Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Vetting and Barring scheme scaled down - will it be scrapped?

Fair play to Theresa May. I had my doubts when she was initially appointed as Home Secretary but she has wasted little time in starting to address one of the most egregious pieces of legislation brought in by the previous government, that of the Vetting and Barring scheme.

I have blogged at length about the scheme previously (see here, here and here for examples) and I am not going to go over old ground too much. Suffice to say it's horribly authoritarian and in its current form is likely to massively undermine community cohesion and foster suspicion and fear as well as cost a fortune and reduce the number of people willing to help their neighbours' children.

The announcement claims that the government will "fundamentally" change the system and that any checks should be "proportionate and sensible".

Despite my enthusiasm for the fact that there is movement on the scheme, I am dubious that any changes to this scheme will result in "proportionate and sensible" checks. The whole idea is so ill-conceived that I cannot really see it working at all no matter how it is revised.

So I wait with interest to see what the changes will result in and if the government can defy my expectations. However if as I suspect it is not possible to do what May suggests then the entire thing should be scrapped.


Matt Raven said...

I hope I'm wrong but I suspect that it'll end up being a fundamental change in politician speak only. They might well know it's ridiculous but they also know that they'll be hammered in the press as soon as something happens.

Mark Thompson said...

If that's what happens Matt then what Tom Harris predicted last year, that no politician will dare reverse it once it's in will have proven to be correct.

I hope you are wrong too :)

Ed said...

Have you been editing the Wikipedia page Mark?

(Check the 1.23 17 June version if it has been amended ... )