Nick Griffin & Question Time

October 23, 2009

I was unfortunately very disappointed with last nights Question Time and especially the way David Dimbleby chaired the discussion. Everyone knows that the BNP is a racist and vile party. Nick Griffin’s views are equally well known especially those relating to race, immigration and Islam i.e BNP topics. Yet more than three quarters of the show was devoted to these issues with quotes of what Griffin has stated in the past being thrown at him from all sides. Griffin despite being hated by almost all in the audience must have been delighted to have had the chance to say that immigration had been and was still out of control and that Islam was incompatible with western democracy. His message wasn’t to the studio audience but to those living in run down council estates and other deprived areas where such messages are so well received. He had several more open goals and had he not been so nervous and overwhelmed he could have made more of this opportunity to put forward his ideology and get his message across.

The panel discussions should have focused more on current concerns of the population on matters such as the economy, housing, education etc which would have exposed the shallowness of the BNP ideology. The BNP does well when it is criticizing others, highlighting or exposing populist concerns and being entirely negative and blaming a particular group for all society’s ills. Yet it doesn’t do well or win when it has to put forward policies to tackle these concerns or explain them in any detail.

Griffin would have looked even more out of his depth on discussions on education or crime or managing the economy out of the recession. In the end the BBC got its ratings and we didn’t learn anymore than we already knew about the BNP and Nick Griffin, who could have made much more of the oppurtunity afforded to him by the BBC to get his message out but failed to do so.

Broken Britain by IDS

December 6, 2008

Following on from my post yesterday on Karen Matthews dysfunctional family life, read this excellent piece on the problems relating to Broken Britain by Iain Duncan Smith. IDS is doing excellent work on identifying why there is social and family breakdown in many areas of Britain through the Centre For Social Justice and how these should be rectified.

Broken Britain II

November 17, 2008

In September 2008, a poll showed that 63% of all those questioned agreed that British Society is broken. Two recent cases shed light on what is happening in parts of the country and how dysfunctional families are living. The first is the trial of Karen Mathews who is charged with kidnapping her own daughter and lying to the Police about it, and the second is the case of Baby P’s guardians who await sentencing for neglecting a child who subsequently died.

Within both families like many others, there was no stability in the home, with a constant stream of partners moving in and out of the family home. Children unfortunate enough to be caught up in this cycle have a biological father who is often absent and several non biological ‘fathers’ who they presumably call by their first names unable to develop any sort of parental relationship. There is often a dependency on drugs and alcohol by the adults and the needs of the children aren’t even recognised, let alone fulfilled.  This inevitably leads to children being neglected and in worst case scenarios abused. The Government is left to pick up the pieces by finding foster homes and dealing with children with psychological problems which remain well until adulthood. Children’s educational attainment suffers and they are unable to break away from the cycle of state dependency and benefits which means that one generation after the next remain in this culture of broken homes and families. There are no aspirations and there is nothing except despondency and despair.

But is there any way out of this? The Government has been fiddling about with tax credits and schemes such as Sure Start with little success despite its claim to the contrary.

The answer according to Iain Duncan Smith MP is straightforward: If you want to save the child, you must save the family – strengthen the family unit and the child’s chances in life increase dramatically.

The Centre for Social Justice which Iain Duncan Smith set up has produced an interim report on changing Family Law aimed at strengthening marriage and reducing family breakdown. This comes behind a stream of other policy initiatives from the Centre for Social Justice, many of which have already been adopted as policy by David Cameron. Iain Duncan Smith argues that:

Today 25 per cent of children in this country live in single parent families and this trend is set to accelerate. These children are three to six times more likely to experience abuse. A recent US study found that children living with a non-biological adult are 50 times more likely to die from afflicted injuries than those living with their biological parents.”

And the Report notes

“This review is working from an underlying assumption that marriage should be supported both in government policy and in the law and that, related to this, fatherlessness (or motherlessness), far more likely when relationships are informal, should be avoided…”

“Marriage also acts as a stabiliser and a signal. Married couples are far less likely to break up than couples who live together without getting married. This is true even when allowance is made for the influence of such factors as income, age and education. The correlation between stability and marriage is strong and widely acknowledged amongst experts.”

Encourage and support marriage, and stabilise the home and family. It’s a simple and effective message that the Government should heed when implementing policies.

Broken Britain

November 12, 2008

Mother has seven children with five different fathers and lives in a Council home. Mother has no job and lives on benefits with partner. One evening while returning from school, one of mother’s children goes missing without any trace and without any obvious reason. Mother is in a panic and calls the Police reporting her daughter missing. The police immediately set up a search team and a huge operation is under way to find missing child.

Mother is distraught, in tears and appears devastated. She makes appeals on TV holding the child’s favourite teddy bear for the safe return of her child and pleads with her kidnapper for her release, the local community rallies to support mother and offer their support, a huge reward is put up by national newspaper for anyone able to locate the child, an appeal fund is set up by the family and hundreds of police and volunteers from the local communities take part in search for missing child. The press and media descend on mother’s home and keep country up to date with what is happening in the ongoing search for the child. The Local Authority also tidies up mother’s garden so it looks good for the cameras.

Nevertheless, some people suspect foul play, and whispers are heard about mother and family but these are dismissed and cast aside as the work of the middle class snobs looking down on mother – missing child is primary concern, class war can wait .

Against all odds and after worried filled 24 days fearing the worst, the child is found safe with a relative of mother who is immediately arrested and charged with kidnap and who later attempts suicide while in custody. The mother, her family, the neighbourhood, town and whole country breath a collective sigh of relief that child is found unharmed. Wild celebrations ensue and the millions of pounds spent in the search is regarded as money well spent by the Police who are congratulated for having done an amazing job.

Mother is overwhelmed at meeting child but the child is not returned to mother, initially to give authorities time to question the child but later because this is in the best interests of the child. The remaining children living with mother are taken away as mother’s partner is charged and later convicted of downloading child pornography on his home computer. Later mother is questioned about missing child, arrested and charged.

The neighbours, local community and the people of the town are at a loss as to what has gone on, their emotions moving from despair at the kidnap to elation at the discovery of the child to shock at the arrest and role of mother. They wait with bated breath for the outcome of the trial.

This unfortunately isn’t a well crafted storyline from a dodgy soap but a real story from the broken society of modern day Britain. The trial of kidnapped Dewsbury school girl Shanon Mathews’ mother Karen, and Michael Donovan has got under way at Leeds Crown Court. They are charged with kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice. The evidence looks overwhelming but both deny all charges.