‘Investigators found the council had a “deep-rooted” culture of cover-ups and silencing whistleblowers’
– Louise Casey, the director-general for troubled families
The bad news is that Rotherham Council, having been made subject to several reports, is no longer considered fit for purpose. The good news is that Eric Pickles has declared that there will be elections in 2016….so the town can have a fresh start. That’s right, after sixteen years of ignored child abuse and neglected children, the town gets to discard those council members responsible and start again.
In effect, Mr Pickles makes it sound as if the town is being given a reboot with all the glitches and redundant packages erased. Which sounds great if you discount all the victims, who will be in their twenties and thirties by now, and may possibly be raising their own children. Damaged children who never got the protection, care, or emotional support they should have, struggling to raise their own children successfully.We don’t do that to physically disabled adults, if they have children they at least get a helper funded by the council to enable them to cope with life, and their child or children on a weekly basis.
Adults emotionally disabled, by a council who chose to ignore their sexual exploitation get zilch. Whilst they were children concerns about them were dealt with by ‘professionals’ who appeared to show all the emotional empathy of an Auschwitz prison guard observing his charges enter the gas chamber.The Home Secretary, Theresa May, blamed the failure of the authorities in Rotherham on “institutionalised political correctness“.
But many of the men involved in sexually abusing and exploiting these girls were well known to the police. A local Rotherham youth group got just that suspicious and reported their suspicions to the police. Free of charge the police were given information which they could then have investigated but they chose not to. How much safer the streets of Rotherham would have been if the police had collaborated with social services, in tackling what had become a corrosive problem, within the community they had been paid to serve.
Never mind Mr Pickles has effectively said, the old cabinet has resigned, and the new cabinet which the public will elect will be so much better. Inspite of austerity and the adverse impact that has had on social services and policing we are supposed to believe that. Think about it, the Jimmy Saville debacle, the revelations about Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square. The exposure of Cyril Smith, Dave Lee Travis, Max Clifford and Peter Hame, the CSA Inquiry and now this. The pattern overall is the same, trusted, ostensibly respectable pillars of the community exploiting and destroying the most vulnerable and for the most part getting away with it. And in all of these cases the powers that be letting them get away with it. Am I the only lowly member of the general public to wonder precisely who the great and the good are standing up to be counted for, because it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s us.