Thursday, August 03, 2006

Column, July 25, 2006

WHAT I want to know is where they get their placards from?
Does B&Q have a special aisle, between plasterboard and coving, labelled ‘Paedo Protest Materials’, where you’ll find a ready supply of cheap 2by4 timber and plywood sheeting and marker pens, slogans for the daubing of?
The paedo protesters were out in force at the weekend. Well, what would you do on one of the hottest days of the year, lie in a darkened room with the fan blowing full pelt, or take to the streets to make your feelings known about the paedos? (You’re against them, just in case you’re wondering, no-one is in favour of paedos except judges, social workers, probation officers and wet liberals)
There they were in Plas Madoc, Wrexham, outside the Plas y Wern bail hostel, 50 protesters with their placards out.
One of them even read ‘No More Paedos’, as if someone was actually suggesting it as a policy – ‘You know Plas Madoc. It’s lacking that certain je ne sais quoi, I’ve got it, more paedos, that’s what it needs.’
Apparently the protesters were concerned about the bail hostel’s proximity to primary and secondary schools in the area.
Well, yes, if you place any building, in any reasonably urban area in the UK there are going to be primary and secondary schools nearby, because, you know what, a lot of people who live in towns have got kids and they need educating somewhere.
So, why not put the bail hostels up on the moors somewhere, where the only thing to excite the perverts is the occasional red-socked rambler?
I’m no expert in penal policy, but, I’m guessing that it’s because the assorted ne’er-do-wells, rogues and, never forgetting, peedyphiles, would up sticks and do a runner in an effort to get back to civilisation.
Some of them might get caught, some of them wouldn’t, and some of them might end up living in Plas Madoc, where no-one would know they were a paedophile and so they would be more able to offend again than if they are under the supervision of the probation service.
I appreciate that the residents of that area are not going to be happy that sex offenders are in their midst, and I write this as a father of two children. If someone wanted to open such a facility in my village I’d hardly be thrilled.
However, I’m capable of appreciating the logic that if they are going to be anywhere, it’s best that they are under some sort of supervision then not.
Unless of course you hold the view that all paedophiles should be locked up for the rest of their lives. Some, the most serious, are, but others aren’t. No-one with a reasonable knowledge of penal policy would suggest that we should do that and to do so would entail a prison-building programme on a scale last seen in Stalinist Russia.
And you know what happens then don’t you – protesters, placards, ‘No to the Prison in our back yard’.
So, we could just hang them all I suppose, and the, regrettably, Welsh mob who daubed paint on a paediatrician’s house, paediatrician, paedo, all the same aren’t they? – would no doubt approve of such a plan.
But if you hang paedophiles, then what do you do to murderers? Hang them as well…twice?
No, the last time I checked we did have ambitions of being a civilised society and while paedophiles commit utterly disgusting crimes, the law takes the view that there are more and less serious offences.
For example, those placed on the sex offenders register include predatory paedophiles who sexually abuse and kill a child, as well as a 16-year-old who has sex with a 15-year-old child. Both are offenders, but I’m sure most of us are capable of distinguishing between the two and seeing who poses the most risk to our children.
Those who are a serious danger to the community should remain incarcerated until they are no longer a danger. Those who pose less risk should be allowed out once they have done their time, but under strict supervision.
And this is where the Plas y Wern hostel comes in. The local MP, Martyn Jones, a man who has been in the job long enough not to be fobbed off by any civil servant, has received assurances that serious sex offenders are not being kept at the hostel.
I think it’s time the residents of Plas Madoc binned the placards and cooled down.

AS I sat down to write this my attention was momentarily diverted by two low-flying jets that passed so close over my house I could count the fillings in the pilots’ teeth.
I am working on convincing Banks junior that the RAF are nothing to fear, as their daily approach is usually greeted by his flying into my arms in alarm.
“The RAF are there to protect us,” I tell him, “So we should just wave to them.”
He’s slowly coming round to the idea. I’ve skated over the fact that the occasional F-15 is an American plane. He’s a bit young for “Well son, we’ve allowed ourselves to be a runway for a global superpower and it’s the price you pay for the Prime Minister being Bush’s poodle.”
Anyhow, I’m sure many of you have experienced a few flights out of RAF Valley, seemingly skimming the trees.
The MoD website makes it ridiculously easy to complain about such things, but before you reach for your keyboard, consider the example of Wing Commander ‘Grumpy’ Unwin, who departed of this world last month.
A hero of the Battle of Britain, whose courage earnt him the Distinguished Flying Medal…twice, and he was confirmed as shooting down 14 enemy aircraft, although he probably accounted for more.
Here was truly one of Winston Churchill’s few. In his later years he became the Permanent President of the Courts Martial and he said: “I presided over 300 courts martial, and not one chap was found guilty of low flying.” So, before you put pen to paper, or log on, to complain about the jet that has just momentarily disturbed your peace, remember Grumpy Unwin, and the men and women in our skies doing the same duty he performed so well.

1 comment:

Mei said...

"No more Paedos"

Perhaps the socially accepted quota had been reached, and they simply didn't want "more"?