The concept of absolute privilege is not something that I’ve ever contemplated seriously before this afternoon. It’s been known for more than a few years that MPs have a comfortably convenient place for them all to ‘protect themselves, in their own best interests’. It’s called the House of Commons.
Today’s non-world-shattering news is all about the privacy of an individual to keep their own ‘affairs of life’ private and personal and away from the public gaze, and the public magnifying glass. I can’t claim to be interested in this particular individual’s personal circumstances, personal life, personal affairs; I can declare that I’m not interested at all in whatever may have caused the need for an injunction, super though that injunction may have been in legal terms.
But I do care about the double standards that are operating here.
An elected MP that I’ve never heard of before – sorry, MP, but you haven’t made your mark in my world – can overturn something that has been observed and not flouted by our reliably (un?) reliable media. All it took was for this particular MP – a representative of the people – to open his mouth and speak two words. Then the rest of the reliably (un?) reliable media can duplicate those two words. Not that we didn’t know those two words anyway!
At the same time as this ‘Who Done What With Whom?’ trivial pursuit has been going on, the world of care continues to puzzle me by its own absolute privilege. But with a difference.
A local authority and a care provider can call upon the equivalent of a ‘super injunction’ to prevent me from being able to know the precise circumstances of the neglect and subsequent death of a relative who was at risk. She was most certainly at risk in their care. Not that we knew that then, when we agreed to her coming under their ‘caring’ wing. But their need to protect themselves and their own best interests appears to be paramount.
The person they failed had no rights; her best interests were demolished within days. As her close relative, as her named personal representative after her death, her executor, I have no rights either to achieve justice on her behalf.
Justice? Hush my mouth, for using a word that may before long vanish from our dictionary.
I have tried so very hard to restrain myself, so that I don’t name and shame each and every one of those involved, from the care home staff (names all known to me), the care provider, the care home, the care home manager(s) and their regional supervisors, the GPs involved, the local authority and its many responsible departments, the CQC inspectors who failed to notice ‘absent systems of protection’, the adult protection coordinator who failed, the social worker who failed, the whole team of mental health care of older people who all failed, ….. …. …. and so on.
All because I have wanted to achieve a decent outcome. According to the laws of our land. But the latest blow that has been landed on my shoulders – via one of the regulatory bodies involved – is beyond explanation or even understanding. And yet, I am still – stupidly, perhaps – hesitating to name and shame the whole bunch of them. Almost 4 years after her death in so-called care, almost 3 years after I placed onto the ‘responsible regulatory body’ what they call ‘a complaint’, I am being treated still with contempt. The Case Officer involved could not even bother to inform me about the latest hurdle that I now have to jump.
So, I’ve played by the rules. But they still can’t
I’ve been throttled, strangled, constrained by concepts that come close to ‘super injunction’ and ‘absolute privilege’ but perhaps in a converse way.
Is a bonking footballer worthy of more care than a supremely decent 83-year old person in need of care?
Am I the fool?