Sunday 5 December 2021

The Sunday Ishmael 5/12/21

 For years I worked in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull. There's a lot of money in Solihull. There's a lot of poverty and deprivation in the wider Borough.  Within the Borough is the new town of Chelmsley Wood. The name "Chelmsley" is of considerable antiquity. It indicates a settlement of Saxon origin – the enclosure of Ceolmund. In 1966 Birmingham City Council compulsorily purchased the ancient woodland and built the 15,590 dwelling council estate to rehouse families on its council house waiting list.  Local government re-organisation in 1974 transferred the area to Solihull Metropolitan Borough. 
One winter evening I couldn't start my car outside the office in Chelmsley Wood. The AA chap had to phone for a tow vehicle. I overheard him asking the dispatcher to prioritise the request as I was a woman alone and this was the most dangerous, abandoned place he'd ever been in. He had a point. Basically, Chelmsley Wood was a council estate with no employment, suffering from deprivation and anti-social behaviour. No infrastructure - just a low-rent shopping centre, where, one lunch time, one of our clients ran amok with a machete until police were eventually able to subdue him. Where one of my clients told his wife, when she returned from visiting her sister and enquired where the rug was,  that it was wrapped round a  body in the attic. 
Also in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull is Shirley, an older area of mixed housing. The sort of place where it is good to shop, as everything is cheap. Bucket shops, as mr ishmael used to call them. I don't think it means that, I would venture. Look at all those plastic buckets, he would reply, piled high with tat. 
Shirley - a place of generational unemployment and alternative values, in which crime, addiction and domestic cruelty are commonplace and the police, teachers and especially social workers are the enemy. 
As mr ishmael said: 
"I knew a young social worker in Selly Oak, in the mid-'eighties, she and all of her young, female - and male - colleagues would, almost daily, in the line of duty as officers of the court,  go to places to visit or supervise those whom Old Bill would only visit tooled-up and mob-handed;  Francis and two of the perpetrator's children were murdered, by a man who had been in my office a week previously,  I did tell his caseworker that I thought him highly dangerous but she and the victim had many such on their swollen case-loads, many such but potentially worse ........." (call me ishmael 26/10/2014)
We already know what the Inquiry will find. The same as all the other Inquiries into the deaths of little children at the hands of their parents and step-parents:
  • Over-reliance on the stories of the "care-givers".
  • A focus on the rights of the parents rather than on the needs of the child. 
  • Lack of continuity of workers - constant churn in an unpopular and difficult profession.
  • Lack of communication between the services involved in the child's life. 
  • Disproportionate focus on office-based work and complex computer systems rather than contact time with families.
  • Too ready acceptance of what is deemed "good enough parenting" because the alternative - state care, is usually worse than the home environment.
  • A failure of the "universal services" (Education, Health and Police) to identify and report abuse and to manage and mitigate risk to the child. 
The moment reporting restrictions were lifted the hunt to allocate blame was on - the perpetrators have been identified, tried and sentenced. But this is not enough for a society totally unable to accept that the causes of tragedies such as Arthur's lie within the fabric of society itself, that the perpetrators now starting prison sentences deemed too short by Dominic Raab, bending to the public clamour; are themselves victims, damaged, flawed, destined by their own upbringing and environment to be the lead players in this unspeakably horrible, yet commonplace, tragedy. Easier to blame the social workers. Social workers - the moral guardians of a failing society. Social workers, whose only motivation in joining the profession was to make a difference for the better - well, the pay and conditions wouldn't attract anyone who wasn't motivated by vocation or  unable to get a job elsewhere. Social workers - who can, on average, only put up with the job for seven years, before finding out that any other way of earning a living is preferable. Social workers - who are themselves routinely assaulted in the course of their work - a 2014 survey of the profession found that 86% of social workers had been assaulted by their clients. I have been very frightened during my work in the Probation Service - formerly known as the Police Court Missionaries, still known in Scotland as criminal justice social work. I have been threatened, twice imprisoned (once in a cellar, with no light and once in a kitchen whilst I was robbed  of today's equivalent of £14), sexually assaulted, had my car's boot filled with paint, had a chair thrown at me, and talked down a probationer who had abducted his child.
Let's blame the social workers. That's the safest response.

 "The random apportioning and non-apportioning of guilt has become a commonplace of Ruin.2 mr. ishmael, 2014
Night, with her train of stars, E.R. Hughes, Birmingham Art Gallery
"The sun,  closing his benediction, sinks, and the darkening air thrills with a sense of the triumphing night -- Night with her train of stars.  And her great gift of sleep."
Let us move to other matters.
It was a bit windy here in the Bracing Isles, for a while, as Arwen passed over us, but nothing compared to the sufferings on the mainland. A friend wrote to me:
"I hope you and Harris have managed, in true apocalyptic fashion, to crawl blinking from the wreckage after the tempests of the last few days. We've had high winds, snow, sleet and very cold fingers. A rather frail friend ventured out in the middle of it, was lifted bodily by the wind and dump/wedged under a car, breaking her shoulder in the process."
I don’t know about apocalyptic – more apoplectic: living on an island off the North coast of Scotland, and me a Yorkshire lass. At least I didn’t succumb to mr ishmael’s blandishments and buy the lighthouse and buildings on Hoy – then we would have been living on an island off an island off the North coast of Scotchbastardland. Actually, there wasn't too much damage here, and no powercuts – which are a whole heap of no-fun. There’s some poor lieges in Aberdeenshire who had their power knocked out at the beginning of Arwen, and it isn’t going to be restored until next week – so they will have been enduring the cold and dark for two weeks when it is finally restored. The TV news had pictures of them clustering round their log burning stoves. This is the flaw in the whole GreenEnergeticElectricity policy – the means of production are subject to the vagaries of weather – too dark, the solar panels are crap, too cold, the heat pumps spray cold air into your hoose (I know, I’ve got one – and it takes ages before the device gives up trying to extract heat from cold Orkney air, and pulls on the Grid to blow tepid air into my hall, where the heat fan is inconveniently sited – warm air rises, so it goes straight up the stairs, giving me the choice of shivering in front of the telly or lighting the fire with fossil fuels); too windy, the windmills are closed down, too wavy, the marine machine breaks up into little bits. Then there’s the means of delivery – the electricity is delivered to people’s hooses by running along cables strung between pylons or wood telegraph poles that the poor bastard jock linesmen have to climb – climb (honest, not invent) in torrential rain and winds to lash down the cables and make them conduct electricity again. Preposterous system. It is all WeeFatAleck’s fault. In January 2010, Salmond refused to have the cables in the north of Scotland buried underground because it would be too expensive for Smart, Successful Prosperous Scotland. 

Instead, he approved the largest overhead power line in Britain, on pylons up to 65 metres high along 220 kilometres across the Highlands. The decision was applauded by the renewable energy industry which said the new 400 kV line,  was essential to ramp up the output from wind, wave and tidal power projects, located in remote parts of the UK, and deliver it to the cities where most people live. The lines lash about like skipping ropes wielded by Muhammad Ali and the lieges in various country areas in Aberdeenshire and further South have been without electricity since Arwen hit, with no prospect of reconnection until next week. Down in warm, well-lit London, in the Mother of all Parliaments, our Honourable Members think that's a great shame. In 2010, Helen McDade, of the landscape conservation charity, the John Muir Trust, one of the project's fiercest critics, said it was a "black day". She added: "Marching a 220km mega pylon line though some of our most world-renowned landscapes may be the most lucrative option for the energy industry but it is the wrong choice for Scotland." She was only thinking of messing up the pretty views. Cold, bored Highlanders, with no electric ovens to cook the rapidly thawed and stinking contents of their freezers, sitting in the dark without TV or radio or internet, would probably agree it was a bad idea.  And a black day. But for other reasons.

Ghislaine’s trial was featured ont’radio the first  morning of her trial, as they’ve a Beeb reporter on the scent – he said he had to turn up at 5:00 a.m. to get a seat in court. Another media pundit was blathering about the trial, and forgot Jeffrey Epstein’s name. Unfortunately, her subconscious supplied the wrong name – Harvey Weinstein. She immediately corrected the name, but then said – “they are so similar, it is easy to get confused”. Weinstein would probably object to that. But it was clear that she meant they are both Jewish names, ending in “stein”.
Definitely needs to be called out on that one and no-platformed.

Rat Anecdote: I had a friend called Pete Fromm Liverpool. Even when he was e-mailing on the Yellow Weather Warnings for snow, he couldn’t resist adding his own warning not to eat the yellow snow. When he lived in the countryside, in a rental property, he discovered he had a rat living in his wall. He thought it was just the one, but I reckon it was a nest, because the rat (s) kept coming back despite all the ratcake he fed it (them). One day he borrowed a shotgun from his fairmer mate and set his chair up by the wall, gun trained. He had put out an irresistible plate of dog food to tempt the poor creature. He sat there, quiet, immobile, all afternoon. When Mr Rat was convinced that he was just an ugly statue, out it came to eat the dog food. Pete was so shocked by the size of it that his shot went wide, he fell off his chair and the rat ran away down the flagstone path. Pete Fromm Liverpool decided he needed heavier artillery than the shotgun. Now that he knew that the path was a rat run, he laid explosives and fuses down the path, and placed plates of dog food along the path. And waited. When he saw rat setting paw to path, he lit the fuse, which briskly, in sequence, blew up the explosives. Mr Rat cleared off, of course. The path was blown sky high. A bit like the you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off

 The landlord was not impressed by having his path blown up and Pete Fromm Liverpool, his wife Tracey Fromm Liverpool and their family of Adult Scallies Fromm Liverpool and the grandchildren Not Fromm Liverpool had to move house. They rented a little place in the town and were not further troubled by Mr Rat.
 The Manse was much troubled by rats. It was a combination of living in the countryside, composting activities and naive garbage-storing practices. You have to admire the ferocious, single minded determination to get at the supermarket of bin bags that I deposited in our outdoor storage container. It was a big, solid container, made by the local Restart Enterprise out of proper big planks of wood, with iron edges and a wooden, felted, hinged lid so heavy that I struggled to lift it. When mr ishmael saw it, he thought here’s the solution to storage of our bin bags until collection day. He ordered two of them and they were delivered by Restart. Three blokes manhandled one down the garden, to be used for garden tool storage. The other one was sited by the wall of the manse, on top of a three inch layer of gravel, which was laid on a weed-suppressing membrane, over the original, hard core, tamped yard surface. Remember that this was a 200 year old yard, which was used for horses, wheeled vehicles and cattle, going in and out of the byre, stable and gig shed. We are talking compacted. But the Rat Family were able to smell the juicy rotting garbage, tunnel under the yard, surface under the container and eat a jolly big hole in the bottom. Then drag cabbage stems, bones, whatever, down the hole and store it under the container. When we emptied the container and, with difficulty, upended it, the mess they had made was unbelievable, and the tunnel was revealed, heading straight to the wall. Rats love drystone walls to live in. So we lobbed lots of ratcake down the tunnel, did a big clean up and mr ishmael screwed massive thick pieces of wood over the hole. We put it back and resumed storing our bin bags in it. The rats just made another entrance hole.
Intrepid Harris, Rat-digger, never seemed to make much of an impact.


 Anagram Corner 
Answers to last week's Anagrams:
Boris Uncovers A Root
Answer: ????? Ask messrs mike and mongoose.
Piqued by the triumphalist  anagram solvers, mr verge came roaring back with: One likely result if Joyce was into wife-beating? (8,2,5)
Answer: agenbite of inwit 
The explanation: Joyce uses it a few times in Ulysses and the wife beating would - one hopes - result in biting pangs of conscience. 

Don't blame me, I just work here. And the pay is shit.
Oh, yes, mr. mongoose - when your Christmas Crossword is ready, let me know and editor mr verge will organise uploading to Call Me Ishmael.
Wot's on Telly: The Princes and the Press

It was rather boring, actually. The Big Revelation was that Harry doesn't like the Press and he's rude to them, whereas Willy doesn't like the Press but hides it better. Aren't we glad we'll be getting the clever, cunning one? In the fullness of time, of course, after the QEII and her son, King Charles the Third in Waiting have departed in the star train of Night. I think mr ishmael's take on the Princes was rather more telling than the Beeb's:


Daily Mail readers up and down the land are outraged that idle, pikey "prince," Will Gormless-Pikey, and his slapper, Miss Kate "Kate" Middleton-Pikey were married at huge public expense and that they and their spawn are to be supported indefinitely, in palatial homes and on ski-ing holidays by the British TeeVee-watching taxpayer.  I come from a long line of idle, cheating pikeybastards, moaned Gormless, and I know my rights. If me an' Kate wanna ride up and down the Mall in our caravans, her wiv 'er tits 'angin' out and me wiv me 'ead all polished-up and wearing some fancy uniforms, dripping wiv gold, then 'oos to stop us? Crowns an' tiaras, yes, an 'elicopters, too, you gotta problem wiv that?


From our royal correspondent, Sir Nicholas Knobcheese.
And palace and Daily Mail sources are telling me that His Royal Highness Prince Cambridge actually dived, or is it dove, into the sea from his helicoper and rescued as many as some shipwrecked mariners. All on his own. It appears that there were no other RAF crewpersons involved.  Well, not royal ones anyway. As a matter of fact a palace spokesman, Brigadier General  Rupert Golightly-Jockstrap, of the Household Nancyboys Regiment said to me , Actually, old boy,  a senior person, no names, no pack drill, has said that the other ranks involved would only be embarrassed so it's best on these occasions to simply mention His Highness, Prince Cambridge-Gormless, as though he' done the whole show, himself, even if he was actually two  hundred miles away, getting blootered with his half brother,  that Nazi chappie.

Gosh, readers, I do hope, if the prince was flying, that  Mrs. Cambridge  made him some hearty caviar sandwiches with the crusts cut off to eat while he was out risking his life for others, and them foreigners, not even his subjects.  It reminds me of his father's distinguished military career, although Prince Biscuits was more famous for grounding his minesweeper, His Mother's Ship, Bronington,  and crashing his aircraft at the end of the runway.  Never mind, it didn't stop him leading a life of conspicuous public holidaying, relaxing, gardening, publicly mourning his dead former wife and shacking up with FagAsh Lil, or Her Horsefaceness, as she is known in the family. It must surely be time for Queen Brenda to give her grandson another county and nothing short of the V.C. should mark his actually going to work, like other people;  if he does it twice in a row, he should of course get a bar to the V.C. and Mrs Cambridge should have another entirely new wardrobe made for her at our expense.  And from this happy, heroic incident, in what is being called now, the Prince William Channel, it's back to you in the studio.
You're watching the six o'clock news from the BBC, with me, Huw Welshman.  And in other stories, everything's still shit, fucked, we're up shit creek without a paddle and that squeaky, coke-snorting  fucking bastard, the chancellor,  expects me to read all this bollocks about strategies with a straight fucking face, cunts, they are, this lot,  the last lot, too. 


Talking of coke-snorting, shit-faced Honourable Members, did you note that they are getting a Drug Dog for Westminster? We've got one in Orkney. Two, actually, because there's too much work for just the one. Kept busy, down the Post Office, sniffing the incoming parcels. You know your mail has been checked by the quantities of doggy drool on your Amazon packaging. Not that you can buy Drugs from Amazon, but drug dealers are keen on re-cycling. So, if Orkney needs two Drug Dogs, then rest assured that a pack of them will be needed in Westminster. Dominic Raab,  Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor  is launching a new drugs policy in which the addicts will be treated as having a health problem rather than being criminalised (expect your MP to be on sick leave) and the Business Model of the dealers will be disrupted. How many times do I have to say this? Legalise drugs. That's the only way to disrupt the Business Model. Legalise them.
But people will get off their heads.
But people will get addicted.
What's new?
But people will die.
Again, what's new? Under our present War on Drugs, drug misuse is the third most common cause of death in England amongst 15 to 40 year old men.There were 2,383 drug deaths in England and 1,264 drug deaths in Scotland in 2019. This is death by illegal drugs. There were 1,190 alcohol-specific deaths in Scotland in 2020 and 6983 in England.This is death by a legal drug. As a nation, we are entirely happy - positively promote - the Business Model of alcohol dealers. Just legalise it all. Free up all that police and court time, cut the acquisitive crime rate for folk seeking to afford their drugs. Let the Drug Dogs enjoy a peaceful retirement without the scent of cocaine constantly in their poor noses.
But, mrs ishmael, more people will die of drugs.
 At least they won't be illegal. 


The two anthologies of the works of mr ishmael and his young friend stanislav: Honest Not Invent and Vent Stack are available to buy for mere money from Lulu or Amazon. It is cheaper to buy from Lulu. Register an account with Lulu to save a couple of quid, as going straight into the link provided below seems to make paypal think it's ok to charge in dollars, and apply their own conversion rate, which will put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow our link; a pop-up box asks for age confirmation - simply set the date to (say) 1 January 1960, and proceed. (If you type the title, the anthology will not appear as a search result until the "show explicit content" box - found at the bottom left by scrolling down - has been checked.  You may also see the age verification box, as above, at this point.) 
 The full title is "Vent Stack love from stanislav" by ishmael smith, and the cover you'll see is red with white titles and a picture of Buster the Previous Blog Dog having a green thought in a green shade. 

Link for the paperback:


shorter link, which might make it easier if you wish to paste it into an email and tell a friend:

 Honest, Not Invent is available in paperback or hardback.
Link for Hard Back :

Link for Paper Back

At checkout, try PROWRITINGAID15, WELCOME15 or TREAT15 in the coupon box, which  takes 15% off the price before postage.  If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.  
With the 15% voucher, the book (including delivery to a UK address) should cost £10.89


mongoose said...

Chelmsley Wood was a shit-hole when I was a child, mrs i, and that must mean almost as soon as it was built. Weren't they the chaps who had the child-hunting packs of stray dogs? Charmed, I am sure.

Thanks, mr verge, but my Middle English is a bit rusty. I do like 'again-bite'.

I must get on with finishing the xword, mrs i. Thanks for the reminder.

mrs ishmael said...

I haven't been there for 20 years, mr mongoose, I'm delighted to say, and I have absolutely no plans whatsoever to go there again. The arm-pit of the known universe. At least the housing stock in Chelmsley Wood was fairly decent, and in the Nineties a couple of tower blocks were demolished. Totally unlike the older areas of the Metropolitan Borough - we've all seen the photos of little Arthur's home, and can draw our own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome, mr mongoose, but please don't blame me. It was that Joyce bloke. And yes (I googled, natch) the Guilty Eskimo puns are already taken.


Mike said...

The Arthur murder was particularly chilling. When I was young I remember the moors murders, which had a similar resonance. I don't know why, but some things are exceptionally evil. Maybe its the vulnerability of the murdered? This explains my hatred of America.

ultrapox said...

what society does not wish to acknowledge, is that, like the premature demise of sarah everard and roughly two hundred thousand other poor defenceless souls, little arthur's death simply represents collateral damage resulting from the obsessive lockdown-measures - which were cynically imposed as a primary panacea to the great coronavirus fraud...

but hey, at least the world is now free of the black tyrant trump and the banks have quantitatively eased themselves out of bankruptcy by silently siphoning off the entire contents off the uk treasury...

yes, aside from an outrageous publicity-opportunity, one wonders exactly what the ultra-progressive actress saw in the naturist-pool-playing afghan-smoking prince of neo-imperialism...

d'you reckon meg 'n hal wear matching swastika-jim-jams, mrs ishmael...?

v is for verbal vengeance said...

straight clue:

rich source of vitamin d, beginning with d - 5, 8

mrs ishmael said...

I have problems with the concept of evil, mr mike - I know it seems the only explanation for the way the human pack ferociously turns on its own defenceless offspring, but evil, with its connotations of Satanism and its shuffling-off of responsibility for bad things onto some all powerful Devilish archetype, is too simple an explanation that absolves society by individualising responsibility within evil perpetrators.
Arthur was killed by a step-mother. Statistically, we know that children are safer with their birth parents. This is true amongst other species as well as humans - the lion that takes over a lioness with young cubs first kills the cubs. The lioness comes into season and the lion expends his energy on raising his own cubs. That's the evolutionary explanation for the murders of children by step parents.
Arthur wasn't in the care of his birth mother because she is in prison for killing her partner - who wasn't Arthur's dad, obviously. Arthur's dad and mum did not successfully form the monogamous, life, pair bond in which children are safest and experience the best outcomes in terms of mental and physical health and income. Arthur's mum and dad each let an outsider into Arthur's life - with the massively catastrophic consequence for Arthur. Arthur's grandmother expressed her concerns to the police, and was ignored. In other species, the role of "helper at the nest" is taken by a related female. The appalling Hilary Clinton at least set out the truth that it takes a village to raise a child. In our society, we believe that a child belongs to its parents, that the tiny nuclear family, often disrupted by the parental quest for more exciting, more fulfilling sex, can, unaided by grandmothers and spinster aunts,untrammeled by the oversight of concerned neighbours and communities, safely and successfully raise a child to adulthood.
And I don't believe, mr ultrapox (welcome back, by the way), that Lockdown was responsible. It may have been a factor, but, sadly, there have been many children killed by their parents and step-parents before Lockdown.
The Moors Murders, mr mike, fall outwith the pattern of very common familial violence, cruelty and murder that I've outlined - and are, indeed, particularly chilling. I haven't heard the tapes of the child begging for its life, but the transcript was horrifying. Ian Brady was something different, and, thankfully, rare - a predator who sought out unrelated child victims because he liked to inflict pain and death.
For as long as we, as a society, continue to close our eyes to the fact that the nuclear family, especially the disrupted nuclear family, is a deeply dangerous place for children, then child deaths will continue. As mr ishmael said - there are areas where the police will only go in mob-handed, men and women whose violence is such that it takes four police officers to restrain and arrest them, homes where alcohol and drug abuse are common place. And we think these are safe places for kids?
Yes, I know (wearily) that there are nice families and loving step parents. But there are also the killing fields of childhood. And our society has created them and sustains them.

mongoose said...

There's the old thought experiment. You are standing outside a burning building. You open the door. Inside you see two children. Both are identically heavy, identically difficult to reach, identical in every way except that one is your child and the other isn't. You can save only one. There is no way to escape this last point. No cleverness of wit or artful device can be brought to bear. Which child did you choose to save? And there it is. Not all defenceless babies are equal. The lion just killed an innocent cub to make way for his own.

Families may be dangerous, mrs i, but they are the least bad method of raising children for the most part. That monstrous acts of depravity erupt from diseased minds is why we have prisons with stout walls for the likes of Brady. It may be that monsters are made by monsters, and that they are therefore victims too but the cycle has to be stopped.

It does take a village too to raise a child. We live in a small market town. There is one school and almost everyone's kids go to it. It is just a comprehensive school but if we weren't in the People's Republic of Oxfordshire where we fight still the battles of the 1960s, it would be called the local grammar school, as indeed it was for three hundred years or more. But there is no violence, little meanness, little of all that crap because the Head won't tolerate it. Eejits who forget themselves get to spend the day in a quiet block without their mates, without their audience, without their toys. And tomorrow all is forgiven and on we go. The lucky clever kids tutor the less lucky, less clever kids too. There is no wall of achievement between them, no impregnable social divide based on Charlie Darwin's lottery. (The biggest differentiator seems to be the cost of their bloody smartphones. A little league table of parental stupidity has formed.) Anyway it seems to work for the most part. Catch 'em young is my advice.

ultrapox said...

with regard to the child-murder in solihull, mrs ishmael, it is far safer to assume that we are each capable of such evil in order to avoid taking this same evil road.

evidently, when arthur's mother was jailed, neither the father nor, in due course, the stepmother wished to take responsibility for raising this unfortunate child, yet no government-agency seems to have recognized the father's unsuitability as a parent.

in fact, for these new lovers, the motherless child soon became an annoying obstruction to the couple's enjoyment of their relationship - nevertheless arthur's father would probably never have moved in with the stepmother had not the government's lockdown-measures forced him to do so, in order to continue the relationship legally.

fear of coronavirus-contagion, alongside blind adherence to lockdown-legislation, possibly also impaired the ability of social workers to perform a proper examination of the child referred to them - and equally, the closure of the local school allowed extreme abuse of arthur to continue completely unchecked.

lockdown was an extremely dangerous social experiment.

thank god that drug-addicts like "jungle-juice" johnson - and neo-imperialist nut-jobs like the sussexes - can afford to employ full-time social workers to look after their over-marketed offspring.

Mike said...

I'm not sure I agree on your concept of "evil" Mrs I.

Leaving aside any connotations with Satan and the like, which I suggest is a distraction, I think it is the case that just as some people are inherently stupid (let us face facts and not be woke about this), so also some people are inherently bad. When this badness is expressed by taking pleasure in inflicting pain and damage on the defenseless (be that young kids or animals), then that is evil in my book - for want of a better word.

It is certainly statistically true that kids are best raised by their natural born parents, by and large. Celebs buying kids from Africa is an abomination, IMHO. As yet, a child has never been created by anything other than a man and a woman, despite what we might read.

I'm not prepared to accept the argument that its caused by the pressures of poverty or poor social conditions or lack of support by the state. This is just an excuse. Kids have been raised by poor families in a safe and loving environment for generations. I'm a case in point.

We have to accept that some people are inherently mentally bad; cannot be rehabilitated; and need to be identified and put in a place where they can do no harm to others.

mrs ishmael said...

Just because one can do something, that is no reason to do it. For every child being raised in the idyllic circumstances mr mongoose describes, there are a hundred being raised by negligent, uncaring, selfish parents whose own needs for stimulants, narcotics, depressants, pornography and sexual novelty far exceed the child's needs for stability, good food, warm clothes, a comfortable bed without molestation, bedtimes and getting up times, schooling and playing out. I've told you I'm not a liberal. Scratch a social worker and you'll find a eugenicist. Have you any idea how hard it is to make it through the adoption assessment and approval process? Yet how easy, dreadfully easy it is to bring another unwanted accidental child into the world. Then there's the unwanted consequences of a welfare policy originally designed to remove the stigma of bastardy and provide an income and housing for the single parent, which has provided financial incentive and reward to swell the overpopulation crisis and to remove active, involved, consistent and stable fathering from children's lives.
Lockdown certainly has increased domestic tensions and violence and decreased the oversight given by the universal service of Education, and the targeted service of Social Work, mr ultrapox, I agree. Schools should not be closed again. It is too dangerous - an alert school teacher should be the first to identify the signs of neglect and abuse.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed the deaths of 36 social workers aged between 20 to 64 in England and Wales were registered as involving Covid-19, from 9 March to 28 December, 2020 whereas 469 deaths involving COVID-19 among social care workers were registered between 9 March and 28 December 2020.

Mike said...

Mrs I: my wife was a manager in Social Services in central London, first in Islington (at the time of Margaret Hodge, and the child care home scandal) and then in Kings Cross. So I have a fairly first hand view of what its like on the front line. The Wild West was a tea party by comparison. She was regularly threatened and was assaulted once. She was also subject to an attempted sexual assault.

But the social services then (mid-80s) were a hotbed of extreme left-wingism. I would pick here up from the offices near Euston station. The air in the office was thick with smoke, some of it smelled exotic. There was an area in the office (the Irish area) with the tricolour attached to the wall. They seemed to be openly supporting the IRA. I felt at risk because I had just come from the City wearing a suit and tie. To my eye, the social workers were part of the problem not the solution.

To my (untrained) eye the problem with the "clients" was severe physical and/or mental impairment which inevitably became a drug problem. As far as I could see, the police didn't want to know. The problem could not be solved. It beggars belief that these clients were actively supported in raising children.

mongoose said...

It isn't idyllic by accident, mrs i. You have to work to keep it every day.

mongoose said...

But I do not think either, mr mike, that some people are inherently, in themselves, irretrievably just bad. We are, as far as we know, the only species in the history of the universe to even begin to think these thoughts. We have made these rules and expectations often under artificial duress. It ain't necessarily so.

Mike said...

Its a mental condition Mr mongoose. A defective gene or some such. Cannot be fixed by any amount of sweet-talking or pretending otherwise.

Mike said...

Mr mongoose: on a more serious note, are you prepped for tomorrow?

mrs ishmael said...

These commentaries certainly lead one to reflect on one's life, mr mike. Thinking back to the Eighties, my social work training course was ideologically left wing - although there was one old dear who was still teaching Freud, she was in the minority and there was one social policy lecturer who could have given the late great Lovie, Anthony Sher, History Man, a run for his money. By the time I was working as a fully-fledged probation officer in Birmingham, aggressive in-house anti-racism training was compulsory. mr ishmael was a colleague - that was how we met, but he became sickened by managing the poor on behalf of the rich, as he put it, and left the profession to start his own business in an utterly different field of endeavour.
During the twenty years I worked in Birmingham and Solihull I witnessed everything become indescribably worse. When I started, alcohol was the problem. When I left, heroin had replaced it. God knows what it is like now. Good to know Boris is on the case, in his black beanie hat with Police emblazoned on the front. I'll have to post the photos in case our overseas readers missed them, when Boris launched his War on Drugs yesterday.
Seriously, though, the social work profession in its many manifestations and during its short history has failed to alleviate the ills of society or prevent the murders of children. Basically, it can't. Social work practitioners and managers, like myself and mrs mike have ourselves been the object of violence and derision - my colleague, Frances Betteridge, was murdered by her client in 1986.
Governments of the Left and the Right have tweaked and meddled, as lawnorder is prime political fodder. Time to dismantle the whole ratfuck and do some seriously alternative thinking.
Damned if I know what it might be. But I do know that what we've got doesn't work.

mongoose said...

I am, mr mike. The fridge is suitably stocked and mrs m expects me to crawl into bed as it is getting light. No work scheduled. I see that Jimmy is being 'rested'. Will we be brave and pick another of the young quicks or will just stuff another batter in?

The notion of probation officers is, of course, mrs i, a very modern alternative to the rope, the lash and the poor house for the missus. It has always struck me that by punishing criminals, and overwhelmingly these are men, we also punish their womenfolk and their kids. We make all of their lives worse, lived nearer to that edge that further encourages criminality to get by. And we further darken society's conspiracy against them by the conceit of electric money, vast taxation and benefit churning, always muddying the waters of cause and effect. An honest week's work for an honest fistful of tenners is so much harder for everyone to see and understand. FFS my house makes more money than I do and tax-free too. Where is the sense in that?

Mike said...

Stopped watching after 1 hour, Mr mongoose. The match, and likely the series, is over. Good toss to win for Root, but he should have bowled on a green wicket and overcast conditions. Can't believe both Broad and Anderson are not playing in English conditions. Too much thinking by the brains trust. That Root choose to bat was a bad sign of fear - be macho, bat first; rather than using his brain

mongoose said...

And he got his comeuppance on Day 2, mr mike, with a bright sunny for the Convicts to bat in.

And they all bowled too short. Again.

ultrapox said...

the comment which i entered on 6 december 2021 at 15:27hrs is not clearly expressed, and so i would like to rephrase it as follows:

"mrs ishmael, in order to avoid taking the same evil road as the solihull child-murderers, it is far safer to assume that we are each capable of committing such evil acts ourselves.

evidently, when arthur's mother was jailed, neither the father nor, in due course, the stepmother wished to take responsibility for raising this unfortunate child, yet no government-agency seems to have recognized the father's unsuitability as a parent.

in fact, for these new lovers, the motherless child soon became an annoying obstruction to their enjoyment of a sexual relationship - nevertheless, arthur's father would probably not have moved in with the stepmother had not the government's lockdown-measures forced him to do so in order to continue the relationship legally.

fear of coronavirus-contagion, alongside blind adherence to lockdown-legislation, possibly also impaired the ability of social workers to perform a proper examination of the child referred to them - and equally, the closure of the local school allowed extreme abuse of arthur to continue completely unchecked.

lockdown proved an extremely dangerous social experiment.

thank god that drug-addicts like "jungle-juice" johnson - and neo-imperialist nut-jobs like the sussexes - can afford to employ full-time social workers to look after their over-marketed offspring."

ultrapox said...

thank you for your welcome back, mrs ishmael.

i have of late been rather overwhelmed by a number of personal issues - not the least of which has been the recurrence of a coronavirus-infection. as previously mentioned, i first caught corona in may 2019, and yet each time i have contracted this illness, it has been conveniently dismissed by the press and authorities as a 'cold'; although i tend not to value the significance of so-called covid-'tests', i am happy to inform you that, in the case of a person who simultaneously fell sick with identical symptoms to my own, both the lateral flow and pcr tests returned a positive result on this occasion.

mrs ishmael said...

Sorry you've not been well, mr ultrapox - I thought something was awry when you didn't add your voice to our commentaries. Hope you are feeling better now.

ultrapox said...

yes, i'm much better, thank you, mrs ishmael; i caught the lurgi in mid-september, but concurrent upheavals, although mostly very positive, have left me mentally and physically exhausted. i hope that you and the ishmaelite-gang are all also faring well and in decent fettle.

by-the-way, seasonal bug-symptoms include the notorious hacking cough, runny nose, and extreme fatigue. beyond some measure of natural immunity developed as a result of previous coronavirus-infection, it unfortunately appears that those who have chosen to be vaccinated against 'covid' have been afforded no special protection against this latest viral re-incarnation.

mrs ishmael said...

Glad you are fighting back, mr ultrapox.
I'm fully vaccinated - three covid vaccinations and a seasonal flu vaccination, I'm working from home and the nearest I get to a social event is the weekly supermarket shop.
I hope that the omicron variant is evidence that virus mutates into increasingly milder forms to become successful in its goal to live alongside its human hosts instead of killing them off. Until that happens, I really don't want to catch this very unpleasant, potentially lethal illness - I've got a little dog dependent upon me for his dinners and walks.