Friday, April 23, 2010

Gerechtigkeit Siegt

So, Sharon Shoesmith lost her appeal.


There is some justice in the world, after all.

That is all.


cherami said...

Hear, hear.

Just for once, Balls got it right (gags in corner.)

Victor, NW Kent said...

Best news of the day and the only thing that I ever applauded Ed Balls for.

Twig said...

How many more like her are there being paid huge salaries for doing very little?

_ said...

"We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodic fits of morality."
-- Thomas Macauley

George said...


to the point,

and faultless.

When's the appeal? She will claim that the judiciary have been nobbled to spare political blushes.

Euro court any one and a finding in her favour?

Frugal Dougal said...

I agree: but now we need to know what outside agencies were monitoring Haringey's performance in the wake of the Victoria Climbié tragedy and, if none, why.

50 Calibre said...

Lost her appeal! She's got off light.

She should be indicted for being complicit in Bapyu P's death...

Ruth@VS said...

She still has an employment tribunal case pending, and given that employment law favours the employee, I wouldn't count my chickens just yet!

Gut instinct (and experience) suggest she may win that tribunal...

Cynic said...

Yes and who was the Minister responsible for these issues for part of the preceding couldn't have been a Mrs Balls could it? What did she know? What did she do?

The Truth should be told.

Henry Wood said...

Well, the judge might have thrown out Shoesmith's bid for a judicial review but he seems to have given her plenty of ammunition for the forthcoming tribunal:

[She] had not been given enough opportunity to explain herself before she was sacked. 'In a nutshell, I have not been satisfied that the procedures at Haringey gave the appearance of fairness,' he said. 'There are strong grounds for thinking that the claimant and others whose roles might be questioned did not have a full, fair and measured opportunity to put over their position about their own personal responsibility for what was found ... '

Plus his condemnation of Balls seems to me she goes to the tribunal with a few trump cards. Well worth at least a million.

Ronald said...

If a boss in private industry got somebody killed through gross incompotence. It would be the public sector leaches and socialist politicians that would be loudest in calling for the offender to be bannished to the outer darkness.

wild said...

"We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodic fits of morality."

Thomas Macauley

If you are trying to make an erudite put down it would help if you could spell the surname of the historian you are quoting.

allnottinghambasearebelongtous said...

A predictably simplistic view from someone who has little or no understanding of the issues.

Did you know that Gt Ormand St was managing the doctor that failed to diagnose serious injuries to P?

No, of course you didn't because the media was only interested in that doctor's ethnic origin, rather than a sainted NHS/charitable institution.

I doubt anyone from GOS has suffered any consequences, other than the doctor herself.

Brett said...

You should really read the whole judgement before either celebrating this 'win' or condemning Shoesmith. The judge makes a very narrow ruling which, predictably, has not been reflected in its reporting. The judge makes it quite clear that Harringey council abandoned all pretence of fair process in its handling of her dismissal and goes as far as possible to encourage her to take the matter to an industrial tribunal. He finds the behaviour of OFSTED deplorable, particularly in the way it witheld relevant evidence. Finally, and I'm surprised you didn't pick this up, he has harsh words for Ed Balls - I'll leave it to you to find them. Predictably Balls made no reference to these in his comments after the ruling was announced.

Shoesmith, whatever you may think of her, was no better or worse than many others working within social services. She was offered up as a sacrifice because no-one can afford to admit that the whole system, imposed by dogmatic "experts" at the behest of a clueless administration, is failing.

Those who cheer Shoesmith's downfall should be wondering whether they are focusing their bile on the right person.

Walsingham's Ghost said...

But tread carefully here, Iain...

Justified as the punishment may be in this instance, the fact that a gagging order was slapped on the Defendant as soon as the case started meant that she was unable to respond to any of the accusations made against her, or Ed Balls' assertion on national TV that she should be sacked.

This is becomming ever more prevalent in the UK where prosecutors seek to 'bury' a Defendent in accusations and insinuations long before the case ever sees the inside of a Courtroom.

Check out 'Copland School, Wembley' on Google if you want to see where the use of gagging orders is leading to. All the accused in this case had such orders placed on them. As such, they were unable to tell their side of the story and as a result, publicly presumed guilty because of their silence.

Our Courts are drifting towards the 'Guilty until proven Innocent' approach and we will all suffer if this becomes the norm...


Paul said...

No, Balls got it wrong, and the decision is wrong.

However awful and overpaid Shoesmith was doing she was doing what the government wanted : targets, numbers, spin, outcomes etc etc etc. That's why the first OFSTED was okay.

There is no doubt in my mind, anyway, that the second OFSTED was tampered with by the government to make her a scapegoat.

She was sacked for doing her job properly. However her job wasn't anything to do with looking after children, it was self promotion via pandering to the government.

I know some of these people. They're all like this (godawful and uninterested in the children, despite the whining).

Shoesmith is merely the one that "got caught".

Antisthenes said...

This case highlights much that is wrong with the provision of public services. Shoesmith is not an isolated case many of those who run and work in public services suffer from a similar mind set and are as incompetent.

If government is incompetent and has poor judgment and are self deluded enough to believe that they are the opposite of that, then that culture will filter downwards to those who are in the service of that government.

Ed Balls is the one who should have been sacked he is the one who presides and encourages this dysfunctional culture.

Paul Donnelley said...

I would agree with Ruth@VS - she has lost the judicial review but don't bet against the tribunal finding in her favour and filling her bank account.

For me, I don'tk now how she sleeps at night.

Karl-Marx-Straße said...

Regarding the title: any news on the Dave Osler-Johanna Kaschke front?

Unsworth said...

I'd agree to some extent with Paul. 'Managers' or 'Directors' of such services are very much divorced from the realities. They rarely have direct and extensive front-line experience.

The whole system is at fault - in that it is paper driven, with most of the paper being designed by accountants, Civil Servants, and politicians. Given that, Shoesmith was the ideal candidate for this type of work. I have little doubt that her rapid career advancement was the direct result of her slavish adherence to the system - otherwise how could she have risen to such exalted heights?

Unfortunately her job bore little relationship to the needs of this child - or to any others, for that matter. The question is why? Who has designed the 'system', and why are they not being brought before the courts?

I'm not an apologist for Shoesmith who, frankly, deserves our contempt - for not being able to think outside of her own interests. Personal responsibility extends (or certainly should extend) far beyond the parameters of job descriptions. There is (or should be) a moral responsibility, too.

This is not just about Law, it is also about Ethical Behaviour. Perhaps the Court in its ruling has recognised this.

DiscoveredJoys said...

I've no great sympathy for Shoesmith - I suspect that losing her job was appropriate. But you have to wonder why she was bounced out of her job (allegedly) without due process - who else was covering their own asses?

In the end Shoesmith was just a cog in the machine - the machine itself is probably dysfunctional. As a 'boss' Shoesmith carries some of the blame, but there are higher 'bosses' that perhaps should have gone as well. Especially as some other councils appear to be equally dysfunctional.

Osama the Nazarene said...

I don't know the minutiae of the case, but my instinct tells me that a slimeball like Balls would never do anything in the public interest but more likely everything to cover his own and his acolytes backside.

For this reason I would be much more likely to agree with @allnottingham... re Great Ormond Street culpability; @Brett regarding the many other "Shoesmith" pen pushers in local government; and Paul concerning the role Shoesmith and her ilk are expected to play in children's services. It needs a non Labour government to unravel years of this government's target driven box ticking culture.