Sunday, 15 November 2009

David Hockney.

"We're all being choked to death by the State fumes Hockney" was the headline to an article about the artist and an exhibition of his early work in yesterday's Times. In the article Hockney goes to town on the government slamming politicians for intruding into his life, he says:
I don't want to live my life dictated to by doctors, we're being treated like children...There are 3000 new laws, 3000 new criminal offences, 3000 new punishments and 3000 new criminals. They should stop making these laws and listen to people.

I for one am in agreement with Hockney, as a nation we are rapidly becoming totally dependant on the state, there is an expectation that the state will look after you, as someone says from the cradle to the grave. The following story from today's Sunday Times illustrates even more interference in our lives:

Health and safety inspectors are to be given unprecedented access to family homes to ensure that parents are protecting their children from household accidents.

New guidance drawn up at the request of the Department of Health urges councils and other public sector bodies to “collect data” on properties where children are thought to be at “greatest risk of unintentional injury”.

Council staff will then be tasked with overseeing the installation of safety devices in homes, including smoke alarms, stair gates, hot water temperature restrictors, oven guards and window and door locks.

The draft guidance by a committee at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has been criticised as intrusive and further evidence of the “creeping nanny state”.

Until now, councils have made only a limited number of home inspections to check on building work and in extreme cases where the state of a house is thought to pose a serious risk to public health.

Nice also recommends the creation of a new government database to allow GPs, midwives and other officials who visit homes to log health and safety concerns they spot.

The guidance aims to “encourage all practitioners who visit families and carers with children and young people aged under 15 to provide home safety advice and, where necessary, conduct a home risk assessment”. It continues: “If possible, they should supply and install home safety equipment.”

The proposals have been put out to consultation and, if approved, will be implemented next year.

Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is a huge intervention into family life which will be counter-productive.

“Good parents will feel the intrusion of the state in their homes and bad parents will now have someone else to blame if they don’t bring up their children in a sensible, safe environment.”

About 100,000 children are admitted to hospital each year for home injuries at a cost of £146m.

What will be next? Victim tatooed on our foreheads, or perhaps a number burnt onto our arms!

13 comments:

Dave Vandweller said...

We have to show our dissaproval,then again are children safe in the hands of the local council, social services?

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

There is such a thing as parental responsibility, Social Services were never meant to replace parents.

Dave Vandweller said...

While i would agree its a [parental responsobility] to bring our kids up in a safe home from harm in can be sometimes be miss judged what is classed as unsafe, no carpet on the stairs etc,has what happened to a young lady not so long back.
As regards to the state of the house, i thing the government need to readdress the economic situation first, people can not afford a 100% safe house or indeed watch there children 24 hours a day.

George Howat said...

You are right to cast a spot light on stuff like this, and I agree with you...the phrase 'nanny state' has never been so relevant, and I see so many parents with responsibility, not just defering to professionals, but EXPECTING, almost as aright or service, those with a public duty to take care of their parental duty for them.....and how ... Read moreinsulting for NICE to assume that practitioners going into these homes don't already observe and encourage better conditions....I feel some poor stress-head has a raft of new forms heading their way, to fill in to supply stats for 'performance monitoring' , which is of course far more important than actually safeguarding.....

Dave Vandweller said...

Police report pregnant woman to social services over half-decorated home

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1226486/Police-report-pregnant-woman-social-services-half-decorated-home.html#ixzz0XF8BtUpJ

George Howat said...

A daily mail headline without the word diana or immigrant in it....well done them! And I can't have a rant on their website as tehy have closed it to further comment....I do get the irony but...(yes here it comes)... on a serious note, do we want police officers that are aware of child welfare issues in any setting, and who won't ignore the ... Read moresmallest detail, or do we want police officers who are not professional, and who leave it to someone else. Maybe the officer thought the woman needed support from social services, and wanted to ensure that whilst the police couldn't assist, it should be looked at by an agency that could. As for the wording of the letter from social services...in the performance driven and under resourced culture of the child protection arena, these standard letters are what the public get in exchange for 'value for money'. The Laming report emphasis is very much on communication between agencies, from the smallest detail to the most serious crisis incident, so that any decision making is better informed. We dunno the background to this, quite possibly the officer would not know if other agencies had an interest in the family or if the family were known to agencies. We dunno if in fact someone else, a neighbour or a member of the public, even a concerned friend have reported something to the officer...

Indeed the tenet of any referral may have been far from judgemental or critical, but more along the lines of, 'hey partner agencies, this woman is pregnant and she's trying to make her house right, isn't she entitled to some supporttp, otherwise it'll still be in disrepair with some hazards when baby comes along'....Police Officers and Social workers are constantly spotlighted because they miss things....the public should rest easy knowing that this particular officer, understood her role in the bigger picture, and the importance of attention to detail...call it judging assessing observing call it whatever you want but that is part of the job...and also make no mistake this is a subjective area - the state a house is in - I know that what I consider an unhealthy or unnacceptable environment for a new born baby, will not necessarily be seen in the same way by another professional...that is life.

Another aspect to the current culture in this area is corporacy and the requirement for a defensible audit trail...in short, professionals can no longer 'have a word' with another agency to express a concern, it has to be recorded and audited, and there is only one means of doing this which provides said trail, and that is on the recognised referral form.....the public and the media have correctly demanded that we are accountable....and we are...maybe (!) I'm being defensive, but sometimes it's the little things that indicate an opening to a pathway which leads to the disclosure or exposure of more serious problems...In this case the small part of the jigsaw the pc knew of, was subject to a check and balance enquiry to see if there were any other concerns, and there weren't, what if there had been issues around the environment the child would be brought into....would this have got in the paper, no. would people criticise the pc for passing the info, no, it would be considered a professional and caring approach...OMG I can feel a story of things being done properly as the vast majority of cases are run on a daily basis despite the grossly under-resourced agencies, charged with delivering protection....daily mail reporter person...we're over here....HELLOOOOOO! HERE WE ARE!!!!...Princess Di woulda been on our side :0)

Dave Vandweller said...

While i agree it is about time all agencies worked together,unlike in the past.
In some areas of our society we see people living in damp and unhealthy conditions for the child and the family and when these factors are reported to the various agencies nothing is done, despite the fact there is a very serious health risk, black spot mold is linked to some forms of lung defects and some forms of cancer,but with the shortage of housing ,again nothing is done, we do have the HHRS housing act , http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/hhsrsoperatingguidance
and the 2012 housing act in place.
as well has parental responsabilty one has to the children,so does the local agencies have the duty to protect the family and children from the hazards of living in such dangerous housing.
We need to get the housing in order,give people decent housing and a sense of well being.... Read more
I could take the various agencies to estates all over and show them what people have to live in with there children,

Anonymous said...

George HowatHi Davey, up to a point I agree.... I too experience the housing conditions some people live in, and the chronic housing shortage that seems to pervade everywhere, yet we are told by non-statutory agencies that the properties are available but they are not utilised effectively, with a major issue being bureaucracy. I go into some pretty dire houses... Read more but I have to say that often despite the state of the property, somehow the occupants manage to afford a wide screen HD tv covering most of the wall above the fireplace...and having conducted my own straw poll this is not a sweeping generalisation! I don't agree that the issue of the potentially hazardous environments children live in is routinely attributable to poor housing, but it is often poor maintenance by those living there - my point being that a safe clean home, with decent flooring, bedding, kitchen ware, and clothing is worth spending money achieving, before the top of the range tv....and that is a parents responsibility, whatever the circumstances, not the state's. With the advent of Walmart's world domination in the shape of a superstore, well, EVERYWHERE, it has never been easier or cheaper to kit out a family and their home, realtively speaking. One minute we are hearing that professionals, eg police officers are being over zealous in reporting concerns around housing, yet there are very few occassions when I have brought up such conditions in my role that there hasn't been another professional in another agency stating 'it's not that bad' often with the proviso 'relatively speaking'....and who is to say who is right?If parents accept housing then don't they acknowledge and 'sign for' any disrepair and any environmental issues...of course they shouldn't be given housing that isn't safe, but that is a straight forward issue of those with responsibility for said housing not doing their jobs properly, it simply shouldn't be offered. But in the real world, I suspect that the pressure to deliver on performance indicators from 'da management', is a factor considered before the legality or 'safeness' of the premises offered...investment with money and resources into public services has never been more needed and never more buried in a mass of statistics to prove it ain't that bad, when we can all see that it is...at the same time, if you examine things on a case by case basisindividual basis not every practical problem in such houses requires a professional tradesman from the landlords whoever that may be, and there is an undoubted swing in the last 20 years towards a culture that expects those in authority to take the strain that should actually be the job of parents, by just being good parents and good role models to the young. In my opinion a large swathe of individuals within our society don't understand the concept of accountability, and are lsoing or have al;ready lost the ability to take responsibility, for their actions in life, and the well being of their children.

Anonymous said...

Davey Vandwelleri think we are going of the point, while the government inforce more laws upon us, i think they need to re address there own house befor invading peoples homes.
MPs and Lords have slammed the government for failing to safeguard children's rights, in a damning report to mark the 20th anniversary of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
http://www.cypnow.co.uk/bulletins/Daily-Bulletin/news/968423/?DCMP=EMC-DailyBulletin

Anonymous said...

Davey VandwellerGeorge if you would like to come and have a look at properties that are being rented out, and have damp and black spot mould i will show you about 15 properties on one estate alone ,i will.

george comments below
I don't agree that the issue of the potentially hazardous environments children live in is routinely attributable to poor housing, but it is often poor maintenance by

Anonymous said...

Davey VandwellerPeacefull Anarchist said,Probably, possibly n , in many cases definately. Only problem is that different proffessions adhere n believe in different philosiphies. Child protection although significantly neccessary is being utilised to bring services in to line, with zero tolerance being pojected as a more cost effective measure to socialy inclusive ... Read morepolicies.

Does the ... Read moreevidence support this or has political motivation prompted these policies? Just goes to show for all of us that have queried the services of the previous decades, they have been getting things wrong. There has always been multi agency in these situations, and proffesionals have long since held a responsibility to the protection n rights of a child. So they no longer trust parents (remind me on as have a good one on home education), they no longer trust proffessional judgement so instead they orchestrate a society of miss trust and social control.

Anonymous said...

pity the rest of the comments have not been added.
makes very good reading,then again all polotical partys supress the truth

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Sorry Anon but I've published everything that's been said, they were even copied from Facebook. The only way to guarantee they will appear on the blog is to post them here and not on the Facebook page.