UK - Only perfect parents permitted?

In a discussion that failed to cover the huge harms to both children and parents when children are ripped from families unnecessarily, and in what could be the biggest move towards our dystopian future to be revealed yet, a UK government minister has announced that children should be taken from parents under any pretext of belief in their danger, without hesitation.

Background - the Arthur Labinjo-Hughes case
Six-year-old Arthur's mother and father lived apart, she with her boyfriend, he with a woman he married (but who became the epitome of the evil stepmother). The mother and her boyfriend where mutually violent towards one another and one day, she killed her boyfriend. She was in prison for that and Arthur went to live with his father Thomas Hughes, possibly still suffering from domestic abuse himself, and his wife Emma Tustin. There, he was treated abominably and one day when the father wasn't at home, Arthur was killed by his stepmother. She has been jailed for life for murder and Thomas Hughes was jailed for 21 years for manslaughter for encouraging the killing.

The debate on Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in the House of Commons on 6 December 2021
The Secretary of State for Education (Nadhim Zahawi) (Stratford-upon-Avon) (Con) said that children should be removed from their families immediately if there is “any inkling” of harm to them

inkling: slight knowledge or suspicion; a hint.
(such as an anonymous phone call from a vindictive neighbour)

Simon Hoare MP (North Dorset) (Con) went a bit further, urging for a crusade for "the taking away of a child if there is a scintilla of a doubt".

John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington) (Lab) urged the House to accept some blame, pointing out that a report in March 2018 said that "after £2 billion-worth of cuts, children were at risk" and saying "we have seen a 40% cut in early interventions on children."

Bob Blackman MP (Harrow East) (Con) seemed to be one of the few talking who understood why child deaths of children who could have been saved have been happening. "The one common theme throughout this whole terrible series of events." he said, "is that the opportunities to take a child to safety were missed." He called for a thorough investigation if there is any suspicion and only removing a child to safety if necessary.

Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) (Lab) chipped in with a claim that "Some 300,000 children a year are affected by parental imprisonment". What he failed to mention was that the vast majority of these parents are men, or that men have less parental rights as prisoners than women (who do not have to be on good behaviour to associate with their children).

Laura Trott MP (Sevenoaks) (Con) called for moderation and said "a balance needs to be struck between taking children away from their parents… and making sure that they are safe". At least someone realises that you can't be perfect in this area but that you will do huge damage to thousands of children by taking children from parents under the slightest excuse.

It would be nice if the people supposed to be in control of our country where in control of themselves. One MP reported how she hugged her young children after hearing of the tragic death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. Does she not think the deaths of children on the road – more than one a day – is also tragic? Every avoidable death of a child is dreadful but if our MPs could think clearly instead of going into emotional breakdown, they might avoid doing a great deal more harm to society than any good they could hope for.

What nobody should be trying to do is increase the pain already suffered by thousands of innocent parents who need to fight for weeks, months and sometimes years just to be able to once again live with children, now scarred by a process that can't tell a vulnerable, bruised and malnourished child from a normal one.

Like0 Dislike0