Thursday, November 13, 2008


Jean Charles de Menezes, Victoria Climbié and Baby P all have a lot in common. The authorities were all following procedures developed to deal with exactly the situation they weren't in. Banging several bullets through a defenceless man's skull was obfuscated as "the Police did nothing wrong". The murder of two children in Haringey was the result of all sorts of people actually following detailed procedures: social workers, doctors, health visitors, police.
Our obsession with procedures is linked directly to our fear of litigation. If something is to be done, it must be done by "The Book". The Book might be the untested ramblings of a complete moron. No matter, it is The Book.
We will eventually forget that something called common sense might have prevailed in these cases. We are expected to believe The Book and subsequent public inquiries.
We will, I am sure, learn to live with our doubts and then, soon enough, learn to live with the lies.

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