In the last couple of days a furore has broken out regarding people who foster children in the UK. As we all know all too well it is important that children are fostered with the right temporary parents. Just what defines "right" could be open to debate.
Many children who are fostered in the UK have had more than their fair share of trouble. They may only be young but in some cases will have seen the nasty side of life already. A loving home must therefore be at the top of the list for potential foster parents requirements. There will of course be other considerations.
Should one of those be the political persuasion of one or both foster parents?
The case which has raised all of this involves parents who are members of UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party. Look online and you will see that reports on the matter written abroad have UKIP categorised as a Conservative party. UKIP may or may not like that alliance. It is fair to say that most of their policies are right wing but as they attempt to court British voters they be hoping to draw a line between the two parties. Many British voters will be steering well clear of any party that even remotely looks Tory tainted at the next election. UKIP have altready said they would join forces with the Tories to form a coalition if necessary. So more of the same could be on offer.
Still we digress.
Three foster children have been removed from their temporary home due to the foster parents membership of UKIP. Immediately a political row got underway which does not help the kids notr the parents. The council where the children live is a Labour run one but council members have denied any involvement. They too claim to be appalled at this action. The Tories who are already in election mode of course are trying to use this case as political leverage.
But what about the childrem? It is after all only they who matter.
The foster parents at the heart of the row have fostered chidren for seven years. The three children are described as being of "ethnic minority". UKIP have clear policies on immigration into the UK which seem to have casued the action to remove the children.
Britain's Education Minister Michael Gove, who was himself adopted promised an investigation saying also,
"Rotherham's reasons for denying this family the chance to foster are indefensible. The ideology behind their decision is actively harmful to children. We should not allow considerations of ethnic or cultural background to prevent children being placed with loving and stable families. We need more parents to foster, and many more to adopt.
The couple at the centre of this case are in the mid 50's, respectable and apparently law abiding citizens. They are said to have previously been Labour voters who have turned to UKIP as the UKs hope. That is their choice.
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council will now carry out an urgent review of the case. The area has a high ethnic minority population and has also recently been involved in cases of child abuse such as sex grooming gangs.
The person responsible for children's services in Rotherham insisted that the UKIP, for want of a better word, foster home was only ever going to be temporary and said.
"We always try to place children in a sensible cultural placement. These children are not UK children and we were not aware of the foster parents having strong political views. There are some strong views in the Ukip party and we have to think of the future of the children." "Also the fact of the matter is I have to look at the children's cultural and ethnic needs. The children have been in care proceedings before and the judge had previously criticised us for not looking after the children's cultural and ethnic needs, and we have had to really take that into consideration with the placement that they were in."
On the face of it this looks ridiculous. We are inclined to wonder just who may have engineered all of this. It is certainly good PR for UKIP as one of their leading lights has already told the media. UKIP were once thought of as just another crackpot fringe party but have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. This is mainly due to people's disillusionment with the EU. They now have three Peers in the house of Lords but this is due to Tory defections. So yes it is yet another Tory Party iin different clothes.
Perhaps we should remind the Tories and British people what David Cameron's opinion of UKIP was in 2006. At that time in a radio interview he said UKiP members were "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly". Now of course he is trying to distance himself from those words.
Nigel Farage is an articulate man. He does offer UKIP an electable face. Whether the party has grown is not clear. Their manifesto is based around, "a demand for Britain to pull out of Europe and to curb immigration. It is also critical of multiculturalism and political correctness."
We are left wondering where do you draw the line? Is it fair to foster an Afro Caribbean child with a member of the BNP? You tell me.
We just hope the children find a suitable home soon. The rest is just political spin and opportunism.