Daska is being disingenuous.
As it happens I agree with what Tom says about Pincham's lack of leadership back in the day. A friend of mine put it well, "one of the most damning things in the Inquiry Report was where it described the Governors as 'MacLaren's men'". My point is not that he did a good job, but that the level of the insults says something about where you guys are right now - IE in arrested development.
But here's a story I heard that might interest you. It concerns one Emile Woolf. Emile, you may recall, set up the modestly-titled Emile Woolf Colleges, that have done so much to educate our bold new generation of accountants. He is also the father of a couple of boys who went to St James in the early days and who have been very active recently in attacking its staff and governors. Although Emile was a member of SES himself and (obviously) sent his boys to its schools, he has so far shown no obvious regret for what he put them through. Some say Emile has been active himself in the struggle against all those past wrongs.
A couple of years ago a deputation from St James went to see him, to ask him a question. "Emile, how come you're supporting all this stuff, when you yourself were a Governor of St James?"
Emile was said to be shocked - the man apparently had no memory of such a thing! Like canoeist John Darwin, Emile's memory seemed to have developed a gap. But there was no getting out of it - he was shown the evidence that proved he had been a Governor. More than one person has confirmed that this really happened.
I just had another look at his one and only post on this forum
and, nope, he still hasn't edited what he said in the light of his memory being jogged. Maybe he forgot he wrote it. Here are some of the best bits:
That many pupils speak of their time at the schools as a happy one is completely irrelevant to the circumstances that compelled the Governors, in the face of unremitting internet pressure following decades of wilful blindness, to instruct Mr Townend to conduct his own independent investigation. This investigation has unreservedly vindicated the complaints and allegations, brought by a significant number of former pupils, of unreasonable, unlawful and criminal assault.
That the Governors should say that this is deeply regretted, and that they hope "now that the facts have been established" that there will be a period of reconciliation which they will support in every way they can, is not only specious but grossly insulting to the intelligence of the victims. There is absolutely nothing that Mr Townend uncovered as "facts" that any remotely conscientious governing body worthy of the name could not have discovered for itself if, over twenty years ago, it had taken on board the evidence that was staring it in the face. The Governors' acquiescence in the shameful conduct of the teachers and the Headmaster, if not actively condoning it, disqualifies them from offering any regrets that merit serious consideration.
These expressions of regret are being offered by Governors who were guilty of gross dereliction of their collective and individual responsibilities over the past twenty-one years and more. Mr Townend has made it clear that at the relevant time the Governors paid no more than lip service to their duties and were in fact acting under the pervasive sway of Leon MacLaren as "senior tutor" of the SES.
Hard words, Emile. "Decades of wilful blindness" ... "conscientious" ... "gross dereliction of ... collective and individual responsibilities". And there's more. I should have just quoted the whole thing.
I am well aware of the beneficial influence on my own life of many aspects of the teaching which I imbibed as a member of the SES. The injunction that stands out most prominently is that taking personal responsibility for one's actions is the imperative of any citizen.
Yuk! Yuk! That's a good one. Or did you mean, "conveniently forgetting what one did is one's number one ass-covering imperative"?
He signs off with the lofty remark that
This is not a case of retribution being sought. Nor is it uttered on behalf of my sons or any of the other victims. It is a personal view of what responsibility in action demands in the light of Mr Townend's findings.
Well, say what you like about Emile, he can certainly turn a sentence. I haven't met the man, but he reminds me a bit of Jonathan Aitken with his 'sword of righteousness' and 'shield of fair play', shortly before he got jailed for perjury.
Let's just imagine for a moment that it might be possible to be a Governor of a school and then forget all about it. What would that tell us about how 'conscientious' you were being at the time? Evidently at least some
of the Governors didn't put a lot of effort in. Or is it like the 1960s - if you can remember them you weren't there?
But then when, years later, you are confronted with the truth, how do you react? Do you suddenly recognise your own culpability, don sack-cloth and ashes? Or do you keep your head down and carry on paddling?
Well, I hope he has at least privately apologised to his sons.
No-one, so far as I am aware, is accusing Pincham or the other Governors of anything other than negligence in their duty and, as Emile puts it so well, "wilful blindness" - Pincham, let's remind ourselves, was not actually hitting anyone. Neither was Emile. So, who is more guilty of negligence - the guy who was negligent when things were really bad and then pretends it never happened, or the guy who sticks around long enough to preside over positive change, and an Inquiry that leaves him, whether he likes it or not, carrying the can and being publicly humiliated?
I don't imagine either of these men can look back to the early days of St James/St Vedast with any great satisfaction. Maybe neither of them are wholly willing or able to accept the truth. But what I do know is that one of them, at least, has taken punishment for his sins of omission.
Maybe it's time for you lot to turn your attention to Emile?