LETTERS FROM LONDON
2. I Don't Do Blame
“I don’t do blame.” Oh yes you do. After Peter Connelly aka Baby P was
tortured to death in 2007, Director of Children’s Services at Haringey Council,
Sharon Shoesmith specifically blamed the baby’s mother, her psychotic boy
friend and his brother. The 17 month old had suffered 50 horrific injuries
including a broken back and broken ribs not to mention unspeakable Pavlovian
torture despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police over
his final 8 months. Baby P was placed on the child protection register at 9
months old. A story so appalling and distressing, it will stay with those who
followed it forever.

The main function of her £133,000 a year job was to ensure and safeguard the
protection of children at risk in her borough. Failing to do so in such a heart-
wrenching case, the then children's secretary Ed Balls sacked her.

Giving her recent interview regarding her dismissal, SS states defiantly: 'I'm still
staggered by how irresponsible the Secretary of State was. He almost
demonstrated his lack of knowledge and understanding of children's social
care, loud and clear'. Truly. I’m not making this up.

Poor SS. “The case instantly wiped away the life that I knew. It wiped away
friendship groups. It brought my career to an instant halt. It was horrific. It was
frightening. I was terrified. I received death threats....”

Horrific, frightening, terrifying death threats? Rather like Baby P’s experience
of life.

‘I don’t do blame, shame, responsibility, accountability, compassion,
conscientiousness, caring, contrition, child protection, kindness. But I do do
tenacious, thrilled, over the moon, smiling, smug, elation, arrogance,
patronising, delighted, dogged, determined, denial and most importantly,
financial compensation.’

Judges ruled that her dismissal was ‘procedurally unfair’ because she was not
allowed the chance to defend herself. Oh but she did and certainly has ad inf.
A shame she didn’t do her job with the same rabid dog-with-a-bone
determination. Now the 58 year old wants her job back. Almost certainly with a
bonus.

Clearly ‘the buck stops here’ is in effect in the form of the reinstatement of her
pension rights and a pay-off, I mean pay-out, of possibly £1.5-2m. ‘Over the
moon’? Promise?

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REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
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