Mr Lammy and the right wing Labour Party show their true colours are Tory blue when it comes down to it

David Lammy just goes to show that there are many in the Labour party who are about as far right wing as many in the Tory party. Him linking the riots to smacking children are not only ridiculous but dangerous and give him another chance to bash social workers as they make the poor working class live ‘in fear of social services turning up on their doorstep‘. The BB2 documentary ‘Protecting Our Children‘ (on last night) demonstrates the issues when it comes to marks on children.

I’m not sure how simple he wants the law to be but it is about as simple as it gets at the moment – you are not allowed to smack your children and leave a mark. There is no evidence that smacking improves behaviour in children. No evidence that smacking instils a sense of discipline or moral decision making in children. No evidence that it is an effective parenting technique.

It comes down to a matter of values. He has made a link between being a champion for the working class and a champion for physical chastisement like they are interlinked. They are not. Most working class people do not smack their children and do not feel the need to. Most working class children did not riot in last summer. If you want to be champion for working class parents then we need to ensure that there are sufficient supports in the community.

Where they may not be able to afford the same access to services or resources that middle class parents are able to, a champion for the poor would advocate for effective services and resources in working class areas. Surestart was a good example of providing this. Adequate parenting courses for those who feel they need it, or are mandated to attend by statutory services. Adequate relationship support for those who need it. Adequate advice centres and health services. Most parents who attend a good parenting course sing the praises of them and see the folly in smacking once they have learnt new skills and techniques. This would be an advocate for the working class parent.

So when Mr Lammy goes on about this, and he speaks for many in his party and the Tory party, he is speaking from an ideological viewpoint and not an evidence based one. I believe that all children should feel worthy of love and belonging and that parents should be supported to achieve this where there is the need. Children who do feel and sense of love and belonging are more likely to act as My Lammy wishes than children who are smacked which only undermines the sense of worthiness of love and belonging. He has undermined and not championed the working class in his views.

Example of positive changes the Government is making to Public Services (which will help families)

For anyone in the Party it is important to know what this Government is doing which can be considered to be good so we can at least explain it to people who will have missed it. Unfortunately much of what is done well will be missed. So this is an example that shows how this Government’s changes will help families; a very topical issue at present but has not had any air time from Government politicians.

Following the car crash that was the Ed Balls Government Department (see here for why it was such a car crash) this Government is looking closely at Child Protection amongst many other things and Prof Munro, who is very well respected, has some positive things to say about the recent changes which are worth highlighting:

the Government has already started to relax some of the rules and bureaucratic reporting requirements relating to the performance framework and ICT. In relation to performance, the Government has already revoked the designations of Local Area Agreement (LAA) targets meaning that local areas no longer have to report on their performance to central Government and are free to drop or amend them if they so wish. It has also been announced that the National Indicator Set of performance measures will be replaced with a single comprehensive list of data required by central Government, giving local areas far more freedom over the management of their own performance. This provides local authorities with the flexibility to move away from previously prescribed specifications in order to adapt their systems to suit local needs…

[the previous] government funding streams and funding restrictions have prevented local areas from redesigning services, have created unnecessary duplication and have prevented services from focusing on family needs. This has led the Coalition Government to introduce community budgets to enable local areas to overcome this complexity by allowing services to pool resources and share the savings. It is recognised that local areas may need to invest in service redesign before being able to realise savings in future years. This approach fits well with that taken by this review, of creating space for  innovation, working collaboratively across services to create a joined up approach dedicated to tackling family problems and investing in service redesign to meet the specific needs of children, young people and families. From April 2011 there are 16 community budget areas piloting this approach and the review team has been working with a number of them on flexibilities relating to assessment and timescales.

 For anyone who has worked in the public sector will know how infuriating it was to have to be treated like children under New Labour’s technocratic management system which has resulted in a complete failure, in that it has changed the purpose of the services. So these changes will result in better services without the need for massive reform.

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