The MP’s primary responsibility is to the people, not a Council. It’s a common mistake to presume that Council & the people are the same thing, with always the same interests; but not so where a Council has so clearly failed our children, admitted as much and lost trust.
Our MP had a chance to be a people’s Champion, the independent who stood up for justice and the good of everyone. Someone to help scrutinise the Council on our behalf.
By aligning with this shoddy “everything is now fine campaign” (or allowing herself to be perceived as) orchestrated by Akhtar and the Labour Group she has become simply “one of them. See Akhtars tweets on the subject and the link to his Press Team.
Launching herself as the fighter against child sex abuse on the national stage always looked a bit silly from someone with so little experience; representing a town that clearly has made so many mistakes, and has so much to make up.
Whether she likes it or not it will be perceived nationally and locally as a PR move to help the Council and Akhtar out of a fix. With all that is coming up in the future her rather thin defence will soon be drowned out, and when things really are clear who will trust her to help build our future?
We’ve never wanted a PR fix, just justice and the knowledge that our children are safe. For us justice is not the “Icing on the Cake” but a fundamental building brick in creating harmony between races, colours, religions and sexes. The failure here to deliver justice and equality of justice has done more harm for community relations than anything else I can remember. It is embarrassment to the Pakistani which the vast vast majority do not deserve.
It is an Akhtar perpetuated myth that this is solely about race, when for the vast majority it’s about access to and equality of justice.
Most of the “improvements” cited by the Council are procedural, with no obvious or publicly reported performance benchmarking against other Towns or over time. This added to the Council campaign generates more suspicion. That they do so little to keep us informed and redact every review to the point of meaninglessness creating a knowledge vacuum that people populate with suspicion.
There is a myth being perpetuated that the past (now set by Akhtar for personal political purposes as pre 2009) is somehow another planet, where laws were lax and professionals didn’t communicate. One unnamed Policeman stated that “back then” Police had never heard of or understood child sex grooming, that to them it was just slappers getting what they wanted from a bunch of lowlifes.
Personally I, and I think many social workers and police officers will be offended by this type of attitude.
It is not true. There were clear laws to protect children; guidance was available, procedures for communication between Social Workers and Police in place. Both had rules about maintaining records and both services had child sex abuse specialists available. Any Policeman or Social Worker had more than adequate access to knowledge as to what was and wasn’t acceptable.
As far back as 1974 a Social Worker and Team Leader in Birmingham were sacked for allowing a runaway teenager to be fostered by a former prostitute (note former, not even current.) Never mind active pimps and drug dealers. Now it is a casework example used on many social work courses.
It’s been a crime as far back as I can remember for a 24 year old to have sex with a 14 year old, never mind help her break a Care Order.
So the question is who decided to not apply the law? Why and how were abusers allowed to go unpunished? Given that not simply procedures but also the law was breached how can we have confidence that a pile of additional procedures will be implemented unless there are punishments for failure to do so?
Sadly this cannot be washed away as simply a systemic problem. Individuals gave instructions, made decisions and made choices. Professionals in effect colluded in the breach of Care Orders and failed in their duty of care. Policemen chose not to apprehend law breakers….
and they must remember that carrying our orders is not a defence in law.
I don’t know what to conclude about our MP who I believe to be a good person; but if supping with the devil she needs a longer spoon.