Happiness, the forbidden word

sculpture st. pancrasThe per-pupil funding formula leads to huge, overcrowded schools, which leave no time for enjoying education. Pupils are perched into class-rooms like chickens in a coop.

Pupils are stuffed in their hundreds and thousands into the smallest available space and treated as profit making goods to get as much yield per square metre of pupil occupied in relation to GCSE results achieved.

Of course the law of probability will ensure that the more pupils there are, the more top results will be achieved. Perhaps a couple per hundred achieve top results.

So any school that has a huge building, with even more pupils can kid themselves by saying, they provide quality education because a few of their pupils achieved top marks. Smaller schools will find it harder to get the same success total. If a dense school achieves 10 out of 2.000 top achievers, a small school will probably only produce 1 out of 200.

It then comes down to cost spent per top grade achieved. It is no longer about the person.

If it was and researched and the research would be publicised to show how much knife crime originates from over-crowded schools, how much misery and despair follows in the aftermath of production line style education follows, we would see a sudden change in attitudes, yet those figures are never made public in that context.

I dare to say that our increase in knife crime and gangs is a direct result of per pupil funding, bigger schools and absent parents, who work for the work program.

The government believes a crowded school is more rewarding, cheaper to run with bigger yields.

So our not so clever government tends to rate all schools, that manage to educate hundreds of kids like robots on an assembly line with top Ofsted ratings simply because a small percentage of the huge pool of pupils get top grades.

If those pupils then can actually behave on the day of the Ofsted inspection, the school can get a world class rating. Ofsted puts no weight on pupil’s mental health, physical health or happiness. Well they look a bit at healthy meals, but that’s all.

Happiness, is the forbidden word.

Smaller schools, which can actually find the time and space to allow for some personal freedom to build meaningful relationships with teachers or among pupils are only possible in either private schools or such remote environments, that there are naturally very few children around.

The government has to change the per pupil funding formula and Ofsted has to consider mental, physical and academic health of pupils. Ofsted should enquire about any reports of stressed behaviour, how many pupils bunk off, how many have eating disorders, mental health issues, learning disability and special needs, the amounts of bullying, the air quality, the green space, academic, sporting, craft, arts achievement, all important factors to ensure a young person can develop a great personality.


It makes sense to improve A&E care

I was turned away myself once from an A&E Department just to be re-admitted by a caring GP. Frequently we hear of those horror stories that patients get turned away from A&E units just to die at home.

Behind all those outcries that resulted from such negligent patient treatments is now probably the attempt to re-organise A&E care in London. I welcome the proposed changes. I am terrified would I have to go to A&E with an urgent problem because I could be turned away by some doctor who is not very well qualified to judge on my particular condition, if I had one.

The last time I went to my local A&E with a cut off finger tip, I witnessed how regular visitors to the unit with mental health problems had to be coaxed out of it with a lot of diplomacy. That resulted in me feeling very uncomfortable because others were somewhat aggressive in tone and strongly moaning whilst I was waiting for my treatment.

It makes sense to downgrade former A&E units to 24/7 urgent care centres, whilst fewer specialised A&E units can perform urgent surgery if needed.

However what the wording of the article indicates is that most current A&E units do not have the required amount of well trained doctors available currently to be able to deal with requirements sufficiently.

Where were the good guys?

In the meantime, the National Rifle Association of the USA better known as NRA, held a press conference about the Newtown shooting, with Wayne LaPierre, NRA saying: “Good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns”.

That statement followed the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, that saw 20, 6-year old’s killed by a lone gunman who suffered from a personality disorder.

Of course in principle it is correct, that good guys stop bad guys, that’s why we have armed police and the army. But where were the good guys with guns?

Even I have called for more armed police officers in Britain to stop rogue shooters after a lone taxi driver went on a killing spree and for lack of armed officers he could not be stopped for a considerable amount of time. Here in the UK we already have strict gun laws, which practically forbid gun ownership for most of us.

Lets be practical to have good guys stop the bad guys, we would need a good guy with a gun, meaning an army soldier stationed at every street corner. Only army soldiers have he mentality to even recognise danger when it comes and are ready to respond in good time to stop those bad guys.

Even if you put armed guards in every school, then the bad guys are likely to just pick on some other soft target that hasn’t gotten an armed guard. But to properly protect all equally well we would need armed guards everywhere.

We would need an army run country without democracy and end up with a Military state. We are using our own army to dismantle other military states by stating that they are not democratic enough but in our own quarters the NRA practically calls for the setting up of one. At least that is my very own interpretation of their words.

Indeed in this very particular case Adam Lanza’s mother was the good guy with the guns that would have stopped the bad guy if the bad guy would not have taken her weapons to shoot her with them first. Showing that only specially trained good guys are able to prevent being killed with their own guns, leading further into the discussion of widespread military deployment to stop those bad guys everywhere.

Don’t settle into your home

is going to be the motto for local authority tenants in the future. No new tenancies will be for life any longer. Well that is what the new Conservative government has lumbered us with and that is big downer in my few. It is not only so in my view but in the view of most social tenants up and down the country.

How can you possibly settle into a home for a period of only 2 or 5 years? Can any benefit even cover the cost of the constant moving around, or how long would it take someone to pay off the loans for the home moving all the time?

What about the social stability? This article shows an exemplary estate where tenants have managed to make such a cosy environment out of their council estate, that it is listed as a good example of how well estates can look and function.

Every social landlord knows how many years it takes to influence social change and help develop some people’s attitude. As well as they know that for many with learning disabilities settling into a home takes a decade at least.

I think this brain-dead idea is very costly and does not solve the problem of unemployment and social stagnation at all, because it costs much more to administer unnecessary social movements rather than just house those from the areas they are in already. I am under the sneaky suspicion that the government brought in that law to be able to break up large areas where ethnic immigrants have settled and do not shift or disperse as they previously did. Looking at the area around Brick Lane for example, we saw that all types of groups of nationalities settled there but dispersed after some time whether they were Jewish, German or French but now with the Muslims there is no moving on at all. I think that move will enable the government to move around immigrants around the country to break them up.

Obviously housing itself is not responsible for stagnant social mobility but it is the 2-tier social structure in the UK and a lack of economic prosperity. Looking at my own estate, about 50% of homes are now privately owned and those leaseholders have a big stake in the modelling of our social futures in that they want their areas to be nice and do not wish to see problem tenants darkening their door steps. Only recently I was told that we are a nice family. I am however concerned that for those who have problems being nice that moving around will cause more instability rather than help. We had the social behaviour contracts for local authorities, we had the ASBOs, which are worked successfully but what really is at the heart o the problem is sheer poverty and how does one improve poverty? Once cannot improve it by creating greater costs for sure.  Perhaps the government thinks people will be more inclined to buy a property to avoid moving around all the time but with the current job insecurities, that is not a good enough reason at all.

In Germany where I come from, private rented homes can have termination periods as short as 3 months and then its out of the home, especially if the landlord needs the property for one of his children. People move around much more to find jobs but tenancy conditions are even stricter in that one has to re-decorate the flat before one moves out and/or get the deposit back. That however is again, very expensive. Yet the German system heavily relies on ID cards as a central source of identification, which is something the Conservatives fought, just because the idea came from Labour, but how long will they resist the pressure when the social mobility takes over and local authority and or business administration will become very expensive over the bigger workload because of the constant moving around.

A parent’s worst nightmare

Some of the patients in Winterbourne View were actually forcibly removed from the care of their families when their behaviour as learning disabled adults became a bit challenging for the community or the families themselves. Thanks to  Panorama secret filming the abuse was detected. What about the many not filmed places where abuse goes on and it is not detected?

It is only due to the film evidence that police can bring charges. Often enough, when people with learning disabilities make accusations, the police will simply not take action because the evidence is deemed unreliable.

That brings me to the multimillion pound care industry. The care workers featured do not seem to be professionally trained. I have got some very worrying experience with social workers for example where they come into a home and make up stories of what they have seen and write out reports, which are sheer fantasy. We have also seen it on that documentary, that care workers made up reports to make it look good for the records. They do know what to write to get justification.

Families are now desperate to get their children back, trying to rather cope with them at home, as part of the Care in the Community system.

The most popular demand heard is that care workers, and I think that should include social workers have to get registered. I already demand better qualification for social workers and there needs to be stricter monitoring of vulnerable patients in and out of care. Who known what is being said between those four walls, who will ever know unless it is reliably recorded as in this film?

I truly and honestly think that the only people who really can appreciate a severely learning disabled person are loving parents or family, people who have a conviction for trying to help those learning disabled people.

Looking how the government now also cuts back on disability payments, we see that because the criteria tests are far removed from reality, that the government simply doesn’t understand the emotional needs of people. It doesn’t surprise me that those in house patients didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, when they face nothing but boredom and abuse. There is no therapy in the daily routine but what the government’s cost-cutting strategies reveal is simply looking how commercially viable people can be and they believe that the ability technically to carry out a task also enabled people to emotionally do the task routinely. That is where the gap is. Technical and emotional ability are closely connected and some people only function properly when they feel emotionally good. And feeling emotionally good is different from person to person.

Some autistic people want to sit alone in a room, some child like adults need 100 teddies around them just to do a simple task, others need trusted friends around them all the time to feel good and confident.

There is the question of qualification for care workers and/or social workers. I just recently signed on as unemployed and was promptly asked whether I want to work as social worker. I have not gotten one piece of qualification at all, though plenty of practical experience. Social work is not profitable and a job for cast offs so it seems.

The secret is to start preparation for life in schools and at the school age. Teaching to help the disabled early to understand the world from their point of view must be a priority and is cheaper than paying out 90 million a year to look after learning disabled adults in care homes. What is happening today is that learning disabled children are put through the normal schooling process just to drop out as young adults and needing looking after in institutions. Our comprehensive school system assumes that all will fit into society but special skills are not taught. Those vulnerable adults must have been to schools once and those school experiences did not fit the needs of those people.


There is no value to Internet anonymity

There are not only the Twitter users but also many bloggers who prefer not to disclose to the general public who is behind their postings and I think that should change. Many posts have no proper informal value and only serve to spread unease. Bullying campaigns are led from nameless blogs and social networks.

If anybody wishes to make a point, they should do so, saying who they are, so they can give that point a weight. Any comments made anywhere, which are not underwritten by a proper person are without any value and just a wast of time. Nobody can take them serious and nobody can take any action over them. Yet if there are too many rumours spread, people get discredited in the popular opinion regardless how baseless the rumours are.

Often anonymous rumour machines make the work of the police and other public bodies much more difficult because for example security services have so much more to do to find out whom they are dealing with or whom they can ignore.

If anybody has a proper grievance, that has to be properly complained about or no authority needs to even take notice of it. So what is the point of these naonymous bloggers, tweeters? I think that can only be answered by those who get satisfaction of publishing from the safety of anonymity.

Maybe the act of anonymous publishing in itself has a name in the archives of mental health specialists.

In business anybody wanting to trade online must make their identify clearly known on their website but individuals get the freedom of total anonymity. So it is quite possible that a person has respectatility but they then put on the cloak of the bully and start writing rubbish about others. Mind you not only bloggers seem to lead double lives these days. I cannot support the argument of the Twitter blogger who fears his account deetails stop others from airing their grievances via his account.

New benefit classification needed

I blogged about the problem a couple of days before the national press took it up, the problem of claiming disability benefits for self-inflicted problems, problems that pay benefits and those benefits pay-outs help to keep the drug-trade alive and cause alcohol related anti-social behaviour. David Cameron’s campaign and the publication of official government figures to disclose the breakdown of disability benefits claimants followed on.

So far benefits only classify between two types of people, those able to work and getting either income support or job seekers allowance and those unable to work and entitlement to disability benefits.

Yet thanks to those 2 classifications, the benefits systems actually supports drug dealing and anti-social behaviour and self-inflicted harm by making it easy for people to get overweight, drunk to excess and allow drifting into drug addiction.

Having heard a former drug addict say on TV that benefits saved him from turning into crime, I gotten even more upset because this means that benefits are used to blackmail the state to keep people off crime so that they can buy drugs instead of committing crime and getting the money to purchase drugs from state handouts.

This makes it an even more clear case for taking drug addicts off disability benefits, because if they commit crimes to get the money to buy drugs, then they just have to go into jail and that is where they belong. It will make it a much easier choice for people when they decide whether to become drug addicts or not when that soft benefit options is taken away from them.

To say I will commit a crime if the state doesn’t pay for my illegal drugs is legalizing blackmail and making it institutionalised abuse of the law.

We need a new benefits category of those willingly causing harm to themselves and making themselves unable to work through an unhealthy and self-destructive lifestyle and those people should be put on the lowest level of benefit and put in jail if they break the law just like everybody else. Of course that will lead to a sudden upsurge of jail demand, but I predict it will soon drop off when addicts realise that the best option for them is to stop breaking the law as they are better off living healthy.  alternatively those people could be sanctioned under the mental health act for causing self-harm instead.

Furhter still why should those who had been addicts get preferential treatment when they apply for jobs, when others who have kept themselves healthy are only too eager to work? I think the law should have to bounce back on its feet and sense has to be brought back into the benefits system.

Failing for protecting from abuse

I think that it is an excellent development that victims of abuse can now sue local authorities when their social services failed to protect children for example from abuse, as this BBC article reports. This is about social services not removing children from homes whereby they are abused by their parents or persons in their homes.

Yet that can only happen if the abused, in most cases probably children, become old enough and survive the abuse. In many cases, when it is about small children, they often enough end up dead and cannot bring a case. It is disturbing though, and it seems to be a grey area and hole in the law, that when parents abuse so much that a child dies, that then only the killers of the child, often the parents get held responsible and end up in jail on long prison terms. That is especially questionable when the killers are parents of limited intellect or even severely handicapped with IQ’s below 70. That is what the Americans would still call mentally retarded. The UK gotten rid of that classification in a fashion up-date of UK political correctness.

I think that this must be addressed. That it is predictable that vulnerable adults can easily be manipulated into doing the wrong thing. Yet it is extremely hard to proof that a vulnerable person was manipulated into doing the wrong thing, so that an accountable service, in this case the social services cannot be held responsible for the wrong-doing of the vulnerable adult.

Yet what the cases of victims of abuse in the home show, is that they can sue for not being rescued from an abusive home. Yet we know of many other instances when care providers themselves where sued for abuse taking place within the care home or other caring institutions. For example the Catholic church went through scores of abuse allegations and had to settle at a very high price.

Despite this up-beat in human rights for minors, we still hear cranky politicians ask for more corporal punishment to discipline children better. I think that is the one policy for which I admire Labour, is the introduction of a law that makes corporal punishment child abuse. Because it is the very fact that children are treated with respect that turns them into happier adults and less likely to become criminals. Often corporal punishment prevents victims of abuse to speak out because they are punished if they fall out of line so to speak. Odd behaviour is often enough a sign of abuse but not always.

In conclusion I would like to repeat my demand to make social services more accountable by introducing strict qualification requirements, so that all social workers have to go through years of training and not just become social workers because they cannot get another job. They need to become professionally trained and to a standard that is immediately recognisable. These days you get so many odd social workers and when you enquire what their qualifications are, you get the answer its a secret and protected under the Data Protection Act. Yet with doctors and nurses you know exactly what type of qualifications they have to pass to be able to practise.

Therefore I think it would be better all around if Social Workers came under NHS instead of councils because then they would fall under a category to do with the Hippocratic oath, promising care for each individual. Social Services have been pushed into a very bad position when it is more convenient for them to end up with dead child victims because then  Social Services cannot be prosecuted for the crime rather than living children who can sue them for failing to protect them. Yet the Baby P case led to the sacking of Social Workers, which is only one good but small step into the right direction. Yet those problems have been caused by the ‘Care in the Community’ system that allows all persons to reside within the community, cared for by family members or friends.

Often abusive carers/parents suffer from complex mental conditions that may include neurosis, low intellect, other learning disabilities, compulsive or clinical conditions in social settings are hard to detect for people not trained in the many conditions that are apparent in people today. We even occasionally find that the so-called ‘respected members of our community’ turn out to be ‘faulty’.

We have read about it frequently how difficult parents find it to sterilise severely disabled woman who cannot possibly care for children, they could have. Yet we not only have to look at the Human Rights issue but also at the cost issue because it is extremely expensive to allow inadequate parents to care for children, when those inadequate parents needs caring for themselves.

One good step was the introduction of a benefit ceiling, so that people are prevented from having countless numbers of children, whereby each indidvidual gets less attention and care from their parents and often parents are unable to provide adequate supervision for their off-spring.

Down the Hatch

Child killer Colin Hatch has been murdered in prison. This BBC story tells the gruesome circumstances of that killer’s conviction and it is very sad that the justice system failed to send that man to Broadmoor because he was thought not dangerous enough. How dangerous can one be who systematically abuses and kills little boys. Again, here we see that society does not think that children need better protection from child killers.

It is therefore one of those unusual cases where criminals amongst themselves have taken the law into their own hands and delivered rough justice. I do  not want to see lynch mobs running our land but would want to see more responsible jailing decisions to keep society save and stop criminals to strike again,when that can be prevented.  Still what many justice officials and especially those on parol boards do not understand is that many criminals know exactly what they have to say and how they have to act to appear pleasing to assessors but then go on to kill.

If Justice disciplines the killer of Colin Hatch with severe punishment and sets a precedence to show that criminals that kill almost certain child killers will be severly punished that will send a shock wave around the country.

A paradox crime, whom to blame for it?

I always get myself engaged when such horrid incidents happen but feel calmed by the sober words of President Obama who hailed the brave bystanders and their reaction to the events. He found that their behaviour prevented further damage and by taking Jared Loughner’s gun and ammunition away.

There is little point in the Right blaming the LEFT and vice versa. People with mental problems like Loughner are a result of our liberal society. They allow themselves to be driven from the path of righteousness and become vulnerable to doing the wrong thing. Loughner helped his own dilemma by abusing drugs and seeking little sobering of his crazed condition, not even realising anymore how crazy he had become.  In such a circumstance our liberal society has little to offer such a person by way of discipline other than imprisonment or death penalty after victims have been created. It is this point that I try to find a solution to, it is the fact that I do not want to see victims of such crazed persons like Loughner.

There always will be criminals but I think would our society take greater steps to control individuals we would see less victims.  I think it is a result of individuals’ lack of personal discipline so that they allow themselves to be driven into crime and disorder. In this case there seems to be nobody having been there to remind that man, how wrong he was, other than the college that tried to deal with his anti-social behaviour during classes.  He was reprimanded for drug abuse by the police but his political radicalism was never taken into consideration and he might well have had terrorist motives.  He could well have acted alone, stimulated by what he saw on the Internet.

As a society I think there is nothing that we can do other than lock those persons up. And such a severe case, to hand out the death sentence, which is the prescribed method of punishment in American law. I do appreciate that some individuals would fare much better in heir lives with early intervention but then how does one measure that discipline that would have to be handed out without breaching the personal freedom of individuals. I think that American society and legal specialists should look into measures that could be taken to control such obviously out of control individuals before they can commit such atrocities.  Maybe our Freedom of Speech/Expression is not controlled enough to take into account the harm some very provocative material can have on individuals. 

Not only in the USA but also in the UK it often becomes apparent that a certain type of people would be better off living in communal housing, that could be connected with some type of social care supervision. We should also look into better protection of parliamentary representatives and make  it a standard that they meet constituents in safer locations and could for example use court houses where visiting constituents could be screened for what they have on them before they enter. I don’t think we should risk the lives of democratically elected people’s representatives by not doing anything to make their positions safer.

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