The Friday Thing – Paedomania, And Other Distractions: On the steps of the court, megaphone in hand stands John Reid. ‘What do we want?’ he shouts. ‘Longer sentences to placate over-inflated public fears!’ roars the crowd. ‘When do we want them?’ ‘Before the Tories get any further ahead in the opinion polls!’ A group of bereaved parents are then ushered in to have their unbearable grief mawkishly exploited before being despatched back to their obscurity.
NOTW – Sarah’s Law victory: The News of the World has scored a massive victory in its historic crusade to protect Britain’s children from paedophile monsters. Sarah’s Law – which would give parents the right to information about dangerous paedophiles – is on the brink of being introduced in Britain. After a six year battle by the News of the World Home Secretary John Reid ORDERED a review of our campaign and CLOSED 11 bail hostels to child sex offenders. The U-turn follows our relentless campaign to expose the dangers of child sex fiends secretly housed in bail hostels close to schools… In a huge sea change of government attitude, Dr Reid sent shock waves through the police, probation and prison system by declaring bluntly: “I start from the position that information should no longer remain the exclusive preserve of officialdom. I have also asked the minister to study specifically the News of the World’s Sarah’s Law proposals on controlled access to information. I believe the public have the right to protection and they have the right to information.”
Chicken Yoghurt – Did things just get better or worse?: As there’s no details given, no street name or rough location, I don’t even know where to take my petrol bombs and poorly spelt placard.
The Herald – Naming paedophiles: Dr Reid is right to order the closure of hostels near schools (though this creates a new problem of finding suitable accommodation). But he is taking a gamble flagging up disclosure as a possible panacea. As Ms Jamieson’s correspondence makes clear, it is itself fraught with risk. Disclosure could drive sex offenders into hiding. The police and child protection agencies would lose contact, and supervision would cease. As is known, naming names leads to witch-hunts, causes public disorder and hounds people from their homes. Most child abuse occurs within the family, and victims might be discouraged from coming forward (or encouraged to withdraw allegations) because of the potential repercussions from disclosure for the wellbeing of the closely related offender. It is surely no coincidence that 80% of paedophiles comply with registration requirements in the US, compared with 97% in Britain.
The Scum – Reid is right: John Reid is to be congratulated on a bold move which looks certain to give Britain a Sarah’s Law. The Home Secretary has conceded that parents have a right to know the whereabouts of convicted paedophiles. And he has ordered a study of how the law works in the USA. It is six years since demands for the new law began – prompted by the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne by convicted child snatcher Roy Whiting. A campaign was launched by the News of the World – vigorously supported by The Sun and its readers. Sarah’s mother Sara bravely set aside her grief to lead the battle. Mr Reid’s moves are a just reward for Sara’s untiring efforts. The Home Secretary has also ordered 60 perverts to be moved from 11 bail hostels near schools and nurseries. These are commonsense measures, but they represent a huge change in attitude at the Home Office. In the past Mr Reid’s department has failed the country on many fronts, and he has a formidable task to put things right. But the step toward a Sarah’s Law is a brilliant start.
Meanwhile… PA – Schools ignore child abusers scheme
1. Haven’t we been here before? Haven’t we learned anything?
2. This is the same government that will dismiss a pressing issue with substance as a media invention at the drop of a hat. But the “We refuse to be dictated to by the newspapers!” get-out is more than a little undermined when they allow a tabloid newspaper to take the lead on the next round of knee-jerk legislation… and actually accept their draft as a starting point!
3. Monsters! Fiends! Think of the children! Support the troops! (Sorry. Got a bit mixed up there. Can’t imagine why.)
4. Remember: If you voice any objections to these very sensible proposals, it is a clear sign that you support paedophiles and/or that you are a paedophile yourself. (See #3)
A slow hand clap to John ‘Ride-Along‘ Reid for boldly tackling perception ahead of problems, and creating new problems in the process…. one of which is letting these tabloid bastards take the initiative that he rather hopefully claims as his own.
Reid may as well hand Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Wade the keys to his office and be done with it. FFS, just take a look at how much space The Sun and the News Of The World reserve for self-aggrandisement when they have the perfect opportunity to instead rant further about one of their favourite targets. This speaks volumes about their true priorities.
Guardian – Reid warned of ‘lynch mob law’ over parental access to paedophile details: Mr Reid’s promise to consider a British-version of the controversial American Megan’s law, under which local parents are given full details of child sex offenders released into their neighbourhood, follows a six-year News of the World campaign to name and shame paedophiles and publish the addresses of all 101 probation hostels that house offenders. The campaign raised fears of vigilante attacks and warnings that paedophiles were going underground.
Sunday Herald – Home Secretary focuses on headlines and loses sight of justice and decency: When a government resorts to populism you can be sure it’s getting desperate. As if things were not bad enough in Blair World, the Home Secretary has revealed how morally bankrupt his government is becoming with his naked perusal of tabloid values… Reid’s behaviour is sickening. What next for the man in this position of power, who when Murdoch says “jump” he replies: “How high?”
UPDATE (19 June) – Yet another must-read from Justin… Chicken Yoghurt – Paedogeddon Redux
UPDATE (20 June) – BBC – Paedophile policy ‘not media-led’: Education Secretary Alan Johnson has rejected claims by a top police officer that policy on paedophiles is being driven by a tabloid newspaper campaign. Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Terry Grange said he was extremely concerned the Home Office had “surrendered” power over policy to the News of the World.
Well, I’m sure we can all trust that nice Mr Johnson…
UPDATE (21 June) – Guardian – Murdoch, ministers, and the red-top agenda
It’s hard to tell what’s going on at the moment; either the tabloids are lying, the government has performed an almighty flip-flop, or John Reid has been cut off at the legs by Downing St. No matter. At the very least, this whole sorry episode has led to the following delicious editorial from Rebekah Wade, and for that alone we should be thankful…
The Scum – Cop’s mistake: Loudmouth police chief Terry Grange blames newspapers for dictating government policy on crime and punishment. Would that it were true! There would certainly be fewer violent thugs and perverts on the loose. But it is not true. The News of the World, supported by The Sun, has campaigned for six years for Sarah’s Law, so parents can keep track of paedophiles. It is only now – after the hideous deaths and living nightmares of too many kiddies – that Home Secretary John Reid is considering action. We will believe it when we see it. But he is responding to public outrage over barmy sentences dished out by dozy judges to criminals who threaten our safety. We didn’t invent these revolting crimes. Nobody could. It is the travesty of justice which lets the guilty off so lightly that has galvanised public fury. In a country where property crime is rated above sex attacks on children, there is a powerful case for Sarah’s Law. Newspapers are entitled to reflect and respond to such outrage… since nobody in power seemed to be doing so. It is up to this government – after nine years in power – to respond in a mature and appropriate way. Campaigning newspapers are a vital component of democracy. They are a major force for good. The Sun, for instance, did the nation a service by campaigning against the euro – and for a referendum on the EU Constitution. That’s our job. And it is the job of policemen such as Terry Grange to stop playing politics… and fight crime. If they were doing it better, we would not need Sarah’s Law in the first place.
Woof! What a scorcher!