Just watching the news channel in which one of the victims of the Rotherham abuse scandal is being interviewed. She summed it up perfectly when speaking about those who did nothing.
"I don't think they're sorry. They're not sorry because I got abused. They're sorry because they got caught out in a scandal that's hit the media"
Right there in a nutshell is it. Everything you need to know about what's wrong with public life in modern Britain. Our institutions and our democracy is broken. This is what we have because we have no meaningful method of holding public servants to account.
The question is what happens as a result. I've seen a lot of outrage both in the media and more importantly the comments from the public. It's palpable and the comments are suggestive that it won't be tolerated any longer.
That becomes a "so what?" moment in that it becomes a question of what they will do about it beyond venting in comment threads. I'm not talking about violence or anything of that notion but the point I make is that there is a small window of opportunity here to start something turn this around, but everyone has to be part of it, because here's the rub.
Look at what this scandal points to. It points to people who tried to keep a lid on a disgusting and vile practice. They tried to ignore it, hide and generally ride out the problem. They'll try again. They're already playing for time and it won't be long before we start to hear revisionism come in to play.
1400 children. As opined in the Telegraph "let the weight of that number sink in" . It is the equivalent of almost 50 classes or an average size secondary school.
This is about as bad as it gets and there's a lot of noise. If nothing happens though, it will tell those who work for us, there is virtually nothing that will cause us to take action. If nothing happens they will know all they have to is make mealy mouthed apologies, buy time and it will be business as usual.
So. What will It be?