back to article Malicious gossip could cost you your job

A recent landmark ruling by the High Court takes the UK one step closer to becoming an “informant society” along the lines of the former East Germany or Soviet Union. El Reg previously reported on the case of deputy head, John Pinnington, who was fired from his job when an enhanced criminal record background (CRB) check turned …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This needs to be brought home

    Maybe we should all do our bit for a fairer society by making unsubstantiated allegations against senior police officers. That should effectively prevent them from going any further in their careers. Police are subject to CRB checks, of course - aren't they? And perhaps a few politicians need the same treatment.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK? Salem?

    You hit the nail on the head with "when faced with a candidate about whom allegations have been made, employers will almost universally opt for the safe option". And the effect will be to give to the malicious the power to wreck the careers and lives of innocent people. That's a risk not worth taking; and it's why our legal system is based on the principle 'innocent until proven guilty': we must be prepared to risk the guilty going unpunished to prevent the greater wickedness of punishing the innocent unjustly.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What their kid's teachers get up to

    "In defence of its right to poke into individual private lives, it asks its readers whether they would not wish to know what their children’s teachers get up to at the weekend."

    I bet many people will say that they don't want their kid's teachers to be having sex other than in the missionary position during the weekend, because if they did then they are perverts and everyone knows that perverts are child molesters.

    Paris because she is a pervert.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Wouldn't worry ...

    eventually everyone will end up with unsubstantiated allegations rendering it completely useless... then when someone really does have a clean slate actually becomes suspicious instead for not having any.

  5. dave lawless
    Boffin

    Weekend teachers not humans ?

    Come off it, what the teachers do at the weekends should be none of my business.

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Stop

    Hmmm.....

    Guess this is good companion reading even if itapplies to the US:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/anderson/anderson222.html

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Re: UK? Salem?

    Sorry mate, you are wrong.

    It is enshrined in the letter of law that UK does not have the presumption of innocence (one of the most basic human rights) and as a matter of fact the current Health and Safety and Eductional legislation clearly postulate that the founding principle of the UK legislation is indeed Salem: "guilty until proven innocent". By the way, this is also the reason why the entire UK human rights legislation is flawed and can be circumvented on casual basis when the government so desires.

    So if you want to do anything on the subject, write a very short and clear letter to your MP which says that if he wants your vote he has to sponsor a member bill containing one sentence: "It is a founding principle of UK Law that any person is Innocent until proven guilty".

    Me coat. The one with the signage: "We already live in a Stalin state, stop saying it is "becoming" a 1984".

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Won't someone think of the children?

    Specfically, those children who now will be denied some of the best teachers in schools, leaders in the Scout & Guide movements, coaches in sports etc. because of biased and unsubstatiated allegations. There is no downside for those who make these allegations, and no possibility of refutation by those against whom they are made.

    This is a bad law which damages children in the name of protecting them. It was brought about by the no-doubt well-meaning Esther Rantzen and her hysterical fellow travellers - undoing centuries of 'innocent until proven guilty' and, as so often happens when people make laws without thought of the consequences, will have no affect on actual abusers but will instead severely damage the lives and careers of wholly innocent people.

    Given that most child abuse happens in families, one must wonder what motivates people who are so shrill about the much rarer 'stranger paedophilia'. Guilt on their own part, perhaps?

    Mine's the one with sweeties in the pocket.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    "......and they will be held accountable." I hope.

    "And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?

    Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well, certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable."

    When East German communism collapsed the first government offices to be comprehensively trashed, sorry, held accountable by the population were the record facilities of the hated Stazi.

    I hope someone is keeping a list of where the offices and data centers of the following organizations are, so that people know where to hold account when the time comes.

    National ID program,

    National DNA database,

    Integrated communications records database

    Enhanced CRB database,

    Vehicle movements database,

    PNR database

    Bank record and credit card monitoring databases.

    And these are only the more obvious ones which spring to mind immediately ! What about all the other illegal and semi legal ones they are not even telling us about (cellphone geolocation data, lists of antiwar, anti-vivisaction, anti-airport protestors etc etc) and the hoards of others which I cant remember at them moment.

    Who'd a thunk it. Some of our grandparents fought and died to resist this kind of rule, and here we are in a burgeoning surveillance dictatorship. It aint funny any more.

  10. Mycho Silver badge

    Idiots and Peadophiles

    I cannot see who but these two groups would ever try to embark on a career in teaching these days. Anyone suggest any others?

  11. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Flame

    Speaking from experience

    My ex-wife made such allegations against me. Unfounded and spiteful in the nature of such things, I am still tainted and of course totally unable to prove my innocence.

    There should be a law similar to that of an eye for an eye when someone makes such an accusation.

    I'd have her eyes to content myself with. I'd preserve them for jinglingling like clackers whenever I thought about it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Who in their right mind would ever want to work with children!?

    There are plenty of scummy kids (and parents) out there that happily make such evil accusations against an innocent teacher. Damn! It's not like teachers get paid much to start with - certainly not enough for this.

    Oh look, in one fell swoop this judge has reduced the number of people wanting be teachers and reduced the levels of quality teaching in our schools! Cool!

  13. James

    Communism, anyone

    Scary article. Completely agree with the AC above, much as its a pain letting the guilty go unpunished, I prefer that option to having every aspect of my life scrutinised at every turn. Innocent until proven guilty is one of the fundamental principles on which this nation is built, so is probably a prime target for government to erode away.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now their hands are tied

    How on earth is this going to play out? We already have kids who know the system and know what they can get away with. Now they just need to say that "Sir tried to touch me" and they can kill Sir's career.

    As for the Daily Wail, it's doing much harm to our freedoms and privacy, while positioning itself as a champion for the people. Do I want to know what my kid's teacher gets up to at the weekend? Erm, no, I couldn't give a monkeys. As long as they're good teachers they can do what they want (legality assumed, etc). Last time I checked we were still a free country. The Wail is just playing to people's fears and ignorance, as ever, and very sadly it sells well based on that.

  15. Dave

    Full disclosure

    At the very least you it would be reasonable for this report to say "X was accused of being naughty. A Police investigation was carried out and found no evidence of any offence"

    And since we're all about the full disclosure, shouldn't it include the particulars of the person making the accusation?

    Seems all you have to do to make policy is a headline in the tabloids, no matter how ridiculous it is.

    "It is enshrined in the letter of law that UK does not have the presumption of innocence"

    Anyone got a link to that?

  16. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Coat

    Scarey stuff

    Scene... Average english town, mob of people dragging a man to the police

    <townsfolk> Sir sir we've found a kiddie fiddler! may we burn him?

    <police> How do you know he's a kiddie fiddler?

    <townsfolk> He looks like one

    <police> ok good enough for me..

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Knit-your-own-yoghurt types sign up here

    Liberty works very hard on this and related mass surveillance society, privacy-busting snooper's database type issues, including several unpopular causes (like this one) that may run counter to the tabloid-lead politician's knee-jerk instinct.

    When I've finished a hard day of ranting about civil liberties on Slashdot and El Reg comments, I like to relax by admiring the direct debit numbers on my bank account. It helps me to feel smug and superior to the average self-righteous poster and their mundane twatotronic rants, for - lo! - I have put some money where my mouth, er, fingers are. (Stop that sniggering at the back, don't think I can't see you!!)

    http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk

    Go on, chuck 'em twenty quid, you know it makes sense...

    Mine's the one with the "save the whales" badge and the incense and whalesong tape in the pocket.

  18. Stephen Cole
    Stop

    School Kids now hold the power over their teachers?!

    If all it takes is 1 unsubstantiated lie to be told & then that teacher is effectively blacklisted from the teaching profession, how on earth are teachers supposed to maintain class discipline?

    "You give me a detention & i'll tell my parents that you came onto me!"

    Fear of this simple statement may well allow kids the run of the class in more timid teacher's lessons resulting in poor education for the rest of the class.

    If I were a teacher i'd be looking elsewhere for a new career right about now...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The balance of justice

    As a teacher, the idea of a child having the power to end my career is a scary one. In the classroom teachers are becoming increasingly powerless already, and giving children an effective kill switch is deeply concerning. As long as there are no real consequences to making false accusations, kids won't feel concerned about settling a grudge against a teacher by accusing them of something dreadful.

    In 2004, one teachers' union proposed that teachers who were falsely accused should be able to sue the parents of their accusers, but clearly nothing has come of that. If parents knew they might suffer SERIOUS consequences for their children making things up, they would be a little more careful to check their facts and keep an eye on their kids' behaviour.

    The CRB process does have its reasons, not least because patterns of behaviour and lots of allegations which go to court but ultimately aren't prosecuted start to suggest there may be value in keeping an eye on someone. Items appearing on the CRB disclosure doesn't stop a school employing the person (unless they've been convicted of certain things), but it does feed into the school's risk assessment of the individual.

    Length? Oh, sorry, wrong forum.....

  20. Nick
    Pirate

    Are you sure ??

    On the other hand, we can't be sure he is clean - and his job gets him access to hundreds of vulnerable little people.

    Maybe this isn't so simple ?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Think of the children

    Esther F***ing Rantzen has a lot to answer for.

  22. Andre Carneiro
    Pirate

    Anorther nail in the Great British coffin

    I am SO getting the hell out of this country ASAP...

    Skull and crosses because proper justice and common sense are dead.

  23. Colin Wilson
    Stop

    I've sat on a jury...

    ...where an innocent woman was accused of child abuse - because she refused to give cigarettes and alcohol to an 11 year old kid who was in care (he wasn't her kid) - who talked another into playing his game.

    Because of the nature of the allegations she was kept on remand for 6 months, in which time everything she had ever owned had been stolen from her, and her home was burned to the ground.

    Her life as she knew it was lost forever, all her possessions, all the pictures, memoirs, clothes, EVERYTHING.

    The accuser had done the same to (IIRC) SIX other people who'd not given him what he wanted, as he had discovered that being in care, it was the quickest way to get attention.

    We didn't find out about the other baseless accusations until the end of the case, by which point it was obvious they were lying, and playing the system.

    This needs to be fought strenuously, before others suffer a living death, unable to work and ostracized by society, based on rumours, unfounded gossip, and false allegations.

  24. Goat Jam
    Paris Hilton

    @What their kid's teachers get up to

    Actually, my ex wife and, following her, my recent ex girlfriend were both teachers (I have no idea why teachers go for me, none at all) and they both had voracious, uh, appetites, with all manner of "kinky" tastes I assure you.

    Funny thing is that both them were very professional regarding the distinction between their careers (teaching children) and their private lives (having wild, unabandoned sex)

    Funny that.

    Paris, because she could teach us all a thing or two about wild unabandoned sex

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Hmmm, anyone old enough to remember some outdated latin thingy called Habius corpus

    cool, i got almost as few rights as gary glitter...

    would they like to take my right to vote away as well?

    i can look forward to another 25 years on the dole, cos i got a accusation on my record which i cannot access to dispute and which cannot be removed.

    So i cannot work in the private or pubilc sector or any business where any contact of any member of the public happens.(so that rules out retraining as a back office administrator).

    So, if the dole office starts bitching about me not finding any work, i got a valid excuse. sweet!

    [Gov beuracracy has deemed me unfit to hold any work where exposure to money, computer data or members of the public are likley to occur]

    so that rules out 99.99% of all jobs.

    mines the one with the doley card permanently sewn into the lineing. see you all in a fortnight ;p

  26. The Other Steve

    Self righteous bastards.

    "it asks its readers whether they would not wish to know what their children’s teachers get up to at the weekend.

    Undoubtedly many parents would, and it is this, plus the result of the Pinington case. that is likely to provide a new focus for future salacious reportage."

    Firstly, that really ought to read "many prurient and excessively self righteous tabloid hysterics who just happen to have managed to produce offspring, despite the fact that if they really believed all the twaddle they were spouting, they would be terrified to leave their houses", rather than simply "parents".

    Secondly, the question is the wrong way around, would the parents like the teachers to know what _they_ get up to at the weekend ? SWMBO works in education, and I can happily confirm that for a significant number of parents, what they get up to at the weekend is drinking, beating up their spouses and raping such of their children as they can get hold of.

    Children are far less at risk in their educational environments where they are typically surrounded by other children and adults than they are at home 'behind closed doors' so to speak, which is where by far the majority of abusers are to be found.

    Throughout my own education, and through the many years of SWMBOs continued work in the sector, I have never heard of a single incident of a child being abused by a teacher. Not to they say that they don't happen of course (and I'm not counting 'female teacher gives fifteen year old a blowy in the maths cupboard' as 'abuse' either, for all that it's wrong, illegal and stupid.

    OTOH I hear several tragic stories each year of children who have been fucked up the jacksie by daddy after he finished flattening mummies face in.

    Somehow, I find it hard to imagine that many of those parents are Telegraph readers.

    There's not an icon for this one.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    It is indeed frightning

    In my circle of acquaintances I know of 5 individuals who have, at various times, been accused of things which could have, and in one case very nearly did, result in prosecution.

    One of the people concerned eventually admitted, years later, that their allegation was completely false and made purely for personal gain.

    Another had been under psychiatric care for many years, but still managed to get the police involved by manipulating others to make false allegations on their behalf.

    People can be very strange. They often have their own agendas, which they pursue by dubious means with no thought of the consequences to the accused.

    And now, it appears that victims of baseless accusations can suffer from the actions of these people - forever. With absolutely no chance of legal redress and little chance of ever clearing their name.

    The only solution I can imagine is to make full details of the originator and circumstances of such non-proven accusations available as an attachment to these 'enhanced criminal record background' checks.

    After all, if you are going to report unsubstantiated accusations, isn't it only fair to include details of the accuser AND their previous record of unsubstantiated accusations?

    Of course, thrown mud still sticks. So WHY even include unsubstantiated accusations in the first place?

    Why not just stick to proven accusations confirmed by a successful criminal prosecution?

    Too much trouble?

    Or... "Better a hundred innocent men go to jail, than a single guilty man go free."?

    Now who said that?

    Oh yes - Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. Perhaps better known as Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin

    Now THERE'S an example to follow!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What goes around comes around

    I hope the scummy council estate accusers (lets face it, you don't hear it anywhere else, hardly) end up being accused themselves.

    What goes around comes around!

  29. David Mery

    Re: Liberty

    This issue has been discussed at several AGMs of Liberty, and a resolution was eventually passed at the last AGM:

    ==

    Enhanced Disclosures

    Liberty’s A.G.M. notes that, despite the creation of the Independent

    Safeguarding Authority (the ISA), designed to provide fair

    protection to children and vulnerable adults and to professionals

    working with them, and contrary to the recommendation of the

    Bichard Inquiry, the system whereby enhanced disclosure forms

    are circulated to employers still exists. Since these forms very

    often contain mere accusations of minor matters, teachers and

    carers without any convictions or cautions are condemned to

    permanent unemployment in their profession.

    This A.G.M. therefore resolves to seek change to law and policy so

    that, within the jurisdiction of the ISA (covering not only teachers

    and carers but everyone working with children and vulnerable

    adults), no disclosure can be made of mere allegations other than

    to the ISA itself.

    ==

    A report on all the resolutions passed is at http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/news-and-events/2-agm/report-on-the-2008-agm.pdf

    br -d

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    lunacy

    The UK is now a seriously fucked up place to live. Really. Look around. Listen. Make a list in your mind of all the things the ruling class have done to you over the past 8 years. We are no longer free people.

    Alien because thats how this country feels to me

  31. Ruth Charles
    Stop

    Uk - Salem?

    Having suffered extensively from a 10 year long 'whispering campaign' of lies and slander from two academic rivals I finally had to give up my hopes of a University career. 15 years of academic study, over 30 peer reviewed publications, and a string of happy employers willing to give me fixed term contracts and vouch for my honesty, academic and teaching abilities still all counted for nothing against malicious slander based on the pathological jealousy of two contemporaries. After years of being told 'we'd like to appoint you and we think you're the best candidate we've seen, but we have this lingering doubt' I found there was nothing I could say or do to get rid of the mud that had been thrown.

    Turning the CRB into an official slander machine is hopeless. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Did you hear?

    Did I hear that Lord Justice Richards beats his wife? I might have misheard it, but you should be aware of this unfounded rumour just in case it is true.

    /sarcasm off/

  33. John Savard Silver badge

    Another Side to the Question

    Since being a victim of child sexual abuse can destroy a person's whole life, isn't it more important to do everything we possibly can to minimize the risk of this than to be scrupulously fair to every job applicant?

    After all, there are many jobs and careers open to people which do not involve contact with children and vulnerable adults.

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    F*** the Teachers..

    "..they don't want their kid's teachers to be having sex other than in the missionary position..."

    You mean my kid's teachers are HAVING SEX??? I thought they were put in the cupboards at the end of lessons, and brought out for the next day, same as textbooks....

    Paris, because she can teach us a thing or two (after lessons, naturally...)

  36. Kevin Rudd

    Just a weak attempt at lightening the mood.

    Blighty gettin' a bit too draconian for you poms? Your welcome to come 'ere down under and get sum Aussie sun on ya pasty complexions.

    I, for one, will gladly welcome our former colonial overloads,

    (Hey, you people been watching the Olympics? Ever time our flag Aussie flag is raiased, we also (still) raise the Union Jack with it. You own us)

  37. Jimmy

    @ Knit-your-own-yoghurt ....

    You are absolutely right, but this may not be the best place to appeal for coherent collective action. Yes, Liberty do have the ability to create wider publicity for many of the issues that we vent our frustrations on, and they certainly have the legal expertise and knowledge of where to apply pressure within the government bureaucracy and the establishment in general.

    Does the average El Reg commenter have enough commitment to provide financial support for an organization like Liberty? Sadly, I don't think so. What we do best is to indulge in a gigantic bitch-fest that leaves us feeling less frustrated and occupying at least a little piece of the moral high ground.

    So maybe we should be doing what the AC suggests and putting our money where our mouth is, and providing resources for the people who can be most effective in bringing our concerns to the attention of the government.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Truly shocking

    It is illegal to refuse anyone employment solely on the basis that they have a criminal record. How can it therefore be the case that people are refused employment on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations? The law is definitely an ass on this one.

    What a nasty country this is turning out to be! I know that the indigenous population here, when the surface is scratched, has a tendency towards extreme hatred and war-like behaviour but the law is intended to mitigate this and ensure that only the guilty are punished. This clearly flies in the face of all that we've held sacred for many hundreds of years.

    Who is going to sort this out? Someone like David Davis? I certainly hope so before we descend into a stinking cesspit from which we'll never emerge.

    I'd certainly love to know if there are any such unsubstantiated allegations held about me on police computers somewhere. Unfortunately, however, it appears that I don't have the right to know if there are any, much less challenge them. What a fucked up system!

    Unless something serious is done, urgently, I will leave this Godforsaken country and head off to pastures new and, hopefully, unsullied by such witch hunts if I can find one.

    Mine's the one with the passport and one way ticket outta here in the pocket.

  39. Nick
    Pirate

    Evidence

    Perhaps we would be happier with the idea of someone grassing up their teacher if there was a requirement for the identity of the informant to be available - and maybe even some evidence.

    Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The idea of vetting teachers etc was to stop kids getting dead.

    Privacy is a good thing - so is stopping kids getting dead.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Who do I see and is there a time limit?

    There are a few teachers I'd like to report from around 1977.

    Mine's the one with the tattered list in crayon in the pocket.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    It is clear that mud sticks, especially with sex related mud slinging, this happens in so many cases. There were people writing in to the Graun this weekend complaining about an article on John Leslie implying that because it is difficult to prosecute for rape he was actually guilty even though the judge said that he could go free without a stain on his character. By that measure he would fail an eCRB, despite having been proven innocent, just because people are still talking about it.

  42. Zmodem

    the police suck

    in the city i live im a mentally unstable organzied crime overlord. just because all the street kiddies get a punch

  43. Jason Harvey
    Coat

    OOO!... let's spread malicious rumors...

    about all the politicians and judges and see if they'll stop hiring/electing them to do anything due to the enhanced checks.

    mine's the one with the mud slung on the back of it

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Any Suspicion is Truth

    Just another example of this country’s idea that the act of suspecting, accusing or thinking results in a piece of true data that can be recorded and kept in perpetuity, no matter how wrong the basis for the suspecting, accusing or thinking is or how wrong the conclusions from that process are.

    We’ve had, for some time, the CIFAS warning database. We now have the Enhanced CRB Check. We’ll soon have a ‘no-work’ database. Any idea what’s next?

    Mines the one with the unsubstantiated, facilitated-communications allegation in the pocket that Lord Justice Richards is a paedophile.

  45. Dave
    Black Helicopters

    Another unsubstantiated rumour

    Has anybody noticed how Gordon Brown is always on the telly hanging around schools with lots of children.

    Methinks he would fail an ECRB check, as would most politicians.

    (How long before they come to take us all away)

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I cannot help .....

    but say that I too have been subject to this "guilty without even being heard" .

    What happened ?. I used a computer that I also allowed my friends son and daughter to use. Is that a crime ?.No. So I posted messages ,my friends son and daughter posted messages and so did several of my friends. Some freak of a bloke called "John Hobson" could not stand the fact that I contradicted him in a forum. He collected all the messages that he could find from everyone using the computer and took them to the police. The police then took them to a magistrate ,swore that they were ALL my messages and obtained a search warrant on the basis that ,quote "...because I know how to access newsgroups and there is illegal material material on newsgroups I MAY be in possession of illegal material.....". They then executed search warrant ,apologised and left.

    Not content with this my home force decided to tell a third party that they had conducted a search and left them with the distinct impression that I was a ...

    Of course that third party gossiped and the rest is history.

    So the moral of this is, if you know how to access newsgroups you can expect

    to be visited , much the same as if you walk in Brixton you will be visited

    because drug dealers live in Brixton and you know how to get there.

  47. Chris Cox

    Extra police info...

    In addition, the separate section of the Disclosure IS NOT given to the person being disclosed, so any "background" information that the Police provide and employers see, the employee DOES NOT see.

    Now if thats not unreasonable...

  48. Graham Marsden

    The News of the Screws

    "In defence of its right to poke into individual private lives, it asks its readers whether they would not wish to know what their children’s teachers get up to at the weekend."

    Actually I'd like to know what the editor and journalists of that reprehensible lying gutter rag get up to at the weekend.

    Since they are obviously such paragons of moral virtue that they can pass judgement on anyone and everyone else, they clearly can't have anything to hide, can they...?

  49. Chris G Silver badge

    So, let me get this right

    If you have not been found not guilty in a court of law, you are guilty.

    If you have been found guilty in a court of law , you are guilty.

    Prisoner at the bar. How do you plead?

    Erm guilty ? your honour .

    Correct! Take him down.

    This is a great way to save time and money in British courts, no need to do irritating poorly compensated jury duty. All the courts really need is an allegation.

    Now. How do we address the problem of overcrowded prisons? Soylent Green!

    PS Do contribute to Liberty and look up their site, it's worth it.

    I left the UK 6 yrs ago and now notice that the rest of Europe is slowly beginning to catch up. Time to get a bit further away.

  50. ben edwards

    Hax!

    Does the VC dictionary interchange 'hax' for 'has'?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    There are loads of kids that would lap this up and get their teachers fired...

    ...if they could only understand the long words in the article.

    Mine's the one with the Oxford Dictionary in the pocket.

  52. JohnG Silver badge

    Presumption of Innocence....

    ...applies to people who have actually been charged with a crime. I suppose the "clever" part of the gossip records is that they deal in unsubstantiated allegations, where nobody is charged.

    The most stupid thing about all of this is that the government has recently been complaining about the lack of men wanting to be teachers and a general lack of positive male role models for many children.

  53. Ishkandar

    @"......and they will be held accountable." I hope.

    Add to your list

    NuLabour HQ - they are the ones who expounds all this shit that pander to the lurid imaginations of the unwashed masses.

    Is it any wonder that an "A" grade in A levels isn't worth the paper it is written on and they now need an "A*" grade to cope ?? Especially seen in light of all those good teachers that have left or are hounded out of the profession !!

  54. Mark

    re: Another Side to the Question

    Well, in the base analysis: you're alive. Anything more than that is just gravy.

    All that needs to be done is to do your best to make sure it doesn't happen. And that doesn't require ruining someone's life forever because you're "thinking of the children" (which, oddly enough, is what you're wanting the person locked up for: thinking of children).

    Given that many paedophiles were sexually assaulted themselves when they were younger, should this mean that we lock up all the kiddies who've been assaulted?

    Or should we just ensure that we CAN prove assault when needed, that we ensure that the child so assaulted is taken care of so that they GET OVER IT.

    If we can't prove assault, then we can still make sure that the child won't be twisted by it (if it did happen) and that they know what to do to make CERTAIN that it can't happen again (even if it didn't happen). If we can't prove assault, we should take no action against the accused. Because if they ARE fiddling with the kiddies, the kids will know what to do to make sure they aren't alone with them and if they are not, then because they aren't alone with the kids, they can't accuse them falsely.

    If you CAN prove it, then see what you can do to make them a stable member of society. After all, alcoholics don't get over alcoholism, but they DO avoid the problem.

  55. ElFatbob

    Isn't it amazing how...

    ...this country has disappeared for far up it's own arse in 11 short years.

  56. iamzippy
    Flame

    Google Bomb

    Wouldn't that technique (or similar) throw the sort of shit that sticks?

  57. David

    This is a very dangerous road..

    Nobody doubts for a moment that child abuse is indeed a very serious crime, but you can't just remove the very basis of the legal system: innocent until proven guilty at a whim to suit a single crime and media-driven paranoia.

    There are lots of very serious and very dangerous crimes. For example, murder is not particularly nice, yet murderers are innocent until proven guilty.

    How long will it be until this 'soft information' extends to other areas and you find that employers / potential employers have all sorts of totally unnecessary information at their finger tips. Perhaps your health or mental health records. The fact that you didn't pay a parking ticket on time could indicate that you're unreliable.

    It's just like the various anti-terror laws in the US, UK and elsewhere that have just ridden over basic and fundemental civil rights in the name of keeping us all safe. Membership of certain organisations.. your sexual orientation ... etc etc

    We have to get back to basics when it comes to law and the legal system. Every step that undermines our rights is another step into an abyss.

    People fought very hard and even died for these legal rights in the past. Let's not throw them away to protect ourselves from a few nut job terrorists and a handful of potential pervs.

    There are lots of other ways of keeping ourselves safe!!

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Nasty Little Brats Will Love This

    "Get your teacher fired!"

    Whee!

    I would have been all over this in the US when I was in junior high. I had the moral compass of a starving buzzard (no offense), and making our teachers suffer breakdowns was a competitive sport in my school.

    Everyone knows that schools in the US are the strictest around, which is why Pink Floyd wrote The Wall about the US school system.

    There's no way that the legendary compassion and gentleness of the English School system would EVER encourage kids to wreck their teachers' lives.

    Nah, it'll never happen...

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Kids are Undisciplined...

    So, let me understand this correctly: Now that kids are predominantly no longer disciplined by their parents and the teachers are limited in their disciplinary actions against distruptive and rude kids, these same kids can get their teachers fired by spreading rumors about anything agaist the them. Great! Now we can have virtual gangs in schools, spreading gossip against their teachers, and running unpunished.

    Why have schools then?

  60. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Not just teachers

    I know that sometimes it is not just teachers but anyone connected with children that some places make you go through checks. Certainly in Australia I have heard that even the IT folk have to have those checks, if the computers they look after have certain child information on it. I'm not sure exactly which ones, but it would of been something like Child support, social service or Dept of Ed.

    I really don't know why all those forms were neccessary to work on a bunch of computers; one set of magnetic tapes looks like another to me. You can see how the combination of this idea plus the new enhanced list could put someone out of a job, even if they are nowhere near kids (or natural light).

  61. skeptical i
    Flame

    LBJ might be interested ...

    ... to see, from beyond the grave, what eventuates from this particular development. (The apocryphal story has Lyndon Johnson telling a campaign staffer to leak a story that LBJ's competitor enjoys carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows, campaign staffer gasping "We can't call so- and- so a pigfucker -- it's not true!", and Lyndon responding "Let's watch the son of a bitch deny it".) So might Karl "Repeat it enough times and it becomes true" Rove and his zombie army in the "lib'rul" media.

    Fire for The Burning Times -- lest we forget.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Great Britain's hour of need...

    didn't king arthur say he was gonna come back and save your butts when Britain was going to hell in a handbasket?

    Btw the first and last time I went to your lovely country on vacation I was intimidated by the big brother nature of the place, unfortunately it's starting to happen here too.

  63. antarctica

    hmm

    is this a actual UK wide thing or just England?

    How does a (E)CRB compare to Disclosure?

  64. Steve P

    I may be a bit dim, but

    Isn't this just slander?

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Helping the scouts is suicide

    The wife is a teacher and has had numerous accusations thrown at her over the years by pupils.

    It's a standard ploy by bad kids. Throw a chair/brick/punch at at teacher and as soon as the back up arrives claim that the teacher assaulted them first. Luckily there have always been plenty of witnesses so accusations have been dismissed quickly and hopefully informally.

    But teachers and adult volunteers of any kind are running a real risk of lynch mob justice with stupid legislation and screaming tabloids.

  66. dervheid
    Unhappy

    It's all down to...

    the total lack of balance between 'rights' and 'responsibilities', or 'actions' and 'consequences'.

    The whole system in this country has been skewed by 20+ years of 'political correctness' and we are now reaping the harvest.

    It's not only teachers who are bearing the brunt of the "Sir/Miss tried to 'touch' me" approach used by the semi feral brats, but anyone in a position of authority or responsibility. Fuck me, you even have gangs of these juvenile scum stoning fire crews while they're fighting a fire, most likely started by said scum for the purpose of getting the fire-fighters out to be used for target practice. And they have no fear of any consequence of their actions.

    Why?

    Because all the 'consequences' have either been removed or are now utterly devalued.

    The balance needs to be restored. Unfortunately, the politicians we now have 'at the helm' have been exposed to all of this PC lunacy for so long, and are so afraid of changing course, (a course being largely dictated by the tabloid media), that I don't see any improvement likely.

  67. John Stevens
    Paris Hilton

    @Britain's Hour of Need

    Didn't King Arthur sleep with his (half-)sister?

    One ecrb - and that's King Arthur barred for life.

    (Interesting, actually - do the schools actually allow the poor darlings to read that sort of stuff any more? Or would such concepts be considered too corrupting for the precious ones?).

    Paris - cause she's the sort of half-sister you'd probably want to sleep with.

  68. Peter Hood

    Quack, quack.

    Taking any form of legal action against anyone,on the basis of malicious gossip, is wrong and lowers the legal bar to the level of Saem.

    On the same level, 'facilitated communication' is as bogus as witchunting.

    http://www.skepdic.com/facilcom.html

    Jacobson, John W.; Mulick, James A.; Schwartz, Allen A. A history of facilitated communication: Science, pseudoscience, and antiscience science working group on facilitated communication. American Psychologist, 1995 Sep, v50 (n9):750-765.

    Jacobson, John W.; Mulick, James A. Facilitated communication: Better education through applied ideology. Journal of Behavioral Education, 1994 Mar, v4 (n1):93-105.

    Jacobson, John W.; Mulick, James A.; Schwartz, Allen A. If a tree falls in the woods . . . American Psychologist, 1996 Sep, v51 (n9):988-989.

    Sailor, Wayne. Science, ideology, and facilitated communication. American Psychologist, 1996 Sep, v51 (n9):984-985.

    Allen, Brad; Allen, Stephanie. Can the scientific method be applied to human interaction? American Psychologist, 1996 Sep, v51 (n9):986.

    Fernald, Dodge. Tapping too softly. American Psychologist, 1996 Sep, v51 (n9):988.

    Dillion, Kathleen M. Facilitated communication, autism, and ouija. (includes related articles) Skeptical Inquirer v17, n3 (Spring, 1993):281 (7 pages).

    Abstract:

    Facilitated communication is a treatment technique used for people with limited communication skills. It is widely used for autistic children and has reported miraculous cures. Other experts however, consider the technique as similar to the Ouija board because of common physical characteristics. Issues are raised about the facilitators, the technique of both the procedures and the influence of the operators. The messages obtained from both are also analyzed. The wrong use of facilitated communication could produce deleterious effects in some families.

    (With thanks to J.M. Price, Ph.D.)

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Texas has got this sorted

    I understand that teachers in Texas can carry guns to school. So little Johnny goes up to teacher says "Do as I want or I'll say you've abused me". Pop, pop, one dead Johnny and teacher claims self defense which seems to be pretty solid ground in Texas. A few dead kids and they'll soon get the message.

  70. alain williams Silver badge

    It is all about avoiding responsibility

    The primary concern of the civil servants who run this sort of thing is that no blame attaches to themselves. Thus it is simplest for them to take a starkly black & white approach to things and avoid all value judgement. This results in exremes and innocent people being hurt -- just to ensure that blame doesn't come their way.

    A related theme is the health and safety brigade; a friend of mine who is a primary school teacher needed to fill in a long risk assessment form just to take her pupils round a local church -- a complete waste of time, but the petty officials who insisted on it could then say that due dilligence had been done - ie ''if anything happens then it is not our fault''.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    re: Knit-your-own-yoghurt types sign up here

    Liberty barely has a grip on this stuff, being made up of lefty lawyers who have scarcely touched a computer, and is always being blindsided by its obsession with "human rights law". When the government is careful to celebrate the right 'uman rites, then Liberty bows down and worships alongside.

    There are a few other organisations where your £20 might be better spent if you want to fight mass surveillance.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    @John Savard

    "After all, there are many jobs and careers open to people which do not involve contact with children and vulnerable adults."

    And having trained for years for a position dominated by contact with children, a person has to rewrite their life because of the words of a spiteful child? For that matter, "vulnerable adults" is a pretty loose term.

    The problem is that the consequences to the accuser (basically nil) are not equitable vs. the consequences to the accused (a ruined life) in the event of a false accusation. That gives anybody with the power to make an accusation a great deal of power over the accused. Power corrupts... or to use another cliche "with great power comes great responsibility." Unfortunately those with the greatest power in this case are those least equipped to handle the responsibility.

    If there's been a chance to test the accusations and verify them (or find them false) that's another matter - but that's what the criminal justice system is there for.

    Hmm. Career as a teacher. Three years of tertiary training, and you get... low pay (for a position requiring tertiary qualification). Long hours (if you don't believe me, talk to a *good* teacher). Constant abuse. Nerve-wracking responsibility. And the chance that at any time any of the little tykes can end your career permanently and make you a social pariah.

    Sounds like just the sort of job most people would love!

    Alien because you would have to be from another planet to think this is fair.

  73. Steve
    Flame

    God damn you all!!

    It's "innocent UNLESS proven guilty" not "until".

    Using the word "until" just says, "well he probably is guilty, but we'll keep calling him innocent while we search for evidence". Look hard enough and everyone can be found guilty of something.

  74. Phil Cooke
    Alert

    RE: Helping the scouts is suicide

    Working with kids in general is nowadays. I spent 7 years as an IT manager in a school, during that time 2 Heads of IT got suspended due to allegations by kids, all later proven innocent but lead to them leaving.

    Needless to say, I don't intend on going back into education IT in case it happens to me, I took a pay cut and went to work for a telecoms company instead, well away from kids and vulnerable persons - still had to have a disclosure done tho! Madness!

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Orwel

    Don't forget that according to the Mail we're also being terrorised by hoody wearing, knife wielding kids...

    A close friend was accused of abuse by his daughter a year ago. Needless to say the CPS didn't prosecute. Despite the allegation being at best flimsy (there were numerous holes in her story, she had an obession with Judy Picoult, and her mental state was fragile), he's stuck with the allegation on his ECRB. He's a charity worker, so he inevitably lost his job, and has yet to find another (employers cut and run as soon as they find out about it).

    The worst thing is the police actually told his wife that even if they didn't prosecute, that just meant he probably was guilty, but they couldn't find any evidence.

    From a legal perspective (sorry, I'm a lawyer), the situation is a joke. The standard of proof for a criminal conviction is beyond reasonable doubt. There's no real standard required for an allegation to be noted on your CRB - somebody has a sotry, and a sympathetic policeman/woman believes it. Even if proven innocent (and it has only ever been a requirement to prove you're not guilty), the black mark stays on your CRB. All it records is the allegation, and that's more than enough to destroy somebody's life.

    Like it or not, we're turning into a police state. How long before the CRB database is linked to your ID card and your passport? Maybe we just need special camps for undersireables? Nobody would miss them...

  76. Cap'n wotsit
    Unhappy

    teechers

    having read this and having also spoken to a friend of mine who has recently just done his NQT (newly Qualified teacher) year dahrn sarf, this is going to cause the government no end of grief.

    AFAIK NQT's get paid IRO 18-19k salary (excluding the london weighting etc)

    there is a drastic shortage of teachers in Music, history, maths, IT to name 4 disciplines.

    our beloved government are trying to rol out legislation (according to my friend) that all children will stay in school until they are 18 (a la the yank schooling system) by 2010.

    our beloved government has already decreed that all teachers should hold masters degrees or similar (can someone advise what the going rate for someone in the private sector gets paid straight out of Uni with a masters degree? bet its more than £19k)

    now work out that no one wants to teach because of the low pay grades (see above) those that do teach are going to be even more stretched due to the leaving age increasing to 18.

    I can see a mass leaving of teachers to the private sector some time very very soon. and given this ruling I think what we will find is all the good teachers will leave, not wanting to run the risk of having their careers ruined leaving the poor/mediocre teachers to educate our children.

    I vote we the people employ someone called Guy Fawkes, he was a man with the best idea to deal with politicians

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    keep very quiet

    keep very still, try not to make a sound, don't stand out, don't make waves, be what everyone else is, don't make anyone angry, suspect everyone. That's how to survive in the UK.

    It's all just so very depressing. I really do hate this country.

    I seem to remember that most of the younger teachers at my school would get smashed at the weekend, whilst many of the older ones went home to their families or to Labour party meetings.

    @I cannot help .....

    That's how it seems to happen, the police are a bunch of c----, the law is an arse, and justice has long since vanished from this country. Rumour, lies, insinuation, gossip, backstabbing...

    What is a nation type driven by rumour, gossip, fear, police and media anyway? I suppose it's the ultimate evolution of a democracy with powerful media interests.

    Something bad happens, media milks the fear, public demand action, government acts, something bad happens, media milks the fear, public demand action, government acts, wash, rince,repeat.

  78. John Savard Silver badge

    Two Points

    I do not see a reason why people who can be proven to have made false accusations shouldn't be subject to prosecution.

    But I think that people should get used to the idea that, just as just anyone can't expect to get a job working for M. I. 6 even if no one can _prove_ he has done anything criminal, that working with vulnerable children is another kind of highly sensitive position, and the privilege of working in such positions is more closely guarded than is the usual case.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Pink Floyd?

    Um, I think you must be confusing the great British prog rock band Pink Floyd who wrote an album called the Wall about their own experiences in the British school system with some kind of US imposter who wrote about the US school system...

  80. david wilson

    The system works like this...

    ...and then some people wonder why it's hard finding teachers, especially for schools in neighbourhoods where there are likely to be rather more 'problem' children.

    It's one thing to teach kids that are a pain, or even possibly a physical threat. It's another to have them potentially screwing your chances of teaching anywhere (or, at least, of teaching anywhere *else*).

    Is there any database of children who make malicious allegations, to let teachers know who they should all refuse to teach for their own safety?

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DIY yoghurt makers unite.

    " Liberty barely has a grip on this stuff, being made up of lefty lawyers who have scarcely touched a computer, and is always being blindsided by its obsession with "human rights law".

    a) That's because all the right-wing lawyers are at the heart of government or are being paid huge retainers to 'advise' them how to screw us into the deck.

    b) The legal profession would collapse if its members were computer illiterates.

    c) A human rights organization blind sided by its obsession with "human rights law". What's the world coming to? Next thing we know, we'll have bears shitting in the woods.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    if you're going to do it.

    Do it properly. Extend the checks to anyone who tries to claim benefits, you don't pass you don't get them.

    Who's betting the majority of the false accusations come from a certain segment of the population. Hint, they're the ones with no concept of consequences to their actions. Not going to lose a job they don't have, not going to lose a house they don't pay for, not going to go hungry as they get food provided, don't care about property, theirs or anyone elses, as everything they have has been handed to them for free.

    And, most importantly, not going to lose their benefits as the government is too spineless to stop them and risk the papers picking it up.

  83. John Wilson
    Flame

    @ Two Points

    "that working with vulnerable children is another kind of highly sensitive position, and the privilege "

    Stop right there. Privilege? To work with hyped up kids for next to no money is now a sacred privilege is it? What a load of rubbish. Kids need teachers to teach them their arse from their elbow: it's the *kids* that are the ones who should feel privileged that anyone would want to try to help them have a better life, not the other way round.

    And, for that matter, since when was working with children a more "priveleged" position than being a parent or other close family relation to a child. 'Cause guess which group is responsible for most child abuse, and guess which group doesn't (yet) require vetting.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Re: Pink Floyd?

    We need a "Sarcasm" or "Irony" icon.

  85. pastamasta
    Alert

    Vote for Davis? Shurely shome mishtake

    Until recently, the thought of coming even within farting distance of putting a little "X" in the box next to the name of a Tory candidate would have filled me with the desire to shove a live ferret up my nose good and hard and listen to it eating my brain. To my own occasional incredulity I now find myself considering the unthinkable possibility that David Davis might be exactly what this country needs, assuming that one can believe what he says about his political aspirations (to wit, rescuing Britain from the quagmire of Orwellian shite into which it appears to sinking more deeply on an almost daily basis).

    Perhaps if voting Lib Dem were not such a pointless, self-arsefucking exercise in futility, I would do that instead.

  86. Brev
    Stop

    Not a free country!

    In the UK we only have the rights that are granted to us by acts of parliament, which are interpreted by the courts.

    Our supposed 'freedom' and 'liberty' could be easily removed by any government that chose to do so and had enough support from MP's.

    We don't have the protection of a defined constitution which is set above what parlaiment decides.

    So this decision is awful but it is lawful. Guilty unless proven otherwise.

  87. Matthew Brown
    Alert

    Why the hell...

    Is this not getting proper coverage in the print and television media? It's the same with the road charging and the DNA database.

  88. Spider
    Unhappy

    I weep for this once great nation

    sorry to go all pointlessly nostalgic, but our predecessors fought and died to oppose tyranny, even during that conflict they refused to suspend all libertarian values such as compulsory IDs for all because to do so was to give in.

    In comparison we now have DNA databases, ID cards inbound, 42 days detention because they feel like it, CCTV on every corner but so crap it can't be used to prosecute scum. The population is not to be trusted, no votes unless they have to, guilty UNTIL proven innocent, and then only not proven not actually innocent. Where did it all go wrong?

    Governments should fear their population not vice versa.

  89. Mark

    Re: Not a free country!

    Nope, the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta have not been legislated around. There are in those documents precise requirements for changing or overriding them that have not been met.

    They require the actions of the Monarch and this may be one of the reasons why Nu Labour want the monarchy removed. Along with the House of Lords (which they are busy stuffing with cronies) they put a balance into the "democratic" houses of commons.

    NOTE: the house of commons is not democratic nor representative: the existence of whips means that you aren't represented: the whip has control over the MP you vote for.

  90. Jon Kale

    @Brev re: Not a free country!

    Fortunately, you're at least partly wrong: the much-maligned (by certain pigshit-thick sections of the population) European Convention on Human Rights provides a bunch of fundamental rights - free(ish) expression, privacy, fair trials etc. - which, in the final analysis, can only be rolled back by withdrawing from the Convention. While it might be welcomed by many Daily Fail readers ("Hurrah! Finally evil Eurocrats can't stop us banging up people for being brown in a residential area"), it is in practice very unlikely to happen without Britain withdrawing from the Council of Europe (not to be confused with the EU).

    Note that the similarly-maligned HRA simply allows British courts to rule on breaches or otherwise of the ECHR: previously, any cases had to go to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The HRA was an attempt to make holding the state to the provisions of the ECHR cheaper and quicker: repealing it would simply mean that human rights cases would once again have to go to Strasbourg.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Why the hell...

    Do you watch the public media? It has one purpose now, to prop up the status quo.

    The only time you will see these things on TV is when they bring on someone supporting the law/government/moralist position, they will then tell us why it's great, hitting all the correct emotional, and pseudo logical points whilst the "interviewer" asks pre set questions to prompt the correct rubusts.

    Where as when someone opposed comes on they get torn into by a studios most apt interegators.

    It's hard to fight against deeply emotional arguments.

    "If it stops another 7/7 isn't it worth the loss?"

    "If it stops one Sohem isn't it worth the loss?"

    "If it helps against global warming isn't it worth the cost?"

    "Well democracy is better, I mean people have a choice right?"

    The problem is, it's quite hard to fight those points, ?autocratic? The needs of the many out weigh the rights of the few.

    It's an approach that makes alot sense until you look at it carefully. Until you start thinking about what happens when you narrow opportunities, when you start stiffling debate, expression and ideas. When you don't take chances, when you can't quantify risk. When you don't have or give responsibility. When you persecute mistakes as you do callous acts.

    hmmmm o well, time for another coffee

    superhero.

  92. David Lyons

    'Spectral' evidence was abandoned in 1620, wasn't it?

    This sounds vaguely reminiscent of the 'spectral evidence' of the Salem witch trials in 1620 Massachusetts. Two teenage girls were responsible for the burning of 23 ? 'witches' claiming they were being 'demonically taunted' and cursed. It only stopped when they accused someone of 'high standing'.

    This sort of thing could happen again under the 'enhanced CRB' checks. I realise that children must be protected from predatory adults, but how do you protect adults from malicious children ?

  93. Miami Mike

    staying safe (or at least safer)

    Don't work with children.

    Don't be around children.

    Don't talk to children.

    Don't feed children - especially not candy!

    Don't hug children.

    Don't comfort children.

    Don't give a ride to a lost child.

    Don't HAVE children.

    Don't teach children.

    Don't sit next to children in subways, buses, airplanes, parks, libraries, restaurants, movie theaters, in fact, anywhere.

    Don't talk about children.

    Don't have pictures of children, even your own, particularly on your computer.

    Stay at least 20 feet away from ALL children, ALL the time.

    Paranoid? Who me? Just not taking any chances.

  94. A J Stiles
    Alien

    Hmm

    "Innocent until proven guilty" is mentioned (indirectly) in the hated Human Rights Act 1998, which enshrines the European Convention on Human Rights in UK law: see Article 6(2) of the Convention. Article 8 of the same Convention makes it clear that what happens off the clock, stays off the clock.

  95. wim

    full circle time

    well if you have been denied a job because of this you can then accuse the interviewer of the place where you wanted to work. This will then go on their record and then they will be out of a job and then they are also unfit to work.

    I can see that UK will be needing a lot of immigrants to work with your children in the future. May I suggest some (preferably fanatic) religious workers ? Islamitic, Jewish or Catholic they are all in favour of world peace and understanding as we know. This will lead to the British children to become nicely indoctrinated and then at least you can have Intelligent Design being taught in your schools.

    So I guess that in about 40 years Britain will be where it was about 600 Years ago.

    Happily living out of Europe and I guess I ll keep moving from country to country every 10 years or so until I found a place with a decent government (mutually exclusive terms sadly enough)

  96. Nev Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @Graham Marsden

    "Actually I'd like to know what the editor and journalists of that reprehensible lying gutter rag get up to at the weekend."

    Yes, very good point. Most of the journalists seem to be drunken coke-heads who like to beat up spouses etc. We have a right to know all about their filthy private lives!!!

    Time for in-depth investigations from El Reg?

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Wow...... just, wow.

    It seems that things just keep getting stranger and worse over there. As an ex-pat who has now lived outside the UK longer than I lived there, I really have no desire to return. Things are seriously f****ed up when the USA (which is a police state, don't let anyone tell you otherwise) is better and free-er than the UK.

    How did this happen? It seems like things are getting crazier by the minute in the country of my birth. I can be filmed 24x7, but can't take photos on the street without being accused of terrorism or paedophilia. The police can take my DNA and keep it forever on dubious authority. There's this database and that database, administered by EDS and morons who take data extracts and leave them on the train or lose CDs in the post.

    If I lived there I'd be lighting a flaming torch and picking up a pitchfork right now.

    I'm as lefty as they come - tree hugger, human rights, EU, etc; but this stuff is madness. More in common with East Germany in the 1960s than with any kind of fair society.

    Are Brits all too polite to do anything about this any more? Is it easier to just complain about it online and then head down to the pub? Of course, I'm the one who can't get involved in changing stuff over here either, in case I get deported back .

  98. Jesse
    Thumb Down

    RE: Texas has got this sorted

    That's exactly what will happen. So, I think the only obvious solution for brits to avoid this clearly dangerous situation is to ban guns. No, that won't do it! They ought to have CCTV posted everywhere as well.

    Ahh shit, in order to be really safe from pedo schoolteachers and gun toting gangrapists, the british ought to employ everything from the book 1984.

    That'll stop crime for sure!

    In reality I think the real solution to crime is to get the criminals out of politics.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    whistl blow

    So, if I piss of my current employer,. all he has to do is to lie on a crb check for us, and I no longer get a job anywhere, and there is nothing I can do about it..

  100. Mark

    Of course

    since a child is three times more likely to be assaulted by a family member than a stranger, all those with children should give their kids up to random strangers and then NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN.

    That should reduce the incidence of child molestation threefold!

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Wow...... just, wow.

    A large number don't know and don't care.

    A large number are fully in support of the idea, something that always bewilders me when I meet otherwise intelligent people who support 42 days, anti-terror laws, book burning, laws like this, dna databases and ID card schemes. I just can't get my head around it - well I can, but only if I turn off the thinking parts of my brain.

    A moderate number of people disagree but wont do anything (a million people march can't make a dent on foreign policy what chance has a march against more police powers?)

    A small vocal minority are easily ignored, tarred, and thrown out. I mean the governments opinion of the sort of people that post on the register is "lol what?"

    Also most of that small very anti group wont stick their heads up becouse we know the kind of shit that'll happen.

  102. J-Wick

    re: Knit-your-own-yoghurt types sign up here

    "There are a few other organisations where your £20 might be better spent if you want to fight mass surveillance."

    Such as? (serious question, not sarcasm)

  103. Michael

    Therein lies the rub...

    "In defence of its right to poke into individual private lives, it asks its readers whether they would not wish to know what their children’s teachers get up to at the weekend."

    The crucial flaw: The Desire to know does not imply the Right to know.

    I desire coitus with any number of supermodels. I am not, however, entitled to such delights (sadly). Likewise, wanting something is not a sufficient condition for establishing that one has a right to it.

    I predict a rash of sexual misconduct allegations, aimed mainly at teachers who are more difficult (honest, realistic) scorers. Perhaps the gov will realize their error when there are no teachers left in the classrooms...

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @John Savard

    We, John.. We're sorry we can't keep you employed any more as we heard that there may have been talk about a rumor that involved you in some unsubstantiated activity that we're not free to give details on....

    Too bad you're lost your home, your job, your family, your livlihood, your reputation, your savings. You just can't be too careful, you know!

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    How to "fight against deeply emotional arguments".

    Whenever someone tries to pull the "If it stops just one X, isn't it worth it?", my counter-argument is to raise my fists and advance menacingly toward them, demanding that they hand over their wallet.

    When they ask me what the hell I think I'm doing, I explain that it's to fight terrorism, and if it saves even one life isn't it worth it, and what's the matter, do they support terrorists or what?

    Most people can understand the analogy at that point, but for the particularly hard-of-thinking I explain that, no, "it", whatever they may have been talking about, is not worth it, because "it" isn't actually aimed at "stopping just one X", "it" is an ineffective measure toward X-prevention, and "it" is solely aimed at gaining more arbitrary executive power for the people who are proposing whatever the repression-du-jour may be.

  106. yeah, right.

    similar

    Actually, the western press has been doing this type of uncontrolled "conviction by unsubstantiated allegations" for decades. Given this large amount of precedent, it's not surprising that the police are now getting involved with it in a more organized way. After all, if it's good enough for the press, surely it's good enough for the state? This is not a new thing at all. It's just the next step in a logical sequence towards the destruction of the rule of law.

  107. Bob. Hitchen

    Scumbag MPs

    "I vote we the people employ someone called Guy Fawkes, he was a man with the best idea to deal with politicians"

    He wasn't much use he failed! Somebody who can really do the job is needed. I didn't think teachers knew about weekends they are always on holiday.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    @Mark

    Most of the stats I have seen seem to indicate that pedos have the worst recidivist rate of any criminal type or class. no thanks to hoping they can magically make themselves better.

  109. Kevin Baxtor
    Black Helicopters

    Exterminate all kids........

    then problem solved, shurley!

  110. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    It's hard to fight against deeply emotional arguments.

    "If it stops another 7/7 isn't it worth the loss?"

    "If it stops one Sohem isn't it worth the loss?"

    "Well democracy is better, I mean people have a choice right?"

    Actually, these are VERY easy to argue against.

    No. Because it could cause another one.

    No. Ditto.

    No. But you don't want them to choose unless they choose like you.

    (these ones are appropriate to this page).

    Problem is that this won't change a frigging thing. As an AC said, you can understand these arguments if you turn of the thinking part of your brain. The problem they had is they didn't realise this is exactly how they do it.

    Really.

    They turn off their reasoning faculties.

  111. David

    Lots of smoke and no fire

    This is despicable. I drive for a living and I have to have an "enhanced" CRB check to get a taxi licence from the local council every few years AND have to pay £40.00 for the privilege on top of the exorbitant fee for the licence. I never knew that unsubstantiated allegations could be on there. I drive all sorts of folk around from the very young to the "wrinklies" and not every last soul is congenial. I know of one case where a colleague was accused of lude comments towards a group of school children and there appeared to have been some collusion and fabrication from their teacher, who should have known better. The poor guy (who I knew personally to be one of the most inoffensive people you could meet) had his licence revoked, just on the say-so of these malicious people. I now presume it would only take one bad word from one of the less solubrious passengers in the "right" quarter for MY licence to be revoked or refused, despite having a totally clean criminal record. Innocent until proven guilty? Humbug! Disgusting.

  112. Keith T

    A taste of their own medicine?

    Maybe judges and police need a taste of their own medicine?

  113. Keith T
    Paris Hilton

    Tell me again ...

    Why did you re-elect Tony Blair so many times?

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wounders

    What would happen if there was a mass exodus from the UK. With no poor, or working class what would the rich ruling class do ?? Just thought. I mean would they actually look at changing these stupid laws if the only people left to arrest are the rich and ruling class ?

  115. CTG
    Flame

    @John Savard

    No.

    Being falsely accused can ruin a person's whole life as well - or even end it. One of the best teachers I ever had killed himself after he was accused of assaulting one of his pupils. The thing is, the pupil in question was a 16-year-old scrote who had been making his life a misery for ages, and had finally managed to goad him into reacting.

    How can that be right or fair? How can the system justify driving someone to suicide in order to "protect" some little scumbag just because he is under 18? Are we really saying that children are somehow more valuable than adults just because they are children? If so, how many adults lives are equal to one child's life - 10? 100? 1000?

  116. A J Stiles
    Flame

    Re: Another Side to the Question

    "Since being a victim of child sexual abuse can destroy a person's whole life, isn't it more important to do everything we possibly can to minimize the risk of this than to be scrupulously fair to every job applicant?"

    I put it to you, John Savard, that being falsely accused of a sexual offence does not do a person one iota less harm than being a victim of an actual sexual offence. The law needs to be changed to reflect this.

  117. EvilGav

    Soham

    It should always be remembered that if the eCRB check had existed before Soham - nothing would have changed.

    The children weren't killed by someone who worked at their school, they were killed by the boyfriend of someone who worked at their school and that person would have passed an eCRB without problem.

    <sarcasm>So, obviously the partners/friends/family/significant others/casual aquaintances of anyone who "wants" to work in some way with children should have to under-go an eCRB, just to be on the safe side.</sarcasm>

  118. Graham Marsden

    @AC 18th August 2008 18:22 GMT

    > Most of the stats I have seen seem to indicate that pedos have the worst recidivist rate of any criminal type or class. no thanks to hoping they can magically make themselves better.

    Then I suggest you look at a better class of stats (rather than ones which have, presumably, come from such august publications like the Daily Wail or the News of the Screws) because properly funded therapy and support group programmes have shown demonstrable effects in reducing recidivism in many (though, admittedly, not all) cases.

    Of course any time someone tries to set something like this up, you get people screaming "not in my back yard" or demanding that they be established fifty miles from any schools or simply saying that these people should be locked up for good and that money shouldn't be wasted on treating them or other similarly rational arguments.

    PS @Keith T

    > Why did you re-elect Tony Blair so many times?

    Personally I didn't, but people voted for New Labour because they believed the spin and the hype and, frankly, because they weren't the Tories who'd made such a mess during and after the Thatcher regime.

    Of course it wasn't until towards the end of the Blair regime's second term that the wheels really started to come off, but the Tories were still unelectable then, so we just had an election where 40% of the people didn't bother to vote at all...

  119. Mark

    Re:How to "fight against deeply emotional arguments".

    Nah, respond "well not giving me your wallet will make you lose your life. so if it saves one life (yours), surely it's worth it to give me your wallet".

  120. Mark

    @Anonymous Coward

    Your figures are incorrect. Recidivism for other crimes are much higher.

    Of course, this is because someone who is in for petty theft then goes for burgulary, but this isn't the same crime.

  121. Mark

    Maybe some advice for the accused

    "Find my DNA on them".

    There aren't many ways of sexually assaulting someone without leaving a LOT of DNA on them (unless you're wearing an all-body condom/diaphragm).

    If the response "it's too late" then say "so no proof: you'd best catch me by getting my DNA from the accuser next time. All they have to do is *first thing* after accusing me get a search for my DNA off them. If that means I'm too scared of being caught and never assault them again, then their sanctity is safe".

  122. Trevor

    @mark

    You sir, are a fool.

    It would be far too late then, as the accusation has already been made, and that is the point of the article.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    never work with children...

    ... now true in every walk of life, not just acting. And they wonder why there's a shortage of teachers, especially male ones and especially in primary schools.

    hmmm... actually, let's see how this works.

    Gordon Brown is a paedophile - because I say so.

    Unfortunately, I actually like this country... it's just a lot of the people in it that I have a problem with, that and the fact that we're, in all but name, a one party state.

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Missing the point

    The idea is to completely wreck the education system as it has been shown there's a strong correlation between lack of education and voting Labour.

    AC because I've not met a Labour voter with a proper education who can't be argued into conceding they made a mistake.

  125. ridley

    The State

    "The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people.

    As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."

    Adolf Hitler, Nuf said

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