Our friends at CCTV, Community Care’s internet broadcasting arm, tell us that its two vodcasts have captured people’s imagination beyond the UK’s borders. Latest figures show the vodcasts – on plans for GP-style social work practices and the Scottish approach to tackling antisocial behaviour – have been viewed nine times in Belgium and 19 times in the US state of Colorado. It seems the Rocky Mountains state is a hotbed of interest in British social care. The Beatles, apparently, took somewhat longer to crack the US.
Relations between anti-racist groups and the Commission for Racial Equality have hit a new low with a boycott of the CRE’s Race Convention this week by bodies including the 1990 Trust and Operation Black Vote. Their beef is with the price – up to £700 per delegate – the media sponsor (The Daily Telegraph) and the subject matter. Workshop titles such as “Rivers of Blood: Did Enoch Powell Get it Right?” have, not surprisingly, gone down like a lead balloon, so the groups organised their own conference – which is free – earlier this week to rival it.
Junior children’s minister Parmjit Dhanda (pictured right) has been in post since May but he is still having the odd problem being recognised, even within government. Last month, a government e-mail alert on a speech he made to a conference in Gloucester boldly stated: “She talks about work placements for care leavers.” Hopefully, clarity on Dhanda’s masculinity has now been established across Whitehall.
The government’s chief scientific adviser, Professor David Nutt, has apparently recommended that the Home Office downgrade Ecstasy and LSD from Class A to Class B. The Daily Mail, which opposes the move, last week seemed perturbed by the identity of the minister due to make a decision on the recommendation, Vernon Coaker. Coaker, it said, had “admitted having ‘one or two puffs of marijuana’ in his university days”. The implication is that this makes him incapable of making the decision, resumably because of the lingering effects of those “one or two puffs”.