Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Nativity Hoodoo

The above is a photograph of a nativity play taken in 1956. My mate, who played Joseph, died in the summer of this year and we still await the coroner’s verdict. [That is not a joke]. Whether or not the taking of his photograph in a nativity play had anything to do with him dying 53 years later is not something that the authorities can take any chances about. Accordingly schools up and down the country are banning photographers, parents, grandparents and relatives from taking photos and videos of their children in nativity plays. It’s a precaution – we must never let this happen again.

Meanwhile the Gestapo anti-terrorist Police are rounding up any stray photographers who dare to flash their telescopic lenses in public. That they know these people are out there and where to find them is because, wait for it…., they were spotted on police CCTV cameras, the sort that are now installed in most schools. So, you parents, just ask for the CCTV footage under the Freedom of Information Act.

R.I.P. Anthony William Hughes, 1949 – 2009


  1. Sorry about your friend, did he live within the Harlow Coroner's jurisdiction? If so, there is a tremendous backlog re inquests in that department.

  2. First of all sorry to hear of your friend's death.
    But, have you seen the frenzy of parents/grandparents, etc,... trying to capture images of their little ones. They become demented, a bit like sales time at Harrods (as on telly, you would not find me in any shop any time!).
    I would say any reason to control the parents is a good enough reason.
    However, assuming that somebody is a raving paedophile unless given the all-clear by some checks is completely loopy. Being cautious at all times, yes. Trusting a piece of paper which says you are ok is not very clever. When people work with children there should be constant measures to check anyway, even if they have never been convicted of any offence. There is always a 'first time'. You can never be sure.
    We live in a mad world.

  3. Not sure what areas Harlow covers, Judith but it's not beyond possibility that similar backlogs are occurring elsewhere - as in 1979.

  4. I am referring to extremely recent information from an undertaker, where an inquest is necessary following the tragic death of a young family friend last month:

    "If he had lived in Redbridge, the matter would have been sorted within a few days. Harlow has serious problems."

  5. Condolences on the passing of a friend - and I hope there are no sinister undertones.

    I literally this minute posted something on vetting and barring so am interested in Ann's comments on the subject.

    I think the essential point here is that checking adults has limited use. It's absolutely right to exclude those with convictions for crimes against children - so checks should take place - but all the check does is tell you in this moment whether an applicant has such a conviction.

    It can't tell you if he's abused in the past but got away with it nor can it predict whether he will abuse at some future date. And having been cleared by the checking agencies we can be lulled into a false sense of security believing that all is okay.

    In the meantime you don't know where you stand with regards to children but the 'guilty until proven innocent' paranoia engendered by this government's attempts to micro-manage life itself causes untold damage in our relations with children.

  6. which one are you?

  7. Far left - Third Wise Man. How's that for casting?