Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bonkers Britain

Bonkers Britain seems to have surpassed itself, or at least that part of Britain known as Telford in Shropshire. According to the Daily Mail this morning, "Park wardens have been ordered to stop and interrogate anyone who is not accompanied by children." Visitors to a 420 acre park who are there without children could be asked to leave. Apparently environmental campaigners dressed as penguins were thrown out of the park last month when caught handing out leaflets on climate change. According to the recreation manager 'Our town park staff approach adults that are not associated with any children in the park and request the reason for them being there.'

When is this madness going to stop? Increasingly there's a presumption of guilt rather than a presumption of innocence in Britain. We're just losing the plot. Cases involving attacks on children are not significantly worse than they were years ago, so what's the deal here? While the PM talks about fairness for all we seem to be going inexorably in the other direction. We have government and councils tying us in knots of red tape that is increasingly making Britain a strange place to live. Of course the media report this stuff with relish, and none more so than the Daily Mail, but they are also the ones that have a lot to answer for in creating a climate of fear for parents. We need to start taking a long hard look at ourselves. But as long as the PC Police are in charge it's not going to get much better.

There's no way we can legislate ourselves to a perfect society.

9 comments:

bigrab said...

I read an article about traffic management in Germany and Holland yesterday. What they have done in several towns is remove kerbs, traffic lights and road signs and have what is called shared space for pedestrians, cyclists and cars/lorries. Guess what? road safety has improved by quite some way. Drivers who previously would ignore speed signs become more courteous and slow down because they simply see the conditions and start respecting other road users.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/feb/29/guardiancolumnists

Could this concept be widened? Can we be trusted?

Richard Havers said...

A far more sensible approach to most everything Rab. We are lurching towards some Orwellian vision of life that will see us all under surveillance 24/7. Next it will be the bloody thought police checking on blogs. Hang on a minute the EU don't like blogs, how long before there's legislation?

Dragonstar said...

Does this mean I'd be harassed if I walked through the park for fresh air and exercise? Don't think I'll bother visiting.

Selena Dreamy said...

Increasingly there's a presumption of guilt rather than a presumption of innocence in Britain.

It’s terrifying!

Like the good people of Salem in the summer of 1692, the world - and Britain leading them all - is re-entering the dark ages... (and I am not being funny).

D.

Ken Dyer said...

We look forward to the warning signs around the park “adults may not enter unless accompanied by a responsible child”. So if an adult can’t venture into a public park place without arousing suspicion one wonders how long it will be before “taking a walk around the block” becomes a criminal offence!

As you say it appears to be another case of guilty until proven innocent…in this case in some misguided attempt to protect children, at the expense of the largely innocent adult population. And yet the majority of such attacks seem to involve adults known to the children …in which case one presumes the adult would be accompanying the child into the park in the first place, hence not attracting any attention!

CherryPie said...

Very bonkers. A Shropshire Star reporter went to see if the threat was true! He sat in the park on a bench for about 30 mins and then was asked what he was doing!!!

Today the council have issued an apology and said they got it wrong... but for me and most other normal people, I think the enjoyment of the park has been spoilt!

Richard Havers said...

Dreamy...you are so right.

Ken, you see our mistake is trying to think about this logically. . . there is no logic.

CP, glad to see they've apologized but how come they got it so wrong in the first place? I wonder how much council time was taken up, dreaming up this policy? Your point about spoiling things is interesting. I get the feeling so much of what was good about Britain has been spoilt by do-gooders.

James Higham said...

When is this madness going to stop?

It can't in the increasingly litigious police state.

Jaggy said...

I used to live in Telford and visited that park many times with my son. It's right next to the large town centre and the business centre. At lunchtimes many people walk through the park in their break.

I'm sure they'll all be delighted at this progressive move to ban them from "their" park. And it is their park, they pay the council tax locally and can expect to make full use of the council facilities without being accused of being a kiddy fiddler.