I can barely read about Baby P. It makes me feel physically sick. Combined with anger at the sort of scum who could do such a thing - an anger that makes me want to put them up against a wall and shoot them – is a sort of numb hopelessness that it’s happened again. Ten years after Victoria Climbie, in the same damn council, Haringey, social workers saw Baby P 60 fucking times. He had bruises all over him, his fingernails had been torn out, his ear was fucking torn off – just what in the name of God would have made these people do something? And of course no-one’s to blame, of course no-one’s going to lose their job over it. After all, the inquiry conducted by Haringey council found that no-one had done anything wrong and everything in the garden was wonderful.
So David Cameron was quite right to raise this today at PMQs. It’s a question of national importance – and Gordon Brown’s responses were first a shambles and then a disgrace. As a stock response to a question you can’t – or won’t – answer, accusing the opposition of playing party politics is effective but limited. Today it was grossly, offensively inappropriate. It showed Brown as having the emotional intelligence of a Toilet Duck. Add to that the barracking of Labour MPs of Cameron as he was asking questions – about, lest we forget, the brutal torturing to death of a baby – and it was about the least edifying experience imaginable.
Charles Kennedy noted that Tony Blair would handled the entire affair much better. But, frankly, so would virtually any sentient human being. Brown’s utter inability to see anything through other than the prism of party political advantage has been both a strength and a weakness through his career. It’s possible that if the next General Election is run entirely on economic issues it might continue to be an advantage. But if there are circumstances that require a more than two-dimensional view, then he’s doomed – and deserves to be.