Thursday, 6 July 2017

Abuse survivor was forced to waive his anonymity

“A child abuse survivor has said he suffered intimidation after speaking out and was forced to waive his anonymity after his convicted abuser appeared in a BBC documentary.”

“Giving evidence to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, David Whelan said he received abusive phone calls at his home after making allegations relating to Quarriers Children`s Village in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire.”

“John Porteous, who worked at the children`s home in the 1960s and 1970s, was jailed in 2002 for sex offences against two boys.”

“Mr Whelan, who leads the campaign group Former Boys and Girls Abused in Quarriers Homes (FBGA), yesterday told the inquiry that a 2003 BBC Frontline Scotland documentary, which featured Porteous, had been a `catalyst` which led him to waive his anonymity as an abuse victim.”

“In the documentary, entitled Secrets and Lies, doubt was cast on Porteous`s convictions.”

“Giving evidence before Lady Smith yesterday, Mr Whelan said: `What happened after the trial of my abuser was that there was media stories saying that we had lied in court. That was in national media stories.”

“`Then there was a programme made called Secrets and Lies by BBC Frontline Scotland in 2003 which came out. There was a group of former residents involved. There was former directors involved. Obviously the person who was convicted was interviewed in prison.”

“`That really was the catalyst for us… the court had given us anonymity; I would never have wanted to give that up, but I faced no choice because basically in a national programme it was being said I lied in a court of law.`..”

“He told the inquiry he later received an apology from the BBC for what he called `errors` in the programme, but said he did not believe it to be `sincere`.”

“The inquiry saw a submission from FBGA which showed it had represented 230 survivors at one point, and Mr Whelan said he regularly took phone calls from those struggling to come to terms with the abuse they had suffered.”

See also

A bill for monitoring home education

Image result for lord solely
Lord Soley

Home Education (Duty of Local Authorities) Bill [HL] 2017-19

“A Bill to make provision for local authorities to monitor the educational, physical and emotional development of children receiving elective home education, and for connected purposes.”


“This week, a seemingly innocuous private member`s bill appeared in the House of Lords, brought by Lord Soley and introduced by Estelle Morris. Innocuous for two reasons – private members’ bills rarely make it onto the statute books and Lord Soley has a previous track record on the subject, not least via Lords of the Blog so this is merely an extension of previously expressed views. But in reality, it is far from innocuous.”

“In 2014, Diana Johnson introduced a private member’s bill on sex education. As expected, it didn’t go anywhere, but three years later, we saw far-reaching legislation on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) sneaked into law using the Children and Social Work Bill as a Trojan Horse. The private member’s bill was just part of the normalisation process – raising the issue, provoking debate and testing the water.”

“And that is exactly what is happening here. The bill won’t go anywhere – Lord Soley knows that. But it is part of the softening process, a piece in the jigsaw which is designed to remove a parent’s right to educate their child as they think best.”

Persistent alarm bells for home educators

See also Home-ed Bill

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Noam Chomsky/talks at Google/working class education

Says Chomsky: “It is worth remembering that working class education was a very serious phenomenon. It goes way back. It goes back to the late 19th century here, early industrial revolution. If Irish blacksmiths could get enough money they would hire a boy to read to them – while he`s working. And reading meant what we now call classics: modern contemporary literature.”

“There were young women from the farms called factory girls who were kind of compelled to get into the textile factories in eastern New England and they had their own publications. You read them, they bitterly condemn the fact that the industrial system was depriving them of their culture; of their dignity; their independence. You`re selling yourself, not what you produce. You know it`s quite different. ”

“And part of it was an attack on the culture – same in England. And there was a massive study, an interesting study, by a guy named Jonathan Rose of the reading habits of the English working class and it turns out his own conclusion is that they were better educated than the aristocrats…. They may not have gone to school and certainly didn`t go to Oxford but … the rising working class had its own institutions of education and culture which was significant. A lot of that has been destroyed.”

“In all kinds of ways Google doesn`t help…”

See The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes

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