Saturday, 23 May 2009

Absolutely shameless part 3.

The opening two paragraphs of today's Sun leader could only have been written by someone with no shame whatsoever:

NOW we know the value of a baby's life in 21st century Britain. It is pitifully low.

Yesterday's sentences on the three monsters found guilty of causing or allowing the death-by-torture of 17-month-old Baby Peter will enrage decent parents everywhere.

We didn't need the Baby Peter case to inform us of this though: could this possibly be the same newspaper that earlier in the week we discovered had not paid a penny to the Patten family for their story which it turned out was completely false in any event? The way the paper connived with the parents in that case, and then failed to stump up a penny, should too enrage decent parents everywhere. The paper's campaign on Baby P is so at odds with its behaviour concerning Alfie Patten that it suggests that the paper doesn't care one jot for Baby P or children in general; all it really cares about is its own sales and profiting from the kind of dehumanisation which it has specialised in over the last couple of days. Then again, that isn't the slightest bit surprising.

The leader goes on to misleadingly give the sentences handed down to the three involved in the case, as does the paper's article, not giving hardly any emphasis whatsoever to the fact that the mother was sentenced to 10 years, with a minimum of 5, the step-father 20 years with a minimum of ten, as well as a concurrent 12-year sentence for raping a two-year-old girl, and the lodger to six years, with a minimum of 3. In addition, all were given indeterminate sentences, which means they have to pass courses and convince parole panels that they are no longer any kind of threat before they can be released. The Guardian points out that since the "indefinite" sentences were introduced, less than 50 of those given them have been released at the earliest possible opportunity.

It also goes on to undermine its whole previous campaign, which targeted only social workers and a doctor involved in the care of Baby Peter:

Many social workers do a wonderful job for little reward or praise. But far too many children are being deserted by police, doctors, lawyers and care staff. They are trapped in abusive, dysfunctional families screaming for help into the deaf ears of officialdom.

Why then did the paper not attack the police, doctors and lawyers, all of whom failed just as much as the social workers did, with the same vehemence as it did the social workers? Was it simply because social workers, unlike the other three organisations, have far fewer individuals willing or prepared to defend them?

The Sun knows above all that stories such as this sell. Its top three reports at the moment are this, Perv Gary Glitter shaving his beard off, and Paedo victim's chilling claim. You almost have to wonder if Rebekah Wade or those in charge suffer from monomania, such is their apparent obsession with children either being abused or potentially becoming victims. Strange that when it comes down to it, as the Alfie Patten example shows, they show just as much contempt for children and their emotions as those criticise.

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