Kier Starmer’s bright idea for criminalising professionals, (teachers, doctors, social workers), by association with other people’s crimes against children, is instructive as to how a term in political office can colour the judgement of even the most experienced lawyers. A senior law officer is seemingly no longer able to discern the distinction between criminal perpetration and professional duty of care.
The solicitors’ profession was a ready target for the Kafka-esque burden known as ‘anti-money laundering’, possibly because a relatively small proportion of the population end up bearing the cost, and because solicitors are unpopular anyway.
It is certain that the overwhelming majority of doctors, teachers and social workers understand their duties to their patients, pupils and clients, without need of reminder by politicians under threat of criminal penalty. A recent visit to the DDR Museum in Berlin confirmed (for this citizen) all that needs to be understood about forcible state recruitment of ‘persons in a position of authority’ (Mr Starmer’s reported phrase) to the political objective of protecting citizens from ‘bad stuff’.
With some new-found extra time on his hands, I would respectfully suggest a visit there might refresh the perspective of a formerly eminent human rights lawyer.
Simon Flett, solicitor, Norwich