The Professors passion for "The Science of Deceit" started here...

Employed by the Ministry (in a covert capacity) to help introduce the law ending dishonest politics, you can see his hand all over the posts of past.

Current political circumstances have forced him to reveal himself and as we speak, MPs are signing up to re-introduce The Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill for debate with over 80,000 voters supporting them.

Posts before Jan '08 are purely for the record (with hindsight they make fascinating reading). Posts after May 13th mark the Professor's return.

Meet the Professor

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Balls into Court

You'll note from recent posts that the Ministry's been dipping it's toe in the Criminal Justice System. This has led to some interesting findings - namely failures in the welfare state to intervene when families are failing and the kids are suffering/turning to crime. More than one of our interviewees was quick to point out that those working in the welfare state are doing the very best they can against a tide of under-funding, stat-driven performance targets, ministers changing policies in response to tabloid headlines...  the list goes on.

Sharon Shoesmith (above), ex-head of Haringay Council was promptly sacked following the baby P case and today is taking the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls and her former employer to court for all kinds of procedural errors in her sacking as well as Ofsted's independent review of Haringay Council - she wasn't allowed to comment on it's findings before publication. She's also expected to claim for Ball's intervention (which led to the lack of procedure in her sacking) being unduly influenced by the media. Whichever way the case goes, the taxpayer will be footing the bill, so a very big thanks to all concerned - but we may get our money's worth...

Indeed, some good  may come of this. Whilst defending her position Shoesmith will inevitably end up arguing she was doing the best she could in impossible circumstances only to have been sacked when the media spotlight required the government to do something. (at which point they ran roughshod over procedure, hit the eject button and both Ofsted and the Government refused to allow her to defend herself or her council).

This writer is the first to confess to being underwhelmed by the performance of most public bureaucracies, least of all Haringay Council whose reputation proceeds them - but having seen what the probation service, prisons etc. are up against it'll be interesting to see what the High Court has to say. It may well be the first time a judge gets to decide whether the blame for our public services' dismal shortcomings lie with the government or it's bureaucrats. Would a win by Shoesmith lead to some kind of a civil service class action throwing the book against the government ? Now that would be interesting.

It also begs the question - if Shoesmith & Co are crap (the commonly held view), and the Gov was justified as well as capable of sacking her irrespective of procedure, what took them so fucking long ?

1 comment:

  1. This bloody woman is infuriating, MOT. Apart from her unbelievable brass neck in bringing this case, she has the gall to say she's been feeling suicidal! If she was that suicidal, she'd be dead already!!