As the world celebrates the birth of a baby boy born in abject poverty. There is another infant that I haven’t been able to get out of my head all week.
Baby P looks up at me in the picture everyone has seen and asks questions that no one in polite society seems to want to seriously answer.
It has often been mentioned that there isn’t a resigning culture in Irish politics, that, unlike in the UK, people here cling onto their government positions as if their lives depended on it.
In Britain, on the other hand, a chap falls on his sword, does the honourable thing.
Still the little face looks up at me, at all of us.
The report on the case was swift and, at first glance, comprehensive.
There will be, in the New Year, high-level seminars about improving systems in Child Protection.
I have, since I qualified as a social worker in the UK in 1990, taken part in various re-inventions of essentially the same system.
What is never looked at is who works in the system.
We have, by ideology and happenstance, selected as our front line child protection workers probably the least able people to step into the type of “families” that can turn a child into a corpse.
When I took up my first post as a Social Worker in Glasgow in 1990 I realised that there was, within many of my experienced colleagues, an element of avoidance being practiced.
These nice middle class women just didn’t like being in grubby houses full of drunken violent people. Glasgow does a rather nice line in such abodes.
Moreover although the entire ambience of the professional discourse in social work was one of gender equality, feminist social constructivism, no essential difference between men and women except that men are always bad.
That ideological position was conveniently forgotten when the presence of a young fit man capable of swift violence was required.
I soon found that my female colleagues wanted me to accompany them on “home visits”.
Verbal abuse, threats and, occasionally, violence would be directed at me by some adult during a visit.
One the occasions that a physical response was required after the female colleague got back to the safety of the office a spin would be put on the “critical incident”.
“Couldn’t have I handled the situation differently?”
“Yes I could have let Mr. Smith nail you to the wall as we told him that his kid wasn’t coming out of care!”
Social Workers are lamentably poorly trained for the function they provide. In the absence of any strong evidence based validity for what they do ideology-feminist ideology-fills the vacuum.
They are selected for their social work course on their ability to ideologically conform and parrot a 1970s feminist catechism.
This makes about as much sense as hiring someone to work as a bouncer on the basis that they have an excellent stamp collection.
Baby P died, in part, because the cost of protecting him wasn’t paid by the staff paid to do just that.
One female colleague of mine in Glasgow once on a joint visit was startled when I knocked on a door in a Glasgow tenement. I knocked the door loudly, very loudly. I looked at her and explained, “ it is eleven in the morning, they’ll still be sleeping, they’re drunks.”
This was later dissembled in supervision as “judgmental”.
They were sleeping because they were drunks.
My loud knock on the door got the man of the house stumbling out of his alcoholic stupor.
The lazy chaos of our child protection system is feminism in action.
Feminism in action is feminist inaction when faced with the ideal family unit of feminist ideology-the single mother on welfare.
When I was team leader with Northern Area Health Board in Dublin earlier in this decade I found the identical belief system among a similarly feminised workforce.
Only an Australian social worker seemed to have the muscularity to be an effective child protection worker. That she clearly was dismissive of feminist thought was, in my opinion, no coincidence.
There is nothing especially new in the circumstances that surround the death of this little boy. He joins a list of dead children that were failed by statutory services in these island going back to Maria Caldwell in England in 1973 to, twenty years later, Kelly Fitzgerald in Mayo.
If you think that baby P couldn’t happen here in Ireland then you are also probably confident of the robust health of our banking system.
While we think that nice middle class women gently knocking on grubby doors in Darndale and then skipping away delightedly that there was no answer is a child protection system then an Irish Baby P is only a matter of time.
Dead children are the price we will pay for paying homage to an ideology that those in power seem helpless to challenge.
The next Baby P does not need strangers bearing gifts, but the helpless child will need wise men to barge through the feminist created chaos and say “enough!”