THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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How far are we from the bottom of this slippery slope?

Child taken from womb by social services - Telegraph.

A pregnant Italian has a panic attack while on a training course in Britain organised by her employers. Her unborn daughter is ripped untimely from her womb by Essex Social Services. She is first put into care and then given up for adoption in Britain. All this is sanctioned by the Court of Protection despite the mother's court appearance in a stabilised condition at which she "impressed" the judge. Maybe it's because I am an ex-lawyer but the most sinister words to me are
she was deemed to have had no "capacity" to instruct lawyers
I have never heard of a fellow human more in need of a specialist lawyer than her. Anna Raccoon, a great campaigning blogger now lost to us often told horrifying tales of the secretive Court of Protection. Having spent my career as a business lawyer, I found them hard to believe. My own experience of our courts was of the bumbling, pompous, self-regarding inefficiency one must expect of any state monopoly, but never of malice or cruelty.
Is our law so dumb it can't infer a woman about to be assaulted in this manner might want a lawyer? Could one not have been appointed on that assumption? When back on her meds and able to appear sensibly in court, did our laws really give the state the power to take her child away permanently on the basis she 'might' have a relapse? After all, every mother 'might' develop a mental illness. Even an adoptive one hand-picked for compliance with state norms. 
Can anyone really disagree with her lawyers' mild assertion that 
...even if the council had been acting in the woman’s best interests, officials should have consulted her family beforehand and also involved Italian social services, who would be better-placed to look after the child.
For that matter, her family might have been better-placed to look after the child. Nowadays that doesn't even seem to occur to our servants turned masters. Our social services didn't even contact them. If there is a family member willing to accept responsibility, the involvement of social services should end. They need (if they are needed at all) to be reduced to the status of an emergency service, not regarded - as they now seem to be in Soviet Britain - as the default guardians of every child.
What kind of employer does this poor woman have that management even allowed social services to get near her? Why didn't they get her back to her family and the doctor treating her condition in Italy? If that was impracticable, did they feel no moral obligation to get her a British doctor who could sort out her meds? If that was impracticable, why did they not get her a lawyer? I think they should be named because I want to boycott them.
The victim of this miscarriage of British justice is bi-polar, but living normally with the aid of her meds. It could happen to any of us. Mental illness doesn't mean you cease to exist as a person. It doesn't mean you cease to have rights. It doesn't mean you cease to love your children. It doesn't mean you won't have a long life of grief if your baby is taken from you against your will and put forever beyond your reach. It does means you need protection, which is why the "Court of Protection" has that name. Sadly it seems to be a Newspeak name, if ever there was one.
A friend having shared some of his divorce paperwork with me recently I begin to fear that our Family Courts are worse than merely incompetent. Another friend, a judge specialising in immigration matters, told me her court was packed with leftists under the last government and that she was subjected to compulsory indoctrination. Still, I am reluctant to accept that any part of our judicial system is this heartlessly, brutally statist. I need to believe in the independence and neutrality of judges for without the Rule of Law we are lost. I could not expend so much effort on blogging if I had no hope.
One final, relatively minor, thought. Our society pretends to go to enormous lengths to respect and protect different cultures. How come this child can be denied her Italian heritage?


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This is the same state broadcaster that employed and enabled a guy called James Saville for decades?

The same employer that suppressed an investigation into his activities involving in some cases children the state had seized or were "careing" for, so the broadcast of a "tribute" to him could go ahead?

Did I get anything wrong there?


The British should be deeply ashamed, one and all, that they permit such things to happen. That they do not stand up and prevent them ever happening again if they didn't know and find out. If ever there were a right use of that favorite ofprotestors "Not in my name" then this should be it.

A person could almost wonder that this some sinister Government plan to put East Eoropeans off from coming to the UK?

Because it surely ought to terrify any potential visitor to the UK.


This is utterly despicable - disgusting. I am having trouble expressing just how vile I think there vermin are. court of "protection" Ha! "Social" "services" Ha!!

What does it say about the UK that such things can be tolerated, (tho it seems the authorities do their best to hide it from the light of day) because it is the stuff of nightmares that we always imagined in the most reporessive collectivist states or possibly in some nightmare fascist state.

Terrifying banal but wicked incompetence and concealment.

There should be some sanction against the people who perpetrate such things, root and branch, ANYONE involved.


Damn. There's a company I can't boycott as I would never have flown with them in the first place.

Tim Newman

What kind of employer does this poor woman have that management even allowed social services to get near her?

Never underestimate the ability of management to chuck a subordinate under a bus if doing otherwise might require some time and effort on their part. I've been subject to much the same treatment - facing a lawsuit for an obvious work matter, and the management washed their hands and labelled it a "personal matter". How convenient. I'm sure there were a few managers snivelling "there's nothing we can do" and "it's out of our hands" before going back to surfing the internet.


I'm given to understand that the caring, sharing employer in this case is Ryanair. If so, I think you may continue unsurprised Tom...


No doubt the social services workers and lawyers involved in this gross travesty of justice will have a library full of rule books and socialist ideology that excuse this abhorrent behaviour towards this individual. It will have escaped them that this is a gross attack on a persons rights, on freedoms of the individual and even on the basic principles that underpin democracy. If this goes unpunished and the wrongs are not corrected then from now on everyone is in danger of losing their right to protection under the law then Orwell's 1984 will no longer be fiction.


I see no reason to suppose they are different.

Woolf is the archetypal "modern" judge-an extremely "clever" fool, who wrought immense damage, and didn't even realise he would do so.


"Misbehaving state broadcaster fails to criticise state misbehaviour."

I struggle to be surprised. Tell me again why a free country has a state broadcaster?


Really? Even in the commercial courts? 


And where is the BBC? At the time of searching I couldn't find any reference. I suppose to them its just the State doing what it should be doing; a dog bites man story.

However on their front page I could have followed a link to find out about Claire Baldwin's granny's gay insult, had I been so inclined.

That sums up the state of our country.


Your description of the Court system is, regrettably, outdated.

It continues to be bumbling pompous etc.-but now has an ever growing admix of political correctness.

This is probably an effect of the "liberal" and statist indoctrination of the current crop of judges.

They do not intend the malice and cruelty which they impose; it is worse, they do not even understand that is what their actions achieve.

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