On whingey whiney writers

July 16th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

A bunch of authors are up in arms about having to register on the Vetting and Barring Scheme, a database of people cleared for and barred from working with children.

The four, Philip Pullman, Anne Fine, Anthony Horowitz, Micheal Morpurgo and Quentin Blake, seem to have taken it personally…

I’ve [Pullman] been going into schools as an author for 20 years, and on no occasion have I ever been alone with a child. The idea that I have become more of a threat and I need to be vetted is both ludicrous and insulting.

I’m sure Philip Pullman has never been a threat to any child and won’t be in the future, but this database is not directed at Pullman, personally. What does he want? An exemption? Be insulted then, Mr Pullman.
Would Philip say the same about a caretaker that has been doing the job for 20 years and never been alone with a child?

When it [the VBS] becomes essential, I [Anne Fine] shall continue to work only in foreign schools, where sanity prevails.


Murpurgo (who the…?)…

Writers don’t go to schools for the money, they do it because they want to bring their stories to children and make readers of them. The notion that I should somehow have got myself passed in order to do this is absurd

No, I’m sure writers don’t go into schools for the money. But neither does the chap that volunteers to go in to my childrens school and help with their reading. He hasn’t even got a vested interest in them reading as he is not an author. The chap at my kids school does it because he wants to help, you know, put something back into society, do some good. He has to register on this database too. What’s so different between Murpurgo and him?


A child who admires a writer has a great belief in that writer as a good human being,” he said. “If you say the guy who’s writing this book could be a sick pervert and we’ve got to protect you from him, you’re not exactly sending out the most positive message.

What about sports people, musicians, and all sorts of other ‘professions’ that kids admire?
When a someone visits a school, like a writer would, do kids sit there wondering what perversions that visitor has? Of course not. Will they be wondering if the school has checked whether the visitor is on this new register? No, they won’t. Primary school aged kids won’t even know about the VBS and secondary school aged kids might know about it but if the amount of visitors we had when I was at school is anything to go by, they’d have forgotton all about it by the time someone comes round.

I’m not arguing in favour of this new scheme, just the narcissitic, self-centred way these whinging scribes have shown how thin a skin they have to take it personally. To think of themselves as above others in the view that it shouldn’t apply to them.

Writers are no different to anyone else. If you’re going to argue against something like this, put forward proper reasons why it is a bad idea, not reasons why it shouldn’t apply to you.

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