Sunday, 17 July 2016

Social bridging finance to transform children`s services

Brian Gerrish and David Scott refer to the `Transforming children`s services conference` in Perth 18 March 2016. There, John Swinney urged the audience to be intolerant of those who resist breaking down organisational boundaries.

"David, you`ve got some really fascinating information here ... Take us into this a bit because in following through the Docherty case you`re now looking at this extraordinary transformation. I`m using that term deliberately: transformation of children`s services where you can see the state starting to move in. There`s an undertone of: `It isn`t going to be parents who bring up their children; it`s going to be the state`... This is very very dark and sinister stuff. Most of it is given a glossy coverage. If I just run through a couple of these images then I`ll pass it back to you. So you`ve got the Herald in Scotland saying here: John Swinney `stunned` by levels of bureaucracy facing Scottish teachers. Now we`ve got John Swinney there transforming children`s services... "

"We`ve got this lady, Louise Morpeth, she was also involved. And I`m fascinated by this one because she`s come from the Dartington Social Research Centre which is down the road from Plymouth in Devon. And a lot of people are very interested in the strange group of people there who have suddenly become experts in the care of children. What are you seeing going on in this conference ?"

"Yes this is a very interesting conference in a dull sort of way. The speakers were by no means interesting in their own right. But they put information up on Youtube and the content is fascinating. The background to this is GIRFEC (Getting it Right for Every Child), named person, state surveillance of family life. But there are other agendas which are driving this forward; one of which is they`ve realised that the welfare state model that they`ve been working on since the second world war is bust...and they`re casting around for something to replace it..."

"They`re bringing in these private sector bodies who are feeding off the state at Dartington; they`re bringing in the tax exempt foundations and the charitable sector to create this new model ... The lady from Dartington was boasting she had records of 46,000 children in Scotland - forty six thousand - that`s how much data they have gathered." [I`ll just add that she also said that there was no other place in the world with such rich data.] 

"It didn`t always go well though because this other slide shows the people gathering information going door to door `Council workers chased off housing estate for asking questions about children`. People found it to be a very creepy operation. They thought they might be some sort of paedophile organisation and they literally ran them out of town..."

"So they`re gathering all this information and they`re using it to create change. But that leaves the question: where do the ideas come from?"

"But the other thing you`ve got to follow the money. Now this next slide shows where some of the money is coming from. This is Kenneth Ferguson. Now he`s a director of the Robertson Trust. Now they are a tax exempt foundation, a philanthropic organisation set up by three sisters... So he`s involved in funding various projects ...they`re putting out about £15 to £16 million pounds a year ...which might seem like a lot of money but remember Perth and Kinross Council is a small council; it runs about £250 million a year ...  So they are looking to transform how our children are raised, how our children are educated and with it transform society because it`s all about re-engineering society to make it less costly, less likely to use the National Health Service, claim benefits and basically make the whole thing affordable. They want you to do as you`re told, and they want you to be a good obedient taxpayer and make the state work all the better."

"How does a small organisation like this generate enough money to create this sort of change?.. The chairman of Robertson Foundation said `I`m looking to set up this fund and we want the Royal Bank to fund it; and we`re going to lend money to organisations which are going to create change in children`s services.` - How much money were you looking for ? - `Well, we`ll start off with £5 million and we`ll maybe work up to £100 million`. `Oh no`, says the chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, `Far too small. For changing these sort of services you need £500 million to a billion pounds. That`s the level you need to be thinking at`..."

"So they`ve gone away and worked out this scheme*. This scheme involves the philanthropic centre putting in some money on a soft loan basis. It involves the Royal Bank of Scotland and other major banks putting in vast sums on a commercial loan basis, but commercial loans to government.  So it`s a low interest rate and that fund will be used to fund change: from having a system that reacts to need, to one that is proactive and reacts before the need is [people] will not need the services**. That`s the agenda. And the money is coming from the banking system. It`s going to be put on the local government balance sheet. It will not show up as part of the central government and national debt. It will be used to create this change and it will be ultimately carried by local taxpayers."

"David, as you were talking through that, what is in my head is we need a full session on this. What are we doing?  We`re bringing bankers in - international bankers - who we already know are running corrupt, criminal fraudulent banks involved in money laundering, drug dealing - we are bringing those people right in alongside the so-called care of our children. It is obvious what is going on here - being done by stealth - by the very governments that we think are there to protect our children. I`ve just got a brief mental image - if you go walking in the wilds on the west coast of America you are warned that you should keep very young children in the middle of the walking party because the mountain lions have a habit of picking off stragglers at the rear of a group. .. And it seems to me, what we`ve got here is a very dark and vicious global commercial sector which is now simply saying `well let`s not bother with the politics of nation states; let`s get straight in there and farm the children because it will make our job much easier`."

David Scott recalls: "When we first came across the technical underpinning of this in the lectures by Sir Harry Burns, former chief medical officer in Scotland, we wondered why the slides had the logo of the World Bank on them. Well we know now. We`re talking about international banking; we`re talking about tax exempt foundations and we`re talking about changing the way our children are treated by the state and none of it involves national parliaments; none of it involves public discussion; none of it involves transparency; none of it involves asking the parents."  (15 July 2016)

* social bridging finance: a loan used to transform to proactive services while reactive services are still in place and presumably being phased out.

**i.e  Early intervention: it`s supposed to reduce the need for services in the future.

See also

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