I expect I'd make an exception for an actual open wound with arterial spurting, I think in that case you'd have a good defence. But I await the inevitable test case (or trial by meedja) of someone who called 999 but didn't otherwise help in an accident involving childruuun....

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Stop

Heil Orwell

Expert opinion can be hazardous to your health.

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Hang On....

Is anybody suggesting that people with criminal records associated with child abuse SHOULD be allowed to work with children? Should convicted fraudsters be allowed to work in the finance industry?

Obviously not. Civitas have the cart before the horse.Checking of criminal records is a perfectly legitimate procedure where the criminal record in question has direct bearing on the job applied for.

The atmosphere of suspicion is very real and causes concern, but its NOT the result of proper vetting which is entirely appropriate but the result of media hysteria and lack of common sense within institutions.

And while I'm no fan of Mr Brown and his gang, its worth pointing out that Civitas is a right wing think tank with a vested interest in slagging off Labour governments.....

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Anonymous Coward

@ Elmer Phud

Do you judge people on their appearances or how they behave towards you and others? I choose the latter. I don't rush off on some braindead manhunt because a newspaper says it might be a good idea. I consider the FACTS and make a decision accordingly.

This government has, with the mass media, increased the amount of fear and paranoia going around. FACT.

This government has sought to interfere in areas of peoples' private lives to which they (IMO) have no right. FACT.

I'll quote a former DCI and cricket club member: "It's got to the point where you've got to have a f**king CRB check just to make the tea!" What started as a sensible idea has been expanded to cover anything which might involve children and is a system which can take an obscene amount of time to complete its task. I speak from experience.

The biggest menaces to society are idiot governments seeking to impose their agendas on people and retard media who follow and seek to dictate these agendas.

Those who either just don't give a s**t about that and potter along doing nothing about it until they find themselves affected or those who think "F**k it" and embark on criminal acts are just as bad.

RIP common sense.

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