Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Tracking children from birth to age 5

It isn`t just happening in Scotland:

"At Early Excellence, we argue for more data and more information. This is why we have spent the past two years building a new assessment system known as the Early Excellence Assessment Tracker. This allows for the ongoing collection of information of children, from birth to age 5, and will produce the rich levels of data we require to build effective teaching techniques. It will also allow use over time to monitor the success of key government interventions such as the pupil premium, as well as allowing researchers to identify gaps in attainment by using data on demographics, gender and ethnicity."

"The debate around the role of data in early years is about much more than on-entry assessment. To truly understand the effectiveness of early years we need a complete, continual approach that documents a child’s progress from birth to 5 years."

"With the increasing government interest in early years, the free childcare pilots and our new prime minister’s emphasis on meritocracy, this is a vital opportunity for the early years’ sector to work together and secure the funding and political support required to develop a system that truly delivers for all children. Theresa May says `I actually look at the evidence, take the advice, consider it properly and then come to a decision`. In this context, having data on children can only be a good thing."

The 21st century tooth fairy

"The American company BioEden will cryogenically store the cells in return for a monthly fee."

"Relatively few stem cell therapies are currently in use but hundreds more are being researched."

"The company - and its customers - are pinning their hopes on the promise of regenerative medicine. "

"That aims not just to halt the attack of a disease but repair the damage it has done. Scotland is already a major centre for research in the field..."

"Tony Veverka, BioEden's group chief executive, said the company is pitching its product squarely at the parents and grandparents of children aged between five and 12, when stem cells are vigorous and teeth get wobbly."

"We harvest the stem cells from teeth - the young teeth of children," he explained.

"So BioEden are effectively the 21st century tooth fairy."

But this tooth fairy doesn`t leave a coin under the pillow.
The tooth collection kit costs £45; then it`s a monthly fee.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Number one priority is Getting it Right for You

I see that Getting it Right for You is making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. It is North Ayrshire Children`s Services Plan 2016 - 2020 and it does make for a shocking read !

It consists of a series of promises to children in several different age groups: Early Years (0-5) Primary school (5-12 years) Secondary school (13-18 years)

They say: "We’ve put it together in this style so that it tells you what we promise to do to help you grow up."
Growing up is seen by these collaborators as so precarious that children need help and they`re the ones with the know how or the means of getting that. Forget your parents.
Here is one example: "We promise to talk to you and your family about your needs and the services we have to support those needs."
It does not enter their heads that children and families might see this as an unwelcome imposition. They also do not seem to realise that their services are very limited. For instance, if you are Tianze,  you will find yourself transported 200 miles away and your family will be obliged to follow you, because there are no adequate services in Scotland. But that problem passes these people by in their enthusiasm to offer unsolicited support.
"We promise to work with you and your family to encourage and support positive family relationships."
From conception onwards, no less. It is obvious that these people have no respect for private and family life; because they are very interested in relationships, especially of the sexual variety. If Nicola has her way: support to understand what a healthy sexual relationship is will begin aged two. But don`t worry, you will be able to read, write and count by the time you leave primary school. After all, this is aligned with Curriculum for Excellence and the Scottish government aims high, doesn`t it ?

In Getting it Right for You, the young person is represented as `Number 1 priority` wearing a yellow star. I don`t think much of the symbolism although at a deeper level I do find it uncannily accurate.

It is hard enough sometimes to separate from your own parents. Imagine what it would be like as a young person trying to get out of the grip of this lot.

Corruption at the highest level

Robert Green is on camera talking about his ongoing struggle against the Scottish state in their effort to silence him with regard to the Hollie Greig case.

The threatened bailiff action has been halted due to a letter he has received which shows that the Scottish Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has no right to be involved in a civil matter.

Victoria bans fracking

Monday, 28 November 2016

Child abuse survivor and whistleblower tortured in UK prison


From UK Column:

"Melanie Shaw has now spent seven months in solitary confinement in Foston Hall prison in Derby."

"The UN called solitary confinement torture; so this is torture by the British state. At the moment Melanie is still unsure what her crime is - she simply does not know what she`s charged with - she does not know why she`s spent this length of time in prison. We have rumours that there was to be a bail application at the end of this month but it appears... that there is no real substance to it."

"So this is the reality of Britain..." (22  minutes)

These are the parliamentary representatives who have already failed Melanie. In particular pay attention to Chris Leslie who vowed to support Melanie and appeared in a photograph with her and then disengaged with her after the election.

"Three Nottingham MPs, Vernon Coaker, Lilian Greenwood and Chris Leslie have so far failed to respond to UK Column enquires as to their action to help Beechwood victims and protect other children from abuse."

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Statement analysis

When Kate recounts the moment she checks on the children and discovers Madeleine is missing she spends most her time talking about the angle of the door, the whooshing of curtains and the shutters being up. She has nothing to say about Madeleine.

It is very unusual for the mother of a missing child to avoid talking about her child at such a crucial point in the story. Statement analysis is as much about the omissions as it is about the spoken word.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Awrabest fae Glesga

A wee bit of history:

"Each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day of feasting, football and family. While today’s Thanksgiving celebrations would likely be unrecognizable to attendees of the original 1621 harvest meal, it continues to be a day for Americans to come together around the tablealbeit with some updates to pilgrim’s menu."

No turkeys.
Of course, there are many different histories. Knowing that and being able to deal with that is part of an `excellent` education, isn`t it?

New Zealand child abuse report killed off

"A former Human Rights Commissioner is accusing the government of killing off a critical report on the way it handled hundreds of cases of children abused in state care."

"The report was written when Ros Noonan was Chief Human Rights Commissioner in 2011..."

"In 2009 the UN Committee Against Torture raised concerns about how New Zealand handled historic abuse claims. In 2011 the Human Rights Commission launched a review."

"Ms Noonan said the draft report recommended an independent inquiry be set up. She did not think the Ministry for Social Development was impartial enough to handle victim's complaints."

"Attorney General Chris Finlayson replied in a letter that he disagreed and the ministry was fair and impartial."

"Ms Noonan believed Mr Finlayson was motivated by fears an independent inquiry would expose the government to liability."'shut-down'

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

13 charities will mentor vulnerable young people

"Some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people will be given the chance to build positive, supportive relationships with caring adults thanks to a new fund from Scottish Government and Inspiring Scotland."

"The intandem programme will support 13 Scottish charities to mentor children aged 8-14 who live at home and are subject, through the Children’s Hearing system, to local authority supervision."

"Intandem was co-created by Scottish Government and Inspiring Scotland and launched by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education earlier this year. The programme will offer young people a chance to build a relationship with a volunteer adult mentor who will support them as they deal with difficult experiences and challenges."

Learning for the 21st century is about skills and competencies as much as it is about knowledge and understanding. Just like digital badges, this mentoring project fits in with the idea that learning - in its broadest sense - can take place anywhere in the community and most adults are teachers.

How far this Big Society agenda is going to be pursued it is difficult to say, but there are warning signs from the United States that it could be the beginning of the end of traditional education.


Digital badges

"Mozilla Open Badges are a new, data-rich way to capture and share skills across the web. DigitalMe is helping schools, learning organisations and employers to use Open Badges to capture skills not previously recognised through formal qualifications - for youth, educators and families."

"Like scouting badges, Open Badges communicate a skill or achievement but are displayed on the Internet. They contain comprehensive data including who has earned the badge, its criteria, learning evidence and who has endorsed it. All this information is packaged within a tiny badge image file that can be displayed via online CVs and social networking sites..."

"Our track record includes successful national and international projects with the British Council, The Childrens Society... the BBC, the Football Foundation, the Imperial War Museum, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Nesta, The Big Lottery Fund and the Nominet Trust. "

See more at:

"The [Scottish Qualifications Authority] itself is investigating the opportunities presented by open badges to support learners across Scotland and is encouraging its partners to do the same."

"Employers, organisations, schools, colleges and universities could gain a richer picture of an individual’s learning by exploring the metadata behind a badge."
"The philosophy of open badges in the recognition of achievements sits well with the principles of Curriculum for Excellence."
Curriculum for Excellence encourages pupils to build portfolios of their achievements outside school and it is easy to see how digital badges could be utilised in this scheme. All of that might seem innocent enough until you start pulling the bits and pieces together to see the bigger picture:
"All schools will have employers fully involved in informing curriculum planning and delivery and providing work-related learning experiences."
So we will have designer children for local businesses.

I don`t know why they call this Curriculum for Excellence because the authority has really narrowed the focus of education down to preparing for life and work, and life turns out to be work.  The trouble is that once robots come on board and start taking over more jobs, including middle class jobs, there won`t be enough work to go around. It is easy to imagine the fierce competition among young people to get badges.  Employers will be able to pick and choose the badges they want and therefore will be able to influence the qualities that young people will have to gain in order to find employment. Remember, we are not talking about knowledge here, we are talking about certain character traits and attributes.

Rat Race

That reminds me of the psychologist B F Skinner and his Skinner boxes, shaping pigeon behaviour. Only this digital badge enterprise looks like it is going to be the human version.

Police offensive against water protectors leaves over 100 injured


Sunday night’s no-holds-barred offensive by police from multiple agencies against unarmed water protectors opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline on Highway 1806’s Backwater Bridge in which at least 167 suffered injuries sent two elders into cardiac arrest, left a 13-year-old girl injured by a rubber bullet to the head, and now, one woman will almost certainly lose her arm.


See also:

Demonstration against education reforms in Warsaw

"Tens of thousands of teachers, pupils and parents have rallied in Warsaw against education reforms proposed by the right-wing government. Critics say thousands of jobs could be slashed."

"Rally organizers said up to 50,000 people attended the demonstration on Warsaw's central Pilsudski Square - the latest in a series of protests critical of government policies. Police put the figure closer to 30,000."

"The reforms envisage changing the three-tier school system to just two levels, which means that many high schools would be closed."

"Demonstrators were also concerned over proposed changes to the school curriculum, including the inclusion of `patriotic values` espoused by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party."

"There were placards claiming Poland's education system was headed for `chaos.` Slawomir Broniarz, the head of Poland's main teachers' union, was cheered as he called on Szydlo's PiS party-led government `not to destroy the assets` of Poland's current education system. Broniarz called for a `massive social front` to mobilise against the reforms."

"Prime Minister Beate Szydlo told a Catholic broadcaster that schools should not only teach but also `raise` children."

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Call for a review of baby deaths

"Parents whose babies died during childbirth at an Ayrshire hospital have called for a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding their deaths."

"At least six cases of so-called `avoidable deaths` have taken place at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock over the past eight years."

"The bereaved families, including June and Fraser Morton from Kilmarnock, say they are still waiting for answers."

"NHS Ayrshire and Arran has given them an `unreserved apology`."
Read more

Robert Green threatened with bailiffs

In the event of violent entry into his home and seizure of his property, Robert Green called on the assistance of Cheshire Constabulary and quoted Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.
The main body of the letter explains:

  • The Court of Session in the legal jurisdiction of Scotland found in favour of Dame Elish Angiolini in her suit against me for defamation.

  • No damages were awarded but the court decided to undergo a diet of taxation to allocate Dame Elish Angiolini`s expenses to me.

  • As it has been established that Dame Elish Angiolini`s expenses were in fact paid for by the UK taxpayer via a secret fund operated with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal`s Service, I served notice via the Court of Session Auditor requiring evidence the Dame Elish had, or would, suffer any financial loss.

  • Dame Elish either would not, or could not, provide any such evidence.

  • I gave ample time... absent which Dame Elish would be abandoning any claim against me.

  • This notice period expired on 24th December 2014. And with it expired any liability I might have to Dame Elish Angiolini.

That letter was drafted a year ago and things have moved on.

Coverage begins at 44.50 minutes:
"Robert Green has received a communication that shows he`s still being pursued by the Scottish state. This time they`re chasing supposed court expenses -  court case run by the Scottish government while trying to make out that a private individual was responsible. But they are now threatening to send bailiffs to his Chester home."

"So if anybody can be available to help support Robert, please let [UK Column] know and [they will] give further contact details."

See here

Monday, 21 November 2016

Lawyers fall out over child abuse inquiry

"Letters sent to MPs by lawyers who resigned from the Inquiry may be published tomorrow." [or they may not] 
"The father of the woman who has made ... allegation of sexual assault against Mr Emmerson has spoken out this morning about the incident. Whilst he understandably defends his daughter, he also goes on to say that the incident has alarmed other female staff at the Inquiry and was the reason that Aileen McColgan, a law professor who was leading the investigation into Anglican and Catholic Church abuse, resigned last week.

Hard nosed lawyers, charged with finding out what has gone on in children`s institutions are such wilting flowers that they collapse at the thought of a nudge or shove in a lift - and resign en masse.

After raking in a load of money from the public purse?


"The Independent has finally put the truth out", says Brian Gerrish. He points to the article: Theresa May accused of cover-up over child abuse inquiry concerns.

He also refers to the BBC interview with a former Chief whip, Tim Fortescue. who shamelessly told a BBC interviewer that the Conservative party had a black book. Anybody in trouble with `small boys` for example,  could come forward and the party would help. Why? Because forever after that MP would do as they wished.

Then, as if that was not bad enough, Gerrish says, that after their very successful Winchester conference on Saturday he was telephoned and asked: "Are you aware of this one?"


"Now this is part of the Sunday Telegraph and the article we are looking at there is: Chief whip`s web-based way of intimidating unruly MPs - and what is this all about?"

"Well it`s about a gentleman called Gavin Williamson who`s now the senior whip for Theresa May. He`s only been in parliament for six years.  He comes in; fresh faced; he`s now a whip. I wonder if he`s using a little bit of pressure to make sure MPs do as they`re told. [Because] he keeps a tarantula on his desk in a glass cage."

Mike Robinson says: "This has got to be seen as a threat."

"It`s a threat but it`s perverse isn`t it?. "

"So we called Gavin Williamson`s office this morning and we asked for some comment on this. We also asked for a copy of his Terms of Reference as a whip because we are interested to see if in the Terms of Reference, which he has presumably had from Theresa May, there are instructions as to how to pressurise and bully MPs. To do what? Cover up the child abuse inquiry maybe?"

"Well if you would like to follow through on this young gentleman, here he is. This is Conservative Home talking about their own; and, er, and,  they`re calling him a baby faced assassin. So this is a deep look into conservative politics. So this young man with very strange eyes comes out of nowhere, talks about gods castrating their fathers and eating children and this is the man who is being put in control of MPs..."

"There`s something particularly nasty about him. "

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Children`s Day 2016

"After a month of offensive against terrorist-held Mosul no breakthrough is in sight. The civilian population of the Iraqi city is forced to either be caught in crossfire or try to flee the besieged town."

"The operation to retake Mosul, the Iraqi stronghold of the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), was launched on October 17. The offensive force is a 100,000-strong alliance of Iraqi Army troops, Kurdish Peshmerga militias, Iraq-backed Shiite militias, Turkish expeditionary forces and Western special operations troops providing targeting for US-led coalition airstrikes and advice to the local forces. The operation is the largest since the US invaded Iraq in 2003..."

"Mosul residents "were caught between the hammer of the coalition bombings and the hard place of the IS violence," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. She added that Western mainstream media is trying to "lacquer up the reality" of the operation."

Competency based `deep learning`

"Proponents of a data-driven, technology-mediated approach to public education see 21st-century learning as a `quest` in which participants diligently work to assemble proof that they’ve obtained the assorted skills and bits of knowledge they need to compete for jobs that pay a living wage."

"By shifting how we think about education - from a human process that happens within a community of learners to a game in which students demonstrate standards and accumulate badges -reformers aim to move much of the K12 education process out of physical school buildings where face-to-face interaction is the primary mode of instruction, and into virtual classrooms, game environments, cultural institutions and work settings. This is how they will attempt to replace neighbourhood schools with learning ecosystems..."

"Widespread adoption of `personalised` digital education platforms underpins the learning ecosystem model, as does reliance on big-data (academic and social-emotional) to guide students on their appropriate workforce `pathway` and reinforce desirable behaviours like `deep learning`. They see children as dynamic sets of skills, competencies and personality traits that can be quantified, sorted, and placed in digital portfolios."

Deep learning has a double meaning: it is used to describe student learning that can be applied in novel ways to different situations, but it is also used in artificial intelligence circles for the algorithms involved in machine learning. That requirers huge datasets but so does the application and tracking of `deep learning` for humans, described above.

Research in one area reinforces the other.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Roelie Post: against child trafficking

"Dutch whistleblower Roelie Post speaks at conference `For Every Truth There is a Source: Protection of Whistleblowers and Journalistic Sources` in Belgrade, October 28th, 2016."


Read more

Surveillance regime is set to become UK law

"A sweeping new surveillance regime is set to become UK law before the end of the year after the Investigatory Powers Bill passed through the House of Lords on Wednesday."

"The legislation, dubbed the ‘snooper’s charter,’ creates a legal framework authorizing the government to hack into devices, networks and services in bulk."

"The law will allow for large databases of personal information on UK citizens to be maintained."

"It requires internet, phone and communication app companies to store records for 12 months and allow authorities to access them on demand. That data could be anything from internet search history, calls made or messages sent."

"Security agencies will also be able to force companies to decrypt data, effectively placing limits on the use of end-to-end encryption."

"For the bill to become law it still requires royal assent, which is essentially a formality. Once this is done, the UK will have one of the most wide-ranging, all-encompassing and privacy-invading mass surveillance programs in the world, according to critics."

"Prime Minister Theresa May pushed hard for the bill on the basis of counter-terrorism."

"The government argues the incoming law provides intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the powers necessary to fight terrorism and investigate crime."

Scottish child abuse inquiry will not widen its remit

"The Scottish child abuse inquiry will not widen its remit to include non-residential incidents of abuse, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced."

"He made clear the inquiry would look at allegations made by those who were in a care setting at the time `where institutions and bodies had legal responsibility for the long-term care of children in the place of the parent, with all of the legal and moral obligations that status carries`."

He said: "That is different to the position in 'non in-care settings', such as day schools and youth groups, where others had a duty of care on a short-term basis but crucially were not in any way replacing the role of parents."

"In too many cases, terrible crimes were committed in those settings too. Criminal behaviour should be referred to the police and I hope, where the evidence exists, this will be energetically pursued through the criminal courts."

He stressed: " If we set a remit which would in practice take many more years to conclude, we are failing to respond to those survivors of in-care abuse who have taken us at our word - in Government and in Parliament - that we will learn from their experience and, by addressing the systematic failures which existed, ensure it can never happen again..."

"Professor Michael Lamb, the other panel member who stepped down, will not be replaced, Mr Swinney said, adding that Lady Smith is `content` with that decision."

"He confirmed the Scottish Government has introduced its first Bill since May's Holyrood election, with legislation being brought forward to remove the three-year time bar on abuse victims making a claim in the civil courts..."

"He also announced a consultation with abuse survivors and others about possible financial redress, pledging to `fully explore the issues and gather a wide range of views`..."

Scottish Labour’s Education spokesperson Iain Gray said failing to widen its scope may be a `serious mistake`.

Mr Gray added: "The membership of the panel of this inquiry has been a source of controversy in the past. The Scottish Government must ensure that this limited membership does not impede or slow down the progress of the inquiry."

"Finally, the Cabinet secretary has further delayed a decision on redress and refused to provide interim payments for elderly survivors. That is disappointing."
"Meanwhile the child abuse inquiry in England saw a barrister quit this week with ‘concerns’ about its leadership. Aileen McColgan resignation followed senior counsel Ben Emmerson's in September, a day after he was suspended."

Friday, 18 November 2016

England`s stolen children

England`s Stolen Children is a documentary that has recently been shown on French television which exposes the role of social services and local authorities, since the Children Act 1989, in removing children from their families through forced adoptions.

Those on the continent who have a different child protection system are shocked by what goes on in the United Kingdom: removing children on suspicion of present or future harm.

Some familiar figures appear in the documentary: John Hemming talks about adoption targets; Ian Josephs explains how he helps mothers to escape from the United Kingdom and Maggie Mellon tells how social work has moved from supporting families to `very much a risk situation`.

For a translation and some good comments see below:

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Glasgow meeting

Great concern has been expressed about the Docherty family and there has been a wonderful response in terms of contributions made to their cause.
Regardless, as UK Column and David Scott explain communication with the family is spasmodic and uncertain.
Meanwhile the announcement was made of the Scottish Meeting in Glasgow on 30 November 2016.
Despite everything going on in his life, including family problems, it was pronounced that Robert Green, who has done some sterling work on behalf of the Dochertys, will be appearing at the WEST in Glasgow. [He may have to leave early at that meeting.]

David Scott said that they did hope to have the Dochertys at this meeting but due to a breakdown in communication that may not be possible.

The Great Ormond Street experiment

"Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London are facing questions over whether they had the consent of parents or guardians before conducting brain experiments on vulnerable children from scandal-hit charity Kids’ Company."

"Documents obtained by Heat Street under Freedom of Information laws show that between 2007 and 2009, a total of 123 separate procedures were conducted on 10 young people who were clients of Camila Batmanghelidjh’s now-defunct charity."

"The children were given small sums of money for taking part in the experiments."

"The tests, including MRI scans, tried to prove a link between mistreatment in childhood and violent tendencies in adulthood."

"But the research proved inconclusive and was never published."

"It was part of a joint venture between Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London carried out by the Institute of Child Health, which the two organisations co-fund."

Dr Liz Davies, Emeritus Reader in Child Protection, quotes Professor Fonagyy, a psychologist at University College London on the topic of brain scans.

`by using brain scans, rather than studying how children behave, we will be able to spot those who are in greatest need of intervention. This system ought to be more accurate than current methods of diagnosis, such as questionnaires and observation… infants cannot articulate neglect or abuse, but their brain images can’ (Carlowe [2007] ‘My Brain Mapper’. The Times. 12th May).
Worried by the implications of experimenting on children`s brains Dr Davis attended conferences and heard the many arguments based on neuroscience in support of early intervention.  She concluded that: "the philosophy probably had an influence on the promotion of the fast track adoption policy and risked serious over-intervention by the state in family life."

Note that Professor Fonagyy did not entertain the idea of examining the brains of policy makers who came up with these projects, many of whom have psychopathic traits. Some might suggest that it would be more beneficial to society to weed out these low empathy individuals, using brains scans, rather than targeting their victims.
But then again, since government policy is to slyly influence society, why would they not want to study these effects, and why would they not choose the most vulnerable to begin their experiments?

The quest to close down alternative information websites

It is disappointing that the BBC is not on the list of fake news sites. I have recently put out the link of the blog criticising their Panorama programme: `Saving Syria`s children` exposing the fact that it was a staged event. But it is worth pointing to it again given this recent extraordinarily arrogant article.

However, I see a few sites there that provide serious alternative news: 21st CenturyWire and NaturalNews* being two of them which I sometimes source.

I have just taken a copy of the rest of the sites on the `hit list` because if the mainstream are worried about them they must be `on to something` at least some of the time.


*NaturalNews cover topics like GM food and vaccination damage.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Missing children

Unaccompanied children; the saga continues.

Mike Robinson from UK Column News stated that: "This is a new report that`s come out today. Now it`s discussing child trafficking victims and it`s also discussing unaccompanied children. So what they`re saying is that in one year thirty percent of all UK child trafficking victims in the care system and 13 percent of unaccompanied children in the care system disappeared."

"Now this is the report: Heading back to harm. They`re basically saying that trafficked and unaccompanied asylum-seeing children are going missing from UK care at an alarmingly high rate. This is how they`re describing it. This is from an NGO called ECPAT UK  in collaboration with a charity called Missing People..."

From the document:
"Through this year-long study, ECPAT UK and Missing People have discovered that an alarmingly high number of both unaccompanied asylum seeking children and children who may have been trafficked go missing from care. Many have not been found. Local authorities with responsibility for the care of these children are frequently not able to report how many unaccompanied and trafficked children are in their care, and many failed to identify any child trafficking victims..."
"Heading back to harm reveals that, from September 2014 to September 2015, 28% of trafficked children (167 children) in care and 13% of unaccompanied children (593 children) in care went missing at least once. Of these, 207 missing trafficked or unaccompanied children had not been found."
Brian Gerrish explained that this tied in with what the Metropolitan police whistleblower said. "Because in his testimony he said that when he investigated children`s homes, he found that in a matter of days a large number of children were going missing. The children`s homes knew it; the local authorities knew it; the child protection teams knew it and the police and the MPs knew it. Instead of investigating he was threatened and warned off and told to keep his mouth shut. So what we`re seeing is the real facts about the numbers of children, thousands of children, tens of thousands of children; over the years hundreds of thousands of children abused in the care system. We don`t have a champion at all. Nobody`s standing up in Westminster."
This is a national scandal that has been going on for decades with British children as well as children now being brought into the country.
Mike Robinson continued: "So let`s just remind ourselves from last month: Amber Rudd, the home secretary, at the time of the closing of the camp in Calais saying: `We have about 100 [unaccompanied children] in train who we hope to bring over in the next few weeks but on top of that I`ve made it clear that we will take children from the Dubs agreement`. Now these new children that are coming in - this report that we`re talking about is covering the period 2014 to 2015 - so in fact if we look at the children they were talking about in that report; they`re saying that child trafficking victims who vanished from care were mainly from countries like Vietnam, Albania and the UK and the unaccompanied children who went missing from care are from places like Afghanistan ... Albania and Vietnam. So we haven`t even got the statistics yet for any Syrian or children related to the Syrian conflict or Libya and this kind of thing."
"If you remember last month Stella Creasy saying: `Bringing here every child who has a legal right to be in the United Kingdom would be a really good result.` Well it doesn`t seem to be a really good result for quite a lot of them. And just remember the original MP who was pushing for this: Tim Farron... And if you remember back in October I highlighted this organisation Help Refugees who were absolutely campaigning for unaccompanied children from Calais to be brought over here. Now I asked them about this issue of children disappearing from care and this is what they had to say:"
"Thank you for your email and for your concern. The Dubs transfers are being carried out by the Home Office, who will be working with the Red Cross to ensure the protection of those children."
"We are currently in talks with Refugee Action. We will be collaborating on ensuring that those children brought to the UK are secure, cared for and that their best interests are observed. We are fully aware of the risks of child trafficking within the UK, however, the risks of trafficking within refugee camps across Europe and the world are exponentially high. Naturally, comparisons are difficult to draw."
"We feel that for those particularly vulnerable children who qualify under the Dubs Amendment and for whom a best interests assessment recommends their transfer to the UK, should be brought into the British care system."
"Well the big lie of course Mike is there is no care system because what we are seeing is wholesale abuse of children within that system. So they`re bringing these children in; they cannot guarantee the safety of children in Britain and Tim Farron was happy to say in an email that yes out of the 300 missing Syrian children... it was inevitable there would have been some trafficked and abused. I understand that today Mr Farron is pushing out emails about flood defences. So he`s not the slightest bit bothered about child abuse. He`s getting a little bit worried because we`re heading for the rain... season."
Returning to the subject of missing children: "So we still have to wait for the statistics about that - if they ever appear."
UK Column then commented on the fact that government does not collect the data on what happens to children who go missing from care.
The news ended with a look at media manipulation with particular reference to the BBC Panorama programme Saving Syria`s children.

"On 29 August 2013, as the UK House of Commons vote on possible military intervention in Syria was underway, BBC News at Ten broadcast a report by Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway which claimed that a Syrian fighter jet had dropped an incendiary bomb containing a `napalm-type` substance possibly thermite on the playground of an Aleppo school."

The blog examines the evidence and comes to the conclusion that this was a staged event.

Read more

Monday, 14 November 2016

Update on the Docherty appeal

From Brian Gerrish (UK Column 14 November 2016))

"Just a brief update on the Dochertys. I`m going to say thank you very much for your support. We`ve still got donations for Brian and Janice coming in."

"We`ve had a number of events happening over the weekend that have been quite difficult to handle. I`ll just say to people please remember that at the moment Brian and Janice are effectively isolated in what is a very hostile environment in Ireland and we have to go at the speed we can with the communications that we have and sometimes those communications can be very intermittent. So we`re waiting for an update ourselves at the moment.

As soon as we get that update we will of course pass it on to all of you who have been clearly very concerned about what is happening to this couple.

But what I will say as a final comment is that the sheer viciousness... turned against them from both the Scottish state and also in Ireland is clearly another indicator that whatever they touched upon in Scotland.... literally turned into a nightmare. So we`ve got to say, based on this, let alone all the other evidence, the respective states in London, Scotland and Ireland are terrified of this couple and the fact that they`ve dared to speak out.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Scottish Government to pay NO2NP legal costs

"TAXPAYERS face a £500,000 bill after the SNP’s controversial Named Person scheme suffered its latest court setback."

"Five judges who this year ruled that the scheme is a breach of human rights have ordered the Scottish Government to pay the legal costs of those who challenged the bill."

"Members of the No to Named Person (NO2NP) campaign group racked up fees of around £250,000 fighting the plans."

"The Government’s own bill for defending the case is expected to take the total to more than £500,000."

"NO2NP spokesman Simon Calvert said: "We estimate the Scottish Government may be liable for up to £500,000 legal costs."

"`This is wasting taxpayers’ money on a scheme that has been declared unlawful, a breach of the human rights of families, outside the competence of the Scottish Parliament and not fit for purpose`..."

"`Had the judges agreed with the Government spin that they basically won the case and just had to make a few tweaks to the Named Person law the court would not have awarded us our costs`."

It`s not that the Scottish Government wasn`t forewarned.

Read more here

Eight rural forces continue to hood detainees

"Provincial police forces are under pressure to stop hooding detainees after it emerged that the practice has been used hundreds of times despite being banned by Britain’s biggest police forces."

"Official figures obtained by the Guardian show that spit hoods have been used 513 times since last year by a handful of provincial police forces."

"The practice of placing a tightly meshed hood over a suspect’s head has been criticised as breaching human rights law and investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission in at least two high-profile cases this year."

"Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that eight rural forces continue to use the practice including on children as young as 13 despite it not being sanctioned by police chiefs at the biggest forces, including the Metropolitan police, West Midlands police and Greater Manchester police."

"A 13-year-old schoolboy and a 14-year-old schoolgirl were among detainees hooded by police officers in Northamptonshire last year, the figures show, while a 70-year-old man was placed in a spit hood by North Wales police..."

"British Transport police have hooded detainees in 151 cases since June 2014, when the force authorised the practice."


"The force is under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission after it used a spit hood on a young black man who was pinned to the floor by four officers at London Bridge station in July."

"Footage filmed by witnesses showed officers holding IK Aihie, 20, to the floor with his hands behind his back and a spit hood over his head.  His girlfriend, Jessica McConkey, can be seen in distress in the clip while others plead with the officers: `What the hell are you doing?` and `Stop that`."

"IPCC investigators met Aihie this month to confirm they had launched an investigation into his arrest on 21 July. Aihie said: `I hope there will now be a thorough investigation and I would ask any witnesses to my arrest to please contact the IPCC`."

Robots in class: a threat to teachers ?

"Numerous types of robots are being incorporated in education. They range from simple `microprocessor on wheels` robots (boebot), to advanced toolkits, (mindstorms) to humanoids (robots that resemble humans)."

"The choice of the robot is usually dictated by the area of study and the age group of the student."

"Smaller robots or toolkits are particularly used to teach robotics or computer science. These toolkits can be physically manipulated allowing students to learn a variety of disciplines across engineering. However, the human-like shape of humanoids makes them easier to interact with, and for this reason are often used for language lessons."

"Humanoids have the ability to provide real-time feedback, and their physical shape increases engagement. This often leads to a personal connection with the student, which research shows can help resolve issues related to shyness, reluctance, confidence and frustration that may arise in dealing with a human teacher. For example, a robot will not get tired no matter how many mistakes a child makes."

"Humanoid robots are being widely utilised in classrooms in many countries including, Japan and South Korea."

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Westminster suffers two defeats

"The government was defeated twice in the Supreme Court over the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ on Wednesday 9 November. The Spare Room Subsidy has been in force since 1 April 2013. People in the social rented sector deemed to have one spare bedroom have had their housing benefit reduced by 14%. And people with two or more spare bedrooms have seen a reduction of 25%. Critics argue that the bedroom tax discriminates against disabled people, single mothers, and those with carers..."

No privatisation of children’s services

"As The Canary previously reported, the Conservative government has been trying to push the child and social work bill through the House of Lords. Critics argue if the Tories passed the bill as law it would mean a `bonfire` of children’s rights. The bill would
allow local authorities to opt-out of national child laws in order to find better ways of working. But critics argued it would mean a postcode lottery of services and that it would open up children’s services to privatisation."

"On Tuesday 8 November, the House of Lords voted down this part of the bill. The section would have originally allowed local authorities to opt out of national law for three years. They could then apply for an extension from the government for another three. And with companies like G4S already pushing to take over children’s services, the prospect of privatisation was very real."

"But peers were not convinced the bill should let national children’s laws be stripped away. The House of Lords voted 245-213 in favour of scrapping the clause in its entirety. The government, however, may well re-insert the clause when the bill moves to the House of Commons. This could create what’s known as ‘ping-pong‘ between the two houses. So it may not be the end of the story..."

`Safe Spaces` for stressed students

"Colleges and universities nationwide are establishing `safe spaces` for students troubled by the results of the 2016 presidential election, offering everything from counseling hours to painting activities."

"St. Mary’s university has embraced the trend of colleges shielding students from the presidential election, offering a safe space with `warm drinks` and `nourishment` for students who are stressed by results."

"Ete Martinez Anderson, the assistant dean of Student Life, sent a school-wide email encouraging students to `take a deep breath` and console each other in the Intercultural Center (ICC) and the Women’s Resource Center (WRC)."

"`Whether you’re celebrating a victory or grieving a loss, let us remember to take care of each other,` Martinez Anderson wrote, informing students that they could come to the WRC to `paint, engage in creative projects, dialogue, and reflect`."

This reminds me of the tears and protestations of young people performing in front of the camera after the Brexit result, most of whom did not bother to vote in the referendum, although overall there had been a good turn out.

In the states 49 per cent of the electorate did not vote and it is easy to imagine that there would have been many students in that percentage.

It does make you wonder what use social and emotional learning is in the curriculum when students can grow up to be so contrary and lacking in backbone.

Or maybe it would be better to focus attention on who is winding up these students and why.


Friday, 11 November 2016

Gender identity lessons

Here`s how to create problems where none existed:

"NICOLA Sturgeon's government and the EU is paying for children age two and up to be given lessons on sexuality and whether they want to identify as being boys, girls or gender neutral."

"And they are paying for the roll out of a programme which allows a 'research artist' who works with children from two up as well as policy makers to encourage infants to talk about sex."

"The shocking project, funded by the Scottish Government and the EU, throws the spotlight on the SNP's questionable education record after they were heavily criticised for attainment in schools."

"Horrifyingly the ‘Gendersaurus Rex’ concept - which is promoted and paid for by the taxpayer through the Imaginate Creative Project - asks: "How do we talk about queerness outside of sexuality?"
"How do we talk about sexuality and children in the same breath without being accused of summoning the spectre of paedophilia?"
Well you can`t.

The debt crises

"Mainstream economists failed to anticipate the crisis, not because it was an unpredictable `Black Swan`, but because false pre-determined beliefs meant they ignored the cause of the crisis: banks lending too much money to finance speculation rather than investment."
So says Professor Keen who successfully predicted the crisis. Millions of young Americans are getting themselves into student debt in what seems like a hopeless cause.

 The following article is from the Guardian (2011) but it is still relevant today:

"Western Europeans and Americans are about to suffer a profound shock. For the past 30 years governments have explained that, while they can no longer protect jobs through traditional forms of state intervention such as subsidies and tariffs, they can expand and reform education to maximise opportunity. If enough people buckle down to acquiring higher-level skills and qualifications, Europeans and Americans will continue to enjoy rising living standards. If they work hard enough, each generation can still do better than its parents. All that is required is to bring schools up to scratch and persuade universities to teach `marketable` skills... "

"But the financial meltdown of 2008 and the subsequent squeeze on incomes is slowly revealing an awful truth. As figures out last week from the Office for National Statistics show, real UK wages have not risen since 2005, the longest sustained freeze in living standards since the 1920s. While it has not hit the elite in banking, the freeze affects most of the middle class as much as the working class. This is not a blip, nor the result of educational shortcomings. In the US, which introduced mass higher education long before Britain, the average graduate's purchasing power has barely risen in 30 years. Just as education failed to deliver social democratic promises of social equality and mobility, so it will fail to deliver neoliberal promises of universal opportunity for betterment..."

"We are familiar with the outsourcing of routine white-collar `back office` jobs such as data inputting. But now the middle office is going too. Analysing X-rays, drawing up legal contracts, processing tax returns, researching bank clients, and even designing industrial systems are examples of skilled jobs going offshore. Even teaching is not immune: last year a north London primary school hired mathematicians in India to provide one-to-one tutoring over the internet. Microsoft, Siemens, General Motors and Philips are among big firms that now do at least some of their research in China. The pace will quicken. The export of `knowledge work` requires only the transmission of electronic information, not factories and machinery. Alan Blinder, a former vice-chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has estimated that a quarter of all American service sector jobs could go overseas..."

It will be interesting to see if Donald Trump keeps his word and sets about getting America back to work rebuilding its crumbling infrastructure.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Nothing without work

Figures published by Trussell Trust ... revealed that more than 500,000 food parcels had been given to families in crises during the first six months of 2016, including over 188,500 children.
Welfare Weekly 9 November 2016.

More than one in five (220,000) of Scotland’s children are officially recognised as living in poverty.

Do not worry. The Scottish Government has a wonderful plan to turn the situation around in Scotland. In the first place they have built health and wellbeing into the heart of the Scottish education system as a right for every child. That includes a curriculum that allows time to be spent on invasive questionnaires about the children`s private and family lives. Never mind, these children are also promised that the sensitive and personal data they provide will be kept safe and used only to build them better services.

After all, you can always trust the Government.

Though important services for disabled children are disappearing the Scottish Government is committed to stamping out intergenerational poverty and disadvantage by investing in early intervention and GIRFEC for every child.

What better services?

And why does the Scottish Government ignore the bigger factors causing economic disadvantage?

Brexit and Trump was no surprise to some of us.


"Alienation is the precise and correctly applied word for describing the major social problem in Britain today. People feel alienated by society. In some intellectual circles it is treated almost as a new phenomenon. It has, however, been with us for years. What I believe is true is that today it is more widespread, more pervasive than ever before. Let me right at the outset define what I mean by alienation. It is the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. It`s the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision-making. The feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel with justification that they have no real say in shaping or determining their own destinies."