In recent months we have had to come to terms with the fact that Britain is not so great after all - not on account of a declining empire - but rather because some of our most trusted institutions have failed us. In this article, David Philpott has high hopes for Kate Lampard as she tries to right some wrongs.

 

OUR NOT SO GREAT BRITISH LIFE
It’s official.  The Good Ship Britain is in a right old mess.  I am not talking about the economy, that old winner and loser of general elections the world over. No, I am talking instead about a deep rooted culture of cover-up and corruption at the highest levels in in our most trusted of institutions. And since the website that hosts these - my little articles - is rather cleverly called Great British Life, in the interests of balance, I feel I need to have controlled rant for it seems that behind our rather sweet picture postcard perfect national imagery and recent Olympic glory lurks something rather unpleasant.
We now know that many police officers committed perjury in the original Hillsborough inquiry; that certain officers at Scotland Yard could be bought by News International; that officialdom  turned a blind eye to the exploitation of young girls in Rochdale; that the banks miss sold billions of pounds worth of payment protection insurance whilst some of them at the same time illegally fixed the Libor rate; and that at Winterbourne View, vulnerable residents with learning difficulties were systematically abused by those who were entrusted to care for them. 
Oh and then of course there is the little matter of many of our Members of Parliament having been fiddling their expenses for years and some now facing criminal charges.  It all makes Italian politics seem positively enlightened and Silvio’s Bunga Bunga parties a mere tremor on the seismograph of political earthquakes. This contemptible stomach-turning catalogue of national failure – were it to be found in a person -would describe a character of dubious principles, morals and ethics, a liar, cheat and deviant and certainly not someone you would want to employ.
The elephant in the room though is of course the Jimmy Savile business and acres of newsprint and hours of rolling news are loaded daily it seems with generous helpings of scandal, outrage and ‘why didn’t anybody stop him’ features?’ 
At the heart of the Savile affair is the fact that two trusted institutions – the BBC and certain sections of the NHS – seemed to know about his predilections yet apparently turned a blind eye.  Now I can’t speak about the BBC for I have never worked for or with it, but in the case of the NHS I do consider myself something of an expert and especially when in interfaces with the not for profit sector through its various NHS charitable trusts.  I have you see, spent more years than I care to remember, chairing, being a member of, or advising hospital, ambulance service and other quasi health boards and committees.
As former barrister Kate Lampard conducts a number of investigations into abuse by Jimmy Savile on NHS premises, she will oversee enquiries at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary, Broadmoor and inside the Department of Health itself. If she wants to understand about the culture of deference and acquiescence that exists between some NHS boards and their not-so-arms-length charities – then she can do no better than talk to me. 
Why the rant on a website that is called Great British Life?  Because I’ve had a pretty good one and we all owe it to those who can’t because society has failed them – to try to put things right.

OUR NOT SO GREAT BRITISH LIFE

It’s official.  The Good Ship Britain is in a right old mess.  I am not talking about the economy, that old winner and loser of general elections the world over. No, I am talking instead about a deep rooted culture of cover-up and corruption at the highest levels in our most trusted of institutions. And since the website that hosts these - my little articles - is rather cleverly called Great British Life, in the interests of balance, I feel I need to have controlled rant. It seems you see,  that behind our rather sweet picture postcard perfect national imagery and recent Olympic glory lurks something rather unpleasant.

We now know that many police officers committed perjury in the original Hillsborough inquiry; that certain officers at Scotland Yard could be bought by certain newspapers; that officialdom turned a blind eye to the exploitation of young girls in Rochdale; that the banks miss sold billions of pounds worth of payment protection insurance whilst some of them at the same time illegally fixed the Libor rate; and that at Winterbourne View, vulnerable residents with learning difficulties were systematically abused by those who were entrusted to care for them. 

Oh and then of course there is the little matter of many of our Members of Parliament having been fiddling their expenses for years and some now facing criminal charges.  It all makes Italian politics seem positively enlightened and Silvio’s Bunga Bunga parties a mere tremor on the seismograph of political earthquakes.

This contemptible stomach-turning catalogue of national failure – were it to be found in a person -would describe a character of dubious principles, morals and ethics, a liar, cheat and deviant and certainly not someone you would want to employ.

The elephant in the room though is of course the Jimmy Savile business and acres of newsprint and hours of rolling news are loaded daily it seems with generous helpings of scandal, outrage and ‘why didn’t anybody stop him’ features?’ At the heart of the Savile affair is the fact that two trusted institutions – the BBC and certain sections of the NHS – seemed to know about his predilections yet apparently turned a blind eye. Now I can’t speak about the BBC for I have never worked for or with it, but in the case of the NHS I do consider myself something of an expert and especially when in interfaces with the not for profit sector through its various NHS charitable trusts.  I have you see, spent more years than I care to remember, chairing, being a member of, or advising hospital, ambulance service and other quasi health boards and committees.

As former barrister Kate Lampard conducts her enquiry into alleged abuse by Jimmy Savile on NHS premises, she will oversee investigations at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary, Broadmoor and inside the Department of Health itself. It is my sincere hope that actions arising out of her final report will bring about changes in the way National Health charities are governed so that the abuse can never happen again on NHS premises.

Why the rant on a website that is called Great British Life?  Because I’ve had a pretty good one and we all owe it to those who can’t - because society has failed them – to try to put things right.