Friday, 25 August 2017

Grenfell: an excuse for biometrics

"The devastating fire which took place in the early hours of 14 June 2017 at Grenfell Tower in West London is a national tragedy. The Home Office will not use this as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those receiving support or providing vital information to identify victims or otherwise assist the authorities investigating the fire."

"However, we recognise that not all those directly affected may be in the UK lawfully and some may be concerned about their immigration status. Some may have valid leave which is about to expire in circumstances where there is no current basis under the Immigration Rules for it to be extended, or may have conditions attached to their existing leave that might hinder their access to the support they need."

"This policy covers leave granted outside the Immigration Rules to individuals directly affected by this tragedy. The leave granted will be temporary (for 12 months) and granted on an exceptional basis to allow those directly affected by the fire ... time to deal with the immediate aftermath of these terrible events, and to consider their future options. This is intended as a time-limited policy and any further leave sought on the expiry of leave granted under the policy will be considered in accordance with the Immigration Rules in force at the time."

Policy intention

"The policy allows those who have been directly affected by the fire to be granted a temporary period of lawful residence in the UK, or if they have valid leave, to have the no recourse to public funds condition lifted where the leave is currently subject to this, or if their existing leave to remain is due to expire within 12 months of the publication of this policy with no opportunity to extend that leave to switch to 12 months’ leave under this exceptional policy. This will give them a firm legal footing to ensure they can access ongoing support, including social assistance, local authority housing support or any welfare benefits they may be eligible for."

"The Government has already stated publicly that the Home Office will not use the tragedy as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved, and that all victims, irrespective of their immigration status, will be able to access the services they need. Public authorities (including local authorities and the NHS) are assisting those directly affected by the fire notwithstanding their immigration status. The Secretary of State has the power to grant leave on a discretionary basis outside the Immigration Rules under the Immigration Act 1971. Unless extended, this policy will remain in place until 31 August 2017."

Liberty comments: `At best this is compassion lite with a question mark over residents' futures - at worst a trap to pull people into the immigration system`.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Down Syndrome man awarded damages

[Small Places]

"Last month Mr Justice Hedley, sitting in the Court of Protection, handed down a judgment in an important case concerning the responsibilities of local authorities to provide people assessed as lacking the mental capacity to consent to sex with appropriate sex education. In CH v A Metropolitan Council, Hedley J approved an award for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) from a local authority to a 38 year old man with Down Syndrome, for failing to provide him with a course of sex education after it was recommended by a psychologist who had assessed him as lacking the mental capacity to consent to sex."

"The case is important under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) because it confirms that in tandem the HRA it can give rise to positive obligations to take steps to enhance a person’s ‘mental capacity’ to make particular decisions, and if local authorities (or other public bodies) fail to do so they may be liable in damages. But the case is also important for the light it shines on the ‘price of protection’ paid by those whose mental capacity to consent to sex is called into question."

Read more

Judge is praised for communicating with children

"A judge has been praised after taking the unusual step of writing to children involved in a custody battle about her decision."

"Sheriff Aisha Anwar had been charged with making the decision as to whether a father could have access to his children, who had told a specialist they no longer wanted to see him."

"The case at Glasgow sheriff court ruled that he should remain in contact so the sheriff wrote to the children explaining why."

"She said: `I think that as my decision is all about you, it is only fair that I should write to you. I have not met you, but I have heard a lot about you`."

"`I know, from what your mum (and the specialist) have told me, you don`t want to see your dad. I can understand that. Your dad`s job is to care for you, protect you, love you, help you, make good plans for you and to know what is right for you. Sometimes, he has not been very good at that`."

"Sheriff Anwar went on to explain having spoken to their father, she believes he is not a bad parent but instead does not know how to act sometimes. In the letter she explained both parents would receive help to build a better relationship and work on their behaviour. Sheriff Anwar added: `I don`t think that it is good for you to grow up thinking you have a bad dad. I don`t think that it is good for you to forget all the good times`."

"`I think that it is better for you to get to know your dad again and to give him a chance to make things better`."

"The move was praised by family law specialists. Janys Scott, QC, Chair of the Faculty of Advocates` Family Law Association said: `This is the Scottish courts at their best. It would be great were this the pattern for future cases`."

[Metro: 23 August 2017]

Doctor who admits failings now works in Ireland

"A psychiatrist who admitted a series of failings over the death of a teenager with autism is understood to be still working in Ireland."

"Dr Valerie Murphy was the lead clinician in charge of Connor Sparrowhawk’s care when the 18-year-old had an epileptic seizure and drowned in a bath."

"The clinician who was in charge of his care has admitted 28 failings..."

"These included failing to carry out any risk assessments and failing to meet Connor’s clinical needs relating to his epilepsy and the bathroom. They also included failing to follow National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines."

"Connor died in the bath at Slade House, Oxfordshire, in July 2013..."

"Connor’s death led to the discovery that Southern Health had failed to properly investigate the deaths of more than 1,000 patients with learning disabilities or mental health problems."

"The trust has accepted responsibility for Connor’s death and faces prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive."

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Advocates remain concerned

[Scott MacNab]

"The revival of controversial plans for a state-appointed Named Person for every Scots child could face another court defeat after legal chiefs warned the Scottish Government has failed to fix the flawed legislation."

"The latest proposals will still place an unfair burden on teachers tasked with sharing sensitive information about their pupils and threatens to undermine trust with families, according to the Faculty of Advocates."

"These are broadly similar to the criticisms of the original bill which was rejected by the UK Supreme Court just over a year ago - and opponents yesterday stepped up calls for the legislation to be scrapped."

"Education secretary John Swinney immediately pledged to bring back the plans which would see a single point of contact, such as a teacher or health visitor, appointed to look out for the welfare of all children."

"The Faculty of Advocates has now warned Holyrood`s education committee that modified plans - the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill - won`t work."

"Neither of these issues is easy to resolve and some of the criticisms of the Supreme Court will continue to apply if the bill as drafted is passed and the accompanying code of practice is approved, the submission states."

"The faculty said: `clear and accessible rules are needed for teachers, health visitors and social workers who would be required to assess whether sharing information is proportionate`."

"`We remain concerned that this is an exceptionally difficult requirement to impose on professionals [and] risks undermining the trust of families and the willingness to share information with the professionals concerned`."

[The Scotsman, Friday 18 August 2017]

The problems with compulsory education

James talks to Laurette Lynn ( about her book, Don’t Do Drugs Stay Out of School.

Investigative journalist found dead

[Baxter Dmitry]

"Liz MacKean, the former British investigative reporter who exposed Jimmy Savile and the culture of paedophile protection at the BBC, has been found dead. She was 52."

"MacKean worked at the BBC until she quit in 2013 after executives decided to ban her groundbreaking and brave investigation
into predatory paedophile Jimmy Savile in order to protect him and other paedophiles."

"Dismissed by the establishment as mad and dangerous, MacKean was finally vindicated when the truth about Savile's paedophilia eventually came out in 2012
, a full year after MacKean first tried to bring his notorious crimes to light."

"The BBC, who blocked her groundbreaking investigation from airing and spent the next few years attempting to destroy her reputation, are reporting that she died of `complications from a stroke`

"Acknowledging her life was under threat during the time she was investigating Savile and BBC elites, MacKean said her conscience left her no option but to pursue the truth and expose the culture of paedophilia. The mother of two children believed it was her duty."

"When it became public that BBC News blocked her investigation from airing, she admitted on Panorama: `I was very unhappy the story didn't run because I felt we'd spoken to people who collectively deserved to be heard. And they weren't heard`."

Thursday, 10 August 2017

What lies behind the child abuse cover-ups ?

UK Column News [10 August 2017]

"We reported about a week ago that we were getting concerned because people were telling us about events in Sheffield where the children of immigrant families were being targeted by Sheffield social services supported by the police. They were taking children - certainly taking children away from protective parents, whether that was the mother or the father - and the child ultimately being taken away for fostering or given to the abusive parent."

"Now what I want to say is we`ve had a steady stream of information coming in on this but we still can`t report fully because of an ongoing court case but we`ve now got other individuals who`ve come forward as a result of our reports talking about this being a template aimed at immigrant communities, or the children of immigrant communities, which is taking place in other areas. So this is what is being reported through to the UK Column and I can assure you that we`ve done enough research to date to know that the people contacting us are telling the truth about what they`re seeing."

"This is the image though that the mainstream press are trying to put across. So we`ve got Sarah Champion  in a Telegraph article and she`s on the subject of Pakistani and Asian men. She said: `People are more afraid to be called a racist than they are afraid to be wrong about calling out child abuse... We have got now hundreds of men, Pakistani men, who have been convicted of this crime..."

"Why are we not commissioning research to see what is going on and how we need to change what is going on so that it never happens again? ... if such crimes were being committed by, for example, a `motorbike gang` we would recognise that as an indicator and we would deal with it`..."

"Now I think this lady`s heart is in the right place but I think she`s utterly falling into the trap which is being set, which is that the only cases which are being brought to court at the moment, or the majority of cases being brought, are heavily focused on Asian gangs - absolutely correct, those men are abusing the children - but in the background we have massive abuse of children, white children, Christian, Asian, all sorts of children, which is being carried out by the local authorities themselves with the help of the courts and the police and of course none of this is being reported; neither are we seeing any investigation into the reports of abuse within the walls of Westminster. "

"So I think the agenda here Mike in the mainstream press, they are using the child abuse issue as another stick in order to try and deflect people into hatred between races or religions."

Mike Robinson. "I`m going to say that`s absolutely right. This was the front page of the Daily Mail this morning `How many more girls` lives torn apart by sex gangs? Now look Brian, it is a fact that we have been criticised quite often in the past for our coverage of this subject. We`ve been accused of glossing over the fact that these sex gangs are mostly Asian and Muslim. We`ve even been accused of apologising for them which of course as you`ve just said we absolutely are not. But what we are doing is trying to encourage people to focus on why these gangs are allowed to operate. Because they are being allowed to operate. Who`s behind the cover-up of this activity? Because until we deal with that question we can`t find any permanent fix to the issue of sex gangs whether they`re Muslim or otherwise. "

"So again I urge people to read the Common Purpose Effect series of articles written by Martin Edwards mainly, and absolutely superb articles. If you want to understand how this is happening, you`ve got to understand that."

"And let me also remind you of this article from the BBC. Why wasn`t mother warned of paedophile? This was on the BBC website a few days ago which highlighted the fact that it was Thames Valley chief constable Sarah Thornton who had covered up for the child abuser at the centre of this story. And this is the same Sarah Thornton as we mentioned last week who systematically covered up the abuses of Oxford and Cherwell Valley College which we were working on bringing to the public domain since 2011. "

"And this particular article appeared in 2013. And this is the same Sarah Thornton who`s now head of the National Police Chiefs` Council.  So this woman has questions to answer. Common Purpose has questions to answer because if you look at the places where the grooming and the sex gangs were operating we find a massive Common Purpose presence among the people who are making the decisions about whether people were to be prosecuted or were turning a blind eye in many cases; and you`ve got to ask the question: was this intentional or was it not? Were they permitting this activity to take place or were they not? Were they permitting it to take place because at some future date it would give them the opportunity to encourage people to look in the direction of Muslims rather than looking in their own direction. There are lots of questions to be answered here. "

"And let`s just get back to Sarah Thornton chairwoman of the National Police Chiefs` Council and of course one of her colleagues is the chief constable of Northumbria Police and the news is full of this story today: Police use of child rapist informant in underage abuse case `beggars belief`, says NSPCC. Because this is an incredible situation where the Northumbria Police recruited a child rapist to spy on parties where the police believed that underage girls would be present and they would be abused. And even the NSPCC has come out and said that this situation beggars belief. So this child rapist informant was paid £10,000 by the police to assist the investigation. The Chief constable claims that this man was not committing any offences in the process of work he was doing for the police and you know I`m almost speechless... The situation we`re in at the moment Brian where we have cover-up after cover-up and evidence after evidence; but we don`t look at parliament; we don`t look at the police; we don`t look at local councils and social services and Common Purpose. Instead we look at Muslims."

"And Asians."

"And the Asians. If they`ve committed an offence they get taken to court and they get convicted and they go to prison; that`s absolutely right; but this will continue to happen until we start looking at the source of the problem."

"Indeed... What struck me with this headline is of course the comment is from NSPCC. We know from survivors of child abuse that many of those survivors are highly suspicious of charities like NSPCC. They say, don`t trust them; they`re too close to the abuse going on ... we asked the Metropolitan police why they were using NSPCC to answer their numbers on the Met police website - so if you called in thinking you were speaking to the police you`re actually put through to the NSPCC. So no separation of powers here Mike."

"No. And just as a closing comment on the chief constable for Northumbria... he is really keen to achieve a Common Purpose with partners. And this is the key problem. It says Common Purpose with partners. This is what allows the cover-up to take place. Because as you say, no separation of powers and this is a heading from Northumbria police accounts. Ensuring the Force and Partners Work Together to Achieve a Common Purpose with Clearly Defined Functions and Roles. It seems to me the clearly defined functions and roles at the core of that is the words cover-up."

"Indeed. And of course Mike... well several years ago you and I and another lady were in one of the police stations in Plymouth ... reporting that a little baby boy was being abused - not sexually, but neglected, as the abuse, in South Wales - and far from being received with care, concern, interest, we had a sergeant in that police station shouting at us in a very aggressive way. In fact we were told to get out of his interview room. Clearly he was not interested in any evidence about the abuse of children...Looking back at that incident [I think] that particular officer was scared of the information we had. "

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The breach world of tech

"In the UK, the most important piece of legislation organisations must worry about is the Data Protection Act and the possibilility of fines by the information commissioner (ICO). The Techworld site offers what they believe to be one of the ten most significant data breaches to hit the UK..."

Kiddicare (2016)

"Online child products retailer Kiddicare was forced to admit it had exposed real customer data when testing a new website in 2015. In this case, the mistake was only noticed when customers started receiving suspicious SMS text messages asking them to take an online survey and an investigation eventually uncovered an error. As with many UK breaches, the company played down the fact it had let names, addresses and contact details of up to 800,000 people fall into malevolent hands with the excuse that no credit card data had been compromised (which would have been its liability had it done so). "

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mental health recruitment

UK Column News [31 July 2017]

Recruiting for the NHS

"The NHS is going to recruit 2,000 more GPs, they say, from abroad as it meets its staffing targets. That`s according to Simon Stephens who`s the head of NHS England and this is in addition to 500 already planned. He said that an industrial scale recruitment programme from abroad is ... needed. And the government has set out a target of recruiting 5,000 GPs by 2020. "

"Nobody really thinks they`re going to manage to meet that target. ...Well first of all Mr Stephens he said although there`s some good signs of progress on increasing GP training nevertheless there are real pressures around retirements. So people are leaving; people are retiring; they can`t fill those gaps. So the conclusion we`ve come to is in order to increase the likelihood of being able to have 5,000 more doctors in general practice we`re going to need a significantly expanded industrial scale international recruitment programme. We intend to launch that in the autumn. "

"So despite Brexit, this is part of the reason I believe they are particularly concerned about immigration policy, and so on, and the notion of not having any cliff edges."

Recruiting for Mental Health

"Jeremy Hunt said that `The NHS needs to recruit doctors and nurses from all over Europe and that is going to continue after we leave the European Union.` Well that`s pretty good because today he`s also mentioning... 21,000 additional staff required for mental health programmes - for mental health care in this country. And they aren`t going to be able to source those people from the UK because they haven`t put the training in place in the last number of years."

Brian Gerrish: "This is the key bit they never talk about, Mike, is why we haven`t got these people. And on one hand we`re saying we haven`t got people within this country who are trained to do these jobs and on the other hand we know we`ve brought in people particularly from the European Union who can`t speak English with enough clarity to do their job within the NHS anyway. So what we see is this chaotic situation and let`s remember that those Tory MPs a couple of years ago were actually saying that the Conservative party planned to introduce a period of what they said was being called `constructive chaos`. That seems to be the period that we`re in."

Mike Robinson continues: "But anyway as I said Jeremy Hunt talking about the big expansion of mental health services in Europe. They need 21,000 people. This is the softening of Brexit once again but the focus being on mental health."

Recruiting for the Department of Work and Pensions

"Absolutely. Well let`s follow through on this. We`ve obviously got the BBC headline here on this: Mental health staff recruitment plan for England. But the other place that is going to be using mental health staff - and it would appear that some of these are going to be their own trained people - is the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). So if we go back, this is March this year; interesting headline from the Independent:  DWP`s fit-to-work tests `cause permanent damage to mental health`, study finds."

"So we`re recruiting more mental health professionals but the DWP is not only recruiting more of these people itself they`re also using them on the ground and on Friday I had a particularly interesting report from a lady who had recently gone to DWP up in the Midlands area and she was horrified to be asked a whole series of questions about her mental health. She said she took great delight in realising that there was something very dangerous going on here and so in every box she put down how exceptionally well she felt and that resulted in the professional there - she didn`t know whether the gentleman was qualified in mental health or not - but he questioned her as to how she could be so happy while she was there in the DWP."

Mike Robinson: "So of course... people go there for benefits, for advice on employment, and so on, and suddenly they`re getting some kind of mental health screening."

"Well they are, and let me just read a little bit of this. This is from that Independent report. This says: the government`s fit to work tests for access to disability benefits have caused `permanent damage` to some claimants` mental health from which they are not recovering. The research conducted by academics at Edinburgh`s Heriot-Watt and Napier universities found that the work capability assessment experience for many caused `a deterioration in people`s mental health which individuals did not recover from`."

"So what they`re really saying is that the stress and the aggressive way which the DWP is using these mental health tests on people who are already under huge pressure, because they haven`t got jobs - presumably they`re short of money; maybe they`re having trouble housing or feeding themselves - the pressure of those tests was causing them harm - not just harm that they were recovering from but permanent mental health [harm.] So this appears to me Mike to be an attack on the individual. We`ve got the mental health field; we`ve got psychology, psychiatry being used to attack people instead of support and help them."

Mike. Robinson: "So if you`re creating a new mental health profit centre for potential future privatisation within the NHS, of course, you`ve got to provide the feedstock for that perhaps. Maybe that`s a hard phrase to use but I`m using that because that seems to be the way these people are viewing ordinary human beings."

Brian Gerrish: "Follow the money. So let`s just do that."

The charity business

"I did a little bit of work on just one of the charities that was providing advice on that Work Capability Assessment and this is Rethink Mental Illness. Of course this is a charity that advertises itself for doing great work for people with mental health problems - but they`ve had to produce this little article advising people how to go about dealing with the Department of Work Capability Assessment. So it must be stressful if Rethink Mental Illness has had to provide some advice."

 "Let`s choose another one and I`ve gone to this one here MQ. It says it`s transforming mental health through research and this is one of the quotes from that website: `With the help of our supporters and the brightest scientists we will uncover breakthrough findings and illuminate our understanding of mental health...`So it says that they are going to achieve the breakthrough and why do they want a breakthrough? So that they can understand mental health. Nothing to do with actually helping people on the ground."

"So I thought it would be good value to have a look at MQ and who`s supporting them."

"So let`s bring them in and the first thing we find on the website is Wellcome Trust and we`ll come on to them in a minute. They are then claiming they`re supported by business but the only organisation that is listed is Q5 which says it`s there to achieve change in every quarter. Of course the change is not defined. They say that their expertise is in organisational change, helping to build better businesses across the world. So this is all corporate Mike. This is all about leadership and change. We don`t see a lot about compassion and people. Let`s have a look at who they work with. Well now we`re getting into the meat of it. We work with Barclays, British Airways and Dow Jones. So that`s all good stuff."

"But let`s remember that Wellcome Trust  up there, the big W. And if you`re not aware of this organisation you need to be. This is their website and here`s the history about the founder, Henry Wellcome. He got very interested in pharmaceuticals. He got very interested in research about what products could apparently help people`s health but this ballooned and basically the organisation then became a billion dollar organisation which was eventually sold on to GlaxoSmithKline. So we`ve got a research organisation which is hand in glove with one of the biggest pharmaceuticals in the world, interested in what?"


"So we follow the charity. Who do we find behind the charity? We find big business which of course needs the sick people in order to use the pharmaceutical products."

"This is going back to Q5.. I just chose one of the people. Rick is managing director of Q5, based in North America. He has executive-level experience across industries and consulting roles with leading companies such as Accenture, Pfizer, Bank of America, Citi Target, News Corporation and Dow Jones."

"But apparently all these people are interested in helping individuals with mental health problems."

Mike Robinson: "Renowned philanthropists."

"Indeed. Apart from GlaxoSmithKline sitting there in the background."

Children and homelessness

"If they are found `intentionally homeless` then the Council can remove them from its homelessness statistics, and no longer has a responsibility to house them beyond 28 days in a B&B. Shelter and other charities have seen that the numbers found `intentionally homeless` have increased considerably since central government instructed Councils to `reduce homelessness`."

"Meanwhile the impact on families and children are devastating. The children in particular face isolation, social exclusion and bullying; they may also miss months of schooling."

Dangerous substance used in attack

"Emily Bowen poured One Shot drain cleaner into a viola case owned by school pupil after she had found out the girl had begun dating a former boyfriend. The instrument was destroyed and a girl was severely injured when she pulled her viola case from a shelf and the acidic liquid poured from the case over her legs."

"The victim was left `screaming in pain` as the acid drain cleaner burned her clothes and onto her skin during the incident in East Lothian. Bowen, now 18, previously admitted to recklessly and culpably pouring sulphuric acid into a viola case in the knowledge it would be removed from a shelf by the victim causing sulphuric acid to spill onto her legs, all to her injury and permanent disfigurement, last September..."

"Yesterday, defence solicitor Jim Stephenson told the court Bowen had recently been diagnosed with autism and was suffering from depression. Mr Stephenson added his young client `struggles to deal with things` and she has a `supportive family` but asked for a community order to be imposed so she can be monitored. But Sheriff O’Grady told the acid attacker: `You should understand there is currently a very real public concern and fear about the emergence of this awful substance`. "

Read more at:

Planned reforms are irresponsible

[Alison Preuss]

"Education secretary John Swinney unveiled changes to the SNP's Named Person scheme at Holyrood in June, almost 12 months after the UK Supreme Court ruled many parts of it illegal."

"In particular, the judges said widespread sharing of family data on the basis of concerns about a child's wellbeing was not compatible with data protection and European human rights laws."

"The planned reforms will instead put the onus onto teachers, NHS staff and social workers to decide whether data sharing would be legal in each case..."

"Allan Norman, who specialises in this area, said: `We have new draft legislation that says, roughly, that officials should share information, provided it is consistent with human rights and data protection laws to do so. True. But I'm afraid that simply shifts the risk to the officials who have to work out what the law means`. "

"`That is grossly irresponsible, and doomed to disaster, if those officials and the Scottish Parliament are looking to exactly the same people as didn't appreciate in the first place that they were getting it wrong, and think that the Supreme Court ruling narrowly applies only to the previous draft legislation`..."

Monday, 7 August 2017

Tribunal starts today about Connor

Sara Ryan and Connor's family have informed the public that the charges against Dr Murphy will be explored at the General Medical Council tribunal starting today for two weeks. [#JusticeforLB]

"The tribunal will enquire into the allegation that, between January 2012 and June 2014, Dr Murphy was employed by the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. It is alleged that, during this employment, the risk assessments carried out by Dr Murphy, in relation to Patient A, were inadequate and she failed to adequately and appropriately gain consent from Patient A and/or his parents for the care and treatment provided."

"It is also alleged that, on 9 April 2013, Dr Murphy prescribed risperidone to Patient A but failed to explain the benefits, risks and side effects of the medication to the patient; indicate whether lorazepam had been used and/or whether it was effective and make a diagnostic formulation for the administration of risperidone."

"It is further alleged that Dr Murphy`s completion of mental capacity assessment forms for Patient A on 16 April 2013 and 21 May 2013 were inadequate."


See A pre-tribunal Sunday in August

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Child Killings in Fife

From the Review into Liam Fee`s death:
"Amongst professionals who dealt with the family, there was inadequate understanding of the roles and responsibilities of other agencies. There was no clear understanding who was in charge of the case. The role of the named person under the principles of Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) policy was relatively new in Fife at the time and not always fully understood by professionals, and may have contributed to confusion as to who was coordinating care for the family."

The role of the named person in the confusion surrounding this case (and others) was never mentioned in the BBC documentary `Fife`s Child Killings`.

State controlled media ?

The BBC tells an MP:  "Your job is to protect the Government."

"In an interview with Emma Dent Coad, MP for Kensington and Chelsea, BBC presenter Nick Robinson argues that Dent Coad should be representing the chairman of the public inquiry into Grenfell Tower to her constituents, rather than representing her constituents' views to the chairman and the government."

Mike Robinson, Brian Gerrish and David Scott discuss.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The creative destruction of public services

UK Column News [1st August 2017]

"Something we`ve been talking about quite a lot over the last 18 months is privatisation; and particularly, as George Osborne described it, the biggest privatisation for decades, of course, is to do with the sell off of government held property and so on."

"And we`ve mentioned this organisation before... Now, `One Public Estate` is the combination of the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association. And the idea is to merge multiple agencies. You can see on screen there they have run 350 projects across 250 councils: health, social care, fire, ambulance, Ministry of Defence, and so it goes on. They are pushing all these people into shared office space and therefore merging their functions to some degree."

"So they`ve now launched a £54 million package to, as they describe it, transform local communities and release land for thousands of new homes. This package comes as part of the new cross government partnership to make smarter use of governmental property and so part of this is a £45 million land release fund which is launched in partnership with the Cabinet Office and Local Government Association`s `One Public Estate` programme. And that`s going to ensure that local councils release some of their unused or surplus land for housing and that will help meet the ambition to unlock enough council land for at least 160,000 homes."

"Well that may well be the case. Who`s going to build those homes? Is it going to be Taylor Wimpey ?  Are you going to buy a home from them that ends up with a leasehold where they have resold the underlying freehold to somebody else. And you find your ground rent, as a result of the lease, doubling every year for twenty years ? "

"So councils, apparently, can now bid for land remediation and small scale infrastructure which will [it is hoped] bring sites forward for housing which would not otherwise have been developed. So this is fantastic but at the heart of this Brian is the issue ... that they are pushing as hard as they can to bring these agencies... together. And that is a complete destruction of the separation of powers, and extremely dangerous."

"Extremely dangerous. Note again Mike that this very serious issue is put across in a cartoon style video. So I believe this is always done because you`re supposed to believe that because this is cartoony, you can relax and have a little bit of a chuckle about it. There`s nothing really serious there. So the presentation of this is very devious, very deceptive. And of course, the locking together of all these agencies with the loss of the separation of powers as you`ve just said is also coming with the fact that we have the government`s own `Behavioural Insights Team` boasting that it can use applied psychology to simply change the way people think within any or all of those integrated units."

"So this is the hive that is being built here very quickly. Immensely dangerous. And many people still unaware of where this really goes. And the other thing I think I should comment on is that we are getting more and more reports of fraud and corruption across the country followed up by very aggressive attitudes by local authorities and the police when you try and expose it. If you integrate all these authorities, that corruption is going to spread even faster; and, of course, there`s no separation of powers to take the lid off it when you discover it and try and do something about it."

"These two men are telling us clearly that the aim is destruction of the public services as we know [them]. And I think we now have to put on top of that: `Yesterday the Tory/Labour/LibDem ministers - it doesn`t matter what they do, including criminal acts - they`re immune from prosecution."

"This is sort of East Germany being drifted in under a modern day veneer of liberalism and Common Purpose."

`Safe Schools` in Victoria

"Term 3 has begun and unfortunately, school children in Victoria will continue to be bombarded with the compulsory `Safe Schools` indoctrination program. This program:
Forces students to use new transgender pronouns like ‘ze’, ‘they’, ‘ey.’
Encourages young people to experiment with a `dynamic and fluid` sexuality.
Demands that teachers do not use gendered language like `girls and boys` and `ladies and gentlemen`.
Denies scientific truths by propagating the theory that gender is ‘fluid’ and ‘non-binary.’
Urges students to imagine that they are same-sex-attracted and to `come out` even if they are not sure." 
"When will this relentless attack on our children end?"

Child removed unlawfully by inadequate council

"Gloucestershire county council has apologised after it unlawfully removed a young child from its mother and placed it in foster care without giving the mother or father any notice of its intention to do so."

"The action was in contravention of a care order that the council’s social workers had recommended to a court, which stated that in the event of the child being removed from its mother it should go immediately to live with its father. It took six weeks for the mother to get the child, who was breastfeeding when removed, restored to her care."

"At a hearing at Gloucester family court on Friday, the judge Stephen Wildblood described the council’s actions as unnecessary, disproportionate and deeply traumatic for the mother."

"He said the child, aged under two, had been taken from her care with a `degree of subterfuge and immediacy` that was `plainly wrong`. Unusually, he relaxed reporting restrictions in the case, after an application by the Guardian and the BBC..."

"Gloucestershire children’s services department was recently rated inadequate by Ofsted, with multiple failings identified in its previous senior management team."

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