Cinderella and the forty thieves of childhood

Last week I walked past Action for Children’s headquarters  and peered in through the shiny windows to see banners proclaiming ‘We did it...’  (presumably a reference to their successful campaign to get the government to change the law on child neglect to include emotional abuse as one of the elements that can be considered to be neglect of a child).  This new proposal for a ‘Cinderella’ law as the media terms it, is one which has caused enormous consternation in some camps and triumphalist trumpeting in others.  As I gazed through the windows of the headquarters of this charity, I found myself feeling a bit like a neglected child myself. Gone from the world of the charitable sector and back to the place where I feel most effective (and clean), I know the experience of living hand to mouth and making do and mend all too well.  I know what it feels like to press my nose up against the glass of the corporate industry which is the children and families sector in this country, to see the money which is pumped through these institutions to fatten and bloat them.  As I pondered on the presentation of the Action for Children headquarters and their campaign for this new Cinderalla Law, I wondered how much money it would make them and what in fact, would be the difference that they made to children whose lives are blighted by emotional cruelty.  It left me thinking again about the reality of the charitable sector in this country (the national ones I mean, not the local ones run by volunteers in the spirit of true charitable work) and the way in which this is, just like all the other ‘sectors’ of business in this country, an industry which exists, mainly to serve the needs of its staff and supporters, not the needs of the children and families whose lives they  purport to represent.

Campaigns of this nature are common in the children and families sector, where people pay thousands to marketing and media firms to run campaigns to ‘raise public awareness’ of an issue.  Big charities such as NSPCC and Barnardos, regularly run such campaigns and off the back of these, come funding streams, either released by government or demanded of them, to ‘meet the needs’ demonstrated by the campaign which was paid for in the first place by funding raised to meet the needs demonstrated by the charity.  The question is, what needs do these campaigns raise awareness of and how do the funds raised by the campaigns to raise awareness of these needs, actually meet the needs of the issues that are being raised in the first place – if you follow my drift.  How much money is actually spent on meeting need and how much is wasted, frittered or used to shore up the over bloated salaries of those at the top of these government departments?

There is an argument, which I generally support, that this industry exists to serve itself rather than anything else.  If you take a closer look at these behemoths, their employment rates are astonishing, they are corporate in their approach and they ‘make their margins’ where-ever they can, including from the funding given by government for charitable purposes.  Analysing how money is directly spent upon the people that these corporations are supposed to serve is an eye watering experience.  Let’s take a campaign that I have some knowledge of in recent years, the Kids in the Middle Campaign which joined Relate, Families need Fathers, Gingerbread and the Fatherhood Institute in an unholy alliance to suck up the oxygen, funding and trajectory towards a fairer, more egalitarian approach to supporting separated families.  Orchestrated by someone calling himself a ‘social entrepreneur’ – you will know him, he is busy socially entrepreneuring a new coalition with his new wheeze mums and dads net – this group of charities paid in the region of £30,000 to a media and marketing group to launch Kids in the Middle, a campaign which called upon government to support the children affected by family separation.  In 2010, the outgoing Labour government, captivated by the chance to receive the approval of a group of agony aunts, shovelled several million at this group and from there, a half hearted, hastily cobbled together programme of services to support their version of collaborative parenting was born. Several grass roots groups from around the country received hundreds of thousands of pounds to run ‘seed bed’ projects, supposedly to grow new services which would meet the needs of both parents and children as they went through separation.  Some of these groups spent their thousands telling men that they should be glad that their children had a ‘step father’ to take their children on and others spent their time sending single parents on days out to relieve the stress.  The evaluation reports from these projects never saw the official light of day, one glimpse however told us all we needed to know, the cost per head of service delivery was around £3000.  So much waste, so much fattening of the corporates sat at the top of this campaign, so little concern for the lives of the families that this parasite fed from.

A recent discussion about this issue lead to someone telling me that this sounded like a ‘bitter dispute about funding..’  a remark which would be funny if it were not so ignorant of the reality of what is being done with the money that tax payers hand over in this country.  This fellow had himself had a run in with family law and was, supposedly, conversant with the way in which this blights the lives of families.  I considered his remark and his complete lack of awareness of how this whole field is infected with greed and the notion of pointless posturing just to keep the funding flowing.  With this inability to understand what is really going on at the top by the grass roots, how will we ever convene the kind of change that challenges the institutionalised wanton waste, let alone the discrimination which runs right through the children and families industry.

Action for Children are trumpteting their success with their Cinderella law at the moment, presumably this will, in their imaginations, lead to funding for a new department. I can see the adverts already and the NSPCC wringing their hands (why didn’t we think of it) and Barnardos and all the rest of the big departments who are set to benefit working out what their share of the spoils will be.  But what about Cinderalla and the childhood that was supposedly stolen from her by her step mother.  What about this so called law that will address the issue of emotional cruelty or neglect?

Those against this law suggest that this will introduce a level of subjective policing which will, if we are not careful, put us all at risk of imprisonment for not considering the emotional welfare of children.  I understand that concern.  I also however, understand the reality of emotional abuse of children.  I understand it because I work with it most days of my  life.  Emotional abuse of children is, for me, more damaging in the longer term than many other forms of abuse,because one cannot see the bruises that emotional cruelty causes. The broken emotions and the battered psychology of emotionally abused children are invisible but they are, nevertheless, real and they are incredibly difficult to heal.  When children can point to the damage that has been done and can be helped to recognise that for what it is, they are more likely to heal.  When they cannot do that and, worse, when they blame themselves first because they cannot put the blame where it belongs, the damage that is done is pervasive and so deeply rooted it can sometimes never be repaired.

Emotional cruelty can, like sexual abuse, cause the very roots of the growing child to twist and disort and fail to grow.  I know it, I work with it, I see the damage that it does.  Sadly however, what I term emotional abuse of children is likely to be so far away from what the children and families industry identify that it is as if we live in parallel universes.  From where I am standing, most of those charities who supposedly support children and families are themselves involved in the institutionalised emotional abusive act of ripping children away from their beloved parents. Most refuse to accept the importance of a child’s relationship with both sides of their family after separation and many will refuse to countenance the reality that alienation of a child, is something which is made easy by the family justice system in this country.  And most significantly, most, if not all of the charities which feed from the government, remain fixed in their negative views about fatherhood, steadfastly refusing to support it without the caveat ‘where it is safe to do so’ all the while proclaiming to be doing their bit for shared parenting whilst behind the scenes fervently doing their utmost to prevent it.

It doesn’t get much more emotionally abusive than that and yet it will be these charities who clamour loudest for this law and those who will be busy channelling the cash for their shiny new offices and their glossy brochures proclaiming their care and support for these children.

I walked away from Action for Children last week feeling once again relieved that I have left that world behind.  I may be neglected in that my words are not listened to in any significant way (other than by those who read this blog) and I may not be sitting on a big fat pile of cash, but I know that my work, at the end of every day has made a difference to real people’s lives.

Cinderalla I may be, but the ball I go to, is one where children’s lives matter and change is something that happens between people who care about each other and ‘honour’ amongst these institutionalised thieves of childhood is something I will never have to encounter again.

15 comments

  1. Kat · April 8, 2014

    My fear regarding this law is that what really constitutes emotional abuse is as you say as far away from these people’s understanding as a parallel universe. I fear that this law would be used to further destroy relationships between fathers and their children. Emotional abuse is real and causes severe damage to children, as with other types of abuse the children often try to protect the perpetrator rather than blame them for the suffering and this need to be addressed somehow. Though I can see some advantages, I am not sure that making emotional abuse a criminal offense is the way forward.

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  2. exInjuria · April 8, 2014

    A study by Civitas some years ago categorised charities by the level of their funding which derived from the state. Charities which received less than 30% of their total funding from the state were regarded as independent, such as the NSPCC and Salvation Army. Charities getting between 30% and 70% were regarded as state-funded, like Save the Children. Charities which received more than 70% of funding from the state were labeled statutory agencies and included Barnardo’s, the National Family and Parenting Institute and NCH, which is now renamed Action for Children. They were receiving 88% of their funding from the unwitting tax-payer (the license fee scam has nothing on this national scandal).

    The report also noted that this was happening locally as well as nationally, and cited one local ‘charity’ which received 99.65% of its funding from the local authority. In many cases the LA was the sole trustee. Civitas also raised the issue of the proportion of this cash which is actually spent on charitable work; the NSPCC spends more than half of its income on political lobbying and advertising.

    I don’t know what effect the Cinderella law will have – if enacted – but I have read the academic paper which they use as justification and, while it makes a good case for updating some of the terminology, it doesn’t make any case at all for this major revision. That means the true reason for this reform isn’t something they want to discuss with the public, which immediately makes me very suspicious.

    Arguing a case doesn’t seem to be part of the political life of this nation any more. Intellectuals are ridiculed and investigative journalism is dead. You can state any lie and it will be accepted as long as it is roughly in line with the zeitgeist. The Norgrove report was shockingly intellectually dishonest, but that didn’t prevent the government accepting most of it without question. There was a comment recently from Ivor Catt, whose intellect is not in doubt, pointing out that Adrienne Burgess is not very intelligent. She is, however, opinionated, and we live in a world in which opinion is valued over reasoned argument. As long as the public are seduced into believing these measures are in the best interests of children they will go along with them and accept the greater intrusion of state power into their lives. Now, who does that remind me of, I wonder?

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    • Ecce Como · April 9, 2014

      I love pussy catts, especially Mr Catt. Top drawer Sir.

      Nicky wire started a ghostbusting company up during his solo stint and he ended up killing a zeitgeist but it cant have been the same one, Top tune “i killed tce zeitgeist”, ….all i can say about the vocal is,..,.its a true representation of his voice. bless cim.

      “That means the true reason for this reform isn’t something they want to discuss with the public, which immediately makes me very suspicious.” I

      t makes me suspicuous too……but i come back to my initial impulse on cinderallas ball……….maybe tcey are implementing tcis law so tcey can negate tce feminist strangle cold tcey cave over tce family law arena. If tcey were to discuss it in deptc publicly would it awaken tce sleeping feminist bitcc wco would try and cave tcis law stopped because on tce wcole it is motcers wco emotcinally abuse tceir ccildren by denying tcem contact witc tceir fatcers and alienating tcem from calf tceir family. If tcey went to town on discussing tcis law….tce single parents groups would scit tcemselves…….especially wcere pure PA may well soon come to be seen accepted and dealt witc as emotional abuse and criminal.

      i live in cope. and i cave a dodgy keyboard. sorry about tcat. mind of its own……probably got catt genes i cave no mouse eitcer and currently using one of tcose dodgy track balls wcicc are about as accurate as a nuffield foundation report or a feminist state of society address on tce causes of fatcerlessness……in fact, no, the track ball isnt thart bad and hurrah i seem to have got my h’s back. oh for the love of h’s….hhhhhhhhhhh have some, have some more while they are working….hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahh bliss a hhhhhhhhhhhhhh look at all those, not typed that many all day….have some more. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh aaaahhhhhhh nice, may need new batteries or binning.

      my mate bought it from poundland in shenko city and slung it in a cupboard wcere an elepcant must cave sat on it. damn tcey cave gone again.

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  3. miriamkliers · April 8, 2014

    I’m always sorry to read about this sort of thing, but not surprised.

    Karen, what’s your opinion, if I may ask, about the new amendment to the Children Act that the court should presume that involvement of both parents will further the children’s welfare? Will this make any difference?

    What does it mean by describing ‘involvement’ as ‘some kind, either direct or indirect, but not any particular division of a child’s time’? I couldn’t work out what that was meant to achieve.

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    • exInjuria · April 8, 2014

      I think the purpose of the amendment added by Butler-Sloss (sponsored by the perversely-named Coalition for Shared Parenting) was to render the whole clause (Section 11) meaningless. Indirect involvement is less even than indirect contact which can mean no more than a letter or postcard each month (the order I ended up with). It could mean no more than the payment of child support. The division of time is pretty much the only thing a court can control; ensuring that this clause cannot apply a division of time renders it impotent.

      It is important to add that so far there is no commencement order for Section 11, so it may never become law. My guess is that it has become so emptied of meaning and significance that enacting it would merely complicate the law for no constructive reason and it would be better to leave it out.

      That would obviously be devastating for children and their parents who were hoping for an end to the terrible exclusion of parents from their children’s lives which is the routine business of the family courts. But it was never going to be that.

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  4. woodman1959 · April 8, 2014

    I haven’t been part of the discussion around this, but one has to wonder who were really the prime movers behind this development, and their motives? Superficially it has sounded like a good development, but in practice, if the underlying fundamentals have not changed (and there is no indication they have) as Kat says surely it will simply become YET another stick with which to beat men…whilst largely ignoring the damage done by women?

    Examining for emotional abuse requires a skilled unbiased practitioner – and a LOT more time (and therefore money) than physical abuse requires. What kind of budget has been set aside for this aspect…which should be the biggest expense in the whole process? What kind of criteria need to be fulfilled – to justify this kind of inquiry?

    The whole point of a skilled emotional abuser is to make it look as if there is NO problem – the children will typically be well dressed and have full attendance at school, for example.

    There WILL almost certainly be signs of distress…but very likely be so subtle…that certainly anyone looking for the usual signs of physical neglect will miss these completely. So who is writing the handbook on emotional abuse?

    Anyhow, before we get to discuss this a bit more, I just thought I would refer part of an info. email from Jude Kelly that got passed on to FNF, although I don’t yet know if anyone from there did manage to get to the meeting on 31st March? I didn’t know about it in time.

    One can still be sceptical, of course (and I’ve responded that ‘festival’ is a bit of a painful term in the current circumstances) – but doesn’t this show someone who is at least genuinely attempting to speak across the divide?

    In 2014, Southbank Centre presents its first Festival of Children’s Cultural Rights (this is a working title). The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty that sets out universally accepted Rights for Children. It is a benchmark against which a nation’s treatment of its children can be measured. Article 31 of the UN Convention states that every child has the ‘right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts’.

    In October, Southbank Centre is investigating this obligation and seeking to gather pledges which will advance the treatment of children and young people in the UK and I am writing to invite you to a Think In to help me think through the festival with policy makers, civil servants, teachers, care workers, lawyers, journalists, artists, parents, young people and children on the idea of how children’s voices are often unheard in Western society and how as a community we very rarely consult children on issues that impact, shape and influence the lives they live.

    Please do let us know if you can attend this discussion, to be held at Southbank Centre on Monday 31 March from 10:00 – 12:00 by RSVPing to my assistant Claudia Merhej at claudia.merhej@southbankcentre.co.uk. Please do also forward on any contacts you think would be interested in attending to Claudia directly.

    Please do let us know if you have any access requirements.

    Please note that the dates for the festival are 23 – 25 October 2014 – we hope you will save the date in your diary.

    Warm wishes,

    Jude

    Jude Kelly
    Artistic Director
    Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

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  5. Anonymous · April 8, 2014

    I think our family services, such as Cafcass and Social Services might struggle to interpret the term “emotional abuse”. I know from personal experience they have trouble acknowledging abuse of any kind. Even if they do identify abuse it doesn’t help your situation if you are looking for more time parenting your children and for your partner to stop beating up the kids.
    My local Social Services case worker told me, and I quote, “….if your partner can not care for your children we will take them into care………” This was delivered to me as a threat when I repeatedly expressed concerns about how my daughter was attacked by her mother.
    It was me who naively asked Social Services for help in the first place. All they wanted to do was keep me away from mother and the children and hope everything would be fine. Even before going to court I was encouraged to leave all that mother and daughter abuse stuff in the past. Of course by the time I got to Court the tables had turned and all allegations and responsibilities had been dumped at my door.
    I learnt of a similar case which outlines better the philosophy of social workers. There is a firm underpinning of the belief that it is fathers who are responsible for mothers welfare and mothers who are responsible for childrens welfare.
    A case in point is my dear friend J who lost out on the parenting of his son and daughter because Social Services spirited him away ensuring he fitted the role of the classic “contact parent with conditions attached”. He was a very good parent; I could tell this by the way he related to his son on the odd occasion when I spent time with them. However, Social Services had burdened his ex with responsibility for full time mother in addition to the several part-time jobs she was trying to hold down. In due course mother was deemed unfit to care for the children (she often wouldn’t be there when the children returned from school) but instead of father having responsibility (or even a shared arrangement for parenting) the son was whisked away to live some 30 miles apart and the daughter at an undisclosed address nearer home (both with new and foreign family situations away from their real parents). My friend J found love once more with a new partner.
    Sadly she fell ill and was diagnosed with MS. Again the very same Social Services department sprang into action. They were wonderful and J came to me with a smile upon his face. They’ve given me a car and a house with all those adaptations for use of a wheelchair and what is more they are actually going to pay me as a carer to look after my partner 24/7.
    …………………………………………………This left me wondering, and still does today, why Social Services think its ok for men to care for their wives but not ok to care for their children. Why aren’t they honest and just say so on the Home Page of their website. WE ARE SOCIAL SERVICES. WE BELIEVE FATHERS CARE FOR MOTHERS AND MOTHERS CARE FOR THEIR CHILDREN. WE ARE HERE TO ENSURE THAT NO-ONE ROCKS THE BOAT AND UPHOLD THIS STATUS QUO.

    Kind regards

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  6. William B Hammond · April 8, 2014

    Every child on this planet has been emotionally abused to some degree by their parents, unless of course there is a perfect parent out there that I haven’t come across yet. We are all fallible, emotional, human beings who are liable to lose it occasionally especially under times of stress. Admittedly, some lose it more often than others so it depends on where the bar is set.

    Nevertheless, with the proposed Cinderella Law, the bar is about to be lowered drastically, or to use another analogy, the state is about to manufacture new fishing nets with much smaller holes. Tiny in fact, and I believe most people could unwittingly get caught in this net by the ever expanding surveillance systems and joined up thinking of doctors, teachers and social workers, all backed up by the new militarised police force.

    This is looking very bad, and being a fallible human being and unashamed conspiracy theorist, I cannot resist saying that I warned about the coming jack boot in 2005. The question now: is there anyone in parliament with the vision to see the trajectory, where we will be in another ten years’ time, and do they have the will and the power to prevent it? The painful truth is that many children really are being abused and need to be rescued. The interventionists have a cast iron case to intervene and no doubt the politicians will provide them with the tools to do so. But let’s not delude ourselves into believing this action will provide anything more than a first aid bandage or that it will fix the problem. The many societal conditions that caused parents to become abusive still exist and arguably are getting worse.

    It breaks my heart to read about abused children in the MSM, and only those with strong stomachs should investigate further than this. But the question that immediately springs to mind is, “why is this happening?” When my children were around 8 years of age they would instinctively ask “why” to everything. Despite my attempts to fully explain it was always followed by another why, until I finally laughed and at their childish attempt to wind me up. This also happens to be the not so childish Japanese approach to fault finding and to improve reliability in the car industry.

    It is also my approach, which comes from 50 years working in engineering. As a hands on guy who did not drink with the boss or belong to any secret society, I had no option but to fix things properly and make them work. However, fixing things permanently did not always please the boss, whose position in the maintenance department depended on things breaking down. It took some time to figure this out but I got there in the end. Today I routinely look for those who have nothing to gain by fixing problems and the bulk of them appear to be in government. Angry Harry’s excellent article on the Government Beast explains this phenomenon in depth.

    So if we cannot depend on government to apply a permanent fix to child abuse then what is to be done? Winston said, “If there is hope it lies in the Proles” If that is true then the Proles better wake up to what is really happening. The ever growing problem of child abuse is only one of the many symptoms of the elite’s multi-pronged attack on humanity – financially, physically and spiritually

    As an example, compare the cost of housing today with the 1960’s. In those days, the ratio of average house prices to average earnings stood at around 3 to 1, meaning three years’ salary could buy a decent semi-detached house. Today the ratio stands at around 6 to 1. The consequence is that mothers no longer have a choice of whether to work or not. So we have two parents coming home after a full day’s work completely knackered and still having the equivalent of another days work in front of them. Getting a meal ready, sorting the mail, paying the bills, cleaning up, checking appointments, helping with homework and bathing the kids, are just a few of the many tasks that need to be done at the end of the day. For many couples, parenting time has been reduced to a bedtime story. For younger children at least, the main influence comes from the feminised education system.

    As children turn into teenagers, the influence of the corporate whore media becomes stronger and does nothing to lift the human spirit or inspire family life. Dystopian Hollywood movies, dysfunctional families portrayed in television soap operas, misogynistic sexual lyrics in rap music, Internet porn, violent video games, trashy magazines, cheap booze and drugs, all combine in a toxic cocktail that children, teenagers and parents alike are drinking by the bucket load. Family friendly films are becoming as rare as hen’s teeth.

    We all like to think we have a personal firewall that protects us from incoming trash or that we are somehow immune. That’s our ego getting in the way and is a huge mistake because eventually the prevailing culture absorbs everyone but the recluse. Even if we protect our own children they still mix with everyone else’s children.

    The Cinderella Law looks like a child snatchers charter that will do nothing to fix the root cause of the problem. Only a gradual reversal of the toxic culture that we live in can do that. That means affordable housing, full employment for men and re-education of parents through various forms of entertainment to inspire them to be better parents. Good propaganda if you like, to neutralise the decades of evil propaganda that every one of us has been subjected to.

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  7. David Mortimer · April 8, 2014

    Broadening the definition of abuse gives the state more power to question parents & put more children into care regardless it seems of the poor outcomes & cost.

    http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/fourintenchildrenfailt

    I’m sure you’re aware the Supreme Court has already considered the future psychological harm and threshold criteria

    http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed114415

    but what I would like to know is if you think it’s right for social workers in the UK to use future harm as a good reason to take peoples children away from them or not when the supreme court has said that suspicions or possibilities were not enough when considering the significant harm threshold?

    http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed111922

    The Baby Bond study says four in ten children don’t have a secure attachment to their parents but there is no way of testing or measuring a child’s attachment to it’s parent & social workers have a financial incentive to put children up for adoption regardless it seems of the poor outcomes & cost.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2585845/Four-ten-children-fail-connect-mum-dad-Poor-parenting-three-years-hold-children-school-cause-behavioural-problems.html

    Will the new test for mothers be the ASBO baby test from 2006?

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/top-stories/tests-to-reveal-asbo-babies-1-1142486

    Key quote “If the mother is unresponsive to the infant or her behaviour is repeatedly frightening to the infant, then there is a risk that the brain networks that help the child to deal with stress become unbalanced and that has been shown to lead to both mental health and other types of health problems in later life” – Dr Bjarne Holmes, the psychologist who is leading the research

    Story in full A TEN-minute test which identifies babies at risk of developing antisocial behaviour has been created by Scottish scientists.

    The psychological test, designed for women with children under six months of age, will enable health workers to pick out mothers who are failing to bond properly with their child.

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    • William B Hammond · April 9, 2014

      David, In the Mail article Co-author Jane Waldfogel, professor of social work and public affairs at Columbia University and a visiting professor at LSE, said: ‘Parents are an important influence on young children’s development and their chances in life”

      Wow, what a revelation! I would never have made that connection without the help of the professor. Seriously, though if these overpaid academics cannot say something useful they should get out of the way. In the same article the best rated readers comment is far more useful.

      “Do you think it is because so many children a/ don’t know their fathers (do the mothers even know who the fathers are?) or have such limited time with them there is no possibility of forming a relationship with them b/ there is a parade of boyfriends through the house so don’t bother getting attached because he will be gone next year, month, week, night. c/mothers are out working all the time so there is no one in the home. d. parents are out drinking or drugging most of the days/nights. Sorry if I sound cynical but it seems we have two extremes. Parents who hover over the kids and smother them or else parents who do no parenting at all.” ends…

      So basically, we have a complete tangled mess regarding family policy and a multitude of overpaid child “experts” trying to prove that water is wet. What we really need is the right conditions to be created for families to thrive. Government social engineers know exactly how to do this but they have chosen not to. Unfortunately the incompetence theory gains traction when we hear idiot MP’s making stupid statements, but don’t believe for one second that the policymakers at PM level (and above) don’t know what they are doing.

      I think it was Bill Clinton that coined the phrase, “It’s the economy stupid” Well I am coining the phrase, “It’s the depopulation agenda stupid” and the more of us that start using it the better.

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  8. Reblogged this on .

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  9. Anonymous · April 10, 2014

    There isn’t a person in this world who hasn’t at one time or another abused someone else.

    As the Head of my local Social Services pointed out to me when I wrote to him complaining of the verbal, physical and emotional abuse my daughter was suffering at the hands of her mother, “you have to do it lots of times before it becomes an abusive situation”, he said. But, I protested it does happen a lot. “But you’re not there all the time are you Mr. Anonymous” said the head of Social Services. Yes but even though I’m at work my daughter will phone me up screaming and sobbing, “mummy’s hitting me”. But you weren’t there Mr. Anonymous were you? No, but others have heard the screaming down the phone line, I have witnesses.

    And then much later in court when the social services report that mentioned the child complaining about her head being bashed against the wall has mysteriously disappeared and been replaced by the preferred version of events. The cafcass officer who sat there and persuaded you to put all that stuff in the past. Then the realisation after reading the cafcass report what a terrible inadequate father you are and how the responsibility for the mayhem and destruction is all yours. Then the dark moments on your own when you feel numbed as if you’ve been mugged and beaten and left on the roadside with just your thoughts to contend with and a great sense of loss.

    Kind regards

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  10. padrestevie · April 10, 2014

    If anyone was ever feckless enough to call themselves an “automotive entrepreneur” they may be surprised at how most people give them a very wide birth and how few cars they sell.

    Incredibly, if anyone calls themselves a “social entrepreneur” they are given a great deal of credence by politicians, funders and potential partners alike.

    Isn’t the world funny.

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