Friday, 14 November 2008

Baby 'P'

Are you sadder when you hear the awful details of a case like this because you're looking at a lovely little boy and can't imagine anyone doing anything like that to him? Or are you terrified, as a parent, of the Madeleine McCann abduction just because you know the agony you'd feel if you were in a similar situation? I find the photographs of Baby P's bloodstained clothing almost unbearable to look at. I don't understand how anyone could do what they did to a child of any age. Of course, I don't understand a lot of things. I don't understand the Holocaust, either, or the senseless slaughter of the Somme. But I wonder whether tragic tales like this have more emotional impact on those with a closer personal understanding of the situation? Ian McEwan's 'A Child in Time' had a greater personal resonance for me than his 'Enduring Love'. Or is it just that some people have greater depths of empathy than others? Either way, there must be something vital missing from the personality of anyone responsible for such horrendous cruelty. Ironic that the story should be headline news on the day of 'Children in Need'.


  1. I am so ashamed and angry that I live as part of a society that allows this to happen.

  2. I just can't for one second understand why a person could do this to a child. The tragic story of little James Bulger was also unbearable to listen too, the suffering these children have been through before there deaths is horrific.

    I hope these people live every minute of the rest of there lives with what they have done on thier minds.

  3. It is beyond me, completely, totaly, utterly. Not only does it make me sad, and angry, but I simply can't understand how anyone could do this.

  4. I remember all too well the terror that would strike me if one of my children was out of my sight for a second in public. It's a sad and scary world out there.

  5. I too find it unbearable to think about - in fact, I had to switch channels when it was on the news, because I couldn't bear to hear any more about it.

    Any abduction story also fills me with horror - even when it's on a stupid soap on TV, I have to turn off. As you say, Child in Time has a real resonance if you are a parent...

  6. I think auntiegwen says it much for me as well.

    The fact is that there are some very bad people out there and it has nothing to do with class, wealth, or upbringing. They're just bad to the core.

  7. I feel guilty about it but I can't bear to hear the news on the TV and see the photos of his clothes, it's just too shocking for words. Even more difficult is trying to explain it to my own children who heard about it on the car radio. How do you explain how this can happen to a baby in our so-called civilised society?

  8. It is amazing that these deaths keep happening. One death was too many. When will the social workers learn?

  9. I made myself read the details the day it was revealed and then of course I wished I hadn't. I know lots of people rabbit on about trying to understand what makes people like this tick but I wouldn't bother. I just hope the decent villains in the nick sort them out.

  10. Well, yes - so do I, FF, if I'm honest. But, of course, I don't like to admit to it.

    I don't think things like this will ever be completely preventable, CW. As DumDad says, there are some evil people in the world.

    I know what you mean about explaining to children, NSM. When Madeleine McCann was abducted it was the talk of the playground at my daughter's school. Trying to put it in perspective, and explain possible motives was all but impossible. But, ironically, the genuine concern of all the Y5 girls was heartening!

    I've been through that 'turning off the news' phase, too. It's a cliche to say it's unremittingly depressing; but the preference for bad news does distort the bulletins, I feel.

    It's something of an ongoing debate over here, Willow - how much freedom we should allow our children. Many people think we're doing them a grave disservice by keeping them under such close scrutiny, but I'm with you - the fear is too real.

    I think that's the key word, Note Bene and Halo - understanding. Some things are impossible to understand, and attempts to try are futile. We should just accept that fact, instead of constantly trying to uncover motives, reasons, explanations. Gos, that sounds right-wing.

    I, too, feel ashamed AG.

  11. I have often wondered whether having children myself affects the depth of feeling of horror I feel when I hear about this sort of thing. Before children I can remember feeling horrified, but post children It is even more horrific. I can vividly remember my Small Sprog at 17 months. He was and will always be one of the best things that ever happened to me. He is my cherub and my life. I would be lost without him. How could any human being ever everharm a defencless child? It is,as you say all the more striking on a day like today.
    Thank you for opening this for discussion.

  12. I feel sick each time the news talks about baby P's sad short life. It seems impossible that anyone should have had to endure any of what he did. The world is a scary, scary place.

  13. I read the details quickly - for it was just incomprehensible that anyone should be so evil to an innocent child. I also felt guilty though that I couldn't read more thoroughily - as though I was not being respectful enough - if that makes sense.
    The news coverage - even on line is making me sad to read but I know it deserves to be told. Sad world.

  14. I agree about the irony of it happening while C in Need was on.. I couldn't quite cope with Terry Wogan looking so smug with that in the back of my mind.

    Terrible terrible ghastly and dreadful. It makes you hold them just a little bit tighter doesn't it?

    BM x

  15. I couldn't watch or read about it...

  16. We are all culpable, much as it sticks in the craw to admit to it. It's political correctness gone mad. Everyone (and God knows there were many enough involved) knew this child was at serious risk, but had "guidelines" to follow. He was OBVIOUSLY better left with his biological parents, huh? Yeah, right.

  17. Unhappily there are some very sick people in this world, probably because of the way they themselves were brought up.

    From what I've read so far, it seems clear P should have been taken permanently into care. His mother had been arrested twice on suspicion of assault and P had already been taken into care for a month. But he was then returned to his mother and her Nazi, pain-fixated boyfriend. It beggars belief.

  18. The details of the case are gut-wrenchingly sickening but the fact it occured in the same London Borough as Victoria C. makes it mind-numbingly horrendous. And the glib response of the so-called Child Protection people - heads have got to roll. Their first response was to roll out a load of graphs to show the department was meeting its targets. The mentality seemed almost like "we had a target of only 2 murdered children this year and we've only got one - so 3 stars performance there then. They should hang their heads in shame! I hope a thorough independant enquiry finally gets to the bottom of the whole rotten matter.

  19. It is very sickening and I think more details with emerge. Listening to this morning's news was grim: baby P, "feral children who should be shot" and so on. I'm afraid that I think the press have too much power and there is always a backlash to prove that the authorities are doing something quickly. That sort of reaction might not get to the root of the problem. Besides there is too much paperwork/bureaucracy in all professions (and fear of being sued)...what has happened to good old common sense?

    Mind you. These things will always happen because, as dumdad says, there will always be rotten ones out there. Horrifying but true. I don't think we can legislate our way out of it. If we do we may be giving up any individual right we have. (Sorry I'll get off my soapbox now!)

  20. [[[hugs]]].

    Our extended family had a 15-yo cousin kidnapped over 10 years ago, and she's never been seen or heard from since.

    Bad stuff happens to good people all the time. There's no reason for it either.

    Mal :)

  21. It is so awful and sad and frightening. I think kids do affect me more now that I have children of my own, but I do remember when I was 18 watching a programme on the Aberfan disaster when I was 18 and being heartbroken.

    Like auntiegwen says, I am ashamed to be in a socitey where this could happen. And that it seems 3 adults were involved in the abuse is beyond belief.

  22. Team gherkin am so sorry to hear that.

    Heart breaking.

    There are some people who shouldnt be parents and there are some who shouldnt be social workers.

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  24. Having children must add an extra dimension to your empathy, I think Suburbia. And, as someone said, once they're born you neve stop worrying about them.

    You're right of course, DJK. It's the randomness and - in cases like this - the unpredictability which is most scary.

    It's the small details that are so depressing, Mumof4. And the photos too, now.

    I don't think you can ever hold them tight enough, BM.

    I know what you mean, Susanna. And you're right, Shrinky - the decisions made or not made on the little boy's behalf beggar belief.

    I've only just found out about the boyfriend, Nick. That makes the whole tale more unbelieveable, somehow. And you're right, Troy - heads should roll.

    Paperwork is undoubtedly a big part of the problem (as it is in so many areas) Hadriana. I know in school we sometimes spent more time crunching numbers and filling in forms than teaching children.

    That is horrendous, Mal. Truly heart-breaking, as you say Cas.

    And yes - adults, Jo: those of us who are supposed to be there to protect and nurture, love and help those not yet able to do that for themselves.

  25. Do you know what? I don't even know what happened to that beautiful little boy.
    I read the words 'horrific abuse' and I just didn't want to know the details.
    I cannot read or hear about things like that as it plays on my mind for weeks afterwards.
    I hate that my own children have been born into a world where this sort of thing is possible.

  26. I completely understand, Tara! I had to come back and say that I agree with everyone's comments. Nothing bad should ever happen to children, teenagers, even adults. Ever. (Sorry, The Dotterel, hope I'm not taking over...the whole thing just haunts me....)

  27. It's so horrible. I love my little bro Charlie so much and I am only his sister so his mum and dad must love him even more. I just don't understand how someone couldn't love their own child baby or not.

    Love you Daddy

  28. One questions so much when such a dreadful crime occurs, and in this instance my first response was horror. I forced myself to read the details as I wept for the child who knew so little happiness in his tragic life. I wanted to see the faces of his torturers, to look into their eyes and see some sense of sorrow or regret. But they are protected, by law. How insane is that? We are expected to care that these monsters may be recognised and be 'targets'.
    Why were they allowed to keep the child?
    How many lives have been scarred by Social Workers taking away a child from loving parents because of a bruise yet they sent that baby back time and again?
    Why are the Social Services investigating themselves?
    How can a mother allow that to happen to her baby?

    No excuses, raise your hands high and admit your guilt in this case. Resign, there would be at least a modicum of respect.
    Stop passing the buck.

  29. like quite a few folk who have commented I could not bear to read the details of this case. When I saw it briefly on the tv and saw his gorgeous little face I broke my heart. Some kids have a hideous life. I am angry that the authorities, despite so much access, could let him suffer like he did.


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