Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Another panel member resigns from Scottish child abuse inquiry

"Survivor groups have reacted angrily after the Scottish child abuse inquiry lost the last remaining original panel member."

"Glenn Houston said he had resigned as a member of the panel because he had accepted two other public appointments which he is unable to hold in conjunction with his panel membership."

"Houston said the inquiry had made `considerable progress` and wished it well in the future."

"His departure follows the resignation last year of chairwoman Susan O'Brien QC and fellow panel member Professor Michael Lamb amid accusations of government interference."

"Senior judge Lady Smith, who replaced O'Brien as the third chair of the inquiry, is now the only remaining member of the panel."

"Lady Smith said: `Mr Houston has made a valuable contribution to the work of the Inquiry during his time as a panel member and I am very grateful to him for his support. I fully understand his decision and wish him well in his new ventures`."

"`The important work of the Inquiry continues as normal and we would encourage anyone who has relevant information, whether they have been abused themselves or know others who have, to get in touch`."

"Survivor groups said the state of the inquiry was `an absolute disgrace`."

"Alan Draper of In Care Abuse Survivors, told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland the inquiry would miss Houston's experience."

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Helping parents to parent

Mike Robinson: "We know what`s been going on in Scotland with the Named Person scheme but Helping Parents to Parent this is a new report from the Social Mobility Commission and the government are saying that this research is to gather evidence on parenting behaviours and the extent to which public policy can support parents."

"Public policy can have an impact on parents .. and achieve positive outcomes for children but there is currently a lack of evidence on what works and this is according to the Social Mobility Commission. They`re saying that figures show in the last decade more than 2.5 million children in England, including over 580,000 children known to be eligible for free school meals, have not reached the government`s definition of a good level of development by the age of five and by the time students receive their GCSE results around 32 percent of variation in performance can be predicted based on indicators observed at or before the age of five."

"So what they`re absolutely saying is, that what needs to happen, Brian, is that these children need to be developing properly between the age of one and five. We`ve got to go in there.  But of course between the ages of zero and five this is the time that children are being vaccinated and increasingly, well some people would say that some children respond to the vaccines they`re getting these days by perhaps ending up on the autism spectrum. Some people would also say that no child is actually getting away Scot free and perhaps we`re seeing a few points knocked off ... IQ scores as a result of this. This isn`t proven but certainly there should be research done on this but that research would certainly not be part of this report. ... This issue was not even looked at."

"So instead, what are they looking at? It`s all about parenting style and it`s all psychological. So we`re going in and we`re going to be teaching parents how to parent and never mind what medical issues there may have been."

Brian Gerrish: "Absolutely Mike but of course the moment the social services get alongside the parents there`s a grave risk those children are going to be taken away from their parents... We were told two or three years ago that in some of the primary schools in South Wales, over fifty percent of the children had special needs and the teachers were warned that they must not talk about that subject. So this is the reality of it, but of course when you have the film VAXXED coming up where there`s considerable evidence to say that vaccinations can present a danger and there should be further investigation into the safety of vaccinations then the government is absolutely turning on the originator of the report."

"And another thing I`ll say is that we know from local reports in the south west that where parents are perhaps in dire straits they`re starting to use food banks.  The food bank staff are reporting the parents to social services and then social services are coming in alongside the families on the basis that those children are suffering at the hands of the parents. So very very dangerous state intervention and of course many people in England and Wales still don`t understand what the SNP tried to get in place with the Named Person scheme in Scotland where, as one member of the Scottish parliament said, `Don`t worry.... parents will also have a role in bringing up their children`. "

"Also !"


Mike Robinson: "And just before we finish on this, it wasn`t actually the Social Mobility Commission - it was their report - but the underlying research was done by an organisation called `Family, Kids and Youth` ... and they describe themselves as one of the best known children and young people`s research agencies. So this is about market research. We work for some of the leading names in child, youth and family markets. And again this language ... the word `market` in the context of children and families, I find pretty disturbing."

Brian Gerrish: "And we have of course a child based charity which itself is called Core Assets which I find pretty objectionable as well. So a market in children. That`s the way it seems.... or at least profit from children is what we start to see happening in the UK and we would say it`s on a scale which is truly breathtaking."

Traffic 2

Richie Allen interviews Emma Ibbitson about Traffic 2 and asks why she and the team decided to do a follow up to Traffic.

"Traffic was banned," she explains and they were not going to accept that. The film attempts to blow the lid off the fostering and adoption industry. It is an industry that is still growing.  She discovered that in one city there were as many as fifty hearings in one day.

Listen here

Vital evidence lost in child sex abuse cases

"VITAL evidence in child sex abuse cases is being lost because laptops, cameras and microphones frequently break down during interviews with the victims, it has been claimed."

"Faulty equipment means social workers and police who work jointly on interviews in abuse inquiries are even resorting to taking notes by pen and paper on a regular basis."

"This is said to have led to cases breaking down before they reach court because the quality of the written evidence is so poor."

"And it is also causing problems with child victims being interrupted during harrowing disclosures about abuse while a police officer or social worker ‘catches up’, interrupting the flow of the interview..."

"Cases are also said to have broken down because the quality of the interview was poor with police or social workers asking too many ‘leading questions’ which may prompt the respondent to answer in a particular way."

"A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: `We have committed to working with partner organisations to examine the use of pre-recorded evidence for child witnesses, including in relation to joint investigative interviews currently carried out by the police and social work`."

Positive education for life

From the World Government Summit:

"Positive Education is an approach to education that blends academic learning with character & well-being. Preparing students with life skills such as: grit, optimism, resilience, growth mindset, engagement, and mindfulness amongst others."

"Positive education is based on the science of well-being and happiness."

"There is a clear need for governments to take positive education – education that conveys both traditional, technical skills necessary for labour market success and critical socio-emotional or life skills that enhance well-being – seriously."

It looks like the Scottish government is ahead of the game.  How come ?

Child removed because of father`s unorthodox views

"A father who praised `the benefits of formula milk` saw his one-week-old son taken into council care, a court heard."

"Medical staff had told Kirklees Council of the man's "unorthodox views" about feeding including the need to sterilise bottles and social workers later removed the baby from the hospital."

"Care chiefs then `misled` a family court and falsely claimed the parents "agreed" to the child's removal."

"A High Court judge has now ordered the council to pay the family £11,250."

"The baby was returned to the parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, more than two months after being taken."

"The High Court heard the mother suffered from minor mental health problems and other difficulties and the father had in the past been aggressive to others, but staff at the special care baby unit had no child protection concerns."

"However, Mr Justice Cobb said medics had expressed worries about the couple's ability to care for the baby."

"The father had, among other things, `expressed unorthodox views about the need for sterilisation of bottles and the benefits of formula milk`."

"Kirklees Council persuaded a family court to approve the baby being taken into emergency care as he was about to be discharged from hospital."

"Mr Justice Cobb said the council had `misled` the family judge, wrongly claiming the parents had been `given notice` of the hearing and had `agreed` to the child being taken."

Friday, 17 February 2017

False reports in a post-truth world

On Friday`s UK Column News: "Tusla is a child agency in Ireland," says David Scott. "It looks after child protection; it looks after families and family law... We came across this organisation when we started to look at the Docherty case because the Dochertys had their children seized twice and they`re still in the care of the state of Ireland and both episodes were vile. The second one, there was I think thirteen people, five policemen and eight social workers or something like this, descended upon this family and violently seized their children. The agencies doing this - there were two agencies Garda Síochána and Tusla. So we started to look at the links between these two. We started to look at how they were managed and who`s managing them and lo and behold all those roads led back to Scotland, led back to Aberdeenshire."

"So we highlighted some of these issues. and we started to get other stories that Tusla and Garda Síochána were very profoundly corrupt. Now what`s happened in the last couple of weeks is that this corruption has become obvious to the people of Ireland. In a way... sadly the corruption that surrounds this case is like the Docherty case. It`s not obvious to people in Scotland. In Scotland itself, it`s completely suppressed; there`s no news coming out; there`s no political questions being asked. But in Ireland people are now standing up in ... parliament and asking very serious questions and the case is horrendous."


"It concerns a Garda officer called McCabe who eight years ago discovered serious criminal wrongdoing by a colleague within the police force.... and took the appropriate lawful action and brought that to the authority`s attention... and ensured that the criminal activities were stopped and the man saw justice. And as a result Mr McCabe and his family have gone through eight years of hell. Now there was an early accusation made against this man that he`d been involved in some sort of inappropriate contact with a child. Now this accusation came from the daughter of the Garda officer who he brought to justice and it concerns an alleged incident some decades in the past. This woman was in her twenties and was claiming something happened when she was six or seven. It was investigated . The conclusion was there was no evidence not only that the incident occurred but there was considerable doubt that the incident described by the complainant was even a crime. It described this girl being at this officer`s house playing hide and seek and an allegation that there was something a bit off about that. It was extremely minor. The decision was there was nothing to investigate. No prosecution. Case closed."

"But the case was not closed because later it came back and it transpired that very very serious allegations of child rape had been levelled against this officer and were in the Tusla files and were then circulated throughout the Gardai so his colleagues were told about this. He wasn`t told about it; he didn`t know any of this was being discussed. And he found out about it only very recently, years after these rumours had been circulated. And the official explanation as to why he had been accused of being a child rapist in the official files of Tusla was an administrative error. It was an unfortunate cut and paste exercise that went sadly wrong."

"So there you go. Tusla can unfortunately cut and paste allegations of child rape into your files and then start to investigate your entire family because they had files on all of his children and what`s unique about this situation?  Only that he was a Garda whistleblower. It`s a horrendous situation ..."

Comparing this situation to the Docherty case, David Scott goes on: "It`s the same sort of approach; it`s the same sort of manipulation of the files but the difference here is it`s coming out into the open. In the case of Scotland... we know that a Police Scotland officer misrepresented himself to the Dochertys and gave the wrong name and we believe his name was in fact Sergeant Gilbert Buchan."

 "And we know that a report written on the Dochertys ... highlighted concerns over another Police Scotland officer called Alan Low, was then modified by Gilbert Buchan and sent off to Child Protection Services. When the modified report got there it was no longer alleging concerns about Alan Low the police officer. No, now the area of concern was the Docherty family and how they were raising their children; and were the children safe? They set the Child Protection Services on the Dochertys with a lie. This is exactly what happened to this whistleblower ... Are we saying it was an unfortunate cut and paste exercise ? No, we`re not saying that because in Scotland we don`t get to say any of these things. There`s no investigation; there`s no questions being asked in parliament because we don`t have anyone with the spine to do it."

Referring to the Dochertys: "They`ve managed to get somewhere where they`re safe and they`re warm and they are in contact with us. We hope to get a lot more information. I think they`ve been through a fairly rough few months. ... There seems to be pretty blatant attempts by Garda Síochána to arrest Brian Docherty and have him sectioned. The only problem is there`s nothing wrong with his mental health. Unless he volunteers to be sectioned there`s actually nothing they can do. He`s also law abiding so arresting him is a bit problematic as well. But the harassment and police involvement seems to be going on. So we have Garda Síochána; we have Tusla; we have all of the same engaged in the McCabe scandal and other assaults on other whistleblowers... These very corrupt organisations are now facing the Dochertys. Now at the moment no-one in the mainstream is reporting the Docherty case. There are no questions being asked in the Irish parliament about the Docherty case. But times they are a-changing. So we`ll see what the next few weeks bring."


"We`ll end on this one," says Mike Robinson. "Because the government and Amber Rudd in particular has announced a £40 million package of government measures to protect children and young people from sexual abuse. This has got to be good news, doesn`t it? The home secretary yesterday announced that package. Well where`s it going to go? Well it`s going to create a new centre of expertise on child sexual abuse apparently."

Brian Gerrish adds: "It sounds like the Kingfisher set up in Oxford where they used the police station that had been involved as failing the young girls coming forward to report abuse. That`s where they set up the new headquarters to spearhead leadership in child abuse."

"Well what fascinates me Brian is the centre of expertise on child sexual abuse, it`s not the centre of expertise on child sexual abuse prevention and so what exactly is it going to be? Is it going to be a school for paedophiles? It`s unclear at this point. An extra £20 million for the National Crime Agency ... to tackle online child sexual abuse; £2.2 million for organisations to protect children at risk of trafficking - even though they can`t track down children missing from care in this country - and the launch of... independent child trafficking advocates. What is that going to be?"

"Well that`s to undermine the McKenzie Friends," says Gerrish ... "That will be the government to train the people to work with the desperate parents."

"OK, well here`s what Amber Rudd had to say:"

"`Children should be able to grow up free from the horrors of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking ... This government has done more than any other to tackle these horrific offences`. And she said it with a straight face. ... Now they have in parallel released this: Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation; progress report. And I just want to highlight the things that they`re crowing about here, and David I`ll ask you for comment on this in a second."


"`We have tackled the culture of denial in professions about the scale and nature of this crime`. Well that`s what they claim.  But they certainly haven`t tackled the culture of denial within the government itself, within parliament as to the complicity of parliament and the activity of this parliament in this area`. "

"`We have increased accountability`, they say, `by strengthening statutory guidance to reduce the risks of children falling through the gaps between services`. What that means is they have created a much stronger culture of cover-up because with people working in multiagency groups now they get to know each other; there is no independence; there`s no separation of powers. This is a fundamental constitutional issue. And so what they`ve done by strengthening statutory guidance to reduce the risk of children falling through the gaps means bigger cover-up."

"They say, `we`ve increased the support to victims and survivors of sexual abuse by providing local commissioners with the funding they need to support the particular needs of survivors in their area as well as holding a central fund so that organisations working nationally for survivors are supported`. Except when they`re not supported. Except when they`re put in prison instead because what they`re whistleblowing about is involving parliamentarians and others. So that culture of denial that they say they`ve dealt with feeds into certain people ending up in prison. And of course I`m speaking about Melanie Shaw there."

"And finally they say they`ve sharpened law enforcement response and brought more offenders to justice including offenders who`ve been exploiting new methods and technologies to abuse children. `In the year to December 2015  - 5,789 offenders were convicted of child sexual abuse offences. This was over 1,000 more offenders convicted in 2014;  51% of those convicted in 2015 were sentenced to immediate custody`.  None of those people were called Janner. None of those people were called Brittan and none of them were involved in parliament in any way, shape or form; and ... despite the credible evidence from whistleblowers. So this is a pretty staggering thing."

"David, £40 million, you must be impressed."

"Well I was impressed with that analysis. That`s extremely good. We see this in Scotland because we`re a testing ground ... the named person. What does it mean? It means that when the parent tries to go and confront some sort of wrongdoing,  neglect or other failings of the state they`re now facing an even larger, better organised and more tightly coordinated group of state officials who are all opposing the parent, all are opposing the family ... and getting the truth heard is ever harder. "

Court of Appeal to consider vaccine injury compensation claim

Paul Gallagher 12:08 Thursday February 2nd 2017

"The DWP could be left with a £12m bill if it fails for a third time to overturn a ruling ordering it to pay £120,000 compensation to a 7-year-old who suffers from narcolepsy caused by the Swine Flu vaccine Pandemrix."

"On 10 December 2009, seven-year-old John was given a vaccination called Pandemrix against the pandemic influenza A (H1N1), commonly known as Swine Flu. Four months later, following extensive hospital examination he was diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplexy, neurological conditions that will affect him for the rest of his life."

"Narcolepsy is a very rare and incurable autoimmune sleep disorder caused by the destruction of the part of the brain that produces hypocretin, a peptide that regulates sleep. Sufferers regularly experience episodes of drowsiness or excessive daytime sleepiness. Cataplexy is a condition characterised by sudden, profound muscle paralysis, the onset of which takes several seconds, and often results in the sufferer collapsing."

"Although millions of people in the UK received Pandemrix without complications, the 2009-10 pandemic vaccine has been found to have caused an epidemic of narcolepsy in the UK and in other European countries in which it was used. About 1,500 people across Europe are thought to be affected of which about 100 have so far been identified in the UK. John, not his real name, is one of them..."

"It is the first time the Court of Appeal is considering a case of vaccine injury compensation under the UK statutory compensation scheme. Its decision will be binding on all future assessments of disability brought under the 1979 Act. Payments were then fixed at £10,000. Now they are £120,000 per person, so with around 100 victims seeking compensation under the Act, the DWP will be faced with a £12m bill if it loses."

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Bafta for director Ken Loach

"Director Ken Loach accepts the Bafta award for Best British Film for his portrayal of life in the British welfare system in I, Daniel Blake. He uses his speech to criticise the government for its `callous brutality` and its attitude towards `the most vulnerable and the poorest people` in our society, and particularly notes that the `disgraceful` cruelty now `extends to keeping out refugee children`."

I do not criticise his portrayal of life in Britain for the most disadvantaged but I wonder if he is aware that hundreds of refugee children have gone missing in the UK and we do not  have a great care system ? In fact, the British system might actually be one that feeds a perverted elite group in society.