​Whistle blowers still waiting - John McLellan

​Yesterday a deputation of whistle-blowers’ representatives gave powerful evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s petitions committee.
Alison DickieAlison Dickie
Alison Dickie

​Seeking a properly independent inquiry into what happened in Edinburgh’s care and social work departments and in other authorities, the MSPs heard a litany of unresolved allegations from, among others, Edinburgh’s former vice convener of education, children and families Alison Dickie and former senior social worker Brendan Barnett.

Readers may remember the political career of ex-SNP councillor and parliamentary candidate Ms Dickie came to a premature end when she was ostracised by her group leader, Adam McVey, because of her determination to seek the truth about what was going on inside the city’s care system.

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Going back ten years, the allegations raised yesterday included behaviour patterns among male teachers relating to physical and sexual abuse covered up, information being withheld from records and placing children at significant risk of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, interference in investigations, Inaccurate committee reports about investigations and the mismanagement of sex offenders back into the community.

It really doesn’t get much more serious than that, and strongly suggests that the cover-up revealed in the case of the late Sean Bell, the now deceased social worker whose abuses went on for years until a determined whistle-blower brought allegations to police attention, was, if not the tip of a large iceberg, certainly not the full picture.

Yesterday only exposed the limitations of the inquiries chaired by Susanne Tanner KC, and the whistleblowers’ call for a reopened investigation into how their allegations were handled will not go away.

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