..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.