The paper's decision to drop its drive to "name and shame", announced last night, gives us all a chance to reflect on what can be done to reconcile these conflicting emotions. Clearly, random vigilante publishing was not the answer. If its objective was the protection of children, then it simply failed. In fact it served the opposite purpose, driving paedophiles underground, where neither police nor probation services could keep track of them. Already the relevant agencies have told of convicted sex offenders, once under their watch, who have now moved off-radar. That has increased the risk to children, not reduced it. It is only a pity the News of the World took so long to realise it.
Well that was then and back when the terribly vulgar red tops were doing it. When a progressive hero like George Monbiot smears an innocent man as a child rapist that's fine and dandy.