IoS letters, emails & online postings (4 November 2012)

Share

Many children's lives are saved and many more children's lives enhanced by the intervention of social workers and those in the voluntary agencies ("New Gove plan aims to attract elite to social work", 28 October). The casual demeaning of this work by suggesting that "elite graduates" are fast-tracked into the profession, where they can stay for all of two years, is indicative of the easy stereotyping and negative attitudes towards social workers that make their profession so widely criticised.

As for linking Gove's announcement to the Savile scandal, Jimmy Savile was not able to serially sexually abuse children because of a failure by social workers, but because so many who could have stopped him turned a blind eye.

A Unicef report in 2007 rated the UK lowest in a league table of 20 OECD2 countries for child well-being, and little had changed in its 2011 report. When we stop demonising our vulnerable children, start taking responsibility for them and respecting their rights, then children will be safer, social work will be valued and society will be better for it.

Veronica Grant

Cwmbelan, Llanidloes

While it is essential that social workers have good intellectual ability, they also need to be compassionate and have authoritative communication skills, qualities not exclusive to the best of Russell Group graduates. Vulnerable children deserve better than having to rely on ill-thought-through but high-profile special schemes which at best will have a marginal impact and at worst undermine the changes already in train.

Philip Hoare

Senior lecturer, applied social services Worcester University

During 20 years in childcare, what worked in child protection was multidisciplinary teamwork and support, professional commitment and resources. It took years to establish the fruitful networks, including police, around the Inner London Education Authority. ILEA was becoming an effective counterweight to childhood need and family deprivation, but it was a shameful casualty of the Thatcher/ Livingstone spat. What let us down repeatedly was the legal system, and the Child Protection Service and its obfuscations.

Ann Kutek

London SW6

If ever there was a job where running a home and raising children counted for more than a degree, it is social work. That graduates, with their huge debt and unhoned life skills, should be thought fit to support impoverished households in trouble, only shows how little Gove knows about the reality of life for countless families.

Kathy Fields

Groombridge, East Sussex

The Rommel family still defends the reputation of its wartime general ("Row over film that portrays Rommel as more rat than fox", 28 October). Yet Rommel called Hitler his "sun lamp", and developed only a passing involvement in the plots of 1944 as he disagreed with Hitler's later military decisions, not his other policies. The plotters envisaged an army dictatorship which would have traded occupied Europe in exchange for a ceasefire allowing them to focus on fighting Russia. There would have been no democracy or Nuremberg trials. Some hero.

Ian McKenzie

Lincoln

All the London television critics seem to bewailing the end of The Thick of It ("Tucker's no more...", 28 October). Why? Am I the only one who finds in the cold, cruel, cynical attitude much that is wrong with today's television? This repulsive stuff is too self-regarding to be proper satire.

Geoffrey Darmon

Lincoln

The creature with which you illustrated Jane Merrick's article "How do-gooders threaten humble bee" is a hoverfly, not a bee (28 October). Hoverflies are good mimics – it's a trick intended to fool birds, small mammals and picture editors. The figure of £20bn given as the value of "bees" to the British economy does not specifically refer to "hive bees". Bees are not the sole or even major pollinators of our crops. If the £20bn quoted is the value to the British economy of crop pollination, I would claim that flies (the two-winged Diptera, such as hoverflies) can claim a similar value. The one in your picture is clearly helping to pollinate a flower.

Darwyn Sumner

Bulletin editor, Dipterists Forum

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk. Online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2012/November/4

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: the paraphernalia of a practised burglar – screwdrivers, gloves, children

Guy Keleny
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits  

So who, really, is David Cameron, our re-elected ‘one nation’ Prime Minister?

Andrew Grice
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?