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Just obeying orders


The Nuremburg Defence was used by war criminals to justify their actions when put on trial.

Those who perpetrated atrocities argued that they were, “just obeying orders” and that responsibility lay elsewhere, with figures in higher authority.

  • The education officers from PKC who campaigned over months to force the closure of TNS were, “just obeying orders”

  • The Care Inspectors who acted illegally in taking enforcement action and when lying to other parties will argue that they were, “just obeying orders”

  • Education inspectors who briefed against school managers without letting them know what was said or give them a chance to reply were, “just obeying orders”

  • The fake inspection reports of May 2018 were written by ‘professionals’ who were, “just obeying orders

The problem is that the Nuremburg Defence is not accepted as valid when crimes have been committed and the accused is aware that their actions were wrong.

It is a criminal offence to know that a crime has been commited and to not report it.

That applies to all concerned. To those above and to anyone else who may have been aware of what was going on. PKC elected members should take note.

A second problem with the Nuremburg Defence is that those who carry-out instructions are usually found guilty whilst their superiors who gave them often escape censure.

Now may be the time for members of PKC, the Care Inspectorate, and Education Scotland, to come forward and to do what they should have done in the first place. It is too late to prevent the tragedy that occurred, but it is not too late to do the right thing.

Tomorrow: “In praise of whistleblowers”

Bill Colley