The commentators 07-08-15
...on Kids Company
Running a major organisation, with statutory duties, takes a lot more than a colourful character at the top. Running a charity is very hard, considerably more difficult than running a business. Rather than advertising to willing consumers, a charity is dealing with clients who are either chaotic or recalcitrant. Rather than drawing on capital markets, charities are reliant on curiously motivated, often capricious, donors. With no debt facility, they have to manage cash, the flow of which is a monthly enemy
- Philip Collins, The Times
Reading the case studies she shared with the Centre for Social Justice for its report on child protection last year, the uncomfortable feeling remains: what, exactly, do we think Camila Batmanghelidjh should have done with the six-year-old she describes finding in his underpants in the snow, unfed by his crack-addicted mother, surviving off scraps from neighbours? Told him she had hit her quota that week? We are in danger of obsessing over a faulty sticking plaster, rather than the gaping wound it failed to cover. The frightening thing is that we now have one less way to stop the bleeding - Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian
With the greatest will in the world, the suggestion that Kids Company funding is being stopped and that Camila Batmanghelidjh is being ‘discriminated’ against because she knows secrets about historical sex abuse concerning members of the Establishment does not seem credible. And it also suggests that Miss Batmanghelidjh was willing to keep quiet, as long as the money kept rolling in. If all this is true, why is she answering questions in a television station instead of in a police station?
- Jan Moir, Daily Mail
Far from being bullied, it is Ms Batmanghelidjh who is the bully. For too long she has emotionally blackmailed the government by insisting that without its funding vulnerable children would have to be turned away. Instead of trying to shut it down, two Cabinet Office ministers overruled their most senior civil servant to give £3 million to her charity in an attempt to keep it afloat. The credulity must end. Ms Batmanghelidjh and her operation are looking murkier by the day.
- The Times
The only reason this case from Shoeburyness reached the public consciousness was because someone mentioned age. That turns out to have been a side issue, and we shall probably never know the full story. That may be right and proper, a family's private traumas should not be aired for public entertainment.
But if women are being coerced into signing away the right to look after their children when they are not mentally fit, in order that councils can meet adoption targets - as the grandparents' lawyer and MPs suggest - then we need to know.
The journalists covering this story have fallen for the clickbait angle and missed the real issue.
Editor's blog: Grandparents' tale of woe
Comment archive, 2015
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