Friday, 31 August 2007

Fantastic groove from Bristol and Pakistan

No 2 ID's latest newsletter

NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 79 - 31st August 2007
Contacting us: Call or email the office - 020-7793-4005 or ( Please do not reply to this email. (The from address is not a working email address)

Senior social workers have now warned of the dangers of ContactPoint, the £241 million new database intended to contain personal details of every child (and parent) in the country. The chairman of the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ACDS) Information Systems and Technology Policy Committee, Richard Stiff, has written to officials outlining "significant" concerns about ContactPoint [1]. Confusion over who is responsible for vetting the 330,000+ users and policing the system "may allow a situation where an abuser could be able to access ContactPoint for illegitimate purposes with limited fear of any repercussions."

The security of the entire system has been called into question, given that the details of a small number of children are likely to be excluded. We are led to believe this will include the offspring of celebrities and politicians - but if ContactPoint won't be secure enough for the children of pop stars and ministers, it won't be secure enough for anyone. ContactPoint will be going 'live' in 2008, so now is the time to act.

Write to your MP ( expressing your concerns, and asking if they would want or expect their child's and their own personal details to be 'shielded' on ContactPoint. Their answer, or lack of one, may be revealing. Please let us know by posting in our forums -

And write to your councillor (you can use the same website to send a free fax) and/or Chief Executive of your Local Authority to ask just how much of the £241 million set-up and £41 million per year running costs will be showing up in your council tax. The lack of central funding for ContactPoint may well be news to them. You might also ask all of the above how they justify spending millions on an intrusive, insecure 'address book' when the money could be better spent on the specialist and targeted services that well over 50% of the children whose details will be held on ContactPoint will never need.
[1] see

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Autumn Look 2007

I have stumbled on this new look and I have to say I am quite taken with it. The pavement clears before me, I get rapid, deferential treatment in shops and on the road. I expect there are all sorts of other advantages to going around looking like this but I haven't figured them all out yet.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Gone Camping

I'm off to live in a field....Back soon :-)

Public Servant Management Speak

Boyfriend's ex, who works for the Dept of Work and Pensions copied him this memorandum that she and her colleagues received from management. It was a while back but he has just shown it to me. Boyfriend wrote to Polly Toynbee with a copy and she accused him of making it up!

"Language of Leadership

Accelerated Breakthrough Culture A culture that actively promotes personal and organisational breakthroughs by empowering and encouraging people to lead from the future.

Alignment The process by which staff become aware of, and commit to, the published dreams and stands of their leaders. Working to the same objectives with the same level of understanding.

Authentic Free from politic, posturing and hidden agendas.Genuine, something that we're committed to, believe in, is real and reasonable. Not making false commitments, being realistic about what can be achieved. Being honest with both yourself and others.

Background Conversations The inner dialogues that motivate our behaviour but often go unpublished. This is the noise in your head, the whispering in your ear, that stops you from listening and stops you from believing and trusting. That silent voice that says 'I don't believe you' 'it'll never work'. If we don't deal with that voice, it drowns out everything else because it just gets louder and louder.

Breakthrough Happens when everyone suddenly sees the same view from the far side of the bridge, commits to action and makes it happen. Realising that we should all be working in the same direction.

Committed Conversations Conversations borne out of a facilitative leadership style which encourage both parties to commit to agreed outcomes as opposed to windbagging over why these can't be achieved.

Customercrats A dream of bureaucracy being replaced by customer service and the perception of bureaucrats being replaced by customercrats

Dreams If anything were possible, with no constraints, how could things be? The only way leaders can establish this is by allowing themselves to dream about the future.

Dream Enabler A leader who encourages their people to dream.

Dream Weaver Someone who thinks about the future possibilities and can paint a picture on how things might be done. A Dream Enabler who brings together and supports the dreams of their people.

Headsets (Perceptual) A concept used to illustrate how we internalise external sensory prompts and react according to our memetic conditioning - it's as if everything that we experience is filtered into our heads through a perceptual headset which taints it's authenticity by comparing it with our past.

Hot Culture An organisational culture which actively encourages innovation, risk taking, authenticity in communications etc.

Leading from the future A leadership style that features dreams, stands, alignment, authenticity and support, and encourages leaders to remain open to possibilities.

Listen Generously More than active listening, generous listening is a state of attentiveness that allows you to listen virtually from the speaker's perspective, perceptual headset off, truly open to all possibilities. Listening generously can pay big dividends because then you will hear what the person is really saying (can be a pleasant surprise!).

Memes Memes are in essence the stories we hold in the limbic store of our brain, our 'memetic conditioning' being the values, beliefs, experience etc (stories we tell ourselves) which make us the way we are.

Mine the gold This phrase dovetails with listening generously. However tiresome the person, however little time you have got, however fixed your view, if you conscientiously mine for gold in what people are saying you'll be surprised at the valuable little nuggets you will find.

Perceptual filters/headsets A concept used to illustrate how we internalise external sensory prompts and react according to our memetic conditioning - it's as if everything that we experience is filtered into our heads through a perceptual headset which taints it's authenticity by comparing it with our past.

Possibilities The mindset where we allow ourselves to consider how things could be, where we non-critically and non-judgementally allow our minds to be open to all possible options in the hope that this may generate innovation or breakthroughs.

Promises An element of the language of action. Straightforward, unambiguous and authentic.Rather than say you'll try to do something, be positive and make a promise about what you will do. Such committed conversations will leave both parties clear on what outcomes they can expect and will encourage you to deliver.

Quit and Stay just sitting there or you're paying lip service - but you have a very loud background conversation going on that says "I don't want to be here" or "this is rubbish". Either way you are not adding value, not being true to yourself and people can tell that's what's going on.

Stands Having dreamed their dream of the future, a leader will then share that dream with their people to encourage alignment. Part of that process involves the leader making a stand for what he/she is passionate about, often followed by promises and requests to realise the dream. (eg My dream is for us to be universally recognised as the most efficient government department in the country. I stand for less bureaucracy, better training and I promise to support any initiative which……etc).

Stories Our past - it all boils down to the stories we tell ourselves inside our head. Those stories are often influenced by the stories other people have told us - people in authority, people we respect, the media, books etc and our own experience.

Storyteller A person who can explain how it could happen locally. Can illuminate the vision by telling the story. The way in which the vision is put into language people relate to.

Swirl This is where we normally live - in that frantic world of work. Busy, so busy we forget what it is we're really trying to achieve. We then revert to type, all becomes too hard, and we start leading from the past. Every so often, check if you are in a swirl or not. When we are operating in the present and are faced with the pressure of competing priorities, it can feel as if we are in a swirl, within which we lose sight of our dreams and goals and consequently take actions which don't support those ambitions. The swirl describes the confusion and pressure of being in a place where issues are in danger of overwhelming you and your actions are taken more often than not simply to keep yourself from going under.

Thank your mind for sharing When you suddenly realise you're having a background conversation, say it to yourself - it acknowledges the thought and moves you on.

Understudy This is linked to the whole concept of background conversations. Are you present at a meeting, listening generously and open to possibilities, or is your understudy present while you indulge in elaborate unpublished background conversations?

What if… A component of the language of dreams, often used as a way of framing your dream for others. An indication that you are considering possibilities and seeking alignment.

Why/Because A linguistic indication of operating from the past. The search for logic/understanding/reason behind all decisions, and the perception that a decision which cannot be justified in these terms is a bad decision. A sure way to stifle innovations and potential breakthroughs.

Windbag Conversations The opposite of committed conversations. The often elaborate lengths we go to when justifying our inaction or lack of success on an issue. The search for excuses (legitimate or not so legitimate) why X could not be achieved (perhaps when we never really saw the possibilities in that approach in the first place). Sometimes an indication of frustration : sometimes a way of delaying difficult decisions."

Splendid. I am glad that's clear then.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

With Thanks toTuscan H Tony

As you can see from the above I compared The Hitch to a toasted marshmallow, and not to some Vermont Pig Farmers playing with matches as THT's post implies.

P.S.Have tried to link to you THT but blogger's not having it.

Rod Hull and Emu - The Inspiration.

I give you Richard Owen and Moa

Wise words from the Hitch

"My advice is to stay away from any addict, whatever the substance, until they sort themselves out.
Taking it or kicking it is a personal choice."

It has been a strange week. Boyfriend's brother came to stay. On his last night he got drunk and started picking a fight with me. I wouldn't fight (the terms and references of his argument swivelled here and there) and he got nastier and nastier until I walked away. I looked at him and he appeared very much as the illustration above. The next day I was in shock and didn't want to be around him or look at him. I couldnt speak beyond "would you like a cup of tea?"

He impatiently asked me to "drop it" (when I had said nothing). He asked me why I couldn't "just let it go?".

Once upon a time, relationships were frequently more important to me than my peace of mind. Now, my peace of mind is more important to me than any one relationship. If I don't trust someone, whether I love them or not, I cannot relax with them, and life does not have enough years left to spend time with unpredictable people whose contempt for me is released by a drink too many.

I had thought us friends. I was completely taken by surprise. I had spent a total of three weeks hosting him. He was a charming guest. This was a week ago.
Now, to add to the trauma, he has sent several contemptuous, rude and unpleasant emails to us complaining that we are unforgiving, narrow minded, pompous, blinkered, whinging and, to crown it all, justifying all he said and did last Friday night.

I have been very careful to be clear with him why I have stopped trusting him and why that is not helped by his justification of his actions. And now he can fuck right off. Fortunately, he lives in America.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Little dog

We had a crappy weekend one way and another so we cheered ourselves up by visiting our Little Dog. Only 3 weeks to go and its little puddles and hide your favorite shoes time...

This is him giving his Mum a kiss.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

New Rights for Cohabiting Couples.

At the moment I own the house I live in. If I should predecease Boyfriend he gets housed until he doesn't need housing any more (Trust). I don't have anything else to bequeath. He gave his house to his wife when he left her and later, when he moved in with me, he brought with him a dowry of a dishwasher, computers, and 2,500 cds of Grateful Dead shows.

If NuLab have their way he would inherit my house. Now, I shall be dead, but this seems a little rough on my girl. Should I kick him out just before the legislation comes into force or should we both write really complicated Wills and hope that they will be enforcable?

I think this proposal of giving rights to cohabitees will result in a lot more single households.

Random Post

I am posting this picture because I am uninspired blogwise.

Monday, 6 August 2007

And this too!

At last!

The hollyhocks have flowered...about a month after everyone else's!

Sunday, 5 August 2007


This has been flowering for over a month now. It still looks like this!

Boyfriend's summer look

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Email from No2ID


In the rush of announcements and over 40 written statements put out in the final days of the Parliamentary session, you may not have noticed that the government has given the final go-ahead for ContactPoint - the database formerly known as the Children's IS Index.

Like the National Identity Register - the linked databases at the heart of the ID cards scheme - ContactPoint will contain significant amounts of personal information ON EVERY CHILD IN THE UK. Over 300,000 people will have access to the system, which is intended to be up and running by next year. We understand that the details of celebrities' and public figures' children may be kept hidden, a two-tier privacy policy that demonstrates the very real security risks such a system introduces.

Each child will be given an ID number, and their record will contain details about their parents, doctor, health visitor, midwife and/or school nurse, school and/or college, services they have accessed - specifically flagging up vulnerable children who have accessed "sensitive services", e.g. to do with sexual or mental health - and a link to a new social services assessment, the eCAF*. Far from reducing risks to children, child protection specialists have expressed alarm that practitioners will be so overwhelmed with low-level data about all 11 million children in the country that those at risk of harm will in fact be less likely to be noticed.

Did you know that from 2008 the government will be monitoring YOUR child from birth? Plenty of questions remain unanswered: why put every child in the country on a database that less than half will ever need? Why spend all this money rather than investing in much-needed children's services? Why should a politician's children get greater protection than your son/daughter/nephew/granddaughter?

Tell your family and friends. Wake people up now. Write to your MP and your local paper's letters page. The ID scheme may be slipping, but the government's surveillance and data-sharing agenda is gathering pace. And first they're coming for your kids."

How to waste taxpayers money.
Heads of schools are responsible for updating this record EVERY TERM. Stuff can be added but it will be difficult for parents to access or change what has been written about them. It could say "Learning Difficulties" even though the parents are fighting for an Autism diagnosis, which is elusive due to poor funding. The record could say "Mother is a mouthy cow" and that would merely be a self righteous social worker's take on Mother's distress. Your neighbour could contact social services and say that you are a perv. It would go on your record and you would never know why all the teachers at school look at you funny....

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

No more Ms Nice Guy

I am so pissed off. Its fucking mad out there. A decent bloke dies from bullet wounds because he asked some thugs to stop smoking. A fostered baby drowns and everyone thinks this is appalling (which it is) but is it surprising...why would foster parents care more than birth parents? My personal experience of foster care involved a close friend who was adopted, physically and emotionally abused, ran away aged 11, put in foster care, sexually abused, ran away, put in foster care, sexually abused, ran away, put in a locked geriatric ward for 9 months and stuffed with largactyl (aged 15) released to foster care where foster father hit on her on the first night. I am sure there are great foster parents out there, but you cant expect them to love your kids more than you do.

Then there is giving "rights" to cohabiting couples. If I wanted "rights" I'd marry the sweetheart. I just want Boyfriend. I don't want the state deciding who gets the Juicer (it would be him) if he ever went insane and nasty and I had to ask him to leave (not going to happen). I did'nt marry Baby-father for the same reason. Who does it benefit? Lawyers, that is who. This proposal makes me seeth. I want the right to be different to married people!

Then there is David Blunkett. What the fuck is the BBC asking him on to comment on anything, let alone the total cock up on Indeterminate Tarrifs. This man is a discredited leach, a vain peacock, a fool. Needless to say, in Blunkett's considered opinion, it is the Judiciary that are at fault, not ill-considered legislation.

Then Social Services put two kids in the care of a woman who believed they were evil and not hers, and they die horrible deaths. This in spite of pleas from their father not to let mum have unsupervised access. I think he said something like "I obeyed the law, and the State frogmarched my children to their death".

Its a bloody insane world out there. Jesus it boils my piss.