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Bad is the new good, lies the new truth

February 11, 2010

As social workers we try to be helpful, to do the right thing, to be open and honest and to prevent cruelty and abuse where we can. For this, and especially when we fail to prevent others from attacking the vulnerable, we are despised, disrespected and treated with contempt. The media (with a few exceptions) hates us and seizes every opportunity to castigate individual social workers and prints streams of bile about the whole profession.

On the other hand the cruel, dishonest and criminal are admired and lauded. I refer to the dashing James Bond, the genius George Smiley, the spooks of the eponymous TV series – to the boys and girls of our security services who, according to Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls, fail to recognise human rights and operate a culture of suppression. Bizarrely, Jonathan Sumpton QC representing the government wrote to the judge asking him to water down his judgment (i.e. to join the culture of suppression) and, even more bizarrely, Mr Sumpton’s letter then came into the public domain  revealing much of what he was asking the judge to suppress.

This from The Telegraph

A copy of Mr Sumption’s letter to the judge was later leaked. The QC said the judge’s “exceptionally damaging” comments would lead to “an unprecedented breakdown in relations between the courts and the executive”. He added: “They will be read as statements by the Court that the Security Service does not in fact operate a culture that respects human rights”. He said this was “particularly true” of an MI5 officer known as Witness B, who is currently under police investigation over his role in the interrogation of Mr Mohamed. He added that Witness B’s behaviour was categorised by the judge as “characteristic of the Service as a whole” and that MI5 officers “deliberately misled” Parliament. The judge had also referred to “a culture of suppression” which “penetrates the Service to such a degree as to undermine any UK Government assurances based on the Service’s information and advice”. He concluded that the courts “should distrust” any such assurance.

A full copy of Mr Sumpton’s letter can be found here.

So there you have it: to attempt to do good is be despised; to do wrong is to be celebrated.  I was going to say it’s a funny old world but these matters are not at all funny they are bleakly sad and symptomatic of a deep rottenness in  our society.

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