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April 26, 2005

How Do You Get a Medal These Days?

Settle down, boys and girls, and I’ll tell you a story of the old days, a time long ago when virtue was rewarded, when heroes bestrode the world and we were ruled by the wise and just. Back those years ago we took pride in the history of our nation, we had an award, a medal, that we used to give to those who had contributed to the society. It was, if you like, a way of marking people, of pointing them out to others as models to follow, recognising that they had done something good. Even if they had not been famous, we could make them famous, give them a badge that said that we, all of us, were proud of what this person had done.

In this way, a little like the gold and silver stars that you children get for good behaviour, we were able to honour and reward those who had made life better for all of us. We named it after our Empire, and people could be Members, Officers, Knights and so on of this Empire. Yes Tommy, I know that some people say that the Empire was a bad thing, but that was not the point at all. If we called people Officers of British Excellence it would still really be the same thing, a super gold star that showed that this is the way to behave, this is what is good.

One woman who got this medal in 1999, the OBE, was Dr Camille De San Lazaro, and she got it for services to the care of sexually-abused children.  It was very important for her to be recognised because she had uncovered a great injustice, had been able to bring to account some terrible people.

A paediatrician compiled exaggerated medical reports that caused two nursery nurses to be wrongly accused of leading a paedophile ring, the General Medical Council heard yesterday.

Dr Camille De San Lazaro has admitted that she "overstated and exaggerated" accounts of sexual abuse while investigating claims against Dawn Reed and Christopher Lillie, who worked at Shieldfield, a social services nursery in Newcastle.

Dr Lazaro, 49, examined 53 children from the nursery in 1993 and 1994, and claimed that several showed signs of being abused.

The hearing was told that she had made a catalogue of errors in reports of examinations on the alleged abuse victims.

She compiled a number of reports including statements for use in criminal proceedings and for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Her reports were allegedly "overstated" and written without reference to records and notes. During his High Court ruling in 2002 Mr Justice Eady said Dr Lazaro was "unbalanced, obsessive and lacking in judgment".

It emerged Dr Lazaro was acting as an "advocate" to help parents with compensation claims.

Under cross-examination at the High Court, she conceded that there were inconsistencies between medical records and medical reports.

Mr Lillie, now 39 and a chef, and Miss Reed, 33, who went on to take a law degree, have not worked with children since. During the eight years it took to clear their names, they were targeted by vigilantes and said they were almost driven to suicide. The scandal is thought to have cost taxpayers £5 million.

That’s the end of our story for today, time for your nap now children. But just remember what you need to do to win one of those big gold stars in the future and don’t forget, when you get home, you should tell your parents to vote for Labour, those wise and just people who rule over us.

April 26, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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And then there is he, late of the EU, one Kinnock, now a Lord who was supposed to "stop" fraud in the EU. These days the list goes on and on but behave in a responsible manner and you are at best ignored, at worst harrassed.

Posted by: Derek Buxton | Apr 26, 2005 1:34:08 PM

And Roy Meadow is STILL a professor and a Sir. Feh.

Posted by: Andrew Duffin | Apr 26, 2005 3:34:56 PM