March 10 Letters: Governments have created culture of cover-up on abuse

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

DAVID Cameron has rightly categorised child sexual exploitation as a national threat, around which has developed a “dangerous culture of denial and cover-up”.

That culture is impacting on acutely vulnerable people of all ages and includes deep-rooted corruption.

It punishes whistle blowers and responsibility for that rests squarely with MPs and government Ministers.

They must, therefore, accept that they are primarily responsible for the “dangerous culture of denial and cover-up”.

Governments have long rewarded abuses of trust and cowardice, for which impunity, job security and promotions are still guaranteed and with no end in sight.

Despite what looked like a turning point last week, David Cameron only plans to consult.

We will have to keep citing Zac Goldsmith MP, because abuse will “go on and on and on”. That is because politicians perennially fail to act robustly and urgently.

What can be done right now must be done right now.

The Patients Association has been telling us that we are failing those who are most vulnerable and involving the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman makes matters far worse. The same can be said of investigations into social care standards.

What David Cameron could have done, was put in place the new law which I urgently called for last summer (The Yorkshire Post, August 29, 2014). That, at a stroke, would have forced public officials in positions of trust at all levels, to either to do their jobs properly or be shown the door, never to return.

I also set out clear penalties, which would in effect leave them bankrupt.

Serious abuse and failures to deal with it require serious penalties.

With those would come a very different culture in which the only way public officials could protect their own backs, is by protecting those in danger of serious abuse and serious neglect.

Immediately before the 2010 general election David Cameron said “a good society” is measured by its treatment of vulnerable citizens. That test is still being failed.

Consequently, all politicians should now press for urgent legislation to deliver that which is immediately achievable and if necessary, keep Parliament running after the March 30 and deal robustly with the national threat.