The Curmudgeon


Friday, June 24, 2011

Stand By Your Man

The Department for Infantine Resource Conservation has decided to show a bit of solidarity with Ed Balls over the sacking of Sharon Shoesmith, the former Director of Children's Services in Haringey. The Government "thinks that it was right in principle for Sharon Shoesmith to be removed from her post"; which should come as no surprise. The Government thinks it is right in principle for virtually all public employees to be removed from their posts. However, Shoesmith is a special case. She was Director of Children's Services when a seventeen-month-old child was battered to death despite over sixty visits from social workers, doctors and the police. Since the police are always blameless and doctors have the BMA behind them, Shoesmith was duly made the object of press attention after the usual restrained and fair-minded Murdoch-Dacre fashion; Ed Balls, who was then the education secretary, saw the chance for a favourable mention on Page 3 and jumped on Shoesmith with both of his hobnailed testicles. Haringey took the hint and fired her, but Shoesmith fought the decision. The judges ruled quaintly that summary dismissal after trial by tabloid and with no opportunity to put her own case was somehow "procedurally unfair", and that Shoesmith was entitled to her full salary and pension up to the present day; which characteristic combination of fiscal prudence and concern for justice doubtless explains why Ed Balls is now the shadow chancellor.


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