A few words on developments in the #CSA enquiry:

A number of prominent abuse victims are unhappy with Fiona Woolf’s appointment. There is indeed a petition. At first the simple objection seemed to be that she was too ‘establishment’ , but then links with Lord Brittan as shown in the Mail on Sunday http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2746370/Revealed-New-boss-investigation-VIP-child-abuse-claims-linked-Leon-Brittan-The-Mail-On-Sunday-exposes-family-friendship-SECOND-inquiry-chief-ex-MP-accused-abuse-file-cover-up.html.

In the Guardian MP Simon Danczuk questions Theresa May’s intentions, suggesting that this enquiry may have more to dow with protecting the status quo than helping victims:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/09/theresa-may-child-sex-abuse-inquiry-light-of-day?CMP=twt_gu.

There appears to be greater faith in other panel members, Barbara Hearn OBE seems to inspire genuine confidence from many, and Graham Wilmer MBE is a victim himself, and founded the Lantern Project . However, some are raising concerns that there is no victim of organised child abuse on the panel, and therefore perhaps no one who can understand the experience of cover-ups by institutions and powerful people.

There are of course many arguing that changing the chair would just take more time and that its best to get on with the enquiry. MP Tom Watson ( who for those unfamiliar with all this was pivitol in bringing to light the Elm Guest House scandal in which Brittan is implicated) wrote on his blog last night that his prepared to broadly support the Woolf inquiry, but at the time of writing I cannot access it (www.tom-watson.co.uk). Another helpful blog showing the possible issues surrounding the kind of enquiry which is to be held, i.e. whether it is a statutory inquiry or not can be found here: http://barristerblogger.com/2014/09/06/theresa-mays-politically-driven-inquiry-child-sexual-abuse-heading-disaster/

 Meanwhile, ever more abuse in boarding schools comes to light: there has been a second arrest at ashdown house: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-29133623

expansion of state boarding.

I am not really sure what to make of this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11066745/Boarding-school-plan-to-transform-troubled-childrens-chances.html

while some of us in the anti-boarding movement are not opposed to boarding sixth forms for ALL young people (as in not just those who can afford them). however my two main concerns with the idea of moving ‘troubled’ young people into state boarding would be a) that this denies all value of the home as a place to raise children, or the ‘caring’ aspect of care homes. b) that it feels like removing ‘troubled’ people to change them and make them different, rather than supporting their families and communities. Would be interested to hear your thoughts…

breaking or broken?

Newsweek has the headline “broken system” and this article from Louise Tickle. http://www.newsweek.com/britain-elite-boarding-schools-facing-explosion-abuse-allegations-267201. Sadly for so many of us the information on abuse and suffering is not the shocking part of the article, for me certainly it is the following: ““My view is that the various abuse convictions and scandals have done absolutely no harm to schools in terms of their waiting lists,” says Tom Buchanan, media consultant to a number of independent schools. “I can’t think of any school I’ve advised that has had a drop in numbers. This speaks to a generalised acceptance of there being a risk that goes with the territory. And of course parents always think it won’t happen to their child.”