Pendulum politics

The furore over the Sir Roy Meadow affair shows no sign of abating
and certain sections of the media have the bit between their

For the Daily Mail this is another Cleveland with the
chance to cast all professionals involved in child protection as
heartless homewreckers engaged in a witch-hunt against innocent

The government has done little to help maintain a sense of
perspective. First we had the solicitor general Harriet Harman
muddying the waters with her pledge to identify potential
injustices in family court cases as well as those in criminal

The attorney general’s office later made clear this would not
amount to a review of civil cases, as was widely reported last

Then, children’s minister Margaret Hodge poured petrol on the
flames by claiming that Meadow’s theory had been used to remove
“thousands or even tens of thousands” of children from their

The danger of losing a sense of proportion is that the pendulum
will swing too far the other way, cases of genuine abuse will be
missed and no one will want to work in the child protection field.

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