"not performing background checks is an unacceptable risk"
I think we have two seperate issues being addressed in this thread.
One is whether CRBs should occur at all and the other is whether Ministers are exempt from rules applying to the Hoi Polloi!
CRBs are here, and whilst we, the great unwashed, are subject to them, so should MPs.
Regarding whether we have CRBs at all, that arguement is easily applicable to CCTV in every location in Britain. To have unsupervised adults at all is an "unacceptable risk..."!
The heart of the issue is to clearly delineate exactly what the risk is. Exactly what numbers of volunteers and "crimes" are supposed to be affected by having CRBs in place?
My wife this morning was alarmed to hear xx ppl had died of Swine flu to date in the UK. However, 6000 die every winter in the UK on average due to seasonal flu. Kind of puts it in context doesn't it! It was further turned on it's head because the timing and the population type being affected actually made the current Swine Flu casualty numbers quite significant compared to seasonal flu casualties.
We need more than anecodotal evidence as to what benefits CRBs bring about. Is that too much to ask? Just keep labeling things "unacceptable risk" and before you know it, the internet will be Disney.com only and all of Britains cliffs will be fenced off and we'll have CCTV everywhere...