Friday, February 26, 2010

How Many More 'Failures' Can Voters Take?

Lethal legacies of failures are coming back to haunt New Labour ministers, yet hypocrites hide behind a shield of spin, blaming everyone but themselves. How many more failures can weary voters take before realising it's not us - it's them.

Today it is more damning news on a dire economy limping along with frail and fragile failure despite all the Borrowing Brown sauce.

On Wednesday it was damning inquiry on needless deaths at Stafford hospital failed by an obsession with targets and trusts and shrouded in secrecy.

Yesterday the release of an equally damning ruling on a seven-year-old girl starved to death by her mother and failed by useless child protection.

Failures that let a seven year old girl starve to death were 'beyond belief' ruled a judge, with frightening echoes and damning parallels of the scandal of Baby Peter whose months of abuse and suffering caused a national outrage.

The secret ruling made last year laid bare the failures of local social services and welfare officers. Khyra would still be alive if officials had done their job, said the judge in a ruling released yesterday.

But that pragmatic and damning ruling was delivered without underpinning a political dimension outside the remit of the judiciary.

Khyra was failed by misguided political correctness and grossly overstretched social services and child protection teams. Loopholes in home education laws are only now set to be plugged.

Staff were brushed off and backed off amid fears of getting too involved in racial or religious issues when the protection of a vulnerable child should always be paramount.

And all this came on the 10th anniversary of the death of Victoria Climbie - the eight-year-old also failed by social services and starved to death, signalling the start of a decade of disaster and failures.

Meanwhile one of the worst scandals to hit the NHS is being brushed under the carpet with the devastating report into the Stafford Hospital disgrace laying bare a decade of New Labour's failure buried in secrecy and bullshit.

The arrogant response from ministers is to say 'sorry' but they steadfastly refuse to own up to their failures and mistakes.

Burying their heads in the sand, sweeping it under the carpet, forgetting about the pain, suffering and deaths. A tick-box and league table obsession and quango crony culture. Ministers hiding behind the lame excuse of not being accountable or responsible.

Burnham apologised for the appalling failings at what has been branded a 'Third World' hospital. Balls apologised for the "pain and anguish" caused in the Baby Peter scandal. And now young Khyra. What is the solution? Another round of useless reviews. How many lessons does it take before lessons are learned.

Deluded ministers reject suggestions any of their half-baked policies contribute to the problems in hospitals and child protection and are in any way to blame for the deaths of innocent patients or children. Instead blame it all on the staff.

As with the Baby Peter scandal, when Balls refused to shoulder any of the blame, ministers can play the blame game and pass the buck on to someone else. Time and again reports cite low staffing levels, inadequate and inexperienced staff, lack of leadership, poor training and ineffective systems for identifying when things go wrong. And that's down to government.

Once again the target driven, politically correct obsessed culture has been exposed as a sham, where ministers and managers are obsessed with the process rather than the outcome. A process where, if everything looks right on paper, then it must be alright.

Where managers spend their time looking over their shoulders sucking up to the very government ministers who hide away from responsibility.

Ministers have lost their grip on reality, preferring to drum up flagging support with meaningless message driven slogans. Slogans get in the way of reality, when people suffer and die as a direct result of those miserable ideals. A shocking indictment of a blind discredited vision which should be confined to the scrap heap, before any more pointless deaths.

There's something very sick about a government which allows its hospitals to kill patients and its child protection policies to kill vulnerable children then bury its head in the sand in denial, refusing to accept any responsibility or share the burden of blame.

A decade of disaster and failure and dreadful economic gloom. The economy's under the spotlight again with revised GDP figures showing the country limped 'out' of recession by a whopping 0.3 percent, rather than the piddling 0.1 percent in the last quarter of last year. If anyone dares to spin this as "good news", the Orange Party will have a duck fit.

Even that itsy bitsy teenie weenie upward revision to the official figures is meaningless. The rigged figures included for the first time 'government spending', using the freshly printed funny money, making a mockery of any spin that the recession depression is anywhere near over.

The economy has contracted by a massive six percent since the recession began - the deepest decline in donkey's years. A 'double dip' recession could still be on the cards for St George's Day.

Political strategists should be urging Bottling Brown to come off the fence and name the day soon before another fine mess and futile failure blows up in his face.

Khyra/Baby Peter graphic: Telegraph
Cartoon: Scarfe, Sunday Times

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