I'm kinda getting used to seeing new stupid age restrictions (see my previous article on age restrictions), so the ban on under-18's being implemented by some model flying clubs (as detailed in this Spiked! article) should not really surprise me anymore.
Yet what is surprising, appalling but surprising, about this age restriction is that it is not a direct result of the government (or even the establishment) having deemed model plane flying to be unsuitable for kids. Rather it is an indirect result of over zealous legislation drafted with the alleged aim of protecting children from paedophiles - for more info, see the Manifesto Club website.
In my view, by far the most pernicious aspect of the need for "enhanced" Criminal Records Bureau disclosures is that these disclosures are not confined to criminal (or even civil) court convictions. According to The Case Against Vetting report:
"CRB checks reveal offences of which people were accused but not convicted, encouraging discrimination against people on the basis of unproven accusations. Indeed, the climate of fear and precaution means that employers would feel remiss if they did not take such information into account. The ‘better safe than sorry’ approach means undermining natural justice at the expense both of law-abiding adults and the children who might have benefited from their work."
Don't get me wrong, I understand that kids do need to be protected from being harmed by paedophiles - and would have more time for vetting if the CRB checks were restricted to proved criminal convictions.
At the same time, it must be borne in mind that countless times more kids are killed each year in road accidents than by paedophiles (or even by child abusers in general). Since a disproportionate number of road accidents are caused by unlicenced or banned drivers, surely it is time to force people selling cars to do CRB checks on prospective car buyers, to make sure they're safe to drive a car.
To this end, I have set up a petition to Tony Blair, urging him to make car sales subject to CRB checks. If you agree, as I do, that kids need to be protected from maniac drivers, please sign the following petition:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Make buying a car involve Criminal Record Bureau checks