John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Sunday, June 17, 2012
  The State is not your Friend (thought police)
This story in the Sunday Express relates to the proposals by a local authority to remove a baby at birth. (note that there are a number of errors in the Sunday Express Article see below)

Removing a baby at birth is a really draconian thing to do. It has to be based upon a real and urgent threat to the baby. Removing the baby is often harmful to the baby. Hence it has to be a very serious threat.

In the linked case the local authorities concerns are as I said in the House of Commons on Wednesday:
Hansard has the full debate. My relevant section is:
Ms Toni McLeod, who lives with her family in Durham, is thinking of going to Ireland because she is pregnant. It is a difficult situation. She was a supporter of the English Defence League. I hate the EDL. Three of my children are mixed-race, and I protest against the EDL. Toni McLeod says that she is not racially prejudiced, but that children were taken from her partly because of her membership of the EDL. It was “felt that conversations and opinions may be expressed in the children’s presence.” That is a “thought police” approach to care. The system intervened because of what Toni McLeod might say in front of her children. She says that she has many friends who are Muslims and Sikhs, and that she disowns the EDL nowadays, but whether that is true or not, we should ask whether it is appropriate for the state to remove a child because children may be radicalised by a parent. Is that an appropriate use of the phrase “risk of significant harm”? That brings us back to the statutory guidance, which makes no effort whatsoever to give any indication of what is meant by the phrase.

So her husband is fighting for a country which won't allow his wife to keep her baby (and would probably give it to another family) because of what she might say to the child.

I oppose the EDL myself. Mrs McLeod says she now does not support the EDL. My view is that the EDL are generally out for a fight rather than expressing a political position. However, I do not think association with the EDL is good cause to remove a new born child from a mother. She has no real choice but to emigrate because the care system is so orientated towards adoption.


Statement from Toni MacLeod in respect of the Sunday Express Article: My name is Toni Macleod. I would like to put the record straight following the misleading article in the Sunday Express which repeated allegations made by Childrens Services in Durham that they should know not to be true.

I did respond violently to being arrested at the EDL demonstration and when a police officer punched me in the face the imprint of my teeth did appear on his knuckles. This was a response, not something I started. I am not a racist and I now regret going to the EDL demonstration. I do, however, strongly support the British Troops and will continue to back our boys. I have character references from Muslim and Sikh friends. I am not involved with North West Infidels.

I have never owned a Pit Bull. An ex-partner of mine attacked me in 2010 and my German Shepherd responded by biting him. The judge recognized that the dog was defending me and, therefore, the dog was not destroyed.

I do not have a mental health problem. I am not and have never been a drug addict. I have not drunk alcohol in 2012. I did get drunk on one day in 2011 when I was told that my children were not returning to me.

 
Comments:
How can anybody claim the removal after birth can be "in the child's interest"???

There's a precedent in Strasbourg: http://bit.ly/MiQzaB

And the right to breastfeed has a UK precedent: http://bit.ly/LYDO1v
 
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