Friday, January 30, 2009

Stupid, jumped up, cretinous Quango-crat

Trevor Phillips, in case you needed to know.

Now, I have nothing against councils (or anyone else) providing services to help rape victims.  It is a horrible crime that leaves mental scars far more damaging (in most cases) than the physical injuries.  I have no objection to the government censuring (or even removing funding) from councils who fail to meet their legal obligations.

What I object to is one branch of the government, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, wasting public money taking another branch of the government, local authorities to court.  I have no idea whether, or not, the Local Government Authority are right when they say that other public and voluntary services provide adequate cover in those areas specifically criticised.  And I have no problem with the EHRC writing letters to the councils asking them how they have assessed that the need is adequately met.  I welcome the publication of the online "Map of Gaps*".

Local people actively lobbying their local councillors for provision of what they want as council services, rather than merely voting for their historic colour of shepherd, can only be a good thing.

Throwing money at lawyers is just stupid.  

And I note that they have mapped 10 different services - differentiating between, for example "Domestic Violence Services" and "Sexual Violence Services" - "One Stop Shop", anybody? And this list includes one specifically for Black women. Why? Does your race or colour affect your reaction to rape? (I understand that there may be specialist post-recovery services necessary where honour killings and other misogyny are common but there is no specific map for those cultures.) `because that would be racist, of course.

* Although I notice that when you enter your postcode, rather than describing the services available in your area (useful information you would think) the website throws up an automated email to the Local Authority boss, the MPs and (up here) the MSPs.  I hope that these letters are as automatically rejected as ones asking them to stop abusing their powers are.  

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