Protecting a child or defending their authority?

At issue in the sad case of young Ashya King is NOT concern over the life and well-being of a young child but a response to his parents’ defiance of the state’s authority over them and their child. This story has eclipsed that of the 1400 children in Rotherham who were abducted, abused, raped, and sex trafficked for 15 years or more WITH the knowledge of the police and social services. In that case, too, parents who intervened to try and help these children were ignored by social services and/or arrested by the police.

Nature has instilled in our genes the paramount need to protect our young – to secure the next generation’s survival. We hear of parents sacrificing their own lives to save that of their children. How on earth can employees of the faceless state assume greater authority over a child than that child’s own parents? In this case Ashya’s parents were willing to defy the authority of the NHS and sacrifice their holiday home in Spain to try a promising treatment in another land. Of course, they discovered this treatment after exhaustively trawling the Internet and, of course, the NHS doctors dismissed the world’s largest and most extensive database of information as not worthy of trust. What world do they inhabit, these official guardians of our health, who still find it difficult to accept that our diet has much to do with our health, let alone any treatments neither in their university training nor promoted by pharmaceutical companies? These are the health guardians who held so little hope for the future of Ashya King and wanted nobody to prove them wrong.

Ashya‘s parents defied the authority of the state, triggering an international response, major headlines, and their immediate tracking down, arrest and rough handling by Spanish police. Their very ill child was forcibly taken into care and deprived of contact with his loving parents, who now face extradition to the UK, with them accused of kidnap. How can you kidnap your own kid? Who is the victim of their crime? The state simply asserts that its care of young Ashya will be superior to the care of his parents, with no track record suggesting this would be the case.. It is worth noting the Barnardo’s report citing the care system as putting two thirds of its young girls at risk of sexual exploitation, with half of those only coming into risk after going into care. That state care costs us some £200,00 a year, about six times the cost of an elite private school. How can we be naive enough to believe that the state has our best interests at heart when it criminalizes caring parents whilst ignoring widespread paedophile activities?

1400 children were horribly abused in Rotherham, triggering no extraditions nor even a resignation by those who let this happen with eyes wide open. Girls of 11 were violently raped in front of other children, some were doused in petrol, and many trafficked for repeated abuse over a period of 15 years leading up to 2013. The majority of victims had been in the protective care of the state at the time. Hundreds must have been involved in the purveying and abuse of these children, yet just five Pakistani men were convicted, with three of them receiving lighter sentences than did the highly publicized Rolf Harris for offences committed over 30 years ago.

Barnado’s Homes and others qualified to comment assert that Rotherham is only the “tip of the iceberg” with systematic abuse of children taking place across the UK. This is happening here and now! Why are police and politicians not rallying in response? Why has the recent enquiry into Westminster’s organized paedophile ring fizzled out? Have we forgotten the appalling Kincora Boys Home scandal in Belfast? All this is now overshadowed by two parents whose love for their child was greater than their fear of the state.

Gregory Sams,  author of The State Is Out of Date – We Can Do It Better
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Posted in 17 Victimless Crimes

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