Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The dark side of Doctor Barnardo

Open Democracy tells us that Barnardo’s, the children’s charity, is working with G4S to hold asylum seekers and their children at a secure facility in West Sussex.

Which reminds me of a piece I once wrote as Professor Strange (as sort of academic cousin of Lord Bonkers) for Clinical Psychology Forum.

After explaining:
They don’t let me out of College much these days, so I spend my time feeding the ravens and exploring the less-frequented shelves of the library.
the professor went on to look at Barnardo's role in sending children out to Australia and other distant parts of the British Empire.

Far from being, as is often claimed, a secret, "It was done on a massive scale ... and was widely discussed."

And Professor Strange concluded:
Nor was Dr Barnardo himself free from controversy. More than one parent went to court in an attempt to secure the return of children who had been sent overseas. Strangely these children always seemed to have been adopted by wealthy but eccentric figures who made it a condition of the arrangement that their identities would never been revealed. 
One mother, a Mrs Gossage, fought the good doctor all the way to the House of Lords and won her case, but she never saw her son Henry again. 
We know this, the ravens and I, but if I am invited to conferences I get excited and wave my arms about too much. That is why they don’t let me out of College much these days.

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