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Your choice: Tyranny or HomeStart

I have linked to Homestart. This is a charitable organisation that supports families. In some ways they fit in where the extended families have been split up via motorways. I opened a funday for my local Homestart this morning.

They are a very effective way of supporting families in such a way that does not result in children being at risk.

Massively more money goes into Social Services Child Protection than into HomeStart. Homestart locally costs less than one foster place. The current system gives a large amount of power to Social Services. The reason they have that power is that they operate in secret. Power does tend to corrupt.

The Orkney saga was one of a number of instances of this. To be fair to Social Services there is a tendency in the media to assume that intervention is always positive. Hence they get damned if they do and damned if they don't. The reality, however, is that many so called investigations are not proper objective investigations. I have seen reports written by senior and experience social workers that are complete drivel.

There are two key changes that are needed to child protection. One is to open up the Family Court procedures to scrutiny and ensure that there is "equality of arms" throughout the quasi-judicial procedures that abound in this arena.

The second is to move the enforcement aspects of Child Protection out of the Social Services Departments into a separate agency. I would have the police run this, but am open to other suggestions. Substantially more money needs to go to organisations such as HomeStart. That, however, is far better than the form of tyrannical regime run by many Social Services Departments at the moment.

The fact is that this system (and I am unsure about the idea of the massive database as well) does not serve children well. It is a juggernaut that appears to be out of control.

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Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).

KING’S BENCH DIVISION

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

LORD HEWART CJ:
It is clear that the deputy clerk was a member of the firm of solicitors engaged in the conduct of proceedings for damages against the applicant in respect of the same collision as that which gave rise to the charge that the justices were considering. It is said, and, no doubt, truly, that when that gentleman retired in the usual way with the justices, taking with him the…

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