David over at Witterings from Witney has added a recent post that has helped me gather some of my thoughts regarding what I've been reading around the Rotherham scandal.
There seems to be a bit of an emerging polarity in the viewpoints across some of the blogs. There's a common set of threads on the angle of political correctness and some which downplay the political correctness angle, preferring to point to the failure of local government. Some of these threads have seemed a bit dismissive of the political correctness angle or those speaking of it as being a key component.
Although I've still got to see the report with my own eyes, I'm suspecting there's an element of both in there. What I don't think would be right would be to totally dismiss political correctness. It's a
Deliberately designed idea, intended to be pervasive and dominate the atmosphere in a myriad of structures. When you've been in these places for any length of time with your eyes really open you can see this ghost in the machine. You see it in the decisions which seem to make little sense. You see it in the lack of candour and the skirting around issues. You see it in the realpolitik in which everyone in the room knows what's happening but shrug their shoulders because they know there are bits of uninhabitable territory in terms of ideas and conversation.
Also to throw into the mix are the observations of other bloggers who have cited similar cases coming to light in other areas in which they point out longstanding awareness of the problem beyond the walls of the local authority and police. This in turn leads to the question of where journalism was on this issue. It's being suggested that knowledge was widespread amongst this estate too. Their refusal to engage this subject points to something beyond system failure and ineptitude.
As I say though, I think it's both of the things but as David suggested we have a bit of a chicken and egg situation.
In that instance I would like to see the media bring the 5 Whys tool to this story. In essence it's a tool aimed at understanding the root cause of a failure. The principle being is that if you ask a question regarding a problem you will get an answer. by asking why to that answer and to each subsequent answer, on average you can get to the real root cause within 5 iterations of why.
I think Rotherham and the other cases need subjecting to that.