EXCLUSIVE #Disability Discrimination means Son is removed from Home?

A new series by Jayne Linney:


The following true tale is the introduction into what will be a series of posts regarding a seeming miscarriage of justice and potential disability discrimination; names have been changed to protect the identities of these involved. The purpose of this post is to help the family concerned achieve real justice; please share as widely as possible.

Alison is a single parent of14 year old Adam, both live with various diagnosed and pending diagnosis health disorders including Fibromyalgia and Elhers Danos; Alison is also Autistic and symptoms suggest Adam is as well.

Due to Adams health, he found it difficult to cope with school from the beginning and despite special educational needs intervention, including one to one lessons he struggled experiencing bullying which resulted in him developing depression. These experiences became worse during Adams transition from junior to senior school, so much so that in 2015, Alison began to home educate…

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“Rapidly improving” technology may be bad for your health

I’ve just seen this newspaper report (below). “Police will use facial recognition software”, it says, “to scan the faces of tens of thousands of revellers at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival” (a multi-ethnic, multicultural, multi-everything annual festival). The people who go to the carnival go there to celebrate all those multi-type things. But that’s not how everybody sees it apparently: the police seem to have told The Guardian that for them it’s “the biggest annual public order test for the Metropolitan police”. So they must look forward to it, mustn’t they?
    The police have explained how their software works: overt cameras will
scan the faces of those passing by and flag up potential matches against a database of custody images. The database will be populated with images of individuals who are forbidden from attending carnival, as well as individuals wanted by police.
They’re doing it again this year because they tried it last year. So it was successful then, was it? Er, no: last year “it failed to pick out any suspects”. But the technology is said to be “improving rapidly”. Now, there’s a worry. Anybody on a computer, a phone or a tablet who updates regularly knows that “improvements” are not all good news. So last year’s technology that failed to pick out suspects could by now have developed an even more useful ability to pick out people even if they’re not “suspects” at all, people who are not “wanted offenders”, not “individuals wanted by police”, who don’t match a “custody image” because they’ve never been in custody. They just vaguely look like, and so are a “potential match” for, somebody in a blurred photo buried in the file of an unsolved case back at the police station. “Picking out”, in fact, some of the perfectly innocent people who make up the vast majority at the Notting Hill Carnival and rendering them guilty.
    Of course, the police don’t need rapidly improving technology to do this – they already do it as part of their ordinary day-to-day and night-to-night activities. But the technology will help, we can be sure of that. And for the police, the Carnival is an ideal testing ground. I once knew a young black man in Hackney, East London, who was arrested and charged with throwing a brick at a policeman’s head. After being bundled into a police van, he heard one officer express doubts that they had the real culprit. “No, it’s him,” said the other officer. “Anyway, they all look alike, don’t they?” The young man was convicted, even though witnesses said the brick-thrower was tall – this man was short; and even though the police said they had to chase him through the housing estate because he had run away from them and up a flight of stairs to his flat – which he couldn’t have done because he was disabled. He got 6 years in jail, but luckily it was shortened because lots of people made a fuss. But he never got his conviction quashed. There were no cameras in the Hackney case and no facial recognition technology. Just 2 policemen who were “just doing our duty, sir”.
    Gawd ‘elp us all, now they’ve got “rapidly improving” technology.
Here’s the article:

Reflections on Macromania

His smile was beginning to annoy me. Here are some of the reasons why – and why we shouldn’t be seduced:

The Colossus


Admiring Jupiter — the king of gods — is perhaps a little like admiring the Paris of Baron Haussmann. One can marvel at the length and openness of Haussmann’s boulevards as readily as at the sumptuous façades that loom aloof above them. But one’s enjoyment of the overarching harmony of urban Paris cannot run riot in good conscience when one knows, as Benjamin did, that there was a sinister repressive dimension to the city planning of a man they called l’artiste-démolisseur. Indeed, for one reason or another, it was within the framework of the puissant prefect’s boulevards that all ‘[t]he institutions of the bourgeoisie’s worldly and spiritual dominance were to find their apotheosis.’1

His deepest desires notwithstanding, no such apotheosis seems likely to occur on the watch of Emmanuel Macron, who has ascended to the Élysée — or descended from Olympus — at precisely the time when ‘[c]apitalism…

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Next time someone tells you Jeremy Corbyn promised to wipe out student debt, show them this | Vox Political

Asbestos Alert – Crisis is Looming

Think Left

Health and Safety Legislation is not ‘Red Tape’ – or unnecessary bureaucracy as David Cameron has claimed, as he boasted he intended to remove it. Removal of vital health and safety legislation, cuts to public funding and an inability to keep building regulations were factors leading to the Grenfell fire which shocked so many of us. But for that awful tragedy, many of us would still be unaware of the risks caused by ‘Red Tape’. It is imperative that professional expert advice and adequate funding is made available for public buildings, homes and workplaces to be safe.

Now is not the time for complacency. The biggest killer in the workplace is asbestos.

In June, Unite reported that the Conservative Brexit negotiations could put the safety of children, workers and parents at risk of mesothelioma as a result of weakening of health and safety legislation.

Unite, the UK’s largest union, has…

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Climate change, Trump & Rex Tillerson

I’m reading Naomi Klein’s latest book, No is not enough. On climate change, I didn’t know before how long ago oil companies knew about the dangers. She says, on Exxon:
“… this company, it has now been documented, knew about climate change as far back as the seventies. According to a groundbreaking investigation by InsideClimate News (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize), Exxon did its own cutting-edge empirical research, taking CO 2 samples off its oil tankers and building state-of-the art climate models that predicted the coming changes such as sea-level rise. It also received warnings from its own senior scientists, including James Black who was categorical in his reports to his employer about the ‘general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels.’ He also wrote that ‘man has a time window of five to 10 years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.’ That was in 1978.
    “By the time Rex Tillerson took over the job of general manager of the central production division of Exxon USA, these facts had long been known in the company, including the uncomfortable one about how little time remained. Despite this, ExxonMobil has since then lavished more than $30 million on think tanks that systematically spread doubt through the press about the reality of climate science. Mobil (before its merger with Exxon) even took out its own full-page ads in the New York Times casting doubt on the science. ExxonMobil is currently under investigation by the attorneys general of New York, California, and Massachusetts for these alleged deceptions. Because of this campaign of misinformation, promoted by the entire fossil fuel sector, humanity lost key decades when we could have been taking the actions necessary to move to a clean economy—the same decades in which ExxonMobil and others opened up vast frontiers for oil and gas.”
On Trump today, she says:
 “Within days of taking office, he pushed through the Dakota Access pipeline, cutting off an environmental review and against the powerful opposition of the Standing Rock Sioux. He’s cleared the way to approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, which Obama rejected in part because of the climate impacts. He has issued an executive order to roll back Obama’s moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands, and has already announced plans to expand oil and gas drilling on the Gulf Coast. He’s also killing Obama’s Clean Power Plan. And as the administration rubber-stamps new fossil fuel projects, they’re getting rid of all kinds of environmental regulations that made digging up and processing this carbon less profitable for companies like ExxonMobil.”
Our world is run by competing mafia. We need to get rid of them. Can there be a cross-border, grassroots movement that could do it? Don’t know. But it would need to be grassroots. In this corner of the vineyard, Labour MPs, for a start, certainly don’t seem to be interested. Unbelievably they have instead renewed their determination to undermine Jeremy and his team.
    My pessimism was increased by the sight of Erdogan making a speech at the G20 meeting without interruption.  Amnesty International’s Secretary-General (who was present at the conference) protested in interviews afterwards that Erdogan had imprisoned Gawd knows how many journalists, dissidents and several Amnesty workers in Turkey. The irony was that when Erdogan was a young mayor of Istanbul, I think 20 years ago, he was imprisoned by the then military government, and Amnesty had campaigned for his release! No wonder the spokesperson was cross!
    The real protests were outside (where, in my opinion, Amnesty should have been too). But the conference was protected from them in a kind of shout-proof, bullet-proof, armour-plated bubble. The protesters were furious at the G20, their arrogance, their hypocrisy and their smugness.
    Some of the protesters may have been naughty: I saw some broken windows and heard that some of them hurled bullets in slingshots at the police. But they weren’t nearly as naughty as the G20 leaders are in the normal course of events in their day jobs: supporting and arming dictators, making profits out of poverty, destroying workers’ rights, waging war after war, undermining human rights while pretending to defend them. And their bubble wasn’t just armour-plated – it was armed: their response to the slingshots was live bullets.
    As for the protesters, they also lit some rather nice bonfires. Maybe we should get round one of those bonfires quite soon and work out what to do.

Does Corbyn have a Messiah Complex?

A blog by Christopher James Stone.

Fierce Writing

I had an email the other day from an associate, bemoaning Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at Glastonbury, saying that he was acting like some kind of a Messiah for all those white, middle class kids, using the Grenfell tragedy for political point scoring and saying he has a “Messiah Complex”. Here is my reply:

What do you want me to say?

Let’s go back to the beginning. Remember, Corbyn only got onto the leadership ticket because a couple of Labour establishment figures thought we needed a proper debate and agreed to include a left winger. This is because the Labour Party had been transformed under Tony Blair into a centralised neo-liberal party in which constituencies no longer got to choose who their candidate was. They were mainly Blair loyalists parachuted in from central office. But once Corbyn was on the ticket it galvanised the membership in the Labour Party who wanted…

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