Two recent developments strain credulity to breaking point. From September next year, all childminders and nursery staff in England will be under a legal duty to assess all children, from birth to three, on a nine-point scale in no fewer than 13 areas.
And in 2008, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 comes into force in England and will involve up to a third of the adult working population - those who come into contact with children through their work or volunteering - being subjected to continuous criminal records vetting.
The result of this expensive child protection bureaucracy is that, despite what the Government may proclaim, it is engaged in promoting policies which encourage children and adults to view one another with growing incomprehension, suspicion and hostility.
One consequence is likely to be an increasing number of young people who, by feeling beleaguered and excluded, go on to develop precisely those anti-social characteristics the Government seems so anxious to eliminate.
Robin Jackson Murtle House, Bieldside, Aberdeen