Opinion Piece; Why oh why, Jayne Senior?
On deciding to become a Councillor Jayne seriously limited her ability to help Rotherham CSE victims, not enhanced it. She is manacled, and vulnerable.
I’m a big fan of Jayne’s commitment to exposing political and policing failures in, she is one of a small group of women who refused to be silenced. She courted significant risks, both physical and to her career in order that the stories of the victims could be told.
Yet when she decided to become a Labour Councillor my heart sank, and I feared the worse for Jayne.
Truth-tellers are rarely applauded for long, and after the limelight shifts elsewhere you are left alone with the spite and loathing of those who feel wronged by your truths.
Within the Rotherham Labour Group she is despised and mistrusted by a majority of colleagues. The Group is not yet so reconstructed as to appreciate the opportunities that the Jay & Casey report brought. Many just want rid of the Commissioners and are cap doffing in the meantime.
People like Jayne and Sarah Champion are reminders that the past has not gone away.
Yet as a member of the Group Jayne is tied by Cabinet accountability, meaning arguments and decisions made within their private meetings stay within them. Meaning she has to support all group decisions or suffer removal from Group and potentially the Party.
Add to these the perpetrators and their families, many Police officers, some from other public bodies and sadly even some victims jealous of her apparent success, then you have a nasty cocktail bomb of malice.
With many eyes only waiting for her to make one mistake.
Victims come in many forms and I can’t help but wonder if Jayne is one of them. The traumas of being threatened by Police officers, reviled by management and Councillors at Rotherham and staring into the darkness that is Child Sexual Abuse has to have an impact.
Jayne has tremendous experience and proven courage, maybe it’s time to move on, and rethink how she works in the interest of CSE Victims. Time to use her reputation and experience at a higher level.