Friday, 11 September 2009

Let's have a bit more Commonsense in the world!

When I was on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square reading out the 94 words people had sent to me, one of the words which cropped up quite frequently ( sent by different people) was


This quality is something we could do with a whole lot more of. When political correctness is taken too far, when the government decides, as they have, to make children's authors such as Philip Pullman (author of "His Dark Materials") be vetted and put on a register before they can go into schools to read and discuss ideas with children, then commonsense has been abandoned. Visiting authors never spend time alone with children as the class teacher is always present. Philip Pullman has refused to register - it's not the £64 registration fee that he's angry about, but the principle of the thing. And if volunteers working with children are obliged to do the same, there will be a lack of volunteers just as there will be a lack of authors and other interesting speakers and helpers.

Who loses out? The children. The ratio of paedophiles to genuine volunteers who offer to work with children is likely to be minimal, and whilst no-one would want to expose their child to this risk, the use of commonsense by parents, teachers, group leaders and government ministers could be applied.

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