Quite: There should be no scapegoats over Mid Staffs NHS

Mr Cameron said … “We should not be seeking scapegoats,”


A scapegoat is entirely an innocent, loaded with the sins of the guilty, who is then driven off into the desert.

We don\’t want to do that, no. What we want to do is find the guilty and crucify them.

Mr Cameron said those who seek Sir David’s resignation are wrong. “We should not be seeking scapegoats,” Mr Cameron said. “To highlight David Nicholson in this way would be seeking a scapegoat. I don’t think he should be made a scapegoat.”

At which point Sir David isn\’t, at least as yet, in the clear.

10 thoughts on “Quite: There should be no scapegoats over Mid Staffs NHS”

  1. The problem for the political classes in these “regrettable situations” is that those at fault at the managerial levels are “some of us”. This means that an enormous amount of deliberation is required before throwing them under the bus.
    Whether they be ovine, caprine or bovine is neither here nor there, it’s all about gauging the mood amongst the bien-pensant elite. Only if they are truly horrified by the act and convinced of the accused’s guilt can the expulsion from the paradise we have built take place – for it is only in those circumstances that the expellor can be confident that they haven’t damaged their power base.

    Meanwhile, I give it a year before some smartass sociologist (but I repeat myself) starts deploying the term “moral panic” about Mid-Staffs.

  2. What Clovis said.

    In this context scapegoat is a kind of euphemism for accepting responsibility and as we know in the public sector nobody is responsible, despite high salaries and the trappings of high office.

    So when he says no scapegoats he really means, in true Yes, Prime Minister style, is that we can’t expect “one of us” to accept responsibility for their actions, or in this case lack of actions.

  3. Following on from #3,

    The Public Interest Disclosure Act … is said to be wordy in the extreme

    Ah, is it? Let’s see …

    43J Contractual duties of confidentiality.

    (1) Any provision in an agreement to which this section applies is void in so far as it purports to preclude the worker from making a protected disclosure.

    (2) This section applies to any agreement between a worker and his employer (whether a worker’s contract or not), including an agreement to refrain from instituting or continuing any proceedings under this Act or any proceedings for breach of contract.

    No, I think that is fairly clear on the matter …

  4. We’re in Admiral Byng territory here. Who cares whether we hang a scapegoat or a culprit “pour encourager les autres”?
    We must hang them or the NHS will let thousands more die of neglect.

  5. Who cares whether we hang a scapegoat or a culprit

    Me, me! I appreciate that, if we can’t find a culprit, we may need to hang a scapegoat here because of the seriousness of the mess. However, I’m sure a little forensic digging – on the order of heaving a half-brick at the management group of Mid Staffs – would pick out a couple of juicy actual culprits.

    Medical Director, Caldicott Guardian, Chief Exec – those are three (or two – the first two may be the same) to start the public shaming of.

  6. “to start the public shaming of”: oh no, that’s not enough. Jail time is what’s required. And, of course, the hanging of Tony Blair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *