Our government is entirely without principles or backbone. The witch hunt over paedophiles has uncovered what, exactly? One middle-aged man who fell in love a with a 15 year 25 years ago, married her when she was of age and stayed with her for 19 years, raising three children. This hapless, perhaps misguided, soul was the origin of the foul tabloid hue and cry.
Now the Minister announced that there are precisely 10 further people on the sex offenders register cleared to teach. None of them are currently working in schools. So no story then. Just emotional claptrap. Yet did the Minister stand by what seemed to be perfectly rational procedures? No, she caved in to tabloid pressure.
Meanwhile, having had their pictures and names published, some sad specimens of humanity who constitute precisely no threat to anyone are in need of police protection from a baying mob of ignorant and emotional chavs.
One of the names published was that of a former colleague of my wife. We know his sad story. He is no threat to children and was an excellent teacher. Falsely accused, he had no backing from an employer and a trade union anxious not to be thought to defend a supposed pervert. He accepted a caution, rather than be dragged through the courts to the distress of his family. That was supposed to be the end of it. Not now. His life may be in danger. Where is the justice in that?
Last June the papers carried the story of an exuberant and perhaps drunken young man accused of patting a girl's behind in a nightclub. She objected and the police were called. Anxious to bring an embarrassing (and frankly entirely unnecessary) incident to an end, he accepted a caution - only to find that meant being placed on the sex offenders' register.
One thing is clear. No innocent person should ever submit to a caution for anything. Faced with a police officer who tells you that will be the end of it, tell him to "prosecute and be damned."
Telegraph | News | Kelly announces tighter controls on sex offenders