Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The UK government's plan to require every adult who has contact with children not their own (such as volunteers at youth clubs etc) to be cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau is yet another step in removing from UK citizens the presumption of innocence. From now on, you have to prove your innocence; you're not a valid person until you been cleared by the authorities.

Craig Murray talks sense on this. As some of the commentators on Murray's blog point out, for those of us who grew up with a certain level of personal freedom it's bad enough, but the generation now growing up under constant supervision and instilled with fear and suspicion, is in danger of buying into the idea that the government needs to control you in order to protect you.

What of the role of poetry in all this? The usual vexed question. Given that we have an education system that seems designed to breed conformity - Peter Philpott has pointed out that it would be impossible to put innovative poetry into the reductive, target-driven curriculum - poetry might provide a way into less constrained mode of thinking. I heard a story about how W.B. Yeats once dismissed a poet's work by saying 'it lacks chaos'. Maybe chaotic thinking is one useful thing poetry might provide us with.


Ed Baker said...

sense flushing

sewer-line is
plugged up

with 10 million insipid
written on a bog roll

what a
load of cack
we've become

John B-R said...

Why is this limited to people who have contact with children not their own (assuming that means members of one's family rather than one's under-18 slaves) when the perponderance of adult-child misconduct is with children who are indeed one's own ...??

Alan Baker said...

I think you've spotted a flaw in the logic John... The next step would be to require clearance from the authorities to have contact with your own children, or even to have children at all.

Aidan Semmens said...

I just posted on the very same subject, Alan - I hadn't seen yours first! :-)