Courting contempt

There was something quite distasteful about Carole Baptiste’s
protestations that she was a victim in the Victoria Climbie

But her lawyer does have a point when he says his client was by no
means the only one to fail to co-operate with Laming inquiry.

In fact there has been a pervading display of apathy bordering on
contempt towards the whole proceedings – and that goes right to the
top. Haringey council, the NSPCC, even the chief inspector of
social services Denise Platt have all been less than forthcoming
with inquiry chief Herbert Laming.

Meanwhile there has been a flurry of activity around children’s
services, with new documents and initiatives either intended to
influence the Laming report or, in the case of children’s trusts,
pre-empt it.

The worry is that by the time the report appears at the end of the
year it could be little more than a footnote.

That cannot be allowed to happen. The inquiry is costing us a lot
of money – £7m according to one estimate and possibly more.
The very least we can do is listen to – and more importantly act on
– what Lord Laming has to say. Otherwise what was the point of
asking him?

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