We should not suffer fools such as Dr Maggie Atkinson

When calling for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 to 12 years, comments made by Children’s Commissioner, Dr Maggie Atkinson, about the murder of James Bulger by Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, defy belief.

In Dr Atkinson, fans of political comedy The Thick of It, may have found a real life subject worthy of Armando Iannucci’s witty and cutting description ‘disconnected to the point of autism’.  How else to explain Dr Atkinson’s assertion that:

“What they did was exceptionally unpleasant and the fact that a little boy ended up dead is not something the nation can easily forget, but they shouldn’t have been tried in an adult court because they were still children.” (emphasis is mine)

Exceptionally unpleasant?  I apologise for the graphic nature of what follows, but the context is essential.  It was a brutal and sadistic killing.  James Bulger did not ‘end up dead’.  It was not an accident.  Thomson and Venables sexually assaulted the toddler and then systematically tortured him to death with kicks, punches, beating with bricks and blows with an iron bar.   They then laid James across a railway track, covering his head with bricks,  so his body was severed by the wheels of a train.

If this is Maggie Atkinson’s mealy mouthed, politically correct interpretation of exceptionally unpleasant then I dread to think what her definition of brutal and sadistic violence could be.  The murder scene was one of unimaginable horror.  It is impossible to comprehend the suffering of that James Bulger, or the agony his family have endured.  She clearly has a problem with facts too, having asserted that Robert Thompson and Jon Venables had been jailed.  For as James Bulger’s mother, Denise Fergus rightly points out:

‘They never spent a day in jail. They were sent to children’s homes where they were given kid glove treatment, computer games and the best of everything. They were rewarded for murder and left thinking they had got away with it.’

Is there some special academy somewhere that churns out insensitive, moronic, politically correct nonentities like Maggie Atkinson for recruitment by authorities, agencies and quangos, or appointment to commissions by politicians?  Where on earth do these people come from?  They clearly struggle to recognise the real world around them that the rest of us inhabit.

At a cost of £138,000 of taxpayers’ money per year, we have had pushed on us in controversial circumstances this woman who was pompously described by her annointer, Ed Balls, as a ‘strong, effective and independent voice for the children and young people of our country’.  But she is nothing more than an out of touch, politically biased, bien-pensant, bureaucrat apologist, pursuing her own agenda of absolving youngsters of responsibility for their actions by playing down the seriousness and gravity of one of the most sickening and shocking murders in our lifetimes.

It’s unlikely Maggie Atkinson will resign over this matter.  So Denise Fergus is right, Atkinson should be sacked from the role she should never have been appointed to.  People in such positions should represent the interests of society, not their own personal aims.

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4 Responses to “We should not suffer fools such as Dr Maggie Atkinson”


  1. 1 Franks 14/03/2010 at 5:15 pm

    I absolutely wholeheartedly agree with Maggie Atkinson’s view that 10 years is too young for criminal responsibility. At the time of James Bulgers death my sons – and all of their friends that frequented our house were exactly the same age as John Venables.

    Luckily none the shenanigans and misdemeanors that they got up to was ever very serious. But ever watchful and correcting as parents do, it was apparent that at 10 children only have a rudimentary feeling of right and wrong. The crucial difference between an adult and a child of 10 is that at 10 they are VERY RARELY ABLE TO QUANTIFY, DIFFERENTIATE OR STAND BACK TO ANALYZE what effect their actions will have on others however serious it may be.

    And while I am ranting, while it seems OK to take the moral high ground one side to berate the authorities and say how disgusting that these children would willingly consider murder and then actually take a life.

    However, very little seems to be said about those disgusting grown up two faced ADULTS, having just been on the moral high ground themselves, would then willingly do exactly the same to John Venables as shown by the actions against someone who is unlucky enough to have similar looks.

    Perhaps there is not much difference between 10 year olds and some adults after all…

  2. 2 Autonomous Mind 14/03/2010 at 7:02 pm

    Children of 10 years old know the difference between right and wrong. A criminal offence is not quantified by analysis of one’s actions but by whether it is right or wrong.

    Those people who sought to go after David Calvert in the belief he was Jon Venables should be prosecuted for incitement. There is no place under the law for vigilante behaviour or assault by way of retribution.

    The issue with Dr Atkinson is not her call for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised, but the manner in which she did it. Her appalling lack of judgement and the scant regard she has shown for James Bulger’s family demonstrate she is unfit to be the Children’s Commissioner. She may have styled herself as the voice of children, but that doesn’t mean she needs to act like them.

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  1. 1 Bulger killer gets sia licence!!!! - Page 11 Trackback on 14/03/2010 at 9:55 am
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