In his speech to the Conservative Party Conference yesterday David Cameron claimed that one of the biggest things holding people back in this country “is the shadow of health and safety.

I was told recently” he claimed “about a school that wanted to buy a set of highlighter pens. But with the pens came a warning. Not so fast – make sure you comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. Including plenty of fresh air and hand and eye protection. Try highlighting in all that.

So as you can see, I donned my personal protective equipment and did just that.

And he was right: it was bloody hard.

I’m not sure though that I understand completely (if indeed at all), the link between highlighter pens and paedophiles. Because Cameron went on to say:

“This isn’t how a great nation was built. Britannia didn’t rule the waves with arm-bands on. So the vetting and barring scheme – we’re scaling it back. CRB checks – we’re cutting them back. At long last common sense is coming back to our country.”

Riighhht. So we’re scaling back on initiatives that were brought in to protect children and vulnerable adults from abusers; initiatives that were introduced to stop people like Ian Huntley being able to get jobs in schools, and somehow that’s meant to stop packs of highlighter pens coming with safety warnings?

I’m sure there must be some logic in there somewhere. Tell you what, I’ll give a prize (a free, non-toxic, entirely safe and danger free highlighter pen) to the first person who can find it……

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