MPs Debate Social Workers’ Contribution To Society, And Child Abuse.

Researching Reform

Yesterday in the House of Commons, Members of Parliament met to discuss child welfare topics, including the contributions social workers make to society, and the rights of victims of crime.

The first debate looked at the ways in which the rights of victims of crime could be better protected. Whilst this was a general debate about different types of crime and those affected, child witnesses in court were mentioned. The recommendations made included offering children in court trained intermediaries and ensuring that children were not obliged in the first instance to enter a court building to give evidence. Other suggestions included be pre-trial therapy for all victims of sexual crimes, and a national strategy for victims with mental health difficulties.

Lucy Allan MP, who represents Telford, the town recently rocked by serious child sexual abuse allegations, went on to discuss victims of child exploitation. This is what Lucy had to say:

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Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children

National IRO Managers Partnership

Updated statutory guidance – published 26 February 2018

Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children

Statutory guidance for local authorities to support looked-after and previously looked-after children’s aspirations to achieve in further and higher education.

Main points

  • Looked-after and previously looked-after children start with the disadvantage of their pre-care experiences and, often, have special educational needs. VSHs have a key role to ensure these children have the maximum opportunity to reach their full educational potential – an important part of why this role was made statutory.
  • For looked-after children, as part of a local authority’s corporate parent role, the VSH needs to be the educational advocate that parents are for others.
  • For previously looked-after children, the VSH will be a source of advice and information to help their parents to advocate for them as effectively as possible. VSHs are not acting as part of the corporate parent role in these…

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Tory Whip Confesses To Helping MPs Out Of “Scandals Involving Small Boys.”

Researching Reform

A documentary made in 1995 about the role of Whips in Westminster, features an interview with a former Tory whip admitting that MPs would come to him for help covering up scandals, including what appear to be incidents of sexual abuse involving young boys.

Tim Fortescue can be seen in the clip talking about the kinds of personal problems politicians might have, and how whips were on hand to offer damage control for scandals that, as Fortescue puts it, “a member seemed likely to be mixed up in.” Whips would be only too happy to oblige, as the favour would ultimately lead to unconditional loyalty and obedience from the troubled MP:

“And we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points… and if I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a…

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Fascinating Interview on Syria–former British Diplomat Alastair Crooke

“The article (read it in full here ) goes on to report that “the advanced fighter jets were deployed to Syria less than two weeks after US forces attacked and devastated a group of pro-government forces, which included some Russian citizens.””

Fig Trees and Vineyards

Crooke obviously is quite knowledgeable on the subject of Syria. The interview, a rather “must-see” one from my point of view, was posted Friday. Latest news today–we seem to have another false flag chlorine gas attack that the mainstream media are blaming on the Syrian government. (More details below).

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Lambeth Council Offers Compensation To Child Abuse Victims.

Researching Reform

Lambeth Council has launched a redress scheme which promises to compensate anyone who was abused or feared being abused, as a child at a Lambeth Children’s Home and/or Shirley Oaks Primary School. The scheme will also compensate survivors who were abused at the Council’s foster homes, if they were placed in the homes directly from a Lambeth Children’s care home.

The scheme was opened on 2 January, 2018 and will run until 1st January, 2020.


Compensation has been divided into two types:

Harm’s Way Payment

A payment for Applicants who were resident at a Lambeth Children’s Home and feared that they would be physically and/or sexually abused, and/or who were neglected and/or suffered cruelty whilst resident at a Lambeth Children’s Home.

You do not need to have suffered abuse to apply for a Harm’s Way Payment

In order to apply for a Harm’s Way payment, the scheme asks that…

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Human Rights & A Certain Hospital

Another damning indictment of state-sanctioned kidnapping.

Love, Belief and Balls

I heard a very distressing story yesterday. A young woman with learning disabilities is currently being held at St Andrews. As you know, St Andrews is in Northampton. The woman is from Wales. The family have been prevented from seeing her since November. She is allowed telephone contact but the staff have banned her from speaking in Welsh to her family.

I tweeted about this earlier and many people, rightly, saw it as a Human Rights issue. Others despairingly asked “How do they get away with it?”

I think the answer to that question lies in their award winning programme for improved behaviour. Last time I wrote about St Andrews a member of staff proudly sent me a copy of their programme to tell me I’d got the regime all wrong. I dug it out today and I’ve reproduced it below.

Each patient is allocated a Level between 1 and…

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Seriously sick child and distraught parents – where to draw the line

“In conclusion, Hayden J observed that every reasonable option had been explored for Alfie. The continued provision of ventilation, in circumstances which I am persuaded is futile, now compromises Alfie’s future dignity and fails to respect his autonomy.

I am satisfied that continued ventilatory support is no longer in Alfie’s best interest.

The fact that the court has given the hospital the authority to withdraw life support and transfer Alfie to palliative care is not the end of the story; the family’s plans to appeal could derail or delay the implementation of this declaration.”

UK Human Rights Blog

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust v Evans, James and Alfie Evans (a child by his guardian Cafcass Legal) [2018] EWHC 308 (Fam) – read judgment

This was an application by the hospital for a declaration to allow their doctors to withdraw life support from a 19 month old child, Alfie. He suffers from a progressive, ultimately fatal neurodegenerative condition, probably a mitochondrial disorder. His epileptic seizures have not been brought under control by anti-convulsant treatment. The evidence before the court was that even if these seizures were to end, his brain is “entirely beyond recovery”. However caused, his neural degeneration is both “catastrophic and untreatable”.

In simple terms the thalami, basal ganglia, the vast majority of the white matter of the brain and a significant degree of the cortex have been wiped out by this remorseless degenerative condition.

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A psychiatrist’s damning indictment of 500 years of racism – now revived by Trump and 9/11

“Since 9/11 the danger is that racism is on the rise with Muslims rather than Afro Caribbeans as the main target. That is why the timing of this book is relevant in the context that the mental health legislation is being revised. Already psychological research is being used as a basis in the Prevent programme to decide whether teachers or NHS staff, their pupils and their patients, should be reported to the authorities if they show signs of radicalism.

The next slippery step would be to decide that these people are insane – and should be sectioned rather than prosecuted. This is not as fanciful as it sounds.”

David Hencke

suman1 Suman Fernando. Pic credit:


Suman Fernando is a gentle soft spoken  consultant psychiatrist, lecturer and honorary professor at the London Metropolitan University.    The 85 year old is not the sort of person at first sight to produce such a searing critique of racism in the UK and the US and the baleful role psychiatrists have had in treating ethnic minorities in both countries.

His book released at  the end of last year and launched by ROTA – Race on the Agenda – looks at both the history of racism which he dates from 1492 when the Spanish finally  removed the Moors from Europe and the role of psychiatry in treating ” mentally ill”  black and brown patients over a very long period.

The book is particularly relevant as Theresa May has  quietly decided to review the UK’s mental health laws  which cover some of…

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Western Lies about Lies over Syria’s East Ghouta

“Want to end the misery and horror in Syria? Then the US and its accomplices, including Britain and France, should get out of Syria and stop waging their covert war for regime change.

Western media will never elucidate that truth because their purpose is to tell lies about lies, and to manipulate Western public into supporting ever-more criminal war.”

Astute News

Western governments, their corporate news media, and even the United Nations’ chief Antonio Guterres are once again playing a disgusting, emotive propaganda game over the Syrian war.

UN Secretary General Guterres told the Security Council this week that the East Ghouta enclave near the capital Damascus was “hell on Earth” and called for an immediate ceasefire. His ceasefire call was echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Where is Guterres’ public concern about “hellish conditions” elsewhere? In Gaza where more than a million people are starving under a years-long blockade by a US-backed Israeli regime – in violation of countless UN resolutions? Where is Guterres’ legal or moral authority for Palestinians?

Or for Raqqa, the Syrian city razed to the ground by US air strikes? Or for Iraq’s Mosul, likewise obliterated along with thousands of civilians by US air strikes? Or for Sanaa, the Yemeni capital being bombarded by American-supplied Saudi…

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It’s not funny, to cut SEND money

“If this post leads you to want to consider challenging cuts in your area, you may want to contact a specialist solicitor – and you will need to move quickly, as if funding is to be restored a judicial review would need to be heard within a matter of weeks if at all possible.”


I have shamelessly stolen the title for this blog post from Milo, a young man involved in the successful campaigning on SEN cuts in Hackney. Milo chose a donation from me to the fund to help save the Kids playground in Hackney as the price of this theft. Milo explained why as follows: ‘I am choosing the Kids adventure playground because I like it and it’s really cool to play in because disabled children can play there with their brothers and sisters.’ Please support the playground if you can.

So local authorities across England have now set their budgets for 2018-19 or will do so in the coming weeks. Some have taken every possible step to protect the services that matter to disabled children, young people and their families. Others, not so much. This blog post highlights some points of interest for all concerned with saving these vital services…

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