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Showing posts from February, 2008

Results: Thursday 28th February 2008

Bromsgrove DC, Slideslow
Con 372 (33.9; -11.9), Ind 317 (28.9; +15.7), Lab 304 (27.7; +27.7), UKIP 104 (9.5; +9.5), [LD (0.0; -41.1)].
Majority 55. Turnout 28.8%. Con gain from LD. Last fought 2007.

Ellesmere Port and Neston DC, Westminster
Lab 227 (57.5; -11.0), Con 123 (31.1; -0.4), LD Hilary Chrusciezi 45 (11.4; +11.4).
Majority 104. Turnout not known. Lab hold. Last fought 2007.

#Hexham TC, Gilesgate
Con 179 (53.6), LD Paul Harrison 94 (28.1), Lab 61 (18.3).
Majority 85. Turnout 40.5%. Con hold.

Shetland UA, Lerwick South
Results not yet available.

Sutton LBC, Cheam
Con 1541 (45.8; -12.0), LD Wendy Mathys 1454 (43.3; +3.9), UKIP 260 (7.7; +7.7), Lab 106 (3.2; +0.5).
Majority 87. Turnout 44.0%. Con hold. Last fought 2006.

Totton Eling TC, Totton South
LD Bill Catt 660 (53.4), Con 492 (39.8), Lab 85 (6.9).
Majority 168. Turnout 26.4%. LD hold.

Tynedale DC, Hexham Gilesgate
Con 178 (53.3; -24.1), LD Paul Harrison 96 (28.7; +6.1), Lab 60 (18.0; +18.0).
Majority 82. Turnout 40.4%. Con hold. Last fought…

EDM 1059 - makes a rapid start

This is the EDM that I have tabled in discussions with the Care Leavers Association. Their press release said:

The Care Leavers’ Association, the only organisation in the UK that represents all adults who were in care as children, notes with anger and concern, but not surprise, the revelations of a death, and widespread abuse, in the Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey.


Many of our members are the victims of physical and sexual abuse in care in the UK during past decades. Despite several inquiries, there has never been a proper accounting for the abuse that took place across the United Kingdom in the twentieth century and there remain many unanswered questions. The Jersey case is the latest in a long line of abuse scandals afflicting the child care system in the UK. That is why we fully support the following Early Day Motion tabled in the House of Commons on 27th February 2008 by John Hemming M.P:


This House notes with sadness the revelations from Jersey on children in care; r…

Stuart Syvret, Jersey and Coverups in England

I have linked to the web log of Stuart Syvret who has managed to kick off an investigation in Jersey against the cover up of child abuse that went on for many years.

He identifies effectively how cover-ups operate and how people in power aim to conceal things as a first response. We get exactly the same in England. The power of the Courts is used to stop people speaking out. I have tabled with the cooperation of the Care Leavers Association a call for a public inquiry into abuse in Care.

We cannot allow the practitioners to continue to operate in an unaccountable manner. There are all sorts of watchdogs that exist, but they are mainly toothless and normally involved in continual stream of cover ups. [The exceptional report of Ofsted recently was sadly an exception rather than the norm.]

"Lessons will be learned", "no one is to blame", "the death of a child could not be prevented". All of these are heard time and time again. In the mean time people suf…

Jersey - don't forget about the links to England

It is important to remember that Jersey is not isolated from England's child care system. Children from the mainland have been placed in Jersey. The secrecy of the family courts makes it difficult to find what has happened to children who disappear or indeed to identify patterns.

I am aware of allegations of abuse today in the English child care system where the threat of contempt of court proceedings is being used to allow allegations of abuse to go uninvestigated.

Those paid to operate the system claim the secrecy protects the children. The secrecy actually protects those that operate the system. We have had so many cases where children in care have been abused there really has to be some point at which people say "this is unacceptable and cannot continue".

I arrived in my office in London today to yet another letter alleging abuse of children in care where their birth parents are rendered powerless by the secret family courts. This is just wrong.

There is also a fl…

Results: Thursday 21st February 2008.

Camden LBC, Fortune Green
LD Nancy Jirira 1206 (51.5; +4.0), Con 551 (23.5; +1.6), Lab 405 (17.3; -1.7), Green 178 (7.6; -4.0).
Majority 655. Turnout 30.2%. LD hold. Last fought 2006.

Corby BC, Oakley Vale
Con 405 (49.9; +6.6), Lab 267 (32.9; -0.5), LD Scott Ponton 140 (17.2; +3.0), [Ind (0.0; -9.1)].
Majority 138. Turnout 18.7%. Con hold. Last fought 2007.

Dartford BC, Princes
Lab 592 (50.2; +9.8), Con 348 (29.5; +5.2), English Democrats 198 (16.8; -4.9), LD Amanda Martin 22 (1.9; +1.9), UKIP 19 (1.6; -12.1).
Majority 244. Turnout 27%. Lab hold. Last fought 2007.

Perth and Kinross UA, Highland
SNP 1891 (59.5%; +1.0%)
Conservative 940 (29.6%; +4.0%)
Lib Dem (Andrew Kenton) 229 ( 7.2%; - 6.3%)
Labour 97 (3.0%; +3.0%)
Independent - no candidate (0.0%; -2.5%)
Turnout 43.6% SNP Hold. SNP win on first preferences

Prescot TC, Central
LD Steven…

Keran Henderson - campaign visits HoC

Along with Dominic Grieve I went to meet the campaigners about Keran Henderson today.

There was another SBS case which went the right way last week. The problem with this system is it is essential random, but the outcomes for the people concerned are quite serious.

The link is the campaign link.

Sometimes Asbstaining is the right thing to do even at midnight

Yesterday was the Northern Rock debate. The obvious thing to do is has been for some time to nationalise the bank to give it stability whilst aiming to return it to the private sector as a going concern.

Northern Rock faces some key challenges in that it is paying a penal interest rate to the Bank of England so it may not be cash flow positive. This is something the tories have ignored in their silly idea of putting it into administration. If Northern Rock doesn't pay the loan interest then the government would have to fund it. Hence administration is a really silly idea.

The debate was planned to go to Midnight and we were intending to support the government. In the last two hours, however, it turns out that noone knew what is happening with "Granite" which holds perhaps half the assets. Hence we ended up in the unusual position of abstaining because the government had not got enough information for a decision.

It remains that Nationalisation as passed yesterday is a…

The Tories: Between a (Northern) Rock and a hard place

The basic reason that Northern Rock has to be nationalised is that otherwise the government has no control and has to pick up the tab. The worst financial position for the tax payer.

The tories have without thinking through the end game decided against Nationalisation.

First they talked about Administration. This is a fire sale guaranteed to lose the government the most money.

They are now talking about Chapter 11. Actually this raises an interesting question about insolvency procedures. I think we do need to review the law in the UK. However, Chapter 11 puts the creditors (the tax payers) in a weak situation and although it is not a Fire Sale there is some smoke in the corner that requires rapid action. Hence this is a better bet (although we don't have the law in this country for this) than administration, but only slightly better.

Hence they are in a position between Nationalising Northern Rock and the Hard Place of the Taxpayer being out of control and losing billions.

I don&…

That Ofsted Report

The link gives Ofsted's study into how Cafcass do their job - viz spectacularly badly.

The point is that judges have tolerated such shoddy work. Most of the inspectors that work in the child protection arena are studiously careful to never blame anyone for bad work.

In this case three cheers for Ofsted.

Ofsted inspection of CafCass

The link is to Ofsted's analysis of cafcass which includes statements such as:

In another case an 11-month-old child was said to be too young to appreciate “the political significance of his circumstances”. Far too many reports were based on opinion, not evidence, and many were full of errors. Analysis of facts was poor, with advisers too often jumping to conclusions. In many cases inspectors had no idea how Cafcass advisers reached their recommendations.

It is interesting how CSCI never picked up on any of this.

Results: Thursday 14th February 2008.

East Staffordshire DC, Stretton
Con 661 (36.9; -11.6), Lab 366 (20.4; -7.2), BNP 327 (18.2; +18.2), Popular
Alliance 233 (13.0; -10.9), LD Bryan Ambrose 205 (11.4; +11.4).
Majority 295. Turnout 28%. Con hold. Last fought 2007.

Moray UA, Elgin City South
SNP 884 (35.1; +1.9), Ind 845 (33.5; +10.5), Lab 459 (18.2; -10.6), Ind 278
(11.0; +11.0), Con 223 (8.8; -6.3), LD Peter Horton 53 (2.1; +2.1), Scottish
Senior Citizens Unity Party 37 (1.5; +1.5), UKIP 20 (0.8; +0.8), Ind 16 (0.6;
+0.6), Ind 1 (0.0;).
Majority 39. Turnout 26.8%. SNP gain from Ind. Last fought 2007.

Preston DC, Tulketh
Lab 423 (34.3; -14.6), LD Rick Seymour 400 (32.4; +15.3), Con 292 (23.6;
-10.4), Ind 84 (6.8; +6.8), Green 36 (2.9; +2.9).
Majority 23. Turnout 23.0%. Lab hold. Last fought 2007.

Waltham Forest LBC, Leyton
LD Winnie Smith 1360 (56.0; +12.8), Lab 695 (28.6; -14.1), Ind 176 (7.2;
+7.2), Con 108 (4.4; -2.1), Green 90 (3.7; -3.9).
Majority 665. Turnout 27.8%. LD gain from Lab. Last fought 2006.

Further result from 7th February…

Lord Rees-Mogg's article in the Mail on Sunday

I have been unable to find this article in the MoS so I am reposting it.

THERE are extreme occasions on which public law and private conscience collide. Some of them, as in the cases of Socrates or Charles I, end in martyrdom. Some lead to imprisonment, though it is a terrible thing to imprison a man for doing what he believes is his duty.

Almost invariably, this collision of law and private duty tends to discredit the law and the judges concerned.

No one now defends the judges of Socrates, though there are still some admirers of the English dictator Oliver Cromwell. All human sympathy flows towards the man of conscience who is inevitably seen as the victim. Law itself becomes suspect, because it leads to consequences that seem to be horribly unjust.

Such a case was reported last week. A 56-year-old businessman of good character appealed against his prison sentence of 16 months for helping his wife flee British social services because she feared she would not be allowed to keep her unborn…

BBC DNS seems awry

I don't know if anyone else has had this problem, but I cannot get the BBC domains (mainly news.bbc.co.uk) to resolve.

The BBC have four name servers. I have tried each of them in turn and they don't give out news.bbc.co.uk or www.bbc.co.uk although they do give out other domains.

Results: Thursday 7.2.08

East Lindsey DC, Roughton
Ind 383 (64.0; +20.6), Con 215 (36.0; -7.5), [LD (0.0; -13.2)].
Majority 168. Turnout 32.7%. Ind gain from Con. Last fought 2007.

Great Yarmouth BC, Bradwell South and Hopton
Con 475 (37.4; -15.8), LD Aleck Buchanan 397 (31.2; +31.2), Lab 254 (20.0; -7.9), UKIP 116 (9.1; -9.8), Green 29 (2.3; +2.3).
Majority 78. Turnout not known. Con hold. Last fought 2007.

Hertfordshire CC, Harpenden South West
Con 2161 (66.6; +10.4), LD Alison Steer 819 (25.3; -0.4), Lab 153 (4.7; -7.2), Green 110 (3.4; -2.8).
Majority 1342. Turnout 30.2%. Con hold. Last fought 2005

Kirkburton PC, Kirkheaton
LD Alison Munro 455 (70.3), Con 107 (16.5), Ind 85 (13.1).
Majority 348. Turnout 20.9%. LD gain from Con.

Lancashire CC, Thornton Cleveleys Central
Con 1536 (48.3; +7.7), Lab 934 (29.4; -6.1), UKIP 489 (15.4; +9.5), LD Philip Pitman 220 (6.9; -11.1).
Majority 602. Turnout not known. Con hold. Last fought 2005.

Newcastle-under-Lyme DC, Butt Lane
Lab 295 (35.2; +7.9), LD Dennis Richards 264 (31.5; -8…

Wot! No Labour Party

People who recognise the characters of Birmingham Politics will see Cllr Paul Tilsley addressing the empty rows of Labour Council Seats. Cllrs Len Gregory and Mike Whitby are looking at the camera.

Labour will say that they did not turn up as a matter of principle. Why then did two Labour Councillors turn up to support a Labour candidate for Lord Mayor - for 5 minutes, but no Labour Councillors turn up to represent the citizens of Birmingham.

They can have it one way or another. They cannot just turn up because they want to protect their own interests, but refuse to turn up to protect the interests of the Citizens of Birmingham.

Industrial action effects in Yardley

|CONSTITUENCY OFFICE |OPEN | |
|------------------------+------------------------+------------------------|
| | | |
|------------------------+------------------------+------------------------|
|LEISURE | | |
|------------------------+------------------------+------------------------|
|Stechford Cascades |Open | |
|------------------------+------------------------+------------------------|
|Fox Hollies Leisure |Open | |
|Centre | | |
|------------------------+------------------------+------------------------|
|Sheldon Heath CLC | |Closed (affected by |
| | |school caretakers) |
|----------…

Government Lies and BV163

The government are now saying that the "adoption target" ceased in 2006. For year 1/4/5-31/3/6 there was BV163 which was adoptions from care. This remained in year 6-7 and 7-8, but was redefined to include special guardianships. It is misleading to say that the target ended when it was redefined.

Parliamentary Language

The link is to Greg Mulholland's comments in Hansard as to the nature of a Labour Minister. That was an interesting, effective and novel way of getting headlines.

I tried once to use the word egregious in a parliamentary petition, but was told is was too intemperate.

Labour MPs are trying to be sanctimonious about this at the moment. There is a good point that debate should be about debate rather than insults, but some Labour MPs should look for more important issues to spend time on.

Election Results: Thursday 31st January 2008

Calne TC, Lickhill
LD Glenis Ansell 278 (35.1; +9.3), Con 256 (32.4; -7.7), UKIP 150 (19.0; -14.0), BNP 84 (10.6; +10.6), Green 23 (2.9; +2.9).
Majority 22. Turnout 25%. LD gain from UKIP.

Kennet DC, Upavon
Con 218 (45.8; -14.5), UKIP 106 (22.3; -0.8), LD Fiona Hornby 87 (18.3; +1.7), Lab 38 (8.0; +8.0), Green 27 (5.7; +5.7).
Majority 112. Turnout 31.4%. Con hold. Last fought 2007.

North Lanarkshire UA, Kilsyth
Lab 1855 (63.4; -0.9), SNP 891 (30.4; +2.6), Green 66 (2.3; +2.3), Con 50 (1.7; -3.2), SSP 48 (1.6; -1.4), LD Stuart Douglas 17 (0.6; +0.6).
Majority 964. Turnout 32.1%. Lab hold. Last fought 2007.