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Monday, 26 June 2017

Review says there was no immediate investigation into death

AN INVESTIGATION into a York man’s death after suffering a seizure in supported living accommodation has raised a series of major concerns.

An independent review was ordered by City of York Council into the circumstances surrounding the death of Danny Tozer on September 22, 2015, at York Hospital, a day after he suffered an epileptic fit at a house in Bishopthorpe run by the charity Mencap.

The review reported that Danny, an autistic man of 36 with a severe learning disability and uncontrolled epilepsy, had a seizure in his bedroom while the door was shut, followed by a cardiac arrest and brain damage.

It said his parents, Rosemary and Tim, believed it was a preventable death, which had come after they had raised many concerns about the quality of his care, which was commissioned by the council and the NHS...

In its findings, the review noted there was no immediate investigation by Mencap after Danny’s death, and it was difficult to state with accuracy exactly what occurred on that morning.

http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/15355244.Concerns_over_man___s_death_in_care/

`There was no immediate investigation.` This follows a familiar pattern which indicates that to certain authorities some lives are worth less than others. But if Mencap, whose vision is a world where people with a learning disability are valued equally, listened to and included - or so they say - can dismiss a young man`s death so easily, who are the learning disabled and their families to trust ?

Charity will have largest facility in Europe

This is very bad news for young people and their families.

"A charity is set to build Europe`s largest mental health facility for young people in Northampton."

"St Andrew`s the UK`s leading charity providing specialist NHS care, has received planning approval to construct a new residential building for young people with mental illness, autism and learning difficulties in Northampton."

"Designed by P+HS Architects, the new building on Cliftonville Road, which will cost £45 million, will bring together adolescent services at St Andrew`s on one site and will be the largest facility of its kind in Europe."

"It will provide care to young people from across the United Kingdom, and alongside 110 residential beds, it will include a school, sports and therapy areas, and a number of landscaped courtyards."

http://www.northampton-news-hp.co.uk/europe-8217-s-largest-mental-health-facility/story-22905825-detail/story.html


See Finola Moss`s blog: New Gold Rush: forced residential care

Also see Sara Ryan`s blog: The mystery of Loring Hall and the CQC*

*CQC Care Quality Commission

Children`s ward in Livingston to close

"A children's hospital ward is to close in two weeks - just a year after an independent review recommended it stayed open."

"The inpatient ward at St John’s hospital, Livingston, will stop accepting patients on July 7 onwards, NHS Lothian has confirmed."

"But the move has sparked fury among campaigners and locals who say sick kids will now be forced to travel over 20 miles to Edinburgh."

"The staff member added: `This will force families to travel into Edinburgh with a sick child and be far away from home. This could be problematic for those who rely on public transport`."

"`The staff were happy to provide cover and it’s just lies to say the issue is staffing problems when we have a full rota`."

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/fury-scottish-kids-ward-axed-10676823

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Tower block survivors to be moved on

23 June 2017

"Today residents of Grenfell Tower were given eviction notices by the local council to vacate their temporary accommodation in Kensington, in a move described as ‘barbaric’ by Radical Housing Network."

"Residents of Grenfell Tower who had been staying at the Holiday Inn, Kensington, were told today that they were to be separated and moved by 4pm to other temporary hotel accommodation across London, in places such as in Heathrow, Lambeth, Southwark and north London. Following intervention by legal observers, most of the residents have been moved together to a hotel in Westminster."

"Pilgrim Tucker, a community organiser working with the Grenfell Action Group and liaising with residents at the hotel, said:"
"It’s beyond disgusting that after all these people have been through losing their neighbours and watching their homes burn to the ground authorities are prepared to tell them that they have hours to pick up their bags and move to some unknown destination, separated from their friends and neighbours. It makes you wonder if anything’s been learned from the Grenfell catastrophe."

=======================

"Commenting on the Metropolitan Police statement on the Grenfell Tower investigation, a spokesperson for the Radical Housing Network said:"
"From the council’s estate management organisation failing to respond to repeated resident complaints, to the reported delaying of a fire safety review by government ministers, it’s clear that a culture of negligence existed at all levels. Those responsible must be held to account. In particular, Kensington & Chelsea council leader Nick Paget-Brown must answer questions on what appear to be multiple failings by his local authority and its privately contracted service providers."

"http://radicalhousingnetwork.org/

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Sharing the public sector pie

The relationships and networking going on between councils, charities, central government and the private sector is quite astonishing as the hasty retreat of Sir Derek Myers from Shelter exemplifies:

=========

"Two board members of the housing charity Shelter, including its chairman Sir Derek Myers, have resigned amid reports of internal disquiet over the organisation’s allegedly muted response to the Grenfell Tower fire."

"Myers is a former chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council, which owns Grenfell Tower, while trustee Tony Rice is chairman of Xerxes Equity, the sole shareholder in Omnis Exteriors the company that sold the cladding used in the tower."

"On Friday afternoon, Shelter confirmed the pair had resigned from the board but offered no reasons for their departure..."

"Asked subsequently to explain the joint resignations, a Shelter spokesperson said: "The trustees decided to step away from their roles in the interests of the charity. They would not want there to be any unnecessary distraction from the work we are doing to help people affected by the Grenfell fire..."

"Myers is a qualified social worker and respected former local government manager who jointly ran Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham councils between 2011 and 2013. Until recently he led the government intervention team running Rotherham council in the wake of the child abuse scandal."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/23/two-shelter-board-members-derek-myers-tony-rice-quit-after-grenfell-tower-fire






Sir Derek Myers speaks on behalf of the Service Transformation Challenge Panel -- very new world order -- which is transforming public service delivery.

"In most of the places we found some form of transformation happening," he said. When asked what were the panel`s key recommendations on transformation he added: "Well we do think that this emphasis on being thoughtful about those people who`ve got complexities - or sometimes called high demand, those households who one way or another take a slightly larger slice of the public sector pie than others - we think those are the people who both deserve a joined up approach but also it`s in everybody`s interest that we move those households to a position where they are less demanding, more independent, more self-sufficient and so on."

"So we think however you analyse this you come back to: Where are we spending the money and how can we spend that money more smartly?"

=====================

No thought that spending more smartly can cost lives.

Not only that but anybody who watched UK Column on Friday 23 June 2017 will have heard Brian Gerrish talking about the millions of pounds that councils across the country have been stashing away under the radar. So where is this piece of the public sector pie going when it is not providing much needed services?

See also http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2015/02/myers-appointed-lead-commissioner-rotherham 

English school inspections are changing

[Greg Ashman]

"I never like to criticise individual schools and, in this case, I’m quite hesitant to offer praise. However, I think it is in the wider public interest to draw attention to Michaela Community School, not least because if Aussie teachers have heard of it at all, it is likely to be through one of the online witch hunts or feverish blog posts that hurl abuse at the school."

"Why does Michaela provoke such a reaction? Under the headship of Katherine Birbalsingh, Michaela is an avowedly traditional school with high expectations for all of its students. It teaches a knowledge-based curriculum and eschews the silly gimmicks that many schools pursue. It also happens to be a Free School. Let’s face it, Michaela needs independence because local bureaucrats would never allow a school like that to exist."

"The English schools’ inspectorate, Ofsted, have now visited Michaela and released their first report on the school. Ofsted used to be a student-centred inquisition, promoting progressive teaching methods. However, it has reformed in recent years and no longer enforces a particular teaching style. It also shows signs of taking behaviour much more seriously as an issue."

Here are a few quotes from the Ofsted report:

https://gregashman.wordpress.com/2017/06/

Here`s a quote from Amanda Spielman the new head of Ofsted which indicates her wide vision for education in England.

 

Here`s a few quotes from her admirers hoping, no doubt, that this is going to be the end of the tyranny of progressive education.

Fair play

By Alan Honick

"Everyone100 percent of an admittedly tiny sampleremembered their first encounter with fairness in its negative incarnation. My hypothesis is that this pattern holds, if not universally, at least among a very high percentage of individuals."

"We apparently begin with fairness as our default position. We’re surprised and affronted when we first face a situation that seems unfair, so that’s what we remember."

"It seems we’re predisposed to prefer and expect fairness..."

 

"While that seems to be clear evidence that a sense of fairness and altruism are linked in individual development, it gives only a suggestion that these personality traits may be, to some degree, encoded in our genes. By 15 months environmental influences, such as parenting style and sibling interactions, have undoubtedly begun to shape behaviour."

"Whatever the roots of causality that underlie these prosocial behaviors, it seems remarkable that a sense of fairness and altruism should be evident so early in life, with such marked variability in its expression. The experiments performed by Ernst Fehr and colleagues demonstrated that prosocial behaviors emerge as children learn to interact within a social milieu. Sommerville’s experiments suggest the possibility that some individuals may develop a strong sense of fairness more naturally."

http://evonomics.com/are-we-born-with-a-sense-of-fairness/

Friday, 23 June 2017

Tory scam for votes

Retraining required for Named Persons

"Changes announced by Deputy First Minister John Swinney as a result of consultation with charities, public bodies and critics of the scheme [but not NO2NP] will require named persons appointed by councils, health boards and other agencies to take into account human rights, data protection law and confidentiality rules before sharing information about a child. "

"The Government has also clarified that accepting advice from a named person is voluntary and a refusal to accept advice or services offered will not in itself be taken as evidence a child is at risk..."

"A financial memorandum attached to the new legislation suggests at least £1 million will be spent on providing cover in schools and health boards for staff needing additional training ahead of Named Persons laws coming into effect in 2018. "

"Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith said: `The named person policy was a huge mistake from beginning to end, which is why the Government has been forced into a major U-turn`. "

"`The Scottish Conservatives believe the revised bill still raises many questions and it also lays bare the extent of the expense to the taxpayer of this ill-conceived policy`."

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15359916.Legal_changes_will_give_green_light_to_named_persons_policy/

Fake consultations and fixed agendas

 
Speaking of Nicola Sturgeon`s answers to the crisis in Scottish education - each and every answer being a failed Tory policy - Kezia Dugdale says, "She has even flirted with opt out schools."

Well actually the Scottish government is still flirting with opt out schools with governance arrangements by head teachers as a first step.

Kezia Dugdale goes on to say: "Doesn`t this prove First Minister that if you vote SNP you get Tory?"

At this point the building erupts. It`s true, and Kezia should know since she represents the party who invented that scam.

=====================

Brian Wilson in the Scotsman draws attention to the fact that the Scottish Government is big on consultations but not so big on listening to consultees. This is most apparent after the recent consultation about governance of Scotland`s schools.

"While headlines focused on John Swinney’s prescription for the problems giving more power to head teachers almost no attention has been paid to the conclusions of the consultation process, published on the same day as Swinney’s statement in Holyrood. This is unfortunate since the contrast is dramatic."

"Reading the Scottish Government’s own Analysis of the Consultation Responses, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that Swinney has rejected every area of consensus to follow his own dubious path."

"More than 350 organisations and 700 individuals took the trouble to make submissions. Hundreds more attended meetings. Their conclusions appear to have been remarkably uniform remember this is the Scottish Government’s own summary of what they said. Fundamentally, it told Swinney there was `widespread support for the current governance system and an apprehension towards further change within the existing system there is ‘no need to fix something that is not broken’.` In case the point was missed, it stressed: `Current governance arrangements were not seen as a barrier for improvement and changing them should not be expected to address the deep-seated issues that get in the way of achieving excellence and equality for all`."

"That was not a cry of complacency but simply recognition that the whole discussion around improving performance and narrowing attainment gaps is based on the false premise that the primary issue to be addressed involves structures rather than other critical factors. Helpfully, the (Scottish Government’s own) Analysis of the Consultation Responses went on to define them. `Specifically,` it stated bluntly, `respondents thought that budget cuts and staffing issues were the two keys to barriers for improvement`."

"Which part of that does Swinney find difficulty in understanding? Or did he understand it all too well but felt, at a very personal level, he had no option other than to ignore it?"

==================================

Paul Holywood who comments reminds readers of the consultation about the Named Person legislation. This is not unrelated to the education debate since head teachers, as well as taking on new governance responsibilities, will also have Named Person duties.

"After the Supreme Court defeat, Mr Swinney pledged a three-month period of `intense engagement` including parents and those with 'concerns' in a consultation process designed to come up with alternative proposals which might meet the approval of the court. But he ruled out meeting with NO2NP, whose members warned more than two years ago of the problems with the scheme, and brought the legal action which resulted in the Named Person law being struck down. It has now emerged that Mr Swinney's office has failed to properly respond to parents, including some of his own constituents, seeking to become involved in the consultation process." http://no2np.org/swinney-accused-snubbing-concerned-parents-constituents/

Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/brian-wilson-the-snp-are-great-at-asking-for-your-views-but-nobody-s-listening-1-4483778

Witness did not see many escape the building


"When I first came out I was doing what my neighbours were doing which was trying to alert people in the block to wake up and at least stick their heads out of windows or wrap their heads in towels or something like that. .. It didn`t work unfortunately because a lot of them were still stuck in there. I hope that a lot of people got out but frankly I didn`t really see that many. "

"What I did see were firemen who went above and beyond the call of duty. I saw ones running in without protective clothing on them to try and get into that building to try and get people out. How they managed to do it I have absolutely no idea because the first thing that caught fire was the emergency staircase because during the regeneration they fitted gas pipes along the emergency staircase. It was the quickest way to get them from the bottom of the block to the top and then to drill through to all the flats to give them new boilers..."

"All our concerns were dismissed. We were told that we would end up with more green space than we have now and we were told ... that any objections people were making about the risks of fire or the risks of people dying was scaremongering and they actually sent a cease and desist letter to the local blog, the Grenfell Action Group... David and Goliath didn`t have a patch on this, believe me."

Joe Delany, resident of Grenfell Tower.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

A firefighter`s account

"A firefighter who attended Grenfell tower has written this"

"We arrived about 0120hrs but due to the way cars are parked in the streets and the fire engines that are arriving with us we couldn't get closer than 4-5 streets away from the building. Other trucks were closer they would be setting up water ready for us."

"We could see this was a bad one immediately. The sky was glowing. Leaving our truck we started quickly towards it. Picking up pace we are carrying our BA sets on our back, while making our way we are trying to read the conditions in front of us, trying to take in as much information as we could. How big is the tower, where is the fire, where is the fire going next, how's it behaving, how many flats are internally affected, how many people are in there? "

"We mustered outside the entrance. Parts of the building we already starting to fall down on to the surrounding area.
As we entered the building the fire on the outside was raging from the top to the bottom.
Walking up to the bridgehead on the 3rd floor we were told to look at a floor plan that had been hastily drawn on a wall.
We stood looking at it waiting at entry control to be given instructions my BA partner and I stood waiting with other firefighters waiting to see what information there was available. Then we received our brief... 23rd floor people stuck in their flat go!
23rd floor? I repeat back.. giving the flat number I received to the Watch manager.
She confirms. I turned at told my BA as the reality of how high we are going to try and go on a single cylinder of air. "


"Weighed down carrying 30kg+ of equipment not including our firekit and breathing apparatus (BA) we passed through entry control handing in our tallies and confirming our brief.
We made our way up a crowed stairwell struggling to make progress, at times unable to pass because of the amount of people on the stairs. The stairwells were full of other BA crews bringing people down all in various states and conditions. "


"The smoke grew thicker with each floor we went up. No proper floor numbers on the stairwells after about the 5th floor made it hard to know where you were. Someone before us had tried to write them on the wall with chinagraph pencil but this didn't last long. The dirty smoke was covering the walls with a film of blackness."

"Around the 9th floor we lost all visibility and the heat was rising. Still we continued up and up through the blackness. We reached what we believed to be the 19/20th floor but there was no way to tell. It was here where we found a couple trying to find their way out, panicking, choking, blinded by the thick toxic air."

"A quick gauge check showed us that the amount of floors we'd climbed had taken its toll, we were getting low on air. There's no way we could make it to the 23rd and back to the bridgehead."

"The couple were shouting and screaming at us through the coughing, trying to tell us there were 5 more people on the floor above! "

"Now I had horrible decisions to make and a very short amount of time to make them."

"In what I think would of been less than a minute these are all the things I had going through my head.
I will list a few of them for you.
All of which I needed to consider before making my decision:........"


"Now that we've stopped and lost our rhythm on the stairs would we have enough air to leave this couple and try to reach the next floor?"

"Was the information we are getting from these people was correct. After all they are frantically panicking as they choke and suffer from the heat. "

"If we let them carry on down the stairs alone would they or could they find their own way out? "

"If we went up another floor would we actually find the 5?"

"If we found them what state would they be in? Could the two of us get that many out especially one or more are unconscious? "

"How would we decided who to take?"

"Do we have enough air to make it back down to safety ourselves from where we are? "

"Should I be considering asking my BA partner a `new mother` to risk even more than she already has...?"

"Can I accept/live with the thought that saving two lives is better than taking the risk to go up and potentially saving no one? "

"Ahh!! Come on think...!
Am I doing enough?
Can I give more?
Am I forgetting any of my training....? "


"Stop...."

"Breath....."

"Think....."

https://www.facebook.com/ian.r.crane.7/posts/1143533832418988

The aftermath of Grenfell: raging and checking

"Downing Street said 600 buildings in the country have `similar cladding` to that of Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, which was destroyed by the June 14 blaze."

"The Department for Communities and Local Government later said that figure refers to buildings with all types of cladding and that not all of them necessarily have cladding made from the same aluminium composite material as Grenfell Tower. Landlords are being asked to check what the cladding on their buildings is made from..."

"Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn called for urgent checks on around 4,000 buildings as Britain comes to grips with the potential ramifications of the disaster. Thousands need urgent assurances about their own safety, he said..."

"Corbyn compared the tragedy to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in which 96 people were killed in the crush of a crowded soccer stadium, and recent sexual abuse scandals involving vulnerable children, arguing that the government had long turned a blind eye to the needs of the poor..."

"May has apologised for mistakes that were made in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and promised that `no stone will be left unturned` in a public inquiry into its causes."

"For any guilty parties there will be nowhere to hide," she said.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/grenfell-tower-cladding-in-other-london-highrises-combustible-1.3470884

Recalling May`s performance regarding the independent child sexual abuse inquiry which has lost three chairpersons already - few people are confident about an inquiry into fire safety at Grenfell. Instead of an inquiry they call for an inquest which might assign manslaughter charges to guilty parties, some of whom might be in the government itself.

What chance ?

---------------------------------

Here is Sam the Blogger`s spin on the Day of Rage a protest which he believes is a waste of everybody`s time. The mission of the protesters was to shut down London and parliament.

"Shutting down parliament is Theresa May`s speciality," says Sam. And he has a point.


Other than that we must ask what point he is trying to make.

The political attack on society

[UK Column 16 June 2017]


"Yesterday we mentioned so-called gender neutrality. We picked up on this. This is Highgate school who decided that they were being too binary in the way that they`re looking at boys and girls. So they were proposing that really anything went and if boys wanted to be called girls names or wear skirts then that was quite normal."

 
"What`s the NHS been up to?  Exactly the same thing. Because here`s NHS Choices heavily promoting NHS gender identity clinics. What`s interesting in this article is if you dig in a little bit deeper up comes our old friend the Tavistock Institute. So we`ve got Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust - they`re running gender identity clinics - but the overall message coming out very strongly here is: Well it`s not really the case that there are men and women. There`s a multitude of different versions, some of them undiscovered as yet. I think this is a massive attack on conventional heterosexual relationships and stable families to bring up children. So this is very dangerous. And I`ll also say that many people, particularly from the gay community, are being drawn in and used as a political weapon."

 
"On it goes. We`ve got the Metro ... Northamptonshire. Police force ditches traditional hats for `gender-neutral` baseball caps. And what is interesting in this article is we find another embedded video - so this is how strong the propaganda is - and this is an HSBC video where Stuart Barette is leading the HSBC project which is HSBC Pride Network where he is talking about the need to get rid of what they call Mx titles: Ms, Mr or Mrs because that is just not sufficient. We`re going to need ten new gender neutral titles. So I`m not quite sure what the plus is when we talk about LGBT+ but 10 is not enough to cover it. There`s going to be more variations."

 
"And then of course we get the charities coming in. So this is one particular charity which is pushing the whole agenda. And who is actually funding Educate & Celebrate? - well we come straight back to the government: the Department of Education. And no surprises, good old BBC with Children in Need."

"And I`ll just end on this note, that we`re not the only ones picking up on this. This is an email sent in where a man said `I watched your news yesterday. I find this stuff disturbing but I was also disturbed that it was beginning to be discussed in my work place and he drew our attention to Snopes.`"


"Did Bill Nye Say Gender is Determined `by Your Chromosomes?` And what this is, is apparently supposed to be an accuracy of news check. So it said this statement is false. But what it then got on to is a very complicated dialogue which if you said what`s the overall line?  Well it`s not as simple as just men and just women."

"I am very very confident that this is a political attack on society. It was mentioned in a lot of early work including material which the Soviets warned about."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbX9boAqLl0

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Survivor group pulls out of independent child abuse inquiry



"A victims’ group has said it is formally withdrawing from the national inquiry into child sexual abuse, claiming the investigation is `not fit for purpose`."

"Survivors of Organised and Institutional Abuse (Soia) said it announced the decision with `deep regret` but felt the inquiry was not serving the needs of victims."

"The group said survivors have been `totally marginalised` from the process, adding that the inquiry had descended into a `very costly academic report writing and literature review exercise`."

"It comes after the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (Sosa) one of the largest victims’ groups involved pulled out of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), describing it as a `stage-managed event` which has `lurched from crisis to crisis`."

"Soia, part of the national WhiteFlowers survivor and whistleblower campaign, said in a statement: `It is with deep regret that Soia announces its withdrawal from the inquiry`."

"`We emphasise that each of us will continue to vigorously campaign outside of the IICSA, for the rights of survivors of organised and institutional abuse to justice and healing`."

"Soia, which had four core participants involved in the process, said it supported the concerns aired by Sosa in November."

"It added: `We wish to thank all those who have contributed time, effort and their own money to WhiteFlowers and Soia`."

"`However, we believe that, despite our efforts, IICSA remains not fit for purpose`."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/13/inquiry-into-child-sexual-abuse-not-fit-for-purpose-claims-victims-group

Forget about victims: paedophiles need help

"Although it is difficult to dispute the story's central message that individuals who have a sexual attraction to children 'need help,' attempting to label paedophilia as a 'sexual orientation' crossed the red line for many readers."

"In a recent BBC article entitled, 'Paedophiles need help, not condemnation - I should know,' we are 'introduced' to an anonymous 60-something male who opens this teary-eyed treatise by proclaiming, `It’s a long time since I’ve described myself as a paedophile. Paedophilia is a disorder, a deeply distressing sexual orientation. For me, it's triggered by traumatic experiences in childhood`."

"Did you catch it? If you blinked you missed it. Like one of those clunky bills rammed through Congress on Christmas Eve that is 'sweetened' with all sorts of hidden 'riders,' the opening line of the article declares that pedophilia now ranks - alongside hetereosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality - as a `sexual orientation.` A `distressing` one for the pedophile, no doubt, but a sexual orientation nevertheless. But that is simply wrong..."

"The irony of the BBC promoting this puff piece on pedophiles is a bit rich considering its former relationship with Jimmy Savile, the long-term host of a popular BBC music program, who has been described, postmortem, as a `predatory sexual offender,` possibly Britain's worst of all time."

"Savile, who died at the ripe old age of 84, was reported to have sexually abused hundreds of girls and boys over the duration of his career. The full extent of Savile's sex crimes makes it difficult to believe he was not protected by some very influential people."

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/393259-bbc-pedophiles-need-help-story/

NEXT STOP PERHAPS:  Let`s teach children not to bully paedophiles as part of an LGBTP project in primary schools ?

Drag queens to promote tolerance in primary schools


"DRAG Queens will visit primary schools to read stories to children in a bid to boost LGBT awareness."

"The man behind the scheme hopes it will `spread a bit of happiness and love` and promote tolerance and individuality."

"And he said despite a backlash from a minority of critics, their comments are the `kind of negativity we are trying to change`."

"Call centre worker Tom Canham, who came up with the idea, said he was inspired by Drag Queen Story Time, an American project in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles..."

"He has recruited 30 drag queens from across the UK and is getting daily requests from people wanting to take part..."

"He said the scheme has faced harsh criticism from some corners, revealing he had been called a `paedophile` and accused of `trying to incite young children into being gay`."

"Tom said: `Thankfully that is only one in 1,000 people and in a way it spurs me on, because that is the kind of negativity we are trying to change`."

"`The aim is to give children `glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models`."

"It comes weeks after a new primary school in Glasgow with unisex toilets was given the go-ahead in a bid to stop lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pupils being bullied."

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3848241/drag-queens-primary-schools-uk-lgbt-awareness/
"Complaints have been lodged with Glasgow City Council after it emerged boys and girls as young as FIVE will share lavatories at the new Blairdardie primary in a bid to stop lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pupils being bullied."
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3374532/new-primary-school-gets-go-ahead-for-unisex-toilets-for-lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-pupils-as-young-as-five-despite-protests-from-parents/

Ridiculous. What should five-year-olds know about lesbian, gay or bi-sexuality? 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Expert warned authorities of fire risk


"The cladding system is combined polyaluminum sheets with a filler of polyethylene. And that is what has caused the problems, because the polyethylene melts at a very low temperature and it catches fire. It is basically like a candle which is sandwiched between two sheets of metal."

"We have seen those fires before. There was one in 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, but those didn't enter the flats, because I understand the flats were sprinklered. In Britain, we didn't have these flats sprinklered, and therefore the fire was able to enter the flats quite rapidly."

[Arnold Tarling, Fire protection specialist]

===============

Another problem, of course, is that once alight the burning of the cladding produces thick toxic smoke.

Mr Swinney is bringing consistency, clarity and coherence to the unpopular Named Person scheme


"Public bodies operating the `named person` scheme will only be able to share information about youngsters if is likely to `promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing` of the child."

"They will also be required to consider whether sharing the information would be compatible with existing data protection, human rights and confidentiality laws."

"Crucially too parents will not be forced to accept advice from a named person, and can reject this without being viewed with suspicion."

"It follows a damning Supreme Court ruling that parts of the original plan breached parents' human rights*."

"SNP ministers want to introduce a named person for every child under 18, with health visitors assuming the role for pre-school children, and teachers and councils for older youngsters."

"Originally, this would have enabled information about children to be shared across agencies without the knowledge of parents."

"Mr Swinney said the changes would bring `consistency, clarity and coherence` to the twice delayed scheme..."

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/819335/SNP-state-guardian-scheme-children-Scotland-watered-down-climbdown-ministers-John-Swinney

*It is not just parents whose human rights were breached. Children also have a right to a private and family life.

Grenfell Tower residents threatened by officials



"As the SKWAWKBOX covered at the weekend, in spite of promises to the contrary by Theresa May and the local council some residents of Grenfell Tower have been offered accommodation in Preston and even as far north as Northumberland and threatened with being labelled ‘intentionally homeless’ if they refuse the offer."

"Being judged ‘intentionally’ homeless would mean the withdrawal of support and the loss of a position on housing lists."

"But it has emerged that it can also mean losing custody of your children."

"Intentional homelessness when dependent children are involved usually results in the involvement of social services and, as a government document on intentional homelessness confirms, Social Services departments, frequently limit their response to ‘offering’ to take the children into care."

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/20/grenfell-residents-may-lose-custody-of-children-if-reject-distant-accommodation/

Flammable cladding: a known danger

 
John Humphrys interviewed Conservative MP Sadiq Javid on BBC radio 4. He has served as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government since July 2016.

Sadiq Javid:  "I`ve read the papers this morning as well. I`ve read those reports. There`s a lot..."

"Shaming aren`t they?" said John Humphrys.

"If it was true of course it is... but we have to go by the evidence. We have to know what`s caused this. It could be, for example, there are some reports that say it could be how the cladding is fitted. It could be maybe the regulations weren`t met. ... We don`t know and I don`t want to speculate ... It`s not my job to speculate. I`m not a fire expert. You`re not a fire expert..."

John Humphrys. "No..."

"We have to be led by the experts on this. Whatever they tell us is the cause, it`s what we need to act on."

John Humphrys: "My point is that the experts have spoken and they have been speaking for the last 17 or 18 years about this particular form of cladding, and various other aspects of it like the sprinkler system and one architect... and this is not speculation - these are the experts responsible for several re-cladding projects - said that the tower`s cladding was designed to include fire breaks at every floor and around every window and if they had been installed correctly then the flames couldn`t have swept through it the way they did. Now there are some things that we don`t have to wait to find out because it`s already there. It`s already on the records. We know that the Select Committee of the House of Commons produced a report a few years ago detailing all of these potential crises. No action was taken whatsoever. It isn`t just your last government it was governments before that as well, going back to 2000. Nothing was done, even though the dangers were known. That`s the point."

==================

From the Grenfell Action Group:

"Even the dogs in the street know that the flammable cladding encasing the exterior of Grenfell Tower played a major part in spreading and accelerating what began as a single dwelling fire with such rapidity that the entire interior of the 24 storey building became a raging inferno in less than an hour. It is incumbent on us also to state our firmly held belief that the cladding in question was not introduced for the benefit of the residents of Grenfell Tower but because Kensington and Chelsea Council had redeveloped the surrounding area, building another of their flagship academy schools right next to Grenfell Tower, and a new sports and leisure centre next to that. The cladding on Grenfell Tower was intended to pimp it up so that it wouldn’t spoil the image of creeping gentrification that the Council are intent on creating, here and throughout the rest of North Kensington.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/

 
"Regeneration is just a euphemism for gentrification"

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Warnings fell on deaf ears

"The company responsible for the safety and maintenance of the block of flats which turned into a raging inferno and killed at least 12 people was paid £11million last year from taxpayer's money."

"Grenfell Tower is owned by the borough council in Kensington and Chelsea, but the management of the building is the responsibility of an independent company - Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO)..."


"Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation have been called into question by residents on the West Lancaster estate for their handling of their buildings."

"The company's stock consists of 6,900 rentable homes and 2,500 leasehold properties having been handed a contract by the council in 1996."

"There have been reports that neither the sprinkler system nor the fire alarm went off in the early hours, and KCTMO was paid £420,000 to deliver what it described as Community Alarm Services throughout the area."

"It made a profit of £4.2million last year and £3.5million in 2015..."

"Grenfell Action Group said: 'Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities."

"'We have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea` (RBKC)."

"'All our warnings fell on deaf ears. This was inevitable and just a matter of time`."

"The group had been posting about their concerns of tower block's safety regularly calling for it to be torn down before it went up in flames in the early hours of this morning in White City."

"Their concerns included:
Fire alarms and sprinklers not working
Huge electricity power surges dating back as far as 2013
Signs, which were only put up in March, telling residents to 'stay put' in the event of a fire
Poor parking enforcement outside the tower blocks meaning fire exits were often blocked
A single staircase with no natural light being the only emergency exit route from Grenfell Tower"
"The concerns were put to Siobhan Rumble, formerly of KCTMO, but residents say their fears were ignored."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4603626/Taxpayers-11MILLION-company-managing-Grenfell-Tower.html#ixzz4k7vtoMjy

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Boris Johnson told London Assembly to `get stuffed`



[Published on 12 Sep 2013]

"Boris Johnson has told a London Assembly member to `get stuffed` during an increasingly angry exchange over the impact of fire service cuts. The Mayor of London was being questioned when he lost his cool and fired off the remark to Andrew Dismore."

"`How can cutting fire engines, fire fighters posts not be a reduction in fire cover?` Dismore demanded."

"`Because we're improving cover - As I've said several times,` he replied as the rest of the Assembly groaned."

"It was when Dismore said that the Mayor had `lied to the people of London` that the insult was fired off."

"Mr Johnson was immediately urged to apologise which he did although he couldn't remember the Assembly member's name."

"Fire service plans are looking to close 10 stations and cut over 500 posts in London."

[Report by Ashley Fudge.]

"Subscribe to ITN News! http://bit.ly/itnytsub"

London`s inferno



Not to be forgotten.

But many questions to be answered about the building`s fire safety regulations.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Letter from Melanie Shaw


Brian Gerrish read aloud a letter from Melanie Shaw from HMP New Hall today on UK Column news, 13 June 2017.

"Hello Brian,

I hope you`re well. I`m in a mess here. I`ve been kept in a locked cell for four weeks, 24,7.  I`m not allowed toilet paper or able to wash my hair.  My tourettes are back this morning. Brian please can you help me. I don`t even know if you`ll get this letter. Please, I`ve nothing to do. No smokes, or anything. It hurts me that I`m being treated in such a disgusting way. I don`t know who directs this or why. I`m not strong as I`ve let myself down but I`m alone here in this cell. The odd staff utter a few words at you. At least in Foston they would speak to me and treat me decently. I`ve no mental health support here. Nothing. I`m just locked permanently in a cell like a Romanian circus bear. They want me to suffer and have cabin fever. Please contact Chris Leslie as he`s assigned formal authority to share info." [`She means on herself,` says Brian Gerrish, `and she then authorises me to act on her behalf and she`s asked me to make this letter public.`]

"Brian please thank the listeners for their letters. I have stamps and some paper but no envelopes. If a stamp is stuck to a self-addressed envelope I will be given it and can write back. I don`t need or want money. All I want is to talk to people by letter."

"Please help me to stop this abuse. I have no knickers either. It`s unbelievable and God only knows what they`re doing in private to other inmates. I`m scared to sleep and often put my chair behind my door. Do you understand me? I don`t deserve this at all. This is not rehabilitation. I`ve not been diagnosed as mentally ill, but normal. The area psychologist from Yorkshire has refused to finish her report by not coming back to prison. People who are decent are traumatised by my maltreatment and neglect."

"So there is a letter from a woman brave enough to speak up on the subject of child abuse. She has now been held for nearly a year, most of that time in solitary confinement and she is in prison as a direct result of the policy of Theresa May as home secretary and Theresa May in the last weeks as prime minister."

"... I have not had communication from Melanie in a long time. The last communication I had indicated that her treatment was slightly better. She now appears to be being abused again and if viewers are new to the subject of Melanie Shaw and want to know why she`s being treated like this the only explanation we can come up with is because she`s yet another child abuse survivor who says that British politicians have been and are involved in the abuse of children and of course the government is doing everything it can to cover this up."

Mike Robinson interjects: "Melanie always appreciates letters and she says a self-addressed envelope would be very helpful."

"Yes indeed and somebody`s asking what exactly was she sentenced on. Well we`re not too sure because she was sentenced in a secret court but we believe that it was so-called breach of a restraining order."

"But we at the moment watch Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Fallon, even Mr Corbyn, talking about leaders overseas - how they run their countries - and that letter gives us an insight into the utter filth which Britain has now become under this LibLabCon."

 To write to Melanie : -
 

Watch the whole programme here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd2hxWQhqGM

Monday, 12 June 2017

The attack on the poor having children

Why anyone would want to be perched on the gun of a tank as if that makes any sort of pronouncement I do not know.
 
My father was a soldier and I can assure you [shoo-sh, say no more] we would have been inside the tank looking at the controls, not outside looking like we were being taken for a ride as Ms Davidson obviously has been.] It kind of reminds me of STRONG and STABLE Theresa.  Two horses from the same stable perhaps.
 
 

"Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said the Tories will try to use their influence to `advance LGBTI rights in Northern Ireland`."

"Ms Davidson said she has received assurances from Theresa May that any Conservative deal with the DUP will not affect LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex] rights in Britain..."

"Ms Davidson who is gay and plans to marry her Wexford-born partner in the near future was asked by Channel 4 News if she would also describe the DUP as her friends."

"`Well look, I have friends in politics across many parties,` she said in response..."

---------------

Ruth Davidson has been branded a `fake feminist` in a scathing attack by a leading Nationalist MP.

---------------

RUTH Davidson has been branded a "fake feminist" in a scathing attack by a leading Nationalist MP.


Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh has claimed the Tory leader’s support for the so-called "rape clause" a highly controversial exemption to changes to child tax credit means she "cannot claim to be a feminist".

Miss Davidson has previously refused to condemn the policy, which limits tax credits to just two children unless a mother declares a child was conceived as a result of rape, instead arguing the Scottish Government could reverse the policy if it wished.

But Miss Ahmed-Sheikh, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, tore into Miss Davidson, claiming she was the "only woman outside of the tent" on the controversial policy, which has won cross-party condemnation.

https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/top-nat-hits-out-at-fake-feminist-ruth/

Disgusting both.

 While they play their political games Maggie Mellon has already spoken out against the attack on the third child which both failed to mention.
 
Read here https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/11047/maggie-mellon-youre-all-missing-something-very-important-about-rape-clause

 

 

Plea to attend Royal Courts of Justice on behalf of Hofschroer family

An urgent appeal has been made on behalf of historian and author, Peter Hofschroer, to attend and witness events at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Wednesday 14 June 2017 in order to see that justice is done. The courtroom and time is still to be confirmed here https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/court-lists/list-cause-rcj#COA-Criminal
"Friends and supporters of the acclaimed author and historian and his mother, Barbara (aka Grandma B), are asked to attend his appeal against extradition to Austria. He has been unlawfully sectioned under mental health legislation in Austria by a single judge who has never met him, and WITHOUT A MEDICAL EXAMINATION. They want to incarcerate him forever in a mental institution and force him to take psychiatric drugs because he has been speaking out publicly about public corruption in York and North Yorkshire (places that he refers to as `Savile Country`)..."
"It is no surprise that North Yorkshire Police and the others have been desperate to silence him (at huge cost to the public purse)."
http://www.grandmabarbara.co.uk/
…"So what is going on here and who is involved? The main abuser is employed by local social services. He, his wife and daughter have provided support services to the local police. They all know who the isolated old people in their area with assets are. It would seem they are systematically targeting defenceless old people and seizing control of their assets before bundling them off into a council home, then selling their assets. The cash then gets laundered through a dodgy private care company as `care fees` and the police officers, social workers, council officials and local politicians involved then pocket the money. The perfect crime, as who is going to listen to a confused, old lady in a home, whose contact with the outside world they are controlling? This is rampant corruption and serious, organised crime. Nobody in authority in North Yorkshire will respond to correspondence and deal with this case..."

https://grandmabarbara.wordpress.com/

Terminally ill baby case to be considered by ECHR

"Doctors in London must continue providing life-support treatment to terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard, who is at the centre of a life-support legal battle, until midnight on Tuesday June 13, judges at the European Court of Human Rights have said."

"The parents of sick Charlie Gard lost their Supreme Court fight to take their son to America for treatment."

"Chris Gard and Connie Yates want the 10-month-old, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, to undergo a therapy trial."

"But doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he is being cared for, say they cannot treat him further and his life support should now be turned off."

"They have exhausted legal options in the UK and hope that European judges will now come to their aid."

"The case is now being considered by the European Court of Human Rights."

https://stv.tv/news/uk/1390836-doctors-must-continue-baby-s-life-support-until-tuesday/

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Children`s minister loses his seat

"The children’s minister Edward Timpson has lost his seat in the general election, which resulted in a hung parliament but with the Conservatives remaining in power."

"The now former Conservative MP who had been children’s minister since 2012 lost by 48 votes in his Crewe and Nantwich constituency last night in an election full of surprises."

"Timpson had led on the coalition and Conservative governments’ attempted sweeping reforms to children’s social work, but had encountered difficulty getting the Children and Social Work Act 2017 through parliament..."


"During his time as children’s minister he oversaw the establishment of the innovation fund, which has provided government cash to test new ways of working in children’s social work. He also tried and failed to introduce an ‘exemption clause’ to enable local authorities to opt out of certain duties. In addition, Timpson led the introduction of new models of delivery of children’s services, including independent trusts, which the government has forced on some ‘inadequate’ authorities."

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2017/06/09/childrens-minister-ousted-election-creates-uncertainty-social-care/

`Aleppo boy` resurfaces



"CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour, who challenged the Russian foreign minister with a photo of `Aleppo boy`, should go and ask the child and his family for the real story behind the iconic picture, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said."

"Omrah Daqneesh was filmed by the controversial White Helmets group last year. The image of him covered in blood and dust sitting in an orange ambulance chair in the aftermath of an airstrike quickly went viral..."

"Daqneesh resurfaced in world media this month after his family agreed to talk to some journalists, including RT`s Ruptly news agency. His father Mohammad Kheir Daqneesh accused the White Helmets of using his family to produce propaganda."

https://www.rt.com/news/391336-amanpour-aleppo-boy-challenge/

Friday, 9 June 2017

Anti-corruption not welcome in Hastinngs & Rye

Question: Who was the man Amber Rudd stopped from speaking out in her constituency during the election campaign?

Answer: Nicholas Wilson who was the anti-corruption parliamentary candidate in Hastings & Rye.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to listen to what he had to say.