9 February 2016

Marianne Haslev Skånland:

Confused politicians?

The Rogaland County division of Fremskrittspartiet (The Progress Party) has held an annual meeting, just now in the wake of Stavanger Aftenblad's revelations of the case of Ida "Glassjenta" (Ida "The Glass Girl").

This child protection case has apparently been important at the meeting:

"Aftenbladets maratonreportasje om "Glassjenta" Ida var med og sette dagsorden for den politiske debatten på første dag av fylkesårsmøtet i Rogaland Fremskrittsparti på Sola."
(Stavanger Aftenblad's marathon report about "The Glass Girl" contributed to setting the agenda for the political debate on the first day of the County annual meeting of Rogaland Progress Party at Sola.)

(the quote is from)
– Det er mange som "Glassjenta" (There are many like "The Glass Girl")
Sterk kritikk mot barnevernet på Frp-årsmøtet. (Strong criticism against the CPS at the Progress Party annual meeting.)
Stavanger Aftenblad, 6 February 2016

The Glass Girl Ida is a young girl who has been under the care of the child protection service (CPS), been kept under prison conditions and been treated with unbelievable brutality and force.

Criticism is certainly a good thing. But Stavanger Aftenblad has something odd to report from the meeting:

"Fleire talarar kritiserte barnevernet for å vera altfor lukka og å gøyma seg bak teieplikta for å unngå innsyn og kritikk."
(Several speakers criticised the CPS over being too secretive, hiding behind their obligation of silence to avoid checking and criticism.)

It strikes me that we should ask why and how these speakers imagine that releasing CPS workers from their obligation of silence and getting them to talk about the cases instead, would give the politicians more reliable insight into the truth of these cases.

Since they apparently think it would, then these politicians apparently still continue to believe that the CPS is
actually right about cases and their people speak the truth? And the politicians still do not dare to direct criticism at the CPS unless they have their information from the CPS themselves? This in spite of Ida's case and all the other, many hundreds of cases which keep coming every year (at a guess 2-4000 cases, new ones and re-runs), not least from Rogaland, in fact?

The article in Stavanger Aftenblad has a picture with a text:
"Barne- og likestillingsminister Solveig Horne … diskuterer med på- og avtroppande fylkesleiar Roy Steffensen og Kari Raustein."
(The minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion Solveig Horne .... has a discussion with the new and the departing county leaders Roy Steffensen and Kari Raustein.)

What is there to discuss? Is Solveig Horne once again saying that we must make sure that the CPS keeps its competence high and is given more resources, so that nobody will in the future have anything like the experiences that Ida had? In other words, is she repeating what she said here (apparently directly connected to
the Bodnariu case):
"IVARETA RETTSSIKKERHETEN: Som statsråd og politiker kan jeg ikke gå inn i enkeltsaker. Men en av mine viktigste oppgaver er å passe på at rettssikkerheten blir ivaretatt, og å sørge for at de som arbeider med dette feltet har den nødvendige kunnskapen og kompetansen. Vi vet jo at feil kan skje. Derfor må vi sørge for at systemet fungerer, slik at feil blir fanget opp, sier ansvarlig statsråd Solveig Horne."
(GUARD THE RULE OF LAW: As a minister and a politician I cannot go into single cases. But one of my most important tasks is to take care of it that the rule of law is upheld, and to see to it that those who work in this field have the necessary knowledge and proficiency. We all know that mistakes can occur. That is why we must make sure that the system is functioning, so that mistakes are taken care of, says the minister responsible Solveig Horne.)

So is the system functioning? Are mistakes taken care of? How?


When these speakers at the annual meeting criticise their own inability to get proper information out of the CPS, then I would like to criticise the speakers correspondingly for not seeking information from the families themselves. Most politicians don't, stubborn mules, they stick to official mumbo jumbo.

It is absolutely possible both to go into enough single cases to get a first rate grip on the whole picture, and to seek comparative information and evidence. One finds that the cases converge.

Such information is far better, more trustworthy, than that of the CPS. The families have all the documents of their case too (except documents being spirited away by the CPS, usually because they
do not support the CPS's case), and they have every right to make them public. Mind you, our authorities are all the time trying to take the right to free expression away from the children's parents, on the pretext that it is to sensitive and terrible for the children to have it revealed how the CPS is treating the family. Norwegians usually believe in such arguments but there is no reason to.

If the CPS is allowed to talk as much as they want and show publicly all the documents they jolly well like, they will still maintain that the case is much more serious than anybody thinks and that the CPS with their x-ray eyes are the only ones who know this. – If every CPS case was truly exposed, with open doors and meticulous reporting from the running of the cases in the county committees and the courtrooms, it just might dawn on naïve souls that there is a high degree of falsification against the families, and that the CPS keeps a tremendously remunerative industry going that is very detrimental to children.


Why on earth do politicians grumble about not getting information from the CPS? Do they really think it would help? Oh no, but it might reassure the politicians about their own positions, if they can hear even more eager declarations from the CPS about how fine everything is but that they need more resources, more money.
    Does one run to the concentration camp personnel for reliable information about the daily chores in the camp? Or ask the fox if it treats the geese nicely, only helping itself to a very rare specimen, in a very serious case, when it is absolutely necessary, as a last resort?

To declare that they are not to go into single cases is the smartest excuse for doing nothing which the politicians have invented for themselves. If one does not go carefully into single cases, one cannot maintain any rule of law, nor create it where it does not exist. It should be unnecessary to remind anyone of it.

Politicians are "interesting".


Child protection –
rules and regulations and how to worm out of them

Norway's parliament passes law making it obligatory to
receive 'help' from the child protection services

Political program for child protection in local administration

Child protection and the emperor's new clothes