Saturday, 11 July 2009

"Disparate and misinformed Fear will keep us all in place"

Those musically knowledgeable amongst you will recognise the above lyrics from the song 'Hunting for Witches' by Bloc Party, something of an anthem for liberals everywhere I think. 'Hunting for Witches' is probably an appropriate title for this article that turned up a few days ago. I caught it on the start of 'The Wright Stuff' on Channel 5 on Friday.

Basically a couple of police forces in England released radio adverts encouraging members of the public to check if other people are sex offenders by making use of a scheme in place. Immediately once can imagine the sort of people using this scheme. Gossipy women, twats of neighbours, clingy parents.

As a libertarian I am absolutely outraged by this! The scheme can only do more damage than good. Imagine finding out for example your mother-in-law or even your fiancé had checked you out. This alone would be enough to destroy a relationship.

I'm not advocating an absolute right to privacy for paedophiles but there are already effective systems in place to prevent close contact with children. The system promotes widespread distrust and could result in rehabilitated offenders being victimised.