Maltreatment of Children that are in care
The link is to the story about the conviction of a Southampton Foster Carer from Thursday. What is important about this is the inaction of the authorities over a long period of time.
The problem is that the authorities are conflicted on dealing with these things and there is no independent protection of children that are in care from abuse. I have a similar sort of case in Birmingham. Not as extreme, but the system still covers things up.
Banners on Bridges
I was pleased that the prosecution withdrew the attempt to prosecute the three students who put a banner on the bridge between the Hyatt and the ICC during the Lib Dem Conference.
I presume that the people who put the following banner on a bridge also won't be prosecuted.
I was on the way back to Birmingham to give evidence for the defence, but was told on the way that the case had collapsed so I stopped part way and went back to London. It really should not have got as far as it did.
The imprisonment of Robert Green
This is an issue I have not managed to track down any proper details about. He was campaigning for a proper investigation of the case of Hollie Grieg. I explained to him that the clearly wrong aspects of the case was the persecution of those who were concerned about it.
Hence I am particularly worried that he himself has now been imprisoned. (cf Vicky Haigh).
These are not secret prisoners unlike Prisoner X.
However, it raises wider concerns about the way the system is operating.
The House of Lords and Overcrowding
It is a bit odd that the House of Lords have voted down a proposal that encourages unemployed people who are under occupying a council house or housing association property to downsize. There are lots of people living in overcrowded accommodation. At the same time there are people who have spare space.
It is as if those Lords voting for the amendment are not concerned about overcrowding.
These rules already apply to those people renting a private sector property.
Is prisoner X a secret prisoner?
I have reasons to believe that someone was recently imprisoned with reporting restrictions relating to their name. This is clearly against the Civil Procedure Rules. However, the fact that a court order is unlawful does not make it unenforceable.
It is, however, relatively difficult to find out if there are reporting restrictions.
Pregnancy and Privacy
This week's experience in terms of the media and Emily's pregnancy is a good example to look at from the perspective of privacy legislation.
On Monday I went to the Birmingham's Womens Hospital (previously known as the Maternity Hospital) with Emily to look at the 12 week scans of her pregnancy.
The day afterwards I had a tweet sent to me offering congratulations. On Saturday a journalist from the Sunday Mercury came to ask questions about the pregnancy.
Today it was the front page story of the Mercury and will be in the nationals tomorrow (some of them).
Now the privacy question is whether the law should be such that the journalists should be imprisoned for reporting this. I accept that it is inconvenient for the story to be reported. We had only told our daughter (Isobel) on Friday. Hence to have it published in a newpaper on Sunday is a bit earlier than we would have wished.
However, there is a real danger in controlling what truth is told by the media. I accept that the media should not be allowed to lie about people without regulation. However, there are lots of dangers in preventing them from telling the truth (I have a lot of examples).
From our personal viewpoint it was an irritating day where we needed to accelerate telling people. However, did it really warrant imprisoning journalists. I don't think so. Over to Eady J.
Today's sunday express and vitamin D
I link to the opinion section in the Sunday Express. This was a vitamin D deficiency case (of which I am aware of two more cases which are similar) where the court of appeal refused to hear the case because the child's life had "moved on". This
is the story.
So, let us fast forward say 16 years. The child finds that the court would not hear any suggestion that she was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and the court decided to prevent her mother from putting forward arguments that she suffered a vitamin D deficiency.
Is that really in the "best interests of the child" or is it moreso in the "best interests of the system."
There are many victims of this system. The birth parents, the child and the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents are told that the child has been the victim of abuse. I would hazard a guess that they are not told that the mother has been prevented from adducing evidence that it was a medical problem.