Friday, September 10, 2010

False Witness

So Sharon Shoesmith has been called to give evidence to a Commons Select Committee on how to protect children.

On LBC just now, Nick Ferarri wondered whether it's because the Bulger killers weren't free...

12 comments:

Matthew Dear said...

Oh, now come on. Comparing her to the Bulger killers is pretty groteseque. She didn't take a child to a railway line and throw bricks at him. Hasn't she been hounded enough? She'll have it on her conscience for the rest of her life.

(Don't anyone DARE suggest that I'm implying the Baby P case wasn't horrific and that people shouldn't be held to account for it. That's a non sequitur and you know it. I cried for the first and only time in the last seven years of my life when I heard about the case.)

YES - she failed dreadfully; appalingly even, but doesn't her failure actually make her a very, very useful witness?

pete-s said...

Strange choice, are not select committee's supposed to get expert witnesses. If they want experts on how not to protect children, they should talk to the staff who worked for Ms Shoesmith. There description of how Ms Showsmith operated would tell them a lot more than Ms Shoesmith will, as she has continually stated that she had done nothing wrong.

Sir Norfolk Passmore said...

Isn't it sensible to take evidence from her precisely because terrible things happened on her watch?

Not totally sure I understand your point, Iain.

Dick the Prick said...

As Sir Norfolk states, there's some logic to it.

I worked in a failing organization for over 2 years and the 'lessons learned' over that period have been priceless. Sometimes it's not clear how things should be done if they're done well, by a committed and erudite manager. However, if they're done terribly then one can walk away thinking of plans & schemes about where mistakes were made and how to prevent them. The stuff I learned will never be forgotten.

There's that 3rd man quote which can be rattled out in 500 years of peace gets you a cuckoo clock and 30 years of vendetta gives rise to the renaissance.

But yeah, dumb arse invitation but...

Mick Turatian said...

Shoesmith would be an excellent choice if she were penitent but is she?

Personal experience is all well and good but not if tainted with self-justification and a need to lay off blame elsewhere.

It's also a near certainty that some Select Committee members will use her as an aunt sally.

A poor choice of witness on two counts, then.

Cynic said...

... and isn't it sensible so we see how the Department tried to scapegoat here and cover up its own role....

James said...

Examining one case that went spectacularly wrong seems quite sensible to me too: after all, aircraft safety is improved by studying one aircraft that did crash rather than 99 that didn't.

Now, if they'd appointed her an advisor on the subject, it would be an outrage - but asking her questions about the notorious incident is another matter.

George said...

La S.S. at a hearing?

You'd think that someone somewhere would have had a little more common sense. But that's the lefties for you, always stick together and support each other. And of course in the Social Care World no-one is guilty of mal-admin or malfeasance or sheer incompetence.

Trust me this is the beginning of S.S.'s rehabilitation.
She will be seen as the victim of unfair politicians who do not understand the nature of the beast and just use knee jerk responses that damage committed, caring people like La S.S.
She will blame lack of resource's cash and the local council's failure to give her Dept sweeping totalitarian powers.

Sean Haffey said...

I suspect that Sharon Shoesmith is more a living example of The Peter Principle than a malign person.

Charlotte Corday said...

Almost as ironic as Margaret Hodge being made Minister with responsibilities for children (given what hapened when she was in charge of Islington social services).

Unsworth said...

@ Mathew Dear

"She'll have it on her conscience for the rest of her life."

Any evidence that she actually does have a conscience?

Roger Thornhill said...

Shoesmith is one of the Fabian nomenklatura. As George mentions, I too would not be surprised if this is part of her rehabilitation.

Shoesmith cannot act the victim, nor can she be seen as an expert witness - more an observation in how not to do things.

She will regain her status, I suspect, by talking about more resources, training, statutory powers, forced separations and I expect to hear more about Blair's plans to intervene even before birth.