Culture of cowardice deters public sector whistleblowers

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From: John Bradfield. Former Medical, Psychiatric & Child Care Social Worker & Tutor, Knox Road, Harrogate.

WHAT is wrong with our public and political services is blindingly obvious.

The same pattern is seen in the conduct of senior police over Hillsborough, medical and nursing staff at Stafford Hospital and any number of officials over the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham and other parts of the country.

The issue is about rewards for abuse of trust and cowardice, 
for which impunity, job security and promotions are guaranteed.

That must be contrasted 
with the punishments handed out to conscientious whistleblowers.

Public servants quickly discover that they are employed first and foremost to protect their senior managers and 
not our most vulnerable 
citizens.

Psychological research has long shown why ordinary people behave in shocking ways, including a readiness to remain silent even in the face of corruption and torture.

The question is, why public servants have never been required to prove that they not only understand how power is abused but how to stop it and prevent it?

Also pernicious are the investigations, which predictably result in cover-ups.

The Patients’ Association recently revealed the shocking standards of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. “The quality, accuracy, objectivity, effectiveness, openness and honesty of its reports is shameful.”

When in 1992 a psychiatrist was formally reported to the 
then Health Secretary for torturing patients, a TV documentary and news 
reports revealed that nothing was done for four years.

In short, conscientious 
public servants are seen 
as the real menace and not abusers of trust.

In my letter (The Yorkshire Post, August 29, 2014) on 
child sexual exploitation, 
I called for senior public servants and politicians to be permanently banned from 
such work and stripped of pension rights, when involved 
in child abuse or they fail 
to act urgently and effectively 
to stop it.

I said: “When Parliament reconvenes next Monday, responsible MPs must 
demand an urgent change to 
the law”.

No such law was created, 
so we can be sure to cite Zac Goldsmith MP that the same problems are doomed to go “on and on and on”.