Saturday, September 12, 2009

Grayling: Abolition of the ISA Is An Option

Following on from the last post I have just had a lengthy conversation about the ISA with Chris Grayling. I asked him why he hadn't committed the party to outright abolition of this scheme and I have to say I was reassured by the answer. Apparently James Brokenshire from his Shadow Home Affairs team and Maria Miller, the Shadow Children's Minister have been working on a review of this scheme for some time. They are looking at several options, and outright abolition is indeed one of them. Chris said: "We are considering all options, including abolition." He understandably didn't want to pre-empt their conclusions in his article.

Chris was also at pains to point out that the government has gone totally overboard in 'gold plating' the implementation of the legislation. Wasn't it always thus? The key, if abolition is the way forward, is to then work out a way forward which achieves the aim of protecting children - so far as is possible - but doesn't create an administrative nightmare or an overpowering state.


Old Holborn said...

Oh NO! I've got thousands tucked away in ISA's

Slagella said...

For a while there I thought you meant cash and share ISAs.

Elby the Beserk said...

We need a full repeal of all dodgy NL legislation from 1997 onwards; quite simply, you now have to prove you are not a criminal now, rather than the converse.

Lets see some bravery from the Tories on this. No pussyfooting - make it quite clear that you will strip back ALL such shit. ID cards, databases as well.

Unknown said...

What does ISA stand for in this context?

Will said...

Independent Safeguards Authority, NU

Rob said...

Let's hope so Elby, good to see that Grayling isn't ruling it out. And has his team working on sorting it out.

I'll leave a good example of why this legislation is bad. When I was 19 I was quite the rugby player and played for my local club, one of the oldest clubs in Wales. Not only did we have 2 senior teams, we also had thriving youth, junior and mini rugby sections. Catering from 7 year olds up. At the time, the coach of the under 12's was taken ill and was in hospital for nearly 2 months. Myself and one of the ohter lads who'd come through the ranks of the club with me offered to coach the team until their regular coach was well enough to come back. Under this new legislation, we would have to pay for the privilige of this background check and would have had to have waited weeks before we would be allowed to coach these boys and by then the coach would have been back anyway. I doubt this would be a rare occurence, things like this must happen all the time with scores of coaches in various sports up and down the country. What will happen is that a lot of these clubs and teams will close down and there'll be many more youngsters roaming the streets with nothing to do and we could be hampering our future generations of sportsmen and women. So I too hope this stupid scheme gets abolished.

And someone explain this government's stasi-like obsession with putting us all on a database! Are they getting donations from Bill Gates in exchange for buying a load of copies of SQL Server?

One of the boys I coached went on to play for the Welsh national team. I'm not saying it was all down to my coaching skills, I'm just one person who helped him along the way.

Anonymous said...

I had a panic think you meant ISA's for a moment. Might be worth clarifying!

Unknown said...

why it was that David Cameron supports the U.A.F.?

Anonymous said...

Not only this scheme should be abolished but also ECRB check as well. The ECRB check discloses any allegations made against you and you have to disprove them before you can work with children. This has already led to teachers being made unemployable because a child has made an unsubstantiated allegation that the teacher can not dis-prove. This reversal of the presumption on innoncents is plain wrong.


Roger Thornhill said...

At the heart of this is the mental concept of "protecting". We need to "defend" children, as "protecting" them is (s)mothering, nannying and will stunt them (as is happening now).

Protecting is pro-active, the placement of barriers, the removal of potential (but not always real) harm or their removal from harm however remote, the insulation thereof.

Defending is reactive, creating the means to deal with actual attacks should they occur and exhibiting the will to take action and doing so with extreme prejudice if transgressions occur to give a moment of pause.

You can defend kids by giving life sentences without parole to abusers and making everyone know that this is what will happen to them. You should also offer the escape of self-selected isolation for those who admit to their mental illness/disturbance.

Many have said that molesters are very persistent, play the long game and are cunning in the extreme. Protecting will just make them change tactics. It will be catch-up and so not achieve the goals.

You cannot change tactic from a prison cell.

That leader of Banardos said, basically, that anything including the removal of freedoms, the branding of "guilty until proven innocent" can be justified by "preventing harm coming to just one child". Note the "just one" which is both disingenuous manipulation of the mob and chilling in turn.

I suspect the only reason they do not advocate the logical extension of this - sterilisation of vast numbers of people to "prevent harm coming to one child" - is because it would break their rice-bowl. I do suspect they would prefer raising kids was not left to "amateurs", i.e. natural parents. Seriously, that is what I suspect of them.

Kids need space to grow, to learn by their mistakes and to interact with people. Boys need to interact with men, especially if they have no stable male role model at home. What they do not need is that trust broken. If it happens - and no amount of "protection" will prevent it ever happening (see above) - then those concerned need to be taken out of circulation. Period.

If you get a turd in a swimming pool, take out the turd, clean the pool, lock up the perps. Trying to ensure nobody enters the pool with a full bowel is rather absurd, but that is what the ISA is trying to do.

Anonymous said...

I understand that according to Matthew Parris we have a "RRAC (Risk and Responsibility Advisory Council), the nanny to nanny the nannies that Mr Brown set up a couple of years ago to act (it was fatuously claimed) as a counterweight to the Health and Safety Executive and other horrors of the meddling State. "


Anonymous said...

"is to then work out a way forward which achieves the aim of protecting children"

Consider the case of school governors.

At one stage it was decreed that all school governors had to be CRB checked (following hysteria from politicians and press over things that had nothing to do with school governors). That got forgotten about because the system simply could not cope with so many references.

Local authorities then decided, very sensibly, that school governors needed checking if they had either regular or unsupervised access to children. (Most governors are in school primarily for meetings involving no contact with children. When they do meet children they are almost always accompanied by staff.)

Now the ISA has decreed that all school governors must be CRB checked. The only real purpose of this is to entend the State and provide 'employment' for the parasites on the ISA. Every CRB check then has to be paid for out of the taxpayer funded school budget.

How about just having a way backwards to a sensible system?

Anonymous said...

i believe it's just another stealth tax, in the same vein as passports and any other form if id has become disgracefully expensive. £60 per check is going to add up, just another revenue raiser.

Bird said...

Forget parents giving lifts to other parent's children to football practice, because they are obviously taking their own children at the same time.
Abuse is most often a family affair, sometimes invoving a friend of the family.
During my years as a primary school head, the two worst cases I remember involved a grandfather and a father (who was estranged and looked after his son on occasional weekends).
Should we cover our responsibilities by doing an ISA check on every male adult in a family that has vulnerable children and pensioners?
The question is, of course, rhetorical.

Real World said...

Iain, Off topic,sorry, but as per the comment by Stuart.

Would you be able to ask David Cameron why he supports the UAF.

It would appear that they are organised state thugs, furthering NU LIEBOURs' corrupt agenda.

He is pushing moderate Conservative voters into the arms of the BNP.

Roger Thornhill said...

Note that if you fail to subordinate, er, I mean comply, the result is a fine. I wonder if this is just issued or does it mean the highest penalty that a Magistrate can dish out? I bet the former. Any M worth thier salt would not mistake legislation for law.

Forge Lindin said...

Iain you should really clarify what you mean by ISA!!! For some of us the acronym has a totally different meaning, and we wouldn't want it to be abolished at all! I definitely didn't think you meant the register on the first read through.

nick said...

If it's still Conservative policy to get rid of the tax on savings interest, the other type of ISA (at least the cash portion) would be unnecessary.

Twig said...

If the Tories want to encourage more self reliance they should increase the limit and remove the compulsion to invest in shares, which can be a risky move and therefore should be an option rather than an obligation, especially since Mr.Goldfinger removed the dividend tax credits.

It might also be worthwhile allowing the granting of call options within the ISA against shares held, with the premiums earned being rolled up tax free just like interest.

Mrs Rigby said...

It looks, from some of the responses, that the ISA acronym hasn't been properly thought through - or has it been designed to confuse?

I'm not sure the next government will be able to abolish this new quango, but let's hope they find a way of reducing the sting and also find a way to make it accountable instead of being allowed to make even more rules in order to justify its existence.

It would be nice to be able to get on with being "ordinary" again, instead of having to look over our shoulders all the time just in case we've broken some new law designed to criminalise the normally law-abiding.

Twig said...

If you're aged over 50 - see this link:

Rob said...

Do you want to know what this madness will lead to, well here you are.

dechildrenedFather said...

"bird" said:
"Forget parents giving lifts to other parent's children to football practice, because they are obviously taking their own children at the same time."

Assuming this means "you don't need to get an ISA vetting if you are taking your own children as well", this is incorrect, at least according to the jobsworth (but well-briefed) at ISA I was on the phone to last week. Apparently the important thing in the proposals is that if the lift is arranged by an organisation then the organisation is obliged to get you vetted, but if it is arranged privately then no vetting will be needed. Having your own children in the car at the same time is probably irrelevant, though I didn't think to ask Mr J'sW. One does not need to think deeply into the problems this wooliness will cause: what about a list on the noticeboard matching lift-givers with lift-needers? A Facebook website set up by a parent for matching lifts? Ditto, but by the club? Phone-calls, texts, word of mouth, car-park? The jobsworth basically admitted meekly (after I had waterboarded him with awkward cases about "organisation" and many deeper matters) to the point that he thought he was drowning in a sea of paperwork that ISA is doomed and just needs to be shot. I think the final straw for him was finding that under the primary legislation, it is lawful for his boss to make up and broadcast the rules on the fly during a radio interview.

More serious is the ECHR6 violation which is built into ISA proposals and probably ECRB. In effect, the jobsworth boss can simply ignore acquittals in a court of law on the same evidence on the same charge by "deeming" that, under the lesser evidential criteria (viz "on the face of it"), you would have been found guilty. Similarly "convictions" in a disciplinary hearing (which normally do not allow legal representation) might be deemed to be "findings of fact by a competent body", if Mr Jobsworth's boss deems the body to be competent.

No, I am afraid even if ISA is not dead yet, it is going to be submerged in a mass of appeals and ECHR cases. Far better to abolish it now before it causes any more casualties.