I am reading the debate in the House of Lords on the Second Reading of the Children and Families Bill (2 July) and am suddenly struck by how many Lords either declare an interest as having direct links with specific (disability) charities or speak having been briefed by large national charities.
In one sense, that of being well-informed participants in the debate, this is self-evidently a good thing.
But in another sense, I wonder if there are voices not being heard, voices not represented by those who speak from their particular interest or having been lobbied by campaign groups?
I shall continue reading.
(As a by-the-by and only partly linked to the above sudden thought, is a second observation: I have not so far noted a single mention of cerebral palsy among the many disability and health conditions mentioned in debate. But that is just my 'particular interest'.)
Later in the debate, I note Lord Judd refers explicitly to this that I have noted: "Civil society must be involved all along the line. We all received extremely well drafted, very powerful briefings from a range of organisations, not simply the ones that are best known—the National Children’s Bureau, the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, UNICEF UK, the Children’s Society and so on—but all sorts of other specialist groups." But he also goes on to urge the government "to amend legislation if necessary in the light of the crucial importance of the insight of the front-line players in civil society", which is exactly the anxiety I have as I read the debate, that the voice of the "front-line players" will dominate.