Archive for 31 August 2011

Sexy and dishonest – Politics is not how the media want people to believe

I recently made a complaint to the BBC after watching their HardTalk programme. This programme, like Piers Morgan’s programme with celebrities aims to ask tough questions to authoritative public figures. As someone who likes to learn by reading case studies and listening to biographies of the greats so I can try to improve my own performance, you would think this would be a great programme for me. However I’m all too often left wanting.

About a year ago I became a Fellow of BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT. In that time I have been bringing myself up-to-standard to try and be as professional as I can by slowly changing my attitudes to meet the BCS’s code of conduct to the letter. If you ask my friends for something I have said a lot since then they would tell you I’ve been saying, ‘Don’t question my honesty and integrity’.

Since becoming a professional fellow having honesty and integrity has been more important than ever. Whereas once I may have brushed off Cllr Allen Bevan suggesting other people are acting in bad faith, now I find it offensive. And I equally find this about nearly every broadcast with the BBC interviewing someone of substance.

On the HardTalk programme I watched on 31 August 2011 I was offended by the fact that when the interviewee made a statement in response to a question, instead of the interviewer questioning whether that response was best practice they questioned whether the interviewee was telling the truth about what they said. As a professional this disgusts me the way the media are treating public figures with such disrespect so it is no wonder there is so much distrust among the public towards public figures.

I think the BBC should have an ‘Assume Good Faith Policy‘. If a politician or professional governed by a code of practice or ethics gives an answer to a question it should be assumed they are being honest and answering within their competencies and as accurately as possible. Clearly this policy should be careful not to prevent debate such as whether a scientific claim is supported by scientific evidence. However, the honesty or integrity of interviewees or other participants should be assumed and not questioned. Even if what someone says is ‘wrong’ it should be assumed they honestly hold that opinion and have no malice intended.

I have 4 degrees, I don’t want soundbites, I want detail so I can learn from heavy weights like many public figures are and have confidence in them, not the suspicion the media want to create in order to get a good story from a boring occupation. With the media questioning a public figures honesty all the time, or pursuing a line of questioning to attempt to damage their reputation is denying me as a member of the public my human rights.

The Human Rights Act gives public figures the right to express themselves without being made to damage their reputation. I think the BBC, by constantly interrupting politicians when they are trying to give a complete answer on their terms and not the agenda of the media who want to sex up politics are denying the public the right to hold public figures to account.

Politicians are supposed to act in accordance with the Nolan Principles and Standards in Public Life – each Labour Party candidate is asked whether they are aware of this. I think this document should to be the standard code of conduct for all politicians.
If someone thinks a particular politician falls short on these standards then they should make a complaint to the appropriate official public authority, such as the Parliamentary Standards Authority for MPs, or Standards Committee for councillors. Then whenever a lay journalist is interviewing a politician they should at all times assume that a politician is following this code, and if they were to question that public figures performance of this code in an interview on this, such as by suggesting a politician or other public figure lacks honesty or integrity then they should be made accountable to the Press Complaints Commission or Ofcom, or in the case of the BBC, the BBC Trust.

These lay journalists, who often having no substance beyond having a humanities degree and journalism training, want politics to be sexed up like a Mills and Boon novel, when really most of it would make people’s eyes glaze over. I want the truth even if the BBC can’t handle the truth. The truth is not the sexy fantasy land of conflict and intrigue the media want. The truth is often boring, but politics is not entertainment – it is about making the world a better place, not funding lay journalists who can’t get a decent job in something like engineering, law or science. Instead these lay journalists are wannabe novelists trying to make a story out of very boring life that most elected representatives have, which if the public knew the truth of would put B&Q’s profits up as they all rush out to get paint for their homes and watch it dry. In truth they have often studied nothing outside the humanities and their subsequent journalism training – I suspect they have never done a module in ethics or made an application to an ethics committee like learned scientists like myself have.
Politics is so boring that I can’t wait to hang up my spurs next year and set up a charity so I can change my community on my terms, without having to sit on boring committees that last hours and only produce minutes.

Can you plead the fifth amendment in the United Kingdom or Europe?

Many people from the US ask if there is a fifth amendment in Europe (or any country within it they happen to be talking about).

In theory the answer is – yes!

All European countries signed up to the European Convention have an obligation to grant this right to people, if the spirit of our ‘Convention Rights’ are upheld.

This treaty gives as two rights relevant in this context – The right to “freedom of expression” and the right to “a fair trial for any charges against us”. In this regard, we also have the right not to express ourselves, so long as it does not interfere with our democracy – such as others rights for such a trial we may be in that is attempting to enforce their rights to hear us cross-examined.

So let’s say we are on trial for sending an offensive message on Facebook, we should in theory have a right not to answer any question about any other crime we may have committed, such as stealing a book from Waterstones, however unlikely that is.

In practice, this right isn’t always granted to us. For example, in the United Kingdom the government has a law which says one must declare whether they committed a speeding offence, and they don’t have to provide you with solid evidence of this unless you decided to take it to court, where they will supply people to testify against you. One might question whether you are given a fair trial in this case if you do not have same access to the defense lawyer that you would if you stole a book from Waterstones for instance.

As with most aspects of law, it is usually the wealthy who are most able to defend their rights. Whether it is a small business trying to get the money they are owed from a customer, or as I have said a member of the public wanting a fair trial for an accusation of speeding, usually those that need the most legal help as least able to access it.

A typical Friday Night at the Pontypridd Constituency Labour Party

Pontypridd CLP Chairman: Does anyone have any ideas about how we can better understand the meaning or cause of life?

[Disruption while the Councillor for Ty Nant questions the Chairman]

Cllr Darwin: I think we descended from apes, we quite clearly share so many characteristics we must have a common ancestors.

Llantwit Fardre BLP Chairman: Shut up Charles you don’t know what you’re talking about!

Freeman Newton: I have a suggestion.

CLP Chairman: One minute Issac, the Councillor for Efail Isaf wants to speak.

Efail Isaf Councillor: Well I think it’s disgusting we’re having this conversation in the first place. No one thought to invite the science minister, and why are we holding the meeting at 5 o’clock in the evening, it must be that the executive want to stifle debate.

Freeman Newton: Can I…

CLP Chairman: One minute Issac. Stephen, you wanted to say something?

Cllr Hawking: Far from being mathematical curiosities which appear only in special cases, I think singularities are a fairly generic feature of general relativity.

Dr Einstein: I agree, the source is not mass. In my opinion mass is part of the energy-momentum tensor, which includes both energy and momentum densities as well as stress.

CLP Chairman: You wanted to say something Issac?

Freeman Newton: I was going to say that a body’s motion can be described as a combination of free or inertial motion, and deviations from this free motion. But Albert and Stephen have moved on since then.

CLP Chairman: Are we ready for the minutes?…

Cause for shame

As someone who has had research published on the role of “Black stereotypes” in understanding online communities every year since 2008 and who has served as a councillor in Treforest, the most ethnically diverse ward in Rhondda Cynon Taf since that year, I must say I am shocked by the ignorance in the David Starkey racism row – not of David Starkey, but many others.

As a company director in charge of compliance I know that the racial characteristics of “Black” and “White” are protected by equality legislation and if David Starkey meant it in this way he would be racist. But as someone who is devoutly into popular music and has a degree in media studies I know that the terms “Black” and “White” mean something totally different in popular culture.

For instance, Eminem is “White” but “does Black music”. In simple terms he writes about how he as a white person has suffered the same suppression and discrimination that the many Black people disadvantaged in society do as a result of their needs not being taken account of. This “Black music” about overcoming suppression and disadvantage is bound to be identified with by those trapped on welfare by not being given chances in life others enjoy.

The “Black” stereotypes I have researched, like “pariah”, could describe the way the working class are treated by the political elite to which Mr Starkey refers, unlike the more positive ones like “assiduous” and “exotic”, which mean creative and unique respectively, and which hopefully the many working-class people of Merthyr will soon be now the University of Glamorgan is there ready to expand their horizons like they have in Treforest.

The critics who are not able to differentiate having “black skin” from the existence of “Black culture” are, using the words of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, “institutionally racist” and it is their ignorance they should be ashamed of and not David Starkey’s informed observation.

Gender Differences between Labour Women in Central and Eastern South Wales

I was in the Labour Party for 14 years. One thing most people will remember about me was how I spoke up for all-women shortlists and decried the way women were forced into traditional gender roles, like making their tea in Ogmore or taking in the minutes in Pontypridd. I challenged both of these by taking on the role of Secretary in both constituencies, and showing the men in Ogmore CLP how to make tea – don’t ask me how to boil an egg though!

Most of the women I know in Pontypridd CLP are neo-feminists – they want to be treated on the same terms as men because their values are still outdated, so they adopt all their negative traits such as being delusional about their true abilities and worthiness and try to control where they have no competency.

The women I know in Ogmore CLP are not even feminists – they know the men won’t listen anyway because they think they know it all so let them get on with it and keep making mistakes.

The women I know in Rhondda CLP on the other had have no such hang-ups; they are assertive yet tolerant and competent and strong willed – the men in Rhondda know they have met their match! The women in the Rhondda CLP are proud to be women and proud to be from Rhondda – they know they don’t need to be treated the same as Rhondda men, because they are confident in their abilities and who they are and in being themselves.

Making local TV work

I read with interest Martin Shipton’s article on the role of local TV channels in light of the need to cut broadcasting costs (Western Mail, August 11).

I am a big fan of Euronews and the Politics Show. In the case of the former there is the latest video footage from the EU, with vox-pops being translated into one’s own language joined together by a voice-over in the same language. In the case of the latter it has a strong focus on the UK while having a Wales insert into it during the programme.

I think these two concepts should be the basis on which to prioritise spending. BBC1 Wales, BBC2W and S4C could be replaced by a single commercial Welsh-language channel with English dubbing, subtitling and voice-overs – perhaps called Cymru 24. BBC1 could become a generic national channel and have different “idents” for Wales. Its programmes, which would be made in London, could have English-language inserts about Wales made in Wales.

So a documentary would have a UK perspective and then have inserts from Welsh personalities and footage from Wales.

This would cut down the costs of programming in Wales and mean Welsh speakers would get the broadcasting they deserve through a dedicated channel. Why spend so much money on dedicated English-language programming in Wales when most people watch other English-language channels on Sky and Freeview anyway?

My six protocols and 12 commandments of good practice guidance

These are my values, beliefs and principles express as protocols and commandments. They carry the weight of philosophical beliefs under the Equality Act 2010 and related European Union legislation as they affect the way I carry out my day to day activities. You have the right to freedom of expression, but I shall regard any expression in any medium that questions my performance in these protocols without first following my internal complaints procedure below to have breached my Convention Rights to protection of my reputation under the Human Rights Act 1998 and other enabling legislation in other European countries. These Protocols and Commandments should be considered to have the same weight in my life as any code of practice and/or the 10 commandments in the Abrahamic religions.

Protocol 1 – Opportunity

I recognise that one of the distinguishing features of being both a professional and public figure is that my knowledge and skills are at the service of all communities, and do not simply serve the interests of my Network of Practice or engagers. I aim to be honest and accurate in advertising their professional services and products, in order to avoid encouraging unrealistic expectations or otherwise misleading the public.

Commandment 1 – Equality

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I shall conduct them with without discrimination against others on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, colour, race, ethnic origin, religion, age or disability, or any other protected characteristic. In particular I shall-
a. Respect individual, cultural and role differences, including (but not exclusively) those involving age, disability, education, ethnicity, gender, language, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital or family status and socio-economic status; and
b. Strive to achieve an appropriate balance within the law between demands from information users, the need to respect confidentiality, the terms of their employment, the public good.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I shall avoid situations where a Network of Practice may inappropriately demand I act in a way incompatible with the public interest of my position in other Networks of Practice. In particular I shall-
a. Avoid practices that are unfair or prejudiced and be willing to explain the bases for my ethical decision making; and
b. Be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on available data about policies, research or other information.

(3) In carrying out all my duties I shall promote professionalism in the best possible manner at all times. In particular I shall-
a. Respect the knowledge, insight, experience and expertise of engagers, relevant third parties, and members of the general public; and
b. Afford respect and understanding to other colleagues and professionals and acknowledge their ideas, contributions and work, wherever and whenever appropriate.

Commandment 2 – Accountability

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I shall show due care and diligence in accordance with my Network of Practice’s requirements whilst exercising my professional judgement at all times and be able to justify my actions on ethical grounds. In particular I shall-
a. Develop and implement methods to help co-workers monitor their professional behaviour and attitudes and assist co-workers with ethical decision making;
b. Remain aware that the process of ethical decision making must be undertaken with sensitivity to any time constraints that may exist; and
c. Refrain from engaging in harassment and strive to maintain workplaces free from sexual harassment.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I shall be accountable for my decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate in my Network of Practice. In particular I shall-
a. Be mindful of the need for protection of the public and provide opportunities for discourse on these issues and not prevent any person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law;
b. Engage in a process of ethical decision making that includes, identifying relevant issues, reflecting upon established principles, values, and standards and seeking supervision or peer review; and
c. Avoid using or authorising others to use without authority, the resources of my Network of Practice imprudently, in breach of that network’s requirements, unlawfully, improperly for political purposes or private purposes, other than in a manner which is calculated to facilitate, or to be conducive to, the discharge of the functions of the Network of Practice to which I have authority act on.

(3) In carrying out all my duties I shall-
a. Express clear ethical principles, values and standards and promote such standards by education and consultation;
b. Recognise that ethical dilemmas will inevitably arise in the course of professional practice and accept their responsibility to attempt to resolve such dilemmas with the appropriate combination of reflection, supervision, and consultation; and
c. Develop alternative courses of action in the light of contextual factors, analysing the advantages and disadvantages of various courses of action for those likely to be affected, allowing for different perspectives and cultures, choosing a course of action and evaluating the outcomes to inform future ethical decision making.

Protocol 2 – Understanding

I recognise that I have duties that go beyond the immediate terms of any contract I sign. On occasions these may appear to conflict with the immediate demands of my Network of Practice but be in the broader public interest and possibly the network itself. I aim to take reasonable steps to ensure that my qualifications and competences are not misrepresented by others, and to correct any misrepresentations identified.

Commandment 3 -Equity

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I will only undertake to do work or provide a service that is within my professional competence nor claim any level of competence that I do not possess. In particular I shall-
a. Seek professional consultation or assistance when if I become aware of health-related or other personal problems that may impair my own professional competence; and
b. Monitor my own personal and professional lifestyle in order to remain alert to signs of impairment.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I shall value the continuing development and maintenance of high standards of competence in my professional work, and the importance of preserving their ability to function optimally within the recognised limits of my knowledge, skill, training, education, and experience. In particular I shall-
a. Refrain from practice when their professional competence is seriously impaired;
b. Encourage co-workers whose health-related or other personal problems may reflect impairment to seek professional consultation or assistance, and consider informing other potential sources of intervention including, for example, the Health Professions Council, when such co-workers appear unable to recognise that a problem exists; and
c. Inform potential sources of intervention where necessary for the protection of the public.

(3) In carrying out all my duties I will declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest. In particular I shall-
a. Disclose any company directorships or shareholdings in which I have an interest.

Commandment 4 -Leadership

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I shall encourage and support others in their professional development and lead by example. This shall include-
a. Acting in ways that promote professionalism positively, both to my co-workers and to the public at large; and
b. Encouraging co-workers, especially those for whom I have a line-management responsibility, to maintain and enhance their professional knowledge and competence.

(2) I carrying out my public duties I shall promote and support good public governance by leadership and example.
a. Refer to co-workers in a professional manner and not discredit or criticise their work unreasonably or inappropriately.

(3) In carrying out all my duties I shall share or demonstrate commitments to positive social change in the Networks of Practice to which I am subscribed. In particular I shall-
a. When working in an independent capacity, conduct my work in a professional manner that respects the legitimate rights and interests of others.

Protocol 3 – Relevance

I recognise that the behaviour of professionals who work with information should be guided by a regard for the public interest and general interest of my Network of Practice and engagers. I believe that those working in the same network of communities as me also need to be conscious that they have responsibility for a growing heritage of information and data, irrespective of format. I regard this to include both works of the imagination as well as factual data. I aim to be honest and accurate in representing these, especially if that regard the financial and other parameters and obligations of supervisory, training, employment, and other contractual relationships and ensure that engagers are aware from the first contact of costs, including opportunity costs and methods of payment for the provision of professional

Commandment 5 – Integrity

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I shall seek to avoid any situation that may give rise to a conflict of interest between my Network of Practice and I. In particular I shall avoid-
a. Multiple relationships – where I am expected to owe an allegiance to several different stakeholders being mindful of any potential risks to myself from those I associate with;
Breaches of confidentiality – where rules and constraints were broken or not clarified in advance with stakeholders; and
b. Personal and professional misconduct – where I may be expected to bring my Networks of practice into disrepute by recognising that, in particular, convictions for criminal offences that reflect on suitability for practice may be regarded as misconduct.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I will not place myself under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence me in my performance of those duties in my Network of Practice. In particular I will avoid-
a. Competence risks – where excessive or misleading claims are made or where inadequate safeguards and monitoring exist for new areas of work;
b. Bias or misrepresentation – such as research issues including falsifying data, failing to obtain consent, plagiarism or failing to acknowledge another’s work or contribution; and
c. Gifts and hospitality – such as avoiding accepting from anyone gifts, hospitality (other than official hospitality, such as a civic reception or a working lunch duly authorised by my Network of Practice), material benefits or services for myself or any person which others may think might place me, or reasonably appear to place you, under an improper obligation.

(3) In carrying out all duties I shall reject and will not make any offer of bribery or unethical inducement and shall avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious or negligent action or inaction. In particular I will avoid-
a. Risky personal relationships – where the I am expected to infringe or violate the trust of a engager or engagers, particularly by refraining from engaging in any form of sexual or romantic relationship with persons to whom I am providing professional services, or to whom I owe a continuing duty of care, or with whom I have a relationship of trust. This might include a former constituent, research participant, patient, a student or trainee, or a junior staff member;
b. Unclear or inadequate standards of practice – particularly where I may be unaware of or expected to disregard the current systems in use by peers or others in similar work without good reason and ensure that when bringing allegations of misconduct by others to do so without malice and with no breaches of confidentiality other than those necessary to the proper investigatory processes; and
c. Inaction over Misconduct – particularly ensuring that when allegations of misconduct surface that I take all reasonable steps to assist those charged with the responsibility to investigate them.

Commandment 6 – Solidarity

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I shall prudently share with my Network of Practice and other communities my systematic understanding of knowledge and critical awareness of current problems or new insights, much of which will be informed by the forefront of my specialisms exercised within those networks. In particular I will-
a. Seek to remain aware of the scientific, professional and other activities of others with whom they work, with particular attention to the ethical behaviour of employees, assistants, supervisees and students;
b. Avoid harming engagers, but take into account that the interests of different engagers may conflict and weigh these interests and the potential harm caused by alternative courses of action or inaction; and
c. Refrain from abusing professional relationships in order to advance sexual, personal, financial, or other interests.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I shall facilitate the public in access all opportunities to solve their problems on the basis of appropriateness and need even if this may benefit a competitor more than me. In particular I will-
a. Make clear at the first contact, or at the earliest opportunity, the conditions under which the engagement with my engagers may be terminated;
b. Take advice where there appears to be ambiguity about provision of services and terminate professional services when engagers do not appear to be deriving benefit and are unlikely to do so; and
c. Refer engagers to alternative sources of assistance as appropriate, facilitating the transfer and continuity of provision through reasonable collaboration with others.

(3) In carrying out all my duties I shall maintain a high standard in order to avoid conflicts of interests and attempt to remove possibilities for exploitation. In particular I shall-
a. Remain aware of the problems that may result from dual or multiple relationships, for example, working a person who is both a member of the public and a Network of Practice, supervising persons who are a significant other, teaching students with whom I already have a familial relationship, or providing psychological therapy to a friend;
b. Avoid allowing relationships that may impair objectivity or otherwise lead to exploitation of or conflicts of interest with an engager and clarify for engagers and other relevant parties the professional roles currently assumed and conflicts of interest that might potentially arise; and
c. Recognise that conflicts of interests and inequity of power may still reside after professional relationships are formally terminated, such that professional responsibilities may still apply.

Protocol 4 – Aspiration

I aim to ensure I claim ownership or credit for their research, published writings, and other scientific, professional or public contributions and provide due acknowledgement of the contributions of others to a collaborative work, where such ownership or credit of such work is attributable to me.

Commandment 7 – Self-help

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I shall independently develop my professional knowledge, skills, understanding and competence on a continuing basis, maintaining awareness of technological, creative, legal and scientific developments, procedures, policies, and standards that are relevant to my field and Network of Practice. In particular I shall-
a. Seek consultation and supervision when indicated, particularly as circumstances begin to challenge my scientific or professional expertise;
b. Engage in additional areas of professional activity only after obtaining the knowledge, skill, training, education, and experience necessary for competent functioning; and
c. Remain abreast of scientific, ethical, and legal innovations germane to my professional activities, with further sensitivity to on-going developments in the broader social, political and organisational contexts in which they work.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I shall deal with complex issues, both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data and communicate their conclusions clearly to those in my Network of Practice. In particular I shall-
a. Exercise self-direction and originality in solving problems, and exercise substantial personal autonomy in planning and implementing tasks in my Network of Practice.

(3) In carrying out all my duties I will promote equal access to the benefits of goods and services relating to information technology, the arts, law and sciences, and will seek to promote the inclusion of all sectors in their communities wherever opportunities arise. In particular I shall-
a. Strive to ensure that those working under my direct supervision also comply with equal standards and that they are not required to work beyond the limits of their competence.

Commandment 8 – Selflessness

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I shall conduct with without discrimination against others on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, colour, race, ethnic origin, religion, age or disability, or any other protected characteristic. In particular I shall-
a. Avoid treating a person less favourably because the hold one of these protected characteristics unless permitted by law; and
b. Make every effort to account for the individual needs of someone with a protected characteristic and make reasonable adjustments where necessary.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I will act solely in terms of the public interest and I will not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for myself, my family or any friends. I will avoid or remedy any situations where-
a. My health problems will affect performance or conduct or may bring the my Networks of practice into disrepute;
b. Others may wish to impose obligations on me that may in my opinion be contrary to the public interest; and where
c. Others may want to try to induce me into a particular course of action that I consider unethical or which others could consider immoral.

(3) In carrying out all my duties I will have due regard for public health, privacy, security and wellbeing of myself and others and the environment and show due regard for the legitimate rights of third parties. In particular I shall-
a. Hold in good name or esteem the reputation and merits of family members, in particular my parents, and siblings;
b. Ensure that I maintain a work-life balance, and observe and respect the rituals of others and maintain those of myself; and
c. Ensure that I take steps to avoid dishonour to or damage the integrity of my Network of Practice and to avoid injuring others or their property.

Protocol 5 – Choice

I aim to respect the opinions of others while make every effort to help others realise the full consequences of these so that they can make informed choices.

Commandment 9 – Democracy

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I shall bear false or malicious testimony against others. In particular I shall not-
a. Make statements or ask questions which are merely scandalous or intended or calculated only to vilify, insult or annoy any Third Party; and

b. Suggest that any Third Party is guilty of crime, fraud or misconduct or make any defamatory aspersion on the conduct of any other person or attribute to another person the crime or conduct of which my engager is claimed to be party to unless such allegations go to a matter in issue which is material to my engager’s interests, and which appear to me to be supported by reasonable grounds.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I shall promote and protect fearlessly and by all proper and lawful means the best interests of my engager. In particular I shall-
a. Take all reasonable and practicable steps to ensure that my projects are properly prepared and ready for delivery at an appropriate time; and
b. Ensure that arrangements have been made in adequate time for engagers to take part in the Network of and when required plan, so far as possible, for engagers and Third Parties to be available to meet obligations to the Network of Practice and should, if a Third Party can only be present in the Network of Practice at a certain time during the project without great inconvenience and try to arrange for that Third Party to be accommodated by raising the matter with Network of Practice and with the Third Party’s Network of Practice;

(3) In carrying out all my duties I shall have regard for equality, equity and law in general. In particular I shall-
a. Use only proper and lawful means to promote and protect the interests of my engager and not deceive or knowingly or recklessly mislead my Network of Practice;
b. Promote equitable access for all members of all communities to public domain information of all kinds and in all formats and improve the understanding of technology, its appropriate application, and potential consequences; and
c. Take responsibility for others’ wellbeing especially when a Third Party is nervous, vulnerable or apparently the victim of criminal or similar conduct, to ensure that those who are unfamiliar with procedures of my Network of Practice are put as much at ease as possible.

Commandment 10 – Objectivity

(1) In carrying out my professional duties consider the impacts of my actions on others. In particular I shall-
a. Ensure that I take remedying actions should my engager or others develop an unethical or immoral attraction to me, such as in an idolising manner.
(2) In carrying out public duties shall as far as possible make decisions objectively, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, making choices on the basis of merit and equality. In particular I shall-
a. Avoid holding others in undue high esteem such as by avoiding the halo effect or any other forms of idolisation.

(3) In carrying out all my duties I shall have regard for others’ property or financial or other wealth status. In particular I shall-
a. Ensure that I am able to provide my engager with full and proper details of and appropriate justification for fees which have been incurred, and a proper assessment of any work to be done, so that my engager is able to determine the level of any financial commitment which has been incurred or may be incurred; and
b. Ensure that I do not acquire any unethical or immoral interest in the property of my engager or others, whether inside or outside the Network of Practice.

Protocol 6 – Expression

I aim to be honest and accurate in representing their professional and other affiliations and qualifications, including such matters as knowledge, skill, training, policy, education, and experience. I aim to be honest and accurate in conveying professional conclusions, opinions, and research findings, and in acknowledging the potential limitations.

Commandment 11 – Self-responsibility

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I shall professional responsibility in my work and that of the work of persons who are defined in a given context as working under my supervision. In particular I shall-
a. Be alert to the risks that any discussion of the substance of a project with a Third Party may lead to suspicions of coaching, and thus tend to wrongfully diminish the value of their contribution in the eyes of the Network of Practice, in order to avoid being put into a position of professional embarrassment; and
b. Not discuss the substance of a project or any correspondence with a Third Party except in rare and exceptional circumstances and then only with the prior knowledge of the Third Party’s Network of Practice.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I shall encourage self-determination among members of the public. In particular I shall-
a. Endeavour to support the self-determination of engaged persons, while at the same time remaining alert to potential limits placed upon self-determination by personal characteristics or by externally imposed circumstances;
b. Ensure from the first contact that engaged persons are aware of their right to withdraw at any time from the receipt of professional services or from research participation; and
c. Comply with requests by engaged persons who are withdrawing from research participation that any data by which they might be personally identified, including recordings, be destroyed.

Commandment 12 – Openness

(1) In carrying out my professional duties I will not disclose or authorise to be disclosed, or use for personal gain or to benefit a third party, confidential information except with the permission of my Network of Practice, or as required by legislation. In particular I shall-
a. Normally obtain the consent of engagers who are considered legally competent or their duly authorised representatives, for disclosure of confidential information and make audio, video or photographic recordings of engagers only with the explicit permission of engagers who are considered legally competent, or their duly authorised representatives;
b. Ensure from the first contact that engagers are aware of the limitations of maintaining confidentiality, with specific reference to potentially conflicting or supervening legal and ethical obligations, the likelihood that consultation with co-workers may occur in order to enhance the effectiveness of service provision; and the possibility that third parties such as translators or family members may assist in ensuring that the activity concerned is not compromised by a lack of communication; and
c. Endeavour to ensure that co-workers, staff, trainees, and supervisees with whom I work understand and respect the provisions of my Network of Practice and my policies concerning the handling of confidential information.

(2) In carrying out my public duties I shall be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions I take. I will give reasons for my decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands. In particular I shall-
a. Restrict breaches of confidentiality to those exceptional circumstances under which there appears sufficient evidence to raise serious concern about, the safety of engagers; the safety of other persons who may be endangered by the engager’s behaviour; or the health, welfare or safety of vulnerable persons and the scope of such disclosure to that which is consistent with professional purposes, the specifics of the initiating request or event, and (so far as required by the law) the specifics of the engager’s authorisation;
b. When disclosing confidential information directly to engagers, safeguard the confidentiality of information relating to others, and provide adequate assistance in understanding the nature and contents of the information being disclosed; and
c. Speak or otherwise support only those matters with which I have competency and genuine agreement and refrain from ascribing to views to of or speaking on behalf of my Network of Practice, unless specifically authorised to do so.

(3) In carrying out all my duties I will not misrepresent or withhold information on the performance of products, policies, systems or services or take advantage of the lack of relevant knowledge or inexperience of others. In particular I shall-

a. Consult a professional colleague when contemplating a breach of confidentiality, unless the delay occasioned by seeking such consultation is rendered impractical by the immediacy of the need for disclosure and Document any breach of confidentiality and the reasons compelling disclosure without consent in a contemporaneous note;
b. Record, process, and store confidential information in a fashion designed to avoid inadvertent disclosure; and
c. Keep appropriate records.

Networks of Practice

The Professional Networks of Practice to which I am currently a member are-

(1) BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT (Jonathan Bishop FBCS CITP)

(2) British Psychological Society (Jonathan Bishop MSc)

(3) Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (Jonathan Bishop MScEcon)

(4) Glamorgan Blended Learning Ltd (Jonathan Bishop BSc(Hons))

(5) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (Jonathan Bishop MIEEE)

(6) Jonathan Bishop Limited

(7) The Royal Society of Arts (Jonathan Bishop FRSA)

The Public Networks of Practice to which I am a member are-

(1) Pontypridd Town Council (Cllr Jonathan Bishop LLM)

(2) The Co-operative Party

(3) The Conservative Co-operative Movement

Learned Networks of Practice to which I am a member are-

(1) The Bevan Foundation

(2) Information Systems, Technology and People Group, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

(3) Institute of Life Sciences, Swansea University

(4) The Political Studies Association

Other Networks of Practice to which I am a member are-

(1) British Mensa

(2) Llantrisant Town Trust (Freeman Jonathan Bishop)

(3) World Wide Robin Hood Society

If you have a complaint

I endeavour to maintain the highest standards in his professional, public and other duties. If you meet one of the following categories of “engaged person” below, referred to in the above Values, Beliefs and Principles you should in the first instance contact me using the complaints procedure outlined after them.

The “engaged persons” to whom I might come into contact with in the above Networks of Practice include:

(1) The Public – citizens, electorates, and other persons with no direct relationship;

(2) Clients – consumers, customers, service users, constituents;

(3) Partners – coalition partners, co-directors, suppliers, fellow co-operators;

(4) Peers – fellow members of professional bodies, academics citing or cited by work; and

(5) Competitors – opponents in party politics, rival suppliers.

Should you believe me to have fallen short in the standards I have set myself please in the first instance make a complaint by following the procedure by visting the page at this link.

Becoming the perfect role model and distance dad: Avoiding DNA Thieves that destroy childhood

Today David Cameron spoke about the problem of absent fathers. This makes a change from the usual Tory rhetoric of attacking single mothers.

I would like to have children, or a child, as a decedent who can take up my family’s tradition of being a Freeman of Llantrisant (in the case of a boy) or pass it onto their husband (if a girl). I would even fight for their right to this if in the case of a boy they had a male partner.

But, if I have children, I am not going to let any opportunist neo-feminist take them off me and deny them their chance to have the perfect male role model. If I have children they will be my flesh and blood and there is no way I am going to let anyone deny me access to them – no one.

So because I am not one of the easiest people to live with, I think I should accept that if I have children with a female partner,  however much she says she loves me, there is a good chance they will get taken off me, as I don’t have the competencies to raise them on my own. If you assume that a child would ideally have a stable relationship for at least the first 16 years of a child life – I don’t think someone could put up with me for that long! Therefore, in order to avoid any harm to my children I should not need a partner to have them, who might turn out to be a DNA Thief.

So, as far as I can see, the only chance to have a dependent and not lose them to a DNA thief is as follows-

1. I have a child via a surrogate mother.
-If same-sex couples can, why can’t I and remain a bachelor?

2. Have the child looked after by foster parents near to where I live and keep regular contact with them.
– If rich people can send their children to boarding school or the Courts can force fathers to only see their children at weekends because state endorsed DNA thieves get a monopoly on raising them, why can’t I outsource my childcare to a family who already have children and the experience of raising them?
– Surrogate parents get paid and monitored by the local authoirty. Those parents would have a financial incentive to stay together, and my children would have a better upbringing that they otherwise would as they would have the stability of two parents and me as a role model at the same time.
– So on that basis, if women can’t hold down a relationship with me, why should I deny my children a stable up-bringing and the chance to have me as a role model in a stable environment?

The Equality Act 2010 makes marriage a protected characteristic. So I should have the right to not get to married. The Human Rights Act 1998 gives me a right to found a family and the right not to associate with those I don’t want. Also, on top of this, the case of R v R means there is no legitimate expectation for a relationship between two people to be a sexual relationship. Therefore, taking the two together the right to found a family should not be based on the requirement of a sexual relationship. Therefore I should be able to have a child without having a partner in order to create them, who may be a neo-feminist who turns out to be a DNA Thief.

There are so many neo-feminists who murder potential children in the name of ‘choice’. Therefore, I should not have to take a risk of being with such a fetus-killing-feminist. If they want control over their body then want control over my sperm! Why can’t I be pro-choice and pro-life at the same time, just because I’m not willing to have a child with a potential DNA thief, and don’t have the ability to be a single-dad? I should be allowed to become a become a distance dad who is the perfect role model instead of being put in a position where I could be forced to be a absent father.

Reducing immigration through welfare reform and ending discrimination

It was interesting to read Jack Doyle and Kirsty Walker’s article on immigration (‘There ARE too many immigrants in the UK’, say seven in 10 Britons, Daily Mail, August 5).

As someone with a Masters in economics, I say that the best way to stem the flow of benefit migrants is ‘supply-side’ through reforming the welfare system and ending discrimination, rather than ‘demand-side’ as the UK Government wants, by imposing caps on economic migrants who can aid the growth targets through providing skills that businesses want in order to innovate that don’t exist the UK.

The combined ability of our country to produce wealth, our ‘product possibility frontier’ (PPF) is reduced for each person who is signed off as being ‘unfit for work’. So every employer, who tells a disabled person like me that they are not willing to take steps to integrate us into the workplace, means that another immigrant will have to come from outside the country to do the job weare more than capable of with help, in order to keep the economy going and maintain the UK’s PPF.

Our benefits system rewards being out of work, by giving people free money for doing nothing. Instead, people out of work should be made to take out welfare loans, on the same basis as university students have to. When they go back to work they can start paying it off.

Do you think the benefit migrants would still come to this country if they knew that, like university graduates, they would have to pay back what theytook out wherever in the world they are?

Not allowing free migration to those with skills business needs because of the abuse of the system by benefit migrants is simply ‘throwing out the baby with the bath water‘.

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