Friday, 6 October 2017

Robust guidance required for Named Persons

"Guidance for professionals involved in the Scottish Government's named person scheme must be straight-forward and accessible, a Holyrood committee has been told."

"MSPs on the Education Committee heard confusion surrounding a code of practice for the scheme could result in teachers and health visitors becoming defensive about sharing information about children."

"One of the main changes put forward in the new Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill is that a duty to share information which could support, promote or safeguard the well-being of a child would become a duty to consider whether to share that information. However there are concerns an accompanying draft code of practice, aimed at helping named persons make decisions on data sharing, lacks clarity. Jackie Niccolls, of the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, told MSPs that staff need `robust guidance` on what information they can share, and reassurance that they are not going to be personally liable if they share or do not share information."

Read more at:

Child abuse panel members were bullied

Published on 11 Aug 2017

"`How can there be an independent inquiry if there's no place to complain?` asks Sharon Evans, CEO of Dot com Children's Foundation, who is one of the two members from the child abuse panel warning that inquiries aren't independent from the government."

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Special series in Sunday Guardian

More from Suranya Aiyar in collaboration with various other campaigners against child protection abuse:

"The most suspect and frustrating of all in child protection cases I hold to be the absence of any requirement of proof, of stated and reasoned cause, or of concrete answers. Allegations are made without any form of documentation, just expressions like `we think` and `our assessment"` The County Committees accept vague, undefined claims and arguments, and do not demand anything in the way of quality control and concrete justification for the CWS’s conclusions. I have lost count of how many times I have read, and heard, that the answer of the CWS to questions is that there has been a `professional assessment based on child expertise`, an undefinable phrase which even the Ministry of Children and Equality says does not give a concrete explanation of anything at all. Or the proposed measures are said to `have been assessed to be in the best interest of the child`. It is never revealed what these `assessments` consist of, what the background for the `assessments` is, and which concrete points constitute the basis of the assessments."

Friday, 29 September 2017

Contact centres

When parents lose their children after social work involvement they are often required to maintain their family relationships in `contact centres` but there is little help to make these contacts successful. On the contrary, they are often used to frustrate the wishes of the family.

Freedom of information requests reveal `secret` Named Person meetings

[Leslie Scott]

"A year ago this week, in an effort to address the concerns raised by the UK Supreme Court over the Named Person scheme, education secretary John Swinney announced a three month period of "intense engagement" with practitioners, public agencies, third sector organisations and members of the public, including parents and children and young people, but not those opposed to the scheme.."

"Crucially, the commissioner `accepts that there was a deliberate decision to create meeting summaries instead of formal minutes for the meetings relating to the information sharing provisions of the Named Person policy`. The views of one person who participated in the "intense engagement" regarding the meeting summary are included in the commissioner’s decision... "

"This situation is most unsettling. It is clear that a major government engagement programme was conducted without detailed records being kept of the responses. It is furthermore apparent that the "meeting summaries" omitted some negative comments and thereby altered the content of the only record towards the government position."

"Of even greater concern is the scope of the meetings that are going unrecorded. It seems that vast amounts of government business is being done in secret."

"Specifically, interactions with major charities, agencies and organisations - whom the public believe to be independent of government - are going unrecorded. What does this mean for transparency in government? What does it mean for the freedom of information? What does this mean for citizen oversight?"



Indian mother says NO

Friday, 22 September 2017

Women are not getting safety warnings about Epilim

"Almost 70% of women surveyed about a powerful epilepsy drug have not received new safety warnings about the dangers of taking it during pregnancy, the BBC has been told exclusively. "

"Sodium valproate, known as Epilim, carries a 10% risk of physical abnormalities in unborn babies. "

"About 20,000 children have been harmed by valproate medicines in the UK since the 1970s."

"The medicines regulator said the drug had been kept under constant review."

"Babies exposed to the drug in the womb have a 40% risk of developing autism, low IQ and learning disabilities."

"The survey of 2,000 women and girls with epilepsy under 50 was commissioned by three charities - Epilepsy Society, Epilepsy Action and Young Epilepsy."

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Resistance to drilling under homes

[12 September 2017]

"There is a road in Lancashire, England that you cannot cross without risk of arrest; where everyday people from everyday lives are found amidst scenes of police violence and protest actions as we climb seemingly insurmountable hurdles whilst swathed in restrictive red tape… and why? Because the UK government wants our area ruined for gas extraction."

"And we’re saying no."

"Last October, the government overturned the local government’s refusal to allow Cuadrilla’s test drilling at the Preston New Road site, in the Fylde, Lancashire; they are now constructing up to four wells."

"In response, there has been daily resistance, energetic protests and blockades, with local residents joined by supporters from far and wide. The site is the largest fracking development in the UK, and the first where permission has been given for horizontal drilling under homes."

"The shale gas industry plans to use the unconventional gas extraction method of fracking at this site between Preston and Blackpool and this is just the start. Licenses have been given throughout England Scotland, Ireland (both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) and Wales have wisely put moratoriums or bans in place and fracking work is also underway at a site in Yorkshire near Kirby Misperton, lorries beginning delivering equipment this week. There are also many other areas where fracking is being pursued; opposition too continues to grow, with the campaigner Joe Corre the high court today attempting to stop a sweeping injunction by the firm Ineos against anti-fracking protests..."

"It takes very little to understand why we do this; a quick internet search for ‘fracking + health’, ‘fracking + miscarriage’, ‘fracking + farming’, ‘fracking + drinking water’, ‘fracking + earthquakes’ will set you off on a path of discovery that you’ll wish you’d never started, but you’ll be unable turn back from. Once you know the risks, you can’t un-know them and for anyone with responsibility for children, it is impossible to turn away."

Read more 

Bombs made in Britain

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Reputation management on `World Democracy Day`

Brian Gerrish from UK Column says: "If we look to see how power is being misplaced ... we can pick up on this Guardian article. ... So here`s the headline: London could get £50m armed police base to tackle terrorism. So this terrorist threat is key to so much that is happening here in the UK and overseas at the moment."

"What do they say? A new £50m base for armed police officers in London is one of a series of measures being proposed to protect the public from terrorist attacks. So the soft sell. It`s all to look after us."

"And this is going to be in the Limehouse area: `The base, planned for Limehouse in the east of the capital, would house at least 200 officers and contain a firing range, weapons storage and other facilities, it is understood`. And the text goes on to say this is vital to ensure that the police can be fully trained and there to protect us."

"This was the bit that interested me. It says, `Details of the plans, which have been submitted by the Metropolitan police to the Mayor`s office for police and crime.` (Mopac) So this is not something to do with armed police that is debated in parliament.  It is simply pushed into the Mayor of London`s office for somebody to say, `Yeah, I think this is a great idea. Let`s get more armed police in London`."

"So where do we go? Well we go to this lady the Deputy Mayor of London, and [Sophie Linden] - we`ll come on to in a bit more detail in a moment - and if you go and have a look at the Mayor`s website you`ll see that she is the lady with all the experience to look at the police policy. She`s going to evaluate this latest one."

"And she essentially gets her powers delegated. The Mayor himself gets the power initially. He`s delegated to her as Deputy Mayor and what it means is effectively she has the same powers as a Police and Crime Commissioner in other areas of the country."

"So this woman is going to make the decision. What do we know about her? Well she`s spent quite a lot of time working in government. She was adviser to Blunkett. And when we looked at the details on the Mayor`s website it says that she`s also worked in the voluntary sector as a campaigns and policy manager, campaigning to end child poverty - they`re always involved with children and looking after the welfare of children - but it says she`s also been in the private sector as a Director of Public Affairs.

"I`ll just highlight that because I thought how interesting that it doesn`t give any more details. So we went to have a quick look and what do we come up with? Well, we note here that this was the bit that she was acting with public affairs. And it was Director of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs... She calls herself a Director from 2006 - 2008 but she`s only part-time. But this is the Public Affairs section of Bell Pottinger which is itself a public affairs and reputation management agency."

Mike Robinson: "So this is the Reputation Management Department for the Reputation Management Agency."

"Yeah. So I think you`d put some pretty key people in there because if you`re in amongst some dirty stuff ... as a company you want to be sure that the people who manage your reputation are fully in the picture."

Police outside Mr Litvinenko`s home

"So this is where it gets interesting. Because although it`s only two years why are we interested in Bell Pottinger? Well if we go back to reports in 2006, this is the Guardian pointing out that Bell Pottinger was involved in matters going on around Litvinenko - so this was the Russian who was poisoned. It was blamed on the KGB. Of course Putin`s name was supposedly connected with this and Bell Pottinger was in amongst some very very dirty stuff where people were being murdered. I`m not suggesting that was the result of Bell Pottinger but certainly they were handling reporting around this issue."

"We can go on. We`ve got another report here. This is about Thatcher and it`s saying that `Thatcher`s PR guru has been involved in manipulating propaganda in Iraq`. And this is where the story gets particularly interesting because Bell Pottinger had a cool 500 million dollars from the US in order to create fictitious propaganda supposedly for Al-Qaeda  and the objective was to leave this stuff around supposedly spoiling Al-Qaeda`s reputation but of course nobody knew whether this was real or false propaganda."

"And it went on. And this is into the present day. So we`ve got Bell Pottinger being accused of inciting racial hatred in South Africa. And that`s now taken a very serious turn: `PR company Bell Pottinger will go into administration tomorrow with 270 employees set to lose their jobs`."

Mike Robinson explains a bit more about the company saying that what is clear from mainstream media in the past is that this organisation is more than just about PR and reputation management. "It`s about making news stories and actually producing the news... What appears to be the case is that it`s a real 1984 type organisation where we create monsters for people to be scared of..."

Brian Gerrish adds: "So if we put the pieces together, we`ve got the situation where the Met police are saying `Well we`ve got this amazing terrorist threat` - some of it based on Al-Qaeda of course; some of it based on Isis. This is the lady who`s now going to say whether we`re going to get more armed police as a result. She was working for a company that was helping to create false terrorist propaganda."

Sophie Linden
"Now we`re not saying of course that she was directly involved. We want to ask a question: Does the Deputy, or Did the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, was she actually aware of the activities of her company Bell Pottinger in creating this false terrorist propaganda? We could ask another question. Is that false terrorist propaganda now being used as the excuse to say we`ve got to have more armed police on the streets?"

"Well we haven`t got answers on this but I do find it interesting that she did not want to declare on the Mayor of London`s website that the company she worked for was Bell Pottinger. I wonder why she`d be so sensitive Mike?"

An update on Melanie Shaw

"Melanie Shaw has had a particularly rough time in HMP Peterborough. She was subsequently released but shortly afterwards, where there was a trial with no public attendance or press attendance, she was put back into prison.  She went into HM prison Foston Hall and we said a little while ago - a few weeks ago - that she`s been put through to Eastwood Park, Falfield Wotton under Edge, Gloucester GL12 8DB."

"Now the lady responsible for the imprisonment of Melanie Shaw is Theresa May, the British Prime Minister.  She was in her role as Home Secretary when Melanie was first imprisoned but of course Theresa May as Prime Minister has done absolutely nothing to protect this very vulnerable lady. On the contrary it appears that Theresa May is desperate to protect her conservatie party colleagues who are now very nervous at the deepening investigations into child abuse by British politicans, including Ted Heath."

"So what can we say about Melanie? Well, when she was in Foston Hall she wrote several letters in which she was saying that the prison was out of control. There were constant lock downs. She had spent virtually a year in solitary confinement. In this letter she was talking about alarms going off, officers losing control, women smoking joints quite openly in front of the prison guards and her description was of a very dangerous environment where things were out of control."

"Well, she`s been moved. under very strange circumstances. She was moved across to the Falfield  prison and the interesting thing about this is that the governor - a lady called Susan Dymond-White, a little while ago called for the government to give longer jail sentences to help offenders who have been abused. I hope you understand this."

Mike Robinson says: "I have to say I don`t."

"Well the logic is that those soft judges have been giving child abuse victims short sentences and she says the problem with that is: `While they`re in prison we can`t help them. We can`t help them with their psychological needs and help them if they`re on drugs...So what we need are longer sentences so that we can help these very vulnerable child abuse or sexual abuse victims`.  And she says - here is the quote: `It is impossible for inmates to be rehabilitated in a few short weeks`. "

"Now if you`re wondering if this is reality: Yes, this is absolute reality. The BBC reported her words and it`s reported in other places."

"So what sort of treament has Melanie been receiving under this wonderful regime by Ms Dymond-White?  Well she`s been kept in solitary confinement again. She`s been denied access to the Samaritans [ Melanie says it is standard procedure to allow prisoners to phone the Samaritans, but not for her.] She`s been denied basic toiletries. She`s escorted by three warders - they can be male and female - at all times including for showers and the toilet and ... the doors are kept open. Melanie is being subjected to abuse of course because very often these warders are male."

"She`s been denied books; she`s been denied any form of therapeutic work such as art. She`s not getting her telephone calls. Letters are being intercepted. They`ve also refused her the opportunity to earn money to pay for small essentials and luxuries and she`s been branded as a dangerous violent mentally ill inmate. And she is told that each day is Wednesday and if you ask the time it is always `ten to two`. "

"So if we have a look at what is actually going on, Melanie is being held in what is supposedly a more open facility that has mental health facilities to assist prisoners but actually the treatment there is now more sinister and brutal than when she was in a high security prison. And we have a prison governor who thinks that you help child and sex abuse victims by giving them a longer sentence."

"So every day of the week is Wednesday. Every minute of the day is ten to two?" says Mike Robinson.

"If they ask: `What day is it?` They`re always told: `It`s Wednesday`, and if you ask: `What is the time?` They`re always told: `It`s ten to two`."

"This is how you imagine Soviet style..."

"Psychological torture. .. And this is all under the direct responsibility of Theresa May, the conservative party prime minister of Great Britain. This is the very same Theresa May that, standing on a world stage telling North Korea how to behave or is telling the Russian or Chinese how to behave and remember that it is her party, the conservative party, that Tim Fortescue, party whip under the Ted Heath regime, was saying that politicians were coming to the whips and needing help. They perhaps had been involved in little boys...."

"So there`s no misunderstading here. It`s quite clear that the conservative party has been involved in the abuse of children - is involved with the abuse of children - and they`re prepared to lock abuse survivors up in prison to protect their reputation...Wonderful stuff. Welcome to democracy 2017, UK style."

Suzy Dymond-White
Susan Dymond-White

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Missing children

It is difficult to determine how many people go missing in a year and how many of those are children who never return.

Brian Gerrish shows how obfuscated the national figures are, perhaps deliberately so, and comes to the conclusion that there may be as many as 1,800 children who simply disappear each year.

The report begins about 33 minutes.

Medway Council finds higher rates of emotional abuse

"A mother who says her two youngest children were wrongly taken into care by Medway Council was given a six-month suspended prison sentence at the end of last month by Judge Richard Polden."

"Sara Root told Christian Voice her children were taken seven years ago for ‘emotional abuse’."

"District Judge Graham Green made a judgment which will concern home-schoolers up and down the land. Medway satisfied the judge the son and daughter were suffering the said emotional abuse due to home schooling. This had given them, said Medway’s Ian Scrivens, a ‘skewed view of the world’. Despite attending a primary school, playing with other children and going out to the park and the cinema, they were not ‘socialising...’"


"Ms Root is now applying to the High Court to remove the injunctions. Her two children are now young adults aged respectively 18 and 19, she told Christian Voice. Therefore they are no longer subject to any care order. Not surprisingly, she would like to make contact with them again. But in a bizarre twist, Medway Council have applied for non-molestation orders on behalf of the two young adults. Their only evidence appears to be hearsay."

"Social worker Kelly Hopper had to admit in court she was not even in touch with Ms Root’s children. Meanwhile, ‘support worker’ Lucy Conn has made a statement. We understand this discloses that the young man involved does not even want Medway Council to speak on his behalf. The case will be heard behind closed doors at the Royal Courts of Justice on 28th September."

Read more

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

6 year old boy wears dress to school

"An Isle of Wight couple made the front page of the Sunday Times ... as they threaten to legally challenge an Isle of Wight school Church of England primary school for allowing a six year old boy to wear a dress to school."

"Nigel and Sally Rowe made most of the national newspapers and also appeared on BBCR4’s Today programme... (Monday), speaking about their concerns."

"Parents: `We found this concerning`"
"They told the BBC presenter their concerns were raised when their son came home from school saying `I’m confused, I don’t know what’s going on,` after a boy was allowed to wear a dress to school."

"Sally Rowe said,
`We always say you should love everyone, but as Christians we found this concerning. Some days he was dressed as a girl, and some days dressed as a boy`."

Bridgend mother protests against social services

Kayleigh Marie Morgan is down from her rooftop protest against local authority social services for removing her four children. She has been live streaming from Bridgend, South Wales.

Read more:

Monday, 11 September 2017

Child abuse investigations lead nowhere

[UK Column 7 September 2017]

"There`s a new report out on the Rotherham child sex abuse case, says Mike Robinson and the new report states basically that no charges will be brought against any of the senior staff at Rotherham Borough Council. The report described various and substantial organisational failings: 1400 children at risk of sexual abuse, many of them abused and... as the headline from the Star says, `Rotherham child sex abuse reports branded `waste of time and money` and they are quoting a survivor of the sexual abuse at Rotherham who has branded the six reports into the scandal a waste of time and money. This is Sammy Woodhouse; she`s waived her right to anonymity and they`re reporting that she`s spoken out after these reviews have been published and no-one being held to account."

"Now this decision also has been slated by Sarah Champion who is the local MP and you know this continues to go on. But the key point here, as the Star points out, is that the view of many people - the view of the author of one of the reports - is that the Rotherham Council`s failings were more of a cock up than conspiracy and our argument at the Column is that it`s quite the opposite."

"Now I had a call this morning from a resident of Sheffield which is close by and he had recently reported to the police that he was aware of a survivor of the abuse at Rotherham being seen leaving a building in the red light district of Sheffield and that building is believed to be a brothel run by Asian gangs. And of course if you remember Rotherham child abuse rings were being run by Asian gangs. Now rather than investigating the report to the police, the police contacted the Sheffield resident ... and proceeded to interrogate him in a pretty intimidating way. At no point in this intimidatory interrogation did the police express any concern for the girl that was identified as coming out of a brothel."

Mike Robinson then shows a short clip from a video that has been put on Youtube by a gentleman called Phil Day. He says: "This isn`t directly related to Rotherham but it does highlight some important points..."

[From Phil Day]

"On the 29/03/2016 my daughter was interviewed by 2 police officers at our home. She described in detail how she had been raped by a schoolteacher on a ski trip to Austria. 10 weeks later 10/06/2017 a 15 year old girl called Lauren Lelonek went home from school and hanged herself. She had the same teacher who is the suspect in the rape of my daughter."

"On the 17/06/2016 I sent a safeguarding referral to ... Safeguarding. They rang me to discuss [the] referral, but instead of gathering evidence about Lauren and my daughter, the local authority designated officer was writing an email to the police with the intention of having me arrested for making threats to kill.
I was arrested on the 24/06/2016 and during [the] interview PC Martin Reagan of Cheshire police asked me did I want to rape the teacher who I suspected raped my daughter."

"I was charged with threats to kill and possession of a shotgun.
I was remanded in custody. The shotgun had been surrendered within the firearms amnesty; the charge was discontinued."

"In September 2016 I made a complaint against the police who interviewed my daughter on the 29/03/2016, on the basis they ignored a statutory requirement to report safeguarding concerns to the Local Authority... My complaint was upheld. They should have recorded the crime of rape and they should have informed Safeguarding by 30/03/2016 within 24 hours as required by Parliamentary Statute..."

"The Police think it is appropriate for the officers to have management advice."

"This is only a very brief account of the last 7.5 years. Everything above is documented."

Read more:


What the Rotherham case and the Phil Day account have in common Mike Robinson believes is that they expose the fact that child abuse is not always investigated by the police and can be deliberately turned against the complainant.

See UK Column News:

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Mass grave for children uncovered in Lanarkshire

"The bodies of hundreds of children are believed to be buried in a mass grave in Lanarkshire, southern Scotland, according to an investigation by BBC News."

"The children were all residents of a care home run by Catholic nuns."

"At least 400 children are thought to be buried in a section of St Mary's Cemetery in Lanark."

"The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, which ran the home, refused to comment on the findings."

"The research by the File on 4 programme in conjunction with the Sunday Post newspaper focused on Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark."

"It opened in 1864 and provided care for orphans or children from broken homes. It closed in 1981, having looked after 11,600 children."

"A burial plot, containing the bodies of a number of children, was uncovered by two former residents of Smyllum in 2003."

"Frank Docherty and Jim Kane discovered an overgrown, unmarked section of St Mary's Cemetery during their efforts to reveal physical abuse which they said many former residents had suffered..."

"The death records indicate that most of the children died of natural causes, from diseases common at the time such as TB, pneumonia and pleurisy."

"Analysis of the records show that a third of those who died were aged five or under. Very few of those who died, 24 in total, were aged over 15, and most of the deaths occurred between 1870 and 1930..."

"Many allegations of abuse at the care home were also uncovered by File on 4 and the Sunday Post, including beatings, punches, public humiliations and psychological abuse."

"This case mirrors the investigation into the Tuam mother and baby home, an Irish institution run by a religious order, where it is thought nearly 800 babies and young children died and were buried in unmarked graves between the 1920s and 1960s."

"What happened at Smyllum is one of the topics that the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is examining..."

"Two representatives of the Daughters of Charity gave evidence to the inquiry this summer in which they said they could find no records of any abuse taking place."

"The nuns refused to respond to detailed questions from reporters about how many people were buried in the mass grave."

"File on 4: The Secrets of Smyllum Park was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 12 September 2017 at 20:00 BST. You can also catch up on the BBC iPlayer." 

Junk food affects cognitive abilities

Saturday, 9 September 2017

The dangers of `Safe Schools`

"Mark Latham talks to a mother about her experience with the dangers of Safe Schools/gender fluidity programmes: "

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Dog allowed to savage traveller

"The English police has let their dog loose to tear a traveller`s leg apart. When asked why they did this they had no answer to give."

Monday, 4 September 2017

Processed meat

The World Health Organisation came out and said that processed meat is a class one carcinogen...

"We know that processed meat causes cancer as much as we know that smoking causes cancer, asbestos causes cancer, radiation causes cancer. Yet people continue to send their kids to school with these lunch meat products, chicken nuggets, these processed meat products. We regulate tobacco. There are warning labels on tobacco. There should be similar regulations to protect people from processed meat."

Dr Michael Greger

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Common Law activist has been arrested

"The following video contains real footage of a confrontation between Robert and a man acting in the role of sheriff within an administrative hearing in a public building. In this hearing, Robert challenges the authority of the sheriffs who had unlawfully put the son and daughter of Robert’s sister into care previously based on false allegations and fraud."

"Despite no crime in law having taken place, no consent being given to any legislation whatsoever and not a single point of Robert’s argument being rebutted, the man acting in the role of sheriff ignored the law of the land and made a ruling under a legislative rule. In doing so, the sheriff perverted the course of justice in favour of the corporate agenda."

"Peoples` sons and daughters are being unlawfully stolen and put into care across the country on a daily basis. It is important that this video is made viral so that people can see for themselves the crimes that are occurring against the people."

See video here

"Robert was arrested for exposing corruption in social work and family courts and police wrongfully arrested him in the middle of the night. Police also stole his computer, his mobile and paperwork from his home, and cars - illegal search and arrest - warrant not signed - THIS IS POLICE STATE SCOTLAND where if you stand up to corruption of all political parties YOU GET ARRESTED - WHY THEY TOOK CONTROL OF POLICE."
Robert Sproul arrested please phone 01786 289070
[Mel Kelly]

It is expected that he will appear at the Sheriff Court, Paisley, Monday 4 September 2017.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Grenfell: an excuse for biometrics

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

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

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

Policy intention

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

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

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

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Down Syndrome man awarded damages

[Small Places]

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

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

Read more

Judge is praised for communicating with children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Metro: 23 August 2017]

Doctor who admits failings now works in Ireland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Advocates remain concerned

[Scott MacNab]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[The Scotsman, Friday 18 August 2017]

The problems with compulsory education

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

Investigative journalist found dead

[Baxter Dmitry]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 10 August 2017

What lies behind the child abuse cover-ups ?

UK Column News [10 August 2017]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"And Asians."

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The breach world of tech

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

Kiddicare (2016)

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

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mental health recruitment

UK Column News [31 July 2017]

Recruiting for the NHS

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

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

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

Recruiting for Mental Health

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

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

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

Recruiting for the Department of Work and Pensions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The charity business

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Mike Robinson: "Renowned philanthropists."

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

Children and homelessness

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

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

Dangerous substance used in attack

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

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

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

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