A boy whose bruises were covered with chocolate
Baby Peter's death shows how even a decent society can fail the vulnerable, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
THE tide of human suffering brought about by the failure to protect children respects no national boundaries. And the outpouring of anger that such a failure can bring about is not a monopoly of an Ireland still coming to terms with revelations of institutional abuse of children by religious orders.
Nor is a sense of hopelessness when confronted with such depravity. And so I hate writing this article, not just because it causes me to focus on the torture and murder of a small child, but because the more I read or have conversations about this case, the more hopeless I feel. England is as decent a society as you can get -- its politicians and social workers and charities try to do the right thing -- but it persistently fails vulnerable children.
Here's the story. Peter Connelly's mother, Tracey, was born in 1981 to an Irish immigrant, Mary O'Connor, allegedly drug-taking and promiscuous. As a mother she was so neglectful that her ragged and dirty daughter was known at school as 'Tracey the Tramp'.