Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Good the Bad and the Ugly...

This photo makes me smile - Van reading my current book!

And the green fuzz peeping out of the book is another source of pleasure, a special present from Jai...

However the book is another matter. For years I have been intending to read Lynley Hood's A City Possessed: The Christchurch Civic Creche Case. Recently I picked up this copy in a sale and I have been reading it compulsively, with admiration and horror. 

I knew the very broad outline of the Civic Creche story, as most Christchurch residents of the early 90s would. But not the detail. My admiration is for the huge research task that Lynley Hood undertook, for the clarity with which she presents her case and for her courage in tackling such a controversial and polarising topic. The horror is reserved for the relentless unfolding of what Hood describes as a witch hunt fuelled by hysteria. On one side the safety of children; on the other the guilt or innocence of the creche workers in general and of Peter Ellis in particular. Nowhere could the notion of truth as a relative and socially constructed entity be more frighteningly displayed.

Now near the end of the book, I am left wondering what has happened since in the lives of the participants - the creche workers, the children, the families, the police, the City Council managers, the lawyers... What has been the long-term impact of this appalling event?  

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