Monday, 30 November 2015

Ruth Davidson joins the Named Person debate

Mel Kelly has put across her view strongly - some would say too strongly -  but she does recognise that when the state displaces parents, children are more vulnerable to institutional abuse.

In the Scotsman article, on the other hand, Ruth Davidson worries that appointing a Named Person for every child will result in overstretched resources and the possibility of another Baby P tragedy.

She added: "I think it is wrong that the government of a country can impose a guardian to watch over your child without consent, and without reason to believe that child needs protection. It is a grave violation of the right to a family life, a provision which includes the right to the holding of private information."

Most commenters see Davidson`s criticism of the Named Person scheme as political posturing but are woefully misinformed about its implications. There is a balance needed between the public and private spheres in order to keep power in check. But this legislation, with its joined up working and integrated services, is building a super-state that will totally engulf the individual child.

For an informed breakdown of the article see the Home Education Forum at the link below:

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Global march for climate change

"We are having people march in 2,300 cities around the world right now. "Climate change protesters march across the...
Posted by Channel 4 News on Sunday, November 29, 2015


Five thousand people are standing in the rain in Edinburgh to protest, and I have heard that the Rest and Be Thankful is snowed under. I do not know what people are expecting at this time of year ! Do they want it warmer or cooler ?

"The United Nations Conference on Climate change starts on 30 November and runs until 11 December, at a conference centre on the outskirts of Paris. Its expected that about 40,000 people will attend. The website has an FAQ section that asks the question how much all this will cost, but fails to answer it; one estimate puts the cost at over $1 Billion. The carbon footprint will of course be enormous the official website gives no information on that question either, though an amusing article at Forbes comes up with an estimate of 10,000 tons of CO2. "

There is also the cost attached to organising the protests to consider.  It would be farcical if it was not so serious.

GIRFEC Champions

"Quality improvement through the child’s journey was the theme of the first ever joint Early Years Collaborative and Raising Attainment for All Learning Session held earlier this month. Over 850 practitioners from across health, education and social care – including the third sector – shared what they are doing locally to improve services and outcomes for children and families..."

"Announcing a new Improvement Awards Programme, Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People said: “The improvement awards will recognise and celebrate the work of CPPs and National Partners, act as a catalyst for sharing successes, provide examples of innovative change leadership and most importantly, recognise how practitioners are making life better for thousands of children and families.”

"During the learning session, delegates shared how their improvement work is making a difference. Argyll and Bute highlighted how they are working across agencies to test and spread a new family pathway to regularly assess children’s needs so that developmental issues can be responded to at the right time Ms Campbell said: “The time is right now to accelerate the pace of improvement and scale up what we know works in delivering prevention and early intervention."

Argyll and Bute Pathway from Children and Families on Vimeo.

Some of Argyll and Bute`s GIRFEC champions highlight their work.

"The pathway is about capturing key moments in a person`s life from pregnancy - all the way through to a child starting nursery."
[It is a bit ambiguous who the PERSON of interest is.]

GIRFEC underpins the work of the pathway and you can`t separate the two: so it`s Named Person to Named Person." [That`s the data flow of those key moments in a person`s life.]

Catriona Dreghorn, senior midwife, sums it up by giving a well scripted account: "The family pathway has more formalised, I think, what we probably did anyway."
That`s not true. There would have been no need to employ 500 extra health visitors to cope with the mountain of GIRFEC form filling - at a cost of £40 million - if that was true, and no need for Aileen Campbell to be going around the country drumming up support with an Improvement Awards Programme.
And there would have been no need to keep families in the dark about GIRFEC for so long.
When are we going to get some straight talking?

Deprivation of liberty can only be ordered by the court

"Any restrictions of a sufficient degree place on adults must be authorised by the High Court, under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and following a new ruling, the same now applies to children."

"The new case concerned a 14 year-old who was taken into care after being neglected by his parents. After a stay in foster care he was transferred to a residential care home. The boy had mental health problems, learning difficulties and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A social worker concluded that he lacked the capacity to make his own decisions."

"In the home, the boy was kept under close observation, not allowed to leave the home or contact his family on his own, or go out of his room at night. He was also given sedatives."

"These arrangements had amounted a deprivation of liberty, ruled Mr Justice Keehan in the High Court."

The Judge wrote:
"Where a child is in the care of a local authority and subject to an interim care, or a care, order, may the local authority in the exercise of its statutory parental responsibility consent to what would otherwise amount to a deprivation of liberty? The answer, in my judgment, is an emphatic "no". In taking a child into care and instituting care proceedings, the local authority is acting as an organ of the state." 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Dangerous networks

The BBC produced an `Inside Story` documentary `The Secret Life of a Paedophile` in 1994.

Peter Righton, once a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), had become Director of Education at the National Institute for Social Work and had secured positions at the Home Office as an expert in major government reports. In some journals he was able to put across his view that adult and child sexual relationships were not necessarily harmful.
From Spotlight:
"This network was systematically abusing children in care homes and schools across the UK for several decades. The original police investigation in the early 1990s was shut down and the matter has been covered up for 20 years."
"Peter Righton was protected by other paedophiles including `a former senior government minister`, and as a result he was never jailed for his long career of sexually abusing children. "
"Righton on headed NISW paper wrote to the Department of Education claiming he was a counsellor of convicted paedophiles ( in reality they were his close knit PIE friends ) and that he had counselled Napier to the point he was no longer a risk to children and could return to teaching."
"He added in his letter to the D of Ed that to be doubly certain he ( Righton ) had sought a second opinion from a well known child psychiatrist who concurred with his expert opinion."
"The psychiatrist in question was Dr Morris Fraser, another convicted paedophile and PIE member who wrote a supporting report on Great Ormond St headed note paper. This allowed Napier to embark on a new teaching career abroad employed by the British Council..."
"He was able ( by his own admission in a number of letters to Righton over many years ) to abuse countless number of boys in Sweden and the late 70s through the 80s until 1992 when the arrest of Righton and the discovery of these letters led to his ( Napiers) immediate dismissal..."
"Many questions remain unanswered including who were Napiers referees for his employment with the British Council."

Data sharing

It is as well to remember cases like this.

Encouraging data sharing about children across health, social work, education, police, voluntary services and the other 120 databases in Scotland, is not a brilliant idea. It`s a paedophile`s dream.

Ex-police sergeant jailed for four years

A former award-winning police officer who sexually abused a boy and paid another victim for sex has been jailed for four years and two months.

Ex-Warwickshire Police sergeant Christopher Cambray, 42, was ordered to undergo an extended five-year licence period after being described as a dangerous offender posing a serious risk to potential victims.

In 2002, he was voted best trainee officer of the year, out of 100 other students across Warwickshire. The then community beat bobby for Whitnash was honoured as Probationer of the Year by then Warwickshire Police Chief Constable John Burbeck.

Cambray, from Shrewley, Warwickshire , pleaded guilty last month to a charge of paying for the sexual services of a child, three counts relating to indecent photographs, and two of sexual activity with a child.

The officer, who was dismissed by his force in July, was condemned by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court for "projecting fault" on to the complainants in the case.

Judge Mark Wall QC told Cambray: "I have to consider whether I am to treat you as a dangerous offender. The answer I have come up with is that I should and I will.

"This is a prolonged course of conduct going on over a number of years."

Friday, 27 November 2015

Getting it right for Christmas

"A SONG has been dropped from an East Kilbride primary schools Christmas show after angry parents complained it was a hit for paedophile Gary Glitter."

"Kids in P6 at Greenhills Primary have been learning the disgraced 1970s stars festive single Another Rock nRoll Christmasfor the past week."

"The 1984 song was one of the most played Christmas hits on UK radio for a decade, from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, but has been blacklisted from radio stations following the depraved singers catalogue of convictions for child pornography and abuse."

"One furious parent said he only became aware of the schools blunder when his daughter came home singing the song."

"The dad, who did not want to be named, said: `When I first heard that pupils at the school were going to be singing this, I thought it was a joke.`"

"`In this day and age, everyone associates Gary Glitter with his disgusting crimes and not his music.`"

"`To have children singing one of his songs makes me feel sick. Its completely inappropriate.`"...

"South Lanarkshire Council confirmed to the News the song would be removed from the schools Christmas show."

"Tony McDaid, head of education at South Lanarkshire Council, said: `The song was included in the set list in good faith without anyone involved knowing who had recorded and written it.`"

"`We can confirm that the song will not be in the set list for the Christmas show.`"

Melanie Shaw update

On UK Column News,(27.11.15) Brian Gerrish provided an update for those concerned to know how Melanie Shaw is managing after being threatened by the Nottingham housing authority with eviction.

He said: "Melanie was evicted from her home of twenty five years in Nottingham.. She was given a new home but the day she moved in she was asked to sign an eviction notice.  Melanie was very puzzled about this."

Brian Gerrish asked: "What was this? Was it sick, was it intimidation, was it mind games being played by the Nottinghamshire establishment?"  He didn`t know.  "But the situation at the moment is that Melanie is in quite comfortable housing. She is in a different area of the city. "

"She was forced out of her home of twenty five years in Nottingham, but the accommodation she is in at the moment we are not sure whether this is permanent or temporary. And, of course, Melanie has got to face more court hearings . On 4th December she`s got another court case where the public protection officer from Nottingham Police is accusing Melanie of harassment . So that is a very interesting turn up for the books. And Melanie faces a further charge of harassment in June next year."

"So we will update you on what happens but our take on this is, of course, that this is a very brave lady who has blown the whistle on substantial child abuse within the Nottingham care home system and has consistently suffered since she stepped forward to tell the truth."

Attempts by UK Column to engage Justice Goddard in offering Melanie Shaw some kind of support had so far failed.

The last piece of correspondence from Goddard`s office had merely stated:

"I understand your concerns but unfortunately the inquiry does not have the express duty of care to individuals to which you refer, although of course we understand the need to engage sensitively with victims and survivors and other members of the public."

Transparently shifting to the implementation phase ?

Liam McArthur: "At the weekend, the Scottish Government made it clear to the press that "a decision was made at ministerial level to wind up the GIRFEC Programme Board after May 2014." Does the minister think that it was acceptable for ministers to take such a decision without having any recourse to the Scottish Parliament, which had responsibility for scrutinising and approving the GIRFEC legislation?"

Aileen Campbell: "As I said, the programme board was established to take us through the legislative phase of getting it right for every child. After the 2014 act was passed, I took the decision to look at options for maintaining strategic engagement and driving forward the implementation of GIRFEC. The programme boards job was done. We had got through the legislative phase, and I took the strategic decision to focus on implementation."

"The national implementation support group is there to provide that strategic engagement and to drive forward the implementation of GIRFEC. There was consensus on that decision at the last meeting of the programme board in September 2014, and it was recognised that we needed to have the right people on the group to drive forward the implementation of GIRFEC. "

"While the board wound down, there was continued emphasis on implementation, and that was done through the national implementation support group."

Liam McArthur: "I am grateful to the minister for that further clarification, but I want to press her on the point about when and how the Parliament was informed about a decision on a programme board that the Parliament was responsible for setting up. Despite the fact that the minister has said that consultation took place with the programme board members, the Parliament does not appear to have been informed of a decision in which it had a very legitimate interest."

Aileen Campbell: "I reiterate that we had gone through the legislative phase and, to maintain the strategic engagement with the sector, agencies and other people, I decided to focus on implementation. That is why the national implementation support group continued. It had sat under the programme board, but it continued so that we could drive forward the GIRFEC agenda."

"I can make sure that the member is furnished with all the details of the meetings, if he so wishes, so that he has the clarity that he seeks. I am determined to get the implementation of the legislation, which is important, right, which is why the focus of our attention changed from the legislative phase that the programme board was charged with to implementation. We decided that we did not need both organisations, and we decided to maintain our focus on implementation, which is the role of the NISG."

Liam McArthur: "On implementation, I am looking at the minutes from the programme board meeting in May 2014. Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham of Police Scotland "raised issues surrounding ensuring high-risk children remained a focus." The minister will recall that, even among those of us who were prepared to accept the case for named persons, one of the key concerns was that attention and resources should not be diverted away from those who have genuine welfare issues in order to address wider concerns in relation to wellbeing issues. What reassurances have been given to Police Scotland and other members of the programme and implementation boards that there has not been a redirection of focus away from those high-risk children?"

Aileen Campbell: "The whole thrust of getting it right for every child, as we have learned from the Highland model, is that it allows us to focus and to be more strategic with our resources, and to make sure that we are getting it right for children who show that level of need and require additional support. There is no retracting from our focus on trying to do things better for a group of vulnerable children. That is part of the whole GIRFEC approach. It is about getting it right for every child every time..."

[Applying GIRFEC to every child is how to focus on a group of vulnerable children, according to Ms Campbell. She never addresses Constable Malcolm Graham`s concern that this has resulted in a redirection of focus away from children at risk of significant harm.]
"I will make the minutes of the meetings available on the Governments website. I will also ensure that we give members any reassurances that they want if they want to get in touch with me or write to me..."

Liz Smith (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con): "Is there not a case for getting it right for the public? The minutes that were published were very clear in telling us exactly what was going on. Now that that board is no longer in existence, we are not in a position to know what is going on. Is it not time that the Scottish Government published all the information and advice that it is being given about the implementation of GIRFEC and named persons? "

Aileen Campbell: "I understand that the member does not share my views on the GIRFEC approach, but I am absolutely committed to that policy. I know that it is the right thing to do for our children, to make sure that we have much more co-ordinated and coherent approaches to helping them. If there is any information that the member requires, we will look into those queries...."

Thursday, 26 November 2015

How is the world feeling today ?

Kalev Hannes Leetaru
"Today the GDELT Project consists of over a quarter-billion event records in over 300 categories covering the entire world from 1979 to present, along with a massive network diagram connecting every person, organization, location, and theme to this event database."
"Its vision is to leverage this data to construct a catalog of human societal-scale behavior and beliefs across all countries of the world, connecting every person, organization, location, count, theme, news source, and event across the planet into a single massive network that captures what's happening around the world, what its context is and who's involved, and how the world is feeling about it, every single day."

Aileen Campbell should be transparent about advice received about Named Person scheme

Posted 24.November 2015
Liz Smith MSP
"The SNP must publish evidence on the controversial named person and GIRFEC policy as a matter of openness, the Scottish Conservatives said today."

"The expert steering group set up to oversee the introduction of state guardians by the SNP was scrapped by ministers earlier this year."

"Now in a letter to children and young people minister, Aileen Campbell, the Scottish Government has been asked to publish all the advice it received from professionals about the implication of the scheme."

"Many of the provisions of the contentious policy are still to come into force, including the plan to assign a named personto every under-18 in Scotland."

"But because the expert panel has now been scrapped there is now no way of the public finding out what concerns the group of professionals fed back to the SNP about the policy."

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Currriculum for excellence: propaganda in schools

Moray pupils created a film to help the new intake make the step up to secondary education.
The ten-minute short shows pupils defining what key elements of GIRFEC such as Safe, Healthy, Active, Nurtured, Achieving, Respected, Responsible, Included ( SHANARRI..), looks like to them.

All well and good. But how does defining SHANARRI for them help the new intake step up to secondary education?  For primary schoolchildren who have never come across the idea, the video could be perplexing.

Or is SHANARRI supposed to be the cuddly way of viewing schools these days? And the exercise was about the performers and not about the new intake at all?

Most likely.

SHANARRI, GIRFEC - the level of brainwashing going on in schools is breathtaking. - and not one word about pupils` private information being shared with the Named Person, the most controversial GIRFEC element. It is obvious that children are being played.
This comes across just as clearly with regard to global citizenship education. In fact, put education after any topic, and it is - only it isn`t.
History, science, mathematics, literature do not require to be followed with the word `education`. But programmes of indoctrination like `citizenship` do.
Poverty. Climate change. Human rights. The themes covered by global citizenship education are so complex that the thought of teaching them can be not only exciting but also daunting. The good news is that you are not alone. There is a world of support out there!
So says Teaching Scotland.
One would expect that a teacher has gone to university and learned their subject: history, science, mathematics, literature, whatever - and after further training entered a school ready to enthusiastically impart their love and knowledge of their chosen subject.
But that is not how global citizenship education works. Teachers are advised to consult charities, websites and online magazines.
Whats more, global citizenship is a key part of Learning for Sustainability the new entitlement for pupils in Scotland, and a key element of the revised GTCS Standards for teachers.  
Notice how UN propaganda is deviously called an `entitlement`.
Go deeper, for instance, into the Stride magazine which is recommended for teachers and you find this:
Refugees welcome? As this ongoing humanitarian crisis continues to unfold and Europe struggles to respond, it is vital that young people have the opportunity to explore this issue. Charlotte Dwyer from Scotdec considers how we can explore this issue in the classroom...
She recommends a human rights approach, and then this:
The seeds of the current Syrian conflict stem from climate change as well as the political and historical contexts. - See more at:
That is a lie. The seeds of the crisis do not stem from climate change: that is UN propaganda. The seeds of the current Syrian invasion by terrorists are well known, but ignored by the media and educational establishments.
The names of the terrorists may change and become ISIS, ISEL, IS, but are funded by the same source.
Crimes against humanity. Crimes against children that they are being indoctrinated with false narratives. 

Charity says schools should be allowed to opt-out of council control

"PARENTS across Scotland should be given the right to set up community schools outside council control, according to a new charitable trust."

"The Hometown Foundation said recent international comparisons showed Scottish education was no longer a world leader and called for alternative ways of delivering it."

"The Scottish Government already funds several schools which are not run by local authorities including Jordanhill, in the west end of Glasgow, and a number of specialist schools."

"However, the move would be highly controversial because a previous attempt to allow schools to opt-out by the Conservatives was seen as an attempt to undermine the power of councils."
"The issue has come to the fore because First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is currently looking at proposals for a community school drawn up by families from East Dunbartonshire after the council decided to close St Joseph`s Primary School, in Milngavie, last year."

Is this an example of the well tried formula: set up a charitable trust, have them say `this is what parents want`, then begin to sneak the policy through?
Reading, maths and science: Decline between 2000 and 2012 (OECD)

Before that is allowed to happen, there are important lessons coming from Sweden where there has been a general decline in standards and a widening of the education attainment gap.
Observers in the UK may well be vexed upon reading about Swedens problems, since its friskolor policy privately run schools funded by public money was one of the key inspirations behind the introduction of free schools in England under the coalition government...
In the most recent Pisa assessment, in 2012, Swedens 15-year-olds ranked 28th out of 34 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries in maths, and 27th in both reading and science, significantly below their Nordic neighbours.
Morale among teachers is low, there are concerns about unqualified teaching staff, discipline in some schools is poor and according to a damning  report published by the OECD last month, the system is in need of "urgent change".

Cash for kids judge sentenced to nearly 30 years

"Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million."

"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old."

"Ciavarella was convicted of 12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also ordered to repay $1.2 million in restitution. His “kids for cash” program has revealed that corruption is indeed within the prison system, mostly driven by the growth in private prisons seeking profits by any means necessary."

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Spending review on Wednesday

Ahead of the Government's Spending Review tomorrow, where we expect to hear the Tories' plans for unprecedented cuts to...
Posted by Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Australians must immunise their `little blighters` or lose welfare payments

"Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm believes it's unfair for childless Australians to be subsidising the lifestyles of those who choose to have `little blighters`."

"Speaking in support of legislation which would strip childcare and other benefits from parents who don't immunise their children, Senator Leyonhjelm said most welfare payments for parents should be abolished."

"`The government is not your parent or your spouse - get over it,` he told the Senate yesterday. `It is bad enough that people continue to bring wave after wave of these little blighters into the world."

"`The least they can do is immunise their bundles of dribble and sputum so they dont make the rest of us sick.`"

"Parents who don't immunise their children will stop receiving childcare benefits next year."

"The federal government's no-jab-no-pay laws will remove childcare benefits, rebates and the Family Tax Benefit A end-of-year supplement from parents who don't immunise their children."

"The changes start on January 1, 2016, with exemptions for medical reasons, after legislation passed the Senate on Monday."
But there is more to consider than money:
The average number of babies Australian women are having has fallen to the lowest level in 10 years the level it was when the federal government introduced a baby bonus to boost population growth.
The national fertility rate has dropped to 1.8 children per woman, down from 1.88 children last year.

All things being equal, the national fertility rate should be 2 children per woman if the population is to sustain itself.

Australia, like other developed countries, has a problem.

I`m not sure what kind of mission Senator David Leyonhjelm is on, but Australia`s future isn`t it.

Social workers should be investigated says judge

"A family court judge has named a social worker and her two managers, recommending their work and actions be investigated by their employers, Ofsted and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)."

"Judge Mark Horton, at Portsmouth Family Court, said he was concerned social worker Sarah Walker Smart, her manager at the time, Kim Goode, and senior manager Lisa Humphreys were all still working and had, in fact, been promoted. This was despite a previous judgement in December outlining serious failings on the part of all three."

"They had illegally taken children into care, breached a family’s human rights, altered the report of another social worker, lied under oath and withheld evidence from the court."

"Walker Smart is now a team leader at Hampshire, Goode is a district manager for the Isle of Wight and Humphreys has become assistant director of children’s social care at Lambeth Borough Council."

Judge Horton has said it was an exceptional case but many people would say he is mistaken about that.

For instance, Jean Robinson, President of the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS) states:

Social workers lying to Family Courts is no news to us, or to many parent support groups. Many clients have told us that minutes of case conferences or review meetings are invariably inaccurate, and we found this ourselves when we were there too, This suggests not just individual, but institutional dishonesty.
One bright spot for me was the refusal of the Housing Officer to be involved in the dishonest process. So often we have seen social workers set up a network of local officialdom to support their view and continue to harass and monitor parents. A toxic fog is spread around them locally, including local groups receiving grants.
We await with interest the reaction of the Health Care Professions Council; if this behaviour is unpunished. Social workers do not deserve to be called a profession.
This is one of the reasons I am not in favour of the joined-up GIRFEC approach, so admired by the Scottish Government. It actually encourages collusive relationships. But the easy flow of data is more important to the government than having checks and balances.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Questions have been raised again about the suspension of the Chief of Police into Jersey child abuse

From Rico Sorda
"Seven years ago the Jersey Establishment, acting through their `front man` Andrew Lewis suspended the Chief of Police, Graham Power, at the height of the Jersey Child Abuse investigation (Operation Rectangle). If anyone had said then that seven years later they would be summoned to give evidence on oath to a Committee of Inquiry to justify their actions, they would have laughed. Well they're not laughing now are they? "
"Observers at the Committee of Inquiry recently (4th and 5th November 2015 witnessed nearly two days of evidence from a relaxed and fit looking Graham Power, who, a few days short of the seventh anniversary of his suspension as Chief of Police, gave evidence which was damning, and deeply embarrassing, to the Jersey Establishment. Meanwhile, we are reliably informed, a somewhat more shop-worn Andrew Lewis, the official author of his demise is stressed out and positively dreading the imminent prospect of having to justify his actions on oath, having been called by the Inquiry to give evidence.."
"Lewis has given so many different accounts of the grounds for what, most who have examined the case, still consider to be a baffling unjustified and Bonkers decision that many will have lost count of the different versions he has given. Now he has to choose which of his explanations is true and which is false? Which of his various accounts will he give under oath? In case you are reading this Andrew, remember you will be giving evidence on oath. Not telling the truth on oath has a name, it is called "Perjury" and people go to jail for it. Fancy that? If not then it is time to start thinking. "

And the connections go to Westminster and beyond.

Celebrating Universal Children`s Day

"On 20 November, on the occasion of Universal Childrens Day, the Council of Europe and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights launched their Handbook on European law relating to the rights of the child. "
"It is the first comprehensive guide to European law in the area of children's rights, taking into account both the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It contains references to relevant EU Regulations and Directives, the European Social Charter and the decisions of the European Committee of Social Rights, as well as other Council of Europe instruments."

There is a section explaining the `rights of the child,` to children. Here are some snippets:

Your identity, your private life and your family

You are entitled to protection of your privacy. No one may interfere unlawfully in your private life, or that of your family. Your home, your correspondence, your honour and your reputation are protected by law...

Your parents have joint responsibility for your upbringing and development. They have the right and the duty to offer you guidance in how you should exercise your rights and respect your obligations.
So far, so good.

You and the state

The state must protect you and assure your well-being. It must help your parents or the persons who care for you by establishing institutions and services to look after your interests and your well-being.

Aye, there`s the rub.

Scotland has obliterated children`s right to a private and family life by establishing a compulsory Named Person service to look after their interests and well-being.

Proportionality does not enter into it, but state interference certainly does.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Scottish Government avoids exposure of risky named person scheme

"THE expert steering group set up to oversee the introduction of the SNP's state guardians has been secretly scrapped by Ministers. At what turned out to be the final meeting in May last year, Police Scotland raised concerns that "high-risk children" were no longer the "focus" of the universal approach. The minutes of the Girfec (Getting It Right For Every Child) Programme Board also make it clear that none of the members were expecting their work to be cancelled..."
"Chaired by Children's Minister Aileen Campbell, the group also involved police, civil servants, councils, social workers, health boards, children's charities and public sector unions...After the minutes of this meeting were published in September last year, this newspaper asked for more details about the issues raised by ACC Graham."

"The Scottish Government refused, saying it was `essential for Ministers and officials to be able to meet and hold confidential discussions with external stakeholders`."

"Now, after being asked for minutes of subsequent meetings, it has emerged that the programme board has in fact been scrapped altogether..."

"Liz Smith, the Scottish Conservatives' young people spokeswoman, said: "This seems an extraordinary situation given that it was quite clear from the minutes of the last meeting that the board would continue until implementation was complete in 2016..."

"Earlier this year, the Sunday Express exposed a police warning that vulnerable children were falling victim to "further criminal acts" due to the "significant time delay" caused by the complex Girfec legislation. And last week teaching unions told MSPs at Holyrood that paperwork created by the Named Person scheme was now the biggest burden on headteachers in Scotland."

"Simon Calvert of No To Named Person, which is spearheading the court challenge to the legislation, said: "Its quite clear from the minutes that this board fully expected to meet again so its demise came out of the blue. Police concerns that the Named Person approach may move the focus away from high risk children was by far the most significant item discussed at what turned out to be their last meeting."

"If it is true that the Government closed the board down because they didnt want it exposing the risks created by their Named Person scheme then this is a resignation issue for the minister..."

Education Bill lacks clarity

Education Bill : A shambles?I took part in the Scottish Parliament's education committee earlier this week when...
Posted by Iain Gray on Thursday, November 19, 2015

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Inspectors raise concerns about physical restraints

"Young people have been left struggling to breathe as a result of being restrained by officers in youth custody units, a report has revealed. There were 5,714 restraint incidents in the youth secure estate in 2013/14."

"A study by the Prisons Inspectorate into the use of restraint in the youth secure estate highlighted a number of concerns about the way it is used despite the introduction of a new system called Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint (MMPR) which focuses on de-escalation and safer techniques. The new system was introduced following an independent review in 2009, prompted by the death of two boys in separate restraint incidents, one of whom, 15-year-old Gareth Myatt, died after he became unconscious during a restraint in a secure training centre."

"Today’s report said children frequently reported to inspectors that they struggled to breathe during a restraint. `There was a part when I was on the floor and I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk because the staff were constricting my windpipe I don’t know whether they had an arm or a leg on me but I couldn’t talk to tell them to stop it,’ one boy told inspectors. Another child said: "I couldn’t breathe. It felt like someone had their hands around my throat. I was telling staff that I couldn’t breathe but they weren’t listening. I didn’t pass out on this occasion but I have passed out in the past.`"

"Inspectors also raised concerns that in almost half of MMPR incidents reviewed by inspectors, children ended up on the floor, despite the new system not allowing staff to take children to the floor intentionally during a restraint because of the medical risks it poses. And they found that pain-inducing techniques, which should only be used as a last resort, are `used frequently` in young offender institutions."

- See more at:

Children referred to Gender Identity Development Service has doubled

(Posted in Spike 11th November 2015)

"Last week, the Guardian announced that. in the past six months, the number of children seeking gender-identity advicehas doubled. The source for this was the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trusts Gender Identity Development Service, which claims to be unique in the United Kingdom. "
"Following a freedom of information request, the service revealed that the number of children referred to it had soared from 314 in 2012-13 to 697 in 2014-15. There is likely to be a further increase when figures are released next year, with 634 children already having been referred between April and September. The service says that many referrals relate to children under the age of 10, while a three-year-old and 12 four-year-olds were also referred. Another development is that a majority of its clients are girls, seeking to become boys."

"Dr Polly Carmichael, the director of the service, says that attempting to meet the demand from children puts the service under huge pressure. Carmichael, who is a psychologist, acknowledges there are a lot of unknownsbehind the surge in referrals. So whats the reason for the increase? Gender expression is diversifying, said a spokeswoman. Social media and high-profile trans figures, such as Caitlin Jenner, are also cited as reasons behind the increase in referrals..."

Note the confusion between `sex` and `gender`.
Sex refers to the biological distinction between males and females; by contrast, gender concerns the social differences between males and females... Men and woman also face different social expectations, as when women are expected to be more nurturing than men; this is a difference of gender. Gender varies across time and culture, as different groups have different beliefs about appropriate behaviour for males and females.
 To say that gender expression in western cultures is diversifying is nonsense and this cannot explain the increase in referrals of children to the Gender Identity Development Service.

"The same week as the Gender Identity Development Service revealed how many children were seeking its help, CNS News reported on an interview on Brazilian TV with the feminist critic Camille Paglia, who views the rise of transgender maniaas a symptom of cultural collapse in the West. Paglia pulls no punches, accusing transgender propagandistsof making wildly inflated claims about gender identity. She criticises the popularity of sex-change procedures nowadays, stating that a person is born either male or female, and no amount of treatment can change biological reality. Whats more, she argues that sex-change procedures are being wrongly imposed on children. Parents are now encouraged to subject the child to procedures that I think are a form of child abuse, she said:"

I think this comment also gets close to the mark:

"In his essay 'A New Way to be Mad', Carl Elliott suggested that society can 'create' trans-sexuals through contagion: if an idea is talked about often enough, it gains a level of validity. People then interact with its validity - "Hmm, I have always felt different, perhaps I am one of these 'trans-sexuals' I keep reading about?" (ADHD would be another example). Society/culture/medicine supplies the opportunity to identify with the condition, thereby creating people with the condition, thereby bringing the condition to life."

"Elliott's contagion theory is sound but, when applied to Transgenderism, it is not society/culture/medicine supplying the opportunity. Rather, it is the State, which now permits us to have a legal identity that does not correspond to our sexual identity. Thus the simple answer to the question of why more people are changing their legal identity is 'because it was not previously possible but now is'."

But it does leave the question: why is the state and its media propagandists promoting this medical procedure as a legitimate lifestyle choice and how can they possibly allow this to be done to children?

Unless this is cultural collapse by design.

Warning: strong language !

Army officer acquitted after shooting 13 year old girl

"An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court ..."

"The soldier, who has only been identified as "Captain R", was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago."

"The manner of Iman's killing, and the revelation of a tape recording in which the captain is warned that she was just a child who was `scared to death`, made the shooting one of the most controversial since the Palestinian intifada erupted five years ago even though hundreds of other children have also died..."

"The military court cleared the soldier of illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and perverting the course of justice by asking soldiers under his command to alter their accounts of the incident."

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Scottish response to terrorism

The WebDevLaw blog has drawn attention to the surveillance of children`s computing activities in schools and asserts that it is the byproduct of statutory `safeguarding` duties that can be compared with Scotland`s Named Person legislation.

I would argue that surveillance was always going to be justified by starting with `vulnerable` children because many people find it difficult to object to anything that might safeguard children.

But it has now moved on to vulnerable adults and everyone else. In fact, Snowden gave the game away and legislation has had to be put in place to catch up with what was already happening. Surveillance is not a byproduct; it is the principle aim of the legislation.   

Here is Scotland`s Prevent strategy

"Prevent is a strand of CONTEST the UK Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It is designed to tackle the problem of terrorism at its roots, thereby preventing people from supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists themselves..."

"A Prevent Concern: A concern that does not have to be proven beyond reasonable doubt. It should however be based on something that raises concern, which is assessed by using the professional judgement of health or social work staff..."

"In this document it is suggested that Health Boards review existing arrangements for protecting vulnerable adults and children as a starting point, and consider adapting them to effectively deliver Prevent objectives so that Prevent is mainstreamed and embedded into frontline healthcare services..."

"Healthcare professionals working in hospital settings, the community and primary care, are well placed to recognise individuals, whether patients, carers or staff, who may be vulnerable and therefore more susceptible to radicalisation by violent extremists or terrorists. People with mental health issues or learning disabilities may be more easily drawn into terrorism."

"At the same time it is recognised that `there is no single profile of a person who is likely to become involved in terrorist-related activity, or single indicator of when a person might move to support extremism..."

"In many respects the dynamics and approaches of Prevent, as reflected in this guidance, are consistent with those that are already being implemented by Health Boards in relation to identifying and protecting vulnerable children and adults from potential harm..."

Yes, all based on hunches, suspicions and gut feelings and plenty of information sharing across agencies.

Reassured ?

"The Glasgow Airport bomb attack in 2007 was staged by two healthcare professionals. It became known that in planning this attack, NHS computers and NHS email accounts ( were used to source violent extremist information and to communicate with each other when planning the incident."

See also

Keystroke monitoring in schools

From WebDevLaw blog:

"You should never have to read a newspaper from another country to find out what is happening in your own country, but I had to read Al Jazeera English to learn about this:"
"UK: Keyword warning software in schools raises red flag
Education Pro enables teachers to monitor studentsonline activity and sends "violation" alerts over trigger terms.
Schoolchildren in the UK who search for words such as "caliphate" and the names of Muslim political activists on classroom computers risk being flagged as potential supporters of terrorism by monitoring software being marketed to teachers to help them spot students at risk of radicalisation..."
"According to Impero about 40 percent of schools in the UK already use Education Pro, although a pilot version of the radicalisation library has so far only been rolled out in a few schools... "

"First, I feel betrayed as a parent..."

"Second, the fact that this system is in place in English schools matters not. From my work in a Scottish Parliamentary liaison group I know that matters of defence and security, such as military recruitment in schools, override the devolution of education. If they want to put this system into place in Scottish schools, again, consent is irrelevant..."

"Third, this system imposes a chilling effect on young minds. A student doing innocent online research to try to make sense of what is happening in this strange and scary world will now automatically generate a possible terrorism indicator..."

"Fourth, we see yet more of the now-familiar tactic of spinning unhealthy digital legislation into something that people asked for ... "

"In other words, the online surveillance is a byproduct of statutory "safeguarding" duties that have been placed upon teachers which go far beyond education. Teachers are terrified of being held legally liable for a childs moral failure, and they have had to cover their backsides. Sound familiar? It should: thats the reality of Scotlands Named Person legislation...."

Read more

It is local authorities that are insured against claims which will be held accountable for Named Person decisions, not teachers.