Susan's Musings

Just Thinking Out Loud

The Rotherham Foster Case

I followed the media frenzy regarding the Rotherham Council fostering case yesterday.  I refer to it as the Rotherham Fostering case as opposed to the UKIP case as it wasn’t really about UKIP or at least it shouldn’t have been.

I’m not an expert in this area but I know that the Council should have a process for assessing the suitability of foster parents.  I would venture to add that aside from the fact that foster carers are unlikely to want to look after children who come from a background that they have strong prejudices against, assessments should be designed to pick up such prejudices. (People don’t have to belong to a political party to hold racist opinions)

So against this backdrop I find myself pondering the appropriateness of Rotherham Council’s actions in this case.

  • I’m not a UKIP Supporter but I’m mindful of the fact that UKIP is a legal political party.  I haven’t done a full analysis of their policy, but I understand that they believe that there is a need for controlled immigration due to pressure that immigration places on our services.  It might sound like mere symantics, but I would say that rather than controlled immigration we need better managed immigration – there is already a degree of control anyway.  Besides which whilst immigration may come with its problems, it also brings benefits and over the years it has also provided us with solutions as well.
  • But back to the point of the Rotherham foster carers, let’s say for a minute that UKIP is a terrible racist political party with some unacceptable policies even though it is a legal party; I know from research that there is a reality that people join political parties for different reasons.  They don’t necessarily agree with all of their policies. It’s just as we at times vote for candidates even though we might not agree with everything they say. Similarly from an HR perspective when selecting candidates there may be one or two things we dislike about a candidate, but we tend to focus on what a candidate will bring overall and consider how we can mitigate any issues that may arise from the things we dislike or are concerned about.
  • I therefore believe that in the Rotherham Foster case, the parents that the children were (at least on the face of things) comfortably living with should have been interviewed or re-accessed to determine whether they held views or beliefs that would have a negative impact on the children.  This should have been backed with interviews of the children.

Sadly it seems that a rushed decision was made without any thought for how the move would affect the children. Young people who had possibly already gone through the trauma of a move from one country to another; problems in relation to their parents; and who knows – possibly a number of moves leading up to their more recent placement.

#Selah

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

BNP on Question Time

It’s now close to a month since the BNP’s leader, Nick Griffin appeared on Question Time and I think it would be fair to say that the jury is still out on whether it did more harm than good.  In fact in all honesty, I doubt if there will ever be a consensus.

For me more than anything else it highlighted our limited ability to address the root causes of issues and as such although the intentions may have been noble, I believe it was a wasted opportunity.  At the beginning of the programme I was pleased to see that politicians were actually uniting and agreeing on points being raised.  However, I shortly after I made this observation while watching I became aware that it seemed that the other panelists  were more united in showing Griffin up than anything else. It seemed that due to the controversy proceeding the programme they needed to justify the presence on the panel the Question Time panel that night by showing him up.  Furthermore, by the time the conversation moved on the subject of immigration, the sense of unity that I had previously observed dissolved.

This is not, however, the key reason why I believe that the programme was a wasted opportunity.  More pertinently, I believe the programme location and therefore studio audience was flawed as West London is not an area with much BNP support as reflected by the questions/comments from members of the audience.

Rather than the attempt to show Griffin up, I would have preferred an opportunity to gain a greater insight into why there are a significant number of people in the UK that support the BNP, so that their concerns can be addressed.  As it stands, even though Griffin may have been shown up, there were subliminal messages behind some of the things that he said that the less liberal minded amongst others would have agreed with.

For instance people may have sniggered at Griffin’s comment about public kissing in response to the question about homosexuality.  However when he went further to speak about the teaching of Sex Education in Primary schools , without defining terms, he was touching on a concern that (like it or not,) a number of parents hold. However, the only response to this that I heard was from a politician tweeting who exclaimed   “Why is he bringing primary school kids into this?”

As such while there will be many that disagree with some of the fundamentals that he stands for, they will at the same time believe that he (and his party) are the only ones that understand and address the issues that concern them.  Yes Alan Johnson is now talking about the need for a debate on immigration.  I would, however, venture to say that at this stage (after over 12 years of labour in office) we shouldn’t be debating but acting.  The sad thing is whether or not you agree with their policies, Labour have started to do something.  There is a question as to whether people are aware of  what they are doing.  For instance, how many people are aware that Britain now has a points system for immigration, fashioned after the Australian system? For those that have heard mention of it, how many kow how it works together with the impact that is likely to have over time?

The lack of explanation/response may explain why when I recently came across a list of BNP members and allowed my curiosity to get the better of me; I reviewed the list and came across the name of someone that I believe I know. Assuming the person on the list is the person I think it is, I very much doubt if she joined the BNP because she hates people of colour and sees no place for them in this country.  This is a person I have conversed with at length, had lunch with, who has discussed the possibilities of working jointly on projects.  You may say think I’m naive and that there is no explanation for her BNP membership  other than hatred or race.  I, however, do not believe it’s that simply and hope to unveil at least some of the real issues in my next book, “Consequences”

Copyright 2009 This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

About The Author

Susan Popoola

Susan is a Human Resources Capital Optimisation Specialist specialising in areas inclusive of Talent Management with additional interest in a number of other areas inclusive of Education, Community and Social Justice.

Welcome To Our Site...

Susan on Twitter

Get Adobe Flash player