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Rotherham fostering scandal: wrong targets

Richard North, 07/12/2012  


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Sue Reid, who spent several days in Rotherham during the by-election campaign, writes in the Mail today, on the "UKIP fostering scandal".

The piece was to have been published last Saturday, but the paper had a touch of the wobblies when it discovered that that the issue centred on the Roma community, potentially having an "anti-immigration" paper seen to be supporting a community widely regarded as the plague of Europe (some would say "dregs").

Getting round this problem by keeping the references to "Roma" well down the page, and relatively low-key, this allows Reid to take the side of the parents who had their children removed by Rotherham social services and placed in foster care.

The events that transpired will come as no surprise to readers of the Booker column, where the Slovak "kiddie snatching" propensities of social services has been charted.

Reid has it that seven children from one family – six from the parents and a baby daughter of one of the married offspring – have been seized by social services, in highly contentious circumstances where the council is being branded as "rascist" for picking on the family because they are Roma, and social workers disapprove of their non-British lifestyle.

Whatever the merits of the social services' actions, Reid asserts, the 46-year-old father is angry at the way his children have been separated from each other by the authorities and the brutal manner in which they were removed.

The last "raid" on their home saw council staff and police hustle the children into cars as they screamed for their 34-year-old mother, who was left crying in the street. Neighbours who comforted her said the scene they witnessed was "appalling cruelty to an ordinary family".

The father says: "What has happened has broken my wife’s heart. She has talked of killing herself since her children were taken away. I would like to leave Britain, but I cannot desert my six children who are living in different groups with strangers".

As to the foster parents, on whom Farage spilled the beans to the Daily Telegraph, although they had three children removed, ostensibly because they were members of UKIP, behind this event is another more sinister issue where, in Rotherham, fostering Roma children has become a hugely profitable cottage industry.

Sue Reid actually touches on this, citing Lib-Dem MP John Hemming, who says that 500 English children of all backgrounds are taken into care each week. "Few realise how many Eastern European children are being taken away by social services", he adds.

But Hemming then reminds us of one of the more important issues here: "It will be costing Rotherham Council £40,000 a year for each of the seven children they have taken in this case", he says. That is a total of nearly £300,000 a year – to "support" one family.

The cost of this cannot be over-emphasised. The council taxes from the best part of 250 households are being spent on the "support" of one single Roma family. This is money desperately needed for other functions paid by a council that claims to be (and undoubtedly is) short of money.

Taken as a whole, "kiddie snatching" has become a multi-billion-pound "industry" and a huge burden on the public purse. When the tentacles extend to an immigrant community which we would rather were not here in the first place – at enormous cost to the taxpayer – this surely has to be a major issue.

Therefore, looking at the thrust of the story, as released by Farage, it is not untoward to say that he was pointing us in the wrong direction. And one wonders what is really going on here when the UKIP-supporting foster couple are now refusing to comment on the issue, at the behest – we are told – of the freedom-loving UKIP.

As we reported at the time of the by-election, Roma immigration was the real story in Rotherham, one which Farage and now the Mail is skirting round. A secondary by nevertheless important issue is the way the public sector is turning immigration into a job creation opportunity, and thirdly, we have the scandal of "kiddie snatching". 

When public funds are so tight, this is costing a whole bundle more, the bill for fostering alone reaching £3 billion a year - the same as the entire annual budget for the Metropolitan Police, the largest police force in the country. 

Even now, these issues are not getting the attention they deserve, and the reporting gets harder when the family courts are tightening their grip on the flow of information, while MPs and ministers are failing to get a grip of the situation.

From time to time, I am given to asking why it is that we do not rise up and slaughter "them", those of our public officials and politicians who are so profligate with our money – and would have us imprisoned if we refuse to give it to them. As time passes, I would really would like that question addressed.

The dangerous thing is that there appears to be no plausible answer.

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