More child abuse by Left-trained and hate-filled British social workers
I want to come home mummy: Aged five, 'Jenny' was torn from her parents by social workers after an RSPCA raid. Now a court says she must be adopted... We reveal disturbing questions about the fate of this bewildered child who faces fears of abandonment for years to come but who just wants to come home to mummy and daddy. It all began when parenbts weren't humble enough during a misdirected police raid
The recording begins with the sound of a child's voice. It belongs to a little girl and she is clearly bewildered and distressed. At one point she begins to cry. At other times she is sobbing uncontrollably. 'Have you seen the judge yet?' she can be heard asking pitifully in between the tears before pleading: 'I want to go home with [you] Mummy and Daddy.' The recording - and dozens of others just like it - was made during a supervised meeting between the youngster and her parents after their daughter was taken away from them by social workers.
They are known as 'contact visits' in the soulless vernacular of the care system, and took place in a room with a table and chairs and a few toys. One hour. Once a month. That's the extent of the relationship now between this little seven-year-old girl and her traumatised parents.
There are some parents who do not deserve to see their children more than once a month. Irresponsible parents. Neglectful parents. Abusive parents. According to care workers, the mother and father of this little girl were found to fall into this category after their home was raided by the RSPCA and at least 18 police officers to deal with a complaint about supposed mistreatment of dogs.
But what if social workers have got it wrong? In the light of Baby P and so many other scandals, it's hardly impossible is it? Certainly, the recordings stored on a computer at the family's home on the South Coast seem to contradict the damaging claims by social services that the girl, whom we shall call Jenny - the girl's real identity has been suppressed by the courts - did not wish to return to live with her parents.
Jenny's father spent months taking down every word of the recordings by hand, only to be told by a judge that they had to be professionally transcribed. By the time they were, it was too late. Moves to put Jenny up for adoption were under way. This week, after 74 separate court hearings over two harrowing years, the family finally lost their fight to have Jenny returned to them. The Court of Appeal in London ruled that their daughter must be given up for adoption. If and when she is, they may never see her again.
Jenny was five when she was taken away, and seven now. Before we examine the peculiarly troubling details of this case, it is worth considering the comments of the family's MP, Charles Hendry. He says: 'This case has concerned me more than any other in my 13 years as a member of Parliament.' And, he went on to describe Jenny's mother and father as 'devoted parents'.
Furthermore, one of the experts brought in to examine the child's removal, a psychiatric social worker, concluded the local authority had 'mismanaged the case'. Needless to say, his advice was ignored.
They are not lone voices: more than 200 local people, including neighbours, friends and members of the couple's church, planned to take part in a march through their village shortly after the family's ordeal began in April 2007. Posters were printed, which read 'Social Services Have Kidnapped Our Daughter. Please Help The Fight To Get Her Back Where She Belongs.' Above the words was a picture of Jenny. Of course, you won't have read about the protest, because it never took place. The march was just about to begin when the police, acting on the advice of social services, stepped in.
They warned Jenny's parents they risked being jailed, as they had broken the law by identifying their daughter on the placards. Just another example of the terrifying lack of transparency that now surrounds the removal of children from their families. Reforms to open up cases such as Jenny's to public scrutiny were introduced earlier this year. But the truth is, an almost Stalinist culture of secrecy still exists in family courts.
Jenny was never physically harmed, and was 'thriving and happy before being taken away', the Court of Appeal was told. One of the reasons for the decision was that Jenny's father had been unwilling to undergo a further assessment. Wouldn't other parents in his position have done the same? After all, the case had already dragged on for two years and he believed yet another 'assessment' would delay the tortuous process even more.
Yet, here we are today on the cusp of Jenny being spirited away from her family for ever. No one suggests that Jenny's parents - whom we'll call Susan and Richard - are perfect. But over the past few weeks, our reporters have come to know the family. And one thing seems undeniable - their love for their daughter, and her love for them.
Jenny is a beautiful child with a mop of chestnut hair. She loved ballet, swimming and Susan and Richard paid for her to have private tennis lessons. Her bedroom - with her own ensuite bathroom - in the family's home is almost unchanged from the day she last slept there. Her favourite pink teddy bear is still sitting under the windowsill. And a collection of her videos are on a shelf. 'She loved Grease and pretending to be Olivia Newton-John,' her mother told me last night as her eyes filled up with tears. 'It's hard to come into my daughter's room without crying.'
Susan, in her 40s and involved in her local Conservative Association, used to be a beautician before becoming a fulltime mother - that was how important her child was to her. Her husband Richard, 32, runs a dog breeding business from their home. They have been married for 13 years.
They were just a normal, happy family, it seems, until the RSPCA, backed up by 18 police officers, arrived at their house early one April morning in 2007, following a tip-off that dogs were being mistreated, and that there might be guns in the house. No guns were ever found. No criminal charges were brought, nor does Richard have a criminal record. He was later, however, convicted of docking the tails of his puppies. But the raid was to have far more catastrophic consequences.
Both Richard and Susan were arrested for failing to cooperate with officers. By the time they were released from custody later that day, Jenny was the subject of an emergency protection order. So an operation which had begun for entirely different reasons had ended with the heartbreak of their daughter being taken away.
There were two reasons for what happened, and both have been bitterly contested by the family. The first was the state of the house. Police said it was covered in rabbit entrails - used as food for the dogs they raised - and animal excrement. The couple claim most of the mess was caused during the raid. They say, the doors were left open, allowing the dogs in. Normally, they insisted, their home was 'clean and tidy'. Only a few weeks earlier a policewoman had visited them - after a puppy had been stolen - and backed up what they said. She also said that Jenny was 'happy'. Their home, it should also be stressed, was always immaculate when we visited the couple.
Attention was drawn to the fact that there was a hole in a downstairs bedroom ceiling. But the family point out that a pipe had recently leaked and could not be repaired until the beams had dried out. It has now been fixed. Nor, it was claimed by the authorities, were there any clothes for Jenny in her wardrobe. Did the police look in the wrong wardrobe - the one in her parent's bedroom? The wardrobe in Jenny's own bedroom, her parents say, was full of her belongings.
'We always put Jenny first,' said Susan. 'We have receipts from Monsoon [the fashion store] proving we spent hundreds of pounds on Jenny in the couple of months before she was taken from us. If anything, we spoilt her.'
The second reason, according to social services, that Jenny was not returned to her parents, was that she had apparently made it clear she didn't want to return to the house. But why would she? Jenny was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following the raid. 'They were raided like criminals, it is disgusting' In fact, it would be impossible to imagine a more traumatic situation than the 'chaotic scenes' which unfolded at the house that morning and which culminated in her mother and father being led away in handcuffs. In other words, not wanting to return home didn't necessarily mean she didn't want to be with her parents.
Those tapes made during 'contact meetings' in which she tearfully begs to be returned to her 'Mummy and Daddy' would seem to confirm this. 'She was hysterical when the police came in,' says Susan. 'It's the damage they have done to our little girl which really concerns us. I fear she will never be the same.'
More official British racism
Gipsy and traveller children get priority at popular state schools
Gipsy and traveller children are being given priority admission to popular state schools, it emerged yesterday. Schools are being told to offer places to such children even if they are full or have a long waiting list. They must take in the pupils even if travellers 'are camped on the roadside and may not be here long', according to Government guidance.
Traveller children can also be registered at two schools at once, with their place at a 'base' school kept open for as long as they might need it, even if other children are on a waiting list. Further guidance states that schools should 'doubly scrutinise' any decision to expel a traveller or gipsy child.
Teachers warned that the rules - which are intended to help children who have traditionally suffered a fragmented education were being 'very rigorously applied', fuelling resentment among local taxpayers.
Concerns were raised in the wake of news that doctors have been told that gipsies and travellers should be given priority in NHS hospitals and GP surgeries. Health Service guidelines state they should be fast-tracked to see doctors, nurses and even some dentists. GPs have also been told to see any travellers who simply walk in without an appointment, even if all consultation times for the day are taken up.
According to mandatory Government guidance, traveller children must be considered under 'fair access protocols' when they request school places. These protocols also extend to several other groups, including children of UK service personnel and other Crown Servants, as well as those with special educational needs and young carers. They also cover youngsters who attended special units for expelled pupils and are now ready to be reintegrated into ordinary schools.
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: 'The vast majority of children get a place at their first choice school, but it is absolutely right that disadvantaged groups can get back on track with their education quickly when they move to a new area. 'Everyone, regardless of background, should have fair and equal access to a place of their choice.' [Well why is that denied to many white British middle-class families?]
Indian yoga guru says yoga can cure homosexuality
Lots of Westerners seem to find yoga helpful in various ways so who knows?
INDIA'S top television yoga expert has challenged a landmark court ruling legalising gay sex, claiming it is a "disease" that can be cured by yoga. Swami Baba Ramdev filed the petition on the grounds that the Delhi High Court "erred" in decriminalising "unnatural sex acts" last week and that homosexuality was an illness which could be treated, according to the Indian Express newspaper.
"It can be treated like any other congenital defect. Such tendencies can be treated by yoga, pranayama (breathing exercises) and other meditation techniques," he said in the challenge filed in the Supreme Court.
Last week's judgment reversing a colonial-era ban on homosexuality has met with widespread opposition among many religious groups and conservatives who say same-sex relationships threaten the fabric of traditional Indian society.
In an interview with the Times of India, Swami Ramdev said homosexuality caused "mental bankruptcy" and was "against God and creation".
The influential guru has a wide following among millions of middle-class Hindus who regularly tune into his healthy living programs on television.
Under the Indian legal system, any person can challenge a court decision in a higher court.
An astrologer, Suresh Kumar Kaushal, has also filed a petition against the high court decision, arguing that if gay sex is legalised, "tomorrow people might seek permission for having sex with animals".
Australian antisemitic publications
At its core the internet is an ideal. I can arrange an online chat with a political scientist in South Korea, create an email focus group amongst my constituents, even discuss Islamic revolutionary theory with a student in Iran. But as with any movement or agent of change, an ideal can be undermined by the ideology of its users. For me, a clear example is the partisan coverage of the Israeli Palestinian conflict by some online magazines. This years output of two of these online publications, Crikey.com and New Matilda.com, is profoundly disturbing.
Both have pretensions to non-partisan coverage. Crikey is run by a staff who claim journalistic credentials in its mission statement to be fair and open. New Matilda similarly claims to provide non-partisan information and takes contributions, as it describes, from "journalists, current and former politicians, lawyers, critical and creative thinkers, bloggers, policy-wonks and satirists". Which is just about everyone in this room - and a good percentage of those outside of it.
Whatever their stated aims, a careful analysis of their output over the first three months of this year shows that when it comes to the coverage of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Crikey and New Matilda are in fact manifestly partisan. Both consistently adopt the Palestinian narrative, characterise Israel as an oppressor, and ignore Israeli's legitimate security concerns. It is their right to criticize the only free society in the Middle East but it is nonsense to claim they are not strongly biased.
Following the last Israeli elections, Crikey contributor Jeff Sparrow stated as fact that Israeli society had moved sharply to the right, at the same time that that the centre-left Kadima party secured the largest block vote and Likud's Netanyahu sought to broaden his coalition into a ruling government whose final makeup included longtime advocates of peace with the Palestinians. In another article the same contributor looked at the decision of the Israel's Central Elections Committee to ban the participation of two nationalist Arab political parties in the elections, drawing odious parallels with South Africa's apartheid regime - whilst ignoring the democratic Israeli institutions, not found elsewhere in the Middle East, that a few days later saw the Supreme Court reverse that bureaucratic decision. Similarly, New Matilda correspondent Ben White accuses Israel of apartheid control over the Palestinians. He condemns outright the erection of a security fence without reference whatsoever to it or the fact that it has lead to a 95% drop in homicide attacks on civilians in Israel or the fact that it acts as a defensive measure against repeated terrorist attacks, or that the fence's route has always been subject to negotiation and moderation by the Israeli Supreme Court as part of the peace process.
Another Crikey contributor, Guy Rundle, downplays the genocidal policies of Iran's President Ahmedinajab to little more than populism, dismissing outright Israel's authentic fears of a nuclear-armed Iran, not to mention the apprehension of moderate Arab regimes at the prospect of an Iranian regional hegemony.
New Matilda is even more strident in its partisanship. Of the 18 articles run by newmatilda.com in the fist three months of this year concerning the Israeli Palestinian conflict, 17 presented a hardline Palestinian narrative.
Some themes emerge. Polemicist Antony Lowewentein is but one of the correspondents to claim as fact that Israel refuses to consider a two-State solution, despite the evidence of numerous peace overtures, the consistent views of mainstream Israelis in favour of a consensus solution, and the unprecedented territorial concessions offered by Israel at the 2000 Camp David Summit and later at Taba, and indeed reoffered by Netanyahu's predecessor Ehud Olmert. Unmentioned is Hamas's refusal to recognise Israeli existence, as is the barrier presented to any unified proposal by the ongoing blood feud between the Fatah rulers of the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.
Time and again these articles refer to Jews, or the Jewish State, but rarely Israel as a sovereign entity . Paradoxically New Matilda contributor Michael Brull then complains that most Australian Jewish groups do not identify themselves as pro -Israel but as simply Jewish. Clearly he has not read the pro-Israel platforms of the Executive Council for Australian Jewry or the Australian Union of Jewish students, two of the organisations he mentions, he appears unfamiliar with the view of Australian Jewry, which is similarly pro-Israel.
In May this year in Crikey, Lowenestein attacked the Executive Council for Australian Jewry , this time because it fails to condemn other forms of racism as readily as antisemitism. But it is this gem that highlights the author's real intent: "Anti-Muslim sentiment has often been proudly displayed since September 11 by the Zionist establishment. In their world view, only what they find offensive should be censored". Here we have it, a shadowy unnamed Zionist elite that has the impudence to speak out against antisemitism, as though a Jewish group is not entitled to focus on racial attacks against its own ethnicity! This is a rigged rhetorical game. It doesn't matter whether Jews defend themselves or not, or whether the focus of critics is on Israel as a Jewish State or Jewish groups in Australia, the charge is relentlessly the same.
Journalism can be a democratic bulwark, but in doing so we assume certain principles of journalistic professionalism, including the training and commitment to place opinion in a factual context. Yet the rise of the bologosphere is often characterised by its proponents as a triumph against the elitism or corporatisation of the established media. It is all well and good to allege that the Australian newspaper's foreign affairs commentator Greg Sheridan is an Israeli propagandist, as one New Matilda correspondent suggests, but Sheridan has thirty years experience as a senior journalist and is the author of five widely-published books on foreign issues. The New Matilda correspondent may not like his views, but Sheridan works in an environment where facts are checked and factual errors are corrected. As former New York Times standards editor,Al Siegal has said, the most overt concern with accuracy at a newspaper can be seen in the volume of corrections. This hardly seems to concern the editors of Crikey and New Matilda in their coverage of Israel.
An exchange of letters between the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission Chair Tony Levy and New Matilda editor Marni Cordell highlights this problem. In April Levy sent to Cordell a sober, detailed and careful analysis of the magazine's content in the first three months of this year, explaining the ADC's concerns over partisan opinion and the broad slabs of hate-speak that appear regularly in the comments sections attached to each article. In her brief reply, Cordell failed to address the evidence of partisanship, instead championing her publication's contribution to ‘diversity of opinion' i.e Brull, Lowenstein et al all whom have broadly similar views. This thinking is explained by her charge that the one sided ‘diversity of opinion' is to balance what she asserts is a biased media environment - of course, without corroborating this charge. She does not address at all the allegation of antisemitic comment, nor does she respond to the ADC's concern that the magazine chooses not to censor these comments, even though it expressly reserves the right to do so if the commentary is abusive or promotes hate.
Nevertheless, is this antisemitism, or just sloppy journalism? Former Soviet dissident and human rights activist Natan Schrasansky distinguished the two by his "3D Principles" - he warns to look for demonisation, delegitimation, and double standards.
Looking at the coverage in Crikey and New Matilda, we see Israel as a manipulator of world events, an apartheid State engaged in ethnic cleansing, and an initiator of wars that have no strategic or defensive foundation. That is demonisation.
Israel as deserving of the rocket attacks on its citizens, or not entitled to defend its sovereignty? That is deligitimisation. Israelis portrayed as arch war criminals, while scant attention is given in the same publications to human rights abuses in Burma, or Darfur, or Zimbabwe, or Tibet, or North Korea, or Chechnya, or the Congo? That is a double standard. Cordell's pathetic excuse for the obsession with denigrating the Israeli's and ignoring other conflicts where far more people's lives are at stake is ‘As I'm sure I don't need to remind you, the Israel/Palestine question is not a conflict on the same level as other regional problems that you mentioned. Problems in the Middle East, within which Israel/Palestine is a major issue, are something that play out in innumerable ways across the globe'
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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