ContactPoint will include the names, ages and addresses of all 11 million under-18s in England as well as information on their parents, GPs, schools and support services such as social workers.
The £224 million computer system was announced in the wake of the death of Victoria Climbié, who was abused and then murdered after a string of missed opportunities to intervene by the authorities, as a way to connect the different services dealing with children.
It has always been portrayed as a way for professionals to find out which other agencies are working with a particular child, to make their work easier and provide a better service for young people.
However, it has now emerged that police officers, council staff, head teachers, doctors and care workers will use the records to search for evidence of criminality and wrongdoing to help them launch prosecutions against those on the database – even long after they have reached adulthood.
When CNN’s Walter Isaacson confronted John McCain about his professed love of the band of ABBA, which of course was a lame attempt to cater to “disaffected Hillary supporters” as his blogger Michael Goldfarb made clear, McCain (you guessed it) whipped out the trusty ol’ POW card to explain:
“What were you thinking?,” Isaacson asked him, looking incredulous.
“If there is anything I am lacking in, I’ve got to tell you, it is taste in music and art and other great things in life,” McCain joked. “I’ve got to say that a lot of my taste in music stopped about the time I impacted a surface-to-air missile with my own airplane and never caught up again.”
But, as Spencer Ackerman was quick to point out:
It seems incredible, but as the Democrats gather in Denver to anoint Barack Obama, America could be on course to re-elect a Republican as their President. Not just any Republican either, but a belligerent 71-year-old who can’t remember how many houses he owns, would happily nuke Iran and whose answer to global warming is to drill for oil in environmentally sensitive areas off the coast of America which don’t even have much oil. But according to the polls, John McCain is drawing level with Barack Obama, and even pulling ahead.
Really, America is a strange, strange country. After a disastrous and illegal war, in which 4000 American soldiers have died, in the middle of an economic crisis largely caused by the investment houses that finance the Republican party, you would have thought it almost inconceivable that the Republicans could be re-elected. Could any political brand be more toxic? Has any party in history deserved to be thrown out at an election more than the Republicans in 2008?
Yet enough American voters believe that John McCain might have the answers for him to become a serious contender. Which is scary. McCain is not an unknown quantity – he is a highly excitable politician with a notoriously short temper, who would bring his impetuous and confrontational style into American foreign policy. With the world entering a global economic slump, and old enmities raging in Europe, John McCain as President would be like a flamethrower in a fireworks factory.
The FBI is looking into reports in Denver media outlets that a man under investigation for drug and weapons violations may have made threats against Barack Obama, officials said Monday.
“It’s premature to say that it was a valid threat or that these folks have the ability to carry it out,” said a U.S. government official familiar with the investigation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Law enforcement sources told CBS affiliate KCNC in Denver that one of the suspects “was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative.”
One of the suspects told authorities they were “going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a … rifle … sighted at 750 yards,” reported KCNC.
This morning you noted that McCain’s constant POW self-references have assumed clinical proportions; I don’t know if he’s clinical, but he’s certainly cynical. Real heroes don’t go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about their own heroism – particularly in order to satisfy personal ambition like this:
“I didn’t decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I’d had the ambition for a long time.” – John McCain, “Worth the Fighting For”, 2002.
The heroes I knew in my youth – the guys who came back from WWII and Korea – never said a word about it. Our family friend Ernie, who had been a German POW for three years after being shot down; the only way I ever learned about that is that someone else told me – not Ernie. My dad – 100 missions over North Africa, Italy, France and Germany, three confirmed kills and the Distinguished Flying Cross – never a word about the war; no, I take that back: on his deathbed, when we were alone, he struggled up out of his delirium for a moment and looked at me and said “War is the stupidest thing human beings do.” Almost the last thing he ever said.
We’ve all spent years psychoanalyzing Bush and his oedipal drama, his need to out-do his old man – what about McCain and his 4-star admiral father and 4-star admiral grandfather: think there might be any oedipal ambition there? Do we need four more years of this?
Versatel is a large internet provider in the Netherlands.
Here’s how they respond to a complaint when one of their customers is sending out spam:
The users mailfolder is over the allowed quota (size).