So – Haringey Council knew that Baby P’s mother had a boyfriend – in fact they had a video of her talking about him. And there was a record in the case notes. And yet when asked during the furore of the first trial – as ever – they denied that they knew that he was living there . Just when we think this horrific tragedy will have bottomed out – and there surely can’t be any more shocking revelations of Haringey’s incompetence and lies – we find out there are.
Panorama revealed the existence of this video interview with Baby Peter’s mother last night – a video made by a senior social worker.
Yet another reason why we still need a public inquiry. So far, the spotlight has more or less remained on the Children’s Services department at Haringey – but given how much is still surfacing – just imagine what lies beneath in terms of how Haringey is working (or not working).
There has been no real examination of the gagging clauses that prohibit staff who leave from speaking about their former department. There has been no examination of Haringey’s arrogance in its failure to listen to whistle blowers, the family or opposition politicians – all who raised real concerns about child protection in Haringey. There has been no examination of the budgetary issues that gave rise to a reported memo instructing the department not to take more children into care. There has been scant attention to Ofsted finding Haringey ‘good’ when it wanted to make them look good – and then ‘bad’ when heads had to roll. (Panorama did at least touch on this – possibly because when I did an extensive background briefing for them I emphasised the lack of scrutiny of their role). The health team has thus far got off virtually unscathed – with its management bullying unquestioned – even though there was a locum doctor who failed to recognise a broken back and ribs. Why was there a locum? Why had all the paediatrician’s left in the previous two years? And so o and so on………
Without a public inquiry – much of what went wrong will stay wrong. Moreover – allowed to fester under the radar – the culture which was the rotten bottom of what goes on at Haringey will remain.