Chatting with Rosie earlier. She reflected on how, after 2.5 years of (relentless) campaigning, things had really started happening over the last two or three weeks. Various people also sent emails/messages to the Justice shed today, including Andy who wrote…
What a bloody brilliant thing to see front page of The Guardian. So just to reflect – in the space of about 10 days you made front page of The Guardian and The Mirror, loads of lead stories on all the big BBC hitters (and the ITV ones), triggered an urgent parliamentary debate and, most importantly, brought together 337 hand-crafted colourful, brilliant gingerbread men to remind everyone that this is lives we’re talking about, not statistics.Not too bad for a bunch of pests eh?
Yep. It is bloody brilliant. And we have been relentless. It has been a relentless campaign. Luckily dotted with laughter, spectacular contributions, solidarity, magic and more. At the same time, instead of (hideously, over complicated, inefficient and costly layers of) quality assurance/regulatory processes uncovering this scandal, it took ordinary people to just say ‘Eh. There’s a strong whiff of something wrong here. It needs investigation.’
It’s obscene that we’ve had to fight so hard to get this far. It ain’t our job to do this. Far from it. We should never have had to have spent the countless (countless) hours we have working to get some sort of accountability and justice. None of us. I can’t imagine what the collective salary is of staff in Sloven (and other Trusts), NHS England, the CQC, Monitor and the Department of Health who should have spotted that people were dying way too early, with no investigation into the cause of their deaths. [Howl].
Why didn’t they? The findings of the Confidential Inquiry into the Premature Deaths of Learning Disabled People (CIPOLD) was a pretty big red flag in 2013. The government decided to ignore the key CIPOLD recommendation and didn’t set up a national body to examine these deaths. A cracking decision. Leading to the eggy faces we’ve seen in the last week or so. With plenty more eggs lined up.
Mmm. This was after the public outcry about Winterbourne View and that embarrassingly expensive and ultimately pointless work programme that unfolded, painfully across a few years and then disappeared digitally after the election this year. Ouch. So many organisations/charities signing up to the ‘glory’ back in the day. And little or no public reflection on this collective failure… Astonishing. Meanwhile, people continue to live non lives (or worse) in these hell hole units.
Here in the J-shed we’re pretty battle weary, scarred and totally fucked off by the combination of a lack of integrity and guts, arrogance, dismissal, closing of ranks and suffocating overriding superiority that seems to circulate around the senior levels of the various public sector organisations and government*. The battle to publish the Mazars review just one example of this. Detailed at length on these pages.
For any of these salaried staff, particular those at senior levels, [excluding Katrina Percy and the Sloven Board who clearly ain’t human] there is no mystery here. As Tommy said in The Tale of Laughing Boy, it’s not rocket science. There’s a lack of understanding and recognition that people are just people. And that certain people shouldn’t die (conveniently?) years before other people. Stripped of humanity, dignity, love, respect and value. In both life and death.
The answer? I dunno. A good starting point may be to get over yourselves. Go and hang out with people who ain’t the same as you, your family and your mates. And start to recognise colour, diversity and difference.
*There are clearly some brilliant people in these roles. Just many more who ain’t.