Monday, 30 May 2011

Shoesmith, Balls & process

Agreeing with Ed Balls about anything may seem strange, but his decision to sack Sharon Shoesmith was correct. What a pity then, that he abandoned normal procedure in the way that he did it, laying himself open to this week's successful - and morally wrong - legal appeal. We now almost certainly face a compensation claim by an arrogant and incompetent (according to Ofsted) public servant with little or no conscience, now playing the victim.

The truth is that Labour built their centralised top-down state around procedure - of which the distorting impact of targets was the most obvious result. No doubt, in the case of 17 month old baby Peter, all the procedural boxes were ticked, all Sharon Shoesmith's department knew everything required of them about diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism. They just failed to prevent his death. At every miserable stage.

In Labour's legalistic society - remember them actually legislating to halve the deficit as if that would make it disappear? - procedure was more important than morality. Process was more important than people. Sharon Shoesmith says "You cannot stop the death of children" and "I don't do blame". She is the embodiment of everything that Labour's senior managers stood for. Devoid of conscience, humanity and of course responsibility for the department she lead.

And Mr Balls? His behaviour too was exactly what we have come to expect of the Labour party. They of course, enjoyed a "clunking fist" as their leader. Mr Balls was just another bully.