Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Peter Hofschroer is still in Hull prison

Originally posted by Cathyfox:

"It is believed that Peter Hofschroer has been set up with false charges, to stop him carrying on with his private criminal court case against his mothers abductors, and to draw attention from the real criminals who abducted his mother and who are intertwined with those who frustrated justice by hiding Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconellis crimes."

For links and to read more:

Message From Freedom Talk Radio Setv29 December 2014 at 01:39
"I Went to see peter hofschroer on Saturday 27th December his prison id on all letters and emails please A332 4DJ."

"Peter is a fine gentleman he is in HMP prison Hull Hedon Road, Hull, North Humberside HU9 5LS."

"Peter thanks each and every one of his supporters and grandma b abuse story."

"Peter wants us all to write to him whether he knows you or not offering your support and comments about this case as often public support can change the legal process."

"Peter thanks all of your messages to him so far he thanks you all."

"You can also email a prisoner in the uk."

"Peter isn't allowed to use a telephone he understands and he hasn't been given correct medication he saw the doctor after 8 days in prison he will get medication today the phone calls are baffling me."

"Peter is in good spirits and happy with his treatment at hmp hull apart from they still refuse to give him proper medication and making him where prison clothes as he is on remand this breeches his prison rights."

"Peter is in discussions with legal advisers at this present time he needs a expert dealing with pc and image crimes any ideas andy"

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Grandmother sentenced to 3 months

"A grandmother was hauled out of a comedy show and arrested on the orders of a family court judge – simply for hugging her granddaughter. Kathleen Danby, 72, was sentenced in her absence to three months in jail by the secretive Court of Protection in April after a judge heard she embraced the vulnerable girl, 19, against the wishes of social services."

"In an extraordinary move, she was arrested on Sunday night as she watched the comedian Ken Dodd at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.  Last night the grandmother was being held in custody, police confirmed. She is expected to be taken to court this morning. The girl’s father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has condemned her arrest as ‘absolutely ridiculous’."

"‘She’s told me she’s going to fight this but I’m concerned for her in custody. 'I don’t know what’s going to happen. She’s got a liver disease so she’s constantly on medication and she was totally knackered. I’m very angry.’"

"According to Mrs Danby, the girl was moved into care in Derbyshire in 2007 when she was 11, a year after being taken away from her father in Orkney by social services, on what she called a ‘spurious excuse’. He was banned from seeing her after he was convicted of ill-treatment for restraining her from running into a busy road while she was having a temper tantrum, she said.
She revealed that her son had been jailed twice for trying to contact his daughter – once for waving at her taxi as she travelled to school."

"He told the Mail that he faces 18 months in prison if he leaves Orkney as there is currently a warrant out for his arrest for speaking to his daughter following a court hearing in Derby last year. And under a draconian judgment kept secret from the public, Mrs Danby was banned from making contact with the girl, who has learning difficulties, apart from a monthly telephone call monitored by social services."

"In February she was accused of disobeying court orders after social workers discovered that she had met her granddaughter at a model railway exhibition, and was caught on CCTV four days later giving her a hug outside a pub. Speaking to the Mail from her home in Kirkwall, Orkney, in June, she insisted that her granddaughter wanted to have a relationship with both her and her son, and revealed that she had run away from care more than 170 times."

"Eamonn Kelly, from False Allegations Action Scotland, described Mrs Danby’s case as ‘one of the most disturbing’ he had encountered."

Read more:


See also

Reviewing curriculum for excellence will be difficult

"A MAJOR review of the implementation of Scotland's troubled new curriculum is hamstrung by a lack of vital school information, experts have warned."

"The Royal Society of Edinburgh said a forthcoming investigation into the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) would find it impossible to draw "valid conclusions" about any impact of the reforms."

"A report by the society's education committee said the problem had arisen because no proper baseline assessments had been done before the introduction of CfE, while the Scottish Government has also withdrawn from a number of international educational surveys which benchmark quality."

"The warning comes after ministers announced in September last year that experts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) would be called in to evaluate the controversial reforms of what is taught in schools."

"The Paris-based, set up to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, is due to report in December 2015."

"A report by the society's education committee states: "The absence of a systematic programme of independent evaluation of CfE has been a long-standing and key concern of the education committee."

"Without high quality evaluation, not only do we not know what is going well and what is not, but we have no way of developing a proper understanding or an ability to plan so that improvements can be made."

"It is our understanding that the OECD review will not undertake an in-depth evaluation of the impact of CfE. Rather, it will adopt a broader, forward-looking perspective on how the CfE reforms are being implemented, making recommendations it deems to be appropriate."

How does this compare with the recent announcement that Scotland could become a global pioneer by making its curriculum the first to be continually updated ?  If progress is difficult to evaluate because no proper baseline assessments had been done before commencing CfE, then constantly changing the curriculum in the absence of evaluation seems a careless decision.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Ashya King`s family afraid to return to England

"Recalling his terror when he was stopped at Gatwick airport last month, Brett said: "People keep saying ‘Come back to England, everything will be safe, it’ll be easy’."

"So I tried it. I wanted to turn the heating off in my house and drain the water because I thought it was going to get cold. I also wanted to see my mum because we miss her."

"I didn’t think there would be any hassle – but there was."

"When you have been labelled as ‘on the run’ you are affected psychologically. It’s affected my confidence, even when walking into a shop where there are security guards."

"At Gatwick they stopped me and said the police want to talk to me again, so it really hit me on a raw spot."

"I’d like to go back to England again in the New Year but I don’t want any more hassle."

Appalling number of children living in temporary accommodation

"The number of children living in temporary accommodation over the Christmas period is "appalling", a Liberal Democrat MSP has said."

"Jim Hume said new figures that revealed more than 1,500 children under the age of 10 were without a home reflected "the shocking extent of Scotland's housing crisis".

"The Scottish Liberal Democrats obtained the data from two thirds of the country's local authorities to find out how many households with a child aged below 10 were living in temporary accommodation. There were 471 in Glasgow - the highest number - while there were 281 in Edinburgh, 118 in Aberdeenshire and 40 in Dundee."

"Earlier this month, housing charity Shelter said it was "completely unacceptable" that more than 4,000 children will be homeless in Scotland over Christmas and called on the Government to build at least 10,000 new social homes each year."

"Mr Hume said: "It is appalling that over 1,500 children under the age of 10 will spend Christmas in temporary accommodation. This reflects the shocking extent of Scotland's housing crisis."

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Esther Rantzen to become a Dame

"Esther Rantzen, the former television presenter and founder of ChildLine, will be made a Dame in the New Year's Honours list."

"Miss Rantzen, 74, set up the ChildLine councilling charity almost 30 years ago to give young people confidential advice about sexual abuse and bullying."

"Miss Rantzen was one of Britain's most high-profile broadcasters, and presented That's Life for more than 20 years."
How much did Esther Rantzen really know about Jimmy Savile? See link below:

Agenda 21 in action


Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

"In 2009, Learning and Teaching Scotland, the lead agency responsible for the school curriculum in Scotland, launched the experiences and outcomes relating to the new curriculum entitled Curriculum for Excellence. This new curriculum represents the biggest transformation in Scottish education ever to take place. Global citizenship, including education for sustainable development, is formally embedded within the experiences and outcomes of the curriculum and schools are being encouraged to adopt a whole school approach to these issues..."

"Climate change is a particularly strong driver of ESD at present, likely as a result of the government`s increased engagement in climate change-related matters, which includes establishment of a dedicated government department, and a national media campaign on carbon reduction, but also due to increased engagement of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector and grassroots actors on climate change."

"In Scotland, a separate Climate Change (Scotland) Act was passed in 2009 and the Scottish Government published a Climate Change Delivery Plan, which called for a progressive sustainable development agenda that included full decarbonisation of road transport by 2050."

It is the reason why there has been the biggest dumbing down of children in Scottish education ever.

From the Daily Mail


"Householders across the country will be horrified to learn that, over the next decade or two, the Government plans to phase out all our gas-fired cookers and heating systems —forcing us to replace them at a cost of untold billions."

"Official documents reveal the Government is seriously contemplating that, within 25 years or so, gas will be all but banned — along with petrol and diesel."

"The intention is that not only our cooking and heating but much else, including our cars and most of the vehicles on Britain’s roads, will have to be powered by electricity."

"The Government admits this astonishingly ambitious plan will be the most far-reaching energy revolution since electricity itself was discovered."

"This particular piece of legislative folly was pushed through Parliament six years ago by Ed Miliband, as our first ever Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and decreed that Britain must cut its emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels by a staggering 80 per cent within 35 years."
"When this Act passed almost unanimously through Parliament in 2008, not a single MP, let alone Mr Miliband, had the faintest idea how we could actually meet such an improbable target."
"This landed officials of the Department of Energy and Climate Change with the virtually impossible task of working out how we could meet our legal obligation — short of closing down virtually all our fossil-fuel-dependent economy."
"What they came up with was set out in a 244-page document entitled ‘2050 Pathways Analysis’, which explains how they imagine we might achieve what they call the ‘de-carbonisation’ of Britain."

"Let me quote one passage from the Department of Energy’s report: ‘Demand for electricity,’ it tells us, ‘would double by 2050 as a result of electrification of much of industry, heating and transport. Decarbonisation would mean that all of the UK’s electricity would come from low carbon sources by the 2040s."

"This would firstly be achieved, it continues, ‘by making significant use of the UK’s wind resource’. An indication of what ‘significant’ means in this context is to be found in another Department of Energy document, which suggests it plans to build up to 20,000 wind turbines on land, and up to 40,000 more offshore."

Read more:

This toxic lake poisons Chinese farmers, their children and their land. It is what's left behind after making the magnets for Britain's latest wind turbines...

Read more:

It is not often we hear a politician speaking out against Agenda 21 but here is Ann Bressington. She notes how `climate change` is being used as the rallying point to bring in the transformational change that is Agenda 21.

Decarbonisation will be responsible for decimating industry, but there is more. If we want to feed the world, locking up atmospheric carbon dioxide so that it is unavailable for plant growth, is madness. See the link below which provides many examples of the benefits of carbon dioxide to plants.

Of course, Education for Sustainable Development has nothing to say about this.

More from Ann Bressington below

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Untold Story of Madeleine McCann -forthcoming Documentary

Circumventing the Data Protection Act 1998

Since the introduction of the Children and Young People Bill councils in Scotland have been preparing their data management strategies. From the Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee we have: `Keeping our children safe`
Remember, nothing whatsoever, in Scottish, UK and/or European Law and/or in the Scottish child protection legislative, policy and/or practice environments prevents you from sharing personal information and in some cases sensitive personal information where you are worried or concerned about a child or young person’s wellbeing. On the contrary, you are, within certain limitations and constraints, empowered to do so.
Where you have agreed to share information you should do so with the child or young person’s Named Person (and if already appointed and/or known the Lead Professional).
Consent should only be sought when the individual has a real choice over the matter. If you have a genuine, professional concern in relation to a child or young person’s wellbeing that you believe must be shared with another service, agency and/or practitioner with or without consent, there is no requirement to seek consent ...

Sensitive personal information includes health, race, sexuality, religion, criminal offences, political opinions, trade union membership etc. And access to all this information comes about because the threshold for state intervention has been lowered from a `risk of significant harm` to some practitioner`s subjective concern about a child`s wellbeing, which may lead to harm, or may not.

The only thing a practitioner needs to do is to build a narrative of wellbeing concern around a few potentially unrelated observations.
We can imagine a possible scenario: Wee Jimmy has missed a lot of school recently; he has been very quiet in class, not like himself and Mummy has had a new baby but has not been seen in the neighbourhood.  Rumour has it the boyfriend ran off.  A concerned adult informs the Named Person who decides she needs to find out what is `going on`. After all, it is her role to avert a crisis. The truth is wee Jimmy had the flu and has still not quite regained his strength but is on the mend. The family is delighted with the new baby but it has been too cold to take it out and Dad is working away to earn money for Christmas. Everybody is happy.

Some people misconstrue events more easily than others. It`s those people who are going to be the real menaces with this new legislation.

Governments , both north and south, have introduced legislation to undermine the Data Protection Act and the Information Commissioner has bent over to accommodate the new legislation.  In England the DPA is circumvented through integrated services and the `troubled families` scheme .

Here is Maureen Falconer reassuring everyone that the Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing information. Unfortunately, until it is legally contested, that is the case.

There have been plenty of data breaches.

Dutch children kidnapped by state

From Christopher Booker: 

"Anyone wishing to see just how shocking the behaviour of our "child protection" system can be should watch an utterly chilling video on YouTube ... "Kidnap of children from their mother by Dutch social services…"  It shows 11-year-old twins screaming in protest as they are seized by social workers and carried off by a mob of policemen, from the loving home they have now not seen for nearly three years. "
"Although they belong to a Russian-Latvian family resident for years in Holland, it is a scene re-enacted every day in Britain, thanks to a system that the Dutch children’s minister said in 2009 should be an "inspiration" to social workers in his own country. Having reported on this awful story more than once before, I now write about it again because this very day, in the town of Nijmegen, those children will be rushing joyfully into the arms of their mother and their brother Ilja Antonovs (who shot the film) – because last week, a judge ruled that the children should never have been removed in the first place. "

"I have followed this case because, in so many ways, it mirrors what is being done on an unprecedented scale to so many families in Britain – except that here it is usually not possible to report on them in anything like such graphic detail. "T

"Since March 2012, their mother and Ilja, now 26, have fought an extraordinary battle through the courts, with the aid of two capable and committed lawyers, to get the twins freed from the "living facility" where they were placed by the social workers, at a yearly cost to Dutch taxpayers of €80,000 (£60,000) for each child. ... "

"Finally, one judge asked for an assessment of all the family by an independent psychologist. She could not have produced a more favourable report, or been more coruscating about the conduct of the social workers. She was particularly contemptuous of their absurd claim that the only reason for holding the children so long was the mother’s failure to "co-operate with professionals", an excuse only too familiar here in Britain."

"The real hero of this story is Ilja, who has twice had to miss his place at St Andrews University because of his need to fight for his family, for humanity, for justice and for truth. His tireless efforts to get publicity for his family’s plight on one occasion landed him in prison, on another forced him to flee abroad. I only hope St Andrews will now recognise what an impressive young man he is, as at long last, he hopes to take up his promised place there. "

Monday, 22 December 2014

Independent panel could be disbanded

"The independent panel set up to support the planned public inquiry into historical child abuse could be disbanded, the BBC understands."

"Home Secretary Theresa May has written to panel members saying three options to give the inquiry full statutory powers are being considered."

"Only one option does not require the panel to be disbanded."

"A Home Office spokesman said Mrs May wanted to balance making progress "with the need to get this right".

"The panel, which has started work, still has nobody to chair it after the first two nominations stood down."

"An inquiry source told the BBC panel members have been told their jobs will go in the new year and that they will be invited to apply for positions on the new panel."

Abuse inquiry to hear about drug testing in Scottish mental hospitals

"HOLYROOD’S child abuse inquiry will hear claims that British military scientists conducted drug tests on orphans in Scottish mental hospitals. Lennox Castle Hospital is one of four Scottish institutions alleged to have been involved."

"The allegations centre on at least four institutions where thousands of children are said to have been experimented upon in conditions described as "like something out of Auschwitz". It is alleged that Porton Down, the top secret military facility in Wiltshire, was involved in trialling drugs for use in the Cold War on youngsters who were regarded as "feeble-minded".

"One survivor told this newspaper he has obtained written and video evidence that he will pass to the public inquiry into historical abuse of children in care when it begins next year. The man, now in his 50s, has been advised by lawyers to conceal his identity for his own safety until his full submission can be lodged at the inquiry announced by Scottish Education Secretary Angela Constance."

"However, he was willing to divulge some of his intended testimony about the treatment he and others suffered. He said: "Six and seven year olds were tied to racks and given electric shocks. "I was incarcerated with orderlies armed with rubber coshes. "We were imprisoned, experimented upon, lobotomies, you name it, they did it.  "I was there, I saw it with my own eyes."

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Scottish Government`s guidance on sex education

The Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) is a charity which provides help, information and support to parents and carers who want to be involved in their children`s education. Through its work it is able to share what parents and carers say.

The SPTC has expressed its concern (updated 17 December) about the Children and Young People Bill which proposes that there should be a Named Person for every child in Scotland from birth until 18. The charity does not believe this proposal has been properly thought through nor does it believe it would make things better for most  children who already have parents acting in their children`s best interest. The SPTC makes the point that the parent is there twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year, unlike the 9 - 5 professionals.

It is the section in the Bill on information sharing and confidentiality that most worries the charity. It is of the opinion that it is the requirement in the Bill to share private information with the Named Person - who may go on to share the same information across services -  which will inhibit parents and children from asking anybody for help when they need it.

The recently released sex education guidance from the Scottish Government adds further complications to the issue of confidentiality because it makes no reference to parents at all. The guidance is for everyone who works with children in an educational setting, whether formal or informal.

We are informed that teachers should be fully aware of children and young people`s right to privacy in the context of disclosures made in the course of relationships, sexual  health and parenthood education (RSHP) , and the limits of that right in terms of child protection guidance. "The right to privacy is not an absolute right, and where there is a risk to wellbeing, it is acceptable to share confidential information with the child`s Named Person.

Here`s the Christian Institute, one of the organisations who have taken legal action against the Named Person plans:
"After the release of the guidance, the Institute and co-petitioners requested a special hearing on the matter. Aiden O`Neil QC presented the case in court and Lord Pentland will consider the issue before giving a ruling."
"Earlier this week NO2NP said the new sex education guidance `beggars belief` and is `another example of the Government undermining the importance of parents`. In the section on confidentiality the guidelines make no reference to parents. Instead it says: `Staff should discuss any concerns they have with the young person and ensure they have access to confidential, young people friendly services, where appropriate. If there is judged to be a risk to the child`s wellbeing, staff should inform the child`s Named person.`"

In other words, it is possible that young people will be directed towards contraceptive and sexual health services without their parents knowing anything about it. This is even more worrying in light of the amount of work being done in schools from age 5 and onwards to keep sex at the forefront of children`s minds:

For instance, from a Glasgow City Council Management circular we are told that the approach to sex education should include active teaching and learning approaches such as focused surveys and questionnaires; discussion and debate; analysis of information, case studies and statistics; quick think/brainstorm activities; `draw and write`; role-play and drama situations; problem solving opportunities; use of audio visual, computer, and information communication technologies.

From the sex education guidance: "Curriculum for Excellence is now established in Scottish schools. Health and Wellbeing has an integral role within Curriculum for Excellence, permeating every aspect of the curriculum...Children and young people should be supported and encouraged to discuss all aspects of their wellbeing and understand the importance of wellbeing in contributing to their growth and development..."
All through school and across all areas of the curriculum children are to be encouraged to disclose intimate details of their lives which can be kept secret from their parents but can be shared with their Named Person. When does this stop being RSHP education and start to become child exploitation and child grooming?
See also
Children as young as 12 are being given contraceptive implants. At least five Scottish health boards have given long-term birth control to girls who are barely out of primary school. The schoolgirls are among almost 3,500 minors to have had the slow-release devices inserted in their arms – many without their parents’ knowledge, even though they are under the age of consent – since 2010.

Read more:

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Melanie escapes jail after mysterious shed blaze


Melanie Shaw with her MP, Chris Leslie who supported
her throughout her prison ordeal.

This article from Neon Nettle provides a bit more information.

The sentence, for starting a shed fire and throwing paint on a neighbour’s home, came as a welcome surprise to supporters lining the gallery at Nottingham Crown Court. Some, having observed irregularities in the October trial, had been convinced of a secret agenda to silence the witness to a high ranking paedophile ring.
For Melanie Shaw, who is still fighting to clear her name through the High Court, it was the best result she could have hoped for, except for one unpalatable condition. She had to agree to a mental health diagnosis that she’s never had before. 
Speaking exclusively to Neon Nettle, she said: "I was told by my legal team to admit you’re delusional and paranoid schizophrenic, otherwise you’re going to jail. And when I got in the dock, that’s what Judge Pert said: ‘If you hadn’t been mentally ill, I’d be jailing you’. Now this is the same judge that stated Operation Daybreak is a conspiracy theory." 
"I’ve been diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from all the rapes as a child. But I’ve not ever been described as being delusional paranoid schizophrenic, ever."
"I’ve done time in prison on remand and on tag – and now I’ve got a three year probation order. There has been a miscarriage of justice."
The firm of solicitors acting for Melanie Shaw claimed there were no grounds to appeal the arson conviction, but the legally trained advocate who has been at Melanie’s side throughout her ordeal says she identified several.
"The prosecution barrister maintained that the fire service took two hours to get the blaze under control but no one came [to the trial] from the fire service to substantiate that," she said.\
The last paragraph is particularly interesting  because it was reported in the Nottingham Post that there were two gas cylinders inside the shed at the time of the blaze, but they did not explode. If it took the fire service two hours to get the blaze under control that is something which is difficult to believe.
See also

Secret courts in Ireland

Joe Burns exposes a national tragedy.

''Much of what we believe about Child Protection and Adoption is a lie. While many people are afraid to tackle the Sacred Cows of the Child Abuse Industry, the author will take you through the process with Case Studies and stories that the victims of this system are not allowed to tell you by law. Everyone is gagged and many people are jailed and harassed for speaking out.''

''Child Abuse and Neglect didn't end with the Catholic Institutions, it got far worse. Children are removed from families on nothing more than suspicion and placed at higher risk and placed in State "Care".... ''

''In a billion a year industry, the only growth industry left in Ireland, children are being harmed and Police are not investigating crimes against children...''

''While this book primarily deals with the system in Ireland, it examines how children are protected throughout the world. The author has assisted in cases around the world, primarily Ireland, UK, USA and Canada, the worst examples in the world. ''

Joe Burns can be found at `Alliance for Parents against the State` on Facebook.

For more details about the book:

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Call to end long-distance care

Claire DyerThe Swansea-based family of Claire Dyer, 20, (pictured) say they have lost their fight to prevent a health board moving their daughter from a local unit to a secure hospital in Brighton. They say the provision is unsuitable and a five-hour drive away from her home.

"Catherine Dyer, Claire’s mother, said her family is “heart-broken” by the development, adding: “This decision will tear our family apart.”

"Claire’s predicament follows other high-profile cases where young people have been placed in so-called ‘specialist units’ at great distances from their homes and against their family’s wishes.
In 2009, 21-year-old Steven Neary was unlawfully placed in a care unit in Hillingdon, Middlesex for a year. He was due to be moved to a care home in Wales until his father, Mark, succeeded in a legal battle to free his son from the grip of the local authority. In April this year Josh Wills, a 13-year old boy with autism, was placed in a unit in Birmingham, 260 miles away from his home in Cornwall. Although people are meant to be in such places for a short period, some remain in them for years."

"Adding to the crisis in provision, the lack of staff training in the specialist units has also come into question following the death last year of Connor Sparrowhawk, 18. Connor, who had autism, drowned in a bath at an Oxfordshire NHS in-patient unit for people with learning difficulties."

"The charity Mencap has added its voice against the moving of Claire Dyer from “the family that loves and supports her”.
"The plight of people in Claire’s situation has given rise to the launch of a campaign for a private member’s bill. The LB Bill (named after Connor Sparrowhawk’s nickname, Laughing Boy) is intended to end long-distance care for people with learning difficulties and improve community-based care."
- See more at:

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Robert Green at Aberdeen sheriff court

Robert Green, campaigner for an investigation into the alleged abuse of Hollie Greig, appeared at Aberdeen sheriff court on Monday 15 December 2014. He was hoping that his bail condition would be relaxed but this did not happen and he will have to continue making the three mile trip there are back every day to report to his local police station at Warrington throughout the Christmas and New Year period.
Mr Macintosh was the barrister representing Robert Green at the short interim hearing but sheriff Fleetwood who has presided over several hearings and who granted Robert Green bail recused himself because of his association with sheriff Buchanan which has intensified due to his promotion.
Sheriff Fleetwood was not in a position to make any decision and the case will continue on 13 January 2015 when there will be a new sheriff.
All of this is very unfortunate. Robert Green, who spent 96 days in prison without trial, has now been under house arrest for about 200 days.
While the announcement of an inquiry into child abuse in Scotland is welcome, we must ask why campaigners against child abuse are given such a hard time.
Source UK Column News 

A public inquiry to be announced in Scotland

Mr Alan Draper, an academic who compiled a report for the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said he hoped the inquiry would bring a "cascade of change" and begin to reform the law so that abuse survivors would not be prevented from seeking justice.

"A public inquiry into historical sex abuse is to be announced this week, BBC Scotland has learned."

"The move, to be confirmed by Scottish government ministers, is supported by opposition parties."

"The announcement is expected to confirm a timetable, although the precise terms of reference have yet to be drawn up."

The move follows a number of scandals involving the abuse of children in care, including at institutions run by the Roman Catholic church."

Update 17.12.2014
"The Scottish government has announced a statutory public inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care. Education Secretary Angel Constance said the inquiry would have powers to force witnesses to give evidence. She said abusers would "face the full force of the law" where it brought to light evidence of crimes."

"Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Constance said the full remit of the inquiry would be confirmed by the end of April 2015, following discussions with the survivors of abuse, which would begin in January..."

"Her announcement came 10 years after former First Minister Jack McConnell offered an apology to victims of abuse in children's homes, but at the time stopped short of agreeing to a full public inquiry."

"Prof Andy Kendrick, head of the university's school of social work, said: "It is a testament to survivors that we have reached the point of an inquiry. This follows a long campaign by survivors to achieve justice."

"Alison McInnes, of the Liberal Democrats, told MSPs that victims had "long cried out" for an inquiry but said they must get proper support when interacting with it."

Previous inquiries into institutional child abuse in Scotland have included the Shaw Review, which in 2007 called for a new centre to help victims, and the 2009 probe into the treatment of vulnerable youngsters at the former Kerelaw Residential Unit in Ayrshire.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Death, dying and bereavement in curriculum for excellence

Angela Constance Education Secretary
It is clear that Curriculum for Excellence despite its label is a curriculum for non-academics. All teachers must take responsibility for literacy across the curriculum but when this consists of talking, listening, designing posters and digital texts, literacy is being dumbed down. Along with the literate mind and the text books out goes the individualistic mind who can read deeply and study widely, following his or her own inclinations and standards.

To fill the gap there are a whole set of skills for pupils to develop their understanding of the shared experiences and outcomes, and group activities and projects galore. They give pupils the opportunity to show that they have acquired the appropriate attitudes, values and behaviours. Preparing students for the skills they will need for their economic and civic roles is what matters in the 21st century.

As well as literacy and numeracy, `health and wellbeing` must be adopted across the whole curriculum. This covers physical and mental wellbeing, social and emotional learning, character development, sex education, healthy eating and so on. Teachers, unsure of their ground, are being assisted by a wealth of different charities and not-for-profit organisations who are prepared to engage with teachers at conferences or to go into schools to talk directly to pupils.

Character Scotland

Character Scotland is an "educational charity formed in 2009 by a group of academics, educationalists and local entrepreneurs. The Character Scotland Network is an informal group of organisations, professionals, practitioners and members of the public who are enthusiastic about personal development and dedicated to supporting the cultivation and recognition of character attributes in Scotland."

The charity does spread itself about.

Gary Walsh from Character Scotland attended the Global Conference on character education in Geneva, Switzerland. One of the featured speakers was Deputy Director of the Education Directorate of the OECD, Bernard Harris. Character Scotland also co-hosted the Values Education conference in Edinburgh with Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC), Learning for Sustainability Scotland, and Lifeworlds Learning. The two day conference covered practice in values and character education from a variety of spectrums...

Who are these people to push their own ideas of the good life on to our children ?

Good life, good death, good grief

This charity has a sample of ideas on their website for those who work with young people. "Engagement with children and young people is vitally important in helping to foster healthy and constructive approaches to death, dying and bereavement among young people in Scotland. ..With reference to Curriculum for Excellence they say: "The mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing experiences and outcomes within CfE Health and Wellbeing Framework provide an excellent opportunity for discussion and activities related to death, dying and bereavement."

Yes, they do call it an excellent opportunity - but this is Curriculum for Excellence.  (In newspeak `excellent` means `dumb.`)

Then, to add insult to injury their final example is the Perth and Kinross Schools Bereavement project. Each school in the area was provided with resources and a teacher to engage in an activity such as artwork relating to bereavement - as if pupils in Perth and Kinross have not been distressed enough with the probing questions in the Evidence2success survey.

The charity was established and is hosted by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care which promoted the use of the discredited Liverpool Care Pathway. The protocol involves deliberately removing food and fluid from those diagnosed as dying (not an exact science) and has caused the premature and agonising death of thousands. There`s a new protocol in place but it is doubtful that it is an improvement.

The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care is a death cult.

With these protocols in place, it is easy to understand why children are expected to develop a more casual attitude towards death - but is that good for a child`s character ?

See conference details:
Note this one: Human Enhancements: redefining what it means to be human


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Survivors` meeting with Home Office

Chris Tuck recalls what took place at an earlier meeting between Survivors/Survivor Organisations and the Home Office. The important issues raised at the meeting were:

The need for an inquiry with statutory powers

The need for transparency around the panel

The Terms of Reference should be extended back to the 1950s and include other areas as well as England.

Chris Tuck explains: "The HO know that they are skating on thin ice with regards to their credibility with us. I know that some survivors/orgs have already boycotted the inquiry..."  Regarding the Terms of Reference he has this to say:

"One of the main concerns was that the TOR geographical location was not wide enough. There was grave concern about the movement of perpetrators of abuse to different countries and unless the TOR included these countries the perpetrators would get off scot free because they would not be tracked if that particular country was excluded from the Inquiry."

"There was grave concern about Scotland not being involved in the Inquiry and John (O`Brien) explained that ...the UK government cannot make Scotland take part but can invite them and they have done so just waiting for a firm response. The Scottish individuals in the room said that Scotland would take part."

"The Welsh representative in the room said Wales are waiting for inclusion into the Inquiry and would like representation in some form." 

Meanwhile the general discontent continues as two members of Theresa May’s panel inquiring into child sex abuse are facing calls to resign after being accused of sending threatening or insulting emails to victims who had criticised the inquiry.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Melanie Shaw sentenced to 3 years probation

"A woman convicted of arson after a family of five had to flee their home when she allegedly set fire to their shed will serve her sentence in the community. Melanie Shaw ... was found guilty of starting a shed fire and throwing paint on a Sherwood family’s home last month."
"Despite denying the charges, she was convicted by a jury’s unanimous verdict of arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered on February 1, and damaging property at the same house on June 26."
'Returning to Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday, December 11, she was given a community order for three years with supervision from the probation service. Judge Michael Pert QC was satisfied Shaw suffered from mental illness and told her: "Because you are ill, I’m not going to send you to prison."

"She was banned by a five-year restraining order from contacting the victims of the arson attack or going to their address. Shaw thanked the judge for his time as she left court as her many supporters, who attended her trial, clapped as she left court."

Read more:


Brian Gerrish from the UK Column who attended the court gives a different version of the case.

Melanie Shaw is a child abuse survivor who was a whistleblower in connection with her own and other children`s abuse at the Nottinghamshire Beechwood care home. She reported that as well as physical and sexual abuse some children were suicided, or murdered, on site.

Nottinghamshire police began an investigation called operation Daybreak and more victims came forward. The council paid out compensation to some victims but through civil, not criminal action, which meant no perpetrators were brought to book.

Then Melanie Shaw was given a friendly warning that if she kept speaking out, the council would remove her son. After a report from one of Melanie`s neighbours social services got involved and put her son into foster care. After that they attempted to brand Melanie as mentally ill and have her sectioned, an attempt which failed at that time.

Melanie Shaw was not convinced that operation Daybreak was a proper investigation and she believes that police lied about doing certain interviews when she knew it was not possible. The grounds of the care home were never searched despite the allegations of murder and the council sold off the site.

It was then that Melanie was charged with arson and throwing paint at a neighbour`s wall; yet 999 police calls have no record of the event, nor does the fire service. The police got mixed up with the date of the fire and there are other discrepancies in the evidence. Let out on bail one of the conditions was that Melanie must stay away from her neighbour. When this neighbour appeared at her door Melanie Shaw called the police. It was then that Melanie was arrested and held in secret until the UK Column tracked her down.

Whilst on remand in Peterborough prison Melanie Shaw was examined by a psychiatrist for an hour, at a point in her life when Melanie was having her medication withheld and was very vulnerable, who said she was mentally ill and delusional. Her own longterm psychiatrist who has a different view was not called on to testify about Melanie`s mental health.

The judge at the trial, who was reported to have been napping during some of the proceedings, said that operation Daybreak was a `conspiracy theory.` This is despite the fact there were 90 victims who came forward and some of them were paid compensation by the council. The sentence of three years probation has the effect of silencing another whistleblower of child abuse and the psychiatrist`s report means that Melanie has lost her credibility as a witness.

See also

Friday, 12 December 2014

Air rifle incident

"A boy bullied by Facebook trolls took a gun out in public and aimed at police marksmen in a bid to make them kill him."

"Autistic Samuel Barlow, 16, is behind bars awaiting sentence after admitting five charges over the rampage. But his father said he fired no shots and never wanted to harm anyone.And he told how his son snapped and ran amok with the air rifle after being "pushed over the edge" by Facebook bullies..."

"Barlow hiked six miles across country to Lerwick, where he walked through gardens in the town’s Westerloch area, tried to get into houses and threatened two terrified residents with the gun. He then advanced towards the islands’ two firearms officers and repeatedly pointed the weapon at them and their vehicle. The police did not fire. Instead, they tried to persuade Barlow to give himself up."

"Prosecutor Duncan Mackenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court: "I’m not sure if the accused appreciates how close he came to being shot." He said the officers’ professionalism, restraint and courage had saved the teenager’s life."

"Officers, who had been trying in vain for some time to persuade Barlow to surrender, moved in and overpowered him at 5.15pm. Barlow was arrested and is being held at Polmont young offenders institution. He appeared in court on Wednesday by video link. The teenager pled guilty to four charges of assaulting police and members of the public by pointing the air rifle at them..."

"Paul, a crofter and father of six, deeply regrets the fear and disruption his son caused. But he wants the people of Shetland to understand what drove him to act as he did.  "Samuel has autism, and unknown to us had been stalked and menaced for three to four months on the internet. "People were manipulating him. This is what caused it. He was stable until these people got a hold on him."

"Paul said he and Barlow’s mum Ruth, 43, had been trying for years to get their son the help he needs. But he added: "The system wouldn’t do anything. The educational system failed him. We’ve always known he had learning difficulties but they’ve avoided diagnosing it as autism. "Autism is massively under-diagnosed in Shetland – there’s no psychological support. He was bullied at school for most of the time he was there."We didn’t want it to happen this way, but this is getting Samuel the help and support he needs."

Progressive education

There is  a monotonous use of the word `learning` because just about anything a child does at school is going to be called `learning`.  There is an emphasis on skills rather than knowledge; being active, working in groups and personalisation. 
 Curriculum for Excellence is firmly focused on the learner. Opportunities to develop skills may be offered in different ways appropriate to learners’ needs. The opportunity to engage in active learning, interdisciplinary tasks and to experience learning in practical contexts is important in enabling all children and young people to develop, demonstrate and apply a wide range of skills.

It is important that children and young people are aware of, and understand, the value of the skills that they are developing. Adults, practitioners and learners should reflect together on their progress in the range of skills that they consider to be important in their learning, lives and work.
What is wrong with progressive education.

How to sell progressive education.

Keep secret courts says Sue Berelowitz

Deputy Children's Commissioner Sue Berelowitz has said that children will be pushed into committing suicide if the secretive family courts are opened to public scrutiny...
During her address, Miss Berelowitz broke a widely observed media rule and described a common means of suicide. She added: 'I genuinely fear that it is only a matter of time before this deeply misguided motion, which has at its heart, I believe, an utter disregard for the welfare and best interests of children, and is, in my view, therefore unlawful, will result in the death of a child.'
Miss Berelowitz's suicide warning was greeted with amazement among campaigners for open justice and media figures.
Lib Dem MP John Hemming said: 'I don't know what planet this woman is on. If the media had not looked at the abuse of children in care, the events in Rotherham would never have been known.'
Bob Satchwell of the Society of Editors said: 'No-one in the media wants to expose details about children unless there are exceptional reasons to do so. It is strange that Miss Berelowitz uses emotional language when media organisations would be extremely careful in discussing matters like that to prevent copycat actions.
Campaigners for greater openness are not calling for children to be identified in family proceedings. In cases in which proceedings can be reported, identifying children would be contempt of court, for which reporters or editors could go to jail.
Perhaps it is the failings of the court system which Miss Berelowitz wishes to remain hidden. A study carried out by the Family Justice Council explored in detail expert witness reports submitted by psychologists to family courts.
Having examined the files on no fewer than 127 cases from the family courts in which psychological ‘experts’ were involved, the results were concerning — indicating an absence of qualifications and competence across a number of areas...
Experts’ were found to be conducting assessments covering crucial family issues without having the experience to do so, and certainly without use of the most up-to-date and accepted methods of assessing risk.
Equally concerning is evidence from the report that the majority of experts are not in practice, so they are not routinely treating clients or working as part of a wider service. Instead, there appear to be a growing number who are ‘professional’ expert witnesses, whose only practice is in providing assessments to a court.
Moreover, in conducting assessments of families, at least 20 per cent of them strayed far beyond their own field of experience, something that has the potential to be highly risky in child cases...For example, we found evidence of witnesses commenting on sex offenders even though they had not practised in this area, or commenting on mental illness without ever working in that field. ..
The research team found a bewildering array of difficulties in how the reports had been conducted. Some ‘experts’ did not seem to value the importance of conducting interviews with those family members they had been asked to assess.
There was also an overuse of psychological tests, many of which had no clinical value or were ‘made up’ by the psychologist involved. ..
On average. experts charge £120 an hour for assessing families and compiling reports. So this is a well-paid profession with tariffs set far higher than for many psychologists working in a full psychological practice...
Family courts clearly operate within the confines of confidentiality in an attempt to protect the interests of children. This inadvertently may have allowed for experts to avoid the close scrutiny — from both their peers and the public — which they might be exposed to in other courts.
Read more: 

Update 14.12.2014

Christopher Booker highlights three puzzles of the child protection system:

(1) The huge number of children removed from their parents on the grounds of potential emotional abuse.

(2) The number of parents condemned because they fail to co-operate with professionals who are attempting to remove their children.

(3) The role of psychologists hired by social workers who label parents with vague conditions such as `borderline personality disorder,` or `narcissism` for which there is no quick remedy; so children are removed.