Monday, June 18, 2007

Beware good intentions

This must be a good idea, mustn't it?

"GPs, school nurses, midwives and A&E staff will be taught the warning signs of forced marriage and be trained to provide a supportive environment for victims to come forward.
Public health minister Caroline Flint said: "Forced marriage affects children and adults as well as men and women from a wide range of communities. An interview with a health professional may be the first and only opportunity victims have to tell someone about what is happening to them.
"This new guidance will help health professionals recognise the warning signs of forced marriage, understand the danger faced by victims and respond to their needs sensitively and effectively

The why do I have sense of foreboding? I pray that I am wrong but my first thought is that if this is going to be the case, then it is unlikely that these poor women will get any treatment at all. In the main imprisoned in their homes and utterly reliant on their men folk, any suspicion that those in the medical proffession might be paid police agents is certain to drive them out of the mainstream healthcare system.

So they will undoubtedly start going exclusively to GPs and the like from their own community, further ostracising them from the indigenous population.

I suspect that a vast majority of health proffessionals, if they spot signs that suggest forced marriage already attempt to offer help and succour to the victims. To tell them must do this, and to provide this training is, for all the good intentions going I fear to backfire horribly.

Worse I have a suspicion, in terms of statistical analysis, it will be a great sucess as fewer and fewer women in this awful situation will be reported. But that does not mean that these practices are being stamped out, rather that they will no longer be getting any medical help at all.

I pray that I am wrong.


DuSanne said...

Sadly I think your prayers will be in vain, but I was glad to see a good expression of the dangers.

My back was up as soon as I saw the words 'Flint' and 'Caroline' in the same sentence. For once though, I was strugling to mentally piece together the risk in this, and for once I will say I will also say well intentioned, idea, despite growing up in just the type of area where the type of outcome you suggest would be a very probable problem.

I actually think the Flint mindset at the heart of a lot of my problems with the current regime, beyond them being of a different political colour. I have not one of the classic attributes to be a manager of others, for example being reticent to the point of being shy, but overall I've done well out of the fact that I've understood the impact every decision I made on everyone affected by it. I can still roleplay to myself the teenage binge drinker to understand the inanity of NuLab's attempts to deal with the teenage drinking problems it has created, and I can just about roleplay to myself a woman in the kind of situation you describe. It's an important ability but one that seems uniformly lacking in those who run our lives today.

As an aside, I stopped reading blogs and pretty much everything else online for personal reasons for a while when other things were more pressing. On my return, for some reason I had forgotten about EE, but was very glad a few days ago to get some link back to remind me of its existance and to find it if anything even better than before.

Elaib said...

I have talked to a couple of people about this post now, and they just cannot see the (possible) unintended consequences. This project is an unaloyed good in their eyes.
Of course there are other methods to discourage this sort of behaviour, but it would take a brave politicain to even to start deliniating them.

Thanks for your kind words, and good to see you back. Oh yes and I hope that you don't see all of us as an 'Embarrasment to the Cause"!

Dusanne said...

No...far from all. I think it was more a reference to the website and perhaps some of the non-Farage YouTube clips.

I think I'm just about a Hannanite tory rather than UKIP still, but I still like to send an appropriate message when EP elections come around.

Maybe some of the image problems of UKIP may have a silver lining as it allows the Euroelites to naievly misjudge the amount of very considered opposition they now face.

Elaib said...

Ah, don't mention Mr Noakes.

But the Hananites. You see I have a issue similar to yours. I find that they are in a way useful idiots to the Tory Party. By keeping people like Dan, Roger and others in the Tory party the eurorealist wing are pacified and the Cameronians have no need to actually think through their European policy.
A few good men is not enough, and sometimes in private senior Tories have told me that, and this is a direct quote,
"You see, I quite agree with you. But I will never get promotion if I was to do so publically".

This depresses me, because unless we all come together on this we will in the end lose.
That being said, I do hope the new policy of not standing in Westminster elections against BOO signatories will encourage eopl like yourself to trust us in 2009.

Dusanne said...

Actually I quite like Mr Noakes ;-)

I've got a very healthy scepticism too about Tory HQs strategy and even core beliefs on the EU. I don't think for me it's a case of lack of trust that stops me giving more uniform support to UKIP. If I'm honest it's probably pragmatism over principle. I live in a corner of London where it's pretty much a straight Tory/Lib Dem battle for Westminster and local elections, even NuLab not having a toe-hold. My dislike of Lib Dems, at the end of the day, overrides the inclination to give the Tories a kick.

As someone who likes much of UKIP, but only really votes for them for the EP (and London Assembly if my memory serves me right) I do think, the funding problem aside, they seem to be heading in the right direction, especially on image. I'm glad a few new faces are popping up putting the case in a coherent intelligent way. I'm useless with names, but there's someone who pops up on local radio from time to time, and a good representative on DoughtyStreet. The day's of me dreading who the BBC were going to get hold of when they announced there would be a UKIP representative seem to be coming to end at least...whether it reflects a better range of spokespeople or better media management.

I really do wish the party well.