Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The statutory obligation to report suspected child abuse


From Brother Ivo:

Apologists for 'The Perfect State' have just taken a step forward with the proposal that it should be a criminal offence for care professionals not to report child abuse to the authorities.

Let nobody misunderstand. Brother Ivo hates child abuse with a passion, and if he thought for a moment that such a proposal would have a protective outcome, he would give Keir Starmer's suggestion serious consideration. But he doesn't find the advancement of state power or the 'price worth paying' argument remotely attractive. When a very great and lasting evil is to be combated, Brother Ivo would go a long way in setting aside his hesitations if it would save the little ones that Christ loves especially.

The question is, would it actually assist?

It is a little unclear as to the extent to which the obligation extends. Initially the proposal is framed in terms of 'care professionals', but as one hears talk of 'all in loco parentis' the ambit grows until it surely threatens to encompass everyone engaged in child-related activities though the holding of a 'Disclosing and Barring' (formerly CRB) certificate. It seems that all those who volunteer for Cubs or to become lay readers or teaching assistants would be acquiring serious obligations in areas of expertise where they may have neither experience nor expertise.

Extending a positive duty so that more citizens have to to report any suspicion of criminal offence takes us closer to the Stasi State than almost any other proposal that can be imagined. Why not impose a similar duty to report drug abuse (which equally harms children), or domestic abuse (which statistically frequently correlates with child mistreatment)? And why not make it mandatory to report illegal immigration (with its trafficking dimension) or, for that matter, tax evasion? After all, if we had more money we would surely put more resources into combatting such evils, wouldn't we?

Vulnerable children would, however, still be at the mercy of officials to act or not act as they exercise their discretions. Isn't this the same Keir Starmer who, when presented with the plainest evidence of law-breaking abortion doctors, decided to re-interpret the law (or does Brother Ivo mean disregard?), and sub-contract the matter to a professional trade union? There is no greater abuse of childhood innocence than the tearing of a child from her mother's womb for no better reason than being a little girl. But these slutty little females just beg for it, don't they?

It is perhaps uncharitable for Brother Ivo to consider that Mr Starmer is trying to restore his credentials following that controversy, but he still burns with indignation on the matter and is in no mood to make nice.

What is startling in this proposal is that, hearing of this revised and upgraded threshold of police intervention, inexperienced 'child protection professionals' may fear themselves at risk of criminalisation for failures to act upon suspicion, but there is no counterbalancing offence for those in authority failing to weigh the evidence or enforce the law. There have been over 30 public inquiries into child deaths since that of Maria Colwell in 1973, and they all say the same thing: everybody knew a little, but nobody joined up the dots. There really is no need for any more such inquiries, for this is always the conclusion. So how about placing criminal responsibility there?

Except that too is not very easy.

Social Services hold statutory rights, powers and duties as well. Sometimes they take early action on their own initiative; sometimes they have a suspicion but share responsibility by asking other agencies to confirm what they know at a case conference. That invitation to gather information (and 'join up the dots') is sensible, but do they yet commit a criminal offence?

How many of those sitting at the table of statutory child-protection conferences will be exposed to this reporting liability? Will they only carry responsibility for reporting or making the consequent judgement? What of the teacher's assistant, or the nursing colleague who steps in to cover for illness? If the case conference decides that, on balance, there is insufficient cause for concern, should all the individual members call the police, just in case? Is the one who doesn't potentially criminalised? They all now know, but may have varying levels of concern.

There is the problem of data overload as every slight concern is reported, and allegedly cash-strapped agencies and perhaps the Legal Aid system would have to resource the evaluation of each and every report. As 'protective reporting' grows, so will the cost and so will the fog of war.

Overall, we need better case evaluation, not more data.

To illustrate the problem, Brother Ivo recalls a sports coach who was reported by the 'concerned parent' of an opposing team when they observed, from 50 yards away, his brusqe rubbing of a cold child's arms on a biting wintery day as she waited to be substituted. The child's parent was adjacent and thought the allegation outrageous, but investigated it all was, and in extensive detail.

When this happens under the current regime, we have to ask whether we want or can afford to invite additional reports by anxious subjects whe think 'better safe than sorry'. The malicious will have a field day. How would the recipient of any such information - be it sports administrator, police officer or headteacher, etc - dare to take a proportionate view at an early stage?

There are many nursery teachers 'breaking the rules' about not touching children by giving a distressed toddler a cuddle. Brother Ivo himself responded to a child announcing her birthday to him in junior church by lightly kissing the top of her head. Honi soit qui mal y pense is no more. Brother Ivo had better do himself in, or pack a bag for when the historic case review PC police come calling.

And what is the sexual abuse of which we speak? Brother Ivo has written before of the virtual abandonment of the protection supposedly afforded by the age of consent. Shall we now see every adolescent relationship examined minutely? There is one immunity that we can predict with confidence: the case of the contraceptive advisor to the 14-year-old girl will, of course, trigger no obligation to inform parents or social services, and no aborted baby will be DNA-tested to secure solid evidence of the identity of the criminal seducer. No, that would be far too easy. Requiring it would offend the pro-abortionists, and they must be safeguarded above all others.

It is not, of course, the fact that Joe and Jo Public are not doing their jobs that is the true scandal, but rather that our public officials are never adequately called to account for their much more overt failures. Perhaps we should be reducing the public pensions of all those who have presided over child abuse within our public institutions? We could make the exist on the 'living wage', and begin with police, Social Services and employees of the BBC.

This is a serious suggestion. If there has been significant institutional failure - and their frequently is - why should there be an open-ended taxpayer liability to sustain such people in wealth beyond the average subjects' hopes and aspirations? Why should the consequences of disciplinary action fall short of curbing future reward for services inadequately performed? Legislative change that removes contractual liability to reward past failure after due process is neither unjust, nor contrary to any concept of human right that Brother Ivo cares to acknowledge.

Such failure would perhaps be more commensurate with the offence, and importantly would only have to be proved to a civil standard - on the balance of probabilities - rather than beyond reasonable doubt, as required by the criminal courts. Furthermore, civil/contractual retribution is likely to be harder in many cases than the criminal sanction. Our appeal judges reduced the sentence of Maria Colwell's killer to just four years (less remission). We shall be paying Sharon Shoesmith's pension for 30-odd years minimum.

Is this not better and more effective for society to apply pressure upon public servants to do that which they are paid to do? And while we're about it, rather than him complaining about the unreported specs in lesser folks' eyes, could we not perhaps start with Keir Starmer?

Brother Ivo is the Patron Saint of lawyers

43 Comments:

Blogger Owl said...

Excellent Brother Ivo.

The slippery slope is yawning in front of our noses.

The mention of the "stasi" is quite apt. Once people are duty bound to report their fellow citizen for any real or imagined infringement we have a "state of fear".

East Germany here we come.

We need less laws and more support for the family unit.

We cannot expect this from the LibLabCon party so they have to go.

6 November 2013 at 08:26  
Blogger Martin said...

There is no doubt that making it a legal requirement to report suspicion of abuse would result in injustice leading to a child being hurt. We have already seen it, from shaken baby syndrome to the close questioning of parents who have had multiple cot deaths.

And this from the Keir Starmer who failed to act on the murdering of babies in the womb! There is no doubt that those abortions carried out under the pre-signing of forms were illegal and those who used such forms were as guilty as Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce yet we don't see justice carried out here. Clearly if you are abortion clinic you are above the law, at least in the eyes of the likes of Keir Starmer.

6 November 2013 at 08:35  
Blogger Nick said...

Brother Ivo

Great post and very thought-provoking.

It seems to me that our handling of child abuse is nothing but a bureaucratic mess where the child is becoming less important than the process and the need for individuals to protect themselves from sccusation.

Children will only be safe when society stops sexualising them. The liberal sexual culture lies behind this problem and proposals like this one are just the result of the inevitably guilt-trip.

After the abortion doctors fiasco I am not sure we can trust Mr Starmers judgement very much.

6 November 2013 at 08:53  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Excellent post Brother Ivo. I have followed the actions of Keir Starmer for some time now and can only conclude he is a dangerous man. His proposal to lay a statutory obligation on people to inform the authorities in cases of suspected child abuse is one that can - and will - be extended ere long to other areas of life deemed suspect. You are quite right in smelling a whiff of Stasi-ism in this, but then Mr. Starmer is a man of the Left.

6 November 2013 at 09:06  
Blogger Martin said...

Nick

Your analysis of the problem is spot on. Until our society stops seeing sex as entertainment we cannot expect to see an end of the sexual exploitation of children.

But that is not the only area of abuse. Parents can neglect their children in failing to clothe, feed or love them properly. And we have already seen Atheists accusing parents of abuse for teaching their children their religion.

There have been Tweets such as this:

"Circumcision is a religious act since Avraham. That bonds the covenant between G-d and Israel." No! Religion should not trump suffering.

So don't expect the definition of 'abuse' to stay the same.

6 November 2013 at 09:20  
Blogger John Thomas said...

Good phrase "Stasi State", Brother I. (great article too) - I'll use that one myself.

6 November 2013 at 09:54  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

Martin, you are quite right. 'Abuse' metamorphoses with the seasons.
Smacking a child is now abuse. As is smoking in your own house, or even in front of a child. Making children do chores round the house, like chopping sticks, and fetching logs and washing up is abuse.
But allowing them to sit for hours on end at a screen, having a television in their bedrooms, learning no table (or other manners) are not 'abusive'.
And, of course, killing them in the womb is not 'abuse'.

The fact is the state ought to have very little place in the family, but in a society that has largely lost its social conventions and religious mores, the state feels it is entitled to step into the vacuum.

Once the family is destroyed (and it's nearly done) we will all find ourselves standing alone and naked before the unflinching gaze of the all powerful state.

6 November 2013 at 09:54  
Blogger Roy said...

As Brother Ivo observed the legal system has already done a lot of harm to education by making teachers either powerless or at least afraid to discipline children or do anything that could possibly be misinterpreted. The same thing that happened to schools would happen to the home.

How long would it be before there were demands for a statutory obligation to report racist or homophobic incidents?

6 November 2013 at 10:23  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

I hope it’s not just a reflex reaction to Brother Ivo’s excellent and vital post, but I find my stomach still churning and my day is darker three hours after I first read this. While normally I’d seek redemption and persuasion of a person still in office, I really feel Mr Starmer should be relieved of his post before he does something else that ruins lives for the sake of his career. For someone with such a slippery grip on morality to be using the only remaining common definition of evil for such an end is disturbing. Can anyone help me away from that view?

Am I alone in thinking that the erosion of all other areas of morality places unnatural pressure on child abuse as the last moral outrage? Some of the effects of that were seen in the Bristol mob killing - aggravated by exactly the failure of office that Mr Starmer won’t solve by this latest suggestion.

Tim Stanley’s post on the Bijan Ebrahimi murder also hits the spot:

He was placed upon a pyre and murdered to relieve the stresses and strains of a troubled community: "with him gone, we shall be free". It’s time the poor troubled government became alert to its other moral dangers.

I really fear for the effect on loving discipline in godly homes.

6 November 2013 at 11:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack asks if this silly man wants there to be a law covering "allegations", where someone tells you they have been abused or witnessed abuse, or if it is to cover "suspicions" of abuse? Jacks says these are two different things and this man should learn the difference.

Happy Jack also understands why Brother Ivo is so cross that people get pensions when they do not do their job properly. But think. Will this make them more or less likely to jump in too quickly and take children away from their mums and dads just in case they lose their money. They are bad enough already and this could make it much worse.

6 November 2013 at 11:31  
Blogger IanCad said...

Can't add much to all these excellent comments on this disturbing trend to snitch our way to the perfect society.

We are fast becoming creatures of the state.

6 November 2013 at 11:41  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

This proposal probably just needs a bit of fine tuning. No one wants the police and social services inundated with malicious assertions after all or they could not do their job, but there has been unnecessary reticence in coming forward and exposing various woodlice from some of late.

This would not be on the top of my personal list of breaking down the protection which some, notably but far from solely Savile, have enjoyed.

Let's face it; parts of the social services were well and truly infiltrated, and parts still are. In one London borough a young man was taken away from a care home to an in house holiday centre and homosexually raped. These ghastly social workers then labelled him as homosexual and put him up for adoption with the suggestion that he would be suitable for a gay male couple despite his protests that he was straight. He was said to be in denial. A straight couple wanted to adopt him and the lady knew what she was doing and fought hard on his behalf, and won. The young man was extremely happy and recounted that this marked a turning point in his life. How appalling that this could happen in a supposedly civilised society. Some of so-called academia (not notably at its more august establishments) also have produced some disgusting and revolting books which attempt to sanitise paedophilia. Also Peter Righton was a shocking but again far from sole exampleof infiltration and I would urge readers to remind themselves of this awful case where an expert on child protection was himself a predator.

Much needs to be done and if you can be prosecuted for failing to stop and give assistance in a car crash I do not see why this should not, carefully calibrated, as that one is, be a good idea.

Charles Moore made a hideous error in his Spectator article on the subject of a supposed over reaction to Jimmy Savile. He should have realised by now if he ever researched those who came out in vociferous agreement blogging their joy in the comments. A social circle one would wish to avoid carefully, or possibly as in this case- report!! Jonathan King was part of the social circle.

One might hope that people would have read and understood Savile's remarks and understood that they acknowledged his guilt and foresaw that people would rumble him post death. Do these editors really not read?!!

6 November 2013 at 11:46  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Nice posting, Brother Ivo.

It is becoming more apparent by the day that we are being taken, sleeping or otherwise, into a stasi style state.

The case of Bijan Ebrahimi is shocking and shows were ignorant mob rule and the police turning a blind eye coz it suits them to, leads.

All responsibility for the government to actually govern in matters of adherence or compliance to the laws appear to being foisted on the general public..(saving money?)to snitch as we see fit.

All manners of 'it's the right thing to do' will be stated but just you wait and see the one's ignored and called time wasting and the one's willing to be taken forward to a prosecution.

Blofeld

6 November 2013 at 12:23  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Lucy

I fully agree that there is an obligation to report abuse, and am very wary of joining a reaction in case that too covers or enables abuse. On the other hand, isn't there a danger in allowing something to be unopposed and unchallenged just because it has the snowplough label 'stopping child abuse' stuck on the front of it? What if it makes children’s lives worse through its practical consequences? How can I have confidence that it won’t?

The problem with this suggestion is not only the difference between the evidence of a car accident and the report or inference of abuse (if not eye-witnessed), but the effects in current practice of an allegation while the facts are established. Add to that the shifting definition of abuse, meaning that even eye witnesses can be applying an interpretive filter in some cases, and the parallel completely breaks down.

Driving is an exclusively non-contact activity, parenting is not.

I see the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches fully support mandatory reporting, with Paul Butler quoted in the Guardian. I’m not an expert, so maybe I should pipe down, but better resourcing and managing the professionals might help – in Daniel Pelka’s case they came to the wrong conclusion and did take action – locking away lunchboxes so he couldn’t steal food. Cuts and understaffing were also blamed. If mandatory reporting came in without that changing, it’s quite easy to see that all borderline concerns will go straight into the reporting inbox by default. Will there be a new department set up to handle them? What quality of discernment can we expect?

I suppose my negative reaction is partly due to the legal muddle that was demonstrated in the SSM proposal, and what came out the other end, together with the increasing lack of common foundation for what constitutes reasonable behaviour that allows professionals to make awful judgement calls. If there are good ways of improving the effectiveness of reporting, we would be keen to see them, but maybe that’s not where valuable effort should be directed. I thought Brother Ivo's concern was that a smokescreen is going up here that may be an exercise in reputation salvage.

As this is the land of millstones around necks, I shall leave my comments as suggestions and concede the real possibility that I may be wrong on all points.

6 November 2013 at 14:59  
Blogger gentlemind said...

The proposal is a logical consequence of legally redefining parenthood, away from the legal recognition of a physical reality, into the legal recognition of a purely legal reality. This has been achieved via the redefinition of the legal institution of marriage.

The State now understands itself as owning our relationships. In effect, we are now all children of the State. The child abuse policy is the State protecting "its" children.

6 November 2013 at 15:06  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Blofeld

”In the meantime, we hope Mr Ebrahimi's family can draw some comfort from the fact that the two men involved in his murder have pleaded guilty."

This is the final sentence in a brief (less than 150 words) statement issued a fortnight ago by the Avon & Somerset Constabulary. Please correct me if I’m wrong, Blowers, but so far as I can make out, under Avon & Somserset lynch law, the local constabulary passed a death sentence on Bijan Ebrahimi for the crime of gardening.
http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/LocalPages/NewsDetails.aspx?nsid=28125&t=1&lid=1

6 November 2013 at 15:15  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

As a parent I am sure I could be labeled guilty of abusing my kids.

On the rugby field we had a new boy from England some years ago. He didn't want to get dirty, so I called him (A girl's name, which became his name ever after for his friends and -- now as an adult-- those that dare use it to his face) and dumped him in the muddiest puddle we could find. It was January. There is a lot of mud in Wales in January. He grew up as a proper man and now has a lovely family. I often ask myself, would any girl have looked at him as an adult if our village had let him act like a girl all his life?

One of my kids sent a letter to his prospective Boarding School saying that I was "forcing him away from his home against his will" (all true) and asking the Head if he as a child had any rights in the matter. He was called a "ungrateful little ...." and went anyway.

Parents have to make unpopular decisions. As it happened my kid did extremely well in Boarding school but that is not really the issue. We need to make sure that parents are allowed to be parents. That means we sometimes upset our little darlings and perhaps commit the greatest sin of even getting things wrong occasionally!

Phil

PS I don't see why myself we pay all this money for care and fostering etc when we can give them a Boarding School education for a fraction of the price. Not all would take to it and the BS would need to be able to chuck out those that they do not want. But I think it would work for some of them. Of course the state seems to think that putting them in care so it seems that they can be let out at night to work in the world's oldest profession is somehow preferable.





6 November 2013 at 15:27  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I think that there is too much fear here that the desire is to spy on decent parents.
You will always get silly officious people who are too big for their boots, malicious neighbours, jealous people, OCD people, and interfering busybodies. Many of us will have encountered them at some time. It is no good using them as an example of what the law should or should not be, for extreme examples create bad law. You will always get some corrupt police officers, some bent social workers, some fantasist neighbours, and some narcissists out for attention whatever. This is life, but it should not prevent us from making laws that protect all children, be it from Uncle Pete the paedophile, or from their own parents, or from schoolworkers, social workers, predatory priests, boy scout leaders, or whomever. I am afraid we will undoubtedly get falsely accused decent parents. It is very hurtful and horrible when it happens, but we must not neglect to protect the majority for the sake of the occasional error. We need very beautiful balance and minute calibration.

We do apply interpretation to accidents. My husband and I once stopped because a motorcycle was on the grass verge by a dual carriage way, with a body not far off in the grass. It turned out he was resting en route!! But it was better to stop and check as it could have saved his life!

6 November 2013 at 15:49  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

It should never be a criminal offence. How many more knee-jerk laws do we need ffs - it's part of their job surely; but more importantly should be part of what any decent person would be prepared to do as a matter course.

6 November 2013 at 16:05  
Blogger Owl said...

Lucy,

You sound like a well meaning person but I think it goes much deeper than you have as yet considered.

It seems to be standard procedure that when the political elite wish to increase control of the people then it it almost always done "for the sake of the children".

Many of the laws implemented in the past decade and a half have been made with this as an excuse.

They have not helped "the children" in anyway but they have restricted the rights of the general population.

In fact, with laws concerning the adoption of children by homosexual couples being implemented it is hard to see that the children are are a concern of the said elite at all.
Nobody considered asking the children if they mind that mummy has a beard.

The children went overboard in the glorious name of equality.

It is all about people control, nothing else.

Brother Ivo has shown quite brilliantly the direction we are heading in.

Stable family life is the best defense that a child can have and a million social workers won't make it better.

6 November 2013 at 17:47  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Lucy

I cannot recall ever having met a social worker

Questions

Would the world be a better place or worse place if they were gone tomorrow?

Evidence is that countries that do not have social workers are more cohesive

Do they seek to destroy or build up families and communities?

Clearly we have ample evidence that many of them seek to destroy traditional families and their efforts invariably weaken communities.

Can we these sort of non jobs at this time when we are borrowing to pay the bills?

You answer

Phil



6 November 2013 at 17:56  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Lucy

My wife reminded me that a social worker lives in the village. Her "man" brings their two boys to the school bus stop.

When he is dressed as man he wants to be called Michael, when he is dressed as a woman he wants to be called Michelle.

Their kids are apparently completely off the wall. The rest of the mums keep well clear of "him" and their kids well clear of theirs whenever possible.

Not very positive role models for the community it seems!

Phil





6 November 2013 at 18:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Damn outrageous suggestion !

It’s monstrous to continue to harry the professionals. One tunes in to the Midland news. They can’t fill all the social worker jobs in Birmingham as it is. And who can blame the reluctant…



6 November 2013 at 18:35  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Not sure why "social worker" was pounced on. I think however, since it has been raised, I have known 4 and had dealings with one or two others. All have been excellent sensible well balanced people. I have personally yet to meet any of the scoundrels. I had dealings with one when a schoolfriend of my daughter's stepfather was accused (and later found guilty) of abusing his stepdaughter. She could not have been more sensible, helpful nor constructive. My role was simply to look after the girl for the weekend. I really do think that the vast majority are really hardworking lovely people. However there are a minority who are utter scoundrels, hence the child abuse scandals in childrens' homes. It is widely considered that most abuse is done by the family. However I am not sure this is the case as individuals have less "cover" than organised rings, and it may well be that these organised rings' activities are massively under-reported.

However, what I think some on here may be unaware of is the vast circus out there preying on children. Read "Anna Raccoon" blog and you will come across some really unpleasant characters. Some of whom really have it in for Mark Williams- Thomas. Cross reference these characters with those who commented on Charles Moore's latest piece and you will begin to see a picture. Go if necessary to the needleblog and you will understand more. There is a war on. Some want the age of consent taken down to 14, 10 or even 4. These people urgently need stopping in their tracks. It is not a matter of spying on decent parents, and social workers and police should not have and don't have time to do this. It is a matter of stopping the rings, stopping child pornography, often of 3 or 4 year olds being abused, and stopping it fast. Also of putting a stop internationally to the child sex slave trade and of using children as honey traps and blackmail fodder in international spying, which is appallingly awful.

6 November 2013 at 19:10  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Lucy

It is all about what the Bible says about human life

If society says that a life is worth 10 years say £500K (but is actually 5 years £250K) then we get what we deserve.

The Bible states that life is infinity precious and so the only price for a life should be a life.

If we hung them from the nearest tree for ruining a little girl's life we would have a better society and much safer one.

Then of course the social workers could concentrate on something useful.

If we are losing the war Lucy it is because we surrendered or refuse to fight. Why? perhaps some of us needed to be chucked in the muddy puddles as a kid, but were not.

Being too soft on kids is also abuse.

Phil

6 November 2013 at 19:26  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Lucy

"These people urgently need stopping in their tracks"

Don't like my solution but do not have another that stops the perversion?

Then you are of course just as bad as the people who do the crime. As you have no answers just despair or faith in a criminal justice system that offers no deterrent and perhaps even considers them in "need of help".

Help? We have no idea.

Phil

6 November 2013 at 19:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil, Happy Jack has met many, many social workers in his life. Some good, some not so good and some bad. Most do their best and he would be lost without them. Jack understands Lucy may not have the answers but she is asking the right questions. What are you offering? A return to the Poor House? And where is this "evidence" you claim that social workers are not needed at all and that they cause damage?

6 November 2013 at 19:56  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Can I just say that I know two very good and level headed social workers, to redress the balance? I have no wish to see their profession made even less attractive, as the work they do is vital in many situations.

I'll leave it to Brother Ivo to explore Lucy's road accident analogy - I have no fear of being spied on. I do fear the increasing number described as 'silly', among whom I would class 400 MPs.

These appear to be exit comments from Mr Starmer who stepped down recently, and judging by the Panorama
programme there is a need to improve something, maybe legally.

6 November 2013 at 19:59  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

I said nothing about poor houses.

What I did say and you seem to want to deflect is that life is infinitely precious to God and we should not put a price on it (which we do in our “justice” system) which devalues this significance to God.

Are you telling me that we are honouring God by saying to a pervert that he can rape little girls, yes maybe not kill her, but perhaps spoil the chance of her ever having the deep feelings for her husband that God desired her to have? We say to that perv that he can do 5 or 10 years or even less and the state will set him up with a new identity, maybe even in my village, to try again with perhaps my youngest daughter (she is 4) instead of making his peace with God (or not) and taking the punishment that shows the society that we value justice and the price we demand is high.

What am I saying Happy Jack? Simply as Christians we should demand that if people do despicable things that they should face proper punishment. We are keen to pontificate about the injustice of abortion whilst at the same time we allow our communities to disintegrate for a lack will to seek that justice is done. What I said was that our silence (as Christians) and compliance makes us as guilty as the perv.

No wonder there are people who sell women and children for what ever the punters are willing to pay or pressurise to change the law to make perversion legal. No wonder that those men who cannot pay for real perversion illegally try to entrap and force children to do what their eyes have seen on the web. No wonder little kids are not allowed out to play.

More worrying even than this, no wonder the young don’t go to Church. If we show them that we do not care about God’s justice, we show them and tell them that deep down we do not care about God. The Atheists know this and laugh at us because they realise that the further they move the concept of “justice” away from God the weaker we become.

Without Jesus we would have no chance of salvation because ultimately we chose to protect the “rights” of the pervs over the lives of the innocent. When say a perfect little girl that God the maker of the universe, made to have a relationship with him for ever, is raped and murdered. God is not neutral about this, he is completely outraged.

To our eternal shame we are not outraged enough to stop it happening again.

Phil


6 November 2013 at 22:10  
Blogger ukFred said...

May I relate the experience of our family, some years ago now. The child, at the time of the incident, is now an adult.

3 year old is playing, indoors on a wooden floor, hopping from spot to spot on a floorcovering. Child slipped and went down quite hard, complaining to mother that child's head was sore where child bumped it falling. Child was observed by mother for evidence of concussion. Later that evening child complained of 'sore ankle’ and was taken to A&E at local hospital, x-rayed and admitted with spiral greenstick fracture of tibia. Following day, wife explained what had happened to paediatric consultant who was satisfied with the explanation. A nursing assistant then made a complaint under child protection rules on day 2. Child was kept in hospital for at least 6 and probably 7 days unnecessarily. We, the parents found out about this on day 6. On day 7 I attempted to find out what was going on and had a nursing manager make contact with the social worker who refused to speak with me at all. My wife went into the hospital on day 8, and was invited to o with the social worker to go with her to the social work dept office where she was invited to call me at work on their telephone. After a few pleasantries between us, she passed the telephone to the social worker who identified herself by her first name alone. Only when pressed did she give her surname. She attempted to address me by my Christian name and was robustly informed that she would call me Mr. Fred and I would address her as Mrs. Social-Worker, and that any attempt by her to use my Christian name would be met by my terminating the call and immediately issuing a writ of habeas corpus for my daughter's custody. Mrs. S-W tried to explain that she was attempting to 'gather information' b but was unable to say that she had done anything concrete, like speak to either my wife or myself, ask the nursing or medical staff to speak with us, or speak with anyone else. I understand from my wife that at the end of that telephone conversation Mrs. S-W was in tears because I quietly but effectively told her that she was absolutely useless at gathering information. We were specifically informed in writing that what was taking place was not a child protection investigation under the Children’s Act but a separate activity that happens before such an investigation can begin. Child was released from hospital two days later on day 9. The 'information' that this was not a child protection investigation was repeated to us in writing.

Because one set of grandparents lived in a different legal jurisdiction, we checked with the social services before we took the children out of the one jurisdiction into the other that the file was now closed about a month later and the file was not yet closed because the nursing assistant had signed her statement in the wrong colour of ink.

Social services continually blamed the hospital for all the delays in having my daughter released from hospital and I took up a complaint with the hospital, whose complaints officer kept making mistakes, causing me to get the chief executive involved. At that point, I then discovered that what had been taking place was a child protection investigation and that social services were responsible for the management of such investigations. As the Chief Exec put it to the social work operations manager, there was a clear absence of any management in this case.

6 November 2013 at 22:34  
Blogger ukFred said...

I have gone into quite a lot of detail but the reason for this is that social services must give consideration to all complaints about physical or sexual abuse they receive. So already, it could be the ward cleaner or the neighbour who is tired of the kids putting the ball into their garden and they already have to consider the complaint. Now the case of Daniel Pelka was simply the result, in my view, of teachers and school staff taking a 'tick the box' approach and leaving their common sense behind in the car park. Starmer's suggestion would do nothing to change that approach. And while I am on the subject, why does he think that a difference in location of less than two feet makes all the difference in child protection?

6 November 2013 at 22:34  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil, good evening. Its no good getting all hot and bothered with Jack. Happy Jack was commenting on all your posts and not just the one about perverts. There are different issues here and it is no good just getting all cross. How do we help people look after children and how do we protect children from bad people. Being a good neighbour would help and not leaping to judgement.

Jack was very pissed off with what you said about children in care. You called these children "them" and talked about "them" being chucked out of boarding schools. Have you any idea what it is like to not have a mum and a dad that loves and takes care of you and to keep moving from one foster home to another and to one children's home after another? Shoving "them" in muddy puddles and calling "them" names will not help "them". And hanging the perverts will not help these children but Jack agrees it might save others.

Happy Jack agrees families should not be messed with. But Jack also sees and hears about drinking and drugs and children being beaten, and not fed or clothed. Someone has to help. Or do we just let them get on with it?

And you want to get shot of social workers. So you know one social worker who dresses like a woman and everyone avoids this man's children. That's not very good, is it? And Happy Jack says he knows children can be helped to get over past abuse. Not all of "them" turn out bad and not all of "them" become prostitutes or end up in prison.

Happy Jack agrees the police must do more to catch evil people and these should be punished. And where is your evidence about societies being better without social workers? Have you thought it might be because society is not good that we need social workers? What do you do to help? There is plenty and plenty of voluntary work out there. If communities and next door neighbours helped more the state would do less.

6 November 2013 at 22:58  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

ukFred, Happy Jack can understand why you were cross but thinks you could have thanked the nurse and social worker for checking and making sure you had not broken your child's leg.

Happy Jack always thanks other people when they are doing their job trying to help others even at those times Jack has been treated unfairly and there have been many times. Jack tries to understand the other person's point of view and be as helpful as he can. If they do something wrong he always tells them this but never makes them cry.

7 November 2013 at 00:54  
Blogger malpas said...

of course there was a sort of 'stasi' structure back in the 40s and 50s in that most adults felt they were in loco parentis to any mob of children . This seemed to work quite well with injuries and fights.
In the late 40s 'big sisters' distributed summary justice with potent effect.
Some of these young females seemed big and tough when you are eight years old.

7 November 2013 at 03:31  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! What a lot of cross comments are flying around. We cannot have fellow communicants getting themselves in a tis, so it's hobnobs and Earl Grey at The Palace for all of you. I shall crank up the harmonium and treat you all to a recital of 'Nearer my God to thee,' which should loft spirits considerably, and Mr. Slope will be on hand (though I'm not sure what comfort he is offering). Chins up communicants - this is a brand new day!

7 November 2013 at 08:09  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ahem...that should read 'lift spirits considerably...' I do apologise.

7 November 2013 at 08:18  
Blogger Len said...

It would seem the further we move away from Christian morality and ethics the more legislation is needed to encourage people to 'do the right thing'.
So instead of having a conscience to guide and lead us we now need encouraging to' do the right thing' by the courts.
In the current climate of' no moral absolutes'what might appear to be the 'right thing'to one is not 'the right thing' to another
this leads to a denial of personal responsibility.No one [at least not many] will take responsibility for for actions [or lack of action]many preferring to 'pass the buck'even when found guilty of negligence.

When we turn away from God our focus seems to turn inwards towards 'self' and self preservation seems to be the dominant factor in dealing with most circumstances.
We can see this process happening right throughout our society.

7 November 2013 at 09:56  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ 19.35 Phil Roberts

I will remain calm about your comments, though they are needlessly provocative.

I fail to see that I have no answers. I have never said that. Certainly I do not have all the answers being a mere human. The great wall of China was not built by one person. Piece by piece co-operative humans can do immense things. One piece is Nicola Blackwood's suggestion. Maybe this, properly modified is another. All the people who blog or investigate is another. Even my own small efforts, having provided two statements to some remarkably civilised, intelligent and modulated policemen working in this area re my children's schoolfriends father/ step father who asked for them, and looked after two different children while cases were being investigated, have helped. Then there are those who have had child protection briefs, as my husband has had for two shortish periods; with this brief comes a lot of pain, heartache, opposition and persecution, I can assure you. There are many retired social workers and police fed up of all the people they saw go free who even now in retirement spend lots of time investigating, blogging and following up. Then there are people running Operation Greenlight , and the police are running several operations, Yewtree, Pallial and Fairbank/Fernbridge. Then there are people working to improve the moral and spiritual life of people.
Only God has the complete knowledge and overview.

That is what other people are for- working co-operatively with- and many are working on this.

7 November 2013 at 10:43  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Brother Ivo - did you see the Panorama programee? It sounds like the police have found a pattern of organisations fearing for their own reputations rather than the children in their care, passing people on to other organisations rather than following up allegations.

While I would have thought that would be picked up by perverting the course of justice, and complicity in a crime, it sounds like the legal position is different. Downside School were apparently advised by their lawyers that they didn't have a duty to report / follow up an allegation. Maybe as the patron saint of lawyers you could wrap this up by commenting.

Otherwise, I feel like I owe Mr Starmer an apology given my first comment.

7 November 2013 at 11:26  
Blogger ukFred said...

Happy Jack, you are a fool. My complaint is not that there was a referral, but that Mrs. S-W did nothing about it and in fact actively avoided doing anything about it until she could defer speaking to the child's parents no longer. My anger was about the lies and the inaction.

7 November 2013 at 20:00  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 November 2013 at 20:13  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

UKFred

Such a horrible experience with the state Stasi.

Happy Jack

You are upset with me (Not a happy jack) because I said "You called these children, them". Sorry I thought it was the usual phrase in this English language of yours for people who you do not know. Perhaps I should have called them little darlings. Better?

(Orwell... stop laughing in your grave!)

Lucy

You don't get me. I don't want these people to go free... ever. I want a real punishment for these crimes. Not a few years sitting in front of the telly, stoned out of your mind at my expense.

Justice needs to reflect the crime. Jesus stopped the stoning of the Adulterous woman not the child murderer or child rapist. If these people saw that there were real consequences for acting on their fetishes then the our children would be a lot safer than and live in a more humane world than Stasi- land.

The current system is an expensive failure. It fails to protect kids because it is more interested in protecting and perpetuating the system than anything else. That has been shown time and time again.

It is time for a fresh approach, after all God did not set up a social services dept in Sodom!

Phil

7 November 2013 at 20:23  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness, ukFred, we don't want name calling now, do we? Oh dear...

7 November 2013 at 20:27  

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