The missing Subject Access Request (SAR) info has pitched up from Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). A glimpse into OCC tower skedaddling after dropping the secret review bomb on us in March. It still makes no sense to me. This whole secret review business. Or OCC’s apparent inability to understand how we feel. One senior person wrote in an email;
“It feels we allow this desperate lady to shake us all…”
Desperate ladies and faux reviews. We clearly need new words to capture these processes. An ‘independent’ consultant brought in (at what expense?) to work with a public sector body to produce… erm, what? Statements like ‘commissioned an independent consultant/organisation’ are trotted out so readily by these organisations, promising so much, so official. Strip em back and it can simply be dosh passing hands to produce pretty much nothing dressed up as something.
OCC continue to describe the review as an ‘internal review’. Rank dishonesty that no body seems prepared to challenge. No one has stepped up to say ‘You shared LB’s records without telling his family, paid someone to conduct an investigation into what happened without involving his family, and circulated a report to various organisations before his family knew the review existed? What the fuck were you thinking?
We’re increasingly disturbed by the ease in which conjecture, subjective judgement and sweeping statements are made and presented as incontrovertible ‘facts’ by reviewers/public bodies. Untouchable bodies. Untouchable processes. Meanwhile, what families say or do is dismissed or discounted. Individuals derided and discredited. The four Ds. I was given the opportunity to comment on the review so we should stop bleating about it or make an official complaint. Public bodies protected by a veneer of respectability that bears little scrutiny but remains remarkably enduring.
What a old shitty business.
While OCC were posting this latest, late, info, Rich and I were in Chicago. Attending a session dedicated to LB at the Society for the Study of Social Problems annual conference*. Last year, a motion proposed by Mark Sherry was unanimously passed demonstrating SSSP support for how simply wrong what happened to LB was. Sitting in that session, on the other side of the Atlantic, I couldn’t help reflecting on how most people just get this wrongness. People in the audience who knew nothing about LB gasped when they heard what happened. And yet we’ve had over two years of crap thrown at us by public bodies. Crap that has, ironically, according to Mark Sherry in his presentation, contributed to the strength of support for the #JusticeforLB campaign.
Plenty of learning in this. If Sloven and OCC can ever get beyond their positions of prickly defensiveness and refusal to listen and reflect.
*More on this to follow.