Nativity plays used to be occasions of innocence, enjoyed by parents and children alike. But not any more, as a consequence of the paranoia over paedophiles that has take such a grip over those in authority. One parent at a school in Leicestershire made it clear to the head that he intended to take photographs of his child's appearance in such a play, regardless of the school's policy on the matter. The school responded by calling in the police and the parent was threatened with a breach of the peace order.
Other victims of the same hysteria were a group of middle aged and elderly lady volunteers responsible for the flower arrangements at Gloucester cathedral. Because they share the same toilet facilities as some choir boys, the cathedral authorities deemed it necessary that the lady volunteers should all undergo CRB checks. Five of the ladies quite rightly refused to comply with this gratuitously insulting requirement, and the cathedral has now dispensed with their services.
A teacher in Birmingham, showing a sense of civic responsibly, intervened in a dispute between two groups of children, which took place some distance away from her own school. In the heat of the moment, when she was attempting to separate the two factions, she described one group as 'white trash'. She was overheard and reported to the authorities, and was later convicted of a 'hate crime'. It is not clear from the press report what the race of the teacher is, but it must be assumed she is non white, given that it is presumably not yet a criminal act to make disparaging comments (which is what occurred here) about other people of one's own race.
Until relatively recently all the above situations would have been considered by most normal people as being wholly unremarkable, and certainly not requiring the intervention of the law. It was assumed that people could be trusted to act responsibly in how they conducted themselves, and institutions had confidence that the chances of anything untoward occurring were so slim as not to give rise to any concern. Today a culture of suspicion is all pervasive, the authorities assuming that people must be acting from the basest of motives, however harmless their activities, unless they can provide hard evidence to the contrary, which is impossible. As a result we are incrementally losing our freedoms, and are heading towards a police state, with the public informers and collaborators in their own oppression.