View Full Version : I'm living an Orwellian nightmare, and it keeps getting worse.

Damien Lloyd
09-12-2009, 11:06 PM
This post is an article from 2006 so you will probably have heard of it before, however it will precede another article from yesterday which on top of everything else this government has introduced just turns my stomach.


The home life of every child in the country is to be recorded on a national database in the ultimate intrusion of the nanny state, it has emerged.
Computer records holding details of school performance, diet and even whether their parents provide a 'positive role model' for 12 million children will be held by the Government.
Police, social workers, teachers and doctors will have access to the database and have powers to flag up 'concerns' where children are not meeting criteria laid down by the state.
The 'children's index', which will cost the taxpayer £224 million, will even monitor whether youngsters are eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, whether they go to church or are struggling to get good marks at school.
One assessment records whether a pre-school child is in day care - suggesting that those who are looked after by their mothers at home are not conforming to the state ideal.
Critics said the plan would sideline on an unprecedented scale the rights of parents to bring up their children in the way they see fit and amount to a 'bar-coding' of youngsters.
They questioned how the Government knew better than parents on the correct way to bring up a child, and warned that it would deter decent families from seeking help for fear of being branded at risk.
It could take just two warning flags on a child's file to trigger an investigation.
The Government handed itself sweeping powers in the 2004 Children Act to record basic information of all children in England and Wales, based on information from the register of births and child benefit.
The Act followed the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie - whose neglect by her aunt and her boyfriend was missed by social workers.
Section 12 of the act limits information to name, address, date of birth, gender, a unique id, contact details of parent or carer, school, GP practice and other practioners dealing with the child.
But the Government wants to extend the records to include detailed assessments of a child's life.
Ministers insist it will act as an early warning system to highlight children at risk.
The database has already been piloted in 12 local authorities and the Government plans to make it nationwide from next year.
It will try to introduce a regulation in Parliament in the autumn - allowing it to become law with barely any scrutiny by MPs.
Civil liberties and children's campaigners are to hold a conference at the London School of Economics on Tuesday to highlight their concerns.
Terri Dowty, director of children's rights group Arch, said: 'Who is bringing children up? Are parents effectively nannies for the state's children or are children born to families and the state just helps families when they ask for it?'
Dr Eileen Munro, an expert in child protection at the LSE, said: 'The authority of parents is being eroded because the children's services, health education and social care are being asked to intervene.
'On the whole parents are the greatest source of safety and welfare that any child has.'
Jonathan Bamford, the Assistant Information Commissioner which polices access to information, said there was no justification for keeping check on 12 million children when only a small proportion were at risk.
He said: 'When you are looking for a needle in a haystack, is it necessary to keep building bigger haystacks?
'The cause for concern indicator against a child's record is expressed in very broad language. For example, it could be cause for concern that a child is not progressing well towards his or her French GCSE.'
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: 'We are heading towards a situation in which an entire generation of kids won't know what privacy is, as though we are preparing them for prison rather than life in a free society. It is time to ask ourselves why we sacrifice the privacy of our children first.'
Shadow Education Secretary David Willetts said: 'We are going to have bar-coded babies. This project is going to cost £224m over the three years to 2008 with subsequent operating costs of £41m a year. Would it not be better to focus this money on families in real need?'
A Department for Education spokesman said: 'We need to ensure that professionals work across service boundaries for the benefit of children. 'Our proposals balance the need to do everything we can to improve children's life chances whilst ensuring strong safeguards to make sure that information stored is minimal, secure and used appropriately.
'Parents and young people will be able to ask to see their data and make amendments and will retain full rights under the Data Protection Act.

Damien Lloyd
09-12-2009, 11:09 PM
This is the article from yesterdays newspaper:


A massive vetting system set up to safeguard children and the elderly has come under fire from Sir Michael Bichard - the man whose report into the Soham murders led to its creation.

One in four adults in Britain will have to be screened by the Independent Safeguarding Authority when it goes live next month, before they are allowed to work in any job involving access to children.
It could even cover those who do no more than give neighbours' or friends' children lifts to sports or club events.

Millions of Britons will be placed on a new database to prevent a repeat of the Soham murders in 2002, where Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were killed
As opposition to the massive expansion of state vetting of ordinary people grew yesterday, children's minister Baroness Morgan claimed the plans would help protect children from a repeat of 'the very tragic events with the murders in Soham'.
But within hours Sir Michael Bichard, the former Whitehall mandarin who conducted the inquiry into the Soham killings, called for a review of the ISA's rules, suggesting the new restrictions on millions of ordinary adults were a disproportionate response to the threat posed by paedophiles.
The Conservatives added to the pressure by pledging to curb the ISA dramatically if they win the next General Election.

Ian Huntley was given a job as caretaker at Jessica and Holly's school because allegations of sex with underage girls were not passed on
The ISA will become the world's largest vetting and checking system when it starts work next month, checking the backgrounds of an estimated 11.3million adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Anyone whose work brings them into contact with children will have to undergo checks costing £64, including all teachers, doctors, nurses dentists, pharmacists, prison officers, and school governors and dinner ladies.

Most controversially, parents who give lifts to friends' children to attend a football match or Cubs' evening will have to be vetted in all cases where the arrangements are made through the club or organisation.
Parents will also need official clearance before giving up their free time to visit their child's school occasionally to help youngsters learn to read. Adults breaching the rules could face a £5,000 fine, as can clubs which make use of unvetted volunteers - enough to put many small groups out of business.
Critics say the measures are excessive, warning that they could strangle local organisations which rely on volunteers, and poison ordinary relationships between adults and children by viewing every grown-up as a potential paedophile or killer.
Yesterday Baroness Morgan insisted they represented a ' proportionate, common-sense system'.

Target: Parents face a £5,000 fine for driving their children's friends to sport events and Cub Scout meetings when the Independent Safeguarding Authority is launched next month (picture posed by models)
She said: 'Ultimately, safeguarding children is this government's priority...if we have a repeat of events like Soham then I think we would quite rightly be asked why we didn't do more.'

But the minister's use of the highly emotive murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman to justify the policy immediately ran into trouble, because questions arose over whether the ISA rules would have prevented Ian Huntley from carrying out the killings in 2002.
The idea for the ISA was born from Sir Michael's report into the murders and the police inquiry.

Outraged: Children's author Philip Pullman has pledged to stop giving readings in schools in protest at the scheme
Yesterday Sir Michael voiced his misgivings about the ISA and specifically questioned the definition of 'frequent or intensive' contact with children which require an adult to be vetted - which is taken to mean any contact which happens twice a month, or on three consecutive days or overnight.
Sir Michael told Radio 4's World at One: 'The issue is whether it is proportionate. It will be necessary over time to review the definition of what is frequent or intensive.'

Later Baroness Morgan's staff appeared to back-pedal from her earlier claims linking the scheme to the Soham murders.
A spokesman said: 'We are not considering this from the point of view that it would've have prevented Soham.
'The Bichard Inquiry findings showed the need for better information-sharing and that such sharing needs to be nationally coordinated to work most effectively.'

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: 'This scheme cannot be allowed to go ahead in this way. We would review the whole safeguarding process and scale it back so that common sense applies.'
It emerged that a quirk of the ISA's rules will mean convicted paedophiles and criminals could still be cleared to take up sensitive jobs.

Officials disclosed that the ISA will compile two separate lists - one covering those banned from working with children, and one relating to old people.
This could mean that a paedophile barred from working with youngsters could still be allowed to work in an old people's home.

Damien Lloyd
09-12-2009, 11:24 PM
This one really got me worked up because the standard of proof has been lowered so that someone maybe denied employment without being found guilty of any crime.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6174783/Independent-Safeguarding-Authority-Christian-teachers-or-charity-workers-could-be-targets-of-malicious-allegations.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6174783/Independent-Safeguarding-Authority-Christian-teachers-or-charity-workers-could-be-targets-of-malicious-allegations.html)

Independent Safeguarding Authority: Christian teachers or charity workers could be targets of malicious allegations

People with strong religious views could be banned from looking after children or charity work under the new vetting scheme because of malicious allegations made against them, it is feared.

By Martin Beckford (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/martin-beckford/)
Published: 7:00AM BST 12 Sep 2009

The Independent Safeguarding Authority will be able to take into account anonymous claims made by members of the public or newspaper articles when assessing potential teachers or nurses, as well as their beliefs and lifestyle.
It is feared that Christians, who are already under pressure in many workplaces because of their beliefs on homosexuality and family life, could be made the targets of smear campaigns and see their careers ruined.

Related Articles

Why the Vetting and Barring Scheme is pure madness (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/comment/6179983/Why-the-Vetting-and-Barring-Scheme-is-pure-madness.html)

Mike Judge, a spokesman for The Christian Institute, which supports worshippers who feel they have been discriminated against, said: “If people have an axe to grind with Christianity or Christians they could make malicious allegations against them.
“A lot of traditional Christian views are being regarded as beyond the pale. It’s not beyond the stretch of imagination that because they have a particular view about sexual activity they will be deemed not suitable to work with children.
“In an atmosphere where a nurse can be suspended for offering to pray for someone, I’m very concerned that this new approach is going to consider religious belief.”
Starting next summer, an estimated 11.3million people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will have to register with the ISA, the new vetting and barring body, if they want to work or volunteer with children, the elderly, ill or homeless.
Everyone from school governors and caretakers to dentists and nurses must have their backgrounds checked, along with authors who want to visit schools and parents who organise lifts to sports matches or Scout groups.
The agency’s staff will contact the Criminal Records Bureau to see if applicants have any convictions that should bar them from such jobs.
From next month, employers will be under a legal duty to tell the agency if they think a member of staff poses a risk to young or vulnerable people.
But official guidance discloses that unproven allegations and subjective opinions about an individual’s beliefs or personal life could also be used to end their careers in education, healthcare or sport, if there are concerns about their conduct.
ISA officials are also entitled to consider “information” received from former employers, professional bodies, members of the public or “stories in the press”.
If an applicant is suspected of harming a child, the case worker only needs to decide “whether it is ‘more likely than not’” that the alleged event occurred to consider barring them.
Even if they had been found not guilty of a crime in court, the guidance points out that the ISA’s standard of proof is lower and so “must still consider the case for itself”.
They are also told that “evidence not specifically relating to any particular event” can be considered relevant if it leads to the suspicion that an applicant may harm someone.
Case workers must then work out “risk factors linked to future harm” based on an individual’s interests, attitudes, relationships and lifestyle, under the ISA’s Structured Judgement Process.
These include, in addition to an obsession with sex or violence, “presence of severe emotional loneliness and/or the inability to manage/sustain emotionally intimate relationships with age-appropriate adults”.
Other supposed risk factors include “links with anti-social peers”, “presence of impulsive, chaotic, unstable lifestyle” or "using substances or sex to cope with stress".
If an applicant raises “definite concerns” in two or more areas the expectation is that they will be barred, although they have eight weeks in which to contest the decision.
The Home Office confirmed that case workers will be allowed to “undertake appropriate research” on “internet chatrooms or social networking websites” such as Facebook if they think they may contain relevant information on an applicant.
However a spokesman insisted the ISA would have to believe an applicant had harmed or may harm a child before they would start looking into his private life, and said only a small proportion would fall into this category while the rest would not raise any concerns.
He said: “All relevant factors would be assessed to establish if there might be a potential risk of harm. The ISA will rely on the information that is provided by the referring organisation or individual.
“Of course such factors are only assessed if the caseworker has established that ‘relevant conduct’ or risk of harm has taken place – stages one and two of the decision making process must be satisfied before any of the risk factors are assessed.”
As of October 12, education and health bodies, councils, employment agencies and professional bodies are legally required to tell the ISA if they have sacked someone for harming a child or vulnerable adult. They must also report someone if they are “concerned about the behaviour or conduct”.

David Guyatt
09-13-2009, 10:25 AM
In reading the above Damien, I was reminded of the German conditions that led to the founding and immense success of the Hitler Jugend.

Prior to the arrival of Hitler, the Weimar Republic was financially crippled.

Similarities maybe?

Magda Hassan
09-13-2009, 10:56 AM
In reading the above Damien, I was reminded of the German conditions that led to the founding and immense success of the Hitler Jugend.

Prior to the arrival of Hitler, the Weimar Republic was financially crippled.

Similarities maybe?

Then there is this:
and this:

Helen Reyes
09-13-2009, 11:31 AM
and just to make it literally Big Brother and 1984, selected families will be monitored in their homes by 24-hour CCTV:

the point seems to be to take custody away from parents by degrees, then subject the youngsters to periodic imprisonment inside the schools during "lockdowns", to train them to be productive future members of the national security revolution.

Charles Drago
09-13-2009, 11:31 AM
How to think of complacency in the face of such horror?

As an Oh, well-ian nightmare?