Friday, 31 July 2015

Regina V Ben Fellows day 9 (judgment day)

Despite the very negative coverage in the mainstream, this case does show what a differene a jury can make.


See also

Parents must be informed

From Jon Rappoport:
"On July 29, US Congressman Bill Posey made his last stand on the floor of the House. Granted five minutes to speak, he laid bare the lying of the CDC in a now-famous 2004 study that exonerated the MMR vaccine and claimed it had no connection to autism."

"No connection to autism" was the lie...

"Parents who are, in ignorance, allowing their children to receive the MMR vaccine, must be informed. They must know what is going on. They must know the danger to their children."

"Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Germany, France, India, China, South Africa…wherever the MMR vaccine is given…parents must be made aware they’re gambling with their children’s lives."

"Government officials anywhere in the world who make this continuing crime possible are liable."

"So are manufacturers of the MMR."



Falling standards

"Children living in poverty are less likely to be able to read well at school than their classmates. 1 in 5 children from poor families in Scotland leaves primary school unable to read well, a level four times as high as that of pupils from better off households."

Notice that that means 1 in 20 children from better off families leaves primary school unable to read well, but that statistic is conveniently allowed to drop off the radar. It is the gap that we are expected to pay attention to - not Getting it Right for Every Child - because this gap is going to be used to make some pretty big statements. Here is one:

"Not reading well can cut short children’s chances in life, and makes Scotland less fair and less prosperous."

So the poor are to be blamed for Scotland`s educational and economic decline and we must all rally together to do something about it. That is the message.

A little bit of history exposes the lie.

My father, who died in the Spring, was brought up by his grandmother in Glasgow which had once been called the `workshop of the world.` They went through the years of economic depression and he would sometimes attend school in his bare feet. They lived in the worst housing in Europe and rickets and other health problems associated with poverty were rife. He left school at 14 alongside his classmates and started an apprenticeship - they still existed in those days. He was expected to support his grandmother way into adulthood and throughout the war.

Everybody could read, and did so for pleasure - people had their favourite authors - and they could read in order to learn.  As well as that, they could do mental arithmetic in their heads and their handwriting was clear and legible. There was no pulling the wool over their eyes because they could talk politics for hours.

Poverty has nothing to do with the deteriorating standards in education  today because it is being systematically dismantled right under our noses. It is being called transformational change or some other fuzzy title like social inclusion. Neither does reading well ensure economic success for certain populations when the system is being deliberately collapsed through austerity.

The truth is, the ruling classes do not require educated workers for zero hours contracts. With the computing facilities they have available today, what is needed are confused and compliant workers too frightened to resist. There is no place for many young people in this brave new world - certainly no apprenticeships for 14 year olds - so young people must be kept longer and longer in a stupefying education that leaves one in five unable to read fluently.

While all this is going on, these same young people will be watched and monitored very closely through the Named Person scheme. It all fits.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Reading problems ?

(1) Neuro-imaging might predict future problems.

"New innovations in the neuroscience of education have opened the possibility that young children predisposed to reading problems could be identified early, even before they learn to read. Parents can get their children tested, using an electroencephalogram (EEG) that can show differences in students’s brains tied to dyslexia or autism. Some districts have begun to see rises in test scores, as well. "

(2) Non-verbal communication:

On the other hand, shaking the head, pointing and other gestures related to communication might indicate proficiency in later literacy skills.

(3) Proprioception (brain/body coordination)

"Gross-motor Activities such as walking, climbing, running, rolling down hills, hopping, skipping, hanging from monkey bars,catching a ball, playing ball games, clapping, bike riding, jump rope, carrying shopping bags."

"Fine-motor Activities such as drawing, painting, sewing, cutting with scissors, picking weeds, knitting, threading beads, old fashioned games,’Jack Straws’."

"According to Bright Brain Scotland: "Encouraging participation in healthy, rhythmic, and non-competitive activities will help our children develop the connections between their brain and bodies, which will later enable learning for reading, writing, spelling, numerical skills, and creative and imaginative thinking."

(4) And let us not forget emotions:

"New work from Mary-Helen Immordino-Yang’s lab at the University of Southern California (USC) Rossier School of Education has revealed that emotions powerfully shape the way that we experience the world around usas well as how we learn from it. What’s more, emotion is strongly influenced by an individual’s culture and social environment. "

So there is plenty for parents to be worrying about.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Reflections UK: a voice for survivors

From David Hencke:

"Yesterday [25 July 2015] in a community hall in Loughborough a new group calling itself Reflections UK representing survivors of child abuse across the UK was born."

"It has arisen because many survivors at first buoyed up by the creation of the over arching child sex abuse independent panel have been knocked down by its replacement body, the statutory Lowell Goddard inquiry. While there was a populist demand for a statutory inquiry many don’t seem to have realised that the price of that was to exclude survivors from sitting on it."

"There has now been a strong backlash from survivors who believe their voices have been excluded and they have decided to do something about it. Yesterday’s meeting was the start."

"It is a powerful 21st century response to a government trying to find a traditionally 20th century solution to a very, very serious issue. The Goddard inquiry is a classic way governments try to solve problems appoint an eminent judge, bring in a bevy of QC’s, hold hearings, make recommendations and spend a lot of money on an inquiry to sort it. The great and the good solve it all for the great unwashed who are eternally grateful."

"Reflections UK is a 21st century response to this made possible through instant communication on Facebook and Twitter and expecting the survivors to be treated as equal partners. And they are not going to keep quiet and nor are they going to have their very emotive, raw and angry response to what happened to them filtered by the Whitehall bureaucracy. And in the 21st century they have the medium and the power through the internet to do it."

Or do they ?

From Philosophical Politics:

"Since 1968, the Police have used undercover tactics to infiltrate groups that posed what they considered a public order threat. Along the way, though, something went wrong. They began to put victims’ families under surveillance and infiltrate victim support groups. The police behaviour follows a trend that raises questions about their role and legitimacy today."

"With the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (aka Goddard Inquiry) underway, a new question emerges. Have they placed the victims and survivors groups under surveillance as a potential public order threat? Have they infiltrated these groups with undercover officers? Have the MPS considered infiltrating these groups to investigate their threat to public safety? The historical trend suggests that this is a strong possibility. If we follow the historical logic the MPS appear to have used, it would indicate the victims and survivors are a potential threat to the regime and would need to be infiltrated and placed under surveillance."

Child Poverty Act to be scapped

"The Child Poverty Act will be scrapped and replaced with a system of reporting on levels of children living in workless homes, the government has announced...In its place, the government would be given a statutory duty to report on measures of `worklessness` and `educational attainment`."

"The worklessness measures will identify the proportion of children living in workless households, and the proportion of children in long-term workless households. The educational attainment measures will focus on GCSE attainment for all pupils and for disadvantaged pupils."

"Campaigners on child poverty have acted angrily to the announcement."

"Peter Grigg, director of external affairs at The Children’s Society said the government has `broken its promise to end child poverty by 2020`. "

" `Scrapping the Child Poverty Act and replacing it with inadequate measures based on worklessness and low educational attainment will do nothing to help the millions of children who are suffering in real poverty now,` he said. `Critically, the government is failing the two million children who are living in low-income working families`. "

" `By ignoring the reality that most children in poverty are living in working households, the government will fail to develop effective plans to help these children and turn its back on its own commitment to end child poverty by 2020`..."

"Duncan Smith said that alongside the statutory measures of worklessness and educational outcomes, the government `will develop a range of other indicators to measure the progress against the root causes of poverty`..."

" `We are currently developing these measures, including family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency`."

" `We will report each year on these life chances measures as well`."

- See more at: 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Melanie Shaw talks to Anna Bragga about Beechwood

Officials ignored warnings about foster carer

"A SCHOOLBOY raped by his foster dad is to sue council bosses over his ordeal.Kirk Sharpe, now 27, endured years of abuse after he was put in the care of paedophile Vincent Hill."

"He was targeted by the market trader from the age of 10. Hill took Kirk to Rangers games and gave him freebies from his stall to buy his silence. He also plied the boy with cash, drink and drugs, threatened him, and told Kirk he would circulate indecent photos he had taken of him if he told anyone."

"Kirk’s ordeal left him so traumatised he tried to commit suicide. Now married, he claims social work bosses failed to protect him when the pervert applied to be his full-time carer. It’s alleged officials ignored warnings about Hill’s behaviour."

"Kirk, of Bathgate, West Lothian, says Hill groomed him for two years. He recalled: "I had a chaotic childhood and was desperately unhappy when he befriended me. I realise now he’d been looking for a victim and I was a wee boy from a fractured background. "Hill had a market stall at Bathgate on Wednesdays and weekends. He’d get me to help him and gave me £10 a time, which was a huge amount to a child."

"Eventually, he persuaded me I’d have a better life if he was my full-time carer. "I was the one who told social workers I wanted to stay with him. That’s how naive I was and how clever Hill was."

“I remember my mum repeatedly telling the local authority there were suspicions about Hill. But he became my foster parent and social workers never spoke to me on my own."

Kezia Dugdale`s Named Person debate

  • "Over the past few weeks, there has been a wide discussion in the press and on social media about the implementation of the ‘Named Person’ provision of the SNP government’s Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill, passed by a majority in the Scottish Parliament in February 2014."
  • "That the Named Person was just one aspect of the Bill has largely been lost in this debate it’s important that the reasons for supporting the Bill as a whole are better understood."
Looking at the whole Bill is not going to help when it is the Named Person provision that is causing concern.

  • "Its aim was to formalise the duty of care of professionals, allowing problems to be identified and support provided, if necessary, earlier than would be the case without a named person..."
Sure. It began with Tony Blair who wanted to `get in there early` - in some cases before a child was born - in order to stop children from becoming a menace to society and a menace to themselves. So it was always more serious than offering a `little bit of extra support.`

  • "The named person provision received widespread support from the children’s sector, who came together and spoke with a united voice when this issue was to be debated in parliament."
Yes, and while these mouthpieces for the Government supported the policy, parents remained ignorant.  Nowadays that is called participatory democracy but it is only the chosen few who participate.

  • "We therefore supported the principle as a protection for children who needed it, and a means to detect and provide families with additional help they may need."
It is the - `to detect help they may need` - that is the problem. This is where surveillance comes in for EVERY child. And it is not parents who decide what they may need.

  • "We felt that it was and still is right that the named person be an existing professional who already works with the child but this must be a robust support mechanism for parents and children, not an imposition of unnecessary bureaucracy."
Unfortunately, detecting help they may need does impose an unnecessary bureaucracy and lots of triangles, matrices and wheels.

  • "The Scottish Conservatives held a debate on this very issue on Wednesday 25th September 2013 in which Scottish Labour Party argued with one voice... "
  • "I said that day that the SNP does not have to sell the Bill to opposition parliamentarians. It can pass any bill it likes without the votes of Scottish Labour or any other party in the Scottish Parliament...However, in order for the Bill to work, the SNP government had to get the support of parents across the country and of professionals on the front line. The SNP and its ministers have so far failed to deliver."
No surprise there.

  • "During debates on the named person in the Scottish Parliament my party continually raised concerns about the funding provision for the named person and urged the Scottish Government to ensure that all the provisions within the Bill are adequately resourced."
All provisions?  How about putting the Named Person provision in the bin?  There`s been too much funding wasted already.

  • "As well as concerns expressed by opposition MSPs from across the political spectrum, Scotland’s largest teaching union the EIS, Police Scotland and the Scottish Association of Social Work have all spoken out. But most importantly, we recognise the genuine concerns of some parents over the proposals."
That`s a lot of concern.

  • "That is why I recently wrote to the First Minister, arguing that her SNP government must do a better job of assuring its critics that the principle of the Named Person provision does not seek in any way to replace the role of parents."
The trouble is, when it is the named person`s role to detect what children need, then that does replace the role of parents.

  • "Responses to the consultation on the statutory guidance for the named person make it clear why action is needed. These must act as a wake-up call to the First Minister and the SNP. After every Significant Case Review, a theme emerges that we are simply not good enough at sharing information between relevant bodies and parties."
Almost all Significant Case Reviews show that children were known to the authorities but they failed to follow appropriate procedures.  So let us not make that an excuse for sharing everybody`s private data. How about tightening up child protection procedures instead?

  • "This legislation would ensure that everyone who works with a child would share the information needed to ensure that child is protected..."
How can you be sure that everyone who works with a child can be trusted with his or her private information? More likely this legislation would ensure that important information would be submerged in a morass of irrelevant data about every child. 

  • "The Scottish Labour Party and its MSPs have always spoken with one united voice on this issue and we as a group voted for the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill to improve the lives of children across Scotland. We are still united in our concerns and on making sure the SNP government deliver on what this Bill was intended to do."
This Bill was intended to build a children`s database. That had been Tony Blair`s idea too, and you know what happened to him. 

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Surveillance and support: can there be both ?

From Brid Hehir, a writer, researcher and retired nurse who worked in the NHS for more than 30 years.

"During the consultation on the Children and Young People Bill, I can understand why community practitioner representatives responded as they did. They want the Scottish government to value health visitors, to appreciate their early intervention role with families and realise more are needed so that a universal service can be provided again. "

"Although these points were forcefully made, the representatives did not appear to understand how much this proposal undermines parents or how unpopular it is. Community practitioners who adopt this role will certainly not win any new friends. Instead, they will turn into family spies, where the state rather than the parents will become the mother and father to all children."

"Writing in The Scotsman, sociologist Tiffany Jenkins explained why this measure was considered necessary: ‘In the last few decades, the family and the early years of a child’s life have been identified, in political circles, as the breeding ground for social problems. The family is fingered as the place where everything goes wrong: poor educational attainment, obesity, joblessness, stress, addiction, criminality, if not intentionally so, then accidental…’ "

"So the measure is designed to ensure any potential cases of abuse or developmental difficulties are spotted and acted upon at an early stage. Scottish government guidance says: ‘Sometimes children can be in a position of risk or harm without their parents or others being aware until it is too late. The named person is the single point of contact for every child so that no one is left without support.’ The suggestion that a named person should hold a privileged insight into the life of a child that the child’s parents do not, undermines parents who are considered untrustworthy in recognising a problem or acting upon it when they do. "

Professor Phil Wilson, at a recent Parenting Across Scotland conference, said that the Scottish Government`s new health visiting core programme was a major step in the right direction in re-establishing good relationships between universal services and parents/children.

"GPs are more likely to identify issues through their relationships with extended family members or adult-oriented services such as addictions or A&E departments, while health visitors are more likely to make direct observations in the home or hear information about a child's behaviour in a nursery. It is, therefore, essential to foster close working relationships between GPs and health visitors - the only professions in routine contact with every pre-school child. As with trust in professional judgement, face-to-face close working relationships promote efficiency - intelligence can be exchanged quickly without formal referral. Furthermore, low-level concerns can be shared and acted upon without the fear of alienating families..."

He could not be more wrong.

Jean Robinson writing in AIMS Journal as far back as 2004 drew attention to the changing role of the health visitor which was becoming increasingly dominated by surveillance, not support. AIMs began to receive increasing numbers of complaints. As Jean Robinson has pointed out, the surveillance role and the support role do not sit comfortably within the same person. It is always seen as a betrayal by service users.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Melanie Shaw has been released

Mel Shaw on Friday 24 July
Posted by Wendy Hirst on Friday, July 24, 2015

Days 3 and 4 - Regina versus Ben Fellows


The NSPCC helpline

From UK Column:

"We decided to call the [Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse] helpline . . . in order to ask a simple question: 'Can you tell us what help the helpline provides?' We were astonished when the gentleman who answered the call said he couldn't speak to us. We would have to talk to the inquiry media team . . . And then we got in touch with the inquiry media officer. To our utter astonishment he told us that media and the helpline was not dealt with by the inquiry team, it was actually being dealt with by none other than the NSPCC. We pointed out that this meant that, of course, the inquiry is not independent in any way. What we have here . . . is yet another scam by the Home Office, and Theresa May."


                                                                         UK Column News 23rd July 2015

Survivors of child sex abuse do not trust the NSPCC believing that it is too close to the Cabinet Office.  Its record is abysmal.
The NSPCC, in a recent Telegraph article, suggested that as many as one million children in the UK could have been the victim of an assault, but most crimes are never reported or investigated. So what is the NSPCC doing for these children, if they exist?  Nothing.
This is the same charity who failed to notice what was going on in Rotherham where 1400 children have been reported to have suffered sexual abuse.
It is the same charity who had Jimmy Savile and Rolph Harris as two of their high profile fundraisers but did not suspect a thing.
From the NSPCC website:
The NSPCC helpline is a place adults can contact to get advice or share their concerns about a child, anonymously if they wish. It's staffed by professional practitioners with backgrounds in jobs like teaching, healthcare and social work, who know how to spot the signs of abuse and what to do to help.

It also runs ChildLine and really should be doing a lot better. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

MI5 helped Margaret Thatcher cover up paedophila

"MI5 `helped Margaret Thatcher cover-up paedophile Tory MP`s activities` new documents reveal."

"Labour MP Simon Danczuck said the newly unearthed documents prove 'the full weight of the British establishment, including MI5, colluded in a cover-up' "

"The head of MI5 warned Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet Secretary that an unnamed MP, understood to be a senior Tory, had "a penchant for small boys", Government child abuse papers have revealed."

"The newly unearthed documents link Mrs Thatcher’s former parliamentary secretary Sir Peter Morrison, former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, former diplomat Sir Peter Hayman and ex-minister Sir William van Straubenzee to the establishment paedophilia scandal."

"All four men are now deceased."

"In the bombshell letter written in 1986, MI5 boss Sir Antony Duff revealed two sources had accused an MP of child abuse."

"But he told Cabinet Secretary Sir Robert Armstrong he accepted the MP’s denials, adding: "At the present stage... the risks of political embarrassment to the Government is rather greater than the security danger."

"In a letter released today, the Cabinet Office admitted: "The risk to children is not considered at all."

"Labour MP Simon Danczuk said tonight the papers show "the full weight of the British establishment, including MI5, colluded in a cover-up to protect politicians who sexually abused young boys".

"He said it meant MPs could not "scrutinise properly" documents nor "hold ministers to account".

"Sky News said tonight the documents have been shared with the police and will be passed to the Child Abuse Inquiry."


Despite MI5`s involvement in cover-up of abuse at Kincora Boys` Home it is not going to be part of UK inquiry.

Documents uncovered that might be relevant to child sex abuse inquiry

More documents possibly relevant to investigations into what was known by government departments of child abuse allegations against people in high places have been uncovered.Simon Israel explains.
Posted by Channel 4 News on Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Melanie Shaw has been apprehended again

"Following a move to new friends in Peterborough, a further four police from Cambridgeshire police were sent to apprehend Melanie at her new home with an elderly lady in sheltered accomodation. Arriving some hours after Melanie had again moved to yet another location, these officers also left empty handed, but were also intimidating in their questioning of the elderly lady. "

"Many people will be astonished at the immense police effort to track a highly vulnerable child abuse victim across UK. What the wider public will not understand is that having blown the whistle on substantial child abuse in Beechwood children's home Nottingham, where it is already believed some 150 children were abused and some likely murdered, Melanie Shaw has now allegedly been designated a Multi Agency Public Protection MAPPA Category 3 target - a person who is designated a "seriously dangerous criminal."

"It is reported this designation was determined behind closed doors by the Nottinghamshire MAPPA multi agency board, during procedings in which Melanie Shaw, or her legal and medical professionals were not present and therefore had no right of challenge or reply. Following the MAPPA determination however, all police and public agencies in Nottingham and throughout UK can call upon considerable assets to assist her apprehension and / or arrest."

"This excessive and deeply worrying classification of a highly vulnerable child abuse victim as a 'dangerous criminal' must surely bring into question every part of our rights, freedoms and common sense under common law. For three police forces to employ excessive police assets to hunt and detain Melanie Shaw at a time when Senior Police Officers claim insufficient public money to conduct day by day policing is an outrage, if not Misconduct in Public Office."

"Tonight, abused and frightened Melanie Shaw is again in the hands of Nottingham police - the very men and women who have failed to protect Melanie, Mickey Summers and hundreds of other child abuse victims in Nottingham. Detained in the Bridewell Custody Suite the immediate future for Melanie is uncertain. Will she be safe in the hands of a police force that has already failed her, brutalised and intimidated her? "

Read more

Clamping down on whistleblowers

"Whistleblowers and people who campaign for a truth that implicates powerful establishment figures in misdeeds, face at best, institutional inertia and at worst, outright criminality to discourage them from doing so."
Cathyfox goes on to outline some of the tactics used by the establishment to clamp down on dissent and lists some well known cases: Melanie Shaw, Robert Green, Chris Spivey, Peter Hofschroer and others. The list just keeps getting longer.


The following was not included:

Ben Fellows is on trial at the moment. Since reporting his alleged abuse by a leading politician, he has become the focus of interest in a criminal trial. Media coverage has been negative about him and people are adopting one side or the other, even before justice is seen to be done - which probably won`t happen anyway, leaving people just as divided.  It is getting to the point that it is difficult to know what to believe because neither the justice system nor the media can be trusted.

Blogs are being targeted too. TAP has reported that `JUSTICE DENIED` has been shut down by Google for `harassment` which means it has been shut down for doing a bit of research and drawing conclusions. TAP has also had blog posts removed by Web Sheriff, mostly about the two Hampstead children. Whenever certain subjects become taboo that does raise some serious questions.


Children`s rights campaigner dies in hospital

"A CAMPAIGNER for equal rights between parents has died in hospital after he was found hanging in a prison cell. "

"Haydn Burton, 42, was discovered by prison officers at Winchester Jail and rushed by ambulance across Romsey Road to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital where he later died. "

"Mr Burton was a member of New Fathers 4 Justice and was campaigning to highlight children’s rights including secret family courts."

"He had become a well-known figure in Winchester city centre in recent months protesting at the corner of Upper Brook Street and St George’s Street in a Superman costume and with an loud hailer..."

"A statement on the New Fathers 4 Justice website said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by this news. "

"Putting vulnerable people in prison is, in part, further victimising people who are in most need."

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Theresa May at the HASC 21 July 2015

Future developments for Newcastle could be blueprint for cities worldwide

"A ground-breaking programme which considered Newcastle's future to 2065 could be a blueprint for cities around the world, according to a report published by Newcastle University in partnership with the Government's Chief Scientist." (17 July 2015)

"The report also points to future developments for Newcastle including: "

⦁ New trade and transport routes to Scandinavian cities and ports.

⦁ New jobs in low carbon technology.

⦁ Biomedical advances in the city's research hospitals linked to the needs of an ageing society in Newcastle.

⦁ Expanding the Tyne and Wear metro and reopening disused rail lines, as part of a fully integrated public transport system with prominent role for cycling and walking.

  ⦁ Making citizens in Newcastle part of the city's forward looking initiatives, trialling new technological developments including smart metering for energy as well as electric vehicles

Smart metering isn`t that smart.

"The children are our future. And that is why, ultimately, we’re screwed unless we do something about it. If you haven’t noticed, the children who are our future are good looking but they aren’t all that bright. As dense as they might be, they will eventually notice that adults have spent all the money, spread disease, and turned the planet into a smoky, filthy ball of death. We’re raising an entire generation of dumb, pissed-off kids who know where the handguns are kept. This is not a good recipe for a happy future. The alternative is for adults to stop running up debts, polluting, and having reckless sex. For this to happen, several billion Individuals would have to become less stupid, selfish, and horny. This is not likely."
(Scott Adams, The Dilbert Future.)

Such is the thinking behind sustainable development.
"Participating in a U.N. advocated planning process would very likely bring out many.. who would actively work to defeat any elected official... undertaking Local Agenda 21/ Sustainable Development. So we call our process something else such as `comprehensive planning`, `growth management` or `smart growth`."
(J. Gary Lawrence, 1998 UNEP Conference U.K.)

60 Minutes Australia: Special Investigation Spies Lords and Predators

Sunday, 19 July 2015

More warnings from Police Scotland

"Police Scotland have warned ministers that youngsters are being exposed to "further criminal acts" due to the "significant time delay" created by the extra layers of unwieldy bureaucracy. The force has said that "specific examples can be provided", suggesting that an unknown number of children have been subjected to physical or sexual abuse or neglect as a direct result of the Named Person legislation."

"Last night, campaigners demanded the Scottish Government make a public statement "as soon as possible" to explain how many youngsters have been left in danger and for how long."

"Simon Calvert, spokesman for the No To Named Persons campaign, said: "[The police] have essentially discredited the entire Named Person scheme by telling the world that the policy risks allowing more abuse to take place while non-experts sit on evidence of serious criminality against children, and jeopardise the prospects of bringing abusers to justice. The Named Person policy is a catastrophic failure and it must be scrapped immediately."

"The Police Scotland submission states: "A potential risk has been identified that 'wellbeing concern' assessments are being carried out by a range of practitioners from organisations when there is actual information that a child has or is the victim of abuse and or neglect deemed as criminal acts."

"This has resulted in a time delay, at times significant, during which time the children (or other children) are exposed to the potential of further criminal acts and the potential for evidential opportunities to be lost or compromised. Specific examples can be provided if required."

It is not clear if Police Scotland are talking about being able to provide specific examples of potential risk or specific examples of actual incidents. They provide a rather mixed bag. They are concerned that discussions are supposed to take place with the child and his or her parents - who may be responsible for abuse, and they are concerned that teachers and health visitors are not trained to deal with online abuse or grooming gangs.

Nevertheless, it is a fair question to ask how many reports of child abuse or neglect, if any, have been delayed in the pilot schemes where the Named Person is operating?

As it happens, concern about the difficulty of making wellbeing assessments was expressed in the Consultation on Draft Statutory Guidance:

A major concern was a lack of clarity around the interface between child protection and wellbeing, and the idea of a ‘continuum of wellbeing’. Organisations wanted further clarification on how the concept of wellbeing fits with the concept of (significant) harm and thresholds for child protection in order to ensure that children are protected. Respondents stressed that the need for timely intervention in respect of child protection should not be overlooked in the broader process of assessing wellbeing. On the other hand, the lack of clarity on where child protection sits on the wellbeing continuum could result in child protection measures being put in place when a more measured, preventative approach would be more appropriate.  
Analysis of Responses to the Consultation on Draft Statutory Guidance for Parts 4, 5 & 18 (Section 96) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Suicide might not have been preventable

From the BBC:

"The death of a 14-year-old girl under care of social services might not have been preventable even if more steps had been taken, a serious case review says. Seren Bernard's body was found in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, in April 2012 but police ruled out crime."

"Her mother Sarah Pollock complained to an ombudsman after the death claiming her concerns and views were ignored. The Local Safeguarding Children Board which published the report said the death of any child was a profound loss."

"The review, in which Seren was referred to as Child M, was written by an independent author provided by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering." [Independent ? ]

From Wales Online:

"In summing up, Swansea coroner Paul Bennett said that while there were communication problems between the agencies involved in her care, this ‘did not in any way cause or act as a contributory factor in her death.’" [Notice how the BBC failed to mention the communication problems between the agencies.]

"He concluded that Seren Bernard killed herself and had intended to end her life."

"Speaking after the inquest outside the town hall, Seren’s mother Sarah Pollock said: "My lovely daughter Seren took her life when she was under the care of the local authority."

"I am pleased that the coroner has recognised this and that he has found that there were communication failures between the authority and CAMHS in the safeguarding of Seren."

"I just hope that no other parent has to endure what I have been through, finding justice in the last five years."

Was Seren taking medication I wonder?  That is not something that coroners want to consider but the method of suicide raises that issue.


Social services moved girl 39 times

"A young woman who was moved 39 times in the five years she spent in the care of Birmingham social services as a girl says vulnerable children need more support."

"Danielle was taken into care in 1998, aged 11."

"She told BBC Inside Out West Midlands about her experiences and said sometimes she felt it was safer to run away."

Ann Clwyd MP raising the issue of Insurers & CSA

Below is the video of Ann Clywd MP raising the issue of insurance companies and their part in covering up child sexual abuse .  The involvement of insurance companies takes many forms and Ann Clwyd refers to a few examples in her speech. 

Chris Spivey`s battle with the establishment

"A CONTROVERSIAL internet writer has revealed he has been arrested on suspicion of child porn offences. Police have refused to reveal why blogger Chris Spivey, 51, from Rochford, was arrested earlier this month. "

"But the conspiracy theorist, who claims the murder of soldier Lee Rigby was an establishment hoax, has revealed he was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children and bestiality on his computer. "

"Grandfather-of-six Spivey insists most of the images, which include Led Zeppelin album cover artwork, are innocent and he has no idea how one "hidden" image of child porn and other images of bestiality got on to his secondhand machine. Spivey, who has accused several celebrities and high-profile politicians of paedophilia on his website, said: `I’m totally innocent of any crime. All I’ve done is expose Government corruption.`"

"It doesn’t bother me because I know they are going to get nowhere."

"In July, police raided the home Spivey shares with his daughter and grandson, arrested him on suspicion of harassment via social media in relation to posts about Drummer Lee Rigby and seized computer equipment. Officers rearrested the former tattoo artist on Monday, October 6 he claims over the images allegedly found on the machines. "

"Spivey has filed an official complaint over his July arrest, claiming police lacked the power to raid his home without a search warrant signed by a magistrate."

"The Echo asked police to explain the nature of the two arrests and confirm the offence of which Spivey is accused, but the force failed to respond."

What is most alarming is that social services have got involved and seem to be working in collusion with the police to build a case against Spivey - as a potential child abuser - in order to remove his 18 month grandson from the family.

As he exposes in the blog post below, social services acted in advance of the police raid when they removed his computer, and so at the time of their assessment should have had no case to make.

Update: Chris Spivey, whose blog was temporarily shut down, has been found guilty of harassment.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Double role for entrusted persons

"Last month the Australian government, with the support of the opposition, passed the Border Force Protection Act through both houses of Parliament... "

"If the act defines you as an "entrusted person," you might be facing jail for up to two years if you reveal anything about what happens in Australia's immigration detention centers to anybody else."

"An "entrusted person" is anyone working directly or indirectly for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, so that's doctors, nurses, psychologists, teachers, counsellors, security staff, maintenance workers, or anyone who has signed a government contract."

"This puts medical professionals and those who work with children on Nauru or Manus Island in bizarre circumstances. Outside of detention centers, they're legally obligated to report child abuse. As of July 1, they can't do the same with abuse witnessed on the inside."

"Refugee advocates and human rights lawyers say the legislation is a veiled attempt to silence whistleblowers from revealing human rights violations inside Australia's detention centers. And the mounting evidence of such violations makes this legislation all the more disturbing."

"In October last year, Australia's Immigration Department ordered ten workers from Save The Children to leave Nauru's detention center after they alleged sexual abuse against women and children."

Friday, 17 July 2015

State interference in a fairer Scotland ?

Members of the public who attended an event to discuss how to build a `Fairer Scotland` took advantage of the meeting to raise their concerns about the named person scheme.

"Former teachers attacked plans to appoint a named person for every child during a ministerial event in Glasgow."

"Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil was criticised as members of the public were asked for their views on how to create a ¬Fairer Scotland."

"The event, at the disused Govanhill Baths, was tabled as a discussion rather than a question-and-answer session but turned heated as the Government`s named person scheme became the focus. The child protection measure is already being piloted in parts of Scotland including South Ayrshire, Highland, Edinburgh, Fife and Angus."

"It is due to be extended to other parts of Scotland in 2016."

"One retired teacher accused the government of `sending spies into people`s homes.`"

She said: "We should be giving teachers less work and not more. I can`t see how Scotland can get fairer when we have this level of state interference in the family."

A document produced by Dumfries and Galloway for practitioners exemplifies the level of intrusion that is planned.

It states: "From the point of conception until the transition to adulthood, practitioners in the universal services of maternity, public health and education, have a vital role in understanding and promoting children’s wellbeing, supporting parents/carers to understand and carry out their responsibilities as well as contributing their own professional skills and experience. "

Practitioners have a vital role from the point of conception?  Mind boggling.
Push back the point of surveillance further and we are into very dark territory. Elsewhere there is mention that there are no pre-conception services  - not yet anyway - but forced sterilisation for those judged to be unfit springs to mind. One small step and we`re there !

"A child’s wellbeing develops as a result of their very earliest experiences and gathering evidence of a child’s wellbeing should begin in pregnancy with the midwife, assessing the parents’ capacity to provide wellbeing for their baby. Assessing the child’s wellbeing will carry on through the early years with the public health nurse paying attention both to the quality of parenting to support wellbeing as well as the child’s own growth and development. Education staff in the early years will also observe the developmental wellbeing of a child as they make their way through primary and secondary. Evidence of wellbeing will be increasingly based on observations of and interactions with the child themselves."

Monitoring the terrorists

from Techdirt, the hack-attack dept

"Well, that didn't take long. It was only a month or so ago that we brought to you the delightful news that software for monitoring the UK youth in classrooms was being recommended to comply with the UK's insane policy that conscripts teachers to watch out for scary future-Muslim-terrorists. The idea was that the software, from American company Impero Software, would report back to teachers should the children under their watchful gaze search around for terms deemed to be terrorist related. The teachers were then supposed to involve school admins, law enforcement, or parents as deemed necessary. Because, see, possible-might-be-future-terrorists sprouting up from our own children is a very scary, albeit not-yet-existing threat to something..."

"Unfortunately, Impero's monitoring agents themselves come with an actual threat, thanks to the laughably cliche security fails within the software's design."
Impero has a lot of power over its clients’ data, whether stored on PCs, servers or children’s personal technology. If compromised, it could expose reams of information on pupils, teachers and the school as a whole. And that’s certainly possible in light of the findings of researcher ‘raylee’, real name Zammis Clark, who discovered the Impero platform was using a default password of "password" to connect clients to its servers. "Basically, if you use Impero, please don’t," the researcher wrote in a Github post describing the flaw and releasing attack code to prove the problem existed.  
But who are the terrorists?

From the Levant Report:

"On Monday, May 18, the conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch published a selection of formerly classified documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department through a federal lawsuit..."

"While a number of analysts and journalists have documented long ago the role of western intelligence agencies in the formation and training of the armed opposition in Syria, this is the highest level internal U.S. intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see ISIS as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The document matter-of-factly states just that scenario."

"Forensic evidence, video evidence, as well as recent admissions of high-level officials involved (see former Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford’s admissions here and here), have since proven the State Department and CIA’s material support of ISIS terrorists on the Syrian battlefield going back to at least 2012 and 2013 (for a clear example of "forensic evidence": see UK-based Conflict Armament Research’s report which traced the origins of Croatian anti-tank rockets recovered from ISIS fighters back to a Saudi/CIA joint program via identifiable serial numbers)." From the Telegraph:

"Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney at Reprieve, said: "Documents obtained by Reprieve indicate that UK personnel have already been involved in bombing missions over Syria for some time making the current debate over whether Britain should carry out such strikes somewhat obsolete."

"It is alarming that Parliament and the public have been kept in the dark about this for so long."

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Curriculum for excellence: the dumbing down of Scotland

Literacy and numeracy were mentioned by the young girl, in passing, to explain the new curriculum but if one takes these essential skills out of the equation, this is what is left :

Curriculum for Excellence is for children and young people aged 3 - 18. The curriculum is everything children and young people learn: social skills, working with and getting along with other people, personal skills, getting organised and keeping healthy, employability skills, and the skills acquired away from school, like sports and hobbies; and in organisations like the boy scouts and brownies.

It means children and young people working on their own sometimes, or with other people, to solve problems just like in real life, at work, at home and with friends.

Young people in the twenty first century must do more than learn things by heart to pass exams. They will have to change jobs more often and will have to learn new skills at work and transfer their skills from one job to another.

Stripped to the bone like this, the skills that children and young people are expected to learn to make them fit for the 21st century are psychosocial skills.

Why would parents fall for this?

Here`s Penny Lewis:

"THE Scottish education system was once a source of national pride. Until recently, Scotland sustained an education system driven by the belief that all individuals, regardless of social class, would benefit from a liberal academic education. The exposure of all Scotland’s children to "the best that has been written and thought" was seen as a public and personal good."

"According to Edinburgh-based academic Lindsay Paterson, Scotland’s commitment to the "Arnoldian liberal impulse" survived well into the 1980s, when the rest of the world’s education experts had moved on to more instrumental policies. Scotland’s longstanding commitment to liberal education was forged in the 1920s, when education reformers fought to extend secondary academic education. In the mid-1960s, when comprehensive education arrived, Scotland embraced it as a continuation of an established curricular tradition."

"Over the past decade, this world-class education system has been systematically destroyed. Policymakers, through a series of reforms called the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), have radically restructured education. Labour’s Jack McConnell introduced the policy in 2004. The SNP implemented it in 2010 and has engaged in an aggressive culture of compliance ever since. Last year, it commissioned an Aberdeen-based oil magnate, Sir Ian Wood, to review education and employment. Wood’s findings are now being used to complete the demolition job begun by McConnell."

"The CfE redefined the purpose of Scottish education from "academic education for all" to a checklist of personal qualities. The purpose of education was to produce "successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors". This new curriculum was sold to the Scottish public on the grounds that it would give children more choice, that their education could be "personalised", and that they would take ownership of their learning through educational portfolios and personal-development plans. The reality is that pupils have fewer subject choices; the only personal element of the new regime relates not to the academic programme, but to a therapeutic agenda, as exemplified by the Named Persons law."