[LINK] Britain vetting visiting authors

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Thu Jul 16 13:37:42 AEST 2009

[add to the list of unintended consequences --- or throwing out babies]


Authors boycott schools over sex-offence register

By Chris Green

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Respected British children's authors Anthony 
Horowitz, Philip Pullman and Michael Morpurgo 
object to a new government scheme that requires 
them to register their names on a database in 
case they pose a danger to children

A group of respected British children's authors 
and illustrators will stop visiting schools from 
the start of the next academic year, in protest 
at a new government scheme that requires them to 
register on a database in case they pose a danger to children.

Philip Pullman, Anne Fine, Anthony Horowitz, 
Michael Morpurgo and Quentin Blake all told The 
Independent that they object to having their 
names on the database – which is intended to 
protect children from paedophiles – and would not 
be visiting any schools as a consequence.

Pullman, author of the fantasy trilogy His Dark 
Materials, described the Home Office policy as 
"corrosive and poisonous to every kind of healthy 
social interaction". He said: "I've been going 
into schools as an author for 20 years, and on no 
occasion have I ever been alone with a child. The 
idea that I have become more of a threat and I 
need to be vetted is both ludicrous and 
insulting. Children have never been in any danger 
from visiting authors or illustrators, and the 
idea that they should be is preposterous.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the 
world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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