Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The transgender agenda taken to extremes

I don`t care what anybody says, my mother was a woman,  not a potentially transitioning person and she certainly was never my father. But such an attitude is politically incorrect according to the BMA:

"The British Medical Association has said pregnant women should not be called `expectant mothers` as it could offend transgender people."

"Instead, they should call them `pregnant people` so as not to upset intersex and transgender men, the union has said."

"The advice comes in an internal document to staff outlining a raft of common phrases that should be avoided for fear of causing offence..."

"The BMA said the document was purely guidance for its staff on effective communication within the workplace, not advice to its 156,000 doctor members on how to deal with patients..."

"Conservative MP Philip Davies described the guidance as `completely ridiculous`."

"He said: `If you can’t call a pregnant woman an expectant mother, then what is the world coming to?`"

Confused?  Some would say that is the point of it and it works.

A complaint to WHO about HPV vaccines

Dr Sin Hang Lee, Director of Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, has written an open-letter of complaint to the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Margaret Chan, stating that a number of individuals set out to mislead the Japanese authorities regarding the safety of the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix. [January 2014]

Having examined a number of emails between these individuals it is his opinion that: "this group of WHO officials and government employees charged with the responsibility to advise the expert committee of the Japanese government on HPV vaccination safety knew before the February 26, 2014 Tokyo public hearing that one of their own experts showed scientific evidence that HPV vaccination does increase cytokines, including tumour necrosis factor (TNF), particularly at the injection site compared to other vaccines."

"Yet, they chose to suppress this information at the public hearing. Of course, this piece of scientific data which was known to all members of the group, including Dr Robert Pless, the chairperson of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS), is also missing from the GACVS Statement on the continued safety of HPV vaccination issued on March 12, 2014..."
The reason that the increase in cytokines is important and is alleged to have been covered up is that there is research evidence to show that a strong cytokine reaction may induce an immune response in the vaccinated host that can lead to hypotensive shock and even death. Although quite technical, it is possible to get the gist:

"Injection of Gardasil® into animals has been shown to induce unusually early strong innate immune responses with quick releases of a variety of cytokines from the macrophages. Injection of HPV DNA/AAHS complexes into the host is also known to induce a strong immune reaction and a strong CD8 T cell response. Based on experiments with other viral DNA molecules, the recombinant HPV L1 gene DNA fragments transfected into human macrophages would also be recognized as "stranger" and "danger" signal, and invariably activate the macrophages to release numerous antiviral cytokines."   
"Many of these cytokines, including TNF-α and IL-1β, are recognized myocardial depressants. Hypotensive shock induced by TNF-α has been well documented among animals and humans."

Home Office was aware of child sexual abuse

"Thousands of British children, some as young as five, who were sent abroad to start a new life may have been sexually abused - and then moved as part of a cover up."

"Former Prime Minster Gordon Brown has accused the UK authorities of 'criminal negligence' for ignoring the alleged abuse of children who were relocated under the Child Migrants Programme from the 1920s to the 60s."

"Writing in the Mirror, he claimed new evidence suggests many children fell victim to sexual predators before they left the U.K and that the Home Office was warned they were at further risk abroad."

"Under the Child Migrants Programme, poverty-stricken youngsters were compulsorily deported to Australia, Canada and other parts of the Commonwealth until it was stopped in 1970."

"Most children were wrongly told that their parents had died and that they would enjoy a 'better life', while the parents thought the children had been adopted in Britain."

"Mr Brown apologised for Britain's 'disgraceful' role in sending more than 130,000 children to its former colonies in 2010, but now says his apology was 'incomplete'..."

"One victim claimed they were just five years old when they were repeatedly raped in a children's home in the UK and then, after being sent to Australia as a child migrant, the sexual abuse started again."

"Mr Brown said the new evidence needed to be urgently addressed by Britain's Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse."

Monday, 30 January 2017

Job Centres to be slashed

"`Reckless` plans to slash millions from the welfare department's bill by shutting Jobcentres across the country have been revealed."

"The Department for Work and Pensions today announced it wants to merge staff and facilities from 78 smaller Jobcentre Plus offices into larger ones..."

"There will only be public consultations in cases where Jobcentres are being moved more than three miles or 20 minutes' journey away."

"Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams branded the closures `reckless at best and perverse at worst`."

"She added: `Only this government’s distorted austerity agenda could lead to such contradictory policies. Either the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing, or they are both acting together to make working people’s lives harder."

"This Tory Government’s decision to close Jobcentres across the country shows they are not serious about helping people to find decent, secure and well-paid work`."

Absolutely, the present government is not serious about doing anything to help people get into work. Debbie Abrahams` comments are also disingenuous given her support for austerity.

I also find myself in the unusual position where I am unsympathetic with the Job Centre workers who are threatened with the loss of their jobs.

Like others, I cannot help but remember their jobs depended on persecuting the disabled, the long term sick, the single parents, the elderly and others who could not find work. Any excuse was to be sanctioned, and that is exactly what the Job Centre staff did.

Alleged dishonesty of Atos and Capita

"Healthcare professionals who carry out face-to-face assessments of benefit claimants have lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations, according to a two-month Disability News Service (DNS) investigation."

"The investigation has compiled evidence from more than 20 disabled people who have contacted DNS over the last year or have commented on previous DNS news stories to claim that their assessors usually qualified nurses lied repeatedly in reports they produced for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)."

"The evidence compiled during the investigation suggests a far-reaching, institutional problem that stretches across DWP and the two private sector contractors Atos Healthcare and Capita that assess eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP) on its behalf."

"The alleged dishonesty includes assessors: refusing to accept further written evidence from medical experts; wrongly claiming that detailed physical examinations had been carried out during the assessment; refusing to list all of a claimant’s medications; ignoring or misreporting key information told to them during the assessment; and reporting that a claimant had refused to co-operate with a physical examination, when they were unable to complete it because of their impairment."

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Longer school hours proposed for poor children

I`m sure Mr Keir Bloomer would like all of that.
"CREATING a new system where poor children attend school for more hours and take fewer summer holidays than rich children could be a solution to closing the attainment gap, according to one of the most influential education experts in Scotland." Yes, too influential.
"Keir Bloomer, one of the key architects of the Scottish Government’s flagship education policy, the failing Curriculum for Excellence, pointed to the success of similar schemes in America which helped boost learning for pupils from poor backgrounds." 

I think he has forgotten that children have a right to express their views on any matter that affects them. No poor child will accept the injustice he proposes. [See Articles 12 and 13 of the UNCRC.] How about extracurricular activities for poor children that are fun, and voluntary of course?

Thought not.

Brief update on the Docherty family

[Towards the end of the programme]

"This has been an extremely difficult case, because not only has it been so significant and so harrowing but because we found it remarkably difficult to stay in contact with Brian and Janice themselves. and we`ve had a lot of people pushing for an update."

"So David, can you give us - with an eye on the clock - can you give us a little bit of an update about where you think we are."

"Well Brian and Janice are still in Ireland and we`ve only heard from them once this month, just after the New Year. We sent them some funds across that had been donated by UK Column listeners and viewers and we got an acknowledgement and thank you for that on the 5th of January and we`ve not heard from them since."

"So they`re still in Ireland and still it would seem very much alone and the situation with the children is there has been a care order we understand, granted by the High Court in Dublin, and the children are now formally in the care of the Irish state."

"Now in terms of the investigation it has been very difficult because of the lack of communication. We have made several areas of progress notwithstanding that. Firstly, the key person in this - or early part of the story - was a Mr Alan Low who was a neighbour of the Dochertys and we very early found out there was an Alan Low who was a police officer, DC Alan Low, in that vicinity, in fact, in various police stations where the Dochertys had been interviewed and where the Viscount had been interviewed. These are the police stations in which Alan Low served. So we thought this was extremely suspicious..."

"We then got a visual identification from the Dochertys that it was the same man but we also got a complete and categorical denial of this from Police Scotland. They said that the man who had been reported was not the police officer. He had never been a police officer and was most certainly not Alan Low. So that caused us some concern whether we had the right man. But there was a key identifying feature that the Dochertys had stated, and that was the Alan Low who was their neighbour was missing several fingers from his one hand and very obvious and unique deformities."

"So we set out trying to find out whether DC Alan Low did indeed have fingers missing from one hand, and a few weeks before Christmas, we found out from two sources that this was in fact the case. So there was no doubt at all that the Alan Low who was their neighbour and who approached them and offered them £20,000, saying `I want access to your boy`, was in fact a serving police officer, DC Alan Low. And what he was doing, we don`t know; why he was living as a builder or a gardener or something and not revealing his true identity, we don`t know. We can`t even find out if it was some sort of police operation or undercover operation because Police Scotland are not talking to us and indeed are denying that it is the same man. But it seems clearly it was. So that`s one area of significant progress."

"That of course is really significant," says Brian Gerrish. "And I know that there`s more work that`s actually been done around the case but we can`t move forward on that without some input by Brian and Janice themselves... At the moment we`re holding money that`s been donated. As David said ... they`ve already had some. But the key issue is that we have to be certain that money that`s moved to them actually reaches them on the ground. So it`s been quite a complicated situation. But we`re going to hold those donations. Once we`re back in good communication with Brian and Janice, we`ll be able to move those funds on and also give you a further update. But what we deduce from what has happened is that the fear factor has been very very powerful. The state has gone flat out to terrify this couple after taking their children and of course we know from other families that when children are taken it`s so easy for social services or the police or the state to be saying: `If you don`t keep quiet you will never see those children again`. So if you can imagine the sheer psychological pressure that these two have been under. In saying we have found it difficult to be in communication, it is in no way a criticism. This is part of the harsh reality of these sorts of cases."

"So the undertone is of course that... Police Scotland, far from doing their job with Brian and Janice Docherty, it`s been Police Scotland themselves that have been part of the close down of the case and the harassment and the brutalisation of these two."


Background to Docherty case:

An argument about alternative facts ?

In a world of fake news, to be expected.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Introducing GIRFEA

There was always the feeling that if the Named Person scheme went uncontested that it would not end when a child reached eighteen years old: once the file was opened on that particular individual, it would remain so. The Named Person was merely the way to initiate state monitoring of the entire population of Scotland. The Supreme Court judgment curtailing these plans was an important victory.

Now it is horrifying to find out that plans are afoot to introduce GIRFEA, Getting it Right for Every Adult with a proposed single point of contact and its own wellbeing indicators. The committee began by looking at new ways to manage the elderly and it has now morphed into managing everybody.

I have my own reasons to be very worried about this latest development. Twenty four years ago I was treated for hypothyroidism. Ordinarily this is one of the few conditions that is very simple to treat. One tablet a day can restore a person to normality but it does require the correct dose. In my case, I could not get the dose sufficient for my requirements and I was left unable to function. What happens is that a doctor will tend to treat the blood test result instead of the patient. So if the lab report says NORMAL that is taken as the final word on the matter. Strictly speaking doctors should also listen to their patients because the lab result is only an indirect measure of what is happening at the cellular level.

To add insult to injury when I complained that I was being undertreated, it was my mental health that was questioned. That seems to be standard medical practice.

Fortunately, although I seldom could leave my home due to my condition, I did have access to the internet. In my own slow time I was able to research the problem. Probably because there is a private health care system, and people can switch between doctors until they get the treatment they are looking for, a lot of information came from the United States. It only took me a couple of days until I had access to research papers that I could provide to my doctor. He was extremely angry with me but I will be forever grateful that he allowed me to do the trial and decide for myself on the dose. My chemist is well aware how unusual this is because she keeps telling me.

Now I can well imagine that if there had been a single point of contact making decisions about my wellbeing that I could have been left trapped forever in a non-functioning condition. It is becoming clearer by the day that the welfare state is being deliberately collapsed and the state is going to decide who gets treatment and who does not. The elderly are a nuisance; so are the long term sick and disabled which is why they are the first to be targeted.

There always was more to the Named Person scheme than information sharing.

See David Scott`s article on GIRFEA below:

       Published on 8 Feb 2013
Scottish thyroid patients Sandra Whyte, Marian Dyer and Lorraine Cleaver met with Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 regarding their petition, "Effective Thyroid and Adrenal Testing, Diagnosis and Treatment".
      [Their petition didn`t get anywhere.] 

Children in care is on the increase

"A dossier, published by Legal Action for Women, describes and seeks to quantify 'the traumatic and discriminatory treatment of children, mothers and grandmothers by the state and the institutions who are in charge of child protection'."

"The organisation has published the dossier because, it says, the crisis in women's lives has had little publicity and that 'it is generally not known how widespread the intervention of the state in families is'."

Suffer the little children & their mothers states that new research shows that local authorities with the highest adoption rates also have the highest increase in children in care. Prioritising adoption over support for families has led to a 65% increase in the number of children separated from their parents. According to the dossier, single mothers, immigrant mothers, teenage mothers and mothers on low incomes, of colour, and those with learning difficulties are particularly vulnerable. Women who suffer rape and/or domestic violence are most likely to have their children removed."

"The dossier notes the following:"

"A 14% increase in the past year alone in referrals to Cafcass.
Up to 5% of all families are referred for assessment every year.
The proportion of identified cases of abuse from parents has dropped significantly from 24% to under 8%.
Adoptions are at their highest point since the start of complete collection of data.
Domestic abuse features in 70-90% of cases going to family court and in 70% of Cafcass cases.
Less than 1% of child contact applications are refused, i.e. violent fathers are nearly always given some contact with their children if they request it."

"Anne Neale of Legal Action for Women, co-author of the dossier, commented:"

"The push for adoption has resulted in the highest ever number of children in care and an unprecedented level of state intrusion in family life. The fundamental relationship between mother and child is dismissed as irrelevant to a child's wellbeing and development, and the trauma of separation, and its lifelong consequences, are ignored."

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The change agenda in education

These global collaborators never change their tune; they never introduce the evidence or provide the subtleties of alternative viewpoints. Over time their vision crystallises but it never deviates from its course. We are led to believe that social and emotional learning is a vital part of education for the 21st century, even though humanity arrived at this juncture without such learning.

What is it about social and emotional learning?

It`s as if the Enlightenment never happened.
"According to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 report titled New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Through Technology,` To thrive in the 21st century, students need more than traditional academic learning. They must be adept at collaboration, communication, and problem solving, which are some of the skills developed through social and emotional learning (SEL). Coupled with mastery of traditional skills, social and emotional proficiency will equip students to succeed in the swiftly evolving digital economy`."
But here`s the answer:

"The coming decades will see an era of the most radical changes in education since the appearance of national education systems. And the source of these changes will not be in the educational system itself, but rather it will be driven primarily by industries: digital technologies, healthcare, and finance..."

"Outside the education system, a new transnational market emerges, which within a couple of decades (or even sooner) could take over the traditional educational system and introduce new standards of learning and talent management."

See  - Future Agendas for Global Education (GEF)

Austerity in Ireland

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Useless Girfec scheme still threatening families

New Zealand abandoned a Girfec-like scheme after branding it `useless` according to the Scottish Express in August of last year.

They quoted the disastrous attempt of the Isle of Man to successfully implement such a scheme and how even UNICEF had expressed concerns over the plans to rate every newborn child with a risk score to predict future abuse for officials to keep an eye on.

Moreover, the Supreme Court had ruled that the data sharing provision of the Named Person scheme to be rolled out in Scotland was unlawful

But it looks like these ideas are not so easy to shake off and are deeply entrenched in research establishments as the report on childhood forecasting illustrates.
"A detailed analysis of the lives of nearly a thousand people from birth to age 38 shows that a small portion of the population accounts for the lion’s share of social costs such as crime, welfare dependence and health-care needs as adults..."
"The researchers found they could have predicted which adults were likely to incur such costs as early as age 3 based on assessments of 'brain health,' giving them hope that early interventions could avoid some of these social costs..."
"The research group wanted to test the 'Pareto principle,' which is also called the '80-20 rule.' Italian engineer and social scientist Vilfredo Pareto observed a century ago that 80 per cent of wealth is controlled by 20 per cent of the population. This principle has subsequently been found a useful rule of thumb when applied to phenomena in computer science, biology, physics, economics and many other fields..."
"'The digitisation of people’s lives allows us to quantify precisely how much a person costs society and which people are using multiple different costly health and social services,’ Professor Moffitt said. 'Apparently, the same few clients use the courts, welfare benefits, disability services, children’s services, and the health-care system. These systems could be more joined up...' "
"Professors Caspi and Moffitt stress that this ability to identify and predict a person’s life course from their childhood status should be an invitation to intervene, not discriminate."
Paper reference: Caspi, A et al (2016) Childhood Forecasting of a Small Segment of the Population With Large Economic Burden Nature Human Behaviour DOI: 10.1038/S41562-016-0005  

In Scotland, councils are being regularly accused of ignoring the Supreme Court ruling.

Read about: Mum exasperated by unlawful info sharing and ‘Named Person knows best’ attitude

Media outcry at Trump`s meeting with Robert Kennedy Junior

Published on 10 Jan 2017

"In this video Luke Rudkowski addresses the media's outcry after Donald Trump met with Robert Kennedy Jr and asked him to be on the committee on vaccine safety."

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

UK Column: persistent campaigners against child abuse

UK Column 23 January 2017: About 7 minutes.

"Why is it good to be a persistent campaigner? Well this was sent to us, a little clipping from the Scottish Express. Government must act on child abuse and we`re very pleased to say that Scott Pattison who`s been a very long time, very dedicated campaigner on the subject of child abuse is there in this article and effectively driving the article. So he says: `We have reached unprecedented levels of child abuse and I have found in my research that we are dealing with well-organised groups of people who embed themselves within structures to present them with the opportunity to act` ..."

"And that is a very key point he`s making, that these people are embedded in the very systems which are claiming to be there to help children: social services, child services and indeed the child protection charities. And Scott Pattison has now got out in the mainstream press in Scotland of course, the risks of paedophiles embedded in these organisations."

UK Column 24 January 2017 About 45 minutes

Melanie Shaw

Brian Gerrish makes no apology for not dropping the issue of Melanie Shaw. "We are still loyal to all the others who have been affected by child abuse. However, there are some things happening around the Melanie Shaw case which are just outrageous."

"And I want to remind people of course that Melanie Shaw is still in prison, still in solitary confinement. Why is she there? Because of the actions of our present prime minister, Theresa May. In her post of Home Secretary she was the woman who made the decisions with the Crown Prosecution Service. She is the person that put Melanie Shaw in prison."

"Now somebody`s been doing some very good research."
4.1.2. Segregation
" Prisoners who are at risk of suicide or self-harm must not be routinely held in the segregation unit under Rule 45 GOOD (YOI Rule 49) unless, exceptionally, they are such a risk to themselves or others that no other suitable location is appropriate. Such prisoners must only be placed in a segregation unit in exceptional circumstances, or where all other options have been tried, but considered inappropriate and only where it is possible to provide the degree of continual care identified as necessary in the prisoners` care plan. A case review must be held as soon as possible to take account of events leading up to the decision to segregate. If the decision is taken to locate prisoners at risk of self harm within the segregation unit, this must be for as short a period of time as possible, and the temporary nature of this must be reflected in the care plan..."
"There`s a whole lot of rules and regulations about the care needed for very vulnerable prisoners. Melanie falls into that. She`s had a lifetime of medication in order to cope with the post traumatic stress. That medication has been denied when she was in HM prison Peterborough and denied in HM prison Foston Hall and she has been left in solitary confinement with no day to day relationship with other prisoners."

"Here`s another order: 4800, and again you can freeze the screen to have a look at this one. We can expand a bit of it for you. What does it say? Well first of all, it`s saying that research shows that over a half of self harm incidents in prison nationally are carried out by women, yet women account for only six percent of the prison population; and then, going on to Gender Specific Guidance."
"All staff and volunteers working with women prisoners should receive training to understand why women may self-harm and how best to respond. They should be supported by professional welfare services, as they deal with this often upsetting and very difficult area of their work."
"Women who self-harm should be offered interventions that are responsive to their individual needs and that form part of a realistic, multi-disciplinary care plan. Interventions should include advice on harm-minimisation. They should include in-cell activities and regular access to education and therapeutic activities. Specific interventions which may reduce self-harm, should be provided..."
"Wherever possible women should be out of their rooms/cells. Where they have to be locked up they must have access to activities that can help to distract them from their problems..."

"Basically the last thing you do with prisoners is lock them up in solitary confinement. So the prison is aware of this. The prison inspection organisation is aware of this. The Crown Prosecution Service is aware of it. Theresa May is aware of it. This is the deliberate torture of Melanie Shaw. Why? Because of her knowledge of child abuse and murder at Beechwood children`s home in Nottingham and other homes and the other most important thing is the connection of senior members of the British parliament."

"Now you would have thought that this gentleman would be - what`s the word? - sympathetic, I think. We remember Mr Danczuk MP because at one stage he was speaking out very strongly about child abuse and particularly the abuse of children within the framework of Westminster and the British establishment. It all went a bit wobbly. He was then highly attacked by the press. But many people had a great deal of time for this gentleman because of his courage... in speaking out for the victims of child abuse."

"Now I`ve added the word `yuk` to the title ... That`s not actually a typo. But there`s something very unpleasant going on here. And what is it? Well let`s have a look. Because Melanie wrote to this man while she was in prison and he responded. Now before we show you, because it`s probably difficult to read that letter on screen, I`m just going to read a bit of what Melanie has been saying to us. She says:"

"`Thank you for your letter and for your kind words of support... and the viewers. I feel totally alone but the support and cards from viewers keeps me strong`. She says; `Court was hell. I was led to believe I was going to be freed as I was time served` - but she`s now banged up again - `I got two years. I daren`t speak in prison again`. And this is one of the things she`s saying. If she speaks out to defend herself or talk about why she`s there then they come down on her like a ton of bricks. She says: `I`ve been left destitute for my opinions, lost my home and have no contact with my son.` And this one I found particularly vile. She said the judge called her a narcissist. So this woman who`s had the bravery to speak out as an abuse victim herself to highlight what`s going on - even the judge attacks her and of course Melanie not even brought into court to defend herself. She has to try and defend herself via a Skype link that was being manipulated either by the court or the prison so that she was cut off and this has happened on more than one occasion."

"So we`re going to make as much as we can of this communication public. I have Melanie`s approval to do that. Now let`s have a look at what Mr Danczuk...had to say."

"So this is the background:  Child abuse survivor and whistleblower Melanie Shaw threatened, bullied, 9 months in solitary, denied medication, stripped, humiliated, denied visits, letters, stamps, denied interaction with other prisoners, denied a proper trial, Home taken, possessions put in storage prior to disposal, denied contact with her son ..."

And Simon Danczuk MP says ...
"I hope you had as good a festive season as you can have in the circumstances... I also hope your son is well and that you will soon get to see him..."

"I find this letter obscene Mike. I really can`t think of another word. We have an MP who`s fully aware of what is going on in the wider abuse circles around Westminster and the establishment and this woman has suffered this and he says: `Well basically you might have been in solitary, been beaten up in prison, but I hope you had a good Christmas.` Are our politicians on drugs? What are we seeing here? This is some sort of cognitive breakdown of our MPs Mike."

"Yeah, particularly an MP that in the past has had close links with abuse and close links with abuse victims. He pretends."

"He pretends? Right. And of course earlier in the news today we showed an image of Kenneth Clerk. He`s very big on the world stage speaking out for the Bilderbergers, speaking out for Britain, speaking out for justice. We haven`t yet seen Kenneth Clerk come forward to help tackle this issue of child abuse which is clearly reported,  not just in Beechwood children`s home in Nottingham, but I think it was eight other homes listed by Nottinghamshire police as also being sources of child abuse."

"Of course he is a Nottingham MP."

"One would have thought that Kenneth Clerk would have been one of the first to step forward. `Let`s see what`s really going on here. Let`s ask the questions and let`s start dealing with the child abuse.` But we come back to Theresa May. Melanie Shaw could only have arrived in prison - it had to take place with the full knowledge and connivance of our prime minister ... Theresa May said publicly she abhorred child abuse. This woman is a despicable hypocrite and of course if we`ve got some overseas viewers and you`re thinking of dealing with Britain in the near future: can you trust the prime minister who is prepared to imprison a child abuse victim and whistleblower? And I think the answer to that has got to be `No`. "


The unavoidable dystopian future

Pentagon Video Warns of “Unavoidable” Dystopian Future for World’s Biggest Cities from The Intercept on Vimeo.

"The video, used by the Joint Special Operations University, states that megacities will be breeding grounds for `adversaries and hybrid threats,` and that the U.S. Army is unprepared."


Maybe it is time for another vision:

"Students are increasingly looking beyond academic curricula, which continue to present a single perspective on economics. While the internet abounds with valuable learning materials, they remain scattered. Exploring Economics aims to consolidate these materials on a central online platform."

"Within the debate on pluralism in economics, a number of ‘heterodox’ schools of thought are discussed as neglected or emerging alternatives to mainstream economics. However, comparisons between these schools - for example in terms of their assumptions, topics of inquiry, and strengths and weaknesses - are often absent or ad hoc. We therefore aim to systematise the diversity of economic approaches."

"Exploring Economics aims to enrich economic teaching as well as to promote self-criticism, reflection and openness within economics."

Women must provide evidence of rape for tax credits

"Women whose third child is born following a sexual assault will be forced to provide evidence of the rape or face losing tax credits, under controversial plans quietly rolled out by the Government on the day  Donald Trump was inaugurated."

"The reforms, first announced by George Osborne, mean women will have to prove they became pregnant after suffering non-consensual sex if they want to receive tax credits for a third or subsequent child."

"MPs and women’s rights groups have reacted angrily to the plan, saying the so-called rape clause shows the Government has `a lack of understanding about sexual and domestic abuse`."

"In the summer Budget of 2015, the then Chancellor announced that families with more than two children would no longer be able to claim child tax credit on third and subsequent children. Those changes come into force in April."

"The Government said some women should be exempt from the proposals, including those who have suffered rape, and ran a consultation on the measures."

"Responding to the findings, the Government said on Friday it was pressing ahead with the most controversial element of the plan the requirement that women report their ordeal to a third party, such as a GP or social worker, before their tax credit claim is processed."

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Barnardo`s to run National Centre for Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse

"Children's charity Barnardo's has been appointed to run the National Centre for Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse being established by government as part of its efforts to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse, CYP Now can reveal."

"The National Centre for Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse forms part of the government's efforts to tackle child sexual exploitation."

"The centre, which is backed by £8m in Home Office funding until 2020, aims to gather and share high-quality evidence of successful schemes in preventing child sexual exploitation and abuse."

"It will officially launch next week (25 January) at an event in Westminster, with further regional launch events planned in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Wales throughout February."

"The launch comes more than 18 months after plans to launch the centre were first announced in March 2015 as part of the government's child sexual exploitation action plan."

"The Home Office has previously been criticised for a lack of progress
on delivering the plan."

Gathering and sharing high-quality evidence of successful schemes is supposed to be some sort of stride forward. It just seems so insipid when there is real work to be done.

Instead of funding for child abuse `experts` to share evidence with the charity sector how about going after the perpetrators, prosecuting those involved in the cover-ups and releasing whistleblowers from prison ?

What is it the police are doing when they`re not tasering mentally disturbed patients and old men in the face? Oh I nearly forgot. Persecuting their own whistleblowers.

Shameful Britain.

The north Wales cover-up

From Sally Baker, an interesting and informative blogger, who writes about the deplorable state of mental health services in Wales:

[On 15 December 2016] "the media reported the death of Gordon Anglesea, the former north Wales police officer who was recently imprisoned for his part in the north Wales paedophile ring (please see my blog post ‘Gwynedd Social Services and the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal’ for further background details). This morning, Joy Dyment, Director of north Wales charity Stepping Stones, is reported as saying that Anglesea’s death was ‘the end of a very dark era in north Wales history.’"

"Can the death of one predatory abuser really be the end of this matter? What about the numerous people some in very much more senior and powerful positions than Anglesea who undoubtedly knew what he and others were doing and either facilitated, concealed or ignored it? The way in which Anglesea et al managed to avoid prosecution for so long and even win libel cases suggests that there was some nifty work by a number of influential people. Gwynedd County Council and Gwynedd Social Services were actually told what was going on by Alison Taylor, that’s what led to her being dismissed. "

"It is accepted that the north Wales child abuse ring stretched across Gwynedd and Clwyd, a sizeable geographical region. The numerous people who had been abused came into contact with variously (at least) the social services, the education services, the police, the mental health services and other branches of the NHS, the probation service, Risley Remand Centre and various prisons. It would not have been possible for this to have happened without a lot of people knowing what was going on and they are certainly not all dead, even if Gordon Anglesea is indeed, many of them will still be walking among us in north Wales."

Read more

See also this post:

Friday, 20 January 2017

Worrying trends in the NHS and the police force

UK Column begin Friday`s news with: Highland woman told she will have to wait a year - just to get on a hospital waiting list.

"She needs a cataract operation, a fifteen minute procedure, but she has been told that she has to wait a year... just to get on the waiting list, and that means when she starts waiting for the actual operation... Is this normal procedure these days in Scotland, that you have to wait to wait?" Mike Robinson asks David Scott.

"Obviously we monitor time spent on the waiting list and have to report that politically and therefore there`s a waiting list for the waiting list so we can keep some people off the waiting list to make the figures look better... It is becoming more prevalent... there were questions asked in First Minister`s questions on Thursday where a woman was having to travel three thousand miles to get treatment in Europe because she could not receive treatment in Scotland and the NHS in Scotland is often trumpeted as a great success for administration... There is clearly a rationing by delay going on..."

Brian Gerrish asks: "Do people north of the border recognise there`s a problem with the NHS because our illustrious prime minister Theresa May says there isn`t a problem and Mr Jeremy Hunt also says there isn`t a problem ?"

"There`s some recognition but it`s being used as a political football... It`s not a very enlightening debate."

Gerrish then goes on to tell viewers that he made contact with the National Health Service Party, the party which is setting itself up specifically to fight the case for the NHS and says: "I`ve got to say out of a twenty minute conversation with a lady, she gave me a lot of detail about their thoughts about what is going on... We`ve been almost swamped by stuff coming in about the NHS. And yes, we think the right way to deal with this is an appropriate conference to expose what`s going on..."

The topic then turns to the police and an article in the Mail complete with a video. Police are caught on camera tasering the founder of THEIR own race relations group in the face after mistaking him for a wanted man. Gerrish says: "You need to go and watch this. As this man tries to go into the gateway of his own house it ... turns physical - I would say - largely as a result of the actions of the police` [who have escalated the situation.] The man is tasered and fell and he hit the back of his head very hard."

"Yes there was no warning that she was going to taser him..." Mike Robinson adds. "The thing that struck me about the article, Brian, was looking at the comments. Probably 70 percent of the comments underneath the article said: `Well if the man had just given them his name there would have been no problem`. This demonstrates a complete lack of the constitutional position in this country. There is a presumption of innocence in any common law jurisdiction and that includes no obligation to identify yourself to anyone including the police. The police have to demonstrate that there is the possibility that there is a crime, either in progress or that has taken place. This man wasn`t being arrested for anything... The duty, constitutionally, is to uphold his constitutional position which is his right to remain silent."

Gerrish asks the question: "Who has been training the police because we`ve seen a massive change in the way the police deal with the general public...? The head woman of the College of Policing is a psychiatrist. Why should that be? We`re seeing the use of NLP... I think we need to be looking at police training and also police recruitment." 

He believes the police are using psychometric tests to select low empathy people to become police officers. Addressing the idea of arming the police: "In the context of the tasering report, that has got to be a dangerous situation. ..You desensitise, you reframe your own police force to make them think that the public is an enemy and then you consult that police force on whether they should be armed."

Changing the subject Mike Robinson says: "It`s not just in Britain that we have problems with the police, David. What is happening here? What is the police lion?"

"This is a video that everyone should go and watch. It`s truly horrendous. It`s Finland..."
"In their newest campaign to raise awareness and engage Finnish citizens through social media, Finnish police have launched a YouTube channel providing information and advice. By the Finnish police's own admission, the idea is to reach children and young people in particular by providing relevant information and facilitating communication with police officers as a preventive measure."
"Whereas the first video on `PoliceTube` focused on the problem of hate speech, making it clear that it did not constitute bad manners, but rather a full-fledged crime, its sequel was even more controversial."
"Using the catchy `Police Lion` mascot (which happens to be an allusion to Finland's coat of arms), Finnish children are taught to snitch on their parents for decrying politicians using social media..."
"This is not the first time the Nordic countries have addressed children to promote an `adult` political agenda. Earlier in January, Sweden used Bamse the Bear, one of the country's most popular cartoon characters from a 50-year-old comic series, to teach children about the dangers of `fake news.`"
After explaining the content of the video David Scott  finishes by saying: "The message is clearly that children should report their parents to the authorities and where have we heard that one before?"

"In states where there are no human rights record is the answer. I`ll just add that in Devon - and I know this has happened in other places across the country -  police have been using children in order to work with them to stop motorists for speeding. So when the car`s pulled over it`s a child who approaches the driver... This is very very nasty and dangerous reframing of the children: politicisation of the children  Where does it lead? Well I think I can add to that.  I watched a video on Youtube a little while ago, a haunting video. It was Germans talking about what was going on at the very end of the second world war ... and this particular aspect was a small group of Hitler youth. They were only just 16 arriving in the village and telling the... German villagers what they should do whereupon the elders stopped these boys. Two days later they came back with their adult SS colleagues and hanged three of the men who`d stopped them doing their duty."

"That`s where it ends."

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Write to Chris Leslie MP on behalf of Melanie

Says UK Column: "This is Chris Leslie the MP who Melanie Shaw worked for, many years ago. And he came to see her at one of the points she was out of prison. He was there shaking her hand.  He was showing sympathy and concern.  But this man has NOT done anything since Melanie has actually been in prison."

"Now we asked for people to take some action on this, and a lady has sent this fantastic letter... "

Dear Mr Leslie,

Melanie Shaw

Please find enclosed a letter for you to deliver to Melanie, the next time you visit her. I am sure you will be doing this, as you must be very anxious, given her past work on your behalf, to hear from her own mouth how she is being treated at Foston Hall.

In the light of the fact that your constituent is being denied the rights guaranteed to all English subjects under Magna Carta, you will no doubt have noted with interest the recent judgement of the Supreme Court in favour of Abdel Hakim Belhaj ,  on whose behalf those guarantees were specifically upheld. I have written to Lord Mance to congratulate him and his fellow judges on their wise decision, and pointed out that other British subjects - Melanie among them - are, at the time of writing, less fortunate than Mr Belhaj. A copy of this letter is enclosed.

What are you doing to ensure that Melanie does not continue to suffer torture at the hands of UK government agencies ?

I look forward to your prompt reply.


"I`ve got to say what a fantastic letter and we need to ask here how many other people ... have taken this sort of action to support Melanie?"

"We are asked time after time again what can people do to make a difference to help this lady and indeed other people and we say you need to take action..."

"Get those letters in to Chris Leslie. Don`t allow him to fob you off: on the telephone, emails, letters, personal visits, to ask as politely as possible what this gentleman is doing to help his constituent."


Brian Gerrish also reminds viewers that by writing letters in support of Melanie they will be raising the importance of Magna Carta and Common Law. These are two laws, he believes,  need to be reinstated in order to deal with MPs who are clearly out of control.

See `Jack Straw and UK government must face kidnap and torture claims, court rules.`

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Charities are promoting government policy

Despite the grandiose claims by the Daily Mail, this is old news, but it is worth regurgitating:

"More than £3 billion of taxpayers` cash is being pumped into some of Scotland`s biggest charities each year. A major Scottish Daily Mail investigation has uncovered a vast network of charitable organisations effectively promoting government policy while being bankrolled at public expense."

"Many of these supposedly not-for-profit enterprises can barely raise a penny in donations, yet they are able to pile up enormous surpluses worth millions of pounds, using the excess cash to accumulate lucrative property portfolios - and even invest in hedge fund schemes."

"The Mail`s findings blow apart the traditional image of charities as reliant on the goodwill of donors and staffed by volunteers."

"Most of Scotland`s charity funds are now raised behind closed boardroom doors by chief executives on sky-high salaries and gold-plated pensions. Our investigation has identified: The `third sector`fat cats taking home six-figure salaries and bumper pensions..."

"[T]axpayers` money is spent creating `sock puppet` charities to prop up SNP policies such as the Named Person scheme."

Let`s not forget the many not-for-profits springing up south of the border and across Europe. This is a global racket.


Fostering agencies make significant profits

‘A charity that relies in the main part on taxes’, writes the blogger Guido Fawkes, ‘is no more a charity than a prostitute is your girlfriend.’
"Recent research from Corporate Watch shows that in 2014-15, eight commercial fostering agencies made around £41m profit between them from providing foster placements to local authorities."

"This is pure profit. It’s after allowances for foster carers, staffing costs and support services. Who did this money go to? Well, according to Corporate Watch, one company, Graphite Capital, made £14.4m on shareholder loans from the National Fostering Agency, which it owned, and then sold it on. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan accrued £13m from its ownership of Acorn Care and Education. And Sovereign Capital took £1.9m in 2014 alone from company Partnerships in Children’s Services, a group that comprises several foster care agencies..."

"Meanwhile, in 2014-15, local authorities were making significant cuts and services for vulnerable children were being squeezed. The fact that £41m of public taxpayers’ money, allocated to support children in state care, actually ended up in the pockets of a Canadian pension fund and some seriously rich capital firms is obscene."

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Diagnosing need and reducing workload

At a meeting of the Education and Skills Committee on 2nd November 2016 Ross Greer brought up the issue that parents` requests for diagnosis and support for their learning disabled children are sometimes going unheard. There are also huge disparities between local authorities as to the figures. West Dunbartonshire has identified about 35 percent of young people as having an additional support need. The figure for North Lanarkshire is now 5 percent. He wanted to know if this difference was due to children going undiagnosed because of budget constraints.

John Swinney responded that there is a statute that has to be followed by local authorities to ensure that the needs of young people with additional support needs are met in all circumstances.
"There are various interventions to assess the capacity and capability of education authorities in fulfilling that obligation. I will certainly look carefully at the issues that Mr Greer has raised to ensure that I am satisfied that the needs of young people are being met..."

If Mr Swinney is sincere about wanting to reduce teachers` workloads, as well as binning the wellbeing and GIRFEC nonsense and the hundreds of Es and Os, he needs to address the issue of `inclusion`.

My granddaughter who is sixteen attends a primary school one afternoon per week as part of a work experience scheme. There are three children in the primary 3 class who have behavioural difficulties and never a week goes by when one or more of these children has a meltdown. None of the children has a support worker. So apart from my granddaughter who is still attending school herself and is untrained, there is no support for the teacher. It is not an ideal situation for the three children or the rest of the class who are being disturbed.

It is possible that one or more of these children could benefit from a support worker but if their needs are not diagnosed it is the teacher who is left to cope. Unfortunately, in this particular class that is proving too much.

Obama commutes Chelsea Manning`s sentence

"WASHINGTON President Obama on Tuesday commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst convicted of a 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted Mr. Obama’s administration and brought global prominence to WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures."

"The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning, who twice tried to kill herself last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman at the men`s military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She has been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction."

"[When] McCord approached a van targeted by the airstrike, he heard a noise he wasn't expecting: the cry of a little girl."

"`I think she was four years old and you could tell she had a wound to the stomach and I remember her looking at me and the blood around her eyes made her eyes so ghostly,` he says."

"McCord grabbed the girl and ran her into a nearby building. There he picked the glass out of her eyes so she could blink and handed her off to a medic."

"`I went back outside and we were told to take pictures and so I started taking pictures of the van,` he says."

"Then he discovered another child."

"`That's me right there,` McCord tells Lopez as he walks her through the now infamous `Collateral Murder` clip. `That is a little boy that I originally thought was dead`."

"Despite their injuries, the children survived. Part of Ethan McCord, though, changed forever."

"`I couldn't stop myself from crying,` he says."

"McCord sought out mental health afterward, and says he was mocked by his commanders and threatened with expulsion from the military."

"`And that's when I started drinking,` he says. `And the mental health [doctor] had given me prescriptions: 13 prescriptions`."

Monday, 16 January 2017

Scotland and the `reading war` continues

The research unit called GUS has investigated the impacts of early parent-child activities in two `Growing Up in Scotland` cohorts. See the video above.

"Growing Up in Scotland is a large-scale longitudinal project which is currently tracking the lives of two cohorts of Scottish children from the early years, through childhood and beyond. The study is funded by the Scottish Government."

Their findings: Enjoyment of reading at age 8
"At age 8, most (66%) children liked reading ‘a lot’, with around a quarter (24%) saying they liked it ‘a bit’, and one in ten not liking it."
 "Girls were more likely to say they liked reading than boys (74% of girls liked reading ‘a lot’ compared with 58% of boys). There were no statistically significant differences by socio-economic characteristics."

"There were no statistically significant differences by socio-economic characteristics."

Let that sink in. Whether your mum and dad read to you, or whether your mum and dad did not read to you, had no significant difference in the outcome.

That means, that at eight years old, the difference between groups was more likely to be on account of whether their teachers  taught them to read in an appropriate manner - so that they could enjoy reading - and/or whether they had access to books.

Teachers who are trained in phonics to the highest standards are obviously required.  Keeping libraries open in poor areas is an absolute `must`.

Focusing on parents in the early years is politically expedient but absurd.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Searchlight model of reading is misleading

"The three-cueing system is well-known to most teachers. What is less well known is that it arose not as a result of advances in knowledge concerning reading development, but rather in response to an unfounded but passionately held belief. Despite its largely uncritical acceptance by many within the education field, it has never been shown to have utility, and in fact, it is predicated upon notions of reading development that have been demonstrated to be false."

"Thus, as a basis for decisions about reading instruction, it is likely to mislead teachers and hinder students' progress. In the recently released Primary National Strategy (2006a), the three cueing model (known in Great Britain as the Searchlight model) is finally and explicitly discredited. Instead, the Strategy has acknowledged the value of addressing decoding and comprehension separately in the initial stage of reading instruction."

"… attention should be focused on decoding words rather than the use of unreliable strategies such as looking at the illustrations, rereading the sentence, saying the first sound or guessing what might 'fit'. Although these strategies might result in intelligent guesses, none of them is sufficiently reliable and they can hinder the acquisition and application of phonic knowledge and skills, prolonging the word recognition process and lessening children's overall understanding."

"Children who routinely adopt alternative cues for reading unknown words, instead of learning to decode them, later find themselves stranded when texts become more demanding and meanings less predictable. The best route for children to become fluent and independent readers lies in securing phonics as the prime approach to decoding unfamiliar words (Primary National Strategy, 2006b, p.9)."

Changing the world with ClassDojo

Ben Williams and Aliastair Rutherford raise a series of concerns about the globally popular classroom management app ClassDojo.

"Millions of parents will be familiar with the free mobile app, ClassDojo. It allows teachers to award or deduct points to children for their classroom behaviour, and has become a worldwide educational success story, with claims it is being used by over 3 million teachers and 35 million children from 180 countries globally."

"Despite its popularity, ClassDojo raises significant concerns many parents may not have considered. As our ongoing research shows, in 2016 its Silicon Valley team received over US$20 million to extend into a ‘school-wide’ platform, quickly making it into an indispensable tool for connecting schools with parents, enabling a constant flow of dojo points, classroom pictures, messages, videos and digital portfolios of children’s work to be sent from schools to homes."

"Meanwhile, teachers are involved in producing a huge database about children’s behaviour. It’s no longer just a cute app for promoting positive behaviour; it’s becoming more like a  social media site..."

"As a globally successful social media site for schools, ClassDojo is becoming as integral to the relationships between children, teachers and parents as mainstream social media is to the everyday lives of millions around the world. It is making teachers into data collectors and data entry clerks, encouraging children to see themselves in terms of their behavioural points, and inviting parents to become users of ClassDojo’s services. School leaders can now use ClassDojo data and local government authorities may also be able to access it in future, potentially making it into a key tool of whole-school management and performance measurement."

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Bill allows councils to opt out of child protection legislation

Hansard -   Mrs Lewell-Buck:

"I apologise at the outset that my comments are rather long but they are entirely relevant to the Government’s new clauses. As I listened to the Minister, I hoped he would offer some clarity on a number of key issues that have rightly plagued these Government plans to allow councils to opt out of primary and secondary protective legislation for vulnerable children and young people. I want that sentence to sink in with the Committee for a moment."

"The Minister is asking us to approve a power that threatens vast swathes of hard-fought legislation that was carefully crafted in the proper way, rooted in robust evidence and consultation with the sector, children and families, often in the wake of tragedies and failures that should not have occurred, and that had cross-party commitment to better protect and provide for children and young people."

"Of course, not all children’s social care legislation has evolved because things have gone desperately wrong. Many statutory requirements in the care system, in leaving care and in support for families have emerged through creative practice and innovation, but I fear that after the Bill, innovation will be forever associated with the removal of legal protection. That does a terrible disservice to all the excellent projects, pilots and world-leading practice that have developed in children’s social care across the decades."

"The Minister is asking us to hand the Secretary of State unprecedented power to dispense with primary and secondary legislation without any prior Green or White Paper consultation, any public evidence sessions, as there should have been for such a radical change, or any evidence that any of the endangered legislation works against children’s welfare. Once an exemption or ​modification to the law has been authorised, the trials could last up to six yearsthat is a long time for a child reliant on the state for his or her care and protection."

"Our most vulnerable children are being used as guinea pigs. That is no exaggeration. Look at the transcript of the Lords debate that led to the first incarnation of these awful clauses being kicked out. These so-called innovation clauses were described several times by noble Lords, even those on the Government side, as an experiment. Do we really want to give consent to such high-risk experiments when local authorities are facing extreme funding pressures and increased demand? Nagalro warned in its evidence to the Committee:"

"Anything which helps spread the budget further is going to be greeted with great enthusiasm in County Hall. It also warned that the Bill risks introducing perverse incentives into a system already buckling under great strain."