Saturday, November 15, 2008

British bureaucrats 'ignored abuse warning before Baby P died'

Uncaring official watchdogs

Haringey Council was warned six months before the death of Baby P that its social workers were still not dealing properly with child abuse cases despite being forced to implement an overhaul after the death of Victoria Climbie. A senior social worker told it in February that officials were ignoring child abuse cases bearing similarities to the appalling neglect that resulted in the eight-year-old's death in 2000 while under council supervision.

Nevres Kemal's solicitor wrote to the Health Secretary of the time and to MPs, calling for a public inquiry. The solicitor, Lawrence Davies, said yesterday that his pleas had been ignored. Mr Davies added: "I did not get a reply from anyone, I copied several MPs into the letter. If someone had acted then maybe Baby P would not have died."

The revelation comes after the council finally apologised for the death of Baby P, saying that it was "truly sorry that we did not do more to protect him". On Tuesday, however, at the culmination of the trials that resulted in three people being convicted for causing or allowing the death of Baby P, Sharon Shoesmith, the director of Haringey Children's Service, refused to apologise, saying that staff had carried out their duties effectively. [Unbelievable arrogance. Below is a picture of the social worker monster herself. See here for details of the privileged life she leads]

Ms Kemal, who is prevented by a court order from talking about confidential council matters, alleged in February that a case dating from 2004 involving alleged sex abuse bore similarities to the circumstances surrounding Victoria Climbie's death. She said that she became aware two months after the initial allegations were made to the council that the children had not been medically examined, which would have meant potentially important evidence was lost. When she reported that the case had not been dealt with satisfactorily she claims that management became hostile. Ms Kemal alleged that she was suspended on false charges of misconduct in December 2004. She was then moved from her 34,000 pounds-a-year job in child protection to one planning support for disabled children. Ms Kemal sued the council for race discrimination and harm suffered by a whistleblower under the Public Interest Disclosure Act. The claim is understood to have been settled although the details remain confidential.

On February 16 last year, soon after a social worker was allocated to look after Baby P, Mr Davies wrote to Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary: "Statutory child protection procedures are not being followed. Child sex abusers are not being tackled." He also wrote to junior health ministers Rosie Winterton and Ivan Lewis, and David Lammy, the local MP for Tottenham, who passed the letters on to the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Mr Davies, from Equal Justice solicitors, is now applying for the injunction on Ms Kemal to be lifted, saying that what she has to say is in the public interest and will have an impact on any Baby P inquiry.

Last night a spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said that they received the letter and replied just over a month later. He said: "They made the point that ministers could not comment on the specific details of the employment tribunal case. Secondly, as is standard practice, they suggested that the individual should notify the relevant Inspectorate, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, to take appropriate action and they provided the necessary contact details." At the time of Mr Davies's letters Haringey said it would look into detailed evidence or further allegations.

Yesterday Liz Santry, Haringey Cabinet member for children and young people, said: "On behalf of Haringey Council I would like to say how deeply saddened I am about the death of Baby P. This is a really tragic occurrence and the circumstances of his death are really dreadful. "He died over 15 months ago, and for those past 15 months in Haringey there has been a huge amount of anguish, and endless discussion about what more we might have done to save this little boy. I have to say that we are truly sorry that we did not do more to protect him. Our duty is to protect our children. We did not do so in this instance and I would like to say how truly sorry we are.

"The Government has arranged for inspectors to come to Haringey. They are arriving this afternoon and we absolutely welcome their arrival. We will do everything we can to be open and cooperative with them and the conclusions that they reach we will implement swiftly and comprehensively. "We want to do everything we possibly can to make our child protection procedures as strong as possible." [The bulldust is finally trotted out. Note that there is still no suggestion that anyone will be fired over the matter]


And the social worker monsters wanted the dead boy's sister to be left with the same parents who killed the boy

British social workers are scarcely human beings in their far-Left attitudes. Since when did far-Leftists care about human life anyway?

Social workers responsible for the care of Baby P tried to prevent his mother's newborn child being taken into care against the advice of police, despite the fact it was born in jail, The Times has learnt. Council officials did not want the new baby - a girl - to be taken into care as they said it was "against the human rights" of the mother, even though she was on remand over the death of Baby P. A social worker told police: "We need to let her bond," but Scotland Yard officers eventually over-ruled Haringey on the issue. A source involved in the investigation said: "There was no way that police were going to allow this baby to be looked after by the mother."

Today the council finally apologised over the death of Baby P, who suffered months of abuse despite being on the "at-risk" register, and 60 visits from health and social workers in the last nine months of his life. However, it emerged that the day before he died, the council's social workers offered to pay for his mother to go on a trip to the seaside as a "treat".

The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had just been told by police that they were not going to take any action after she had previously been arrested on suspicion of assaulting Baby P. Unaware that the boy was probably already seriously injured, including having fractured ribs and a broken back, social services said that they would arrange the trip for the next week. The mother told the Old Bailey: "I felt like everything was finally falling into place. I was so happy, nothing could get me down." But the next day the child was found dead in his cot.

However a council spokesman denied the mother's claims that a trip was offered and said: "No such offer of a holiday or a trip to be paid for by the council was either made or implied. It is not our practice to offer such a holiday or a trip."

More here


by Thomas Sowell

Among the many wonders to be expected from an Obama administration, if Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times is to be believed, is ending "the anti-intellectualism that has long been a strain in American life." He cited Adlai Stevenson, the suave and debonair governor of Illinois, who twice ran for president against Eisenhower in the 1950s, as an example of an intellectual in politics. Intellectuals, according to Mr. Kristof, are people who are "interested in ideas and comfortable with complexity," people who "read the classics."

It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Adlai Stevenson was certainly regarded as an intellectual by intellectuals in the 1950s. But, half a century later, facts paint a very different picture. Historian Michael Beschloss, among others, has noted that Stevenson "could go quite happily for months or years without picking up a book." But Stevenson had the airs of an intellectual -- the form, rather than the substance.

What is more telling, form was enough to impress the intellectuals, not only then but even now, years after the facts have been revealed, though apparently not to Mr. Kristof. That is one of many reasons why intellectuals are not taken as seriously by others as they take themselves.

As for reading the classics, President Harry Truman, whom no one thought of as an intellectual, was a voracious reader of heavyweight stuff like Thucydides and read Cicero in the original Latin. When Chief Justice Carl Vinson quoted in Latin, Truman was able to correct him. Yet intellectuals tended to think of the unpretentious and plain-spoken Truman as little more than a country bumpkin.

Similarly, no one ever thought of President Calvin Coolidge as an intellectual. Yet Coolidge also read the classics in the White House. He read both Latin and Greek, and read Dante in the original Italian, since he spoke several languages. It was said that the taciturn Coolidge could be silent in five different languages.

The intellectual levels of politicians are just one of the many things that intellectuals have grossly misjudged for years on end. During the 1930s, some of the leading intellectuals in America condemned our economic system and pointed to the centrally planned Soviet economy as a model-- all this at a time when literally millions of people were starving to death in the Soviet Union, from a famine in a country with some of the richest farmland in Europe and historically a large exporter of food. New York Times Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for telling the intelligentsia what they wanted to hear-- that claims of starvation in the Ukraine were false.

After British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge reported from the Ukraine on the massive deaths from starvation there, he was ostracized after returning to England and unable to find a job. More than half a century later, when the archives of the Soviet Union were finally opened up under Mikhail Gorbachev, it turned out that about six million people had died in that famine-- about the same number as the people killed in Hitler's Holocaust.

In the 1930s, it was the intellectuals who pooh-poohed the dangers from the rise of Hitler and urged Western disarmament.

It would be no feat to fill a big book with all the things on which intellectuals were grossly mistaken, just in the 20th century-- far more so than ordinary people. History fully vindicates the late William F. Buckley's view that he would rather be ruled by people represented by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard.

How have intellectuals managed to be so wrong, so often? By thinking that because they are knowledgeable-- or even expert-- within some narrow band out of the vast spectrum of human concerns, that makes them wise guides to the masses and to the rulers of the nation. But the ignorance of Ph.D.s is still ignorance and high-IQ groupthink is still groupthink, which is the antithesis of real thinking.


Same Old Berlin Wall

In Germany, a limit to the change we can believe in.

One benefit of a Democratic Presidency is that it will expose the myth that U.S. disagreements with our nations are all the fault of the Bush Administration. Take the failure of NATO, and especially Germany, to supply more troops for the war in Afghanistan.

During his Presidential campaign, Barack Obama expressed confidence that his penchant for diplomacy would change German minds. Apparently not. Sending more soldiers, or troops who actually fight, remains anathema in Germany. "There is a limit," Peter Struck, the parliamentary head of the ruling Social Democrats and former Defense Minister, said this week when asked whether Germany could do more to help defeat the Taliban. Maybe Mr. Obama's speech before adoring crowds in Berlin last summer was not so effective after all.

When Europeans talk about "multilateralism," they typically don't mean agreeing on a common policy to carry out together. They mean defaulting global security to the United Nations, where Russian and Chinese vetoes curtail effective action. At best, multilateralism a la Paris and Berlin is short for European approval for where and how Americans may intervene around the world.

The Continent's free-riding on U.S. security while criticizing the way that security is provided predates the Bush Administration and will outlive it. President Bush has mainly provided Europeans with an excuse for refusing the kind of cooperation they'd rather not provide anyway. Mr. Obama has promised a multilateral surge of troops into the Afghanistan-Pakistan front. He may find, like Mr. Bush, that most of those troops will have to be American.


Australia: Statistics about black crime in Victoria conceal the truth

Andrew Bolt (below) has finally smelt a rat, catching up with the fact that police statistics where race is concerned are notoriously unbelievable. Andrew initially believed the guff fed to him by Victoria police about low rates of black crime (is there anywhere in the WORLD where there is a low rate of black crime?) but he has now seen how pro-black are official police policies. Note that the Leftist Premier of NSW has confirmed in Parliament the crime problems with black African refugees. (See also the full Hansard transcript here). I say more about the policy issues of the matter here

I am sorry. I may have misled you about the Sudanese gangs I defended last year. Back then, I denounced the hate-merchants demonising Sudanese here as misfits, too prone to violence. True, one gang of boys had just bashed a policeman, but I gave you police statistics showing the crime rate among Sudanese immigrants was no higher than for the rowdy rest of us.

But days later, gangs of African youths fought each other in the Highpoint shopping centre. And Indian taxi drivers kept getting robbed by African men. Just this week, Sudanese gangs in Adelaide attacked each other in a clash so deadly that one youth was killed and another near death.

But those police statistics tell us there's no problem among the Sudanese. Which makes an article like this unfair and unhelpful. Yet, I started to sniff something when Police Commissioner Christine Nixon banned police from using the word "gangs" to describe, well, gangs. I worried more when an African community leader, Berhan Ahmed, asked Nixon to stop police checking Africans in Flemington quite so often.

And now charges have been dropped over a riot in Racecourse Rd last December in which some 100 Africans surrounded 21 police trying to arrest a rock-thrower, and sent one to hospital with suspected cracked ribs. At the time, the force defended its officers. Region 3 boss Insp Nigel Howard denied they were racist or too heavy-handed: "Enough is enough."

It's a different story today, and Sen-Sgt Mario Benedetti, in charge of Moonee Ponds police station, says he suspects charges against the rioters were dropped because of their race. The explanation that Supt Jack Blayney gave our reporter, Mark Buttler, didn't seem to deny it: "The withdrawal of these charges followed consultation with the members and youths concerned and was deemed to be the best outcome for both parties."

Pardon? Is this a peace negotiation between two warring gangs, then, one of them the police? And is there not actually a law to uphold, regardless of race, and a force to defend? But no charges means no offence recorded. And the police can keep telling us: the Sudanese crime rate is no higher than everyone else's.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, OBAMA WATCH (2), EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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