Sunday, 17 June 2018

Child abuse: the wider picture

UK Column News (12 June 2018) reported on an observer`s account of the police and public`s conduct at the demonstration against the imprisonment of Tommy Robinson:
`Policing effort for the size of the demonstration was very small and it is suggested this was because there was no police intel for planned violence.`
`Police mixed freely with the crowd in their normal uniforms.`  
`Black people, old people and children were mixing freely amongst the crowd.`
`The very limited violence arose around `snatch` incidents and/or with very small number of aggressive `hooligans`.

`The crowds were watched from police control CCTV centres.`
`Forward Intelligence Officers in blue were tasked with apprehending individuals considered to create trouble - they were supported by plain clothed Territorial Support Group officers amongst the crowd.`
`Arrests would need to be under Section 9 of magistrates Court Act with appropriate notes for arrest and de-arrest.`

Brian Gerrish added: "And somebody could be arrested and then de-arrested later. Possibly that happened to the gentleman who was in the video that we`ve just looked at ... And anybody who was handcuffed would be in accordance with Section 117 of the PACE."

Mike Robinson: "Well that`s where the handcuffing happens without there actually being an arrest. So Section 117 ... gives the power of limited force, I suppose..."

Bian Gerrish: "In order to restrain."

"Yes. .. Right OK."

"So a number of things going on there, but we felt it appropriate, now that a little time has gone on, we`ve had more information, to report on what seems to take place in that demonstration. And of course very little reporting in the so-called mainstream media."

"But something quite exceptional took place during the demonstration and we understand that a young lady handed out at least two thousand leaflets in which she was encouraging people to be aware of John Wedger and the excellent information he`s given about the cover-up of child abuse and, of course, that child abuse is not simply Asian child abuse, it extends to - well a full spectrum of people." 

"So this letter has come from a group calling themselves `Political Blackout`. They`re on Facebook if you want to find them. And so the leaflet highlighting John Wedger, a former Scotland Yard CID officer, as they put it, `blowing the whistle on what is going on within the police regarding child sex trafficking here in the UK`. The leaflet says: `What you`re reading is correct. Our establishment i.e the political elite are complicit with these grooming gangs. This is the reason why there`s the media blackout. It`s in order not to protect Tommy, not to protect us, not to protect the grooming gangs, but to protect them, the establishment`. And this is the key point. This is what I find particularly pleasing about this, because the target is correct here."

Brian Gerrish: "Yes absolutely. So we were very encouraged to hear this because it means that the message is now getting out that if we`re going to solve what`s going on with the grooming gangs then we`ve got to look at the establishment, the political establishment, the wider establishment, which are facilitating; they are allowing this to happen; but they`re covering it up."

"And on this very subject we received a call as we were preparing the news this morning telling us that there`s been another case in South Yorkshire of a - now we`ll say a young girl - previously an under-age girl who reported rape in a family situation. The police turned up at the door; they simply asked the older man if he did it. He said: `No` and that is the end of it. The man was not taken in for formal questioning. The police just said to him: `Well, did you rape her or not?` He said: `No of course not guv,` and the police then walked away. And the family members who are of course supporting the rape victim herself ... they actually don`t have any words, Mike, because they cannot believe how the police can do this. But of course this is exactly what was happening with the Asian grooming gangs. So we`ve got the same sort of response from the police, simply continuing."

"And we`ll add to that within the South Yorkshire police area as well we`ve got another ongoing court case that we cannot report on in detail but we can tell you the judge has refused to allow a video with evidence of child abuse to be entered into court. So we have a video which is about a child being abused; the judge has simply said: `I`m not allowing that evidence into court` and he`s then running a case where the key evidence can`t be shown in court. Now of course the guidance from the family law division is that `the interests of the child are paramount` but apparently not in this particular family law case. And of course no press, no members of the public, but the judge solving the problem of rape and child abuse by saying, `Well if I don`t see the evidence then I think we can run this court in a satisfactory way`."

"I`ll add to that, that in that particular case we`ve had connivance from the local authority, their social services, their child protection unit and Cafcass and the legal teams because they have all had copies of the video showing the abuse. So at the moment Mike we have a cover-up through all those individuals and this is the reason for people to be aware that if we focus on one area of the community we miss the root cause of the problem which is the wider political establishment closing ranks to cover up child abuse."

"And a big thank you to our viewer who sent us a copy of this very interesting letter.... This has been produced by Baroness Goldie and she was asked a question in the House of Lords, wasn`t able to answer it at the time, so she responds..."

"It says:"
 `Dear Molly, During the debate on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill on Monday 30 April, you raised a point on the subject of what enforceable child protection measures will be in place once we are no longer an EU member state...`  

`Let me reassure you that the UK meets its obligations under the UNCRC through a mixture of legislative and policy initiatives. For example, in England, the rights and best interests of children are protected through the Children Act 1989, the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and the Children Act 2004, as well as other legislative and administrative measures. If a public body is not acting in accordance with the relevant legislation they may be challenged by way of judicial review in the normal way through the courts. Existing remedies are available if a court finds that the legislation or a policy is contrary to normal public law principles or there has been a breach of the legislation.` 
`The UK`s exit from the EU will not affect the protection of children`s rights in accordance with the UNCRC as these are already protected through existing domestic legislation and administrative measures.` 
`I hope you find this letter helpful...`

"Well isn`t it astonishing Mike that we`ve just talked about just one case going on in Yorkshire at the moment where the state is absolutely not protecting children. We`ve warned, of course, about the number of children disappearing from the care system. We`ve warned about the disappearance of Syrian children but we`ve got the former leader of the conservatives in Scotland saying, `Don`t worry the British state has got it all under control`."

"And if you wonder what she was referring to well here is the document... So this is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [UNCRC] and this is a summary sheet. But it`s quite interesting to have a look at what they`re talking about here. One of the things it says, I notice, article 36 top right: `Other forms of exploitation. Governments must protect children from all other forms of exploitation. For example, the exploitation of children for political activities by the media, or for medical research`. Just caught my eye that one. How interesting that the government is involved in all those things to start off with, never mind more direct abuse. What they set out very clearly is that children should be protected from abuse in all its forms. Children should be allowed to speak out. Children in care should be allowed to see their families. Children should not be tortured. Virtually every one of the major rules we can now say that the UK government is breaching those rules. But within the House of Lords clearly clueless as to what is really going on."

`The greatest injustice of our time`

In the video above John Wedger is talking to the ITNJ which has made the following statement:

"The greatest injustice of our time is widespread human trafficking and child sex abuse, and evidence is now mounting that this injustice may be far more sinister than before shared in the public domain, and lead to the highest reaches of religious, secular and governmental world leadership."
[International Tribunal for Natural Justice (ITNJ)]

Family justice system in crises

"The family justice system is in crisis, fuelled by an `untenable` workload created by a glut of applications to take vulnerable children into care, the senior judge about to become the next head of the family courts has said."

"Sir Andrew McFarlane, who takes over as president of the family division of the high court of England and Wales in July, questioned whether the courts saw too many cases that may not be sufficiently serious enough to warrant the breakup of families."

"McFarlane said the courts had to be careful to ensure that the increase in cases that sat relatively low on the spectrum of harm, such as those involving child neglect and poor parenting, properly met the high legal thresholds justifying intervention by the state."

"The courts may be in danger of `slipping into the exercise of a broad benevolent discretion` and intervening on behalf of children who were `generally in need` rather than asking whether the conditions for removal from their parents had been strictly met, he said..."

"The review was set up by the Nuffield Foundation and the Family Rights Group charity after comments made two years ago by the current family division president, Sir James Munby, that relentless rises in care applications had plunged the family courts into crisis, with no clear solution in sight."

Friday, 15 June 2018

The tyranny of algorithms

From Cathy O’Neil, writer of ‘Weapons of Math Destruction’

"Big data essentially is a way of separating winners and losers. Big data profiles people. It has all sorts of information about them consumer behaviour, everything available in public records, voting, demography. It profiles people and then it sorts people into winners and losers in various ways. Are you persuadable as a voter or are you not persuadable as a voter? Are you likely to be vulnerable to a payday loan advertisement or are you impervious to that payday loan advertisement?"

"So you have scores in a multitude of ways. The framing of it by the people who own these models is that it’s going to benefit the world because more information is better. When, of course, what’s really going on and what I wanted people to know about is that it’s a rigged system, a system based on surveillance and on asymmetry of information where the people who have the power have much more information about you than you have about them. They use that to score you and then to deny you or offer you opportunities."


Friday, 8 June 2018

Children`s reading for cultural change

From UK Column News 31st May 2018

"So let`s have a look at what the BBC is up to here. If you go into it, this is highly animated. I find it particularly annoying because the screen scrolls in a particular way as you`re trying to read the text but it`s the story of some boys in the 1800s. They stow away on a vessel. They`re treated very cruelly. Eventually they`re put onto the ice and I think it`s two of them survive and the rest die. It`s quite a harrowing story. You`d say it`s very dark. At the moment it`s of historical interest up in Scotland and they`ve followed through on the story. So it`s got some serious historical basis to it but of course it`s now being presented as a cartoon on the mainstream news."

"Now if you get into this article and start to pay attention you come to the Magic Torch Comics organisation because they are mentioned in the creation of this whole feature of `The Boys on the Ice` and as we normally do we follow the evidence trail through. So here we are having a look at Magic Torch Comics and I`m going to say we`ve got a particularly unpleasant image with the caption: `There`s more to life than books y`know, but not much more...` Magic Torch comics is a social enterprise. By purchasing our publications and merchandise you will help to support our work and projects while demonstrating your general excellence in good taste." 


Mike Robinson: "So is that a rabbit hanging by its neck?"

Brian Gerrish: "Yeah, it is a rabbit hanging by its neck and as we`re going to see, sort of death and matters unpleasant, seem to be of great interest to this Magic Torch Comics."

"But this is the first thing that caught my eye: [It] is that when you try to establish who these people are it`s not possible. So if you`re going to contact them you have to fill in one of the email boxes. You`re not talking to a person; there are no names; it`s just you contact us over the internet and we`ll respond...."

"This is some more of their imagery. And we`re now on the subject of witches. This is the Rowan Tree Legion, Witches at War, October 2016.  And there seems to be a preoccupation with witches because this is them tweeting out Cracking#Paisley witchcraft comics created in our team-up folk comic workshops. So they`re very big on witches; they`re big on hanging rabbits; there`s an under element of nastiness and death."

"BBC thinks a lot of them. So we get to the end of the BBC article. It says: `The Stowaways` graphic novel was originally created by Magic Torch Comics and Ardowan Primary School, Greenock. It was created as part of the Heritage Inverclyde, A Quest for Learning programme - an Inverclyde Council project delivered by Inverclyde Community Development Trust and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland`."

"And then certain people are given acknowledgement, including for some of the images; and because the story goes from Scotland over to Newfoundland you`ve got people there identified as having an input from Newfoundland. But what is this all about?"

"Well it just gets more interesting because if we have a look at two of the individuals mentioned there, we`ve got this gentleman, Stephen Mulvey. He was the editor of the project; and the other gentleman here is Paul Kerley... he was involved in production. So Stephen Mulvey assistant editor of BBC Digital Current Affairs `where I run the writer`s desk. Russian-speaker trying to learn Spanish`, and the other gentleman is BBC journo - `being creative with photos and sound on the BBC News website`."

"My comment on this is: `Is this news Mike or is this the creation of stories?`  I`m not quite sure what`s going on."

"But we followed some of the tweets through. So this is Magic Torch Comics retweeting #trustelder, whoever that is. `A picture`s worth a thousand words. true #dementia care stories come to life through cartoons`. So now we`ve got into a particularly mucky area I think. We`ve got people in serious places in their lives, medical conditions, but we`re now going to support that with cartoons. And we`ll bring in this one as well. They`re retweeting the History Press; and we`ve got another hanging. `Notorious pirate William Kidd was hanged for murder and five counts of piracy`. So we`ve got anonymous comics dealing in dementia and death and mental health buried into the BBC as if it was news."

"Try this one. `Bringing rebellion into the classroom`. So here`s Magic Torch Comics retweeting the Scottish Book Trust. It says: `On the most rebellious day of the year, we`re launching our Rebel writing campaign for schools. Here`s how to inspire your pupils to start sharing their rebellious tales`. Now we could take the light hearted view this is just children playing with rebellious stories, but I think there`s many teachers out there who would say they`ve got big enough problems keeping order in class without encouraging the children to be rebellious. But we`ll leave it to our viewers and listeners to make their mind up on that one. "

"This is a bit more of the detail of that Book Trust because it`s got Mental Health Benefits. `Scotland is facing a mental health and wellbeing crisis. One in three people suffer from mental illness each year and the number of people with dementia is set to double in the next 25 years`. And they say here for example that reading can reduce stress. OK that`s fine. But then we`ve got: `Reading fiction can model ways of coping with alienation or problems at school, work or in relationships`. So now it`s not just reading; this is reading in order to reframe people, Mike.  I`m going to bring that word in. But they`re working for a Scotland where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive, no matter what their background. And then who are they working with? Alzheimer Scotland, Millennium Cohort Study [Joseph Rowntree Foundation], the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Reading for Change. So we`re getting a bit of a clue here as to what`s going on, Save the Children, University of Sussex Mindlab research."

"So this is not just about bringing books to children. This has got a highly political undertone I`m going to say, Mike, where clearly they are looking at bringing change into society via the reading habits of children."

Mike Robinson: "Yeah, but if we`re talking about University of Sussex Mindlab research, we`re also looking at how that change is implemented; what types of books provide the right type of change; what types of books don`t provide the right kind of change. So this is an academic research project as well."

Brian Gerrish: "Indeed. So let`s have a look in a bit more detail here. Here`s the Scottish Book Trust; lots of information; I encourage people to look at it, of course."

"Let`s bring in some of the people. We`ve got here Keir Bloomer, the chair, former Director of Education for Clackmannanshire Council, Chair of the Tapestry Partnership, a leading organisation in the field of teachers` professional development. Convener of the Education Committee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. [Member of the review group which wrote `A Curriculum for Excellence` (Scotland`s national curriculum)] So OK, this man seems to have an education background.  I`d like to know a little bit more."

"But let`s bring in this one. We`ve got Andy Marchant. He works with financial services companies, management consultants and charities on their business plans; previously Managing Director and Marketing Director, Aegon, Directo Line and Royal Bank of Scotland; experience in innovation and strategy. So how does this link in with children`s books?"

Mike Robinson: "It`s not quite so clear is it?"

"Not quite so clear."

"Well what about this man? We`ve got James Saville, Director of People, Operations and Systems, UK Government Department for International Development. So he`s been DFID for the past five years. His team were the 2015 Scottish HR Network team for their response to the Ebola crisis. So he jumps from that to books. But he`s also worked for HBOS plc, financial services and oil and gas sectors. So this man is a sort of international corporatist, now apparently helping children with their reading."

"Or we`ve got Catherine Smith, former head of marketing at RBS, consultant with KPMG. But she`s a member of the Executive Board, BBC Scotland. So a bit of a coincidence."

"And we`ll bring in the last one here. I think this lady is Norwegian. She`s had a Master`s Degree in Comparative Literature but she started her marketing career in Google EMEA headquaters in Dublin."

"When I look at these people, they`re not just there to help young children with their reading skills. This is bringing in a whole layer of political and cultural change. This is the sort of stuff that George Soros would back...."

Monday, 4 June 2018

Bottled water giant takes more water

The Girfec Octopus

"Campaigners opposed to the Named Person initiative have hit out at the latest `bizarre` creation to explain the controversial scheme Calamari SHANARRI, the wellbeing octopus. Children are being urged to knit the octopus and make up stories and rhymes about it as part of the Scottish Government’s Getting It Right For Each *Child (GIRFEC) scheme, which includes the Named Person initiative. Each of the octopus’s legs represents one of a child’s eight well-being indicators, which are also referred to in the Shanarri part of the name Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible, and Included. The octopus has been developed by Crossreach, the Church of Scotland Social Care Council, for the GIRFEC scheme and to teach children to become confident, productive and responsible members of society."

"But a spokesperson for No to Named Person (NO2NP), which challenged the Named Person scheme in court, said: `Calamari SHANARRI` is the latest in a long line of bizarre resources relating to GIRFEC the policy behind Named Persons.`It’s littered with jargon and recommends strange activities for young children which will be far beyond the understanding of most of them."During the court battle over Named Persons, Aidan O’Neill QC told Supreme Court judges that the legislation was so confusing, it was like wrestling with an octopus. It looks like whoever dreamt up this latest wheeze decided to take that literally.`A Scottish Government spokesman described the octopus as a `useful` addition to GIRFEC materials. A Church of Scotland spokesperson said the octopus was a `playful way to learn about the Scottish Government’s aspirations for children in Scotland`."

* Should be `every`

Read more at:

See petition PE01692: Inquiry into the human rights impact of GIRFEC policy and data processing

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Emotional Intelligence for educators and intelligence officers

Mike Robinson is talking to David Scott on UK Column News about the MI6 television advertisement . "So this is the first time MI6 has put an advertisement on British TV and it`s quite interesting."

"So MI6 is now openly advertising for candidates, David, and what I found interesting about this is that they have relaxed the selection criteria.... So you must still be a British citizen but you`re not required to have one parent who has been a UK citizen, or at least has substantial ties to the UK; so they seem to be relaxing that quite a bit. And many of the mainstream media articles on this have been highlighting the fact that they seem to be particularly targeting people with immigrant status.... I`m not quite sure what MI6 is playing at here. First of all they`re supposed to be a foreign intelligence agency, not operating within the UK; so it looks like they are, perhaps, looking for people that they can send back to their home countries."

David Scott: "Well that would be rational.  I don`t know that rational is the thing to mind when you see the advert. What was that saying? It`s all about some sort of emotional intelligence and if you care enough you`re really empathetic; you`re in fact an intelligence officer...."

"Right, right. That`s right, David. And emotional intelligence is of course pure Common Purpose speak. This is part of Common Purpose agenda that you have intelligence IQ; you have cultural intelligence; that`s CQ, which is an awareness of other cultures, and you have emotional intelligence which, of course, most people of a psychopathic or sociopathic bent don`t really understand which is why they need training on the issue."

David Scott:  "Yes, and in terms of the foreign recruitment again, what are we trying to do ? What are the strategic goals? What`s the oversight? Are we actually seeing an organisation that`s following, albeit in a secret way, well understood national objectives, security and safety? Or are we seeing something with an entirely different agenda? ... The level to which it is now beyond the ken of the public as to what is being done in their name, and beyond the control of politicians, is just astounding."

Another look at `Emotional Intelligence`

Emotional intelligence is being used in schools to dumb children down, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds:

"Gardner (1985) explains that multiple intelligences are needed to define the complex human abilities and refers to how intelligence is measured scientifically. He states that a child who is capable of completing mathematic sums is not overall more intelligent that the next child who can express his feelings or empathise with others in his peer group. It is this reason that emotional intelligence is highlighted in education as Gardner states that there are different kinds of intelligence and none more important than the other..."

Emotional intelligence is also being used in schools as a sly means to monitor families:
 "In its linguistic and behavioural manifestations, emotional intelligence is synonymous with ‘emotional literacy’ (Goleman, 1996). This concept is now given increasing prominence in education, where curriculum advice for three to seven year olds (Foundation and Key Stage 1) specifies personal and social development as one of the six key curriculum areas (DfEE/QCA, 2000). The expectation is that, in routine teaching practice as well as special group times (‘Circle Time’) children in primary schools will be encouraged to talk to teachers and to one another and about personal and interpersonal difficulties and positive behavioural changes are to be conspicuously rewarded (Mortimer, 2003)."

See also Emotional Intelligence and Curriculum for Excellence

The consensus for constructivism

"Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence might not, at first sight, appear to be controversial. An outsider might notice the remarkable consensus that has accompanied its development at the heart of policy for school education. The report which launched it in 2004 is still endorsed by all five political parties in the Scottish Parliament..."

"The consensus extends also to every vested interest in Scottish education. The teacher trade unions have signed up to it so enthusiastically that they have been represented on its management board. The local authorities, responsible for managing public-sector schools, offered no dissent. The universities officially accepted the ideas uncritically, with their teacher-education faculties notably enthusiastic. Even critically supportive assessments were very unusual (but see that from Professor Mark Priestley)."

"Yet the curriculum has recently been the centre of widespread disquiet. The arguments are of a uniquely Scottish kind because they pit the entire leadership class in policy against maverick outsiders. So these critiques are partly invisible. But they reflect a sense that a once-admired education system is now mediocre..."

"But the reason why the new curriculum is a plausible culprit for the decline lies in what it gets children to learn. It belongs to that strand of curricular thinking sometimes known as constructivism. The essence of this view is that studying bodies of knowledge is pedagogically ineffective. Knowledge goes quickly out of date, and learning it is dull. Children emerge allegedly unable to think for themselves, unskilled for work in the new economy, and unprepared to act as democratic citizens. Instead, children should be enabled to construct knowledge for themselves."

"The defenders of the curriculum deny that knowledge is being neglected, but the survey results and the details of the voluminous curricular documents belie that..."

"The argument against Curriculum for Excellence is ... that subject disciplines are not merely arbitrary. They are the refinement of knowledge that has been gradually built up over centuries. In relation to that knowledge, each new generation of children are no more than humble apprentices. Knowledge can therefore be emancipating, and knowledge acquired through schools provides that opportunity to people who would not get it from home. If schools stop teaching structured knowledge, then inequality of access to knowledge will widen, because the children of the well-educated and the wealthy will get it in other ways..."