Key Thought Sometimes whistle-blowers are not only ignored, they are made scapegoats. Protecting the vulnerable needs to happens because we have a conscience and not because it makes us look good.
We live in such an advanced & well-heeled nation; land of the Magna Carta. We send off aid and support to other parts of the world and raise funds for Comic Relief, and yet today, the government is talking about taking over Children's Services at Birmingham City Council. I believe a certain very well paid person was given, not long ago, a six-figure settlement for her unfair dismissal over the Baby P affair. Yesterday, the heart-breaking story was about Little Boy Khan, left dead in his mother's home for several days. Clearly, the dividing line between barbarism and civilized behaviour is paper-thin.
I recall, a few years ago, being asked by a colleague during the working day, to keep an eye on her baby son, in her office, while she dashed off to deliver a lecture. I remember being dismayed, that I could not help her out of pity for the child, as I had to teach as well. The little fellow was sitting on the filthy floor eating food of it and crying for his mother. I believe a student was then pressed into service, to do the required baby-sitting. Was that student CRB-checked? I do not know. I was very angry with my colleague for her heartlessness towards a baby who could not report her. For the salary she was receiving, she ought to have made proper provision for the child or taken the day off.
Sometime later, I remember mentioning my concern in rather warm terms to our mutual line manager. Nothing was ever done about the incident, but my line-manager was seriously displeased with me.
I now wonder whether others like me, at the thin end of the wedge, just when possible neglect was noticed, tried to alert "higher-ups" that something might be amiss in the cases of Baby P and Little Boy Khan? Were they ignored or black-listed?
Does anyone actually care? After all Social Service is just a job which helps pay the bills. Are all of these truly horrific stories merely news fodder to keep journalists busy and the public ghoulishly entertained? Do we still have a conscience when no one is looking?