24 August 2018
Ben McPherson's ideas of Norwegian child protection
By Anita Skippervik

Thank you, author, for this article and for trying to defend the Norwegian CPS system:

Ben McPherson:
Open letter to Tim Whewell, BBC: Children in Norway are born with rights
Aftenposten, 16 August 2018

Your article shows the world the terrible attitude we are met with if someone criticizes the system in Norway. McPherson tries to defend it only with the phrases that our CPS system is just about protecting children, and the employers are gentle when going about their work. Therefore, he believes, it is bad business for people to use harsh language against them.

McPearson thinks that he is allowed to be a judge against his colleague Tim Whewell for his documentary "Norway's silent scandal" and claims that this documentary builds on no reliable sources. How can he be so blind?

The documentation and sources are illustrated in Whewell's interview with lawyer Victoria Holmen about the known method in the CPS of employing leading questions and afterwards distorting the answers in their documents. The documents from the CPS show misuse of power in one of the cases presented. The interview with psychologist Hjermann, too, shows that it is necessary to ask questions about the convicted psychiatrist and the Expert Commission on Children (ECC). Does this system discriminate families and favour the system and people in the system?

The information in court when this childporn viewer psychiatrist was convicted confirms that there is discrimination. Some still try to say that the conviction is not final, but in fact only the question of appropriate sentence is appealed, not the finding of guilt. If this is not enough documentation for McPearson that this system is not for protection of children, then psychologist Langfeldt's panic answer at the end of the documentary is revealing enough: Do not examine cps cases, it will only lead to major compensation claims which Norway cannot afford.

So where does McPearson find his sources for claiming that the documentary has no documentation, other than in comparing differences between Norwegian and British mentality in a way which many Brits do not recognize as being characteristic? With his article McPerson only shows that he uses the same method as does the CPS when they compose their documents, in the sense of distorting the truth.

It is obvious that the author does not see the whole system when he tries to defend it, but only sees the glorification of the system from his wife. There is a 30% turn over of staff every year and 24% sick leave generally (figures from BUFDIR). It tells us that there is a really bad culture in the CPS and poor leadership. It is well known that turn over is caused by poor leadership and bad culture, so the reason behind these numbers cannot be explained away like the author tries to do with the facts.

Furthermore, does the author rely on fine principles when he comforts us about the reasons why children are taken into care? Does he know if the principles are followed? He will not be able to actually know because of confidentiality in the cases. Unlike Tim Whewell who has obtained insight into the cps's documents from the private party. The author is wrong when he claims that the documentary has no adequate sources.

Arrogantly, the author claims that Whewell has not understood how far the Norwegian system is developed compared to the British system regarding physical violence. The statistic from NOVA report 9/14 states a low number in Norway of physical violence, 1,8 %. As a reason for public placement there is supposed to be really serious violence so that no less dramatic intervention is at all adequate. The CPS does not understand this principle of least serious intervention even though there is zero tolerance of physical violence. Again, the author shows his lack of knowledge about the system and his gentle CPS workers in his defence of this system.

The author alleges that the Norwegian system has developed so far because the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child has been incorporated into Norwegian law. Unfortunately we have a situation now that a CPS leader has stated in writing that this law does not apply for them regarding CPS matters.

Furthermore, children in Norway do not have the right to be a party in their own case and the Norwegian state has denied children the right to complain to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Furthermore, the author cannot have read the convention himself. Some argue that "the best interest of the child" principle in article 3 is in conflict with rights for parents, but in §2 the states undertake to ensure and "take into account the rights and duties of his or her parents". How this has developed into an understanding of a conflict is strange when it is actually in the best interest of children that parents have their legal safeguards and the child a right to its family. In most cases the best interest of children and parents will therefore coincide against any interest of the state and the CPS to hold unopposed power to separate them. Again, does the author not see what Tim Whewell points out in the documentary about the discrimination between ordinary citizens and people working in the system?

McPherson's article is comparable to the history about Dr Semmelweis. He wanted to get rid of the use of medical equipment infected with dangerous bacteria. The doctors in Vienna got furious and had him branded and committed as insane. They wanted to let the deaths continue instead of admitting their responsibility.

With all respect and thanks again for showing a lack of knowledge of facts. The purpose of the article is obviously to have people believe that Tim Whewell's work is undocumented. Even if Tim Whewell is the one who is objective and sees the discrimination and may be able to wake the sleeping dog with his work. McPherson has no factual reason to attack a skilful colleague and defend a system which continues avoiding its responsibility and has already been exposed as fraudulent.


Norway's Silent Scandal – BBC Newsnight
BBC Newsnight, 6 August 2018

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
A new BBC documentary on Norwegian child protection

Per Storegjerde, Naustdal:
Child protection in Norway and Naustdal

Ян Отто Иоганович Иогансен:
Самодовольная Норвегия

Ян Симонсен:
Посольство Норвегии в Бухаресте рисует глянцевую картину
норвежской службы защиты прав детей (Barnevern)

Octavian D. Curpas:
With Barnevernet, Norway is going South

Ottar Steinhovden:
Informere om norsk barnevern i utlandet