Early Intervention – is already half-a-century late

The notion of ‘early intervention’ is raising its really ever-present head in British politics. The idea is that we can save £37K in on-costs by getting amongst crap families early.  In research terms this has been the bleedin’ obvious since I can remember – at least since teaching social policy because someone was off sick in the 80s.  The question is why so little has changed in 30 years – or since pre-Victorian times if you do some digging down at the history dump.  The answer is that our politicians and ‘professionals’ for a self-interested hunk of shit.  Polite criticism hasn’t worked and politicians and over paid bureaucratic clowns know what to say and how to do nothing except take the resources for themselves and their cronies.  It all may go down in history as the ‘Louise Casey’ syndrome’.  The basic idea is to do pilot schemes and publicise them as successes.  In the meantime disabled couples who can’t cope commit suicide and criminal turds have children in order to hide behind them – etc.

To make an early intervention you really need a time machine and go back to that time before the research told us about the situation.  What’s needed is knowledge on why we don’t do what is needed, even when we know what to do.  In this, a standard ‘professional’ answer is “resources” – i.e. the lack of same.  The people saying this have resourced lives and know enough about the problem to ensure they never live anywhere near it.  In the meantime we have an economy that facilitates the creation of poverty for many and vast , unusable riches for one percent.  It’s not rocket science, though the banksters pretend it is.

Those of us who care – and frankly you can’t care too much without being driven crazy by the squalor and intransigent attitudes in and around it – end up working in highly malfunctioning bureaucracies, cutting corners to get anything done.  Our bosses are increasingly not once decent pracitioners promoted to incompetence, but a vile, obscenely overpaid class of jerks running devolved budgets involving a smidgen of arithmertic and attendance at dubious management development events at which they learn to form a clique of performance managers around them – and what a performance that is.  It’s image management in much the same manner as guest tours of the Soviet Union (without the excellent, drunken brewery tour).  Whistle-blowing is acted on as an act of terrorism, and scapegoats are occasionally thrown into the public gaze in pretense of any real evaluation and accountability.

There are many ways we could deal with the problems and the only ones I know will work involve a different attitude towards what an economy is and the dissolution of centralised power and secrecy.  The most massive change needed is in the way we currently earn our way out of the problems, leaving them behind to fester.  In short, we don’t give a shit (forget bleeding heart liberalism or personal polite manners) if it’s not affecting us – the criminal mind-set of the upper-class in ‘An Inspector Calls’.


Castlebeck and Phone Hacking Lessons For Police Reform?

The Care Quality  Commission has produced a damning report into Castlebeck, the care provider exposed by BBC Panorama.  Actually there is a series of reports at:


The real point of interest is that this health care regulator wasn’t doing its job until the Panorama cameras ‘burst’ in.  Without this journalism, which can’t be praised enough, we’d have had the cosy business-as-usual.

When it comes to proper use of ‘learning lessons’ in management, the idea isn’t the standard rolling out of this phrase after dire under-performance, but to be looking around in your own and other areas for what can help maintain standards and aid continuous improvement and potentially radical changes.

Cynthia Bower, CEO of CQC has just filled me with dread with the standard ‘learning lessons’ speech.  She looked like ACPO material.

It’s utterly obvious that both the phone hacking and care scandals would not have come out without journalism.  What the enlightened manager (another for Dickebo’s ‘oxymoron list’) would want to do is bring about a culture that prevents the wrongdoing, not the standard form that prevents the disclosure.

The management question that should arise concerns what would be exposed if the Panorama or Dispatches cameras came in and creating the culture that would not be embarrassed by them.  Instead, we get that paranoid-schizoid response of doing everything to keep out public scrutiny.

Some substantial literature (free) on drugs








Our problem of course is that very few of us read or even watch current affairs.

Most people taking drugs don’t consider themsleves as addicts.  One study explored the perspectives of low-level drug market users on the availability, purchase and consumption of illicit drugs within the social context of drug prohibition. A snowballing technique was used to recruit 16 participants consisting of nine males and seven females aged between 17 and 43. A semi-structured interview process elicited their views on their use of drugs, where they obtained them, their views on the impact of the criminal justice system on their drug use and finally their views on how drug users were perceived by non-drug users. While some negative consequences of using drugs were reported, no participant considered that their use of drugs made them an addict, a criminal or antisocial. The findings from this study suggest that current punitive drug policy, which links drug use with addiction, crime and antisocial behaviour was inconsistent with the experience of the participants.  The rest of us, with ‘television consciousness’ probably do.  We need discussion that includes relevant views.  I don’t agree with these ‘druggies’ and suspect they don’t see the problems they cause – but I’m hardly bothered if someone wants to ‘skin up’.

I have no wish to see drugs decriminalised – I want to see proper policing and a system that helps our cops and social workers sort out problems the system is in denial about.  The links above worked at 6 p.m. Monday.

Decriminalisation really means strengthening administrative law and treating human rights in proportion to decent, law-abiding people ahead of some of the ludicrous abuses we’ve been seeing lately.  My worries are mostly concerned with our crap administrative abilities and administrators.  NuLabour changed nothing through legislation, so why should we hope for much from the current ‘business-as-usual’ turkeys?

Anything new in politics?

Nothing turns out to be simple (even nothing itself in physics).  People still lust after simplicity because they can’t cope with the ambiguity of what goes on around them.  Our public debates play on this , whether in courtrooms or what pass as current affairs programmes.  Whodunits are usually very simple matters, aimed at what we might categorise as the unbright 12 year old mind set.

It is more or less impossible to find intelligent dialogue.  For me, even science programmes are usually annoying re-hashes of O level – and it’s 45 years since I did mine.

What I’ve been looking fir recently is sign that we are governed at this semi-literate-hardly-numerate level and my guess is we are.  I’d just ask this question – ‘when did you last catch even a glimmer of anything new in politics’?  My answer is I can’t spot anything other than the emphasis on television politics.  This is strange, set against all the change I can otherwise see around me, or in the labs I used to work in against those around now.

Anyone else bemused by this?

I’m listening to the clown Robert Peston (who should be a villain in Wallace and Grommet) and his voice reeks patronisation.  He’s using glib phrases one after the other with a very strange intonation.  He’s even suggesting it would be a good idea to borrow a few bob from the Chinese.

What we need to do has nothing to do with any of our current politics.  It is now part of some dire bureaucracy we don’t know how to control.  I now believe the answer lies in ridding ourselves of this bureaucracy and the people in it.  We have to do this by ignoring it.  In the same way that I would like to finish my time in a small village by the sea in ex-patriot style, I believe we should be making this form of shunning ADMASS a reality for all.

The shunning is only stage one, but we need to find ways to do this first.  I see this as a replacement for voting and space in which we might develop viable business models that are very different from today’s.

There has to be something better than dumping war criminal Bliar on the Middle East Crisis.  Something Blair says is relevant – that we can’t just go on imbued with pessimism – but the key pessimism has long been about our inability to form a decent society.  I’m just wondering if there are enough of us to create some enjoyable space that could lead to something new as politics and pay its way without the usual planet-burning or condescension to those who would even fail today’s GCSEs (really – take a look – they keep kids in school 12 years for these hapless certificates) and who are growing by modelling themselves on soap opera.  The answer isn’t high culture but a new one that might let us collapse the separation of work and entertainment, whilst making school obsolete.

More Dopey Dope On Drugs


The way we go about trying to deal with the problems that surround illegal drug use is pathetic, stuck in moral attitudes from a time when we peddled the stuff abroad whilst issuing prohibition here.   I can see no problem with drug-taking of any kind that doesn’t breach the peace or inflict costs on others beyond give and take.

I believe the moral approbation current practice in the UK relies on on drugs and sex needs to be swept away.  This would be to clear the way for much better control of health and peace in our communities without criminalisation.  I also believe we need sweeping changes in our legal system and that these issues could be the test ground for producing a new system more clearly linked to a fairer system based much more directly on public dialogue.

The squalid depravity of drink, drugs and the sex trade need to be exposed, as well as gross unfairness that lumps someone taking cannabis to ease pain with some scrote blaring out music, acting as a neighbourhood fence (for anything from stolen jeans to under-age sex) and ruining lives around him/her.  Just changing possession laws is not the answer, and could lead to even more difficulty dealing with associated problems.

I’d go for key changes in administrative law, including the tracking of criminal profits to prevent vice turning to rackets.  The Dutch have taken very significant steps, but have not got it all right.  I certainly prefer coffee shops on Main Street to shebeens on estates.  Pubs and clubs might just be places to allow supply and use.

Politicians totally fail us in this area.  We need the debate and decisions out of their barking interests and in our hands.  This would be a great area to try our new techniques of public dialogue and referendum.