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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Balls up

Photograph: Ian Nicholson/PA

Ed Balls is up for it and rightly so. In answer to Ms Shoesmith's triumph at the Court of Appeal he said, "I judged, on the basis of that independent report [which 'catalogued catastrophic management failures on such a devastating scale'] - and on the advice of departmental officials and lawyers - that the right and responsible course of action was for me to use my statutory powers to remove the director of children's services from her position with immediate effect."

Good for him. A procedural cock-up that gets people off the hook has to be seen in the context of the endless procedural cock-ups that led to the death of a defenceless child, supposedly under the care of the Haringey Council who paid their Director of Social Services £133,000 a year to do the job. Procedure did little to protect baby Peter Connelly despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and doctors in the last eight weeks of his life. A failure in procedure should not reward failure. 

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