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"PLAYING WITH DEATH"

This page provides information on how the Welsh Government have accepted the policies of their funded organisations and how the National Assembly for Wales are breaking rules to defend their right to place to place Welsh children in potentially 'life threatening' situations. This shows intent to contravene the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 3, 19 and 31.

 

TIMELINE

Here, we look at how 'deep play' has become legalised by the National Assembly for Wales (also referred to as Welsh Assembly Government on this page). 

 

1997 13-PWAL2008TFC000d.jpg (367218 bytes) The Welsh Assembly Government established Play Wales as a national charity that advises on the education and other aspects of play. This information appears in the preface of "The First Claim", first published in 2001) - (source code - PWAL2008TFC000e)

(Illustrated is the preface from the Play Wales publication "The First Claim" first published in 2001)

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In 2001 Play Wales published the "The First Claim", a publication which is aimed at providing Welsh play workers with a framework on which to judge their performance. Illustrated is the front cover of this publication. - PWAL2008TFC000a-frcv.

2001 80-fire-top.jpg (121694 bytes) This framework included 'playing with fire' as the number one play choice on the basic playworker curriculum............. - PWAL2008TFC023
2001 38-deep-play.jpg (333364 bytes) ...........and 'deep play' as a choice on the intermediate framework. Each framework has a scoring system from 1 to 4. If a play worker always includes a play type such as 'deep play' in their play sessions then they score 4 points. The more points they score, the better the play worker they are. - PWAL2008TFC031
2002 41-wag-2002.jpg (317800 bytes) In 2002 the first Welsh Assembly Government  play policy stated:

"The Welsh Assembly Government recognizes the significance and the value of play in children’s development and that children have an innate desire to seek out opportunities to take increasing risks. This is an essential part of their play and learning." - WGOV2002PPO004-06

They followed this statement with 

"The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to ensuring that all children have access to rich stimulating environments, free from inappropriate risk, and full of challenge, thereby offering them the opportunity to explore through freely chosen play both themselves and the world." - WGOV2002PPO004-07

The Welsh Assembly Government  state "that children have an innate desire to seek out opportunities to take increasing risks" and if 'deep play' is already on the play curriculum then it must be considered an appropriate risk that is "full of challenge". 

This means that since 2001 the Welsh Assembly Government's play policy has included 'deep play' and fire as the number one play opportunity.

2002 40-deep-play.jpg (384911 bytes) In 2002 "The First Claim" was available to purchase from Play Wales and can still be purchased today. If we look at the text within "The First Claim" booklet we will see that the author believes that 'deep play'

"... is essential for a child's personal development"  - PWAL2008TFC010-03

The author (Bob Hughes) is actually quoting an earlier (Hughes 1996a) work of his own to provide this information.

He later describes 'deep play' as:

CHILDREN PLAYING IN FRONT OF TRAFFIC

RIDING A BIKE ON A PARAPET OF A BRIDGE

RIDING A BIKE THROUGH A FIRE

HIGH TREE CLIMBING, ESPECIALLY OVER RIVERS OR THE SEA

PLAY IN WHICH THE STAKES ARE SO HIGH, THAT IS.. IRRATIONAL .. TO ENGAGE IN IT AT ALL 

- PWAL2008TFC035-04

The source for this information is referenced as:

Geertz, C (1972) 'Deep Play : a Description of a Balinese Cockfight'. Daedalus, No 101

CLICK HERE TO READ GEERTZ ORIGINAL DOCUMENT

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In 2018, two of our analysts took part in a Level 2 Award in Playwork Practice course which would allow them to work in the children's play sector. Both analysts were parents and grandparents and had previous experience of working with children. Both were of the opinion that the course content taught a form of 'managed child abuse' and both refused to complete the course.

Pictured is the front cover of the Level 2 Award in Playwork Practice course booklet and an excerpt from page 22. "The First Claim" is recommended additional reading for this course. The course was organised by the Swansea Council Children's Play Team and delivered by the Welsh Government  funded Adult Learning Wales. The course materials were provided by Play Wales

"Tools such as The First Claim... assessment frameworks can help with this" - PWAL2018LAP022-08 - PWAL2018LAP022-08

2018   One of our analysts M59-20190528 was so traumatised by the course content that he immediately within 2 days of completing the course instruction created this website with a view to informing the parents of the danger in which the Welsh Government wanted to place their children. It should be noted here that 'deep play' had not yet been discovered by this analyst. The general course content included a focus on children playing with hammers (real ones), rubbish and fire. A film was shown in which a child was 'allowed' to burn himself and the course literature encouraged children to be exposed to fires every day because no-one had been prosecuted for "allowing" children to be burnt. 

Contact was immediately made with the following:

HUW IRANCA-DAVIES - MINISTER FOR CHILDREN ETC - INFO TO FOLLOW

CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER FOR WALES - INFO TO FOLLOW

2019   Further research introduced us to 'deep play' and the Bob Hughes scientific mis-representation of Geertz's publication on 'deep play'. We provided this information to all our local Assembly members who either used methods of deception to avoid acting on the information or completely ignored it.

JEREMY MILES AM (Labour) - INFO TO FOLLOW

SUZY DAVIES AM (Conservative) - INFO TO FOLLOW

BETHAN SAYED AM (Plaid Cymru) - INFO TO FOLLOW

DAI LLOYD AM (Plaid Cymru) - INFO TO FOLLOW 

CAROLINE JONES AM (Brexit Party) - INFO TO FOLLOW

2019   We submitted a paper on 'deep play' in the play curriculum to the Children, Young People and Education Committee at the National Assembly for Wales. 

LYNNE NEAGLE AM - CLICK HERE

DAWN BOWDEN AM - CLICK HERE

HEFIN DAVID AM - CLICK HERE

SUZY DAVIES AM - CLICK HERE

JANET FINCH-SAUNDERS AM - CLICK HERE

SIAN GWENLLIAN AM - CLICK HERE

Our paper asked 

"Are our children's lives being put at risk? 

and. 

Is the Welsh Assembly Government party to that risk?"

CYPE PAPER - CLICK HERE

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We received a reply dated 26 September 2019 from the Welsh Assembly Government Children, Young People and Education committee. The reply enclosed publications by Play England and the Health and Safety Executive. 

The Health and Safety Executive publication clarifies the position of the Welsh Assembly Government which is that life-threatening play based upon Bob Hughes interpretation of 'deep play' is acceptable for the children of Wales. 

"HSE Understands and accepts that this means that children will often be exposed to play environments which, whilst well managed, carry a degree of risk and sometimes potential danger" - 2019-09-26-cype-chair

"Understanding the purpose of risk control is not the elimination of all risk, and so accepting that the possibility of even serious or life-threatening injuries cannot be eliminated, though it should be managed." - HSE leaflet "Children's Play and Leisure - Promoting a Balanced Approach - September 2012. HSEX2012CPA002

"[Mistakes and accidents will happen]" - HSE leaflet "Children's Play and Leisure - Promoting a Balanced Approach - September 2012. - HSEX2012CPA002 

 

 

UNCRC

The above CYPE Committee reply shows clear intent to allow playworkers the opportunity to contravene the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 3, 19 and 31. The inclusion of 'deep play' on the playwork framework shows an intent to place children in potentially life threatening situations. This changes the nature of a child's 'play' into a structured educational activity rather than personally directed 'play' by the child. The desired outcome is an educational one, to increase the child's survival skills and the conquest of fear. These are adult driven outcomes and not the child's.

"UNCRC Article 3
1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.


3. States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision"

 

"UNCRC Article 19 states: 

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment........."  

 

UNCRC Article 31 - General Comment 17 states that "........."children must not be exposed to harm in the realization of their rights under article 31,"

The United Nations Children's Rights Charter is a legally-binding international agreement which the Welsh Government and the UK Government have signed.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL UNCRC PUBLICATION

General comment 17 on Article 31 is a document which interprets how Article 31 should be applied.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL GENERAL COMMENT 17 PUBLICATION

 

 

15/12/2019   We investigated the processes involved in the CYPE decision to ignore our concerns about 'deep play' in the play curriculum and how they dealt with our report as part of their meeting and reporting process.

18 September 2019 - CYPE 1st meeting -  https://record.assembly.wales/Committee/5681 

26 September 2019 - CYPE 2nd meeting - https://record.assembly.wales/Committee/5718

 Our investigation found that it is possible that the committee have deliberately broken Welsh Assembly Government rules (Standing Orders) so that our report does not appear in the information available to the public. We submitted a complaint to the NAW via their website - see entry below.

11/1/2020  

Further to my initial complaint on 15/12/2019 and your email dated 16/12/2019, please identify the location, time and status (in public or private) when the Children, Young People and Education Committee of the Welsh Assembly Government discussed the paper " Are our children's lives being put at risk? and. Is the Welsh Assembly Government party to that risk?" Submitted to them by David Richards and Neilson Kite on the 22nd August 2019?

The Committee's reply indicates that they have researched and discussed the content of our paper and they must have done so on either the 18 or 26 September or most likely on both of these dates. However, it is clear from the National Assembly for Wales website that they have not done so in public. The purpose of this email is to request information from you about when the Committee discussed our paper.

I would like to draw your attention to the wording of Standing Order 17.42 (ix) which relates to excluding the public from Committee meetings:

"any matter relating to the internal business of the committee, or of the Assembly, is to be discussed."

In particular, I would like you to pay attention to the words "internal business" which in this case would mean that the committee could only discuss actions or tasks that pertain to their collective body (the Committee) or of the Welsh Assembly Government internal affairs.  

This would mean that any other organisation discussed by the Committee including the children and young people of Wales or the education system of Wales are regarded as external because they are not part of the CYPE Committee or the Welsh Assembly Government's internal affairs. The standing order to which you refer in the sub-section "Openness of Committees" "Standing Orders of the National Assembly for Wales" , also has options 17.42 (i) to 17.42 (viii) which gives committee members several opportunities to exclude the public from meetings on matters relating to the external affairs of the Committee or Assembly. Therefore, if the Committee is to conduct a private meeting about a paper submitted by an external organisation or includes information about external organisations then they would use one of these options as the reason why they cannot discuss it in public. 

As I have mentioned previously in my initial complaint, Standing Order 17.42 (ix) appears as the grounds for excluding the public on both the meetings of 18 & 26 September 2019. 

"(ix) any matter relating to the internal business of the committee, or of the Assembly, is to be discussed."

For your information, I attach a copy of our paper (Are our children's lives being put at risk? and Is the Welsh Assembly Government party to that risk?) submitted to the Committee on the 22 August 2019 together with a copy of the reply from the Committee dated 26 September.

If you check the dates of the Committee meetings in between these dates, you will see that the two previously mentioned dates, 18 & 26 September are the only possible dates in which the Committee could have discussed our report yet no information about our paper appears on the National Assembly for Wales website during the public sessions for the meeting. 

If you check the content of our paper, you will note that the following external (to the CYPE Committee and Welsh Assembly Government) organisations or people are included in our paper.

Dai Richards, Neilson Kite, Play Wales/Chwarae Cymru, Adult Learning Wales, United Nations, Play Education (Bob Hughes), Playlink, Welsh Government (Minister for Children) and Welsh children.

The following external (to the CYPE Committee and Welsh Assembly Government) organisations or people can be found in the content of the Committee's reply. 

Dai Richards, Welsh Government, Play Wales, UK Government Health and Safety Executive.

regards - www.a-better.wales analyst 
16/2/2020   The Committee have clearly broken National Assembly for Wales guidance/ rules to hide our 'paper'.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY OF OUR CYPE COMPLAINT

We have requested further information from the CYPE Committee so that we can identify which individuals including the clerk are guilty of malpractice but have yet to receive a reply.

16/2/2020 92-first-claim-sale-page.jpg (190406 bytes) The First Claim is still for sale on the Play Wales website. - CLICK HERE to purchase this publication. 

www.playwales.org.uk/eng/shop

 

WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR DEEP PLAY BEING PART OF THE WELSH PLAY CURRICULUM - CLICK HERE

 

MORE ABOUT DEEP PLAY

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The phrase 'deep play' was coined by Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832 in his "The Theory of Legislation" originally published in French and translated into English by Richard Hildreth in 1840 (source Stanford University website ). 

Both Bentham and Geertz find 'deep play' irrational as does Hughes, however both suggest that it should be stopped, Bentham states it should be made illegal and Geertz that those partaking in 'deep play' need to be protected from themselves, meaning that they should not take part in 'deep play'. 

The original article by Clifford Geertz, "Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight" is about the Indonesian obsession with gambling on cockfights. Geertz learned about this illegal pastime during a study visit to Bali in 1958. 'Deep play' refers to adult male gamblers who bet far higher financial stakes than they can afford to loose in cockfights. Geertz goes on to describe these gamblers as "irrational - addicts, fetishists, children, fools, savages who need only to be protected against themselves" (CGEE1972DPN015). Geertz only uses the term children to identify these adults as immature. The article does not make reference to children taking 'high stakes' physical risks. The article is about adult males taking 'financial risks'. There is no correlation with child's play or 'children' taking 'life threatening' risks during play.

 On checking the original article by Geertz in 1972 (relevant section illustrated top - the complete article can be found here  (CGEE1972DPN015) ) we have to ask ourselves the question. Has Bob Hughes in his 1996 publication 'A Taxonomy of Play Types'  misrepresented the original work by Geertz? 

Illustrated to the left is Bob Hughes interpretation of 'deep play' as referenced in his 2011 publication 'Evolutionary Playwork' (bottom). In this interpretation of 'deep play' we find that he has placed the word 'children' in brackets. Does he use the brackets to add the word 'children' because he is aware that the word is out of context? Words in square brackets are usually added to direct quotes, however Bob Hughes has added 'children' in square brackets to his interpretation of 'deep play, not to one of Geertz's direct quotes. 

What is plainly obvious in the article by Geertz is that the 'deep play' undertaken by the Balinese adult males is a financial risk while Bob Hughes 'deep play', playing with traffic, riding bikes on bridge parapets etc, is a physical risk, they are different types of risk. The Balinese adults risk losing their houses while Welsh children risk losing their lives. 

We have to ask ourselves the question. Whilst the interpretation of 'deep play' in general could possibly be seen as a misinterpretation of scientific literature, does the addition of 'children' in brackets show a clear misrepresentation of Geertz's original work with a deliberate intention to harm Welsh children.?

'Deep play' is still supported by Welsh Assembly Government  legislation dated 2006 & 2014.

CLICK HERE FOR HE COMPLETE DEEP PLAY ARTICLE - CGEE1972DPN015

  

2019 Lawrence Rosen

George E Marcus

To support our analysis that Bob Hughes had possibly misrepresented Geertz anthropological work we contacted two of Clifford Geertz's former PhD students, both now professors of anthropology in American universities. Lawrence Rosen, Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University and George E Marcus, Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Irvine  We asked them "what they thought Clifford Geertz's opinion would be on Bob Hughes interpretation of 'deep play'? Both professors were in agreement that Hughes had misinterpreted or misrepresented Geertz work. Professor Rosen was of the opinion:

"I think the idea that one can encourage or discourage certain forms of children’s play based on a simple calculus of an isolated factor does indeed miss Geertz’s point and is rather a perversion of his approach than an application of it."

Professor Marcus was of the opinion that Hughes definition of 'deep play' was 

"a complete distortion of how Geertz thought and developed interpretation."

he went on to say that anyone placing "children in real danger is reckless!"

To summarise, two United States University professors of anthropology who knew Geertz personally in an academic capacity as his students believe that Bob Hughes has misinterpreted or misrepresented Clifford Geertz work on 'deep play'. One says it's a perversion, the other a distortion.

Both Bob Hughes and Mike Greenaway of Play Wales say that there is ample evidence to support this hypothesis. Their ‘evidence’, however, is abstract, not factually-based and cannot therefore be considered as anything more than assertion, belief or conviction (in the same way that could be said of a cult or sect).

Playwork, a form of employment for adults to look after children, has given us the theory that 'deep play' is good for children. Playwork is an ideology, it is not evidence based scientific research, it is the personal interpretation of loosely connected scientific material that are the personal opinions of Bob Hughes.

 

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If you believe the facts and conclusions of our analyst are incorrect, misrepresent or misinterpret information please email us at - abetterwales@gmail.com and our analyst will alter this page to reflect this information if your observations are correct. Please quote......... 

(page ref)  when referencing the information on this page.

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