Scotland: Too wee, too poor and with too many paedophiles too!

Children are being sexually exploited in almost all parts of Scotland, according to the first national study of the problem.

First thing in the morning and then with a further 20 or so doses throughout the day, across BBC Scotland, TV and Radio, plus who knows how many other mentions elsewhere, this is what Scotland is today according to an editorial choice in Pacific Quay.

The researchers found:

Cases have been identified in all but five of Scotland’s local authorities.

There are so many questions to ask of the state broadcaster here. The headline is sort of geographically accurate, as are many in the Sun and the Daily Mail, but somewhat limited in the meaningful representation of the truth.

It’s not really happening in ‘all parts‘ now is it?

There were a horrific 5 311 cases last year but that’s among 5 400 000 people and many of the abusers repeatedly abuse the same person. So, in every 1 000 people, how many experienced or were responsible for one of these offences?

It’s horrible, horrible, but it’s not everywhere among us is it?

No doubt it’s insensitive in to show that these offences are more common elsewhere in the UK but they are:



Headlining all day today on BBC Scotland, to boost your anxiety levels, and keep you reluctant to consider change of any kind, we heard: ‘Offences of child cruelty and neglect recorded by police in Scotland increased by 28% in the past year according to the NSPCC.’ There were 818 reports of child neglect or cruelty … Continue reading Cases of child cruelty and neglect TWICE as high across UK than in Scotland but it’s not reported→

More important, I’m sure, is what is being done or not done to prevent these offences:

Headlined in the Guardian on Christmas Day 2019:

Thousands of children in care are increasingly being placed in homes that are illegal or unregulated, in what critics have labelled a national scandal, a Guardian investigation has found. A lack of places to house vulnerable children in the UK is prompting a surge in placements that are less safe. These include those that are unregulated or not registered with Ofsted. MPs, the police, charities and the children’s commissioner warn that children accommodated in these homes are at risk of exploitation from sexual predators and drug gangs.

As always, the report conflates England and the UK but has nothing to say of Scotland in the content. This is not surprising. As we reported in July of this year:

Children in residential settings are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse by adults working in those settings who are responsible for their welfare. Yet the Inquiry has noted that there are no professional registration requirements in place for staff, other than social workers, working in children’s homes in Englandunlike in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Finally, it’s informative to compare today’s reporting with BBC Scotland’s reluctance to do so at other times:



When it comes to an SNP MSP texting a 16-year-old, Willie Rennie is right at the front baying for blood but when it was his old leader David Steel, clearly failing the victims of the serial actual physical abuse of boys by his pal Cyril Smith, he was in a more forgiving mood: The Lib … Continue reading Willie Rennie’s double standards on child abuse→



See him, down at the bottom? Contrast these alleged crimes with those alleged of the former SNP leader. Hidden away and not one mention of his party allegiance anywhere in the BBC reporting. I searched for a sign of his party affiliation. I was difficult to find any mention. Only on the third page of … Continue reading Another Lib Dem accused of repeated child sex abuse but BBC can barely find a space for him and never mention his party→

10 thoughts on “Scotland: Too wee, too poor and with too many paedophiles too!”


    More evidence of the different levels of child abuse across the UK.

    Poverty and child abuse go hand in hand.

    Poverty levels in Scotland increased from 13% of the population in 1961 to 25% of the population in 1981. They declined under the Blair/Brown government to 22% where they are today.

    The effects of adverse childhood experiences are a failed education; increased propensity for drug and alcohol use; young adult men carry weapons; young women have early pregnancies; many experience early onset of poor health and many have early deaths.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The way in which this report has been framed shifts the focus away from a serious issue, which has been going on for centuries. Various social reformers and social reforms over that period have raised awareness of the extent of the issue and have put in place a wide range of policies, practices and trained personnel to support young people. On the whole, having been involved in education over 40 years, I think young people are better supported and all of us are more aware of what to look out for.

    However, it still goes on and, while it does, we must continue to be vigilant and supportive and to create an atmosphere where young people know they can get help and can seek it without feeling themselves guilty for having been abused.

    Like sexual harassment, for example, by making it easier to report, we get more reports. This does not necessarily mean that harassment is increasing, but that more people are trusting the system.

    The charities who produce these reports are worthy bodies, with decent people, but, funding is always an issue and getting some ‘shock, horror’ publicity, is an effective – though, in my view, sometimes, self-defeating – strategy for getting more funds from the public and from government.

    The media also has form in this regard as exemplified by the platforms given to opponents of the ‘Named Person’ scheme, despite it having proved effective in the pilot in Highland.

    Over many decades following atrocities where such as Maria Colwell and Caleb Ness died, the media response was to blame someone and to demand ‘heads must roll’, as if blaming solved the problem. We saw this when media outcry led to Gordon Brown’s crony, Ed Balls, sacking a Director of social work. He was not the employer, nor had a full investigation been carried out. She sued his Department and won her case and received a substantial compensation package. The media did NOT look at the complex of circumstances which had all contributed to the death of a child.

    BBC Scotland here is purveying ‘atrocity porn’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Candidly, having now, albeit very quickly, looked through this report by the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration and Barnardo’s Scotland. – ‘Sexual exploitation of children involved in the Children’s Hearings System’ – it seems that the prime focus of the research has not been to produce a quantitative assessment of the (numerical) extent of the ‘problem’ as the BBC Scotland headline could be taken to imply.

    More significantly, it is about examining case records from children and young people that have gone through the Children’s Hearing System in order to identify social, behavioural, family and other vulnerability factors that might be useful in devising policies and practices which can better identify, support and protect those being or at risk of being abused.

    (With my non-expert eye) it looks like a very interesting, potentially useful and forward thinking piece of social research that is relevant to furthering the longstanding aim of the Scottish Government of: ‘Getting it right for every child’ (GIRFEC).

    Barnardo’s Scotland’s contributions to social policy development to address the needs of Scotland’s vulnerable children and young people in recent years especially have been notable.

    As far back as 2016, Barnardo’s stated this: ‘“Barnardo’s Scotland works with thousands of children and young people every day. In our experience there is a pressing need for a universal early warning system to identify the children who are most vulnerable, and that is why the named person is crucial in ensuring we can protect every child.”

    “The reality is children do not come simply divided into those that can be identified as at risk and those we need not worry about. In many ways, the child at most risk is the one who has not yet been identified as being at risk. The Scottish Parliament has shown today that it agrees with this principle.”

    On 19 September, 2019, the BBC News Scotland website reported this:

    ‘The EIS teaching union said named person was originally conceived as a “genuine attempt to ensure that the protection afforded to vulnerable and at-risk young people across Scotland was as robust as it could be, to ensure that children did not fall through cracks in the system, and to strengthen the support to those with needs requiring a multi-agency approach.’

    And the EIS statement went on: ”While legislation is not always the best route to achieving such aims, we must not lose sight of the need that still exists to deliver on that ambition.”

    Now that ‘named person’ is no more, it’s good that Barnardo’s and others are still working with the SG on that ‘ambition’! I only wish that BBC Scotland could give a much more informative account of the important work that is being done here.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Two thirds of sexual abuse of children occurs in and around the family. The JRF report to which I linked up above concludes there is a strong association between families’ socio economic circumstances and the chances that their children will experience child abuse or neglect. of course, poverty is not a necessary factor or a sufficient factor in the occurrence of child abuse.

    Prevention is far better than trying to pick up the pieces. One might think that reducing or eliminating poverty levels might be the starting point.

    A country deeply and unremittingly engaged in the pursuit of its own independence might be expected to tell its people how it would go about eliminating poverty in a way that was persuasive and convincing. It might eschew the neo liberal system of politics and dismiss it as a means of eliminating poverty. It might even think it necessary to engage all of the population in discussion of what system of politics an independent country should adopt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is important to remember that sexual abuse is only one of the several categories of abuse which are of concern. This is not to minimise sexual abuse, but to indicate the extent of what ‘abuse’ connotes.

      As Sam says the great majority of abusers are known to the child and, in several of the categories the main perpetrators of the abuse are mothers. And, often, these same mothers are the victims of abuse themselves, currently, and in the past.

      The most vocal of the opponents of ‘named person’ and those who got most publicity in the media were groups – often religious – who claimed they were speaking on behalf of families and continually asserted that families ‘know their children best’. Indeed, most of us were fortunate in being born into and raised by loving, supportive families, where abuse was absent. But, many children – not a majority, and a relatively low, but significant percentage – are not and that is why such legislation is needed. Many of these groups are also opposed to children having rights relating to being consulted about decisions being made about and for them.

      Even the most loving and supportive families have periods of tension, particularly when young people are adolescent or when there is financial strain or when there are tensions in the relationship between parents. In such circumstances, named persons can act as mediators and reconcilers, a role often fulfilled by grandparents, wider family, good friends, neighbours, etc. However, the named person does have a degree of emotional detachment from the situation and can be more effective.

      The American educator Miriam Katz, who ran President Johnson’s Head Start programme spoke of school teachers (which is whom many named persons would have been) as having ‘optimal detachment’ to from the child, while parents should have ‘optimal attachment’. Her use of the adjective ‘optimal’ was carefully chosen. Teachers had to indicate that they cared sincerely about the child’s welfare and happiness, but had to maintain a degree of distance to retain objectivity, while parents should give the child unconditional love, but also be aware that in growing up children can do wrong things, including telling lies about them. Such relationships if respectfully and co-operatively developed provide benefits for all, including the named person and the wider society.


  5. The banal thuggery of the Conservatives according to Clegg. It causes large increases in poverty, the stalling of increasing life expectancy and misery across the UK. Why? It makes them more popular in England.

    That behaviour leads to here.

    “Most commentators seem to agree that the employment situation is about to get quite a lot worse. Rising redundancies, falling vacancies and figures from HMRC that indicate a drop in the number of employees suggest that the labour market outlook will start to look a lot grimmer as we go into the autumn and the furlough comes to an end. No doubt newspapers already have their Halloween Horror headlines ready to roll when the Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October.

    There is already evidence that the lower paid sections of the workforce were most adversely affected by the lockdown. They are likely to be hardest hit by the coming employment contraction.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In Scotland there are kinship payments which mean the children can be cared for within the family. Less children are being fostered or in care. The children who are in foster care is now extended to 18 years, possibly more.

    Children who have been in foster care are now given more support. Increased educational/apprentice support. Increased grants. They pay no council tax. There is a need for total abstinence drink/rehab care, especially for parents. To prevent some children from being in care, fostered or adopted.


  7. The Scottish Gov intended to give £10 a week to children in low income families, in February. This could help eradicate child poverty, and abuse. Or children not having enough food. A scandal in a modern society.


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