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Anorak | Rebekah Brooks’ Sun, David Cameron And Ed Balls Feasted Off Baby P For Money And Votes

Rebekah Brooks’ Sun, David Cameron And Ed Balls Feasted Off Baby P For Money And Votes

by | 12th, July 2011

WHAT news of Rebekah Brooks? Well, depsite of the News of The World’s stance on John Terry (SACK THE LEADER!) and the Sun’s attitude toward’s Sharon Shoemsith (SACK THE LEADER!), the boss remains in her job.

With great timing, then, the Sun has been forced to pay copensation to Sylvia Henry, a social workers it hounded out of a job as the furore over the death of Baby P (Peter Connelly) hit the news cycle. The Sun invited its readers to sing a petition demanding Henry and other Haringey social workers be sacked. The Sun amassed 1.5m signatures for its petition, which was delivered to Downing Street.

The petition stated:

“I believe that ALL the social workers involved in the case of baby P, including Sharon Shoesmith, Maria Ward, Sylvia Henry and Gillie Christou should be sacked and never allowed to work with vulnerable children again….

The Sun cared. It cared enough to stick its logo on Baby P’s grave and keep a vigil for other caring types carrying balloons and teddies.

Ed Balls and David Cameron both waded into the debate – presenting themselves as caring dads and so blessed with a sense of right and wrong. They both sucked up to the Sun.

Cameron actually wrote an open letter in the Sun:

His face seems so familiar now, but it is still incredibly moving. More than 1.3million signed The Sun Baby P petition, each name a cry for justice. Yesterday, those cries were answered. The sackings, suspensions, resignations were long overdue.

Mindful of the allegation that dead child Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked by the NoTW, you might see some irony in what he next said:

What have they got to hide? Why can’t the public read the facts in full? What kind of culture puts safeguarding the system before children, protecting bureaucrats before our babies?

The creepy mawkish Ed Balls, then Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s confidant and now shadow chancellor, offered:

“I have to separate the emotion I feel as a father from my job as Secretary of State.

Balls then gave into the Sun and sacked Shoesmith. The law says that was wrong. The law says the Sun, Cameron, Balls and all the self-serving tosspots using a dead child to make them look good made Sharon Shoesmith a “SCAPEGOAT“. (Should she lose her job, Brooks may claim that she too has been made a scapegoat, given the alleged culture of greed and bullying at Murdoch’s empire.)

The Sun said Sylvia Henry, a social worker in the London borough of Haringey for 23 years, had been “grossly negligent” in her handling of Peter Connelly’s case. She was “thereby to blame for his appalling abuse and death“. The Sun said she was “shameless and had ducked responsibility for Peter’s death”. The Sun said Henry “had generally shown an uncaring disregard for the safety of children, even in cases where they obviously required urgent protection”.

The Sun now says:

“The Sun accepts that Ms Henry was not at fault or to blame in any way for anything done by Haringey social services that may have contributed to Peter’s terrible abuse and death. They accept that she did her very best for Peter and particularly that she made repeated efforts to have him kept safe by being placed in foster care rather than being returned to the care of his mother.”

The Sun was not alone. Other news organ waded in. The London Evening Standard, Daily Mirror and Independent all made false allegations about Henry’s role in the Baby P case. All apologised.

But it is Brooks – the Sun editor at the time – who whipped up the frenzy. Brooks gave the Hugh Cudlipp lecture, in which she defended her paper’s “campaign for justice“. She said:

Campaigns provide a unique connection to the public especially when the subject matter is of a serious nature.For me, nothing can illustrate this connection better than our recent Baby P campaign. The public outcry was deafening. And we began our fight for justice with a determination to expose the lack of accountability and responsibility for Baby P’s brutal death.

We delivered 1.5 million signatures to Downing Street and the collective power worked. Children’s Secretary Ed Balls was forced to use emergency legislation to ensure that those responsible were held to account. We received many many thousands of letters at The Sun about our Baby P coverage.

I’d like to read you one: ‘I have never been a huge fan of The Sun, however I thank you for the coverage of Baby P. I am so grateful for the campaign. This is not a modern day witch-hunt but a petition for justice. Please, please do not relent.’

She added:

In contrast, I’d like to quote from an article in… The Guardian.

“Full of fury and repellent hysteria, but isn’t that part of the game? This is less about the creation of public emotion and more about its manipulation.” This knee-jerk tabloid kicking reaction is just dull.

But total disregard and respect for public opinion never ceases to amaze me. They demanded accountability. And as a result of the campaign, some, just some, of those responsible were removed from office without compensation. Or as this Sun reader wrote: ‘The tabloid press, which the arty-farty press like to look down on so much, has shown that it prides morality over political correctness.’

Oh. Dear.

 



Posted: 12th, July 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink