Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Child protection

It leaves a bitter bitter taste that a headline about Baby P today is followed by one about parents' losing their "right" to smack on Pirate Fm's news.

Mark Frearson spent a night in the cells after smacking his son and is demanding an apology, while a parents' group is agitating about our alleged "right to smack" being removed by this incident.

Apples and oranges in levels, of course. But how can we have outrage outrage OUTRAGE and heads-must-roll when child protection services appear to have failed, and at the same time outrage and demands for apologies when there is intervention on behalf of the child, after a complaint is made?

It's damned if you do, damned if you don't.

If the complaint was of such seriousness that there appeared to be a risk to the boy's safety, then overnight in a cell is where the father had to go while the matter was investigated, surely. I'm inclined to believe that the police had reason for the decisions they made, while I should point out that Frearson was not charged with anything in the end and the complaint withdrawn.

That it was a horrible experience for Frearson, I have no doubt, but when it comes to the larger issue of child protection, I would far rather that we erred on the side of the child's safety than on the parent's embarrassment or discomfort.


Anonymous said...

The Baby P story is so horrific. There was a lot about it on the news the other morning, about the friend saying how the boyfriend liked to torture animals. All while my children were watching telly, I'm tempted to tell the BBC to go and take a running jump. Why is serving the needs of horribly voyeuristic sick adults more important than serving the needs of families with young children with the news on in the morning??? I think the news should be child friendly. Within established parameters. What does it serve the public to know how the paramedics found the baby lying blue on the floor? Do we need to know???? I usually hate the fact that the BBC news make such a big deal out of horsefeathers like "Strictly Jesus Christ on Ice Superstars Coming Dancing with Celebrities Getting Me out of this Tuxedo" etc, I usually shout at the telly "THIS IS NOT NEWS!" but I'd have that filler over Baby P coverage any day. Ooooh, I'm riled. Abster x

Mephitis said...

I can't read the Baby P articles. A skim and I feel sick. I don't think it serves the public and it's yet another moral panic for the media.