There’ve been a lot of Magic Tree stories recently, and it annoys me.

What is a magic tree story?

A little while ago there was a story I read (and put into That Which Is Seen) about a country village vicar who had a 140 year old tree chopped down without even seeking the consultation with the village that would surely have rejected the idea.

The reason he gave for doing it was that there might be a paedophile hiding behind it.

Thus I started to mentally file a large portion of my news intake as Magic Tree stories, wherein authoritorial figures justify incredibly unjust or dangerous or merely imprisoning measures by stating that it was only being done to protect the public from paedophiles. This then was expanded to include invisible terrorists.

The best example is the Huntley case, where Ian Huntly was not convicted of a series of rape and molestation-type cases, and this wasn’t discovered because of the Data Protection Act. Because the convictions were never upheld, they were taken off his record, because he wasn’t guilty of them. Because of this lack of data, he was able to get a job, instead of having unproven allegations held against him for the rest of his natural life.

Apparently, the world would be a better place if every crime you’ve ever been accused of, from taking an extra apple at school lunch though to the graphic rape of underage kiddies, should be held on your national record (An interesting concept in and of itself) until you die, preferably at the hands of a mob wielding torches and pitchforks.

This is an extreme, obviously. Huntley’s convictions (Nine sex-related accusations) were similer in nature, and the fact that he carried on being accused is somewhat suspicious, but the nature of justice is that you cannot lock somebody away just because someone accuses them. Even if they accused them nine times. The fact that he was able to be accused nine times without it going very far is scary, and that may be a failure of communication within the police force, but the opinion that Ian Huntley should never have been able to gain work at a school because he’d been accused of something. In fact, it would mean that you could effectivly destroy the career of any person in the social services field merely by accusing them of being linked to a paedophile. Even more scary that we may already be living in that world.

This world is one in which a large section of the population is now convinced that a paedophile lurks behind every tree in the playground, that they will kidnap, rape and murder your child in the same way that masochists wander though shopping malls in black leather, whipping every person they pass in Boots, The same way gay people screw in every fountain, The way every single immigrant is just here to steal our money and jobs. The way foot-fetishes can’t go into a shoe shop without spontanously jerking off. The way hetrosexuals cannot look at a member of the opposite sex without immediatly losing all their clothes and leaping into the nearest fountain and screwing each other’s brains out.

That, by the way, was a bit of subtle satire. Before you send any *ist comments my way, read the entire paragraph, carefully, and then – and only then – if you can see the actual point, you are allowed to comment.