The Guardian view on the family courts: openness is the cure | Editorial

One-sided reporting made the Tower Hamlets case a scandal. The remedy is greater transparencyThe whiplash effect of successive revelations in the Tower Hamlets fostering case has been astonishing. The publication of the court’s judgment makes it clear that all of the details which gave the original story its racist and xenophobic power were false. One thing the case shows clearly is the monstrous power of the tabloid press to cut and crush the complexities of private lives till they fit into stereotypes. The mother in this case is, we now know, a woman with drug and alcohol problems, a police record and two children who are the subject of separate court proceedings. No father has been traced. She is herself the child of Muslim immigrants. An editor’s whim, no more, picked her for the role of Martyred English Rose; a different whim would have made her into a Terrible Example. Either would just as well have gratified the readers’ angry prurience.

This is a case that will cause deserved and lasting damage to the reputations of both the reporter and the newspaper which placed the original version on the front page. It will also have damaged community relations in this country. The child herself can’t have gained anything from the publicity, even if the harm directly caused to her can’t be compared to the harm which led to her being taken into care. Muslim children whose potential Muslim foster parents look at this mess and resolve to have nothing to do with the business will certainly suffer. That is a tragedy.

Continue reading…

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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