The BBC has learnt…

A whistleblower alerted the government to failings around child protection in Haringey six months before Baby P died, according to this BBC report, which swiftly moves on after the opening paragraph to a government press release responding to the claims. Readers are left to guess the details.

It is understood a lawyer acting for a former social worker sent the letter to the then health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, says the BBC.

It might be understood, but it’s all a bit vague, principallly because the BBC seems to be entirely reliant on the government’s press office. Readers anywhere else, be it, the left-leaning Independent or right-wing Telegraph, not only understand; they know exactly what actually happened:

It [the letter] read: “Our client whistle-blew the fact that the sexual abuse had been ongoing for months and the new management brought in post-Climbie had not acted… We write to ask for a public inquiry into these matters.”, records the Independent.

And later in the BBC report we have this:

It is understood the social worker no longer works for Haringey council.

Again, it’s writing that really sounds like it’s coming from the ministerial department rather than a journalist.

At the Telegraph, on the other hand, they not only understand the social worker doesn’t work there, they know that Miss Kemal was later suspended and left her £34,000-a-year job with the council. An employment tribunal found that she had been singled out because she was a whistle-blower.

In fact, overall the BBC report does once again make me wonder: if it doesn’t actually tell you anything about what happened, does it still qualify as journalism?

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39 Responses to The BBC has learnt…

  1. David Vance says:

    £34k a year … and yet these social workers are poorly paid???


  2. Peter says:

    ‘..if it doesn’t actually tell you anything about what happened, does it still qualify as journalism?

    No. And hence what is one paying for other than a barely competent propaganda system?

    David Vance | Homepage | 14.11.08 – 9:13 am | #

    Don’t forget perks, pensions and, in the case of senior types, power, punditry, protection and pardons…. no matter what.

    Like a few other public service organisations I can think of.


  3. Nachman says:

    They redeemed themselves on the Today programme and went into the story in depth for once the BBC doing what it should be doing – the most telling comment “Harringey went through all the procedures and at the end a helpless child was dead!” Journalism as it should be – kudos where it is due.


  4. Cockney says:

    You think £34k a year on London ISN’T poorly paid????


  5. Alison says:

    Cockney “You think £34k a year on London ISN’T poorly paid????”

    It depends on what they do, not where they live.

    It isn’t sufficient just to turn up.


  6. mikewineliberal says:

    34k is just above the average wage in London. You’re right Nachman – Today didn’t pull any punches. Perhaps the BBC are reticent after the Jersey debacle, where they got it hopelessly wrong.


  7. Umbongo says:

    Today was indeed hot on the trail of Haringey and its social service debacles. However, what happened to context? I’ve yet to see a BBC Panorama devoted to the continuing scandal whereby a feral, benefit-dependent underclass has been created and nurtured by the welfare system. After all, not that Haringey and the NHS (the doctor has been conveniently dropped from the radar) don’t have their shares of responsibility, Baby P was murdered by his mother and her friends. Nothing should relieve them one iota from their responsibility.

    I predict that the Balls enquiry will produce a strong condemnation of Haringey Social Services which the BBC will trumpet as another triumph for the government: “see they DO care, see they ARE doing something”. Out here in the real world though nothing will change except another exercise in box ticking will be superimposed on the present one.


  8. Cockney says:

    “It depends on what they do, not where they live.”

    not really, it depends on the cost of living. it’s probably a decent wage in albania but in london it’s peanuts and if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. if you’re going to employ social workers you might as well have decent ones and this is then one who cared enough to whistleblow.

    so it was a pretty lame and lazy comment i thought.


  9. Martin says:

    mikewineliberal: Well I guess 34K for a beeboid wouldn’t be seen as high would it? 34K is a lot more than a nurse of fireman gets and I’d suggest their jobs are a lot more stressful than some social worker.

    Of course social workers tend to be Labour supporters, so no guess who you back for more money.

    Why are we emplyoing so many social workers? Because thick chav scum is allowed to breed like flies knowing that leftie councils will give them priority for housing, free drugs and unlimited fags and booze.

    Perhaps if these fuckers were sterilised at birth we wouldn’t have this problem?

    Oh and of course this chav society usually get free TV licences as well.


  10. Martin says:

    That little shit Mark Easton has just been on the BBC news defending the Government to the hilt over this matter.

    He must get a Knighthood soon from Mcfat twat.


  11. Cameron says:

    “Why are we emplyoing so many social workers? Because thick chav scum is allowed to breed like flies knowing that leftie councils will give them priority for housing, free drugs and unlimited fags and booze.!”

    Martin -i was in care for 17 years – it really isnt as simple as you put it. Remember – there are those that have experienced it – the horrors of care [me] and those who havent [you].


  12. Phil C says:

    I saw some muppet of a BBC correspondent on lunchtime news. He seemed to have actually done some journalism and discovered that the letter from Ms Kemal might have got lost when the Social Care Inspectorate was taken over by Ofsted. Fair enough. But then he made a bland sweeping statement that in the UK child protection is better than anywhere else in the western world. Is this the BBC’s idea of balance? At the very least he ought to quote some figures to back up the statement. And in any case it isn’t the BBC’s job to try to reassure us that, despite the odd hard case, we are quite well served by our social services – that’s a politician’s job, should they care to do so. In any case I don’t think it’s relevant in this case as it looks more like there has been a huge catalogue of errors.

    I have made a complaint, in fact I have made a resolution to submit a formal complaint every time I see an example of biased or poor reporting.


  13. Martin says:

    Cameron: But the answer is NOT pissing more money at the problem. The solution is to stop these thick females breeding in the first place.

    The start has to be stopping all benefits. If they can’t look after a child they should be forced to have an abortion.

    I’d also tax people more heavily that have children anyway, but reward people who agree to adopt children from care.

    The current system can’t continue as it is. These thick chavs just breed with each other creating even more inbred chavlettes.


  14. Martin says:

    Phil C: That was that shit Easton. he’s so far up the arse of Nu Liebour he’s running into Peter Mandelson.

    Easton spouts this crap without ever backing it up with facts, just opinion.


  15. frankos says:

    New Labour has created an underclass that can’t and won’t work which is supported by the government who pay for their existence and exchange money for votes.
    They allow them to claim every benefit under the sun + expect the working and middle classes to pay the bills.
    The government came in in 97 spending £350 billion per annum and now it is £650 billion per annum –I haven’t really seen a great difference. The BBC is hardwired to encourage ever greater expenditure and when there is a question of efficiency they always quote “how many doctors/teachers/nurses are you going to lose?” This constant rise in spending must be curbed or we will be left with a legacy of huge taxation.


  16. frankos says:

    oh yeah ; a close relative of mine trains social workers –some of them are OK but many are lazy idealistic halfwits who seem to need absolutely everything doing for them (to say they lack initiative is putting it mildly). With this in mind 34k a year + benefits + cushy pension aint bad and anyway if we paid them 50k a year who is paying for it? and will it make them more likely to spot dying children?


  17. Martin says:

    frankos: Yes the BBC and lefties always use the excuse of teachers and doctors etc.

    They never talk about the thousands of of condom co-ordinators, nappy managers, five a day co-ordinators and the like that are just an utter wsate of money.

    Here’s just one from the Guardian


    “…The dominant parameter of the role will focus on the aging population and its societal implication from the economic, political and human flourishing perspective…”

    Oh and the salary? A nice 55K a year.


  18. Phil C says:

    I posted about this on another blog and someone tells me that what was actually said was

    “Britain’s record in terms of protecting young people is one of the best in the Western World”

    “In International terms performance in Britain is not that bad”

    “In some ways we’re better than most”

    Not sure where he got this from (I couldn’t find the News at One on iPlayer) but my comments still stand: it’s a sweeping generalisation unbacked by facts of any kind, and is inappropriate editorialising.


  19. Kill the Beeb says:


    “Oh and of course this chav society usually get free TV licences as well.”

    No. They don’t get free TV licences Martin. They just don’t pay for them.

    An admirable trait. So they’re not all bad are they?


  20. TPO says:

    Its all in the headline.

    Telegraph: Baby P: Ministers ‘passed the buck’

    Labour’s rebuttal unit, The BBC: PM rejects Baby P ‘buck-passing’

    Well BBC there appears to be a prima facie case here that this socialist government did pass the buck. So why start with the rebuttal when the norm would be to start with the accusation.
    BBC: Spending your money to support socialist shite.

    ‘and if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.’
    Cockney | 14.11.08 – 11:35 am |
    Not everyone works in the city.
    I actually know nurses, firemen, policemen and people in the intelligence world who work in London and who get less than 34K pa.
    Some monkeys indeed!


  21. Martin says:

    Phil C: Mark Easton comes out with loads of this shit. No facts ot back it up, just bollocks probably emailed to him from Downing Street to spout on TV.

    Same with crime. Easton spouts shit that crime is falling when we all know it’s rising.


  22. Umbongo says:

    “if you pay peanuts you get monkeys”

    Can we put this tired cliche to bed? It may, or may not, be true but the implied reverse (that you invariably get the best if you pay well) certainly isn’t. Just because we pour treasure down the throats of senior people (in the private as well as public sectors) it doesn’t mean they’re still not monkeys.

    I would be surprised if the head of Haringey Social Services is – with pension rights – paid less than six figures. The Town Clerks – or chief executives – of a number of councils are paid over £200,000 annually. The ex-CEO of Northern Rock was paid a fortune. The pay of the CEO of RBS (who ruined the bank) is paid a seven figure salary. The retiring commissioner of the Met is paid well into six figures. The senior (and not so senior) executives of the BBC are paid enough to make your head spin.

    What do they have in common? Most of them are crap at their jobs and ALL are vastly overpaid.


  23. Ritter says:

    Mark Easton reports on Baby P.

    Poor Social Workers have ‘tricky decisions’ to make. Awww diddums.

    Tricky balance for social services


  24. Beness says:

    From the Telegraph Article

    “Meanwhile the council took out an injunction against Miss Kemal banning her from speaking about child care in Haringey”.

    Seems they were fast enough to stop her speaking out but not so fast to look after the infant.


  25. Gordon says:

    The kind of endemic disfunctionality associated with the Baby P case is in fact general to the State Sector.
    I was a teacher running a major department and also on the Governing Body. Minor problems were fairly efficiently dealt with but something like the case of Boy Bert, who many on the staff thought would end up raping one of the first year girls, and about whome his science teacher said that his presence in the class would reduce the average GCSE grade attained by his classmates by two levels, continued his school career without anything more than a couple of weeks’ suspension, whereas he should have been expelled!
    Back to Baby P
    The only sane option was to remove him from his parents and therefor the least likely to be considerede


  26. ae1 says:

    Martin -I agree with most of your points (just not as vehenently).

    I have always felt, (and please read before I get false claims of Nazi) that anyone, regardless of background/eduation/income, should be made to sit an exam before being allowed to be parents. I mean in simple things like hygeine/food prep/child care/how to pay bills etc. If we have to sit exams in order to drive a car I think it should be mandatory for those wishing to have kids.


  27. Lurkingblackhat says:

    “Labour’s rebuttal unit, The BBC: PM rejects Baby P ‘buck-passing’…don/ 7729267.stm

    ……So why start with the rebuttal when the norm would be to start with the accusation.”

    Yes. Quite. My thoughts exactly.


  28. TPO says:

    There is a deeper history to the case of ‘Baby P’ than some are aware of and one that the BBC would never allow you to know.

    The CEO of Haringay council at the time that Victoria Climbié was badly let down by Haringay Social Services and ultimately murdered was the future race hustler Gurbux Singh.
    Mrs Marr (in name only) penned this gush about him:

    Singh was ‘headhunted’ by the loathesome Jack Straw to be the 120,000 a year head of the Commission of Racial Equality but a couple of years later he pleaded guilty to Public Order offences after getting legless at the Oval cricket ground and racially abusing two white police officers. As he was being arrested Singh ‘waved his fists at police officers and said “I’ll have your jobs. Do you know who I am?”
    Of course Labour allowed him to have a ‘golden handshake goodbye’ and a guaranteed pension for life.
    Reminds me of the vile and odious Hodge woman who got the BBC to smear one of the people who had been abused in care in Islington when she was the leader.


  29. Martin says:

    ae1: If people treated a cat or dog the way many kids are treated they’d have the animal tkaen off them and be up in court.

    A lot of chav scum have kids because it means they get huge handouts, free houses and can use it as an excuse not to go to jail.


  30. Kill the Beeb says:


    “have always felt, (and please read before I get false claims of Nazi) that anyone, regardless of background/eduation/income, should be made to sit an exam before being allowed to be parents. I mean in simple things like hygeine/food prep/child care/how to pay bills etc. If we have to sit exams in order to drive a car I think it should be mandatory for those wishing to have kids.”

    Well that would instantly fuck most of the controlling classes from having kids. They don’t have an iota of commonsense between the lot of them.


  31. Cameron says:


    But my mum was one of those people – and yes she had us kids put into care etc.

    But she was still my mum.

    sad isnt it?

    I dont think she had much money thrown at her either.


  32. George R says:

    Melanie Phillips links the breakdown of the family in Britain to certain aspects of the ‘progressive’ intelligentsia:

    ” An Age of Barbarism”


  33. Peter says:

    Ours is an interesting country, as least as far as the politico-media establishment goes.

    Two vastly-paid blokes abuse just about everything and everyone possible, and after a while get suspended on full pay, while the liberal luvvies of London anguish over the fairness of it all still.

    Meanwhile a woman ‘blows a whistle’ about a mammoth systems failure in childcare, and is sacked within days and then has a gagging order slapped on just for good measure, to protect… er…?

    I guess it matters who you work for, and in what cause.

    Lessons are being learned, apparently. I just hope it’s by the public, and they will be able to give their verdicts in an appropriate manner at the right time. Though, for some, tomorrow would be too late.

    Keep on bouncing if it makes you happy.


  34. frankos says:

    from what Iv’e gathered from social workers, most start with the idea of their “clients” being the oppressed minority crushed by the capitalist system and end up realising that many are just generational freeloaders with no moral core. The trouble is sorting out the wheat from the chaff –we don’t want to hurt those that genuinely need social help. If someone could genuinely seperate these very different categories it would be a miracle


  35. northnorthwester says:

    Teachers backing Baby P director

    More than 60 Haringey head teachers have joined forces to write a letter in support of the director of Haringey’s Children and Young People’s Service.

    ’nuff said?


  36. aghast says:

    “The BBC has learnt…!”
    That phrase is a blatant lie and the Corporation should immediately be dissolved. The BBC cannot possibly learn anything because they already know everything! You want proof? Just listen to Humphreys and Webb.


  37. Sarah Jane says:

    Umbongo – the cliche stands – if you pay a lot of peanuts you just get bigger richer monkeys, trust me on this 🙂


  38. TPO says:

    Sarah Jane | 15.11.08 – 7:02 pm |

    You been reading Animal Farm again? 😉


  39. Sarah Jane says:

    I looked at it once, but I didn’t inhale.

    Let’s just say that I think that argument that the DG shouldn’t be paid much more than eg the PM is quite a good one.

    If they are any good they will already be rich, or be able to make some decent wedge afterwards.