Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Will lessons ever be learnt?…

It didn’t take long did it? In the wake of Ian Huntley’s guilty verdict, I heard the words "Lessons must be learnt" on the telly. They were interviewing some expert or other, less than an hour after Huntley had been sent down. Then I saw some prat going on about how "New procedures are now in place to prevent it ever happening again"

Then Blunkett gets up and says there must and will be an inquiry into how Huntley managed to get a job working around kids.

So there you have it, the same old trinity of the absurd, the same old diatribe, the same old delusional nonsense. Whenever something like this happens, I get a bit deja vu-sional. Every time a sicko kills a child, those with the power to change systems vow to implement them – then jealously guard information about their ‘clients’ from other agencies, cut personnel and close departments to make everything more efficient, obviously….. until the next tragedy happens.

I am old enough to remember the tragic case of Maria Caldwell – a kid ‘neglected and beaten to death’ in the 1960’s. Then, as now there was great soul searching, "It must never happen again" It did. "Systems are now in place" They weren’t.
"We must learn the lessons" Yeah, well we learned the lessons until the public started to forget, then we unlearned them….

Strange, the way the same stock statements are rolled out. Then, as I suspect now, nobody in Social Services or the Police stood up, admitted they had let Maria down terribly and promptly resigned, they were obviously too busy trying to learn the lessons – and watching their generous pension benefits accrue.

And what of Blunkett’s inquiry? Well, the same old formula will be followed. Some old bloke judge will be appointed, he will never have heard of David Beckham, his finger will not be on any pulse, least of all his own - that atrophied years ago. Old bloke judge will be a member of the establishment obviously – and he will interview Heads of Social Services Departments and Chief Constables concerned with Huntley's history. The judge will probably already know these people – they will all be members of the trouser rolling Masonic Order or Square-Dealers or whatever.

Old bloke judge will publish his report. ‘Institutional stupidity’ will be blamed, everyone from the Home Secretary downward will handwring for all they’re worth. Because the blame is ‘institutional’ then no one person or persons are to blame – ‘the system’ takes another kick in the gonads and everyone feels better……

In the tragic Soham case – it would be staggeringly revolutionary if someone in authority got up and said "Mea Culpa, therefore I will resign"….

But I’m not holding my breath.

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