Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Victory for the Sun?

Heads roll in the Baby P case. But given The Sun's mass-crusade, would any other outcome have been possible?

Let me ask you a simple question. Would you call it fair trial when the people accused have been on all front pages for weeks, the subject of a relentless campaign of vilification? Would you say they stand a chance of honest and balanced judgement when for weeks their faces have been sitting next to headlines such as Blood On Their Hands, Heads To Roll, Outrage, They're All Guilty, More Babies Will Die Unless We Take Action, etc?

Even the Soham murderers were treated with a more measured tone and less of a witch-hunt as the press waited until after the trial to let loose commentary, outrage and allegations.

Bear in mind that, in the case of Baby P, anti social worker-headlines have appeared on a daily basis in the best selling British daily, averaging 3 million copies a day. Not only that. The Sun set up a mass-scale campaign, which they themselves branded a "crusade", complete with petitions from "1,250,000 outraged citizens", and pictures of truckloads of mailbags with quotes such as "they MUST lose their jobs". And that's just The Sun. Because don't forget the noise made by every other tabloid, most 'quality' papers, and loads of MPs. Guildford four, anybody?

We're not here to say that Sharon Shoesmith, head of children's services, Cecilia Hitchen, deputy director of children and families, and Clive Preece, head of children in need should have kept their jobs. Nor are we defending the two Senior Councillors who quit. We don't know and in fact, quite honestly, we haven't got a clue. It is said that the independent inquiry found 'damning' evidence of failings.

But any different, allow us to say, and The Sun would mount the biggest military-style operation to demolish any social service, local authority or even the government itself. And the last thing you want is to be in the tabloid's bad books. As a long list of people learnt for themselves (including Neil Kinnock, Claire Short and the Euro 2004 referee that presided over England's early exit) The Sun do not tolerate anyone who stands in their path. Children's Secretary Ed Balls should take note. Because mass hysteria is difficult to satiate. Yesterday's headlines: Heads finally roll over death of Baby P and "VICTORY FOR BABY P-massive victory for the Sun" are already being replaced by It's Not Enough.

Three other social workers under review? No chance. All heads must roll and they must do so NOW.

1 comment:

thepatriot said...

If you get it damn wrong at work you should get punished. Period.