This will not pass?

I used to read about the holocaust like any other person for whom it was history. A symbol of something terrible, terrible people who did terrible thing. A jewish MP has had her constituency taken over and is being threatened with the following demands. She is to obey anti-semities and regardless of winning an election, with HER name on the ballot is to be forced to abandon her constituents and obey anti-semites, who demand her obedience and unquestioning thought obedience to their leader. Sarah Wollaston’s office  has been vandalised. LAst PMQs, a female Tory MP described disgusting abuse from people who behaved like animals and urinated on her office. Jeremy Corbyn looked at her and then donned the corpses of Hillsborough victims. Like he watched an anti-semite drive a Jewish MP from a meeting, and then laughed and promised to swap texts with her abuser.

DD_w1KoXYAIMUbF

Tomorrow, we will see which journalists, which commentators, will normalise this. And we see how the holocaust happened. We see which journalists and commentators can pretend this is not a major political event for their own gain. Pay close attention to who they are as they have lighthearted arguments about polls, and public sector pay. Oh it’s just a Tory. Oh it’s just disobedient Labour MPs. Oh its just people who won’t pretend the Labour manifesto didn’t contains welfare cuts that made IDS blush. Its fascism is what it is. It’s now and we are witnessing who will assist it with no single regard for the consequences.

You do not capitulate to this, you do not let it pass, you let this pass and you are telling everyone who you are. You are disgusting.

How to demonstrate the indifference to Street Grooming is NOT a race issue.

So I watched the documentary Betrayed Girls today, and unlike the very well done drama on this issue, I was annoyed. I have watched the narrative that this was a race issue be used repeatedly over the years, I have watched cause incredible harm and it usually comes from or two sources. Police, or Labour politicians.

They are lying.. Ann Cryer was obfuscating when she stood up in parliament and said this was a race issue, and police officers who were indifferent to this, are doing the same. Both are trying to prevent reflection on the real cause, which is a combination of indifference, the erosion of responsibilities to protect children by institutions, and the complete contempt for these girls. Who were not seen as children worthy of protection by anyone. I don’t know with Labour people any more if it’s intentional or not, because they do this as reflex no matter what the harm.

I am tired of having this conversation. As one of the social workers who worked at Cooke Street in Keighley, I can tell you absolutely and categorically this could not have been the reason.

The thing that shocking here was not just street grooming, that was only half my caseload. The risk thresholds were the same for my entire caseload. There were none.

The planning meetings for children at this level, including what were called protocols for Children Involved In Prostitution(which is what we used to call them) were not like other child protection meetings. There was no independent oversight, no independent chair and they would be chaired by your manager, with you as the most senior person in the room. Noone without budgetary responsibility overseeing these.  This was the case for all kids over 11 where this could be got away with.

The planning meetings which were used to prevent resources being allocated, were held every two weeks, and you had to wait until this planning meeting before you could ask for resources. This was the same process for all children no matter how serious the situation. Two weeks.

Risk thresholds were higher for ALL cases in teams that dealt with street grooming. There was a gradual gradiation from age 11 to age 15, by 15 there was no risk threshold and we would place them in bed and breakfasts that were not safe for adults, as living independently. These would be paid for by team budgets. This was not a race issue.

There are lower levels of court applications for teams dealing with over 11s.  Much lower. Criminal justice work in this area was with children as perpetrators and criminals, not as victims. Always. The common strand of demonisation which harmed the girls at the centre of CSE, was common to all working class children of this age. Who were deemed culpable and responsible for their own choices, and noone protected. If you analyse data and outcomes from ALL cases in these teams, and you isolate street grooming you will find no difference. At all.

Media intervention in the work with over 11s had one aim, undermining it. Media demonised these children so sufficiently we had a wall of shame where our kids had made media attention. Kids subject to ASBOs, with Times journalists living with them for the weekend, kids whose ‘treats’ were subject to media scrutiny cos they were thugs.

The common thread for these teams was that entire teams were working ENTIRELY to protect Local Authorities from the use of Out of Authority Placements. There will be no difference in placement rates for street grooming. None.

The specific work done with street grooming was contracted out. In Bradford it was the Barnados Streets and Lanes Project, who were exceptional at providing media comment, but just didnt provide actual services. You can examine waiting periods for work don ehere, you can examine data from referrals and find out how much work was done, what referrals were made and how long work went on for. This was not decided by race.

You will be able to examine the arrest rates of people prosecuted for street grooming who were prosecuted for other crmes, you will find no hesitation in prosecuting for other crimes, There was no fear of being called racist when other crimes were concerned. There will be no evidence of this. Because there is none. This is the case all over the country.

This will be fewer court applications, shorter periods where cases are open, higher risk thresholds and this will be common to every single LA team working with over 11s all over the country

The only time there is the accusation this was fear of racism, you will find either  a Labour politician, as with Anne Cryer, or police, stating that is what it was. This is a barefaced lie. And its a lie because street grooming is only ONE of the issues these teams dealt with and ALL children dealt with of this age group were failed. Consistently, systematically and repeatedly.

This is not because we only just know about this issue. At 14 I shoplifted and my social worker wanted to know where the jumper came from, I said an older boyfriend, this triggered immediate work to check how at risk I was of this type of exploitation. This is was 1992. By mid 2000s when I was practicing, our knowledge had grown and resources had shrunk, there was more knowledge of the risk being ignored and fewer resources to address it.

If this was JUST street grooming, there would be evidence somewhere of a difference for other children. There is not. All political parties shared these priorities, all political parties assisted in demonising these children, these children because of their age would always be bottom of the priority list in services which are always bottom of the priority list. You will not find that kids involved in street grooming are any different. If you watch the documentary by Anna Hall that kicked this off, you will see there are multiple cases using the same processes, the same decision making. This could not have possibly been a race issue because it applied to all.

I had to leave social work because I was on a team where my job was to wash the state’s hands of all the kids I worked with, to leave kids at risk while managers argued over pennies. This was national. This is a bigger story than CSE being a race issue. CSE and street grooming is the ONLY commercial sexual abuse where the race profile is not white men, its the only one where it’s asian males.

None of the structures I describe above are about race. They are about money, they are about institutional erosion and they are about indifference to working class children and a refusal to see them as children. The same is reflected in Camhs referral rates and case closure rates.

It is easier to say it was because we were afraid of being seen as racist than to tell the truth. We didnt see these children as worth any more than their abusers did. This is institutional indifference which should have been marked out as the point at which we stopped protecting over 11s and we should be joining dots and saying if we didn’t protect kids involved in Street Grooming who did we protect? That dot joining isn’t happening.

The dramatisation of Three Girls did this very well. The inclusion of Anne Cryer in that documentary and the shaping of the narrative in #BetrayedGirls was incorrect and it obscures a much bigger and much more serious picture. And the data exists to demonstrate this. But noone wants to see it. The way nooone wanted to see that what was being done to these girls was industrial. An industry that emerged over a long time because it could, because noone was going to do a thing about it. Ever.

The only relevance race has to this, is that information could be withheld by police because they could claim the risk of the far right, who were exploiting this issue and provided an easy out for MPs like Anne Cryer and for the police when Labour or the police were implicated.

Child protection social workers only had legal power over the girl herself or family, and were left repeated by management and police as the ONLY place this was dealt with.  This meant services were used abusively and harmfully, and the treatment of those girls when they became mothers, was the same everywhere.

Those social workers know it was NOT just these children. That bigger picture isn’t just thousands of kids involved in street grooming, its a nation’s children being failed deliberately for a very long time.

We have not been protecting over 11s since somewhere between 1992 and now. That Continue reading “How to demonstrate the indifference to Street Grooming is NOT a race issue.”

London property bubble

This post is written from memory, not research so bear with me. A few years ago I read a piece of research during te eurocrisis, which said that in the event of the Euro failing London property prices could fall by 50%. The reasoning was that our reputation as a stable safe haven, had led to people using London property to park wealth, and that in the event of the Euro crash which did not materialise, London would no longer be seen as stable. I think we can safely assume our reputation for stability is gone.

The London property bubble is structured in a very odd way and drags the rest of the country’s house prices. We have foreign money, the super rich, who own the very very Prime property in zone 1. We have a premium rental market around this, and its only when you get to outer zones you start to get mortgaged owner/occupiers. The use of London property as a safe haven has inflated this part. It is holding up a bubble in the rest of the country. Our housing market has been overvalued by a long long way, 50% at least for a long time. Our housing bubble is at the centre of most of our problems. We popped it. We don’t know yet that we did this.

Our banks have not been stress tested, as far as I am aware, for an event like this and I don’t know that we have fully considered the instability represented by RBS, and others, in thsi context. When this is combined with the exodus from our financial centre, I think we can safely say there is trouble in store., Its not trouble that can be solved by competent negotiation for Brexit because we already fucked that up by generating political instability post vote. This hasn’t become apparent yet. We have system failure in social policy systems becoming evident and only a small amount of time before htis instability compounds it. I think we might be in the shit in not know it. Thats what I think. I wanted to note here that I thought so.

Labour bending the knee

Last year Corbyn asserted control over the Labour Party by tearing it apart, inciting abuse and intimidation of his MPs, and this year after they lost the election in their elation, Labour appear to have bent the knee. Do I blame them? No. I think that within the party there are moves afoot to recover from this, and while am not entirely sure they will be successful, I understand it. I understand their fear after last summer, I understand why the shock at finding an election win may not be far away changed things. But here is what is not excusable. The criminal levels of incompetence, ignorance and lack of basic morality of so called journalists bending the knee.

Claiming they were wrong about him, even though they know they were not. The Labour Party has an excuse, the journalists(and I use the term very very loosely) orbiting labour, have no such excuse. All their moral objections to Corbyn have disappeared. Journalists like Abi Wilks, who enjoys solidarity and support when se is abused online, is quite happy to sell out women to be terrorised by her comrades if there is something in it for her. The hacks at the New Statesman who are now licking his arse, telling everyone Hard Brexit is what the country wants and Corbyn is just playing some magic game of chess, where he always despises the EU, undermines the Remain campaign, uses the Brexit vote to generate instability and then sacks his Shadow Ministers when they disobey but is really playing a super secret long game./ We already knew Owen Jones was like this..

Disobedience is treachery now the man who never did anything but rebel is in charge. Apparently Jeremy will never be stronger and they have to change the rules so he can’t be budged before the two week poll lead he managed in two years disappears. Journalists like Jonn Elledge who now thinks journalism is deciding what’s best for labour. Or journalists like Adam Bienkov who cant even recognise the difference between democratic centralism and democracy, like the differences between North and South Korea dont apply if you add the word Labour and Left. They are showing they are craven and venal, and with every vacuous utterance they writem hasten the death of their industry.

The extraordinary abuse and vitriol released and normalised by these people could get someone killed, but you know they don’t give a fuck. They saw austerity as an opportunity for the cnetr eleft, and in their efforts to whitewash it for Labour they released Jeremy Corbyn, and now the craven fucks are happy to attempto the throw the country to the wolves for their own gain. Luckily their shitty little publications are dying, they only listen to each other, and Corbyn mania is a delusion in their heads that is just not reflected in reality or off facebook.

British public are smart., These people are stupid. Very stupid. History won’t remember them kindly. Corbyn can only end one of two ways really. He becomes so toxic that it damages Labour for good, or he gets power and there is a body count and the atrocities carried out in his name define the step to the next stage in our history. Either way, these journalists are demonstrating how a vacuous and ignorant echochamber of a political media destroyed this country. I very much doubt any of them will still being published in three years. The reason they only talk to each other is noone else is stupid enough to validate their amoral shit.

Corbyn’s pathological lies

Jeremy Corbyn has taken the Trump thing and run. I think he needed to justify why he used welfare cuts that can’t be delivered, that in the context of rising food prices will cause direct harm to women and children, to pay for a bribe of middle class students. So he just outright lied. Paul Mason says that he isn’t capable of lying, which is astonishing given his relationship with the truth is somewhere akin to Donald Trump. He stood and told a crowd who thought they were marching against austerity(as per usually when Labour organise these things, they weren’t) that working class young people were not going to university. What’s interesting about this is is made it into his speech, even though FactCheck had already admonished him over this falsehood. You can take a squizz.

Anyway, the reason Corbyn needed to do this was this. George Osborne loaded a load of undeliverable welfare cuts to this year, 9bn to be precise. Corbyn upheld 7bn, mainly those hitting women and kids. Working class families. These are families who have borne 7 years cumulative cash transfer cuts. Cut, after cut, after cut. These are understood not to be deliverable at all, not politically, not logistically, and not without abody count. Working class women and their children made to suffer, sadism. Corbyn upheld these cuts to pay for a bribe for middle class students tuition fees. Which was entirely costed. A direct transfer from the very very very poorest children in the country, the actual food from their mouths, to the most privileged young people in the country.

He didn’t do this out of malice, he just ‘forgot’. He forgot that was the vote that Labour MPs were abused and physically intimidated for abstaining on, he forgot that John McDonnell was swimming through vomit to vote on them, he forgot that IDS resigned over them because even IDS thought they were a tad too far. Corbyn decided that they were not. That they were an easy way to pay for rich students. And so today he lied to a crowd and told them that working class kids were less likely to go to university than they used to be. THis was a blatant lie. Most working class kids don’t even see their student loan as debt in a way that we understand debt, because you don’t pay it back til you are earning enough so it doesn’t matter when you are skint. He was lying because he wants to hide that his manifesto literally took food out of the very poorest children’s mouths to give to rich kids. Because he likes rich kids, they don’t really know enough to know he’s full of shit. And given he took away every single means by which women could challenge these welfare cuts, including their trade unions, he felt he better lie to the crowd and tell them they were nice and tere to oppose austerity.

Noone on #notonemoreday was there to oppose austerity. Many thought they were, but actually they were there to pressure for a hard brexit and for welfare cuts that would make Iain Duncan Smith. He decided people were gullible enough to help him campaign for permanent austerity, draconian welfare cuts, and hard Brexit, and most people there were stupid enough to believe they were. They were there to demand a political force who rely on abuse and intimdiation, impose draconian welfare cuts, and to demand a hard brexit which would guarantee a very long period of austerity. The idea that this man does not lie is laughable. Paul Mason’s statement that this is so, merely another symptom of his epic mid life crisis. Anyway. Corbynmania is a bust. The elation over their lost election has fizzled. Depending on which opinion poll you read, Labour are barely managing a 5 point lead, or have dropped back down to second place depending which poll you believe.

In the two weeks of his entire tenure that Corbyn managed a poll lead, he demanded requisition of private property, his Chancellor tried to incite insurrection and overthrow of the goverment several times, he used tragedy and major incidents to generate instability, and MPs were threatened with deselection. He sacked his Shadow Cabinet Ministers because they dared to fight for the Brexit that the people voting for him thought they had asked for. The left are out in force explaining that hard Brexit is just him playing the long game and its not that he has been opposed to te EU since its inception, and explaining that welfare cuts which will kill people are not actually austerity any more. Obviously everyone has to pretend so that the Labour left can abuse and intimidate people, mainly jews and women, and they are busy telling everyone 500 quid is not a lot of money, and if people wanted to be in his movement they’d have stumped up for Glastonbury.  Today Corbyn was out practicing lying, to try and get us our hard brexit, and lying to cover literally demanding food from the mouths of the very poorest children,to justify giving it to his elite brat following.

These people are revolting but their hubris will see them done in. Here’s hoping Labour as a Party can recover quickly.

Beginning of the end

The problem with crisis is this, you can be so focused on surface events, especially if they are frightening, you don’t notice the underlying shifts. Its fair to say that policy makers do not quite yet know that we are in system failure. THey don’t know our cash transfer can’t go on much longer, they dont know the same is true of Local Authorities. There has been no change in policy making cultures, media are still vacuous, labour left are arseholes and the Tories can’t even do Machiavellian they are so crap.  But they know they are in trouble.

I don’t know when the next election will be but I know this: The manifestos will be competing on welfare reform. Not in Rachel Reeves, we’ll be the tougher than the Tories, but competing for proper welfare reform. They will be competing on public sector pay.. They will be competing on Local Authority services. They will be competing on Brexit. The polls are turning re: Brexit and the Tories are frightened and in disarray. We should all celebrate weakened frightened Tories. Corbynmania has probably overshot and Labour’s survival instincts should start kicking in. We know see if both can recover in time to prevent system failure, its unlikely. But the beginning of the end is here. Public pay cap lifted, I confidently predict that by Spring the use of our welfare system to abuse still be grinding to  a halt and if we are smart, if we use this time, if we do it right, whatever else happens we can make sure it’s never used this way again. They might even find the will for a bit of consensus and working together….nah that’s just too far.

It’s always darkest before dawn, fact is we do have to learn how to run these systems properly, we have to do a lot more with a post brexit less, and that means not using them to abuse people but using them to manage inequality.

I feel better than I have about Corbynmani, cos an opinion shows bubble is not quite reflecting the hubris shown. I still know Labour have a solid body of decent MPs, and I think there is probably recognition across the board that change is needed. Its long overdue. Its been an exhausting seven years and its not over yet but the beginning of the end is here. Either way.

So what’s your alternative? The Tories?

They watch you being abused. They watch people call you traitor. THey watch the relentless of it, they watch the people who pretend they want a conversation with you so they can gaslight you into pretending you are not being abused on behalf of a political leader with a lot of money and a lot of power. You say this isn’t right, there is no way a political force trying to address inequality needs a single mother who spends her life studying and living with inequality to be  to be abused. You say it’s not right that in a modern democracy a political force is reliant on abuse and intimidation. You say it can’t be socialism to abuse a single mother in poverty on behalf of a clique of Oxbridge graduates with money and power. You say this is distressing, and its relentless and it never stops. And they say well what’s your alternative? The Tories. And you are not allowed to answer that question because when you do you are a traitor who deserves to be abused. And what they have said to you is you need to understand your abuse is part and parcel of their needs, and they require you to accept it. And will abuse you if you don’t.

The reflex response to financial instability that focused on women like me was shared, is shared, and is still reflected in the Labour manifesto. Only Labour need to be abused on top of it. Tories don’t abuse me morning till night.

What’s your alternative to women being abused day in day out? Corbynites not doing that. Their leadership not encouraging it and tacitly approving it. What’s your alternative to women and jews being abused? The Labour Party stopping them and telling them this is not acceptable. What’s your alternative as they tell you there is no alternative, your abuse is essential to their movement and you complaining is treachery. And all of a sudden you know what you are to these people and what they would stand for. And you know what will happen if these people get power and you realise that for the first time in your life the Tories are the safer option. Because if these people get power they have permission to do what they want to you. And noone will ever stop them.

Negotiations and negotiations

Westminster media is focused on Brexit negotiations. Labourites are arguing like they can pretend that Jez isnt wanting hard Brexit, and if we just ask we will get single market trading conditions witout being a member. Its a circle jerk and fantasy  exercise. We could send Pokemon to negotiate because it isn’t negotiation, which is fortunate because  we sent David Davis and he is out of his depth.

The reality is that Brexit is not decided by negotiation. Brexit began the day the vote came in and the world watched to see how we handled it. Our political system fell apart, the hard left saw an opportunity and there is nothing that a negotiation or a deal can do to undo what is happening. Paris, Frankfurt, and other European Cities are making sure they have capacity for what leaves London and London has been popped. The UK and the London premium was about our reputation for stability which is hundreds of years old and is now gone. We are a small country who have deliberately undermined relations with the major allies we bridged, and we are isolated and we don;t understand what this means. Cambodia is an interesting parallel although it doesn;t seem immediately obvious. We tell ourselves it was the bombing of Cambodia that led to the atrocities of Pol Pot, it wasnt. It was their neutrality being undermined as they found themselves a tug of war in a struggle between two powers. They weren’t big enough to sustain that and the political vulnerability created meant that in 2003 and I was there, it was shocking to realise how young everyone was and that a generation was missing.

Everyone is focused on the appalling Westminster circle jerk and companies all over London are preparing to leave. The bubble that is London has hidden the erosion of other parts of the counry and London doesn’t know how quickly this can happen. For those us in deindustralised areas this is not new. We have grown up on the tide of this.

It was never negotiation that would determine our post Brexit deal, it was how we maintained political stability after the vote. We failed. The negotiations are a formality and we will told what terms to accept., The EU as a whole will extract benefit and then we will be contained. Isolated. Our political instability interesting to noone unless it presents a risk to a greater power. The staggering levels of delusion that define Westminster and their media have not worn off. Centre left guppies without even the basic knowledge of our contsitutional arrangements normalise Corbyn, and the Tory part is in disarray. We have negotiated the terms of Brexit. We didn’t realise we were doing it. And by the time we realise it will all be done.