I’ve been listening to the debate on the Vanessa Feltz phone-in (one of my favourite shows), a passionate discussion about the disclosing of the identities of the three people responsible for the death of an angelic 17 month old boy called Peter Connelly. In spite of his being brought to the attention of the social services in the area he was treated with a brutality that has left people open mouthed.
Blonde blue-eyed Peter was tortured by his mother’s partner and his brother. His short life was spent in squalid and filthy conditions. The British public is torn between wanting to hunt down the people responsible for this and a desire to punish the social workers who let this get past them.
To me it is clear that a long sequence of events, stretching decades into the past, have led to this tragedy. There is a saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”, and I have come to believe this. The trouble is, I’m one of the people that says all this and still keeps her mouth shut when she sees someone screaming and swearing their heads off in front of their frightened little children. Even though I can remember very clearly what it feels like to be that child. Cowardly me.