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This poor guy

What could possibly go wrong?

Businesses such as hotels, licensed premises and taxi companies are being provided with awareness training to help them recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation. They are directed to call 101, quoting ‘Operation Makesafe’, should they suspect suspicious behaviour or activity on their premises or in their vehicles.

What if this sort of thing blows the problem out of proportion and makes people deeply suspicious of each other?

A widower who checked into a Travelodge near Thorpe Park in Chertsey said he was horrified when hotel employees called police over fears he was a paedophile.

Craig Darwell and his 13-year-old daughter, Millie, checked into the hotel near the theme park on Thursday (March 30).

Charming.

However, he said his and Millie’s short break had been “ruined” by the incident

No shit. Not to mention every other interaction with any stranger he has while out with his daughter for the next few years under constant fear of suspicion.

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52 comments to This poor guy

  • Nice to see the Spirit of the Stasi is alive and well and living in the Travelodge in Chertsey.

  • Runcie Balspune

    This guy needs to ignore the Travelodge company, they can hide behind a myriad of excuses, perhaps just sue the guy who made the call directly, then he might be more careful next time.

  • Jim

    I was also wondering what the legal liability is here. Accusing someone of being a paedophile is an extremely damaging accusation – surely the common law of slander and/or defamation would apply?

  • We are undertaking a full investigation into the circumstances and will take careful note of any lessons learned in due course,

    How about learning to mind your own fucking business?

  • Mr Ecks

    Jim–You will never know who did it mostly because it will be via informers hotline. The Travelbodge manager shot his mouth of wanting to be some sort of hero so he may have dropped the company in it. But mostly you will never know what nosy mealy-mouthed interfering SOS has informed against you.

  • Laird

    Jim, I can’t see where the hotel employee (and it wasn’t necessarily the manager; it could have been a maid) accused him of being a paedophile, merely that it was suspicious. I can’t imagine a slander suit going anywhere. But if he is going to bring one it should be brought against the Travelodge Company itself; you want the deep pockets, and it’s legally responsible for the actions of its employees. The specific individual doesn’t really matter.

  • bobby b

    My inner Devil’s Advocate is screaming at me right now to point some things out.

    Social service types have good reason to be paranoid about pedo-fun going on under their noses after Rotherham.

    They communicate that paranoia to people in the lodging business quite effectively, pressuring them to act as Mandatory Reporters even when the law imposes no such duty on them. Nobody wants to get on the wrong side of social services people these days, especially when they get on a crusade, and Rotherham made them look so incredibly bad that their reaction to it is indeed a crusade.

    Combine that significant pressure with circumstances that might suggest trouble – cute teen girl maybe joking overly-familiarly with middle age guy as they get room with one bed, guy leaving girl in lobby while he registers and carries stuff in, and he can’t show any I.D. for cute teen girl to prove she’s related . . .

    Combine all of THAT with one or two overzealous, nay assholic, employees, and you have this story.

    Hotel is in a no-win situation. If they allow some pedoguy to bring a nubile teen girl without ID into his room for fun and frolic, they’re going to die in the court of public opinion if something happens and makes the news.

    They could have handled this oh so much nicer. But even jerks get jobs, and sometimes those jobs are in hotels. I’d cut the corporation some slack. None for the jerks, but for their employer, yeah.

    Were I Mr. Front Desk Guy, confronted with cute 13-year-old girl and middle-aged guy giggling and getting the room with one bed, I’d probably nicely ask to see her ID too, and follow up when she said she had none. I have kids of all the various sexes, and I would hope other people would be a little bit vigilant in such circumstances, too.

  • you want the deep pockets, and it’s legally responsible for the actions of its employees

    And moreover if you are confident of winning, you will probably get your legal fees paid for by the losing party.

  • Social service types have good reason to be paranoid about pedo-fun going on under their noses after Rotherham.

    No that really does not make sense. Rotherham happened not because no one knew but rather none of the official people who had a very good inkling dared to do anything for so long for fear of being called “racist”.

    and he can’t show any I.D. for cute teen girl to prove she’s related…

    The notion a child in the company of a male parent should carry ID to prove they are related is truly terrifying.

    I’d cut the corporation some slack. None for the jerks, but for their employer, yeah.

    I am not inclined to cut anyone from the jobsworth at the front desk, the company, all they way up to our vile Prime Minister presiding over the whole damn system any slack whatsoever.

  • bobby b

    “The notion a child in the company of a male parent should carry ID to prove they are related is truly terrifying.”

    No kids, huh? This has been the default expectation for twenty years. I’ve been in similar situations to what this guy experienced many times, as have most male parents of girls that I know.

    “No that really does not make sense. Rotherham happened not because no one knew but rather none of the official people who had a very good inkling dared to do anything for so long for fear of being called “racist”.”

    I don’t care about the cause. The effect is that social services types are making damned sure that everyone sees them tirelessly and mercilessly working to protect their charges, cutting no corners, letting no question go unasked.

  • I’m with Perry. This sounds less like a reaction to Rotherham than like more of the same: an agenda, and that agenda trumping sense.

    (I wish it were a response to Rotherham but I’ll consider that possibility when I hear of sundry Rotherham councillors being jailed. If any have been jailed for issuing the silencing orders, do tell me – I’d be glad to know it.)

    Employees who are about the PC agenda, not their employer’s good or even their employer’s permission, most certainly occur – and the agenda can make it hard to avoid hiring them. However the Travelodge spokesman comes over as being on the same agenda, so the company may not be due much slack.

    bobby b (April 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm), the implication of the story is that the hotel employee called the police before demanding that the father prove the girl was his daughter.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I too am with Perry … with a qualification:

    The notion a child in the company of a male parent should carry ID to prove they are related is truly terrifying.

    But how does the jobsworth at the front desk know that the male is indeed the father?

    Mind you, i realize that that opens a can of worms (or a Pandora’s box, if you prefer classical references). What about a child with a female adult? what about one or more children with an adult couple? I have no answer to that.

    Niall:

    I wish it were a response to Rotherham but I’ll consider that possibility when I hear of sundry Rotherham councillors being jailed.

    Jail is too good for them: i want to see them impaled.
    Bring back cruel and unusual punishment!

  • Alisa

    Employees who are about the PC agenda, not their employer’s good or even their employer’s permission, most certainly occur

    Indeed they do.

  • Jim

    “Jim, I can’t see where the hotel employee (and it wasn’t necessarily the manager; it could have been a maid) accused him of being a paedophile, merely that it was suspicious.”

    Well suspicious of what? Speeding offences? Theft? Drug dealing? No of course not, suspicious of being a paedophile, so convinced was he that he called the police and told them the same (presumably there will be a record of this phone call somewhere). And given the extremely damaging nature of even a whiff of such allegations these days I’d say the poor chap would have a very good case for damage to his reputation from the actions of the manager (and Travelodge whose policy he was following).

    Or can one call the police and accuse random people of any crime you like and be totally immune from a civil suit if they are totally innocent of any wrongdoing?

  • Eric

    No kids, huh? This has been the default expectation for twenty years. I’ve been in similar situations to what this guy experienced many times, as have most male parents of girls that I know.

    But the problem isn’t that you don’t have a handy ID to prove you’re not exploiting your daughter. The problem is men have been demonized to the point the government can create programs and make rules that start from the assumption every man is a sex criminal held back only by a lack of opportunity.

  • QET

    Hotel is in a no-win situation.

    The hotel should not be in any situation. It should not be the hotel’s responsibility to act as the eyes and ears of the State on pain of astronomical tort damages, criminal indictment and relentless negative publicity. Because a problem exists–pedophilia–does not mean it is good, right, proper, morally imperative, progress (choose whatever term of valorization suits you) to require more and more people to default to suspicion.

    And this sounds to me of a piece with the Child Guardian Act in Scotland (or whatever its proper title is) whereby each and every child must have an agent of the State appointed as his or her personal guardian with power to interrogate parents and inspect their homes and report anything they don’t like. In other words, this is just another piece of flotsam brought in by the progressive tide, which is not going out anytime soon.

  • No kids, huh?

    No.

    This has been the default expectation for twenty years.

    I discussed what you said with two fathers I know and their first words in reply where “What?” and “Seriously?” respectively.

    If having to travel with means to identify you are the father of you children is your experience, I believe you, but based on my admittedly small sample there are fathers (one in his late 30s with a 12 year old daughter, and the other in mid 40s with a mid-teens son (I do not know exact age)) who do not see that as a ‘default expectation’… so I am curious why our data points are so different. And as in the UK we do have ID cards (yet), do you really move around with passports within the UK?

  • The Jannie

    An interesting aside re Rotherham: a friend knows some of those individuals who were groomed/molested, call it what you will. At one stage she was invited by them to join in the “fun” but declined; some of these “victims” knew very well what they were into…

  • A Father

    bobby b: “carry ID to prove they are related”…”has been the default expectation for twenty years”

    Holy fuck! What have I missed?

    Perry: “I discussed what you said with two fathers I know and their first words in reply where “What?” and “Seriously?” respectively.”

    Make that three.

    Snorri Godhi: “But how does the jobsworth at the front desk know that the male is indeed the father?”

    He doesn’t. He minds his own business and assumes good faith absent proper evidence to the contrary. Good grief.

  • momo

    some of those individuals who were groomed

    some of these “victims” knew very well what they were into

    Well, that is kind of the point of “grooming“, you brainwash the victim into being a compliant participant.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Minding other people’s business is a common sport.

    .

    “If you see something, say something.” Our government trying to encourage people to report people or incidents that cause them to suspect terrorism. I can understand that, and if you see only the danger of terrorism, you’re likely in favor of the policy.

    But I found it chilling just the same. Through my glasses, it looked like yet another occasion to turn us into a nation of snoopers, spying on one another. Mind you, I see the argument for the policy … but, “that which is unseen,” so forth.

    .

    A similar issue: At a party, the subject of “guilty until proven innocent” came up. One person observed that if the Prosecution can’t prove that X did the heinous deed (in particular, crimes involving serious physical damage to or even the death of the victim), the guilty guy goes free, which means he can go out and do it again. And this “protects” people, who after all are potential victims, how exactly?

    But of course, no one is protected from bad guys PLUS incompetence if the bar to a judgment of “Guilty!” isn’t quite high. The thought of innocent people who have no real recourse to defense against untrue accusations is worse than chilling.

    .

    For a society that prides itself on being “liberal” (even in the classic sense!) and on having cast off the notorious Victorian obsession with sex and the evil thereof (“Sir, do you know how many children I have?”), it surely seems to me that we are far more obsessed with it and with perversions in general than the Victorians ever were.

    I have always been so grateful that the Young Miss made her appearance no later than she did. (A good 15 years earlier would have been better still, speaking purely of the issue at hand.) I will now confess that sometimes she slept in the same bed as her parents, and as it happened there was a somewhat lengthy period when the parent was her father (my Honey! *huge grin*) due to the illness of the Mother. I thought nothing of this, and neither did the Honey, who was about as dangerous as the Easter Bunny.

    Nowadays we go around looking for examples of perversion in the past. Preferably those of various highly-admired historical figures (certain types of people are always on the lookout to bring such people low), such as Pres. Lincoln (criticism of the man’s ethics in politics and competence as a wartime leader: give it a rest for a minute), who shared a bed with his male law partner. Naturally, our modern sensibilities inform us instantly that this was yet another example of People Who Are No Better Than They Should Be despite their great reputations, so there was a big flap about the possibility (probability! We don’ need no stinkin’ proof) that Honest Abe was a homosexual.

    So forth ….

    .

    In day-to-day reality, there are really difficult issues in the matter of crime and punishment and where to draw what lines, and how to act and react in various circumstances which might involve these.

    As in all important areas of life, the thing requires judgment. And in any one of those important areas, some people’s judgment isn’t so good, or perhaps not as good as usual on the Day.

    Sounds like a brief for the Travelodge guy. Really, I suppose it is. After all, we don’t know any more about him and his background of life-experience than he did about the dad with the young female.

    But my blood boils too. There really is something wrong with our society when men in the company of any female, regardless of her age, are suspected of being active sexual predators. When a compassionate man on the street daren’t touch or perhaps even converse with a little girl who’s lost her folks and is crying … or a guy can’t check into a motel with a young female* without somebody’s calling the cops on him !!!!

    *Tempting to write “guy can’t check in with his own daughter, etc.” But that would hold only if the motel gent already knew she was his kid, which (we hope!) he didn’t.

  • Fred the Fourth

    I am on file somewhere in the local / state gov as having a statement of possible child abuse made against me.
    This was a result of discussing the behavior of my 9 year old son with his school’s psychologist / counselor. (He had been hiding to avoid certain writing assignments. Poor guy was a perfectionist, but he grew out of it eventually.)
    So I mention that I sometimes need to re-acquire his attention during chats at home, and sometimes resort to a two-finger tap on his cheekbone to do it. I demonstrated this on myself during the talk with the counselor.
    Nothing further was said about this.
    Next day I get a call from a person claiming to be with Child Protective Services, telling me quite politely that a call to them had been made. We quickly agreed that my version of the story was the correct one, and that was (apparently) the end of it.
    Of course, the school counselor lady was a Mandatory Reporter by law, so I could not really blame her too much.
    Regardless, two things did happen:
    – My name is on file at CPS. I do not know what comments, if any, are part of that file.
    – I never had any further discussion of the kind with any other person who was a Mandatory Reporter, for the rest of my kids’ childhoods. Even if I could have benefited from their professional opinion.
    Oh, also, I quit volunteering at that and other schools, because of that incident, and another incident involving the school district’s mishandling of my background check info.
    (Locally, Mandatory Reporters include teachers, coaches, school staff, police, EMT, doctors, nurses, and doubtless many others.)
    Hail the all-seeing state…

  • Paul Marks

    It is a question of balance.

    Of course most people do not mean children harm – and one must not be paranoid.

    However, as anyone who works in an amusement park (as I have done for years)knows, there are vicious people in the world who target children for abuse – and one must be on the look out for such people.

  • robert

    I work at a local library which recently gave us safeguarding training.

    The trainer described one incident where she had wrongly suspected abuse. A preteen boy who was a regular customer abruptly started behaving badly, contrary to his normal character, so she invited him into a back room, with a colleague as witness, and gently asked if he was having problems with bullies or his parents.

    It turned out the boy was actually acting up because he he’d been disappointed by how few birthday presents he’d got. Apparently, his adult relatives had collectively decided not to buy presents for nieces and nephews over 11 but nobody had warned the boy in advance, so on his 12th birthday the absence of all the presents he’d been expecting from his uncles and aunts had been a nasty surprise. The trainer also suspected that impending adolescence might have been a factor.

    Luckily, the trainer found out the truth before contacting the police or social services.

    She used this incident to stress to us the importance of not jumping too fast to conclusions, while still staying alert for potential signs of abuse, which she admitted was a difficult balancing act.

    I hope all the other trainers also warn their trainees against being too hasty, but I suspect many of them don’t.

  • Rob

    Once children are raised by State Guardians and not parents all these issues will be resolved.

    In the meantime, in order to avoid unpleasant situations, all male adults should carry a card verifying that they have been vetted by the State as “not a paedo”. This card must be renewed each year and a three day awareness course attended, at a reasonable cost of £1,499.

  • Vinegar Joe

    Would the hotel employees have called the police had the father been a Muslim?

  • momo (April 6, 2017 at 10:47 pm) sensibly replied to The Jannie (April 6, 2017 at 9:17 pm)

    Jannie: “… some of these “victims” knew very well what they were into”

    mono: “… that is kind of the point of “grooming“, you brainwash the victim into being a compliant participant.

    I would add to momo’s point that you start by tricking the victim, who, being 12 or 13 does not have that good a knowledge of what they are into and has far less knowledge of where it is likely to go. Later, when they start trying to get out of it, you pour petrol over them and explain that either they cooperate or they burn. Some of the groomed targets invite others in early, before they’ve wised up. Others may still do so later, having been turned into recruiters, willing or otherwise.

    There is a reason for the age of consent.

  • Vinegar Joe April 7, 2017 at 10:23 am: “Would the hotel employees have called the police had the father been a Muslim?”

    They would have been less likely to, and more apprehensive of possible consequences. I fear this is the only way in which spirit of Rotherham impacts the case.

  • The Jannie

    momo and Niall Kilmartin: Thank you, good points re grooming and its effects on young adolescents.

  • Watchman

    Vinegar Joe,

    If it had been the same girl, presumably yes, because they’ve read about Rotherham as well… From my knowledge of affairs around Birmingham now (I talk to teachers), it is amazing how accusations of racism are being ignored in child protection cases. In fact, if you were a racist social worker, this would be a very good time for you…

    Mind you, I did once meet a Muslim guy (technically – he was about as Muslim as most apparent Anglicans are Christian, albeit he did wear a beard) who had, with his wife (of presumably pure British descent, whatever that might mean (probably a similiar amount of genes derived from Ancient Greece…)) adopted a daughter (of equally pure British descent). He might well have a lot of problems in this situation, totally unfairly.

    Incidentally – do we know if there is any history of whatever it is you call sexual relations with a teenager (paedophilia is the crime, not the act, in this case) at Travellodge that has made them risk averse? As a policy, suspecting your clients behaviour to be unethical is going to be a bad idea for hotels…

  • Stephen W. Houghton

    Snorri Godhi: “But how does the jobsworth at the front desk know that the male is indeed the father?”

    Well if you really suspect, then you ask the father, when he says yes you ask him to step out of hearing and ask the child, telling them you will call the police if they want you to.

    But the idea the children have to carry ID is wrong. For G-d’s sake, within living memory you could fly on a plain without ID.

  • Flubber

    Rotherham didn’t just go on for ten years plus because people were afraid of being called racist – it went on because of the collusion of those supposed to stop it.

    The Inspector in charge of dealing with Child Sexual Exploitation at the time, was Inspector Abdul Aziz. he was childhood friends from the same village in Pakistan as the deputy mayor. You would have though the police authorities would want a word or two with Mr Aziz. Well they can’t seeing as he buggered off back to Pakistan.

    When the police finally did start investigating they announced they had 300 people they could potentially charge. Which they wont do, as what would it say if you banged up 300 adult males Pakistani Muslims just from one town? (and there have been grooming gangs in more than 20 towns in England)

    It went on, because the entire community was at it. This to me is the elephant in the room. This wasnt some degenerate fringe, this was mainstream. They all knew. They all colluded. A hell of a lot participated.

  • bobby b

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    April 6, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    ” . . . so I am curious why our data points are so different.”

    Let me add a caveat to the “in the same circumstances” part of my experience.

    When traveling with my wife and kids – no issue.

    When my wife travels with the kids – no issue.

    When I, as the only adult, travel with more than one of my kids – who all look like obvious siblings – no issue.

    When I travel as the only adult, in the company of any one of my kids – boy or girl – every time – someone will ask to see some ID that shows that the kid is correctly in my care.

    This has been the default experience for me and for most fathers that I know for years. All over the US Midwest, and in places like NYC, Miami, Chicago, LA, Seattle – everyone seems to question the single guy traveling with the early-teen kid.

    I’ve traveled enough with the kids so that this isn’t some one exceptional experience that occurred and surprised me. This has been the norm.

    Maybe I’m just too naturally pervy-looking? But then, my friends agree that this is normal for them, too. (Maybe I just hang around with pervy-looking friends? I don’t think that’s it . . . )

  • Lee Moore

    I am rather more sympathetic to bobby b’s point of view than to Perry’s. I don’t know how many pervs take their young victims to Travelodge, but I am fairly confident that in future fewer will do so if they know that Travelodge employees are encouraged to draw any suspicions to the attention of the police. And since there is a very simple solution – carry some ID when you’re a single dad travelling with your child, why not do it ? No, there shouldn’t be a law requiring that you do it. Nor should there be a law that you look left and right before you cross the road. But I’d still recommend it.

    Perry’s vapours remind me of all those 1970s student feminists passing resolutions condemning the police as fascists for suggesting that female students be careful about wandering about alone at night, and/or getting legless at parties. Women have the right to drink what they like and walk where they like when they like ! And so they do. But if you exercise your rights without any regard to the possible consequences, evil is more likely to befall you, than if you bear them in mind.

    I accept, of course, that a false accusation or a false suspicion can be very humiliating – I’m sure most of us have been falsely suspected of something at some time and each of us will have got very hot under the collar about it. All the more reason to have the means of clearing the suspicion instantly, ready to hand.

  • Lee Moore (April 8, 2017 at 7:28 am), according to the report, the employee called the police before even asking the father whether he could demonstrate his relation to the daughter. It is quite natural for hotels to verify identity merely as part of ensuing their guests will pay the bill, but one would not expect to have the already-summoned-just-in-case police arrive while an impression of one’s credit card were being taken, rather than if the card did not check out. Similarly, I sympathise with the father’s feelings on hearing the police had already been called. If the report shows things accurately, I’m unsurprised it was treated as a story, and one that should not become common.

    The use, in less bizarre manner, of a hotel’s routine financial identity assessment of guests to serve other purposes as well is a subject that can be discussed, but should be distinguished from this case.

  • Lee Moore:

    Perry’s vapours remind me of all those 1970s student feminists passing resolutions condemning the police as fascists for suggesting that female students be careful about wandering about alone at night, and/or getting legless at parties. Women have the right to drink what they like and walk where they like when they like ! And so they do.

    Yes, I see your point, as getting raped because you are drunk in a mini skirt, and a father get questioned by the police after being denounced as a probably paedophile for travelling with his daughter, is totally the same thing. I see the wisdom of your belief that papers must be carried.

    But if you exercise your rights without any regard to the possible consequences, evil is more likely to befall you, than if you bear them in mind.

    Quite! I never understood why some people did not just report those Jews hiding in their attic in various parts of Europe in the 1940s, when simply rolling over and accepting the then current reality made so much sense. What on earth where they thinking?

  • Alisa

    It seems perfectly reasonable for hotels to ask for ID, or for any other document – not only for payment verification, but for any other reason the hotel management may have. Their house, their rules, and all that. Before the sexual revolution it was common for respectable hotels to ensure that couples seeking accommodation were legally married, and whether I, you, or the couples themselves liked it or not is beside the point. But as Niall points out, calling the police as the first step is an entirely different matter.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Alisa I doubt anybody would question the right of a private hotel to ask for ID if they want to. If the hotel had some problem with a 13 year old girl staying with her father, I also think they have a perfect right to refuse them a room.

    However that isn’t really the subject. The subject is the government requiring papers, or the pressure by the government on the hotel to report activity that their trivial little brains disapproved of.

    I am sensitive to this topic since I am a father of an adopted daughter who “doesn’t look like me” — not that it is anyone else’s business.

    I think though it is a tricky problem. Because an abused child does need some outside entity to look out for it insofar as some parents do abuse their parental rights.

    It reminds me of accusations of rape. The mere accusation is enough to make you a bad person irrespective of whether it is true or not. We have rape shield laws for rape victims, and of course child victim’s identities are hidden too. These make a lot of sense, but it seems to me that in the spirit of “innocent until proven guilty” and the spectacular damage that can be done by accusations that those charged with such crimes should have a right to anonymity until they are proved guilty, and if merely investigated, and no case is found, they should have an absolute right to have ALL data on the investigation expunged and destroyed.

    Like Fred above I have had personal dealings with the social services, and I can say for the record that they are a bunch of evil monsters, masked with self righteous frowns of pretend concern. I do not doubt that they are the most evil and vile branch of the government. I think their very existence makes things worse for children, and their manifold failures seem to never result in consequences for the terrible twits who occupy a position of power that can destroy families, destroy children, and with little if any accountability. But you wouldn’t know unless, through some unfortunate circumstance, you appear on their radar.

    It reminds me again, as a Scot, of the “Named Person” thing up their. I mean, really, if that doesn’t send an icy chill down your spine, you aren’t paying attention. (Oh, and btw I asked all my Scottish relatives about this and guess what? They weren’t paying attention.)

    Which isn’t to say that real pedophiles shouldn’t be publicly hung from by the ‘nads.

  • bobby b

    “Yes, I see your point, as getting raped because you are drunk in a mini skirt, and a father get questioned by the police after being denounced as a probably paedophile for travelling with his daughter, is totally the same thing.”

    No, I think you’re comparing the wrong halves of the equations.

    Try this: “Yes, I see your point, as getting raped because you are drunk in a mini skirt, and having your 12-year-old son cornholed by some acquaintance in a Travelodge, is totally the same thing.” It becomes a less sarcastic thing.

    What Lee said was that it was PC to NOT tell young women to take certain precautions, but that it led to the young women doing incautious things. In the other situation, it is PC to NOT check for ID in the circumstances above, but this lack allows pedos more ability.

  • Jim

    “Perry’s vapours remind me of all those 1970s student feminists passing resolutions condemning the police as fascists for suggesting that female students be careful about wandering about alone at night, and/or getting legless at parties. Women have the right to drink what they like and walk where they like when they like ! And so they do. But if you exercise your rights without any regard to the possible consequences, evil is more likely to befall you, than if you bear them in mind.”

    That’s a specious comparison, because its equating a criminal act (rape ) with a non-criminal (and increasingly State mandated) act (being a nark on the lookout for paedos).

    We would like there not to be rapists, but despite our best efforts to catch them and lock them up, there’s always some around. Hence why its good advice to young women not to go wandering about in the middle of the night pissed up and looking like a hooker. The State does what it can to protect such women, but it can’t be everywhere so precautions are advisable.

    On the other it appears the PC powers that be do indeed want us all to be a nation of narks, and far from trying to stop informants from doing their thing, encourage them. Thus the correct response is not to blame the victim (its your fault for looking so Jewish Mr Goldberg, you should know better than to wander out of the ghetto without your papers and gold star) but to berate the narks themselves, and the people that create the idea that all men are potentially paedophiles, and must prove that they are not.

  • Alisa

    Fraser:

    However that isn’t really the subject. The subject is the government requiring papers, or the pressure by the government on the hotel to report activity that their trivial little brains disapproved of.

    I thought all that was understood from the last part of my comment, the one about going to the police first – obviously I was wrong, so thank you for spelling it out. And, I very much agree with the rest of your points.

  • Lee Moore

    That’s a specious comparison, because its equating a criminal act (rape ) with a non-criminal (and increasingly State mandated) act (being a nark on the lookout for paedos).

    I am saying nothing more complicated than that it is wise to face the world as it is rather than as you would prefer it to be, or as it is advertised. Criminality or non criminality has got nothing to do with it.

    As to the question of the reasonableness of the Travelodge employee’s decision to contact the police before asking to see ID, I agree with the general opinion here – it wasn’t reasonable. But that too is irrelevant to my very simple point. If the world believes in witches, I would advise little old ladies against carrying broomsticks and wearing tall black pointy hats. Carry a mop and wear a wooly cap. The fact that there are in fact no witches is perfectly irrelevant to the question of how best to go about your business with the minimum of aggravation.

    Some folk, of course, take a great pride in being aggravated, even to the extent of seeking aggravation out. So if you’re one of those, my advice is of no value to you.

  • Fraser Orr (April 8, 2017 at 8:14 pm) and Fred the Fourth (April 7, 2017 at 2:00 am) add sensible background to this issue. For decades, it has been plain that social services staffers too often share the left’s anti-family agenda. This combines unhappily (for children) with their ever-increasing power over families, which is great (and very discretionary) in law and even greater in practice.

    The evils they are nominally about fixing do exist. “This evil must be fixed – so give us yet more of your freedom!” is the line used to push the latest “Named Person” power grab. That one of the first “Named Person” candidates was then found to be just the kind of person the act was meant to protect children from is one, very predictable, consequence. That most ‘Named Persons’ will support transferring authority over children from parents to the state will be the more common failing.

    Precisely because of this, just as girls are advised (except by the PC) to avoid being drunk and alone in seedy late-night streets, so fathers may be advised to carry prove of their relationship even though the vile PC say it too.

  • Thailover

    Something I never thought about before a divorced father of a pre-teen daughter mentioned it to me the other day, “forget about sleep-overs” without a wife-mother to “watch over the girls”. Everyone presumes a man without a grown woman to keep him in check is to be thought a child rapist. I don’t know which came first, the general presumption that every man is pre-disposed to be a child rapist, or the “3rd wave” feminists pushing the idea or merely reacting to the idea uncritically. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that “western” people’s idea of a responsible adult’s age of accountability is growing higher and higher. It’s in the late 20’s now, where people were routinely getting married at 14 during my grandparent’s generation. If a modern man considers a 17yr old girl sexy, he’s considered a monster, as if something magically happens the second she becomes 18.

  • Thailover

    Watchman wrote,

    “Incidentally – do we know if there is any history of whatever it is you call sexual relations with a teenager (paedophilia is the crime, not the act, in this case) at Travellodge that has made them risk averse?”

    Paedophilia is sexual attraction to the pre-pubecent. Presumably, ‘teens are post-pubecent. As to what Travellodge’s ‘problem is’, I don’t know.

  • Thailover

    “Operation Makesafe”

    The question isn’t whether a police state (or KGB-styled “rat out your neighbor” system) polices better than a free state. The question is, do you want to live in a free nation or a police state.

    Free nations are higher risk to “the defenseless”, including children, but that’s the price of not being ruled by a parternalistic church and state from cradle to the grave. You are free to prefer one or the other, but you’re not free to feel-thinkingly waffle on the same issue in different specific contexts without being a hypocrite, consciously or unconsciously.

    Is it wise to wear a helmet when riding one’s motorcycle? Yes.
    Should the state be using propoganda (or law) to encourage wise behavior, like wearing one’s helmet?
    In my opinion, no. (Remember, propaganda doesn’t mean the use of necessarily false information).

    And arguing the “ends” (safety) to justify “means” (gov or gov sponsored propaganda) is an argumentative fallacy, (if not a logical one). Ends don’t justify means, because means and ends should both be justifiable. And ends, like skinned cats, often have more than one way to approach it or achieve it.

  • Thailover

    The Jannie wrote,
    “At one stage she was invited by them to join in the “fun” but declined; some of these “victims” knew very well what they were into…”

    Oh, certainly, but the concern isn’t that “kids” will necessarily be duped, but rather that they aren’t equipped to make rational decisions about “adult” matters. “Kids” often make transparently bad choices.

  • Thailover

    Another thought. This whole matter in question, daughter vs being an abducted rape victim…seems to be a completely moot and irrational issue if in fact there are more young daughters sexually molested by their fathers than young girls abducted and sexually abused by a man who is not her father.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Thailover
    I think you touch rather on two special cases and they both need to be examined carefully.

    In the context of children, children do not live in a free society. Because of their immaturity and inability to support themselves their rights and freedoms are delegated to their parents or guardians. In doing so those same parents or guardians take on the corresponding responsibility of acting in the best interest of the child, and what is “best interest” has a large component of what “the community thinks is the bare minimum.”

    To give an example, in some religious communities it is considered normal and acceptable for young girls to marry at very young ages, or, again at very young ages, to be engaged in plural marriages. The “community” does not agree, and consequently, when “the community” delegates to the parents the rights of the child they do with the proviso that the “best interests” of the child does not involve pregnant 13 year old girls.

    To give a specific example, in the United States the Amish generally only educate their children to an 8th grade level (academically). I am not at all convinced that in so doing they are acting in the best, or even minimally acceptable, interests of the children.

    Perhaps some of you are OK with young girls marrying and having babies, after all, for a thousand years that has been pretty common. But let’s take a different example, something that is not uncommon in some parts of the world. If the parents were to think it appropriate and acceptable for the children to pay their way by prostituting themselves, then that would not meet with “minimum acceptable interests” as defined by the community. To be clear, I am fully supportive of an adult’s right to prostitute themselves if they want to, but I consider it totally unacceptable for children.

    This is of course a horribly slippery slope. But it is a simple reality of nature.

    The law and the courts do have a right to ensure that parents are living up to the “best interests” minimum standard set by the law. However, they should do so with the normal mechanisms of the legal system. Probably cause, investigation, charge and prosecution. It isn’t a special type of crime where guilt is assumed, which is largely what is the case today. The problem is not really that the minimum best interest standard is set wrongly, it is the appalling enforcement mechanisms.

    As to helmets on your motorcycle, I agree generally speaking with your specific case. But again this is actually a special case. Because the government, generally speaking, runs and owns the roads they do get to set the rules of the road. It’d probably be better if the government didn’t run the roads, but insofar as they do, it is reasonable for them to set the rules of the road.

    At that point it is not a matter of freedom as to what those rules are, but rather a matter of what is deemed best for the efficient and effective use of the roads. For example, were I to own a racetrack privately, I would certainly insist that riders wore helmets for a whole range of reasons. Government roads are a little different, since they live in a space between the private property of the government and the common ownership of the public. Helmets on motorcycles are probably a step too far, but “only overtake on the right” seems perfectly reasonable.

  • DP

    Dear Samizdata Illuminatus

    This exercise has the smell of a thinly disguised attempt to introduce ID cards, something our beloved government has been trying to do for decades.

    The opportunity for the denunciations to become epidemic are high, and probably intended as a feature rather than a bug: “Don’t worry – ID cards will fix it.”

    The age of consent is 16, yet 16 and 17 year old are cast as ‘vulnerable children’ when it suits.

    If a child can legally marry at 16, how is said child supposed to fall in love and dutifully wait until her 16th birthday before getting married if any of the usual mating rituals are deemed to be ‘grooming’ by the prospective groom?

    If she shares the same birthdate as her prospective husband and the age gap is the average 2 years, her husband would become a predatory adult on their wedding day.

    I dare say some bright spark will suggest the age of consent be raised to 18. I read somewhere that one third of girls lose their virginity before their 16th birthday: raising the age of consent to 18 will merely raise the rate of under-aged sex to near 100%. Handy if you want to criminalised almost the entire male population.

    DP

  • Lee Moore

    “Kids” often make transparently bad choices.

    Adults too.

  • QET

    Don’t know if anybody cares or if this thread is already in the dustbin of history. Another one.