After the horrific story of Baby P came out, where each detail seems to add yet another awful question (how can you get away with hiding injuries with chocolate smears? how can a doctor fail to notice that a baby’s back is broken?), and then the desperately unseemly sight of MPs bawling at each other across the House of Commons (what a collective failure of decency by those sitting behind Brown and Cameron who somehow thought that was an appropriate way to behave when the death of baby was being discussed), we now have this:
The Times has also learnt that Haringey Council, sharply criticised after the death of Victoria Climbie eight years ago, hampered the investigation into the death of Baby P by not handing over all their information to murder squad detectives.
It was only when the trial got to court and the judge requested that they provide all their evidence that police officers were able to see everything they had.
A senior source involved in the inquiry said: “The council came in with pages and pages of stuff that we had no idea existed and had never seen before.”(The Times)
I thought Lynne Featherstone (one of the Haringey MPs) had it quite right in making the comparison with the Brand/Ross affair. In a world where – without waiting for any inquiry results to be published – the Controller of Radio 2 resigns after a deeply unpleasant radio prank, surely someone somewhere in all of this should have the decency to quit?
The one tiny, tiny bright spot has been the behaviour of the Speaker. I’ve not been a great fan of his, but he went up greatly in my estimation – he at least had the decency to try to restore a semblance of dignity to MPs’ behaviour at Prime Minister’s Questions.
UPDATE: Alix has written about how our anger and horror over the tragedy can be turned into effective, practical action.