New Video Bullies Parents Into Complying With Child Protection Professionals

Researching Reform

A new video produced by charity Just For Kids Law, under the pretext that it is trying to support parents going through child protection proceedings is thinly veiled propaganda which includes dangerous child protection advice.

The video, which is just under three minutes long, follows a young girl who was once in care and who now finds herself going through child protection proceedings after becoming pregnant. Whilst the animation is really nothing more than an advertisement for the charity’s legal services, it is the way in which it treats young parents that is so offensive – and so wide of the mark that it amounts to bullying.

Entitled, “If I Could Talk To Me”, the story approaches child protection proceedings as if the mother whose case we’re watching has gone back in time to advise her younger self to do things differently. Immediately, the assumption that’s being made is that…

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Conservative MPs accuse citizens of ‘scaremongering stories’ about experiences of Universal Credit.

Politics and Insights

Conservative MP Wendy Morton says Universal Credit ‘helps’ people into work and criticises opposition MPs for ‘scaremongering.’ However, the new benefit has pushed people into debt and rent arrears, with some forced to rely on food banks to survive. It’s difficult to see precisely how a social security benefit that creates those circumstances could possibly help people into work.

The introduction of Universal Credit was aimed at ‘incentivising’ people into work and to work longer hours, by ensuring that for those needing to claim welfare support, the experience was as uncomfortable as possible. Under the Conservatives, social security has been transformed into a system that meters out discipline,  coercing citizens into compliance with state-defined economic outcomes, rather than serving as a national insurance-funded provision to meet people’s basic necessities, should they need it – which was the original intention behind the welfare state. 

The introduction of ordeals and harsh conditionality in…

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Philip Hammond shamefully claims UK productivity rates low because more disabled people are in work

Politics and Insights

Philip Hammond has been roundly criticised following comments he made to the Treasury Select Committee, after he seemed to suggest that falling productivity rates in the UK workforce was due to more disabled people being in work.

Giving evidence to the Commons Treasury Select Committee concerning the Budget, the Chancellor said: “It is almost certainly the case that by increasing participation in the workforce, including far higher levels of participation by marginal groups and very high levels of engagement in the workforce, for example of disabled people – something we should be extremely proud of – may have had an impact on overall productivity measurements.”

“It may have collateral impact on measured productivity performance”, he added.

These comments betray a political mindset that is underpinned by the idea that disabled people are somehow a ‘burden’ on the economy, either in work or out of it. Conservative ministers such as David…

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The questions Hunt must answer on his americanised-NHS plans

The SKWAWKBOX

hunt gormlessJeremy Hunt is in the middle of an enormous stealth-reorganisation of the NHS into ACOs (accountable care organisations), modelled along the lines of the hugely inefficient US healthcare system. According to healthcare experts:

  • Like Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, the introduction of Accountable Care Organisations is being done in replacement of a single, English NHS, with the loss of all national risk pooling and finance pooling.
  • ACOs are designed to not automatically serve everyone in a given area, the way the NHS would have done. E.g.: They are only obliged to deal with individuals who are registered with them.
  • They have artificially restricted, pre-set budgets that are cut so as not to cover all of people’s healthcare needs, the way the NHS otherwise would have done. This means people will be denied care, which the 2012 Health and Social Care Act laid the groundwork for by removing the…

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Tories allowing wealthy landowners, developers to kill robins, eagles, starlings, bats and hen harriers

Pride's Purge

Since coming to power, the Tories have been granting permission for wealthy landowners and developers – many of whom are Tory Party donors – to kill native British wildlife – including robins, starlings, bats, badgers (of course), beautiful hen harriers and other rare species.

This war on our native British wildlife by the Tories has been happening under the radar – a gradual ratcheting up of a low intensity conflict against wildlife which includes granting obscure licences to developers to cull rare species or simply turning a blind eye to the illegal slaughter of birds of prey by grouse shooting landowners.

The latest moves are much bolder – the possible granting of licences for grouse shooting estates to kill rare birds of prey because their wealthy owners are worried they may be ‘interfering’ with their blood ‘sport’.

Eagles have been targeted.

Robins and starlings have been targeted.

Bats have…

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McDonnell was right – borrowing for investment does pay for itself

The SKWAWKBOX

Channel 4’s FactCheck recently published an article claiming Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was wrong to say that Labour’s plans to borrow for infrastructure investment would pay for themselves. Other economists disagree.

Reposted with permission from Socialist Economic Bulletin:

The manufactured furore surrounding John McDonnell in the wake of the Budget has a clear purpose. It is designed to distract attention from probably the grimmest set of forecasts delivered in a Budget in the modern era and to deflect criticism from the Tory government.

This is not solely an anti-Labour, pro-Tory propaganda campaign. Contrary to widespread assertions, austerity is not coming to an end and is being deepened. Seven years of falling living standards are not over. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), very far from being a left-wing thinktank, says that living standards will be lower in 2023 than they were in 2008.

This is a doubling down on…

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Universal Credit And Legacy Benefits

Same Difference

Thanks to Gail Ward.

Universal Credit>>
“People on legacy benefits who don’t have a change of circumstances will remain on those benefits until managed migration, with transitional protection, starts in July 2019. Anyone on legacy benefits who has one of a number of changes of circumstances, including someone on HB moving to another local authority area won’t be able to make a new claim for HB and so will have to claim UC which in turn will mean their ESA will end. This natural migration will mean less money because there’s no transitional protection.
Unfortunately, some DWP staff, some HB staff in other areas and even some independent advisers are telling people to claim UC without checking if they really have to”

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