Sunday, 21 November 2010

Freedom in Education Under Threat

Please send this postcard to your MP "to highlight the urgent need for the Government to stop the continuation of ultra vires treatment of Home Educators in the name of CME Legislation."

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Heurists & Hijackers Go Head To Head Over Home Ed...

Across the internet forums & email lists a battle has been waging between those who support differing solutions to the current legislative problems facing families who wish to live & learn free from state interference.

In my previous post 'Guidance Queens & Pushy Authoritarian Types' I linked to a facebook thread on the wall of Graham Stuart MP,  who was supportive of home education when the Badman fiasco was in full swing and instrumental in helping to prevent the home education parts of the CSF Bill from becoming law. It has been revealed that he is involved with a select & secretive group of self appointed home education 'experts' & that this group is in the process of helping to draw up 'draft guidelines' for local authorities on how to deal with home educating families.

Many have been vocal in their concern & outrage over what they see as an underhand attempt by a few to direct future government policy regarding home education & are curious as to what the deeper motives might be of a group of people who are unwilling to present themselves & their 'ideas' to the advance scrutiny of all of those who will be affected.

Yesterday Lord Lucas started a forum thread which stated:

Over the next six months or so we will have at least two Bills which potentially affect HE:

Social Security: new terms for current benefits, and the foundations of the new system

Education: perhaps something on the new SEN system, and the possibility of amending 436A and consequent guidance.

As and when I hear news I will post it on this thread.

I would be glad of your views as to how HE should be treated and consulted about either subject.

Ralph Lucas
House of Lords 

When challenged over lack of transparency & asked to disclose the ultimate goals of the secret guidelines group (SGG), Lord Lucas merely used 'soothing' tones to deflect the frustrations of the enquirers but failed to reveal anything more about specifics (don't you just love how politicians do that), only commiting himself to...
"...I want to listen to you..."

...but then excusing the exclusivity & cloak & dagger tactics of the group with...
"'s just not practical to draft proposals in a large group many of whom are opposed to the whole idea."
There have been expressed some very succinct & well reasoned arguments against the writing of new guidelines & of alternative means of illiciting change in education legislation put forth by some very knowledgeable & experienced individuals but it would seem that the SGG are hell bent on running with their 'baby' in spite of any objections from 'stakeholders'. Those who have pleaded with the SGG to stop with their arrogant, overbearing & potentially harmful onslaught have been accused of the very bullying the SGG are themselves enacting upon all home educators by their hijacking of an important civil liberties issue.

However I hope that those who refuse to be blackmailed or bullied into silencing their concerns for the SGG's chosen modus operandi do take up His Lordships kind invitation to...
"tell me why I am wrong."...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Guidance Queens & Pushy Authoritarian Types


Please note

All statutory guidance and legislation 

linked to from this site continues to reflect

the current legal position

unless indicated otherwise, 

but may not reflect Government policy.

Balls' reign over matters of education having ended and somewhat comforted by the pre-election promises of the 'Con' part of the new government, many home educating families had relaxed their guard in favour of spending time on their most important task, living & learning freely...

...and fortunately neither are the vigilant eyes of home educators, who have learned that they must read between the lines of every legislative act, guidance document, legal judgement, policy guideline, position statement or political muttering they are exposed to, in order to continue educating their children free from State interference & self serving agendas.

Ballsian Delusion still runs rife amongst those in positions of 'authority'. LAs continue to impose their bullying ultra vires practices upon familes who have chosen not to use State education provision. The ConDem government is certainly not looking like they will be any less authoritarian than the last!

Home educators WERE warned by all three main political parties that home education would be on the political agenda again at some time. Many believed that as long as it wasn't Liebour who were in power they would have their opinions sought & taken into account before & throughout future processes pertaining to home education. Even the most politically cynical of us hoped that the ConDem coalition would have bigger fish to fry than home educating families for a while but it seems that we are still very much in the political spotlight.

"For home education I think we need new guidance issued by the government to local authorities (LAs) which lays to rest, once and for all (hopefully), the agitation by LAs for more powers and encourages a new culture of support and humility from LAs rather than suspicion and distrust. I have spoken to a number of different people about this (including the Minister) and hope to come forward with a proposal for everyone to look at, dispute, improve etc to deliver the above aims. I have initially asked a few people to help come up with a first draft before opening out to the full drama of HE community input. Fundamental to anything I come up with will be the primacy of parents in determining their child's education and a complete rejection of compulsory registration and all the other "licensing" facets of the last government's approach. I think we have a real opportunity to settle this issue in a way that LAs can live with and which makes the chance of future action by government unlikely so that the Badman proposals are never resurrected." (Graham Stuart)
It has been pointed out that what would make the 'issue' clearer for both LAs and home educators is not MORE guidelines for LAs but a change to the CME guidance which creates the confusion as to whether Local Authorities "Should" statutorily make inquiries regarding educational provision or whether they only may ask for such information informally.

Cornwall Councils position, as set out by their Principal Education Welfare Officer, is that:
"The legal duty of the Local Authority is concerned only with children who appear not to be receiving a suitable education. However Case Law (Philips v Brown (1980) unreported) established that a LA may make informal enquiries of parents who are educating their children at home to establish that a suitable education is being provided. Lord Donaldson laid down clear limits to LA powers giving a list of three things a parent can do- either provide evidence so that the parent could not appear to be in breach of his or her duty, or that it was expedient for the child to attend school, or they could bring evidence to show that the child is being properly educated.

Lord Donaldson said that even if there is no evidence, a local authority is entitled to write to a parent informally asking for information. If they do not receive any, they may (but need not) regard that as evidence that the education is insufficient." (John Heath)
 In Cornwall this means the LA will ask annually for 'evidence' that parents are discharging their statutory duty to provide a suitable & efficient education, even after they have the year previously ascertained and reported that one IS taking place & use ANY refusal to be sucked into an unremitting cycle of contracting with them as not having received the requested 'evidence' & thus as an excuse to 'doorstep' the family or threaten SAO.

Since individual Local Authorities interpret the guidelines differently they apply those interpretations to home educators with differing tactics & rigour, however across the country home educators are  increasingly being confronted with LAs behaving as though the Badman recommendations were in fact accepted.
"Set out below are the arrangements the LA will make to ensure it carries out it's statutory duty for children being educated by parents: (...)
-Maintain a register of pupils being educated at home. As this is not a statutory duty it is acknowledged that this list is imcomplete, this will enable officers and co-ordinators to make contact with parents to offer support and work in partnership" (...)
"Cornwall LA prefers home visits." (...)
"No visit will take place unless parents agree for one and an appointment has been made or confirmed in writing. It is usual practice in the event of the Local Authority not receiving a reply to correspondence that a visit will be made after notice has been given in writing." (John Heath, Principal Education Welfare Officer)
Thus, the thoughts of your average pushy authoritarian type:
"Registers to maintain... Lists  of 'Missing' Children to complete... Conferences to attend... Homes to visit... Parental contracts to secure... Guidelines to help draft... 'Experts' to consult... Vociferous minorities to quash... Political maneuvering to engage in... Jobsworths to employ...

Good job those pesky home educating types didn't manage to sway the government into dropping the HE parts of the Education Bill...

oh, no wait..."

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Cornwall LA- Experts at 'Cut & Paste' & 'Lie & Deny'

Now it's personal!!! (not that it wasn't before)

You may have read Maire Staffords blog post regarding tackling ultra vires practices within individual local authorities, which specifically picks up on an advertisment placed by Cornwall Council for an EHE Coordinator.
As this is my local authority I decided that I should add my voice to hers in admonishing them for their attempts to overstep their duties.

I had until now, despite being 'known' to the LA, hoped to fly under the radar as much as an autonomously educating family, who refuse to meet with the LA officer, can. So it was not without some trepidation that I sent this letter winging it's way via Email AND by Recorded Delivery ;)
FAO: Mr. John Heath,
(Principal Education Welfare Officer),
Cornwall Council,
County Hall,
Treyew Road,
TR1 3AY. 24th September,2009.

Dear Mr. Heath,

As a home educating parent in North Cornwall area, I wish to complain specifically about the behaviour of your EHE Co-ordinator for North Cornwall and more generally regarding Cornwall Councils approach toward home educating families.

The Cornwall Council Information for Elective Home Educators website states that;

No visit will take place unless you have agreed to one and an appointment has been made”.

However, this has not been my experience, in fact quite the opposite, I have frequently been exposed to the local EHE Officer engaging in ultra vires practices.

According to letters I have received from Mr. Hockley he has attended our home, without prior agreement from myself on several occasions and, further to this, arranged & attended a meeting, accompanied by two colleagues, at {a local council office} to which I had also not agreed and yet his report seems to indicate that I was expected to attend & that I was deemed as 'absent' from this meeting.

In my response to the initial 'informal enquiry', my report regarding the home education of my children, dated 1st September, 2008, Mr.Hockley had previously been informed that I would not be willing to engage in any further correspondence or contract with the Local Authority regarding the education of my children, I wish therefore to complain about the many letters from Mr. Hockley I have received since he received my report. I suggest that they are vexatious and that he is harassing me.

Please can you confirm at the earliest opportunity and in writing that you do not support such ultra vires practices?

I had no reason, until now, to suspect that my experience of a Local Authority employee toward a home educating family was anything more than an unfortunate personal experience of bad practice on the part of this particular Elective Home Education Coordinator. It has however been brought to my attention that this offensive and intrusive attitude and behaviour toward home educating families may in fact be one which is being promoted & encouraged by Cornwall Council.
This document:

describes the role of Education Welfare Officer for West Area as;
(to) “ ensure that children and young people who are electively home educated are receiving a suitable and efficient education and that they are safe and their welfare promoted”.

These practices go far above and beyond the Local Authority's duty in law.

It is not for the Local Authority to decide what qualifies as 'suitable' and 'efficient' but only to ascertain, through informal enquiry, that an education is taking place.

This document also asserts that the role of this Local Authority officer is to;

Monitor the quality of education for children who are educated at home.”

Once again, THIS IS NOT A LAWFUL DUTY OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITY, as is confirmed by Graham Stuart's Education Select Committee’s Chairman’s statement on Home Education Report which states;

As the 2007 Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities make clear, however, ‘local authorities have no statutory duties in relation to monitoring the quality of home education on a routine basis’ and are only required to intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education.” (Education Select Committee’s Chairman’s statement on Home Education Report )

Further to this Mr. Stuart recommends that;
As local authorities do not have the power to demand access to home educated children and cannot insist on parents registering with them, the obvious and correct answer is for local authorities to improve their support for families so that more families make contact with them voluntarily. If they did this and made sure that they employed sympathetic staff who built good reputations, then the number of “unknown” children would be reduced. Such a positive approach would respect the primacy of parents in determining the education of their children and put the onus on local authorities to serve and support, rather than catalogue and monitor, families who home educate.” (Education Select Committee’s Chairman’s statement on Home Education Report )

Do you not think that it may be more appropriate for Cornwall Council to engage the home education community in a positive manner as suggested in Graham’s statement above?

The decision, when creating a job profile for role of Home Education Advisor, to make the opportunity available to individuals who are qualified merely as “mainstream school” teachers, only guarantees that you will employ the most unsuitable individuals for the post.

Experience in mainstream/special school. Proven record of excellent class teaching and behaviour management. Proven ability to teach a range of subjects at different key stages and to keep up to date with current initiatives in education. Proven ability to use ICT both personally and in the classroom. Experience of working with young people in an education setting. Good report writing skills” (

This list of preferred previous experience could probably not be further detached from most home education practice, particularly autonomous or child-centred styles, if you tried, so it would fail in attracting any individual who possessed skills which could be considered appropriate to elective home education and I therefore fail to understand how Cornwall Council could consider such an individual to be a suitable candidate to liaise with home educating families within your 'Elective Home Education' team'. It is, after all, unlikely that such an individual would be sympathetic to, or have a good working knowledge of, alternative educational ethos' and practice and is therefore unlikely to be familiar with, or understanding of, the many & varied learning styles engaged in by home educated students.
This Local Authority seems to behave as if it has a duty to harass home educators.
Please send me the regulations and laws that suggest that its representatives can insist on entry to the home and make annual demands for further information, even after an initial enquiry has been satisfied and the Local Authority has been clearly informed that further contact is not desired.

Please could you also inform me, at the earliest possible opportunity, of the measures Cornwall Council are taking to correct its literature & policies to abide by the law, as until this has been done, any efforts to create and maintain good relations with local home educating families will remain merely a Ballsian Delusion.

In conclusion, I wish to state that the home education community in Cornwall should be able to go about their lawful duty to provide an education to their children without harassment from council employees and should not have to waste their precious time tackling ultra vires practices. However, the outrageous attempt by the last government to licence & monitor home educators based upon the contrived & agenda based 'Bad Man Report', galvanised home educating families across the UK into forming many strong support & information sharing networks. Therefore, policy based impositions by Cornwall Council upon the freedom of home educators, individually or en mass, will be met with strong disapproval & resistance from those of us who, both within the county & across the country, are prepared to fight for our Rights in Law.

Ultra vires practices of Local Authority officers, across the UK, are now being databased at, however, you will be pleased to hear that details are also kept of Local Authorities who are working within the law and which of those make efforts to engender good relations with the home educators in their area. Thus, there is always opportunity for a Local Authority to salvage it's reputation with home educators, by improving its working practices.

With Thanks for Your Kind Attention and in Anticipation of Your Prompt Reply,
Yours Sincerely

Mrs. L. Sherwood.
(Home Educator).
Today I received this response:

So, to break it down... the first two paragraphs Mr.Heath dedicates to telling me that, despite my assertions (& the supporting evidence I have in writing from the officer involved) that his EHE coordinator HAS attended my property without my agreement, he believes that "our accepted policy & practice for liasing with Home Educators in Cornwall" has been followed.

Then he further supports this pushy, ultra vires orificer by informing me that other HE families gave 'testament' to THEIR relationship with Mr.Hockley "when they were part of a focus group looking at safeguarding in Cornwall last summer".


Much of the rest of the letter is a 'cut & paste' jobby from the LA's policy documents... however I noted with (outraged) interest that...

  • the LA maintain a 'register of pupils being educated at home' 
  • there are two references to Education Otherwise... in it's capitalised, brand name form, rather than in a non-capitalised paraphrasing form from the Education Act.
"-Encourage, consult and develop relationships with local Education Otherwise groups."
"The LA does want to encourage, consult and have dialogue with home educators and do involve Education Otherwise support groups in Cornwall"
I suppose I should be grateful for Mr. Heath having answered questions I never asked, such as "Are you in cahoots with EO?"... "Do you value the opinion of home educating groups or individuals who are no affiliated with EO?"... or "Are home educating familes already subject to compulsory registration with this LA for which there's no choice to opt out?"... unfortunately, for him, he does not provide the information I did specifically ask for... which means I guess that I will have to keep on asking until I do get a response ;)

There has been, over the last few weeks, much talk of new guidelines for LA's regarding home education, which are currently under construction by the powers that be & their minions.
Many home educators wish to know whether there will be mention of a 'voluntary' registration scheme, the concern being that, if so, this will be a gateway to 'compulsory' registration eventually. Further to this is the issue of LA's classing home educated children as CME (Children Missing Education), which it would seem, thanks to contradicting government guidelines, they often do.

In the mean time those who would seek to forward their own agenda for home education have been ingratiating themselves within certain circles and making moves into positions of influence. Unfortunately it seems that some of these people are not in favour of protecting the rights of all home educating families to be free from governmental interference where it's not warranted & wish to push a 'one size fits all' model.

Other recent sentiments I have heard expressed, both online & in real time, have been that since the EHE parts of the Education Bill were successfuly deflected many home educators do not feel that another drawn out fight with government is worth their time or effort, believing that the case has already been made and that the new government, particularly the Conservative faction who supported scrapping the EHE parts of the bill, does have their best interests at heart.....

I have much to say about these attitudes/beliefs that are being touted... but i think that deserves a blog post of its own... (see next post) however, I must state that I believe that both personally & generally, nationally & locally, the fight to protect freedom in home education is far from over. :/

If anyone would like to express their views here regarding the correspondence from Cornwall Council or ideas for a response your comments would be most welcome, as I intend to send yet another lengthy letter to them quite soon. :)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A Fandango of Quangos

The Ladies & Gents of the Board of Directors wish for Fabian ideals to penetrate all Sectors,
A Ballsian Delusion of social integration is Making Children Matter by removing parents from education,
but directing Your children in New Ways Of play is their Common Purpose at the end of the day.

The Fandango of Quangos, invests YOUR cash in Fake Charities, whilst the UK economy is brought to it's knees. 
Middle women and men help to distract from the deficit & we're all under surveillance just for the heck of it.
Blurring the lines between public and private but yet the mainstream media keep on keeping quiet. :(

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Shrunken Balls!


For those who haven't yet heard... the government has been forced to drop the Home Education parts of the CSF Bill (and many other un-popular bits)... which means that PROVIDED NuLiebour DO NOT win the upcoming election, home educating families are to be safe from licensing & tyrannical legislation (for a while at least).

This does not however mean that the war is been won, merely THIS battle.

Whilst we all desire to return to the crucial priority of providing our children with the best education possible & to put behind us the horror that has been the Balls saga, it would be a terrible mistake to let down our guard, or put aside the lessons hard learned, networks woven & knowledge accrued since the 'Badman' report & the governments ensuing dirty tricks campaign.

Even if the next government does not stage such an underhand & uncompromising attack as the last one has, the recent fight to protect home education has awakened many of us to the ridiculous stereotyping & misinformation which persists in the media, political & public arenas, about this issue.
In addition, much of the home education community has become more politically aware, opinionated & active, thanks to having seen the process at such close & personal quarters.

We must continue to keep our eyes open & our thinking clear & not lose contact with the process or one another. When and if the next battle is upon us, we must be mindful not only of what has gone before but also that we aren't the only ones who have learned lessons...


Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Those who can't...Deech

One might be forgiven for thinking that the offspring of a historian & journalist who was persecuted by the nazi's, might seek to portray the truth of a situation, rather than regurgitate the same old lies & inaccuracy of claim.
One might be forgiven for hoping that a professor of law & wife of a solicitor, whose family were murdered in nazi concentration camps, might have a sense of fairness & justice, rather than herself be someone who furthers the persecution & propaganda waged against a minority group.
One might be forgiven for believing that a peer, who was a speaker in debates for The Coexistence Trust, on Jewish- Muslim relations and political engagement, might be prone to furthering "co-operation and good relations" between people of differing faiths & cultures, rather than promoting sterotypes & displaying intolerance & racial prejudice.

Tonight I listened to a prime example of the horrific attitude of members of the Nu 'bourgeoisie' (from 6hr20min) toward those upon whom they seek to reign their tyrrany.

I kid you not, the sheer arrogance & blatant ignorance displayed IS frightening...

This 'Lady' said that she has determined to immerse herself in the topic of home education because she feels that the parents of home educated children have attitudes of "rage", "resentment" & "superiority" & "contempt for the state in all its manifestations". To her mind the case against registration & monitoring of HE has been furnished with "arguments that must have been used in the late 19th century" and aired the opinion that such "do not paint a good picture of home educators". 
She dismisses the "massive representation" by home educators (approximately 200 commenters on her blog) as a 'lobbying' group & expresses doubt as to how "representative" their views are. She particularly seems to dislike accusation of 'totalitarianism' against this government and can't fathom such a "mishmash of ideological views" from this herd of "middle class" proletariat. She accuses home educating parents of that most heinous crime, "rejection of state interference" & most offensively of "indifference to the rights of the child".
Deech assures us that her motives are to "speak up for the rights of the child" & 'convey' these rights to the 'oh, so misguided' home-educating parents by "ensuring that every child who is not being educated at school but, purportedly, at home, is registered"  & hopes that ContactPoint, can be used to 'track "all those born in and who arrive in England after birth". 

She goes on to quote the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child & the European Convention on Human Rights to the end that "education in all institutions must conform to standards laid down by the state", that these must be "state regulation of the education that the child receives" & that "the parents do not have stand-alone rights to determine that education in any way that they wish without state regulation" 

Whilst grudgingly acknowledging "that that the child has the right to express his or her views" & "the rights of parents to have their children educated in accordance with their views" she upholds the decision of the EU court that Germany was entitled to ban home education (as it has since Hitler was in power) &claims that it "is the duty of home-educating parents to secure for their children the education pledged in international treaties". Some concern was voiced also that English might not be the primary language of choice for such families.
Baroness Deech proudly furthered her claims of compassion toward the poor home educated children she is so very worried about, by comparing their right to be seen to the law of 'Habeus Corpus'..."Habeas corpus must extend to our children as well."
In short, this means that she views home educated children as 'prisoner's who deserve the right to be to "produce"(d) in order to ascertain their well being & to have the validity of their detention determined by those in authority.

She purposefully conflates education with child abuse, casting doubt as to whether "children can just learn autonomously without being taught" & accuses home educating parents of 'experimenting' on their children "in a way that may blight their only chance in a lifetime to be presented with the knowledge and life skills that they will need". Afterall, home educators, in her opinion, are potentially sacrificing a "career outside the home", paying for "for all the outings and extracurricular activities that are usually provided by the school" & potentially causing "girls in particular" to believe that marriage & a lifestyle which does not involve being a mere wage-slave of the state, to be a desirous thing.

Her solution for such is that there be the "right (for 'officials') to visit (your home) without warning" & that "the child should be sent to school at once and not allowed to continue at home, pending appeal."

Furthermore she would like to ensure that the child's 'rights' are applied by compelling the child "to be seen alone by an inspector" every 3-6 months & states that a childs "fear" of such a meeting is "no excuse" not to do so, afterall, as she says, it is unlikely that they would go through life without being forced to encounter & be questioned & inspected by "doctors, dentists, (&) repair men" (?!?*wtf?!#).

In summation of her heartfelt speech on assertion of the 'rights' of the child, she says:
"Your Lordships should not be deterred by the strong wording of the home education lobbyists. There needs to be a way for the home-educated child to be seen and heard, for samples of his or her work to be produced and for rigorous tracking of existence and outcome."

Ruth Deech is considered, by some, to be a learned academic & bioethicist. This crossbench 'Life Peer' spent a large part of her working career as a 'Tutor in Law' (those who can't...Deech) & currently presents a series of public lectures on family relationships and the law in her position as 'Professor of Law' at Gresham College in London... She claims that she failed her history A-level because "our teacher had leukaemia and only one out of seven of my year passed".
Daughter of the late historian and journalist Josef Fraenkel & once chair of the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, she was tagged by 'The Observer' as "the 107th most powerful person in Britain" and by channel 4 as no.26 on "The God List" ("the fifty people of faith in Britain who exercise the most power and influence over our lives"). She was also a former governor of the BBC & is a founding Trustee of the 'Mandela Rhodes Foundation' (Common Purpose?).

Friday, 26 February 2010

Who's/Whose to Choose?


As another convert to the cause 'gets it', home educators are once again stunned by the "unyeilding, arrogant, we-know-what's-best-for-your-child attitude" of  those who seek control of our childrens educations, thoughts & futures.

Much has been made today of this agendist piece by the BBC, which implies that the Badman recommendations are somehow relevant in the case of Birmingham Social Services failure to prevent the abuse & subsequent death of yet another vulnerable child, even though social workers had been informed of the child's plight many months before she died.
We see here an inkling of the depths that people in positions of power will sink to in order to weild power over both the CHILD & PARENTS, as they try to piggyback the CSF Bill onto this tragic story. The heavily biased BBC piece quotes the odious & discredited Mr.Bad Man as saying "What we cannot do is ascribe rights to parents that deny the rights to the child".

Thus we enter the muddy waters of WHOSE the child IS... & WHO gets to decide upon & impose these 'rights' so often spoken of?
"Children are not possessions": 

Yes they are!...And this IS the crux of the debate... They ARE OUR children NOT YOUR children... & by 'OUR' I mean in the first instance THE PARENT'S; secondly THE FAMILY'S;  and only after those ties have been somehow severed, do those children become the responsibility of OTHERS.

You would think the matter would be a simple one.
PARENT/S *HAVE* CHILDREN.... without PARENT/S, CHILDREN cannot be. Therefore until a 'CHILD' becomes an 'ADULT' it is generally assumed that the PARENTS will be the ones who care for, nurture & take responsibility for the CHILD.
(Obviously there may be occasions when the parents are unable/unfit to look after the child... in which case is is assumed that a guardian should be appointed instead & in most societies, the world over, it is considered preferable that in the first instance a suitable guardian should be sought within the FAMILY!)

as Blogdial so correctly observes...
"...children are a special form of property. You need to accept this principle as one of absolute truth. They are either your property, or the property of the state."
This is not just true in law... but in life. If you do not take possession of your children then someone else will... & they may not have the best interests of the child at heart... they certainly won't have the same motivations as the parents!

 In another thought provoking article on the subject Blogdial states:

"When a child is born however, it becomes a human being with all the natural rights that human beings are born with. It cannot fend for itself in any way; it needs special care and nurturing. Since it is the creation of two people, those parents are, naturally, the people with the responsibility of caring for that child; the child is the ward of the parents.

Being a ward in this way is a special form of property. While you are in the care of your parents, they have total responsibility for you and can have procedures performed on you that they feel are for your benefit..."
"But children have rights too":

Sanitation; healthcare; education; food; shelter; land; positive sexual relations; water; knowledge; clean air; comfort & love... may sound like things we all have a natural, inalienable 'right' to... But the fact of the matter is they are all things which we have to rely upon others to ALLOW us to have... They are also all things which people can make excuse to DENY others.

"Rights, are only right, when the right person says so." Susanna Rogers

When we demand our 'rights'.... Or what we think is 'rightful'... We are asking for the consideration of other human beings. Rights are not something we are born with which then have the potential to be taken away... they are something which we are either given by others or take for ourselves from the moment we are born... or sometimes even from conception. 

It is in this knowledge that the term 'Fight for your rights' has arisen.

Some believe that many of our 'rights', whether in LAW or in LIFE, are commodities which must be won & protected.
However others subscribe to the idea that 'rights' are a natural part of existence which should be afforded to each at their whim, or believe that 'rights' are something which can or should only be granted at the whim of others.

I'm guessing that most people are of the opinion that abusing & exploiting a child is morally abhorrent & that a child has the 'right' (as should we all) to live peacably without violence or harrassment, thus Laws have been made to protect those in society who are naturally & legally acknowledged as vulnerable & unable to protect themselves.
However, the very concept of 'rights' (for that is all it is) is highly subjective. In my opinion there are no 'inalienable rights'... just 'rights' in Law... & agenda driven assertions based on individual principles...

  • I may think YOUR child has the right to attend school in order to mix with lots of other people their own age.
  • YOU may think MY child has the right to stay at home with THEIR natural care giver rather than be handed over to the care of strangers for 6 hours a day.

  • I may think YOUR child has the right to be vaccinated against all communicable diseases as and when such vaccines come onto the market.
  • YOU may think MY child has the right not to be injected with substances which they may be too young and uninformed to understand the potential ill effects of. 

  • The government may think that all of our children have the right to be freed of the opinions & constrains of their parents.
  • YOUNG PEOPLE may think they have the right to be freed from the opinions & constraints of all ADULTS.

    "I didn't give life to MY 3 children for THEIR lives to be subsequently governed & directed by YOU!... Whoever they hell YOU may be... and whatever common purpose YOU 'believe' we should ALL be heading toward!!!" (Me. Specialist Expert on the subjects of 'MY life' & 'MY children')
    Unless the PARENT is the perpetrator of abuse serious enough to warrant the removal of the CHILD from them, then it should be considered de facto that PARENTS retain ownership of & responsibility for the child's PERSON, until that child is old enough, both in LAW & in LIFE, to assert THEIR own ideas about 'rights'.

    Monday, 22 February 2010

    Fighting for the Family:

    (Re-posted from my Hubpages blog)

    In the biblical story of the 'Wisdom of Solomon', two women are in disagreement over who is the mother of a baby.
    Solomon is attributed with having "great wisdom" for discerning that a mother would rather give up her child to the care of another than have it slaughtered... so he threatens to split the baby in half & duly the woman who is the true mother cries out that she would rather give up the
    baby to the other woman, than see it killed...
    ... the act of self sacrifice which is performed by this woman is considered as such a given, that it's power & beauty are reduced to the purpose of illustrating the wisdom & might of this king over his subjects.

    If anything, i see this particular grisly tale as illustrative, not of how wise this particular king was, but more of the way children and parents are often used as pawns in political maneuvering to the point where the state tries to assume 'ownership' of the child's life in order to control both the child & the parent...
    but I am getting ahead of myself...

    I believe the true moral of this tale is this; no matter how great the sacrifice, a mother will give her all to protect the child she loves; & how neither greed, nor vindictiveness nor the might & power of kings can waiver the unerring strength of the maternal bond.
    Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children Schools & Families: Economist, 
    prominent Fabian Society member & trusted adviser of Gordon Brown!
    Over the last 12 months, I have personally been compelled to participate in a war against those who would seek to tyrannically control & oppress the lives of my children and I. (Not to mention thousands of others...& maybe YOURS too!)

    "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty!"
    "This degrading, downgrading and debasement of parenthood is itself an elite project in order to establish tight control over the lives of a subject people. "Like many other home educating parents, I have awakened to the snowballing trend by politicians & public policy makers of attempting to sever the child from parental ties.
    "The state does not wish to protect the integrity of the child: it wishes to ensure that the child internalises the values of the state and not the parent!"
    It is typically, although not exclusively, the mother who stays at home & fulfills the role of educational facilitator. In the UK, home educating mothers in particular, have been subjected to offensive misogynistic slurs, such as
    "home educating mothers suffer(...) from Munchhausen's by Proxy"
    However, the ban upon Home Education in Germany has recently led one US Judge to state:..."the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate."Yet here seems to prevail a belief system, particularly within governmental departments, that children need protecting from their parents. What is more 'The State' seems to think it can raise children better than parents or at least decide who is to be approved as fulfilling their idea of an 'appropriate' parent.

    While this government has been in power, there has been a marked increase in the unwarranted intrusion in family life by agents of the State.
    Their sinister social engineering agenda is constantly being pushed forward under the pretext of child protection.
    The forced adoption of children in the UK is reaching frightening extremes... Babies are often ear marked as candidates from before birth.

    The UK operates secret Family Courts.Parents are gagged from reporting what happens inside them. These closed courts have no juries yet can imprison without an open trial.
    "I don't think the public appreciates how low the threshold is. When children are taken from their parents, it is not because there is a certainty of future harm or even that, on the balance of probabilities, those children could be harmed. It is enough that there will be a possibility of future harm. If there is a 70 per cent. risk of a child being harmed and every child with that risk was taken into care then, in 100 such cases, 30 children would be taken from families where they would come to no harm. Sometimes, I wonder whether children are being protected, or whether it is social workers' careers." (...) "There's an unspoken fear that children from poor backgrounds are being freed up for middle-class adopters." (Barrister, Andrew Scott)

    The most recent high profile case in the UK media has been that of Kerry Robertson & Mark McDougall. 

    They were informed early in Kerry's pregnancy that their baby would be removed within days of being born as social services workers did not consider her clever enough to raise a child.
    Fife Social Services also prevented her from marrying the baby's father Mark, an act which would have granted him clearer legal custody rights as the father. They again claimed that this was because they didn't consider Kerry to have the mental capacity to understand fully the implications of the act of marriage

    Kerry, who has mild learning difficulties, fled to Ireland with her partner & on 22 January 2010, she gave birth to a healthy 7lb 3oz son who they've named Ben. However, at the behest of Fife Council, Irish social workers took the baby from the couple just four days after he was born.  

    LibDem MP John Hemming said ‘There is no evidence that Mark and Kerry cannot be good parents and I just hope that the Irish authorities can resolve this as quickly as possible.’ 

    It was reported in the Daily Mail(27/1/10) that, after a court hearing, the parents of Ben were granted access to their child on the proviso that Kerry move into a mother and baby unit, where the 17-year-old will be under under constant supervision. So far Kerry & Mark have been given no indication how long she & Ben will be expected to remain in the Mother & Baby Unit.

    Kerry was breastfeeding Ben when he was taken from her. She claims that he was given a dummy & fed formula by the foster carers he was placed with. There was an outcry from breastfeeding advocacy & support groups.

    "Those who think that society has “gone too far” in supporting breastfeeding, that mothers who formula feed are demonised and breastfeeding mothers aren’t:   Show me the women who are losing their jobs for formula feeding. (...) Show me the women who have been ordered to cease or interrupt formula feeding by family courts. (...) Show me the people who, on seeing a bottle pulled out in a public place, will wrinkle their nose and say in disgust, “Are you going to do that here?” (...) Show me the people who insist that all bottle feeding should be covered with a blanket, you filthy sluts. (...) Show me the people who say that formula feeding shouldn’t be allowed in public because they don’t have time to explain such adult concepts to their children. (...) Show me the women who have been accused of formula feeding because they’re paedophiles..." (read full article here)
    Breast Feeding, Attatchment Parenting & Co-Sleeping have all had bad press & been subjects of controversy...How have some of the most natural acts of motherhood, including the utmost act of parental input into the nourishment of a child, feeding a baby the way they have been fed since the dawn of time... become such controversial, abhorrent & socially taboo subjects? Since when has feeding a baby or choosing to teach a child become the subversive acts of 'domestic extremists'? Why is it that...
    Parents are finding themselves increasingly attacked for committing the most natural acts of love, child nurture & care giving and these attacks are often instigated
    or supported by policy makers & supposed experts in a field & the media...
    Although breastfeeding & extended or child-led weaning has seen a marked increase in recent years, the onslaught of political & economic control of parenting via marketing, social manipulation & medical misinformation continues to this day. The bad reputation of Co-Sleeping is fuelled by the media hysteria & mis-information about rare instances when a co-sleeping baby has died. Most people who are anti co-sleeping claim concerns about the baby’s safety. However, others claim it's necessary for a baby to be taught from an early age to sleep seperately from the parents. This would be the very antithesis of the idea of 'attatchment parenting', which promotes the ethos that children grow to be more confident and secure when they are allowed to experience the world at their own pace & need a close relationship with their parents to enable that to happen in a positive way.
    "The history of our times will show of many broken families, of children without a family to remember, of heartache and tears of fear and a lifetime of terror of that knock on the door at midnight. Of being wrenched from mother’s arms and of brothers and sisters disappearing, never to be seen again. Of men and women wrongfully cast into prisons, tormented for years by the knowledge of their innocence... This will be the legacy of our times for future generations – it is now being written. In newspapers, television documentaries, Parliamentary debates, and most importantly of all, by those who have suffered." (Charles Pragnell, Dip.S.W., L.R.C.C.)
    So here we are at the beginning of a new century... a new millenium... and in many ways, the wars waged by parents & particularly Mothers are not that different from in the ancient times of the 'wise' king Solomon...
    Those who seek power through public positions & attempt to control whole societies & cultures, really do not seem yet to have a full appreciation one of the most obvious... most basic... most fundamental rules of humanity ...
    A woman's special role as 'Mother' dictates that she has both an duty & a right to participate in political & public policy making spheres.
    Graham Badman has been heard to foolishly utter that he doubts "the sort of civil disobedience that you fear"...from the parents & young people who are to be affected by his recommendations...Well i say this to you, Mr.(a very) Badman & Mr.(talking utter) Balls... this Labour Government... & any political party or person in a position of authority who tries to manipulate the vulnerability of my children or who wages a dirty tricks campaign to bring violence, coersion & abuse upon my family...
    During the greater part of the 20th century, when women’s political & activistic energy had been concentrated on issues of women’s economic rights and status, 'Organized Motherhood', still continued to be the overriding principle at the head of anti-violence movements.
    On the 5th September 1981, the Welsh group “Women for Life on Earth” marched from Cardiff to Greenham Common, Berkshire, with the intention of challenging, by debate, the decision to site 96 'Cruise' nuclear missiles there. Thus, beginning a protest that was to last 19 years.

    They delivered a letter to the Base Commander which stated...
    We fear for the future of all our children and for the future of the living world which is the basis of all life."
    After their request for a debate was ignored, they set up a Peace Camp outside the surrounding fence of the Greenham Common RAF Airbase. The camp became known as the 'Women’s Peace Camp' and gained both national and international recognition.
    Taking non-violent direct action against movements at the base meant that some women were arrested, taken to court and sent to prison. A 22 year old Welsh woman, Helen Wynne Thomas, even lost her life there when she was hit by a West Midlands Police horsebox, as she stood on the safe zone waiting to cross the road near 'Yellow Gate'. Her name is the only woman's name to be recorded on the site which is now known as The Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp Commemorative & Historic Site.

    The message from women as 'Mothers', past, present & to come, is clear, 
    "Keep your hands off our kids because there is no sacrifice too great in order to protect them!"
    ... and we will bring THAT philosophy & THAT battle cry to any 21st century challenge upon their lives or our bond with them!

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