In Train

A wealth of little family law stories in this morning’s Metro:

  • ‘homebuyers returning to the market’- first time buyers apparently are out in force trying to bag a bargain, but of course a large number of them are likely to find it difficult to raise funds unless they have a hefty deposit.
  • ‘police deal with 20,000 child sex crimes a year’ – reported as if allegations equal crime, apparently one in four of this large number involved children 4 and under. I wonder what proportion result in a conviction?
  • ‘Deaths of 8 children ‘are a scandal” – yet another local authority, this time Birmingham, has been accused of a systematic failure identified after 8 children known to Birmingham social services died of suspected abuse or neglect.
  • ‘few ‘good’ reasons to force births’ – unsurprising story about the overuse of induction on pregnant women, 28% of which were not done for a medical reason. Gosh the medical profession do know how to disempower us and make us feel incapable of doing anything by ourselves…we’ve only been doing it for thousands of years.
  • Finally, ‘big rise in racial mix families’ – one in ten children in Britain lives in a racially mixed family. Almost half of black caribbean men are in a mixed-race relationship, but only eight percent of men with a pakistani background according to the EHRC – I’d be interested to read a cultural exploration of the differences in mixing as between different communities.

Well, that kept me occupied on the train into chambers…

Baby P

It is really quite striking how much of a frenzy there is surrounding the tragic case of Baby P. I have made no effort in this blog to keep up with the astonishing amount of news coverage of the case and of the question of child protection generally – I have a full time job after all. But what I can tell you is that by virtue of posting something about Baby P last week combined with the magic of google this blog has had one of the busiest weeks ever. My stats page tells me that ‘Baby P’ is pretty much all anyone is googling at the moment.

As yesterday’s OFSTED report apparently tells us (I say apparently because I haven’t had time to read it, and because frankly it’s not news to me) this kind of tragedy is going on all over the country. Sadly many kids are killed by their carers, and no doubt sometimes this could have been prevented. But as the slathering media machine churns on and on  I am beginning to feel a little bit like the gawping at the spectacle of Baby P is not only unhealthy in itself but a little bit disrespectful to all those other forgotten babies and children. I’m afraid what is being reported as ‘shocking’ to many of us is probably ‘normal’ for many many unhappy children.

Review of Family Law

I have yet to have the opportunity to look at this review headed up by IDS but those of you with spare time on your hands may wish to do so.

P.S. Is this where the phrase ‘Guest parent’ has suddenly sprung from? I’ve certainly heard IDS on the radio this week opining about the state of society viz a viz Baby P and I think he is the one to have coined this new buzzword.