Thursday, May 3, 2012


Strain exists between the state and the parts which comprise it. As it pertains to the family issues aired for the past four years on this blog site, the question has become multi-faceted. What is the appropriate role of family within a free and democratic society? What is the appropriate role of the government with respect to families?

Isn’t it true that we have generally concurred, no; we have theoretically agreed that the state and the family each have roles and responsibilities. The discussion had become louder and more intense until there is dispute about the relationship between these.

I can only tell you what I think. The state and its organizations should not usurp the family’s suitable role. Instead the state should facilitate the operation of the family. Of course the state is mandated to protect the lives of those who are vulnerable, such as children who not being able to fend for themselves, may suffer neglect or abuse at the hands of caregivers. That is conceded, no, applauded as the right concentration of the community or the state. However, the government should determine never to confiscate family independence. That’s what I have discerned is happening in so many of the cases where children are apprehended by government social workers within a legislated system within which bureaucratic and judicial wheels turns so slowly that human compassion and understanding are squeezed from the equation for solution.

Mounting evidence confirms that the tension between the state and family which we write about and read here and on numerous similar sites requires examination and correction. We are surrendering the family’s proper role and duties without a conscientious defence. We are doing this because of an international focus upon the rights of a child which has run away from common sense in practice.

Here is a novel concept. Let’s protect parental liberty within what has become a child-centred legal system.

1 comment:

  1. Your topic today is a very challenging one, oh Ron of the dogged heart. Family and state. I would like to write a bit and I think I will call it
    Are bureaucrats and those who design bureaucracies simply spiders who become enmeshed in their own web? If so, what possible relevance can they have to family welfare? Here is an example.
    When Kathy Tomlinson featured the Bayne case on her Gopublic programme, I wrote to the minister and deputy minister pointing out some areas of concern which were illustrated. I tried to address issues of principle, rather than the specific case, because I know they will duck out under the umbrella of confidentiality if they possibly can. I asked things like did they think the best interests of children are served by keeping them in limbo for four years. Or how did it help children to bankrupt the parents with legal costs before they got back the kids.I got back a form letter regretting that due to confidentiality etc that they could not comment and they were on guard for all kids at all times and so on.
    Having learned my lesson, I then sent another letter regarding the material brought forth in the CBC Fifth Estate broadcast which investigated the validity of the shaken baby syndrome hypothesis and illustrated a couple of cases. The evidence the elicited pointed toward the theory being too unreliable to use as a basis for any proceeding. In my letter I concentrated on the hypothesis rather than on the cases. I suggested that many areas of training needed to be critically reviewed and suggested specific information which should be part of staff training and development. Training in evidence, training in handling medical evidence and other areas. Now here is the interesting part. I took care to say that I did not want them to comment on the issues in case they did not feel they could because the Bayne case was mentioned. However, I did request that they write and tell me whether they had read and understood my letter.
    Two or three days later, I got an email from the correspondence division letting me know that the letter had been received and inviting me to contact them if I had any further questions. This was on March 26th. I wrote back on the same day saying that I did have a couple of questions. I said in my original letter I had asked if they had read and understood my letter. I said I would at least like them to tell me that they had read my letter. When I had no reply by the beginning of May, I phoned them and pointed out that they had not replied to my question. I said that surely it was a simple request and there were only two choices--yes or no. One could also consider "I don't know?" The woman on the phone had me hold while she went into consultation with a superior and then talked around in circles, because she was only a minor functionary. I asked her if she personally thought my request was reasonable and she agreed it was. She could not hazard a guess as to whether or not my letter had been read and she did not know how to find out, but would work on it. When could I expect a reply? I may not get a reply at all, but it should not take a long time if I did--maybe a week or two. What a way to make a living!
    Why would it be confidential to conceal whether or not the deputy had read my letter---unless---unless of course he is illiterate and that is a government secret?


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