A whistleblower alerted the government to failings around child protection in Haringey six months before Baby P died, according to this BBC report, which swiftly moves on after the opening paragraph to a government press release responding to the claims. Readers are left to guess the details.
It is understood a lawyer acting for a former social worker sent the letter to the then health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, says the BBC.
It might be understood, but it’s all a bit vague, principallly because the BBC seems to be entirely reliant on the government’s press office. Readers anywhere else, be it, the left-leaning Independent or right-wing Telegraph, not only understand; they know exactly what actually happened:
It [the letter] read: “Our client whistle-blew the fact that the sexual abuse had been ongoing for months and the new management brought in post-Climbie had not acted… We write to ask for a public inquiry into these matters.”, records the Independent.
And later in the BBC report we have this:
It is understood the social worker no longer works for Haringey council.
Again, it’s writing that really sounds like it’s coming from the ministerial department rather than a journalist.
At the Telegraph, on the other hand, they not only understand the social worker doesn’t work there, they know that Miss Kemal was later suspended and left her £34,000-a-year job with the council. An employment tribunal found that she had been singled out because she was a whistle-blower.
In fact, overall the BBC report does once again make me wonder: if it doesn’t actually tell you anything about what happened, does it still qualify as journalism?