Tuesday, September 17, 2013


`Responsibility` is one of those words that are very easy to define.  Here`s Webster`s Dictionary definition:-

The Definition of Responsibility (Webster’s Dictionary):
2 a: able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations: trustworthy b: able to choose for oneself between right and wrong
3: marked by or involving responsibility or accountability
1: the quality or state of being responsible: as a: moral, legal, or mental accountability b: reliability, trustworthiness

Now today we have had the report into the tragic death of four-year old Daniel Pelka in Coventry after months of torture, abuse and neglect by the two people who should have loved and cared for him - his so-called parents who have been sentenced to life imprisonment, serving a minimum of 30 years for their appalling crime.   

The serious case review seems to be comprehensive and detailed in its assessment of the events leading up to Daniel`s death but we`ve been here before and again I`m left with the feeling that none of the various `agencies` involved had the courage to actually do something about it.   As ever in these things, there was involvement by the police who visited the home on at least 27 occasions, social services, doctors, school staff and the city council.   

Now you would think that at least someone in this chain of bureaucracy would have had the gumption to have seen that something was terribly wrong here and take whatever action needed to be taken.   But no.....and you wonder why not.   Seems to me we are living in a so-called society where those in a position to act and fulfil Webster`s definition of responsibility are frightened to do so.   They have become tremulous, nervous, terrified of criticism and in the end do nothing, relying on the usual outcome that no-one will be held personally  liable and that their careers remain unsullied by the default conclusion that `lessons will be learnt to ensure that something like this can never happen again.`

Trouble is, it does keep happening.  Now I know that those responsible for Daniel`s death are behind bars but those who might be held responsible for ensuring that his mistreatment was avoidable seldom seem to actually be held responsible by anyone.  I`m not sure we should accept this any more, especially as children are so very precious and perhaps the time has come to do away with the plethora of `agencies` and simply have one national child protection agency who will be unable to blame `lack of inter-agency communication` and all the other lame duck excuses for doing nothing.   They would be solely responsible for answering for their `conduct and obligations` and `be able to choose for themselves between right and wrong.`

Perhaps then, the Daniel Pelka`s of this world might have at least some hope.

No comments: