Listening to Channel 4. News this evening, with news of the appalling security lapses at Broadmoor and the usual litany of public sector failings, I wonder why our society constantly accepts such feeble excuses?
"Staff have been written to, reminding them of their responsibilities" or "We will be taking urgent action", it's the same old story, Baby P,Broadmoor, infected hospitals, 'Foot & Mouth' disease, lost data discs and much more.
A fundamental part of the malaise lies at the door of our great European Union; you simply can't get rid of the inept and incompetent. It costs too much, they have rock solid employment protection rights and if it's the public sector, then moving out the low performers is even harder and you are probably looking at a £250,000 employment settlement to remove an incompetent or lazy senior manager. It's just too expensive or difficult to get rid of underperformers.
So, when a schizophrenic murderer is released from Broadmoor of all places, supposedly 'cured', and promptly returns home to dismember his neighbour and eat his brain, fried, with a little butter, it's the usual apologies and hand-wringing and nobody is sacked.
The Americans think we are daft, believing such generous employment protection in the wider European style, only encourages mediocrity and a diminished sense of both responsibility and accountability.
Has the pendulum of employment protection swung too far in Europe? From the time of the Tolpuddle martyrs, two hundred years has been spent in quite rightly protecting the workforce from employment exploitation but have the roles now reversed: Is such protection now leading to the exploitation of the workplace by an unaccountable workforce? It's a controversial idea but how else can one explain the gross failures that now make up a regular part of our news diet?
What do you think?