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Friday, September 27, 2013
  C (Children) Re: [2013] EWCA Civ 1158
Behind this judgment is a long history which causes me considerable concern. However, as is often the case it would be contempt of court to say what the concerns are.

However, the fact that this has been prevented from being considered before the Court of Appeal even on paper does cause me further concern ... more later.

 
Thursday, September 26, 2013
  More state sponsored child stealing
The table below is part of the Statistical First Release. It demonstrates that the increase in adoption numbers isn't as a result of getting older children "languishing" in care adopted, but instead in an increase in toddlers and pre-schoolers getting adopted.

Some children are placed for adoption because the courts claim that the mother agrees to this when she doesn't. Others are in care because of mums political views (going on an EDL march for example). I really don't think this is other than state sponsored child stealing.

Obviously we need a child protection system but it doesn't protect children from being starved to death or indeed from being raped whilst in the care of the local authority. What it does do is get children adopted.

2013 adoptions

 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
  Energy Prices are a problem, but a retail price freeze risks blackouts
These are today's figures for SSE.
2013 09 25 sse
Note the overall profit of 62.31p per share in a turnover of 2935.07 per share. This is a profit of just over 2% of turnover.
The problem is the underlying price of energy. That, however, is set by the global markets and we are energy importers. If you have a retail price freeze and an increase in the underlying price of energy then there is only a 2% leeway of profit before the company goes into losses. The first thing that would stop is the investment in new plant. Without new plant we face the threat of blackouts.
Companies like BG (British Gas) make a higher proportion of profit because they are benefiting from producing fossil fuels and are not mainly a retail company.
 
Thursday, September 19, 2013
  Slovak Investigation and the International Criminal Court
I spoke last Thursday about the investigation in the Slovak Republic into corruption in the courts in England. There is a press report on Joj TV (in Slovak, but you can use Google translate on the text), here and here
The following is the statement by the General Prosecutor in the Slovak Republic

Jana Tokolyova, spokesman of the only biggest institution of investigation in the country, called General Prokuratura.

On Monday Silvia M. has made criminal complaint. On Wednesday, the director of General Prokuratura met the deputy director of National criminal agency of Police Prezidium and they have named a special agent that will deal with this case. We will not publish further information
because of possible investigation obstruction.
---------- Původní zpráva ----------

Datum: 14. 8. 2013
Předmět: Re: dotaz pro TV JOJ


Vážený pán Krpač,
V pondelok 12. 8. 2013 podala Silvia M. na Generálnej prokuratúre Slovenskej republiky trestné oznámenie. Vzhľadom na obsah trestného oznámenia, sa dnes stretlo na pracovnom rokovaní vedenie Generálnej prokuratúry so zástupcom riaditeľa Národnej kriminálnej agentúry Prezídia Policajného zboru. V trestnom konaní bude činný policajt tejto zložky Prezídia policajného zboru.
Právnu kvalifikáciu skutočností uvedených v trestnom oznámení, ako trestný čin, nebudeme uvádzať z dôvodu, že trestné konanie je v tomto štádiu neverejné a tiež, aby nedošlo k zmareniu tohto konania.
Chcela by som Vás ešte upozorniť na Vami nesprávne použitý termín. (Žaloba sa podáva na príslušný súd, obžalobu podáva prokurátor na súd) - na prokuratúru bolo podané trestné oznámenie.
Prajem Vám príjemný deň
Ing. Jana Tökölyová
hovorkyňa generálnej prokuratúry
tlačové a informačné oddelenie
Generálna prokuratúra Slovenskej republiky
www.genpro.gov.sk



I am now in discussions with various people about making a more general application to the International Criminal Court.
 
Sunday, September 15, 2013
  Labour did pilot and plan a Bedroom tax for social housing
In Hansard you can find this interchange.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the local housing allowance will be extended from the nine Pathfinder authorities to all local authorities. [R] [146690]
Malcolm Wicks: There will be a comprehensive evaluation of local housing allowance Pathfinders including interviews with claimants, landlords, local authority staff and stakeholder organisations, as well as an analysis of administrative data. This is already underway. The findings of the evaluation will inform decisions on the national extension of the allowance. It is envisaged that local housing allowance will be extended to all local authorities in 2006.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons the local housing allowance applies only to the de-regulated private sector. [R] [146691]
Malcolm Wicks: We hope to implement a flat rate housing benefit system in the social sector, similar to that anticipated in the private rented sector to enable people in that sector to benefit from the choice and flexibility that the reforms can provide. We aim to extend our reforms to the social rented sector as soon as rent restructuring and increased choice have created an improved market.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how the rent of those tenants whose rent is higher than the local housing allowance will be paid; [R] [146692] (2) whether there will be a hardship payment to prevent the eviction of those tenants whose rent is higher than the new local housing allowance. [R] [146693]
Malcolm Wicks: Tenants whose rent is higher than their local housing allowance will be expected to make good the difference with their landlord. This is no different to what happens under existing rules. During the Pathfinder stage, no claimant will be worse off financially at the point of change as they will be covered by a form of transitional protection. There will not be a hardship payment to tenants whose rent is higher than their local housing allowance. Tenants will have the choice to shop around and look for a cheaper property in such circumstances.

Labour did bring in limits on spare rooms for people in private rented property in 2008. It is clear from this that their plan was to later on introduce this for people in Council Houses and other Social Housing. The delay was because they wanted the rents to raise to be close to those in the private sector. "as soon as rent restructuring and increased choice have created an improved market."

 
  My speech from Thursday
The text is here.
 
  Lord Ashcroft on the Tory Party Bills Tabled by Peter Bone MP.
Lord Ashcroft has obtained opinion polls about the bills tabled by the tories to show what would happen were there to be an overall conservative majority. He wrote about them here. Quoting from that:
Mr Bone’s favourite among this assortment of “true blue bills” is the proposal to name the August Bank Holiday “Margaret Thatcher Day”. Unfortunately it is also the least popular. Only 13% of voters thought this was a good idea (and only 9% of those who were told the idea had been put forward by Conservative MPs); two thirds did not. Even Tory voters disagreed with the policy by a margin of 23 points.

The idea of allowing employees to opt out of the minimum wage was also strikingly unpopular, with only 23% agreeing. The suggestion of abolishing the Department of Energy and Climate Change won over a full quarter of the electorate, while privatising the BBC amassed the support of 28%. Less than a third also approved of scrapping the office of Deputy Prime Minister and ending subsidies to wind farms.

 
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
  Interesting case for Grandparents
This is an interesting permission to appeal case for grandparents. It uses the argument that because grandparents have successfully brought up some children then they should pass an assessment. This is an argument I have used in the Family Justice Bill.

I am not sure where the case went in the end, but this was a useful step.

 
Sunday, September 08, 2013
  Secret campaign launched against Lobbying Bill called Stopthegaggingbill.com
A secret campaign has been launched against the Lobbying Bill. They have created a website www.stopthegaggingbill.com. They are encouraging people to send out emails against the bill (in which the website itself is misspelt). However, they don't say who they are. A whois search gives no information as they have decided to hid their identities (see below).

In a sense the issue is being sorted anyway as the concern of NGOs that they might have to register their spending is being dealt with. I asked the government for a commitment that the bill would be changed in committee and it will be.

However, I think it is a bit naughty not to reveal who is behind the campaign. There should be at least one named person identified. I don't think the law needs to be changed, but a bit of transparency would be nice.

WHOIS information for stopthegaggingbill.com:***

[Querying whois.verisign-grs.com]
[Redirected to whois.123-reg.co.uk]
[Querying whois.123-reg.co.uk]
[whois.123-reg.co.uk]
******************************************************************
Registrar: 123Reg/Webfusion
URL:  http://www.123-reg.co.uk/domain-names/

This domain is provided by 123-reg. We're the UK's largest 
registrar with over 3 million domains sold. We also provide
cheap, easy website creation. 
******************************************************************

Domain Name:  STOPTHEGAGGINGBILL.COM
Creation Date:  2013-08-21
Expiry Date:  2014-08-21
Nameserver:  ns13.nationbuilder.com
Nameserver:  ns10.nationbuilder.com
Nameserver:  ns12.nationbuilder.com
Nameserver:  ns11.nationbuilder.com
Registrant Name: Identity Protection Service
Registrant Company: Identity Protect Limited
Registrant Address: PO Box 795
Registrant Address: Godalming
Registrant Address: Surrey
Registrant Address: GU7 9GA
Registrant Address: GB
Administrative Name: Identity Protection Service
Administrative Company: Identity Protect Limited
Administrative Address: PO Box 795
Administrative Address: Godalming
Administrative Address: Surrey
Administrative Address: GU7 9GA
Administrative Address: GB
Administrative Email: stopthegaggingbill.com@identity-protect.org
Technical Name:  Identity Protection Service
Technical Company: Identity Protect Limited
Technical Address: PO Box 795
Technical Address: Godalming
Technical Address: Surrey
Technical Address: GU7 9GA
Technical Address: GB
Technical Email: stopthegaggingbill.com@identity-protect.org
 
  Data Protection used to stop the truth being told
This post by Rico Sorda goes into some further details on how the power of the state is being used in Jersey to stop the truth being told. This should really worry people, but I don't think it will get much attention.
 
Saturday, September 07, 2013
  "As happens in Sicily from time to time"
To me what is interesting about This report by the BBC about the withdrawal of allegations about Labour Party activities in Falkirk is that the current MP Eric Joyce said: "As happens in Sicily from time to time a number of people seem to have withdrawn their evidence and said they never had a complaint in the first place.

It comes across as something much more murky than it started out as. This important nuance is, however, completely missing from the BBC's written article. The implication of Eric Joyce's comments is that it looks like pressure was put on a number of people to withdraw their evidence with the quid pro quo of the withdrawal of Karie Murphy.

 
Friday, September 06, 2013
  It looks like imprisonments have dropped by 90% since secrecy stopped (Another suspended committal)
This case was added to Bailii yesterday more than three months after the hearing. The hearing was a month after the new rules came in. It is clear that some of the judges are not very good at following the rules in a timely manner. With the Derby case we knew about it and had raised it at a more senior level. Historically there were around 60 actual committals per year. The rate we know about is much lower than this. The government, however, refuse to record what number of people are sent to prison. Hence there is no proper accountability on this as it remains possible for someone to be imprisoned in secret and it not to be known. This, to be fair, is something the government should deal with.

Before 3rd May in 2013 there were Garry Johnson, Mike Clarke (in public) - on the run in spain) and a grandmother in I think Barnsley that I know about that were actually given committals.
Since then the published judgments are: (to the best of my knowledge)
Conrad v Bignell [2013] EWCC 2 (Fam) - suspended hearing 3rd June, bailii 5th September.
Re: Roberts [2013] EWCC 1 (Fam) - suspended hearing 19th June on Bailii 15th August. JFF assisted the father here and we had a dialogue with the court administration explaining their interpretation of the rules was wrong which was confirmed by a further practice direction.
North Tyneside v Kornas this was the first one after the new direction and we highlighted it with the court service and the judgment went up really quickly.
There were I think a couple of cases where the alleged contemnor was not given any sanction. One handled by JFF and one in front of Munby P. I don't think the one we handled has been published.
I only find 1 actual imprisonment in this. (Accepting I don't have an exhaustive list necessarily) Even if we said that only May, June and July are likely to result in committals this would only give an annual rate of 4 which is less than 10% of the figures previously given by the Official Solicitor.

(9th September) I have now seen a couple of judgments for committals before 3rd May. This is of course, good practice, but is not a requirement under the practice direction.
Islington v Eddie Ramsay11th April 2013 - it is about the whereabouts of the 13 year old son of Mr Ramsay who is quoted in the judgment as saying"He he meant that he was safe when he was not in the hands of the Police, the Local Authority or Z and he said that he must therefore be safe, because he considered he was in significant danger if he was in their clutches. He told me that X was not a little child and that he, X, had removed himself from significant danger. The judge locked up his father for 1 1/2 months (a 3 month sentence half suspended) because he wouldn't say where his son was.
Islington v JACQUELINE WILLIAMS is where the boys mother is locked up (I presume because she is found guilty of contempt) for refusing to say where he is.
These cases do cause me concern as the care system is known to be really bad for children and I have seen others (Deborah Paul) where the care system was just doing harm to the child. The parents are doing what they see as their duty in protecting the child from maltreatment by the state. The child himself absconded. I ask what the system thinks it is doing. Obviously I don't know enough about the background, but it seems that the parents are being punished for challenging the system rather than doing anything that is of any harm to a child.

Presidents Circular of 3rd August

This one:
Joyce v Joyce [2013] EWHC 1353 (Fam)
Was published on 20th September although the case was in May.



Court of Appeal
LR Children [2013] EWCA Civ 1129 which is a case in the court of appeal the identity of which is very easy to work out is oddly enough anonymous in the court of appeal. The imprisonment was in February so the original imprisonment does not fail on the later practice directions. There is an interesting point in that the interplay between family and criminal proceedings does actually give a good reason for delaying the announcement of the contempt committal although it was futile anyway as he was already in jail and it had no effect. It does, however, conflict with the anonymity in other cases.

Button v Slama [2013] EWHC 2972 (Fam) is interesting in that it continues the imprisonment of a father who has been in jail since January 2012 because he won't get his child returned from Egypt. Doesn't count as an additional case towards the historical 60pa.

Brian and Patricia Davies [2013] EWHC 3294 (Fam)
Note also the 11th October secret imprisonment.
Ball v Shepstone [2013] EWCC 7 (Fam)
An anonymous judgment in December L County Council v MD and ID 2013.

 
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
  Accidents on the Coventry Road
I am worried about the continuing pedestrian accidents on the Coventry Road. I will be working with constituents to highlight this in a petition, but in the mean time I have written to both the head of transportation and the coroner. Here is one of the letters
SCAN0012
 
Monday, September 02, 2013
  Administrative court refuses extradition to USA
[2013] EWHC 2671 (Admin) is an interesting case where the Administrative Court has refused extradition on Article 8 grounds. Basically they refused to extradite someone essentially because the UK courts would not have imprisoned him whilst the USA system was going to lock him up and that this would have harmed people dependent upon him.

I don't know if this has happened before (the refusal of extradition).

 
Sunday, September 01, 2013
  Syria: Obama delay is good for international institutions
I am pleased that Obama has delayed the military action scheduled for around now. The delay has the major advantage of giving sufficient time for the UN inspectors to report and for international bodies to debate the issue. The Russian public position is still that the evidence is not there. I personally believe that the evidence is there, but that we need to be working to make the international bodies more effective.

The fact that Obama is giving the reason of consulting Congress and that this results in a delay beyond 9th September is conveniently timed to enable the UN bodies to also report.

It remains that I am not convinced that military action is the right action, but anything that gives the time for bodies such as the UN to get involved is positive.

 

Click Here for access to higher resolution versions of the photos The license for use allows use of the photos by media as long as they are attributed.

better brent chart

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