Thursday, 4 September 2014


WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO SHAME?

Shame :- (the dictionary definition) the humiliating feeling of having appeared to disadvantage in one's own eyes, or those of others. It includes words like disgrace, ignominy and dishonour.

It seems many people have lost the ability to feel shame and they are often found to be the ones in positions of power. The papers are full of revelations of men and women who have committed an offence of some kind and instead of doing the honourable thing and resigning they stay at their posts and we, the public, are lucky if we get an apology. Just look at the current Police Commissioner for Rotherham. He was the local councillor in charge of looking after children. He didn't, he has been caught and named and has been asked to stand down by many of his peers, but because he's an elected officer now and can't be fired he stays. Asked about his time in office as a councillor in charge of vulnerable children, he states he feels no responsibility, bare faced or what? He goes on to say it was not his fault and the best he can do is claim collective responsibility with the other 62 members of the town council. What a man. That humiliating feeling he should have doesn't exist. You don't get much more brass necked than that.

This damning report of course points the finger at many others in the council, and those working for it. The police don't come out smelling of roses either. Officers who were told of the offences bravely informed the young girls who had been raped that they deserved what they got. They were afraid of being labelled racist because most of the offences were committed by youths of Pakistani origin. Most outrageous of all was the time that the police were actually called to a house because of a minor disturbance. There they were confronted by some Asian men and a couple of very young girls. One was only 11 years old. Instead of questioning the men as to what they were doing they actually arrested the 11 year old for being drunk and disorderly. Cowardly comes to mind. So far one person who worked for the council, now retired, has apologised and said she was sorry not more had been done for the children, so she did know about it. Great.

Every two weeks Private Eye exposes local government officers with their fingers in the till in one way or another and, having been exposed, do they resign? Not a bit of it. Shameless as ever, they just carry on and the sad thing is they get re-elected. People's memories are so short. This week a Labour councillor who is a convicted fraudster and a second conviction for selling booze to minors, and still a councillor, has been shouting the odds about benefit fraud and telling everyone that the council will find them and prosecute them. When the irony was pointed out to a senior council member he just stated that these offences occurred more than four years ago so they didn't matter. No shame there then.

Sad to say but shame started its decline in the 70's. Prior to that period a councillor or MP or policeman found to have committed even a minor misdemeanour had the honour to instantly resign, his head hung in shame. If he or she didn't they were drummed out of office by public opinion or by their superiors. This doesn't seem to happen any more. Councillors, parliamentarians, policemen and others in positions of authority commit fraud, embezzle, steal and do things that should exclude them from any public office and yet they just carry on. Prior to the 70s Britain was held in high esteem around the world as being the least corrupt of countries. I am afraid this is no longer so.