Workers and Shirkers: Jesus, okay, Iain Duncan Smith Wept.

Is this true remorse or just ‘crocodile tears’.

The vast majority on benefits are there because they have no ability to work and never will have, this is not by choice, but due to their disability and or health deterioration. Due to increasing survival rates, due to considerable medical advances many persons who would not have survived years ago are now doing so, but the Government processes and the media attention are not taking this into consideration and are thereby, by their actions, demonising people on benefits and a good proportion of the public are believing this. Both the Government and some of the media are guilty of malicious propaganda.


Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Bringing the discussion into the here and now … Workers Or Shirkers? Ian Hislop’s Victorian Benefits.

Ipswich Unemployed Action is in two minds about watching this documentary tonight: Workers and Shirkers.

Thursday 7 April. 8.00pm-9.00pm. BBC TWO

Ian Hislop’s entertaining and provocative look at Victorian attitudes to the poor sheds a sharp light on today: controversial benefits cuts, anxieties about scroungers, sensational newspaper reports, arguments about who does and doesn’t deserve welfare – it’s all there!

Ian explores the views of five colourful individuals whose Victorian attitudes remain incredibly resonant. Pioneer of the workhouse Edwin Chadwick feared that hand-outs would lead to scrounging and sought to make sure that workers were always better-off than the unemployed. That sounds fair – but was his solution simply too unkind?

James Greenwood, Britain’s first undercover reporter, made poverty a cause célèbre – but is that kind of journalism voyeuristic?

Helen Bosanquet, an early social worker, believed that poverty was caused by ‘bad character’ – that some people simply more deserving…

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Catholic church tells bishops that it’s ‘not necessarily’ their duty to report sex abuse by priests | DeadState

A training document released last week by the Vatican, which was issued to newly inducted bishops, states that it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that “only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.”

Source: Catholic church tells bishops that it’s ‘not necessarily’ their duty to report sex abuse by priests | DeadState

Poverty in Britain

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video from Britain says about itself:

Poor Kids BBC Part 1 2011

Documentary telling the stories of some of the 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. It is one of the worst child poverty rates in the industrialised world, and successive governments continue to struggle to bring it into line. So who are these children, and where are they living? Under-represented, under-nourished and often under the radar, 3.5 million children should be given a voice. And this powerful film does just that.

Eight-year-old Courtney, 10-year-old Paige and 11-year-old Sam live in different parts of the UK. Breathtakingly honest and eloquent, they give testament to how having no money affects their lives: lack of food, being bullied and having nowhere to play. The children might be indignant about their situation now, but this may not be enough to help them. Their thoughts on their futures…

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Lamb hopes new plans will speed up pace of reform

Original post from Disabled Go News

‘…….Lamb hopes new plans will speed up pace of reform

a portrait picture of norman lamb

A new raft of proposals aim to make it easier for people with learning difficulties, mental health conditions and autism to escape institutional care and live independently in the community.

The Liberal Democrat care and support minister Norman Lamb said he had published the No Voice Unheard, No Right Ignored consultation paper after becoming frustrated at the slow pace of change in improving health and care services across England.

He said the “potential ideas” laid out in the paper had four key principles: giving people control of their support, rather than being “prisoners” of the system; inclusion and independence in the community; proper person-centred planning; and “very clear” accountability and responsibility throughout the system.

Among the proposals, which could only become law if the next government takes them forward, Lamb suggests that only those organisations that include self-advocates and family carers on their governing bodies should win contracts with the local authority or the NHS to provide services for people with learning difficulties or autism.

Local authorities and NHS commissioners would have to take account of factors which support inclusion in the community when making decisions on living arrangements, while there would be stronger rights to request a transfer to a “less restrictive” setting or somewhere closer to home, or to ask for a discharge.

Local authorities and the NHS could also have a duty to think about how to ensure they provide enough community-based support and treatment services.

Another proposal is for every service-user to be given a named social worker to keep them “informed and involved” and to “make sure less restrictive and community based plans are considered”.

Lamb said: “While recognising the complexities, I have been disappointed that some commissioners have failed to grasp and act on the urgency of putting in place suitable community provision. We have to go further.

“We want to consider how we can make sure that the rights, incentives, responsibilities and duties in the system ensure that change is delivered everywhere and no-one can fall through the gaps any longer.”

The proposals would affect assessment and treatment units (ATUs) in mental health hospitals for people with learning difficulties or autism; care and support for adults with learning difficulties and autism; and adults and children affected by the Mental Health Act.

The consultation paper was co-authored by the leading self-advocate Gavin Harding, who has himself spent time in ATUs and is co-chair of the government’s transforming care assurance board.

He says in the consultation document: “We closed NHS campuses and long stay hospitals. But we now have some very large ATUs. We must not make the same mistakes again.

“Equally, we must not find we end up with very large organisations as providers in the community which are not responsive to individuals.

“Local commissioners need to start helping to make sure there are many, high quality, responsive local community providers not big institutions.”

Only last month, members of the Commons public accounts committee expressed concern at the lack of progress in moving people with learning difficulties out of long-term ATUs, despite the public outrage at the abuse that took place at Winterbourne View, a private hospital on the edge of Bristol, exposed by the BBC’s Panorama in May 2011.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, told the committee last month that NHS England would close some of the remaining hospitals that provide in-patient mental health beds for people with learning difficulties, and move people with learning difficulties and challenging behaviour into community settings.

A National Audit Office report published last month said there were 2,615 people with learning difficulties and challenging behaviour in hospital in England in March 2014, 2,601 in June 2014, and 2,600 in September 2014, while the average length of stay, including admissions and readmissions, in four hospitals visited by NAO, was 17 years and four months.

Campaigners have been attempting to persuade governments to close long-stay hospitals for people with learning difficulties since the late 1940s.

In 1951, the National Council for Civil Liberties released a report describing the regime brought in by the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act – which confined hundreds of thousands of people with learning difficulties to long-stay NHS hospitals – as “one of the gravest social scandals of the twentieth century”.

Lamb’s consultation will run for 12 weeks and ends on 29 May.

News provided by John Pring at


Hi I’m Aden, I work at DisabledGo as the Digital Marketing Manager and I manage the blog and all social media channels.

More posts from author………….’

Buck passing for failure to prosecute FGM must stop

Original post* from Home Affairs Committee*



14 March 2015

The Home Affairs Committee publishes its report, Female genital mutilation: follow-up, on 14 March 2015, following a revisit of the issue of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).


Raising the profile of FGM

  • The work that has been done by the media, politicians and most importantly by survivors and campaigners has raised the profile of FGM, so that many more people are aware of this horrendous form of child abuse. However, it is still the case that there have been no successful prosecutions for FGM in the UK in the last 20 years.
  • In Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham alone, 1,500 recorded cases of FGM were recorded over the last five years, with doctors seeing six patients who have undergone the procedure each week.
  • There seems to be a chasm between the amount of reported cases and the lack of prosecutions. Someone, somewhere is not doing their job effectively.

Female genital cosmetic surgery

  • We recommend that the Government amend the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 in order to make it very clear that female genital cosmetic surgery would be a criminal offence.

Safeguarding at-risk girls

  • Not enough is being done by the Royal Colleges to encourage their members to report cases of FGM. Given the recent prosecution there may be an even greater reluctance to do so, however, we consider that it is imperative that the Royal College of GPs inform every single doctor about this practice and give them an indication of where adequate training can be provided.

Recent Government action

  • We welcome the provision in the Serious Crime Act to introduce mandatory reporting of FGM, by healthcare professionals, teachers and social care workers, to the police. However, it remains unclear what would happen in the event that a professional should fail to make a report. We recommend that the Government set out the sanctions that may apply when a professional has failed to meet their duty, which should range from compulsory training to a criminal offence for intentional or repeated failures.
  • The Government needs to be aware of the impact that its decisions have on FGM campaigners within practicing communities. We recommend the establishment of an advisory panel of FGM campaigners, which should be consulted before any major policy decisions are taken and also act as a sounding board to ensure that sufficient action is taken.

Chair’s comments

Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

“FGM is an ongoing national scandal which is likely to have resulted in the preventable mutilation of thousands of girls.  Successive governments, politicians, the police, health, education and social care sectors should all share responsibility for the failure to respond adequately to the growing prevalence of FGM in the UK.

In our report last year, we called for immediate action. In that time there have not been any successful prosecutions, and the number of referrals to the police has barely increased. This record is lamentable. The DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) informed the Committee that she could only prosecute on the basis of evidence, the police said that they could only investigate on the basis of referral, and the health professionals told us that they could not refer cases because their members were not fully trained and aware of the procedure. While agencies play pass the parcel of responsibility, young girls are being mutilated every hour of every day. This is deplorable. This barbaric crime which is committed daily on such a huge scale across the UK cannot continue to go unpunished.

The law relating to  female genital cosmetic surgery is ambiguous and must be clarified. We cannot tell communities in Sierra Leone and Somalia to stop a practice which is freely permitted on Harley Street. Doctors are on the front line. Their professional organisations must do more to encourage their members to report cases of FGM. Without their active reporting of these cases, the full extent of FGM will remain hidden.”

Further information

Image: iStockphoto………….’





*Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v3.0.




Serious case review slams police failure in serial abuse of Oxford girls

 Why in the past has no one listened, for it is a sad state for society if abuse is allowed to continue unchecked. Over the years there have been quite a few instances of abuse where the abused have not been listened to, which as then allowed the abuse to continue. Those that have been now been acted upon include the Saville sexual abuse scandal, Rochdale child abuse, Rotherham child sexual abuse and now this from Oxford.

Why, at the time when the first reporting is made, do the Police and the Social Services and other organisations not act on the reporting. Is it due, in some instances, to the well-known persons who are alleged to be involved and the power they have or is it political correctness in others. or even other reasons. But, what ever the reason or reasons those who are in need of protection, the abused, should be listened to and the abusers taken to task, so that others who could also be at risk can be saved from the risk of abuse. The authorities and Society need to listen and act responsively so that protection and safety can be the priority.

But will this be the end, where will the next be from?

Original post

Some of the 300 victims, mostly girls in care, were exploited for more than eight years despite repeated calls for help to authorities

Thames Valley police
Thames Valley police are criticised in the report for failing to act on repeated calls for help. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images

More than 300 young people have been groomed and sexually exploited by gangs of men in Oxfordshire in the past 15 years, a damning report into the failures of police and social services to stop years of sexual torture, trafficking and rape will reveal, the Guardian has learned.

The victims, mostly girls, come predominantly from the city of Oxford, increasing concerns that the grooming and exploitation of vulnerable young people by groups of older men is not confined to the inner cities. One senior investigative source said: “If you think you haven’t got a problem in your city or town, you are just not looking for it.”

Police and social services in Oxfordshire will be heavily criticised for not doing enough to stop years of violent abuse and enslavement of six young girls, aged 11-15, by a gang of men. Such was the nature of the abuse, suffered for more than eight years by the girls, it was likened to torture. All of the victims had a background in care.

A serious case review by the Oxfordshire safeguarding children’s board, to be published on Tuesday, will condemn Thames Valley police for not believing the young girls, for treating them as if they had chosen to adopt the lifestyle, and for failing to act on repeated calls for help.

Oxfordshire social services – which had responsibility for the girls’ safety – will be equally damned for knowing they were being groomed and for failing to protect them despite compelling evidence they were in danger. One social worker told a trial that nine out of 10 of those responsible for the girls was aware of what was going on.

The serious case review has put a figure on the numbers exploited to give an idea of the scale of the problem. The report will say more than 300 young people have been subjected to grooming and abuse between 1999 and 2014 in Oxfordshire alone.

The attempt to quantify the scale of abuse mirrors the work of the Jay report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, which said 1,400 young people had been subjected to grooming and abuse between 1999 and 2013.

An insider said the report was “brutal” in its condemnation of Thames Valley police and Oxfordshire social services.

Weeks before the publication of the serious case review, the chief executive of Oxfordshire county council, Joanna Simons, announced she would be stepping down in the summer, a move questioned by the Oxford East MP Andrew Smith, who said he was “concerned at the decision and how it had been taken”.

The council said she would not be replaced and the authority was reorganising its management structure. In a joint message with the council in January, Simons said that in order to protect frontline services, the authority would be making changes to its top team which would involve the departure of the chief executive.

The case echoes the child exploitation scandals in Rotherham, Rochdale and Derby involving gangs of men of Asian background targeting white girls in care. In Oxford, however, the grooming, sexual torture and trafficking took place on the streets of the Cowley area of the city, in churchyards, parks, a guesthouse and empty flats procured for the purpose of drugging the girls and handing them around to be gang raped and brutalised.

A 12-year-old victim was branded by the men and, when she fell pregnant, subjected to a backstreet abortion in a house in Reading. Over six years, she was repeatedly raped by groups of men in what she described as “torture sex”.

Key findings in the serious case review will expose how police officers and social workers did not listen to the girls when they spoke of the abuse they were suffering, did not believe them and dismissed them.

The girls and some of their abusers crossed the police and social services radar multiple times. In 2006 alone, the police received four complaints from the young girls about the men, with their accounts corroborated in some cases. One victim reported the abuse twice to police in 2006. She told officers: “They are doing it to other girls, little girls with their school uniforms on.”

There were thousands of contacts between both agencies and the girls and they were reported missing at least 450 times. One victim, known as Girl C, has spoken of how her foster mother reported her missing 80 times.

The number of young people identified by the report – more than 300 – as victims of child sexual exploitation in the last 15 years is considered a robust figure because the girls have all been spoken to by police or social services.

But the numbers are likely to be an underestimate. Figures from Thames Valley police reveal that 220 of the 2,000 child abuse cases reported across the force in 13 months from July 2013 to August 2014involved child sexual exploitation.

Nearly 700 children and young people suspected of being at risk of exploitation have been referred to new specialist police and social services units in Thames Valley between November 2012 and November 2014; 250 in Berkshire, 237 in Buckinghamshire and 206 in Oxfordshire.

It was not until 2011 when DCI Simon Morton trawled through missing persons reports, health records and social services data that Thames Valley police began to link the girls’ repeated patterns of going missing, returning and going missing again with the activities of the men – some of whom were known to police for drug crimes.

After a groundbreaking two-year investigation, Operation Bullfinch, seven men – including two sets of brothers – were convicted at the Old Bailey in May 2013 of 43 offences, which included trafficking, forcing girls into prostitution, procuring an illegal abortion, rape and physical violence.

Brothers Akhtar and Anjum Dogar, Bassam and Mohammed Karrar, Kamar Jamil, Zeeshan Ahmed and Assad Hussain, who were all from Oxford, were given sentences ranging from a minimum of seven to 20 years in prison.


Financial Crisis

Funding for both health and social care in the UK has been at critical for the last few years. It may have been that some of the money spent could have been used more effectively. But with the funding cuts imposed on both Local Authority Social Care and the NHS over the last few years much of this has now been addressed. Any cuts now being managed are having a direct effect on the front line services, this then requires services to be cut to the persons who need the services most.

You do not need to be financially educated to see why demand is exceeding funding. With the advances in medical science, the ability for most persons to live longer, the past policies of allowing large scale immigration to the UK have resulted in the greater demand.

To cut front line services for care and support, will mean a drastic reduction in the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable and also chronically ill persons in the UK.

Many feel there is still masses of waste in both health and social care and to over spend on their budgets means there is massive ineffective use of the monies involved. But in many areas this is not so, it is the demand outstripping the funding for supply.

For these persons who feel there is still waste, do they wish for the persons who need to have these services, to not have these, thus resulting in a drastic reduction in their quality of life. In many instances the existing quality of life for these persons will be much lower than that is expected from persons who feel there is waste of financial resources.

The UK needs to take stock of itself and see that it is not the country it once was. We are a small nation in a much larger world. We still wish to see ourselves as the country that can help every other country, but in doing so we are not helping ourselves, especially those in the UK who do need help. We are richer than most, but our finance is much needed at home.

The persons who govern the UK need to take this into consideration. We can not afford to send armed forces here and everywhere, not only do we not have sufficient frontline persons to do so, but the costs relating to equipment and weaponry are so expensive for our meager finances.

As the time long gone when we need to concentrate on the UK and not the wider world. But in doing so will some of our industries that rely on the rest of the world also suffer, the finance centre in London, banking on a global scale, the energy and fuel industries, let alone the balance of payments, the ratio of spending on goods and services coming into the UK and the receipts for goods and services going out of the UK.

Just what is the answer?

Cuts and more cuts to Social Care

Deeper cuts to Social Care Budgets

Many, if not all councils are making cuts which will affect frontline services and some of these will reduce the amount of care being given or made available to some of the most vulnerable adults in the UK.

Many of these adults are reliant solely on their council funded care packages, as their disability benefits are used to fund other essential daily living costs, such as food, heating and other costs.

Some may have family carers, but these carers are already providing care to the limit of their resources. There is no slack for them to do more. many of the carers, themselves are aged and after many years of caring, their health as or is beginning to deteriorate.

The effects of any of these cuts will enhance the health deteriorisation of both family carers and those being cared for. This will, create many safeguarding issues and will further stretch the resources of both the NHS and Social Services.

Thereby creating a much greater funding crisis.

While I do not begrudge the ‘ring fenced’ money for Overseas Aid, thereby safeguarding the vulnerable overseas, but why can not the same be given to the vulnerable of the UK.

Child abuse is it teachers reponsibility to report.

Child abuse

Why single out children, abuse is rife in the UK society of today, to any one classed as being vulnerable or being a person who may be at risk. This includes children, the elderly, the persons with a disability or in effect any person who is at risk from a person with power or assumed power. This power person could be a parent, a relative, a stranger, a friend, an employer, a work colleague, the list is endless. This is because an abuser could be anybody and the abused could be anybody, it only takes someone in a state of power or assumed power to commit abusive acts to someone who they know or feel is in a vulnerable state.

Then, in effect, all persons should be resonsible for reporting any acts of assumed abuse. It would then be the responsiblity of the appropriate bodies to investigate and to then act accordingly.

Safeguarding will an issue happen in Sheffield?

Sheffield Social Services are they creating safeguarding issues

Sheffield Social Services (1) are currently in a financial dilemma, with an anticipated budget overspend, do they cut spending in the department or endeavour to obtain monies from other budgets, it would appear the former, but what will this eventually create?

What has occurred?

The Social Services budget for 2012/2013 was overspent by £6.3 million and there is now a projected overspend for Social Services of £11 million, of which £6.5 million is in Learning Disabilities (1).

So if there were not significant changes in practices or other means from 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 there would have been an expected overspend of £6.3 million. But due to Government austerity cuts, it is said that savings of 20% need to be made.

The following is an extract from  Budget Conversion 2014-2015: Shaping our future together (1)

‘But Sheffield Social Services accept that we have an increasing number of older people, particularly very old people. They also expect a 32% increase in people aged over 85 in the next 10 years.

For disabled Adults with complex needs (2), there is an increase of 5% each year.

This is in addition to an increase in the number of older people being discharged from hospital who need social care support.

There is more people with mental health issues seeking social services funded support – a 64% increase from 2011/2012 to 2012/2013.

An increase in the demand and cost of support packages for people needing support. Between 2011/2012 and 2012/2013

– number of customers supported increased by 11%

– average cost of support per customer increased by 8%.’

This is at a time when according to the article 72 more jobs in social services are at risk. Who will be going and what action is being taken?  Is this action appropriate? As the facts are extremely limited, and knowledge is not forthcoming due to apparent employment restrictions.

So at a time when demand is increasing to make savings staffing levels are being reduced.

If by any methods of reducing costs the demands on the service are not met, this will result in some safeguarding issues for the most vulnerable adults residing in Sheffield.

While this may not be at the scale of Winterborne (2) or Mid-Staffs (3). It will cause a degree of risk to some, at least, of these adults who are vulnerable.

These are not people who can be discarded or left to fend for themselves.  Without the services they require to ensure their critical needs are met, these needs will not be met.

These social services are priority services and need to be maintained at all costs.

While I do not have the figures to hand, it is logical to assume, if there was an over spend in the budget of 2012/2013, then there would be an over spend in 2013/2014, before taking into account the budget reduction, and the increases in the demand and resultant increase in costs.

You have to question, was the budget set for 2013/2014, a realistic budget (1) and if not, it was doomed to an over spend greater than in the previous year.

As the budgets, I assume, are monitored by the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council, why have they been so quiet?

Some budget information was apparently released, but no apparent mention re Social Services

Is Sheffield being fairly treated by Central Government.

(1) © Copyright of Sheffield City Council 2013

(2) Crown Copyright. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0

(3) © The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry 2010