Browse > Home / freedom / A very unlikely heroine

| Subcribe via RSS

A very unlikely heroine

November 27th, 2010 Posted in freedom by

st-annabel..from an equally unlikely place.

Whilst masked  students bunk off  lectures and lessons, smash windows, lawlessly invade private property, hurl fire extinguishers from roof tops, vandalise,steal, and scrawl graffiti over buildings ….. a rather marvelous middle class flower arranger from Gloucester has been waging her own middle class revolt with infinitely more elegance. 

Annabel Hayter, chairwoman of Gloucester Cathedral Flower Guild, received an email last January stating that she and her 60 fellow flower arrangers would have to undergo a CRB check. Why ? Because they shared a toilet with the choirboys. If paedophiles had infiltrated the flower guild who knew what risks the young innocents might face!

Well this fine upstanding woman said “no” to the checks. Many of her fine ladies said no. And so the church in true bureaucratic style undertook a “risk assessment”. Of course she was not allowed to actually see the conclusions of the risk assessment and she and many others repsonded with another big fat “no” to CRB checks.

To this day they still refuse to undergo CRB checks – Your move church. (My money is on the flower arrangers – you never want to cross a group of women with secateurs in their aprons).

And this quiet rather dignified revolt is taking root, picking up national media coverage and inspiring others to do likewise. Annabel Hayter is becoming – indeed has become – the mostly unlikely figurehead of the growing resistance to the insanity of CRB check mania. I heard her interviewd on radio five live today. This did not start out as a national campaign – but she has picked up the challenge like a duck to water. She can quote the insanity, the dangers, the costs, and the sheer stupidity of this epidmeic with grace and ease.

It’s about time. It’s a rather English revolt. And it’s spreading. All hail Annabel.

6 Responses to “A very unlikely heroine”

  1. Andy Mayer Says:

    There has been something of a similar approach amongst school governing bodies asked to submit to CRB checks. The risks to children from a group of adults meeting eight times a year after school hours being somewhat limited.

  2. Ed Joyce Says:

    I write as a libertarian and am against the proliferation of CRB checks but please do not pick the Anglican Church, an organisation with a known problem with paedophiles to be the focus of a campaign. We could look very foolish if another paedophile vicar appears in Gloucestershire in the middle of a campaign that we are advocating

    As a former choirboy of Gloucester Cathedral choirboy for seven years I can assure Angela that there were many paedophiles around Gloucester Cathedral when I was there and I can’t believe that it has changed. Fortunately the CofE is a bit paranoid as is shown by this article so they did not commit any crimes. I would not be at all surprised if paedophiles did infiltrate the ‘flower guild’. There is a genuine problem with religious groups, which is that they are ‘forgiving’ and this creates fertile ground for such activity. The Christian Church is the main agent of paedophila globally and we should not align ourselves with it or we could damaging our case for liberalism. I would be very surprised if there are not paedophiles working in the diocese of Gloucester today, and astonished if the authorities of the Cathedral had not seen active paedophiles in the Cathedral in the last five years, although I would stand to be corrected. Below are a few cases which show what the problem is

    These are just the vicars. There are other people in the church with similar aims.

    If we are to succeed in our goal of reducing the state we should choose our ground carefully. We should not under any circumstances tie ourselves to religious groups where there is a known history of paedophila

    Ed Joyce

  3. JJ Says:

    I wish these feisty ladies every success!

  4. Angela Harbutt Says:

    Ed – I can’t agree with you. Flower arrangers in a cathedral being forced to undertake CRB checks …. really? I will stand behind these ladies all day long.

  5. Liberal Neil Says:

    Ed – the question isn’t whether there are any paedophiles around Gloucester Cathedral, but whether CRB checks have any likelihood of stopping them.

    The evidence so far, after years of time and money being spent, is that they make no difference in preventing paedophilia but do put off and cause expense to many innocent people who want to work with, or in this case near, children.

  6. Ed Joyce Says:

    Liberal Neil – the issue is not whether paedophiles have been active in the diocese of Gloucester (they have been) nor whether CRB checks have any likelihood of stopping them (I don’t think any of us are convinced that they will). The issue is whether it is a good idea for libertarians to lend support to people associated with the Anglican Church. You seem to acknowledge that there are paedophiles in the church. I put it stronger ‘The Christian Church is the main agent of paedophilia globally’ If this is the case libertarians should choose different ground.