Saturday, 30 May 2015


Why are international treaties routinely ignored? Why don't governments admit to the unsavoury truth? Because nation/states are sovereign and cannot be compelled to keep their word. Mind you, find me a government that ADMITS to breaking treaties and admitting to faults. There is a deep and persistent hypocrisy in international affairs, mirroring the societies in which we live. Perhaps even our individual lives. How many could cope with absolute transparency without blushing at least? Like the words of Jack Nicholson in 'A Few Good Men', based it said on factual events, "You couldn't COPE with the truth."

In relation to Britain at least, and it clearly is not the only country at fault, it has over the years, attempted to address the societal problems of poverty, inadequate parenting, child abuse and abandonment. At first this was almost exclusively the province of charities, that increasingly developed into a state function as a result of measures passed by parliament. I think the intention was good but the practice was far from perfect, resulting in many children desperately requiring protection being failed, whilst others were removed from parent(s) needlessly and thus subjecting them to greater harm, when a modicum of practical or financial assistance may have prevented it.
A state may have its emblems and ritual (as we have recently been reminded in the State Opening of Parliament) but it has no corporeal existence other than buildings, employees and policies. Government in practice cannot be friendly, helpful or empathetic. Only people do this and we have to accept that true philanthropy is a very rare commodity.

We are all primarily, and sadly, selfish, which as Richard Dawkins claimed some years ago is actually biologically programmed. 
('The Selfish Gene' see: . 
However we must set against this all the heroic examples of people that have devoted their lives selflessly to a good cause or actually sacrificed themselves for compatriots or the greater good in war and peace. For a relevant example I give you the McMillan sisters here:  still a shining example of what true philanthropy looks like.

Unfortunately it was/is not always easy to identify those who pretend to philanthropy and selflessness as 'sheepskin' to cover their true character and intent or of distinguishing between between the fraud and genuine article. The people charged with the job of deciding, were far too often easily fooled by manipulative and plausible individuals and more concerned with their own pension and career, or worse refused to see what was staring them in the face. As we have seen with Hampstead it is often far easier to 'blame the victim' and shut them up, than it is to face the enormity of the problem of dealing with the implications.

So states are by definition unfeeling and even dangerous - far more dangerous in fact than the 'terrorist' we are constantly told to fear. Institutions are intrinsically, in whatever form they appear, given to abuse. Whilst being appreciative of those carrying out roles we place on them because we have failed ourselves, we have to recognise a significant proportion may seek out the occupations that allow them to take advantage of their position to implement their base passions for sex and domination. And finally, whilst being realistic about the abysmal treatment of children by some parents, often linked to home violence, drink, drugs, prostitution, mental problems or dire poverty, that requires intervention (by the State as what else is there?) we also have to accept that families, even inadequate ones, may be better than the alternative. And that the only real protection from gross injustice is public awareness achieved by as transparent a process as possible, commensurate with the best result for the children.

The British Government is clearly anxious to avoid the reputational damage consequent upon the truth getting out about the parlous state of child care and particularly in respect of high level involvement in the most extreme acts imaginable. This is not supposition. The government has proved it by failing to act in many cases, the latest being Hampstead; by losing, not releasing, disbanding, subjecting to D Notices and long term secrecy records and relevant information; by locking up and/or subjecting to gagging orders those who have attempted to reveal the truth; as in the case of Ella and Sabine, driving them out of the country on pain of detention; attempting to certifying as mentally incapable as with Holly Grieg's mother; creating inquiries with such ludicrous terms of reference that will require "eight years investigation"; intentionally delaying it by suggesting chair-persons they must have known would be unacceptable; timetabling the issue so that it wouldn't impinge on the general election - indeed if the 'UK Column' is correct there was a tacit agreement between the parties to keep it quiet; and statements by Cameron and Gove that it was "time to move on". How else can we interpret the legislation passed by our 'Justice Secretary' Jack Straw, making it ILLEGAL for children in care to speak out publicly even about their mistreatment?

However I am not sure they counted on the world-wide impact of, for the first time, two small children telling their story in all its grim reality. It cannot be 'retracted'. It is out there and can never be retrieved or covered up on a 'bad news day' - or 'spun'. It is the 'elephant in the room'. It is the 'light at the end of the tunnel' that happens to be the oncoming express! It is 'terror in the night and the arrow that flies by day'.

Mr Cameron must choose: either take the part of the children or be condemned by them. Hampstead is literally and metaphorically on his 'doorstep'. It will not go away. He cannot claim to be ignorant of it and it will define his reputation if he doesn't act decisively and honourably.

What's that Jesus said? "I tell you, if there is silence, the very stones will cry out!"END.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.