The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

Of course school lotteries are unfair, Ed

Labour hates kids – see the link in the bar above – but at least Ed Balls, one of the more likeable cabinet members, has a very different attitude to children.

The future Labour leader, and his sweet wife Yvette, whilst both public school educated, have sent their delightful kids to state schools.

Balls was the minister who, as a dad of young kids, reacted emotionally to Baby P’s murder and the Haringey shambles. He got it right then, though he didn’t on the economy, which he advised Brown on.

And now Ed Balls says school lotteries, as introduced by idiotic upper class councillors in gritty Brighton, are not fair. Spot on.

Empathy is a good thing in politics. If a little Balls kid lost out in the lottery, Ed and Yvette would be gutted. Wouldn’t we all?

Brown’s protege is likely – if not Alan Johnson – to be the Labour leader facing PM Cameron in the 2015 general election (unless Brown goes before then to be replaced by Balls or Johnson).

After the pain of the economic depression and some dreadful Iranian war inspired by the recently defeated President Obama (which President Jindal has got to sort out), a fresh-faced Ed Balls and his lovely Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer wife and those photogenic state-school-going kiddies would be tough to beat.

If Balls calls it right on the many other issues of education and especially society and the economy, he could make this reality.

Whatever happens, the Tories need to raise their game – and not be a toady to Obama (as Bliar was to Bush), given that the Yanks have caused much of the economic and foreign policy mess that we will face for years to come.

Maybe Pres Jindal will invite PM Balls, or PM Davis, to speak at congress too?

3 March, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Haringey resignations: they should be prosecuted: but it’s endemic

Meehan, Shoesmith and Santry – Leader of Haringey Council, its Director of Children’s Services, and its Children’s Services Cabinet Member – have been forced to go following a scathing independent report into the murder of Baby P. 

As Balls’ Tory shadow, Michael Gove MP, has just pointed out on Sky News, the same authority was given a “clean bill of health” in a report a year ago.  But that there are other failings in a full report that he has seen  but which has not been made public in this climate of Government secrecy and cover-up. 

Had Cameron not “gone ballistic” at PMQs a few weeks back, Labour would probably have covered up this report and allowed Meehan et al to cling on to their jobs…

Gove can’t say what is in the report as the Met would probably arrest him on a trumped-up charge. 

Why has the Department for Public Prosecutions and the Met not started legal proceedings against those who have resigned, given their culpability in the death of this child?  These people should be arrested, not Damian Green.

And so it goes on.  Ed Balls should reconsider his position and resign – after all, it’s happened under his watch and one of his fellow Ministers was tipped off some time ago by a “whistleblower”.

Kids Company’s Camila Batmangehelidjh has outlined on Sky how there should be a “structural review” of children’s services across the country. The “chronic underfunding” of social services departments and a “lack of leadership of politicians” highlights what she describes as a “political flaw” and which needs a new structure.  Individual social workers should not be vilified, she explains, as it is a flawed and badly structured system across many Social Services departments.

Ms Batmangehelidjh, who is one of the most respected “social entrepreneurs” in helping disadvantaged and vulnerable children, is absolutely spot on.  It has been clear that this is an endemic problem due to the “political flaw” that Ms Batmangehelidjh outlines.

We don’t need any more weasel words from Ed Balls or his ilk – we need action, for the sake of our kids – put in the resources centrally and sort out the structure in these social services departments.  And, most of all, change the “ideology” that Tim Montgomerie bemoans:

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the whole affair is that the fate of Baby P is the claim that all the usual procedures were followed, all the boxes ticked, all the shibboleths observed. There is ideological problem represented by a hostility to adoption by social workers and not only in Haringey.

This proves that it is the system that it is at fault – if we don’t deal with this “political flaw”, while we are fussing about trying to fix the banks, then we as a society will be a lot worse off.  And, for the sake of kids like Baby P, we owe it to them to resolve this endemic “political flaw” and ideology as soon as possible.

1 December, 2008 Posted by | economy, Gordon Brown, kids, Labour Party, politics, social breakdown, social services | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment