Not facing up to criticism

I have a friend who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome.

He was receiving some care, but the carer appointed to attend to his needs had no understanding of his condition and refused to call at the appointed time. He complained and since then has been virtually ignored by his GP and social services.

Something similar happened to me. I was searching records prior to applying for permission to erect a stone on an unmarked family grave when I discovered that my grandfather had been sold a plot belonging to another family. Up to that point staff in the council office could not have been more helpful, but when I casually mentioned that a mistake had been made, albeit 70 years before, their attitude changed completely.

Then there is the case of Dr Shipman. After his conviction his colleagues in the practice admitted they had their suspicions, but not one raised the alarm which might have saved many lives.

What is it about professionals and civil servants that makes them bind together in the face of criticism in cases as diverse as the thoughtlessness of a carer to the actions of a murdering psychopath?

William W. Scott

North Berwick