Just seen Haringey’s apology for what they did not do to save Baby P. It would have been so much better if they had made one on day one, and not had that defensive, arrogant – aggressive even – attitude initially.
So that’s something. However, it doesn’t change the position on the senior politicians and councillors. Now Ed Balls has ordered an urgent investigation into what on earth is going on in Haringey then – if there are significant failings found (and how can there not be?) – at that point I would hope that those would do the decent thing
In terms of what comes next then Ed Balls has said he will take whatever action is necessary following this urgent investigation – and I think that we may need special measures to take over Haringey’s services for children. I believe a full public inquiry will then still be needed to get to the bottom of the full range of issues raised.
This interests me. I’m a social worker and I live in Haringey (although I don’t work here). We spoke about this situation (unsurprisingly) at work in a neighbouring borough. Haringey has long had a reputation, certainly among my contemporaries, as being the last place in London we’d choose to work. Tower Hamlets managed to turn around a borough so that it went from the least attractive to one of the more attractive places to work. Supervision is essential. Good management above all is essential. Blaming poor practice on paperwork is an easy escape. I don’t know the facts of this case – but apart from my professional interest – I am a resident of Haringey and have an interest in that capacity. It is very well for a council to protect its frontline staff – I am on the frontline myself. I make sure that all the decisions I make run past my manager and actually I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. I hope you will continue to speak on behalf of the residents of Haringey but remember that social workers are committed to providing a robust and safe environment but they can’t do that without a strong management structure.
What concerns me is why the abroprium is being heaped on the social workers and the doctor but the police, Haringey legal services and the CPS all appear to getting away scot free. Nobody comes out of this affair with any credit, and if heads should roll then those heads should also be in the police service and lawyers in both the CPS and Haringey council.Not to mention that none of these people can be removed by any democratic means – and none of them appear capable of understanding the genuine revulsion people feel at their incompetance.You are to be congratulated for your efforts to call people to account. But let’s face it the Westminster village has not shown itself in a very good light. Gordon Brown’s disgraceful slur against David Cameron and the barracking of Labour MPs, combined with Gordon Brown whittering on about an independent review – which no body believes was independent – suggests that Mr Brown was attempting to whitewash the issue: which frankly does not bode well for this much vaunted review by Ed Balls – especially given that it was announced two hours after Gordon Brown had used PMQs to dismiss the need for such a thing and slurred David Cameron for suggesting such a thing.Because the simple truth is that it is all very well to quote statistics about the numbers of police, doctors, social workers etc, but if all of them are callously incompetant then there is no point in having them: except perhaps as a way of massaging the unemployment figures.This case is worse than Victoria Climbie. At least those involved in that case had the excuse that it largely happened behind closed doors. In this case people just stood by and watched this child tortured to death – and then tried to defend their actions by quoting GCSE statistics and government performance ratings.Not to mention the latest twist, that the same people were seeking to have the new child placed with the mother in prison for fear that not to do so would breach her human rights – tell that to the Fran Lyon’s of the world who are now living in exile because they happen to be victims of an underfunded health system that actively discriminates against the mentally – even more so since the latest changes that offer either medication or CBT. And worse the system of baby farming would still be going on if it had not been for your collegue John Hemming.No one gave a toss for their human rights – and none of those women systematically tortured their children to death with the connivance of police and social workers.
Now we all know why David Lammy and his Labour cronies have stayed so silent on the tragic circumstances around Baby P .It appears that he was written to by the Lawyers of a Haringey council officer sometime ago regarding the failings of the Social Service Dept in the Council.Why did he not bring this to the attention of George Meehan the Leader of the Council at there regular Meetings in the Council.If he did then George Meehan is guilty not only of incompendence but negligence.If Mr Lammy did not bring it to his intention then he has demonstrated that he is not fit to represent the people of Tottenham and he should resign alongside George Meehan and the rest of his useless Labour Group.
It is a pity that Labour Councillors have to be brought kicking a screaming to apoligise for their total incompidence.when Labour coming nocking at the doors in Harringey with their glossy leaflets they should have a warning on them just as the ciggerette packets saying Your Labour Council will be a danger to our Children
Well done Lynne for keeping on pressing the council and making sane rational observations. Your question at PMQ contrasted sharply with Brown and Cameron’s theatrics