Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tragic Stabbing in Carshalton

I awoke to some horrific news this morning. Carshalton does not often hit the national news, let alone a breaking story. Two children aged 5 and 4 had died with a 6 month old seriously injured. A man and a woman in their thirties had been arrested at the scene.

If you haven't seen the news already, you can read the story on the Sutton Guardian website or on the BBC. I won't add to any speculation. The police are doing their job and journalists are doorstepping neighbours in Park Lane and Rotherfield Road. The truth will out.

What can I add? Precious little. Just a thought for the poor innocent children that have taken the full force of a twisted turn of events. Whatever can bring someone to the point that they can take a life is beyond me. A life that I have brought into this world; impossible.

When my son half-heard the headline of a stabbing in Carshalton he picked up the copy of last night's Evening Standard with a hard hitting front page about knife crime, sighing that it had been all for nothing. However, this type of tragic story cannot be legislated for and is difficult if not impossible to predict. It is a rarity that just happened to come to Carshalton for one mad moment. Knife crime as a whole still needs our urgent attention.

We will be asking whether the family were known to social services and so if staff were aware of any potential for problems. Apparently they had not long moved in. We will take stock, not jump to any conclusions but breathe a heavy sigh tonight.

57 comments:

David Theobald said...

Unbelievable. I drove past the house yesterday an hour or so prior to the horrific events. It is impossible to try and guess the mindset of the perpetrators, how could anyone justify such acts to themselves?. Appalling.

cllr david pickles said...

My deepest sympathies. But to who? The parents who have now been arrested? Sympathies to the dead children? Pointless. The whole scene just deepens my disillusion of the world we live in today.

Thank Christ I saw the 60's and
70's when at least this country had some sort of normality.

RIP

Scully said...

David P.

It's too early to postulate on this case. The father has been released without charge this morning. I doubt if this case can be categorised in the same way as the deaths of so many teenagers on the streets of London this year.

Peter Sutcliffe and Dennis Nilsen were killing people in the seventies, so extraordinary cases have always occured. As bad as knife crime, drugs and antisocial behaviour has got, it is important to keep a sense of perspective that it is a minority that cause such blight. Having said that, this minority has such a massive effect on society and indeed changes in society have a massive effect on that minority. This is where the work of people like Philippa Stroud comes in, identifying "Breakdown Britain" and formulating long term solutions for family life, marriage, addiction and worklessness. It is when you see two or three generations of people that have had no real sense of a cohesive family life and dependant on the state that problems can really incubate. Unfortunately the 60's and 70's quietly started this through 'progressive' politics. Reversing it is an absolutely mammoth task, but one that we must confront.

David Theobald said...

It does appear that this is a "domestic incident" and not the domain of a knife wielding moron. One press blog has info that the mum was suffering from Post Natal Depression which, with the dad being released today, would make some sort of sense I suppose.

Scully said...

On a tangent, I've just driven past the house. There are a number of vans with great dishes on top lining the road. Journalists are simply looking at an empty house with the odd bunch of flowers being left by neighbours. How many times do we see a newsreader going live to a reporter with the words "What's the latest?" only to have the journalist tread water as it was only ten minutes ago since the question was last asked.

Adrian Short said...

A very sad situation for everyone concerned. I doubt there are any significant public policy implications but we'll know more as the facts become known.

Cllr Scully, is there any meaningful difference between "worklessness" and "unemployment"? I've seen the former bandied around these parts a few times and I'm curious.

Scully said...

Adrian

The two words do seem to be used interchangeably although worklessness appears more often in this context. I take it as meaning habitual unemployment.

On the other hand I may have fallen foul of government jargon for which I cannot apologise enough!

scotty nugent said...

This whole saga is very sad indeed. It brings you done to earth when it happens in your own locality. It just goes to show that these kinds of horrific tragedies can happen anywhere.

cllr david pickles said...

Paul S - I don't see the connection with Phillipa Stroud's "work" and what happened here. The mother was obviously suffering from depression, and it appears to be another case where the whole family were at risk because of it. Nobody can comment on whether the local social services were involved or not. That would be pure speculation. I'm afraid that bringing Phillipa into this only makes it look as though there is political point scoring going on here. For all the good she may think she is doing (and in my book no good at all), the fact remains that this tragedy has happened, and even if she were prime minister it would have still happened.

sean ludlow-harris said...

To be fair, Councillor Pickles, I think Councillor Scully was picking up on your contention that these sorts of things didn't happen in the 1960s and 1970s. Having happily lived during both those decades I concur that things certainly did feel a lot different then; you felt safer on the streets; family breakdown was the exception not the rule; and knife wielding hoodies didn't prowl the streets like wild dogs making it a no go area for everyone else. We need to remember it wasn't all rosey though.

But the point is: "liberal progressive" politics began in the 1960s. I remember it well. In fact I found it rather liberating at the time (though I was no hippy I hasten to add) but now, in 2008, I can see the damage that this has done to Britain and our society. You really can trace many of today's problems back to that decade.

In regards to this specific case in Carshalton we don't really know what has happened, this will become clear in the media as time goes on.

However we can be sure that if we are to fix Britain's now increasingly sick society we need drastic action.

The permissive liberal politics of the swinging sixties must end.

(Here endeth the lecture)

Scully said...

David

Not point scoring but a wider political point. Sean has it right. I was merely commenting after your disillusionment. This case may well be a result of mental health problems but your wider diagnosis of society since the 60s and 70s merits comment.

I don't know if Philippa and the CSJ have all of the answers but it is good that someone has the vision to try. There are plenty of people that think that society is not what it once was. The CSJ recognises that and is trying to analyse and remedy the situation.

Although I would be supportive of the "clip around the ear" approach, I think that we are beyond that now.

David Theobald said...

I dont think this case has much to do with politics of any persuasion or that anyone could have done much different.

In my humble view, one of the main causes of the spate of Anti social behaviour and "Urban Posturing" as a judge called it t'other day is that, since the lurch of the major parties towards the same few square yards of no mans land, there are tracts, in my ward for one, there are now millions of people who have been alienated due to the lack of representation of their views and needs. Most people get narked if they think nobody cares or listens to them! I think the 60's get a bum rap generally, the decade was an antithesis of the post war fifties and its austerity. The overbearing paradox of nannyism and liberal (with a small "L") authoritarianists has its roots much nearer to now.

cllr david pickles said...

Paul, I take your points on board and generally agree with your wider view of it. Indeed, I was a child of the 50's and enjoyed the 60's with immense pleasure, becoming a hippy in the early 70's (and enjoying all that had to offer to). As a parent of two now, I often blame the 60's "liberal" culture of the time for all our ills now, but cannot agree that this is the answer to all our problems.

Yes, the 60's had a lot to offer and lot to fault, but on balance, I would rather be back there than now. Today's world is full of hypocrisy and crap, and I'm afraid the politics of it all stinks.

At least then, there was clear water between the three parties. Today? You couldn't insert a fag paper between them, and that is especially true for the Cameroons and the Tories locally.

Give me the Thatcher revolution anytime - at least she was a leader and had guts. Cameron? Don't make me laugh.

Scully said...

David

It is important to consider these decades as this is when the parents of today's children were growing up and so these years were influential on those people. This is in the same way that the 60s were partly as a result of the War and the strictures of the 50s. Society has changed gradually over some decades, though some aspects are declining at an accelerated rate now.

When I talk of 'progressive' politics in the 60s and 70s, I talk of the agendas of those in some schools and local government, not necessarily national government (although Wilson, Heath and Callaghan wouldn't be in my top 10 of PMs). I enjoyed growing up inthe 70s and 80s. It's funny to think that children now have opportunities that we never had but then we were able to do some basic things in innocence that some children today are sheltered from, such as walking to school alone from a young age.

In the same way that the breakdown has taken so long, it will take a long time to fix. This is why it has always been beyond poiticians only looking four years ahead until the next election. This is why I am pleased that someone is looking at it with a view of embedding long term policies into a short/medium term manifesto. It is too important to be left to the people whose muddled-thinking and inverse snobbery caused the problem in the first place.

David Park said...

There is another element to this. Yes, we need to tackle 'anti-social behaviour.' But the flip-side is that we need to encourage 'social' behaviour too. If the initial reports about this sda episode are to be believed, the mother was depressed in part because she was alone at home for most of the day with no-one to speak to and the stress of bringing up 3 kids (added to financial difficulties etc).

How many people even know the names of their neighbours these days? Let alone talk to them?

With people working longer and longer hours, shopping etc being done over the internet and so on, traditional 'society' and neighbourhoods are fragmenting. That needs to be addressed too.

And to be fair to Phillipa, the Centre for Social Justice does, I think, at least address the need for a return to localism, stronger neighbourhoods, personal responsibility for those around you etc.

Slightly tagental to the issue and other posts but there you go...

sean ludlow-harris said...

Picking up on Councillor Pickles' point about "today's world is full of hypocrisy and crap", it would be fanciful to suggest that these vague conditions only exist in the current world. They form a part of the human condition.

Focusing on Mr Theobald’s suggestion that the 1960s get a ‘bum rap’ - having been there the 1960s, in my view, generated many of the ill thought out cultural attitudes which have contributed to society's problems today. It was a bit of fun at the time but we're paying the price now. In some cases a terrible price.

Take the alleged 'sexual revolution' which seemed to make promiscuity and single parenthood legitimate, even fashionable, lifestyle choices have helped to shape an uneducated, socially inert and economically costly underclass.

You can track a direct correlation between rising divorce rates and the 'progressive attitudes' of the 1960s, leading to more fatherless children, more broken homes, and more children without male role models. The latter is now accepted by most policy makers in the mainstream with the exception of the ardent left (some of whom infiltrate the upper echelons of the New Labour movement, Harriet Harman springs to mind with her pernicious view of feminism). A welfare society that actively requires women to get pregnant as a source of financial support in the absence of a father or traditional family structure will only exacerbate the problem and you can trace its origins firmly to the 1960s.

If the family is critical to the wellbeing of society, and I think the Cameron Tory Party now accepts this, in a similar way to the Thatcherites accepting that self-reliance is key for a healthy economy, we must closely scrutinise the mistakes of the 1960s, unravel them, understand their implications and try to stop the destructive spiral before civic society itself becomes the victim.

Personally, I place the blame squarely at the sixties' feet and at all governments and policy makers since that have failed to grasp the nettle. I'd rather live in that decade because the full effects of its grievous errors were not yet felt.

Finally, Paul, I don’t know much about Ms Stroud’s venture in this area but I would be keen to learn more.

David Theobald said...

I too was around in the 60's (I was a Suez Baby!)and can proudly boast that only one of my 6 siblings divorced (She was mad anyway!) and I was the last one to be wed in 1979 so we have quite a collection of major anniversaries to our name. I think the progressive era of the 60's largest drawback was that its nemesis, in the form of Thatcherism, changed my country in far worse ways and, through no fault of our own, we had to nurture our newlyborn son on the dole, lost our house and were constantly advised that I and my 5-6 million compadres were being wiped out for the long term good of the country while watching some unexceptional folks make a killing in the city while wearing some terrible clothes!. I recall being told to get on my bike and find work, I never had the money to buy a bike, all went on keeping my family together.

I applaud Pauls efforts and the new Tory attitude, far, far better tham its antecedents and gives a credible choice for the voter nationally.

Maria said...

i think the local conservatives party has made leaps and bounds in becoming more electable and showing they are fit for power again. i applaud the efforts too!

Scullduggery Watch said...

Both Scully and Maria's responses show that the Carshalton murders are being used for blatant electioneering purposes by the hierarchy of the Sutton Conservatives.

I see nothing of any substance in Maria's posting. Imagine the family of the murdered offspring reading such vitriol. I would think that they would find such overt joy at the political capital being made out of the needless deaths of their young relatives to be quite upsetting.

cllr david pickles said...

I have to agree. I see nothing in "Maria's posting" either except deept joy at the prospect of a Tory council. What has that got to do with this tragic case. Can Philippa Stroud walk on water then? Would reams of paper, hand-wringing, social workers galore and inquiry after inquiry have prevented this?

How many more tragedies are there going to be?

If this country spent our money on the things that really mattered instead of frittering it, then maybe this poor woman may have had somewhere to turn to. As I understand it her husband worked 7 days per week to keep the family business going, so that says sweet fanny adams for enterprise here. How difficult it is for some people to keep a roof over their heads. So practical policies are what is needed, not pseudo bleeding-heart liberal responses to societies problems.

Scully said...

Sorry if I haven't made myself clear here. The Carshalton tragedy is an event that could have happened anywhere as many of us have said here. David Pickles widened the discussion to his disillusionment of the world today after this event but charitably, I assume that he was talking about the wider issue of the breakdown of society after mentioning that the 60s and 70s were better times to live in, according to his view.

I can't speak for Maria, but there is a wider discussion to have here. Rather than any electioneering, some jaundiced views appear to be taking this opportunity to score some personal points. There are two threads within this section. One about the events in Carshalton, one about knife crime in general. I'm sorry that you choose not to see this.

I am not talking about liberal responses in regard to the Carshalton event or even knife crime. However it is important that we try to take a pragmatic view to the root causes of the problem as a whole. By the time someone is carrying a knife with a gang, it is too late.

sean ludlow-harris said...

Councillor Scully, I see your detractors would rather distort this discussion than address my points. Pity, because Councillor Pickles shows himself up for failing to respond to legitimate discussion, preferring to make what appear to be quite cheap political points which are unbecoming for someone who purports to like debate and discussion.

Myself - I prefer to discuss the issues.

So let's try and get the discussion on the issues going again. Councillor Pickles, you say, in a rather platitudinal way, that "practical policies" are required; would you care to expand on this? What kind of policies? Councillor Scully, I could ask the same of you too?

cllr david pickles said...

Mr Ludlow-Harris - what I mean by "practical policies" are summed up thus:-

1. The vulgar and obscene waste of public money that has been perpetrated by not only this government but previous ones should, and could have been used in different ways - ie crime is prevalent, therefore build more prisons, don't release them early. That takes any number of criminals off the streets.

2. Every time there is a murder, be it knife or gun, all we hear is wailing from the bleeding-heart Liberal tendency about inquiries and "it must never happen again". It inevitably does. So why are we wasting money on pen-pushers, reams of paper and "inquiries" when a no-nonsense get tough policy is what is required. Interesting to note here that the Tories have lost the political will on this. If we are to believe Cllr Scully, as I have stated before, it appears that Philippa (nice person that she is), can walk on water. I'm not interested in why things happen, I want those who perpetrate these deeds punished, and punished hard, not sent to "Butlins" for a few years.

3. If the above monies had not been wasted through the years, then there would be proper controls in place for this poor woman (who was obviously under severe stress and mentally disturbed), to possibly have been seen and treated and therefore this event may not have happened.

4. It's quite obvious from all the discussions here that things will not change one iota IF the tories win either Sutton or the next general election. They are going down exactly the same road as (i) the government, and (ii) the Lib-Dems.

There probably isn't one politician in the house today that has any guts.

Scullduggery Watch said...

"Rather than any electioneering, some jaundiced views appear to be taking this opportunity to score some personal points."

Using this case to bang the drum for Philipa Stroud is about as jaundiced as they come, Paul. Of course this was straight after you informed a political rival that it was too early to postulate on this issue. Rather fickle aren't you?

"I can't speak for Maria, but there is a wider discussion to have here."

It is a pity that Councillor Scully can pontificate over the comments offered by his political rivals but not condemn such blatant political cheerleading on a thread about murdered children.

If Sean Ludlow-Harris feels that this thread is being distorted by those of us who object to this sensitive topic transcending debate and entering into the realms of blatant electoral promotions then it does reveal something extremely unpleasant about his character.

Scully said...

One final time for Scullduggery Watch. The comments about Philippa Stroud and the CSJ refer not to the Carshalton incident but to the breakdown of society as a whole which is the root cause of David Pickles' disillusionment.

It's obvious that I cannot speak for Maria as I do not know who she is. However this is not a news blog. It is a collection of my news and views about Carshalton, the Borough and further afield. It is written in my capacity as a Conservative councillor and I have made no claims that it is impartial. However, I am keen to encourage debate about the issues. Your contribution to this thread has been to attack me, Maria and Sean Ludlow-Harris without any substance or rationale. It is for this reason that I have occasionally moderated the blog. Not to discourage freedom of speech but because I haven't got the time or inclination to deal with personal abuse unrelated to the matter at hand and I do not believe that most people want to read comments dominated by a personal vendetta. It's a shame that you have reverted to your original role of vexatious correspondent instead of sharing your view on how to stop knife crime. You have a more appropriate vehicle to publicise your pointed personal feelings elsewhere.

Scullduggery Watch said...

"The comments about Philippa Stroud and the CSJ refer not to the Carshalton incident"

Yes it was sheer coincidence it should happen to appear on this thread. Free publicity is a wonderful thing regardless of who it might upset, hence Maria's posting went without criticism from Scully & Co.

"Your contribution to this thread has been to attack me, Maria and Sean Ludlow-Harris without any substance or rationale."

Councillor Scully seems to feel that Maria's conduct was acceptable and that I should not have spoken up against such inappropriate vitriol where he had failed to do so. Clearly such an impassioned defence suggests some connection between you all somewhere along the line.

"It is for this reason that I have occasionally moderated the blog."

Not true, Paul. You moderated this blog between the 1st and 2nd of June 2008. I did not post on this thread until mid-afternoon on the 3rd of June. You moderated because you did not like the justifiable criticism you received from someone else for using this sensitive topic to promote your political colleague.

"Not to discourage freedom of speech but because I haven't got the time or inclination to deal with personal abuse unrelated to the matter at hand and I do not believe that most people want to read comments dominated by a personal vendetta."

Oh, so people want to read vitriolic comments offering political parties free publicity after a double-child murder instead?

I do not recall seeing any profane comments, expletive filled remarks nor off-topic posts in this thread before you enabled moderation. What I did see was some constructive criticism directed at you. If you cannot tolerate such feedback from other members of the electorate then you should perhaps reconsider hosting your own political blog and perhaps opt for an alternative career instead. All in all there was no justifiable reason for you to enable moderation at the time you did.

Be honest for once, Paul. If another correspondent from any other part of the political spectrum had have spouted such vitriolic aplomb as Maria did you would have ripped her to pieces, and rightfully so. However, you have chosen not to do so and will continue to to avoid criticising Maria as the comments that were made were in support of your own objectives.

Scully- you are so very hypocritical it is disgusting to behold.

Scully said...

It wasn't coincidence. It was answering another point raised by David Pickles. You fail to realise that this is my political blog which as yet is not regulated by Ofblog. Therefore as I am the one who takes responsibility for the contents, I decide the editorial policy. I assume that your membership of the Conservative party precludes you from supporting some sort of blogging collective.

If you are disgusted, please do feel free not to behold this blog.

Scully said...

Sean

I'll try to get back to the discussion at hand by detailing some of the policies first suggested by the Centre for Social Justice that have been adopted by the Conservatives or which they have shown strong support.

Restoring a link to marriage and the tax system will go some way to strengthen family ties. A transferable tax allowance between married couples and rebalancing the system to give extra support to those families where one partner stays at home to look after the children helps to avoid latch-key children and gives young children the attention and role-models that are helpful in early years. Universal home health visits will identify problems at an early stage (the one policy that may have helped in the Carshalton situation) and recognising the importance of informal childcare by, for example, grandparents encourages a wider family support network as often happened in years gone by.

The Conservative "Work for Welfare" paper reflects the CSJ's assertion that benefits need to have closer links to the fact that people are actively seeking work. Lone parents going to an appropriate level of work when their youngest child reaches 5, getting the private and voluntary sectors involved in welfare-to-work services and extended support to help keep people in employment all will help in areas where 2 or 3 generations of a family have not worked and in estates where up to 80% of the population are out of work.

The CSJ first proposed allowing groups of parents and charities to set up schools free from local authority control. The Conservatives have proposed the expansion of 'behaviour contracts' between parents, schools and children to help avoid parents passing on parenting responsibility to the school and also that every child who is capable of doing so should be reading by the age of six.

The CSJ were ahead in calling for the reclassification of cannabis from Class C to Class B. They called for increasing alcohol prices through taxation in a controversial move. The Government and the Conservatives have moved towards this position for strong beer and cider and also alcopops to reduce binge-drinking. They also promoted more extensive drugs programmes to actually help addicts recover rather than just manage their addiction.

Finally the CSJ has proposed measures to tackle serious personal debt which is often a factor in family breakdown. These include making it easier for banks and lenders to share information so that they know their client's existing scale of debt and to combat the ridiculous levels of interest charged by doorstep lenders.

I can't see that this is wishy-washy stuff. The subject matter is often written off by some as the domain of the Left. This has been the reason that there have been few effective solutions for thirty years. I don't believe that Shaun Bailey and Ray Lewis that they are gutless. They both have real track records in tackling these issues with Ray running an academy where he puts children through bootcamp style drills with the assistance of three "burly black men of testicular fortitude" as he describes them.

I can't disagree with David Pickles' assertions that money has been wasted by government, that we need to build more prisons and that we need tougher sentencing and a tougher prison regime. However this is only tackling crime after it has occurred. Social workers will tell you that it is becoming easier to spot the children that will go on to a life of crime and/or addiction, even while they are still in the womb on occasion. However there is little that they can do at the moment apart from the liberal hand-wringing. Looking at the ideas above they are practical and pragmatic. If effective, they could have a beneficial long-term affect on behaviour, crime, addiction and in reducing the welfare state. Pretty sound aspirations if you ask me.

sean ludlow-harris said...

Thank you, Councillor Pickles, for responding, I do appreciate it, but I must confess I am more than a little disappointed in your response. You’ll excuse me for finding it really quite lightweight.

Your “pragmatic policies” aren’t policies at all. They’re merely expressions of popular – yet bland - political opinion which read more like Daily Mail headlines than policies designed to address society’s problems.

For example, you think government wastes taxpayers’ money. Who doesn’t?

You think navel gazing and hand wringing from the chattering classes won’t make our streets a jot safer. Who doesn’t?

You think we need more prisons to get criminals off of our streets. Who doesn’t?

You think we need tougher punishments for criminals not holiday camp prisons. Who doesn’t?

You think we need less pen-pushing and tougher policies on tackling crime. Who doesn’t?

If you can excuse the impertinence these are bland statements, they are not policies.

The Merriam-Webster definition of “policy” is:

'2 a: a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions b: a high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures especially of a governmental body'

Let’s take you up on your crime “pragmatic policy” of not bothering to understand why crimes happen. I’m no liberal softy myself and I think people should be punished with the full severity of the law for criminal offences – that’s what the criminal law is there for, but I totally disagree with your assertion that we need to understand why crimes happen. Is it not desirable to prevent crimes before they happen to best of our ability? I think it is. Understanding why certain crimes take place is the best way to prevent them in the future. I’d like to prevent crime as well as detect it, and punish offenders accordingly.

And as for the Tories – I don’t quite understand your preoccupation with what this party is or isn’t doing. I gather you were an activist for a long time and left under a cloud, but I can’t see why you preoccupy yourself so incessantly with what they are or aren’t doing. Seeing as your are in your own political party now why don’t you concentrate on selling your policies and attacking the parties in power – Liberals locally and Labour nationally – rather than what appears to be a little bit like obsessive fixations on the Conservatives.

Would you like to try again with some pragmatic policies? I look forward to your response.

sean ludlow-harris said...

Paul,

Thank you for this insight into the work of the 'CSJ'. So, in short their political convictions are: -

- They think marriage is important to society and that hard-working families should be given tax relief.

- That family breakdown causes many of society’s troubles.

- They think part of today's problems are traceable to a lack of male role models due to family breakdown.

- That welfare should be linked to seeking work, and that perennial joblessness isn't an option.

- That lone parents should be moved back into the work stream and long term reliance on the state is not desirable or ultimately tolerable.

- That schools should be set up without the strictures of local councils, freeing up education, and promoting choice.

- That parental responsibility is essential to a decent society.

- That the approach to drugs like cannabis should not be liberalised.

- That drugs is a scourge and we need to eradicate addiction.

- That binge-drinking is a plague on society and requires active intervention to address the problem, even if that includes taxation.

- That families should be encouraged to be more self-reliant and not to build up massive levels of debt which can instigate family breakdown.

- That it endorses the tough love measures of people like Mr Lewis which includes boot camps for antisocial children and teens.

I think these political standpoints make a lot of sense. Would it be fair to say that many of these problems have their origins in the 'progressive politics' of the 1960s?

cllr david pickles said...

Mr Ludlow-Harris

Firstly, let me put you straight on one thing. I was a Tory activist for many years, in fact since the age of 11, but I did NOT leave under a cloud. I left on a two points of principal. One was the Tories infurating negativity towards mass and uncontrolled immigration (which we are suffering from courtesy of the EU), Cllr Scully's response to my statement on it, and the Tories complete lack of plans to do anything about it. Mind you, even if they had a plan, which they don't they couldn't do anything about it, because as you well know we have no control over our own borders.

Secondly, and finally, I left because of the Tory stance on grammar schools. In one breath Cameron showed his disregard for the majority of people when he stated that "grammar schools are a good thing..............er but we won't build anymore".

Please don't lecture me on "policies". It's quite clear that the Tory party are making them up on the hoof. If you want to quote the Daily Mail at me, then you only need to look at what Cameron has been spouting in the past 18 months.

I reiterate my earlier reply to you. If you throw my comments back and say "who doesn't", then I ask you - why don't the Tories?

I have no need to attack the Lib-Dems locally and Labour nationally here, my views on them are quite well known and documented. It's the Tories I will continue to attack, because having been a member of them for so long, I now see them for what they are, and that ain't very nice. In any case, this is supposed to be a democracy, with freedom of speech, so why do you, along with other Tory propagandists here always flinch when somebody attacks the Tory party?

Scully said...

Sean

Your summary is a fair one. 'Progressive politics' in this context had its roots in the sixties but continued to develop through the seventies and eighties. The Comprehensive School system was introduced by the Wilson Government in 1965. The changes were too far down the line by the time Maggie was Education Secretary in the seventies. During this time many Local Education authorities wielded a lot more power than they do now. One of the most notorious examples was the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) which was largely run by left wingers until its abolition in 1990. It spent an inordinate amount of money and followed an agenda serving the members rather than the children. In the eighties for example, ILEA concentrated unduly on promoting gender equality pushing propaganda into schools. It deliberately set an illegally high budget in 1985. It was bailed out by Ken Livingstone and the GLC before that was abolished.

The divorce rate in the UK is something like 6 times what it was in the sixties and remains one of the highest in Europe. On top of this unmarried parents are 5 times more likely to split up by their child's 5th birthday than married parents so you can start to see the number of broken homes that we have. This is not to write off anyone that is brought up by a single parent, only to point out that many who would benefit from the support of two parents and the role models that they provide are denied this opportunity.

The proliferation of drugs and weapons on our streets and the ease of which they can be obtained is another contributing factor as is the relatively low cost of alcohol.

Many of these problems have increased exponentially in recent years but I believe that the seeds were sown in the values, surroundings and the failure to deal with the explosion of the welfare state from as far back as the parents of today's youngsters. It was a collective failure but we need to stop looking backwards, roll up our sleeves and concentrate on what we are going to do to put things right.

Scully said...

David

You say that the Tories are making up policy on the hoof. I have just summarised about 29 separate policies that were developed over a year's research with experts in their fields and then published for consultation a full two years before the likely election. If that is making policy on the hoof then that's fine by me. Taking three years to write a manifesto that is good for a four year parliament suggests that a little more thought is being given than you would credit us with.

As a "Tory propagandist", you'd hardly expect me sit back whilst you attack the Conservative Party any less than I would expect you to roll over if someone had a pop at UKIP. I try to keep a steady stream of non-party political stories in amongst the rest but I'm not surprised that many readers of this particular blog would be Tory-leaning.

sean ludlow-harris said...

Thank you for your comments, Councillor Pickles.

In the spirit of freedom of speech and democracy, would you care to address my point that you rather rashly discount in understanding the nature of crimes because in your view it is a somehow pointless exercise? Would you perhaps accept the validity of my contention that understanding a problem is the key to solving it, and that society's problems are in no way different. Regrettably you seem to have missed that point entirely, I offer you a second bite at the cherry, as it were. Please explain why failing to understand the origins of crime is of value?

Secondly, on your platform of offering “pragmatic policies” I am keen to invite you, again, to offer some. You have an indisputable gift for unaccountable rhetorical outbursts – this is much is evidence by your statements on this discussion thus far – but aside from these polemic rants, do you have to offer any elucidation on the “pragmatic policies” which you promised, yet you evidently are keen to keep hidden away?

I’m not a propagandist, as you incorrectly suggest; I’m a Suttonian and I enjoy the discourse which this blog offers. Being beyond retirement age I find the whole local politics scene interesting, to the consternation of my somewhat apolitical wife, but I will of course bow to your superior knowledge of the political scene.

As Oscar Wilde once said, "I am not young enough to know everything." Perhaps you are.

Havering Tory said...

Hi,

ConHome today says "Good policy is 10% brainwave, 10% idea development and 80% implementation."

It is an excellent article. pointing out that the shadow cabinet has a distinct lack of real life of experience, particularly shadow chancellor George Osborne, it says that they can learn from the excellent delegation & appointment skills of mayor Boris Johnson bringing in a strong team of people with very extensive experience to advise and implement policy for the capital.

the really relevant point in this article is about implementation. It says that implementation is the most important part of any policy. They call it Maude's Law.

I see some debate about the nature of policy on this blog and I think I agree with Sean that David P's idea of policy is all about the brainwave and no scheme of implementation.

You can have all the good ideas and intentions in the world but if you're not serious about developing them and implementing them then you might as well back up and go home.

this is the problem with the Liberal Democrats and Ukip and other minor political parties, they just don’t have any convincing plan to implement policies. they have no shortage of ideas but no plan to make them reality.

read it at http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2008/06/labour-sacks-tr.html

cllr david pickles said...

Havering Tory - and Sean Ludlow-Harris.

If you want a flavour of UKIP policy, then I suggest you go to www.ukip.org

That should tell you all you need to know.

Scully said...

David

I have had a look at the website and in particular the document "Rebalancing Justice". This document explains that UKIP is "comptemptuous of the David Cameron-ascribed concept of 'hug-a-hoodie' which is the point that is at the heart of your failure to understand the concepts and policies being discussed here. UKIP have fallen into a trap of failing to research the matter properly. Instead of reading David Cameron's speech, they have relied on a phrase that was coined by the News of the World, and never uttered by the Tory leader.

The Executive Summary of the document says that UKIP regards the lack of youth centres as a problem that exacerbates the juvenile crime situation, but no mention is made of this in the body of the report suggesting that this isn't a summary at all. There are no proposals costed or not, to reverse the trend of youth centre closures.

It is interesting that UKIP will abolish the use of Dispersal Orders as they may be used against young people that are doing nothing wrong. Yet other tough action is proposed without similar consideration as to their possible misuse.

Finally, the document insists that a copy of the original Magna Carta should be placed in the Houses of Parliament. This is despite the fact that there has been one hanging on the wall of the Royal Gallery in Parliament for as long as I remember. Although symbolic, I doubt if many UKIP members will get much from reading it. You can see why here.

I can see why you might find it difficult to answer Sean's questions if this is the level of support that you get from the central party. Their rhetoric is not designed to come up with meaningful answers to the questions of the day, bar Europe and Immigration but to pander to a section of the population that have a kneejerk reaction to headlines and believe that it was better 'in my day.'

I'm certainly not writing off everything that UKIP stands for and discusses on their site, but the lack of solutions reflects the lack of deeper understanding of the problems.

sean ludlow-harris said...

Thank you for the link, Councillor Pickles.

Are you not willing to articulate your party's policies with any gusto, or are you disenchanted with their Daily Mail-style policy platitudes now that their desperate weaknesses have been demonstrated to you?

I'm presently giving you an opportunity to convince me to vote for UKIP? Why won't you take it?

Scullduggery Watch said...

More contradictions from straight from the hierarchy of the Sutton Conservatives. This one is brought to you straight from Sean BR-Harris and his Guv'nor The Rt. Dis-Hon. Scully Il Duce:

"They’re merely expressions of popular – yet bland - political opinion which read more like Daily Mail headlines than policies designed to address society’s problems."
-SBRH, 04 June 2008 20:13:00 GMT

"I enjoy the writing of Quentin Letts (inset), sketchwriter for the Daily Mail and contributor to any number of other newspapers and magazines. He has a wicked sense of humour and a healthy disdain for most politicians."
-Scully, April 02, 2008

Scully appears to be at odds with one of his lieutenants over permitted reading material.

The funny thing is I always thought it was the domain of the Libs and Labs to criticise that particular publication when the going got tough.

I do fear that negative comments such as this will help to alienate the Tory grass roots voters even further. The Daily Mail is probably the most widely read newspaper amongst the blue rosette crowd. It has certainly been rather helpful at exposing the Labour Government for what they are- as Scully will surely attest.

Can we see a little consistency from hierarchy of the Sutton Conservatives please?

Andrew Phelps said...

Scullduggery Watch spends too much time in family squabbles and this is what festers the angst displayed in the mad rantings of a lunatic... get some family therapy, you'll feel much better

Scully said...

If many commentators are to be believed, Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail and Gordon Brown are firm friends.

Dacre has described Brown as "touched by the mantle of greatness", a description that I doubt is shared by many of his readers. The friendship appears originally to have been fuelled by their shared view of a certain T. Blair.

sean ludlow-harris said...

Paul, it seems your detractor won't engage with the discussion and I can’t quite fathom what point he's trying to make here. If a contradiction is to be found by Paul liking a writer’s work and my repudiation of bland political gestures I’m yet to find it, but nevermind, we digress.

I am interested to note that Councillor David Pickles has not taken up my polite request for him to present me with some reasons for voting for his political party. I can only speculate through his unusual abstinence that he cannot muster a reason as to why I, or anyone else, for that matter should vote for him or his.

So let me draw my own interim conclusions. It seems Councillor Pickles that your party has little more than a series of undeliverable statements and pronouncements of political opinion to offer the electorate. After a little research it seems that the party has little aspiration for power (which through its actions it must see as unobtainable) and only exists to obsess about the Conservatives. This is, in its own way, quite tragic. I can only draw the conclusion that it is a home for disgruntled Tories and that you likely fall into that category.

I might, in the absence of your comments, go one step further and suggest that you are doing the borough of Sutton and whichever ward you represent a disservice. I say this because as an avowed ‘conservative’ low tax advocate you – albeit it in a minor way given the political complexion of the council – are helping the left wing high tax Liberal Democrat party; a party which from your previous postings on various occasions you purport to hate.

Perhaps you and your ‘lieutenant’ would like to address that contradiction in your public service?

cllr david pickles said...

Mr "Ludlow-Harris". I have just looked in on this blog, but am very busy with other things at the moment and am off out yet again to visit more constituents.

However, I will answer your queries in full in my own good time, probably later on this evening.

Scullduggery Watch said...

I am sorry to see that Scully is having some problems recruiting suitable candidates to act as his fawning flunkies, Sean BR-Harris does not appear to understand the point I was trying to make and has only served to demonstrate that we have now reached the outer limits of his powers of rational thought.

One's boss cannot simply pour praise upon a publication's talented writers (to the point of dedicating a thread to a certain Mr Letts) one minute and then have his subordinate slag it off by claiming it's headlines are filled with unhelpful rhetoric the next.

Sack 'im, Paul!

I must also ask if Andrew Phelps is just failing miserably at his attempt to give me a good monstering or whether he perhaps works for RELATE and is offering his services?

sean ludlow-harris said...

I still see no contradiction, as I have never met Councillor Scully, but I do find this blog informative and the discussion on here mostly interesting except when it is hijacked by some obviously bitter detractors.

I find it interesting that Councillor David Pickles prefers his cheerleader to post in his stead as he fails to comply with my suggestion that he attempt to advocate his own policies in a more substantive way rather than solely deride those of others.

Having deduced that you're either him (which is most disappointing if so) or you're taking orders from him could we hurry please, I'm starting to lose interest.

Scully said...

Why Sean BR-Harris? Is this an in-joke that I've missed?

sean ludlow-harris said...

Actually I'd like to know what the BR-Harris is supposed to mean, but I'd rather have an answer to my enquiries regarding the strengths of UKIP 'policies'.

I suppose it was a pretty tall order for a UKIP politician and his mouthpiece.

We must therefore assume there are no strengths. Ho hum, at least I tried.

cllr david pickles said...

Mr "Ludlow-Harris". At last, I have found the time (some councillors put in an extreme amount of work you know), to answer your queries.

I don't quite understand what it is you want to know, but I will do my best here to satisfy you.

UKIP have a range of full and costed policies both locally and nationally. You will be aware, of course, that our core policy is agitating toleave the EU. Unfortunately it suits both the Tories and Lab/Lib-Dem to remain in such an institution, that not only costs the British taxpayer £1bn per WEEK but is also exceedingly undemocratic. We believe in small government, nationally and locally, unlike the Tories who will never be able to cut taxes because they are wedded to Labour's spending plans (just as Labour were to Tory plans when they got elected in 1997). If you want my take on crime - then I believe that capital punishment should be reintroduced. UKIP would double the number of prison places and take the scum off the streets. UKIP pledge a grammar school in every town, unlike Cameron who made the famous gaffe this time last year that "we think grammar schools are brilliant............er but we won't be building any more" Fantastic! The party that think they are the next government condemn poorer children from poorer backgrounds to a second-rate education.

Let's now turn to crime. Do the Tories want hanging returned? No, of course not, because it conflicts with the precious EU diktats, of which we are inexorably bound.

Fiscal Policy? Let's see now. "We will share the proceeds of growth between tax cuts and public spending". Pardon me whilst I vomit. That means there will be NO tax cuts under a Tory regime, because the Tories haven't got the guts enough to cut public spending, even though in their hearts they know that is what is needed.

........and finally.......what a clever move by the Lib-Dems to restrain council-tax rises this year. On the surface people are complaining because the tax has still gone UP.......which it has. But underlying that is the fact that they have actually pared spending to the bone, so leaving no room whatsoever for Scully and Co to cut any more.

If you don't accept that, then look at the figures, do your homework and you will see that Brennan and Co have actually painted the Tories into a very tight corner indeed.

So for all your posturing Mr "Ludlow-Harris" (or is it BR?), even if the Tories take council in 2010 the poor downtrodden residents of Sutton borough will still be subject to the same old theme.

That is.......more tax.......poorer services. It's a vicious circle.

And that is my FINAL word on the subject. I will leave it to the electorate to decide as I believe in democracy, unlike most on here.

Scully said...

David

I think that Sean was looking for some policies which would help reverse the social breakdown that we started discussing a while ago. Hanging and more prison places would act as a deterrent for some and would take criminals off the street after they have committed a crime but it is only looking at half the problem.

Once someone is stabbed, they stay stabbed. Far better to prevent the crime in the first place.

scott nugent said...

if your such a supporter of democracy david pickles why didnt you call a byelection when you defected parties and why won't you still?

scotty

cllr david pickles said...

So Paul - youv'e finally nailed your colours to the mast. You think that the new "TOUCHY-FEELY" tories, under the Philippa Stroud mask can prevent crime? Isn't it far better to inform the scum that if they commit one they will be suitably punished?

Of course you don't. You've laid it bare. All the Tories under Cameron (and yourself locally) want to do is pander to lefty interests where crime is concerned. I think that supports my reason for moving to UKIP.

Unfortunately the Tory party I supported originally in 1966 is definitely not the same one now.

Scully said...

David

The answer to your second point is no it isn't better to inform the scum etc.

Yes, they need deterrents. Yes criminals need proper punishment but if you think that capital punishment is the only answer then why does America still have knife crime? The UK already puts more people in prison than any other country in Western Europe but we still have knife crime.

Your last post has totally disregarded the 49 other posts in this thread. As you have no meaningful points to make, you simply resort to headlines and name-calling. Meanwhile teenagers continue to carry knives and commit crime. They fear other children more than they do the risk of getting caught. Your answer is to increase their fear of getting caught, which is fine; but not to bother attempting to reduce their fear of others.

Whilst you sit in front of your screen simmering, you have become the same person that moaned at you when you were young saying that things were better before the war. Meanwhile Boris Johnson has doubled the number of uniformed officers on the public transport system within a month and banned drinking. Please just sit and read the list of policies that I detailed further up the page and let me know which one of these is "touchy-feely". Maybe it is the bootcamps that Ray Lewis runs in East London, maybe it's the 'Work for Welfare' scheme which makes the long-term unemployed join a community work programme to ensure that they keep their benefits?

Of course the Tory Party is not the same as the one in 1966. Life has moved on and the problems that we face moved on. I'm sure that back then you worked hard in helping them deliver their manifesto which promised that they would "restore respect for Britain and lead her into Europe.":)

sean ludlow-harris said...

Thank you Mr "Pickles" for your response. But you've managed to do the same thing again, treat us all to some platitudes peppered with bitter and increasingly tedious sideswipes at the Conservatives whilst offering nothing that even remotely resembles a really well thought out “pragmatic policy”, as per your earlier boast.

Among the answered questions which have been the stimulating topic of this discussion are: What would UKIP going to do to tackle family breakdown and ease the tax burden on hard working families? What would UKIP do to reserve the perennial joblessness that forms a way of life for so many parts of our inner cities, costing the taxpayer billions? What would UKIP do to reduce the rates of teenage pregnancy which only leads to yet more people out of work and on the dole in sink estates, also costing us billions?

So, it's UKIP policy to leave the European Union, that's fine by me I’m no fan of the institution, but is that the universal panacea to turn around failing schools, get yobs off the streets, tackling family breakdown, generational joblessness, or to stop the stabbings and the inner city carnage?

Oh yes, you'll double the amount of prison places, again that's fine by me. Death penalty? Certainly. It should be use in cases in where there is not a shadow of doubt as to guilt (interestingly that isn’t a UKIP policy). They’re just statements of political opinion - headlines, in fact. But that’s so much easier, I suppose, than actually having a programme for government.

Grammar schools in every town? Another headline. From an educational point of view almost this is as intellectually impoverished as Labour’s 50% of young people in higher education/university. Let us examine this further: if every township has a grammar school and say only 1 pupil passes his 11+ does that mean that there should be a grammar school for just 1 pupil, or 2, or 3? Or what happens if no pupils pass the test in the said township? In my view, education needs to be tailored to the needs and the abilities of its pupils, not set to rigid top-down gestures and carrying potentially exponential cost. It seems that this bland statement of political opinion is systemic of precisely the sort of Labour thinking that has ridden roughshod over our education system so remorselessly.

And yes, as Scotty Nugent has pointed out, is there not a bit of hypocrisy in your failure to call a by-election following your renunciation of your political mandate from your election, if you are such a passionate advocate of the democratic process? There’s just about two years left by my reckoning, it’s mid-term. You still have time, Councillor BS-“Pickles”.

Who knows, it might even give you the practice you require to attempt to sell UKIP’s policies to the electorate.

scott nugent said...

sean, doesnt look like david pickles is going to asnwer your questions or mine about a byelection. very cowardly.obviously knows he'd look like stupid again.

scotty

David Park said...

Since this thread seems to have been moved by Cllr pickles onto policy issues, I thought I'd just add a quick comment.

For the first time in years - and I've been a member since 1994 - the Conservative Party is doing some serious policy work. It's also refreshing to see that serious work going on locally as well, with the policy groups set up to create new ideas ahead of the Council elections in 2010. Serious policies should not be 'knee-jerk'but thought thorugh, costed and planned. That is why it is taking a while to move from Conservative 'interim' positions to full policy. Rightly so. Watch this space as they say.

And David P - UKIPs policies at the GLA election were the most awful set of knee-jerk ideas I have ever seen. Most weren't costed, many didn't relate to the responsibilities of the London Mayor and Assembly and some, quite frankly, were bordering (which side of the line I leave for you to say) on xenophobic anti-Islamic scaremongering. I was genuinely shocked.

Moving back slightly to the thread, I would point to another policy issue not debated above that this the sad story in Carshalton highlights.

Mental health care in this country is a disgrace. What was envisgaed as 'care in the community' (and yes, it was brought in by a Conservative Govt) has become an oxymoron. There are not enough facilities to treat people with mental health problems and sometimes they are not noticed eaerly enough. What's more, 95% of people in prison at the moment have at least one mental health condition. How can we expect some of these people to be rehabilitated when prison is probably the wrong place for them. There are not enough secure mental health units. There has been some excellent work done by Nick Herbert on this, and I would refer you to it at
http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=safer.greener.page

Sorry for the long post

Scully said...

David

Interesting that Bob Spink voted against UKIP party policy last night. Your 'Rebalancing Justice' document says that "detention without trial is an improper state of affairs" when arguing against control orders. I've also raised the point about the Magna Carta being at the heart of our democracy.

Why did Bob Spink then vote to legitimise this improper state of affairs and to consign habeus corpus to the history books?

cllr david pickles said...

Paul - I have no idea. What I am pleased about is that Bob Spink DID vote for 42 days detention. I think the Tories have been utterly gutless on this. So you think it's best not to have 42 days, and risk being blown apart by some suicidal maniac do you?

Sorry mate I don't do "civil liberties" or "human rights" when this country is under threat.

And now we have the degrading spectacle of Davis throwing his toys out of the pram over it and calling a by-election (more public money wasted).

Why don't you open up a new thread on this?, or is it that you don't want the Tories to be seen as "soft on terrorism"?