What’s more frightening than one sicko?

When they get together, that’s what.

Two recent cases involving children – Shannon Matthews and Baby P – have thrown into sharp relief how some children in the so-called civilized United Kingdom are treated by those who should care for them.

Apart from all the distressing details (and in the case of Baby P I’d advise you to skip them if you think you’re likely to be upset – they really are truly horrifying) what stands out for me is how evil gravitated towards evil in both cases. One lone abuser you can perhaps understand, but when they start acting in collusion with each other then they can back each other up, cover for each other and carry out their plans more effectively.

Speaking as an erstwhile bleeding-heart liberal I’m starting to entertain thoughts regarding the fitness of some people to have children in the first place and wondering why we should waste valuable resources keeping them alive when they’ve shown their total lack of basic humanity.

I’m not happy thinking like this, but the current measures taken to protect children have been shown to be woefully inadequate – whether we need to simply enforce regulations that are already there or whether we need a radical rethink I don’t know. I’m no expert.

However, what I do know is that the most vulnerable members of our society are being badly served by those who should be protecting them and something needs to be done without any further delay.


3 Responses

  1. I think the only vaguely positive thing to come out of those situations (Baby P, not Shannon Matthews) is that a chain of abuse may have been broken. I wouldn’t be surprised if Baby P’s parents grew up in abusive households, and who knows, if he’d lived, he may have been unable to escape that culture.

    Unfortunately, until we can somehow have a powerful and effective social welfare system (without the Daily Mail brigade complaining about high taxes) these tragedies will keep happening. All the rest of us can do is donate to the NSPCC, I guess.

  2. I am a South African living in SA and have been following the story of Baby P very closely.
    It has been a very long time since something has touched me so deeply…living in a country where rape of babies/children, abuse & murder is a daily occurence.
    It is clear that Baby P was failed in so many ways…the torture that he endured (over several months) is beyond comprehention and that is what probably makes this case so disturbing.
    How is it that the murder of this little boy carries a “hefty” sentence of 14 years and the people responsible are now being protected? Who protected Baby P.I don’t know how the people that were tasked to protect Baby P sleep at night…I know I don’t.
    I feel that the entire world needs to take a closer look at what is happening to our children. There is a sea of children out there that are &/or have suffered abuse and the scars that are left are not always visible. They are the future and i have to say it’s not looking very bright.

  3. Heather, the identities of the guilty are hidden because there might be some sort of retribution attack – that makes poerfect sense if we aren’t going to descend to the ways of the jungle. However, the identities have been revealed on the internet so I doubt that in this case they’ll be safe.
    Paramount in our considerations should be what can be done to protect future Baby Ps. Like you I don’t hold out much hope for the future, but we should try our best even so.

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