As if the press were not in enough trouble over the Muslim foster case after the release of a Case Management Order yesterday, the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have dug themselves into a considerably deeper hole, aided and abetted by former CRE head man Trevor Phillips, whose opinion piece for the Sun today should have been pulled as soon as the CMO became public. That it was not speaks volumes.
Trevor Phillips - a dishonest accessory to vicious racism
The headline tells you all you need to know about the total and utter disregard for facts: “The decision to put a five-year-old Christian girl into Muslim foster care is like child abuse and the council must pay … It's an outrage officials in Tower Hamlets, East London chose to value their pro-Muslim reputation above the welfare of the child”.
As the CMO made clear, “The child was removed from the mother’s care and placed by social services with foster carers on an emergency basis in March 2017 as a result of the police exercising their powers of protection. There was no culturally matched foster placement available at the time. There was a temporary change of foster carer in the summer to enable the original foster carer to go on holiday”.
Phillips clearly could not be bothered acquainting himself with the facts; he has an agenda to serve, and serve it he does in no style at all. And there is more. Maybe too much more.
“The child was deprived of her own cross, and encouraged to learn Arabic - presumably because the women of the household were less than proficient in English”. Presumably Trevor Phillips couldn’t be bothered checking that fact either - no proficiency in English, no presence on the fostering list. And the rest is conjecture.
Still, if you’re going to piss your credibility up the wall, better make it a good one: “Worse still, the officials in Tower Hamlets, East London, whose children’s services were earlier this year condemned by inspectors as displaying ‘serious failures’, clearly placed being seen to be pro-Muslim above the welfare of the child concerned … That’s hardly surprising in a council dogged for years by accusations of being dominated by an Islamist clique … But it makes their actions worse than idiotic, and more akin to child abuse”.
Tower Hamlets clearly did no such thing. The rest is irrelevant - the council followed proper procedure, and put the welfare of the child first. As to the “child abuse” smear, well, Trev is still busily digging. And lying through his teeth.
“Thank heavens for the Muslim woman judge, Khatun Sapnara, who briskly dismissed the council’s objections and ordered them to take the child back to her grandmother … I would lay a bet that life with Grandma is going to be part of the healing process”.
The judge did no such thing: it had been decided over a fortnight ago that the child would be placed with her maternal grandmother - and the council was part of that process. Moreover, Phillips really ought to read the CMO, which makes clear the grandmother does not speak English as a first language, and is from a Muslim heritage.
Then Phillips changes tack, objecting even to culturally matched foster placements. Why so? “Because in all the cases that I’ve seen, the test of a placement’s success isn’t some bureaucratic Dulux colour chart test - it is whether the child is happy and flourishing”.
Again I refer to the CMO: “The child’s Guardian has undertaken enquiries and visited the child in the current foster carer’s home and spoken to the child alone. The Guardian has no concerns as to the child’s welfare and she reports that the child is settled and well cared for by the foster carer”. So he should have no objection to the placement.
Instead, Phillips digs himself yet deeper by throwing in a crass and irrrelevant comparison: “I was brought to my senses over a decade ago by the brutal torture and death of Victoria Climbié, an eight-year-old Ivorian girl entrusted to distant relatives by her parents” The Victoria Climbié case has absolutely nothing to do with this one.
You think that’s a nasty smear? He’s got worse in reserve: “In recent years, courageous newspapers have brought to light the grooming of children by men in mainly Pakistani communities, as well as that by men in the entertainment industry”. The Tower Hamlets case has stuff all to do with grooming. This is beyond the pale.
And there is more: “And as we saw when Tower Hamlets attempted to prevent reporting of the case, too often the first instinct on being found out is to prevent the truth being told”. Ah, but if Tower Hamlets wanted to prevent reporting of the case, the CMO would not now be in the public domain - and Trevor Phillips’ reputation would not be in shreds.
It’s in shreds, not least because of his disgraceful conclusion: “Ill-considered actions compounded by silence, just as much as the grooming gangs and disc jockeys, are responsible for the agony of vulnerable children … These people must not escape public judgment”. Well, what’s sauce for the goose, and all that.
The “public judgment” should also consider agenda-driven copy which appears in a paper with a grim reputation for vicious racism. Such as that contributed by Trevor Phillips, which was known to be a pack of lies before today’s Sun went to press.
I do not use this term lightly, but Phillips’ latest exhibition of willingness to be a useful idiot for the bigots in the Baby Shard bunker, his complicity as an accessory to the peddling of more of that vicious racism, makes him nothing better than an Uncle Tom.
Will he or the Sun say sorry for defaming Tower Hamlets council and peddling a pack of lies, knowing it will trigger more Islamophobic hatred? Will sham press regulator IPSO lift a finger to the Murdoch mafiosi? But you know the answer. This article was ill-conceived, and wrong at every turn. Phillips is finished. And remember - Don’t Buy The Sun.