No amount of compensation is enough without justice – heads need to roll

Edward Case
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The NHS, the civil service and the governments of at least five prime ministers from Edward Heath to John Major were complicit in covering up the greatest scandal in British medical history as 30,000 people were given contaminated blood over a 21-year period from 1970-91. The shielding of that terrible truth would also have gone beyond, right up to the beginning of the investigation five years ago and in the case of some of the people interviewed it’s still going on.

The extent of the abuse of power and gaslighting of victims by the state outlined by Sir Brian Langstaff on the release of the damning seven volume report this week is truly shocking and the sizeable compensation plan being lined up is only half of what needs to be done.

While many of the people responsible are long dead, there are some still alive and they should now face a criminal investigation, regardless of their advanced age.

Justice is every bit as important as compensation and contrition in this case.

As for the apologies offered in Parliament on Monday by Dobby the Hogwarts Elf and the other bloke, are we really expected to believe that they would not have done the same thing as their predecessors, or perpetuated the cover up had it not been exposed?

Don’t try to tell me that today’s Government, the NHS or civil servant grey suits would behave any differently.

If the scandal proves anything it’s that deception is par for the course. The victims were treated as at the very least an inconvenience and in the case of the haemophiliac pupils of one school, lab rats.

There have been 3,000 fatalities, some of them very young indeed, while the lives of survivors have been utterly ruined thrrough Hepatitis C and HIV.

And that is how “state” and the power of institutions works. The dead don’t vote or constitute a drain on the economy. As for the rest of us, all that separates us from having our lives wrecked in the blink of an eye – whether it’s a miscarriage of justice like the Post Office scandal or a dodgy deal for cheap blood is pure luck of the draw.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction to chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan KC’s announcement that he is seeking an arrest warrant for him and defence minister Yoav Gallant along with three Hamas leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity is indicative of how anyone who dares to hold Israel’s government to account for their decimation of Gaza and its civilians is immediately dismissed as antisemitic.

Calling it “a moral outrage of historic proportions” (I surely can’t be the only person to detect a soupçon of Trumpian rhetoric there) and describing Mr Karim as one of the “great antisemites in modern times,” Netanyahu compared him to judges in Nazi Germany who “denied Jews basic rights and enabled the Holocaust”.

Joe Biden meanwhile has called the move outrageous, seemingly on the basis of grouping the actions of a so-called west-friendly nation with those of a prescribed terrorist organisation.

Well two wrongs don’t made a right. October 7 was an atrocity. Those who carried it out who aren’t already dead must face justice along with the Hamas heirarchy that organised it. But while Israel would steadfastly claim that their target since that day has always been Hamas, they have given zero thought to the slaughter of Gazan civilians.

There are rules to engagement which terrorists ignore. Countries are held to a higher standard. Their disregard for the rules is done covertly and in relatively small numbers.

The prospect of Netanyahu facing arrest if he sets foot in a country signed up to the ICC is unlikely to lose him much sleep, but he simply won’t allow anyone to challenge is decisions.

Stability is change. No it’s not, it’s an oxymoron and the moron at Labour HQ responsible for this piece of gobbledigook should consider a change of career – in a position where the most contentious thing they can possibly say is “would you like fries with that?”

Meanwhile, we have a new pledge card – just like Tony Blair’s in 1997.

Well not exactly. This one has six pledges, all but one of which is unquantifiable and none of which were amongst the pledges Charmer made to win the leadrship of the party.

So he said whatever he needed to say to get the job and now it looks like he’s doing the same.

He could actually screw this up yet.

Edward Case

Columnist