Saturday, 23 July 2016

The report writer is reluctant to talk

The investigation continues into the Docherty case with another telephone call to a member of the NHS team:


"I`ll give a quick intro," says David Scott. "This is Phyllis Smart. [She] works for NHS Grampian and is a a consultant nurse and specialist in the field of child protection. She was brought in apparently at the insistence of Police Scotland to write a report on the Dochertys. And this report, the Dochertys have never seen, so they don`t know exactly what`s in it. But it seems to be very damning. It has led to a lot of trouble they`ve had in Ireland. However, there`s some interesting things here."

"Phyllis Smart never met the Dochertys. Phyllis Smart never met the Dochertys` children; and Phyllis Smart apparently has accused Brian Docherty`s father of being a paedophile and of being allowed access to the Docherty children. This is particularly surprising as at the time this accusation was made Brian Docherty`s father was more than four years in his cold wet grave and could be abusing nobody. So we seem to have incompetence. We seem to have no pretence of proper investigation or enquiry. And then writing a report that blights the family`s life; we`ve got very callous action by the state against individuals. And we have to remember it could be any of us. So this is how the person who is responsible for this reacted to a few very simple, very polite questions."

"Hello, Phyllis Smart speaking."

"Good morning Phyllis. My name`s David Scott. I`m a journalist that`s been looking at the Brian and Janet Docherty case. I wonder if you could help me with a few questions."

"... Say that again."

"... I`ve been looking at the Brian and Janice Docherty case."

"Right OK."

"Could you confirm that you were the author of a report about Brian and Janice Docherty and their children?"

"Eh....No, I don`t think I can.  No..."

"Are you saying you weren`t the author of a report about them?"

"... I don`t generally speak to the press and the media. You need to go through our ... communications people for the NHS ...."

"What the Dochertys are telling me is that you authored a report about them and their children but you never actually met them. Could you comment on that?

".... you need to go through our ... " [inaudible]

"Could you tell me was it Police Scotland who asked for this report?"

"... I`m sorry. I`m going to have to put the phone down, right?"


"So we have there the lady who is responsible for so much pain and suffering on the part of two of her fellow Scots; completely unwilling to provide any information, to back her decision, to justify the decision, to engage with the public in any way, shape or form."

"We don`t answer questions in the new Scotland. We simply defer questions to somebody else. And we`ll come back in twenty days and we won`t tell you the answer then either."

Brian Gerrish joins the conversation: "Well David, that sums it up completely. What a remarkable lady. She sounded like Dr Findlay`s wife to me. For those of a mature age. But running very scared. Runs back into the system to hide."

"But this letter you sent through to me recently - now people are not going to be able to read it while we`re reporting on it....But you can always freeze the screen...."

He goes on to summarise the letter to Mr Docherty: "We`ve stolen your children but we`re not responsible. This is the most incredible letter to do with child protection matters I think I`ve ever seen, and the implications are truly astounding because ... the Scottish Government is saying we can simply come along and take your children and if you want to complain, we understand that - go to the complaints system - but we don`t care and we`re above the law.  Have I got that right?"

"That`s pretty much it. They don`t engage in intervening in individual cases, is the excuse; or one of the excuses. The other one is data protection... So we can`t talk to you and we can`t interfere. And everyone`s independent. Although the Scottish Government is completely joined up and there are no functional departments as entities anymore. We still have virtual departments when it comes to wanting to avoid the blame. One of Nicola Sturgeon`s current nicknames is Elsie, because whenever things go wrong, it`s someone else`s fault."

"So she`s saying well you have to go to Police Scotland; you have to go through the normal complaints procedures which are, of course, hugely skewed against the individual and in favour of the establishment. And we`re talking extreme situations; we`re talking about people whose lives are at risk; people whose children have been seized in a foreign country. And the government which claims repeatedly, ad nauseam, to represent the Scottish people as a single .... entity says: `I`m very sorry; you`re an individual; we can`t help. Go away`."

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