Friday, 3 April 2009

Watch out, professionals about

I was sorry to read on the Manx Government website that ‘Multi Agency Teams are being established throughout the Island as part of an approach to help improve the lives of children and young people’ and that ‘Representatives from social services, health, education, the police and voluntary sector are joining forces in order to achieve a number of common goals’. Don’t bother with tidied up press reports, read the original government propaganda at
Translated into plain English, that means that, in future, when someone acting on behalf of the Manx Government screws up a child’s life no individual or agency will be to blame.
That isn’t so different from past practice, when you think about it.
It just means that now the original balls-up will be even harder to trace back, because nobody ever took a decision or acted. Things just somehow….emerged from…..well, not even from a single meeting, which wouldn’t have been minuted anyway, and even if it had you couldn’t read the minutes because you’re just a lowly member of the public and not a ‘professional’ so you wouldn’t understand.
You’re just there to pay their wages. Who do you think you are asking questions, an aromatherapist?
But Manx people are used to public sector professionals who are not to blame when kids get hurt.
No-one was to blame when schoolkids were locked up in Victoria Road jail in the 1980's and 1990's.
No-one was to blame a decade ago when godbothering professionals ‘advised’ the families of victims of their kiddyfiddler mate not to go to court and give evidence. No-one was to blame when those who did were ‘advised’ to leave the island afterwards.
No-one was to blame when two kids were murdered in a government-run care home.
No-one was to blame when a ‘multi agency’ meeting including government departments such as Home Affairs and Social Services and various voluntary agencies decided to reduce a three page questionnaire from Shelter (meant to be used in all instances where such agents encountered the homeless in order to build up a Manx government database on homelessness) to a 10 question tick form.
Purely coincidentally of course, the form was weighted towards picking up off-island or ethnic minority homeless, and totally ignored all the factors usually associated with housing problems (racism, sexism, homophobia, slum landlords, unhelpful employers, government facilities not available at crisis times, thick and disinterested civil servants….). I was at that meeting, and say with absolute certainty that I have never, before or since, been in a room so full of vacuous racist knuckledraggers all posing as ‘social workers’, or been so astonished that apparently nobody (except me) was there from an interest in tackling homelessness yet all were claiming overtime from the public purse.
I've since learnt not to be astonished at this. After all, just a few weeks later I was at an even bigger event attended by even more public and 'third sector' parasites not interested in learning facts about or discussing policy on drug and alcohol consumption either.
In short, try to keep your kids safe from the professionals. You have more chance of being cured of AIDS by a pentecostal lunatic than getting justice if (or more likely when)they make another tragic ‘mistake’.

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