So Sharon Shoesmith wasn’t given due process and can now appeal against her unlawful sacking. ‘Strangely’ she nows looks a lot less like Cruella de V ille after all the stress of being made the fall guy.
Peter Connelly was killed by cruel idiots. We even have a video of a senior social worker being suckered by the simple psychopath ploys of the mother. As far as we know, the important questions and learning may or may not have taken place. Our press is not concerned to make copy.
Balls ballsed-up by not following disciplinary procedures, a common error. It seems amazing it’s taken the Appeal Court to make this plain, as the law is not complex. The appeal will be appealed, making me wonder how the business of sacking can be so complicated.
At the moment, we can be sure Sharon has been much better protected in law than Peter Connelly or any poor victim of crime and anti-social monsters. Quite what the state of our law is when she can bring its weight to bear for her case, yet Mrs. Pilkington was driven to take her own and her daughter’s lives, really beggars belief – let alone shaggers and superinjunctions. I saw a Supreme Court judge on TV the other night, claiming a shortage of resources in his childhood had turned him to the law – whilst at Rugby School. More or less says it all.
I suspect the issue we should focus on is not whether Sharon was any better of worse than others doing this kind of job. I suspect they are all likely not to be much use because our promotion systems and what we make such jobs into. Not much good is likely to survive. The focus should be on bringing in something like judicial review on behalf of victims, at the point at which it would matter. In fact, we rely on people just like Shoesmith to do this, and they routinely fail victims’ interests and support the fatal nexus of professions and politics that feed them.
My guess is she will be paid off in order to keep the ongoing mess under the carpet. One suspects any poor sod in the middle of such terrors is a voiceless as ever.
Too little too late. Harwood can barely get a fair trial now and what should be ‘on trial’ is how Ian Tomlinson’s family were treated so badly and why those in our justice system tend so readily to cover-up. The same is really true in the Pilkington case. It should not have taken this kind of enquiry to open up the problems and lead to the ‘new practices’.
When the IPCC investigators are ‘let loose’ they are pretty good, something I knew long ago. The problem is getting them or other reliable investigators on the case – with the further problem is is necessary because ‘local resolution’ is a total con.
The prosecution of Harwood is only necessary, in my view, because the complaints system failed so badly and so quickly became a cover-up through misinformation and use of available bent practice. He is now likely to be the fall guy for this. The DPP’s statement today is thin cover for his own incompetence. In inquest produced no new evidence, merely the evidence that would have been collected had their been any willingness to do so.
My own preference is for a police force that prevents the culture that allows behaviour like this and quickly moves to remove those who fail decent standards through open review.
Both these cases involve deaths and are likely to be the tip of an iceberg – other cases suffer from the brush-off approach of the complaints system and lack of status of those victimised. Consider the support of law for Giggs in trying to hide embarrassment, compared with the lack of support for those living near ‘problem families’, or Ian Tomlinson who just wanted to get home.
For each of such cases that fit media criteria, there are many more. They should be publicly collated and the fact this is not happening only reinforces poor actual quality and waste. My own solution would be to bring a cheap version of judicial review to bear. Many of these problems would not exist at all if police performance statistics (as opposed to any procedures useful to practice) were taken out of the hands of senior officers and political manipulators.