Thursday, 30 July 2009

Kind eyes

Day 4 of SillyWeek. Supplies getting low. Natives learning my subtle ways.

Running out of BBC and police staff officers stuff to do...

Situation getting desperate...might have to fisk Polly just to make it through to Friday night...

Ed Balls, the intrepid Amy, a badge and the power of Twitter

By Bronagh Miskelly on July 9, 2009 4:35 PM

Ed Balls, the children's, schools and families
( and teenagers’ and street gangs’ and adolescents’ and emos’ and bulemics' and NEET’s and tweenagers’ but not former polytechnics but really other great big buildings formerly full of books and what’s that big word beginning with an ‘E’ what you say three times over to prevent bad luck for a whole month or even for the whole lifetime of a Parliament ever happening again?) secretary, was able to stand up for social workers today thanks to Twitter and the efforts of Community Care reporter Amy Taylor.

It started with a Tweet - Balls announced on the social networking site Twitter this morning that he hoped to wear a "Thank God for Social Workers" badge when giving a speech to the Association of Directors of Children's Services, if the badge reached him in time.

In which he said he was going to recruit up to 200 more social workers from other professions, such as lawyers and teachers. And they can have badges too!

The badges were produced by Take a Break magazine which was inspired by Community Care's Stand Up Now for Social Work campaign. Community Care's deputy editor Emma Maier had sent a badge to Balls but it seemed he had not received it.

A flurry of Twitter messages between the Community Care team and the minister followed, including the promise of a badge.

Obviously, Twitter would be a useful tool for police, teachers, social workers and doctors to liaise about specific cases of suspected abuse, or for social workers to do it in-house. And they can get badges!

Next a text message was sent to Community Care journalist Amy Taylor who was attending the conference and who happened to have some of the badges in her bag. Amy intrepidly made her way through Balls' entourage...

One only hopes that she is every bit as intrepid standing at locked doors in the deck-housing and tower blocks of some urine-scented council Auschwitz, and as good an organiser when communicating with other agencies. deliver the prized item and the world was rewarded with a Twitter message from Balls stating he was wearing the badge on stage.

So he already had a badge! So that's alright.

This was followed up with the photographic evidence - a picture posted online by Balls of himself, Amy and Kim Bromley-Derry, ADSC president, proudly displaying the Thank God message.

And they've got a badge!

Having a cabinet minister make a visible effort on an issue like this is very important for the profession especially if it turns out to be backed up by action.

And certainly if some poor abused child is off somewhere bieng beaten and burned and raped whilst the paid professionals are polishing their public image and buying government approval as the price of a nice shiny badge, well...What's the worst that can happen anyway?

It's not like anyone imporatant with lots of votes and money annd media power ever said 'That's my worst enemy: a social worker with a badge...'

Night of the Living Social Workers.


subrosa said...

And of course all his fun paid for by us taxpayers.

JuliaM said...

That must be a very fast shutter speed, to have caught him with his eyes fully open...

James Higham said...

I can't stand Twitter. I just tune out.

Barking Spider said...

Twitter is meaningless drivel to me - perfect vehicle for Balls balls, then.

TDK said...


I'm shocked at the rank insensitivity displayed by the non-inclusive message to thank god for social workers. Leaving aside the attack on the critical secular traditions of social work, we have to ask: What about polytheists, atheists, pagans and rationalists? How are these communities going to feel when they are confronted with a badge that rides roughshod over their beliefs.



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