There were two Braverman statements on Monday in the Commons. Only one of them really matters and it is not the one which has so exercised the commentariat. It is the Home Office’s formal response to the final report of IICSA and its 20 recommendations for an effective and comprehensive system for the protection of children from what the inquiry chair described as a “national epidemic” of abuse. The Inquiry was set up in March 2015 by Mrs May following evidence that many institutions were not just failing to protect children from sexual abuse but were actively dangerous for them. It produced 52 reports on a range of bodies: churches, local authorities, schools, care homes, sports bodies and so on. No body could be assumed to be safe for children, not even those set up to help them. The scale of the evidence taken is staggering: over 6,000 victims, 725 witnesses and 325 public hearings. The final report was published last October. The government has had 7 months to consider the recommendations and prepare its response. On Monday Suella came to the Commons to say what the government would now do.
But yes, it is being kicked into the long grass, and should not be.
ETA Claire Coutinho is currently Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing, albeit at the most junior level, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State.
Speaking via video link to a summit in London, Musk said he expects governments around the world to use AI to develop weapons before anything else."
He’s running, big announcement coming today, in an interview with Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces. 11pm UK time.
The DeSantis - Trump fight is going to be fascinating.
Scottish Labour is predicted to take 23 Westminster seats from the SNP with Humza Yousaf’s party set for its worst general election performance in almost a decade, a new poll has found.
If the forecast is accurate then Labour is on course for its best result in Scotland for more than 15 years while the Nationalists would drop to 27 MPs, compared with the 48 they returned in 2019.
Mhairi Black, the SNP’s outspoken deputy Westminster leader, would be one of the casualties.
The in-depth constituency modelling by YouGov suggests the SNP would remain the largest party in Scotland, but will be a huge boost to Sir Keir Starmer as he seeks a majority government at Westminster.
The new projections were made using a statistical technique called MRP — the same method YouGov used successfully to forecast the 2017 and 2019 UK general elections — to model the responses of 3,586 Scottish adults from April 10 to May 21...
...According to the research, Labour is on course to sweep greater Glasgow and claw back its former heartlands that turned to the SNP after the 2014 independence referendum.
As well as every seat in Scotland’s largest city changing, its surrounding towns would turn too. This would include the Paisley & Renfrewshire South constituency held by Black, the SNP’s Westminster deputy leader, who defeated Douglas Alexander, the former Labour cabinet minister, in 2015.
LD remain on 4 seats, whilst the Tories lose two seats to Labour.
Some — including Motherwell & Wilshaw, Edinburgh North & Leith, and Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East — are currently being settled by margins of less than 1 per cent of the overall vote.
It's food that's still a bit FUBAR. And bleeding interest rates ratcheting housing & mortgage costs up, which of course is linked and also deflates growth a bit too.
I'm really not sure how high interest rates are supposed to control high food prices - people buy less food and from less posh supermarkets and therefore suppress demand? - but I don't pretend to be an economist.
I’m going to write up a piece to submit for a header, on the runners and riders so far.
Looks like Musk is supporting DeSantis, and Larry Ellison was seen at Scott’s launch event - so I think there’s serious money heading into the primaries.
Yeah, the food costs are what stick out like a sore thumb.
1.2% rise in April 2023 alone.
I think Sunak is going to miss his target of cutting inflation in half this year.
UK petrol prices peaked in June/July last year, so these will affect the next few months’ figures as they fall out of the YOY comparison index, and may well help the PM with his target.
Ask any primary teacher about the problem children in their class, and what resources are available if they raise concerns about their home life.
“Germany is expected to be the weakest performer among the world’s big economies this year, according to the IMF, which predicted the country’s output would shrink 0.1 per cent.”
Incidentally several people on here predicted exactly what is happening to Germany. All the stuff they are good at, and export to China, is slowly but surely being displaced by the same stuff made in China
It’s quite an existential threat to the German economy, medium-term
It does make you wonder about the value of taking children into care vs leaving them where they are.
On the subject of the police officer and the Wayne Couzens investigation - it is clear that the police are taking the matter seriously.
They have found a suitably junior victim and will use her as the sacrifice to protect the careers of the Senior Management Team.
What, you want justice?!!!
I suspect inflation's going to be stickier than optimists hope.
I really hope I never get called for jury service to hear a case like that.
Question is whether it will really make any difference politically for him.
If so, can we appoint an independent enquiry into the massive failings, including abuse, within the Child Protection Agency?
It might seem premature to start the enquiry into an organisation before it exists, but history tells us that this will happen, inevitably.
By starting the enquiry now, we can act rather than just reacting.
A lot of work required to get down to even 5% by the end of the year. Interest rates will need to rise further, maybe to a bit beyond 5%, and will stay at that level certainly to end 2024 probably beyond.
Well done to @MoonRabbit who I believe called 8.7% last night.
This is definitely much worse than expected.
The government should put it on posters, with a picture of a grim faced Therese Coffey exhorting British voters:
“Just cut back on the pies and stop whining, you stupid fat fucks”
I think it could be a piece of Cummings-esque electoral genius like the NHS bus thingy
He'll take the win for sure, but my recollection was that the inflation target was seen as an utter gimme when he set it.
And for a lot of people, especially resetting mortgages, it's going to be a very hollow win.
On the other hand, I found 13p in the pocket of a jacket I haven't worn for a while this morning.
It is - genuinely - a bittersweet irony that people in the west are whining about food inflation when 60% of them are overweight and 30% hideously obese
The stuff that they found in the monasteries that wasn’t fit for the public.
It is simply demand destruction.
What’s more worrying, is what’s happening in the more developed nations. San Francisco didn’t use to get compared to a city in Brazil or Mexico.
It even made Channel 4 news last night.
I have just two suggestions about the approach you take to the Home Sec's waffle, delay and inaction, and this applies to a number of things.
1) The gigantic structure of law, regulation and practice already in place means that new developments are complicated, slow, expensive and Byzantine. We (and Suella) have no reason to think they will work better.
2) What the tax paying public want, on almost every difficult issue, is for the existing systems to be run competently, efficiently and with complete integrity.
Every relevant institution is already organised with regard to child protection and allied issues. We already have a police force, social workers, schools, a vetting and barring structure of some complexity, compulsory training at every level and so on.
If these cannot work competently at this moment no changes will make a difference.
(Can you PM me the FTSE100 stock numbers for the next quarter please?)
The New World is ailing
"I was assured, and I am still assured, that the youths were not being chased by the police at the time of the road traffic accident ... There was no police vehicle in the road where the crash happened. There was a police van in another street and the police were called quickly to the accident and conducted CPR"
So entirely consistent with the police van seen in the CCTV footage having just followed the boys west along Stanway Road, but having been prevented by a traffic barrier from following them into Snowden Road, where the crash occurred a little further to the west.
Boris Johnson allies up the ante and warn they will obstruct Rishi Sunak’s government unless he intervened to stop what they see as a ‘witch hunt’
They say it’s the ‘final straw’ for Johnson and warn that MPs and members supportive of former PM will begin organising
“El Salvador crackdown breaks the gangs – at huge cost to human rights
War on gangs by populist leader Nayib Bukele has produced extraordinary change, but ‘the cure could be as harmful as the disease’”
One thing I notice is, generally, how fat and overweight women are with young children in my local town - one assumes all between about 20-35 - and in London where far fewer are.
Cooking in general seems to be a rarity - and rather time-consuming and generating lots of mess - so I imagine most people only do it once or twice a week and rely on convenience food the rest of the time.
In London dietary choices and culture for convenience foods are broader and also a tad more expensive than pizza 'n chips.
There are at least five takeaway pizza places in my home town and I get a leaflet shoved through the door about it most weeks.
Food inflation is going at 17% I simply can't see the cut in energy prices offsetting that and allowing the overall figure to get to 5%. 5.5-6% is possible but I think it's going to be impossible.
Boris Johnson’s allies claim that the decision to refer him to the police was signed off by senior ministers
They said the ministers had direct knowledge of what was happening
This is denied by cabinet office and Govt, which say there was no ministerial involvement at all
The honest truth is even an excellent social care system, which this certainly does not reflect, will not prevent all such deaths, although would work towards the day when that was a realistic aspiration, because it relies critically on best practice human judgements about humanity and will always have to take some account of the limitations
of the state as a carer.
But it is in that tough fact, that you almost certainly cannot prevent all, that provides easy cover for politicians to not try and prevent more. Politically, you will fail, so why bother? I am bristling now, writing and considering how this post has worked its way to that last sentence, it reflects a paucity of public discourse across so many areas, a paucity of discourse that we can see diminishes actual governance. Even if we fail in reaching the ultimate ideal, we all need to do better than this.
The crack down will be followed by a crackdown on the corruption/human rights violations in the official apparatus caused the original crackdown.
Things are then quiet for a bit. Then crime rises. So someone runs of the crackdown on crime ticket…
I have had a couple of trials recently when children have been describing the abuse of them by step fathers (typically, I have one with an actual father at the moment). They tend to give their evidence by what is called a joint investigative interview, which is a recorded interview with a police officer and a social worker known to them. I find the evidence really distressing and find it hard to control my anger against the perpetrator. This is not easy work.
What I would say is that there have been significant improvements both in the means of investigation and the inclination to believe children claiming of such abuse. But there is a long way to go and many of the recommendations of this report would and should help. There is often a historic element to these cases, going back a decade or so. The record keeping, interest, and diligence of those responsible a decade ago is usually terrible. Typically, it is even difficult for kids who had qualified for social work interventions to work out what house they were in or who the step father of the season was. For children who were not the recipients of such attention it can be impossible.
We so need a Home Secretary up to the task. Its been a long time and there is a lot of catching up to do.
Now they are blobs
It is also a growing global phenomenon. Continental kids are getting fatter, Thais are fatter, Arabs, Israelis, Aussies: everyone
"What happened was footage emerged of something that happened a short time before the road traffic accident, and that too needs to be investigated," he said.
"That was not available to the police or to me at the time when we responded to the first thing that happened, which was a road traffic accident."
If that is accurate, either there were two different police vans in the area - one which was following the boys and the other that happened to be close to the crash when it happened, or else there was just one van and the police in it kept quiet about having just followed the boys for at least half a mile.
What I think is happening here, UK could not get inflation out its system, Lady Thatcher used a recession with monetary tightening (not something you are supposed to do with recession) to kill it off. So as soon as growth was revised upward I suspected it means the economy is getting hotter not cooler.
Worryingly there is monetary tightening in place, we do now have interest rates (though because forecasts did not foresee inflation from economy reboot post covid, interest rates raised far too late) yet core inflation continues to climb. There was a spate of public sector wage deals, but could this have fed in so quickly? Perhaps media focus was on the public sector wage battles, its private sector pay settlements pushing up inflation today. Perhaps “greed inflation” is having bigger input than thought, as it doesn’t seem to have reigned itself in at all during this crisis.
As regards your question, I would say invest with caution anticipating correction in both property and stock markets. They have both been inflated by printed money and qualitative easing. After the weakness in pensions discovered last year, who knows for sure how wobbly other dominoes are if touched.
There seem to be two issues: trans activists at City University apparently wanting to suppress a report commissioned by the EHCR and, secondly, EHCR staff (presumably civil servants) unhappy with the management style of Baroness Falkner, resulting in 40 (!) complaints from said staff.
How are the two related?
The reason why it isn't this report that is grabbbing the headlines also needs consideration. It's not media-friendly because it's long (bringing together conclusions after 52 reports!) and complicated and no single individual is the focus. Cyclefree has taken the trouble to read the details (unlike, say, me), busy journalists haven't. Moreover, children in homes aren't in general in a position to talk to journalists and create a media-friendly focus.
I'm not sure that it's possible to make the media report complex stories or make the average voter read them. So ultimately it's up to our elected representatives to do the job of taking issues seriously even if they're not media-friendly. Some MPs are genuinely good at this, and should be singled out for promotion to at least middle-ranking ministries, which is often where the detailed work gets done.
What I am unsure about in your post (and Cyclefree) is: Apart from existing systems being run competently, what changes would be helpful? And are they ones a HS can achieve, however gifted?
Smoking is good for NHS finances, and drinking bad. How does obesity affect things? One tends not to see at 80 year olds.