Mid Feb. And no action about the Mazars review. Extraordinary. I watched a documentary last night from 1981. Silent Minority. By a filmmaker called Nigel Evans. (He died recently but there are several of his documentaries on youtube and I recommend dipping in. A remarkable archive.)
Earlier today someone asked me if I thought anything will happen with the Mazars review. A question I think we never thought would be asked, back in the summer of 2015, when early findings were shared with the review panel. The findings evidenced a barbaric disregard for the human rights of certain people that could only be a matter of national importance. The leaking of the Mazars review, and subsequent debate in the House of Commons on December 10, supported this.
And then tumbleweed. A cynically timed ‘offical’ publication date just before crimbo and crap all meaningful action by NHS England, Sloven, Monitor, CQC and Jeremy Hunt since has generated serious despair in the Justice shed.
This negativity was reinforced last week after listening to an update about the Learning Disability Mortality Review programme (LeDeR) based at Bristol University last week. A watered down version of a national mortality review board because the government (previous and current) thought premature deaths of learning disabled people weren’t worth proper funding. A piecemeal programme with little independent scrutiny and rigour (and unfunded public involvement).
Strangely, I started feel more positive today. Helped, in part, by various tweets, emails, facebook posts highlighting the obvious lack of fit between ‘official’ talk and people’s lives. And regular emails/messages relaying sometimes small changes and shifts. Unlike in 1981, social media allows a diverse range of different people to collectively come together, contribute, support and do stuff. #JusticeforLB is increasingly known about in a way we never imagined. In March a short play by Edana Minghella about LB will feature in Twelve Angry Women in Brighton. The Justice quilt will be on display at the Kings Fund next week. Plans are underway for a late evening choral event alongside the quilt in the Warwick University Arts Centre in the summer.
The Mazars review clearly highlighted eugenic practices embedded within the structure and processes of at least part of the NHS and social care. This ain’t going away. And the non action by those who should be acting is starkly visible. The atrocities highlighted by Nigel Evans (among others) which continue today in different versions remain beyond wrong. We have options he could only have dreamed of back in the day when the content of his documentary was challenged. That his work is freely available on YouTube underlines the potential for social media to render these happenings visible and ensure they remain so.
Postscript: Bizarrely, just a few hours after posting this, Rob Greig published this article in Community Care, saying similar.