A few years ago, I did some research into the Climbie Inquiry in preparation for a job interview. I found what I read disturbing but I hoped that the only positive thing to have come from that child's suffering would be that others would not have to live and die in such a fashion.
After reading the commentary I have always been left with a sense that on some occasions, social services really are damned if they do, damned if they don't. In fact, you only have to contrast two stories in the Times to see this first hand. The first was about a women with mental difficulties who has disappeared with her 5 children after social services expressed concerns and one commenter said this: "What kind of society is this that, time after time, rips families apart "for their own good". Now we're "out to get her". Couldn't some other solution be found while keeping the family together? This mother needs help, perhaps, but not by inflicting her with the loss of her beloved family". Yet the second article was about the death of Baby P and had people calling out for the resignation of the head of Haringey social services for failing to remove Baby P from his family.
"Death is too good for X, torture the b***h that killed baby P" was the name of the facebook group which popped up on my list of groups which friends of mine on facebook had joined. Only it didn't say X, it had a name.
I clicked on the link. There was a photo of the woman allegedly baby P's mother. Further down the page a name purported to be the step-father's name was mentioned. There was also a link to a News of the World investigation. And then a petition to be signed to give baby P's mother, step father and lodger the death sentence.
Further down there were almost 1000 posts on the wall and 29 topics of 'discussion' (I use the word loosely), mainly by women, with titles such as 'you evil sla*' and 'why is this women smiling' as well as more expected things and some titles which I cannot even bring myself to copy type even using stars.
This group shocked me.
I was going to write more but I am not sure what to write. I cannot believe someone would treat a baby like Baby P's mother and step-father and their lodger did, but I cannot also believe people could seriously post things on facebook without seeing the hypocrisy. I am not saying they are in the same league at all, actions vs words, but what is wrong with our society that people think it is appropriate to punish like with like?