Scandals do not just happen. They are made. They are constructed out of such everyday tragedies as the small carelessnesses and institutional brutality of the long stay hospital, the abuse of children or the violent deaths of innocent bystanders. This book, by examining the landmark scandals of the post-war period, including more recent ones, such as the Victoria Climbie Inquiry, reveals how scandals are generated, to what purposes they are used and whose interests they are made to serve.
In particular, it examines the role of the public inquiry, an increasingly familiar policy device, in the process whereby the 'story' of a particular scandal is told and its meaning fixed. Using transcripts, press coverage, materials from the Public Record Office and other contemporary sources each of the scandals described in the book is located in its own historical and policy context in order to explore the complex cause and effect relationship between public policy and scandal.
Ian Butler is Professor of Social Work at the School of Social Relations, Keele University. Mark Drakeford is Professor of Social Policy & Applied Social Sciences in the School of Social Sciences, University of Wales, Cardiff.
Contents: Scandal; 'Gothic nightmare': madness and public policy from the eighteenth century; 'The corruption of care': the Ely Hospital Inquiry 1969; 'Household happiness, gracious children': children, welfare and public policy, 1840-1970; The story of Cinderella: the report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Care and Supervision Provided in Relation to Maria Colwell 1974; 'Mere oblivion': the fate of the institution and the advent of community care; 'Carnage in the community': the Christopher Clunis Inquiry 1993; 'An ambience of uneasiness': the residential care of children, 1834-1990; 'A narrow, punitive and harshly restrictive experience': the Pindown experience and the protection of children. The Report of the Staffordshire Child Care Inquiry 1991; Scandal, welfare and public policy; The final chapter?