Thursday, November 13, 2008

Balls Hypocrisy Over Baby P

Schools secretary, Ed Balls, has been saying 'sorry' over Baby P, claiming the moral and political high ground as he tries to save his and Brown's skin. Promising 'if there are failures there has to be accountability', is rich, coming from the minister who steadfastly refused to shoulder any responsibility over the Sats fiasco. 

Balls announcement of an independent inspection at Haringey came just a bit too quick after Brown's inhuman response in the commons. After all, just hours earlier, Brown had told the commons an internal review was just fine.

With Brown saying one thing and Balls another, the school's secretary this morning did the rounds of TV and radio studios trying to diffuse the situation, promising: “In the end if there are management systemic failures there has to be accountability." And that's particularly galling. 

After Brown's robotic commons performance and accusing the Tories of party politics, Balls suddenly came up with the announcement, timed perfectly for the BBC evening news bulletin. A cheap stunt to save his and his bosses skin.

If such an inspection was always on the cards, then Brown could have made the announcement at PMQs, speak for the nation and Cameron would not have lost it. 

But that's the same minister who presided over the Sats shambles and steadfastly refused to take any responsibility for that mess

The sheer arrogance of a government minister, who can hide behind weak excuses while the fiasco unfolded, leaving parents and youngsters frantic with worry, was quite beyond belief.

A the time the Orange Party made it quite clear that with responsibility comes accountability but that fell on deaf ears. Now the tired old phrase has been trotted out again for political advantage. 

The Baby P case puts the spotlight firmly on the government and its child protection policies which clearly are not working. And on a London borough which can hide its incompetence behind meaningless platitudes and useless statistics. 

The government is hoping the inspection will put a lid on the whole sickening Baby P case. Journalists were digging hard on this one and what they were coming up with beggared belief. 

Challenging and reasonable questions put to borough officials were met with reams of meaningless statistics and performance indicators.

ITV News reported how the council's own reports painted a glowing picture of the work of the department and how everything was wonderful - six months after the baby was tortured to death. 

Such an independent inspection is welcome but Balls should not try to claim the political and moral high ground over this tragic case. 

All ministers are accountable whether elected MPs or given a peerage for the pleasure and with that accountability comes responsibility. It's a pity Balls didn't heed his own words when he tried to wriggle out of the Sats shambles. 

1 comment:

Rob Atkins said...

I don't know why you're getting excited. Whenever he speaks, everybody knows it's just Balls !