Alice

The enslavement of British kids described in The Correction isn’t a dystopian prediction – it’s happening now, and Alice’s fate is modeled on a real case.

Let’s start with terminology. The British call the practice Forced Adoption, but that’s like saying the shipping of Africans to the Americas was Forced Emigration; both terms conceal the essential fact that a person’s future life is placed at the complete disposal of others. Indeed British kids have a worse time than African slaves, who in the Old South were allowed to stay with their moms until they were five. So the kids are slaves, i.e. people who are made the legal property of others and forced to obey them.

Child slavery is not new to the British – they used it to help populate Canada and Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries – Margaret Humphreys’ book (and movie) Oranges and Sunshine describes the Australian export trade. And other nations have used it – the Argentinian Junta took the kids of the resistance fighters they killed. And the Nazis enslaved hundreds of thousands of kids from eastern Europe to boost the German population.

I got interested in this topic when the following piece in the London Daily Telegraph tripped my anomaly detector:

As parliamentary figures show, the number of applications for care orders averages around 8,000 a year. Of these only between 0.1 and 0.2 per cent are refused.

A conviction rate of 99.8% is impossible in a free society, so I sought independent verification and quickly found this House of Commons report:

The latest published figures are from 2009, and these show that the number of care orders made increased from 6,240 to 7,640, while the number of cases withdrawn increased by 28 to 298 and the number of refused orders remained the same at 20.

Yes, that’s a 99.7% conviction rate, and a quick dig revealed that the conviction rate for other crimes at that time was 80.7%, about 20% less. The divergence is actually much greater, since for these other crimes the cops must first submit their cases to the public prosecutor, called the CPS, which tosses all the dubious ones, whereas the slave courts have no such prior filtering. Also, most convictions in British courts result in quite mild sentences – a fine, community service, a deferred sentence. Whereas a child taking always mutilates an entire family for life – mother, father, siblings, child, grandparents – so is as close to capital punishment as the modern British get.

Some people who don’t have kids don’t comprehend the universal strength of parental attachment – if you’re in that category try listening to families when you next take a walk in the park. Just this weekend, while running in London I passed Italian mothers cooing at infants in strollers, a Russian carrying his kid piggyback while they sang a folk ballad together, a German father with his small daughter in her smart soccer outfit congratulating her on her play, and, very gently, stroking her head.

Behavioral psychologists (currently) say that the drive to have and nurture offspring equals our drive to stay alive (which is why parents often die to save their kids), and that parenting works because kids have 50% of each of their parents’ genes, and so they understand each other.

So we would expect a civilized society to prosecute allegedly broken families with even more care than it displays when prosecuting alleged murderers. That would include deploying all the Bill of Rights and Magna Carta protections: trial by jury of peers, habeas corpus, presumption of innocence, proof beyond reasonable doubt, transparency of process. It would mean that to take a kid the state would first have to arraign its parent(s) for specific criminal offenses that harmed their kid(s), that law enforcement put together the charges, that the public prosecutor made the decision on prosecution, and that the trial was in court in front of a jury and open to the public and media. And, if the parent or parents were convicted of abusive behavior, that there would be a second trial to determine what should be done with the kid(s) (from nothing, because the abuser is in jail, through passing the kid(s) to other family members, all the way up to the state taking over care). But, since the kid is the innocent party, we’d expect it would only be permanently removed if the proven crimes of both parents were so heinous that they could not possibly be left with their offspring.

However to get the 99.7% conviction rate, the process is nothing like this. Social workers lay charges, not cops. There is no assessment of the case by a public prosecutor. The parents are neither charged with crimes nor allowed to defend themselves. No jury, just a judge. Prosecution witnesses are so-called experts, who cannot be cross-examined. (Edit on March 17 – here’s an example). The cases are heard in special Family Courts, with no Bill of Rights protections, that sit in absolute secrecy ‘to protect the children’, although once the kids are taken they’re advertised for adoption in the media, complete with pictures, ages, first names. No published records of the trial.

If the British tried alleged murderers this way, they’d be an international pariah.

The scandal has been exposed by Christopher Booker, who writes for the London Daily/ Sunday Telegraph, and this piece by him is the basis for the story of Alice’s enslavement in The Correction. The book, as with its other projections, simply extrapolates current trends:

  1. Current annual growth rate of ‘care’ orders, 28.5%, compounds to 25,000 kids being taken annually by calendar 2016.
  2. The book assumes the legal process is accelerated. This extrapolates the 2012 cutting of time-from-taking-to-adoption from 12 to 6 months.
  3. Currently EU nationals cannot take Brit kids, but the British have started taking French kids, so the European Commission will likely even things up soon.
  4. In the book, children are taken to order. That may already be happening, but with secret courts we have no way of finding out.
  5. We have current examples of corruption, institutional cruelty, family-busting, and pedophilic behaviors within the UK elite. The book forecasts these will become systemic, on the principle of the fish rotting from the head down.
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