Wow, it looks like satire news websites like The Onion or The Daily Mash might have to shut themselves down. It seems that real life news is now beyond parody, with stories such as this gem from the Daily Telegraph, about schools scrapping home visits to pensioners, because both the kids and the pensioners might need to be vetted.
You couldn't make it up.
And although a DCSF spokesman (yeah, thanks for explaining what the DCSF is Telegraph, you really cleared that one up) apparently said that unless the elderly person is particularly vulnerable, or there is some form of caring arrangement, these informal arrangements won't be covered by the vetting and barring scheme, the schools have stopped these visits anyway, which is a sad, but ultimately accurate portrayal of today's society, where we won't do things, "just in case". Yes, I think this is a bad thing. Even though it adds yet another item to the list of "things that show Mat up for the hypocrite that he is".
And it does. Ignoring the fact that I would be really, really, REALLY bad at it, I would not consider for a second becoming a teacher these days. I wouldn't consider any voluntary work which involved working with children (for example being a scout leader, or conductor of a youth band). The potential hassle, and any potential charges have convinced me that it isn't worth it. And yes, despite my mouthing off about taking photographs wherever it is legal, I have avoided taking shots, to save myself any arguments. One such occasion which I though would have made a good shot was outside the O2, on a very hot summer day. A young girl in a swimming costume was splashing around in the fountains that are built into the pedestrian plaza type area in front of the entrance, and would have made a great shot, in my opinion. Even just typing up that description, there's some little self-censoring alarm going off in my head, making me think twice about even saying that, lest some self-righteous jobsworth muppet reads this and decides that I should be placed on the register, for even looking at a young girl in a swimming costume and thinking that it would make a good photo.
Actually, having read back the last nineteen words in the last sentence, it does look pretty dodgy. I had better get my coat and shoes on, and head to the nearest police station to hand myself in.