Sometimes you need some distance.
I've decided to revisit the battlefield of Outrageous 2. Now that time has passed and I've reread the arguments, I can see it with a bit more perspective. At the time I was aware that I had lost objectivity. Communication had broken down and I knew that had to be partly my responsibility.
The only solution I could see at that point was to withdraw, concentrate on other things and then come back with a fresher eye and hopefully more balanced perspective.
So - this is how I see it now:
I take full responsibility for my initial post, which was intended to express my exasperation about bureaucracy. Perhaps naively, I never expected the issue of defining or proving the existence of 'unaccompanied children' to become the focus. Among my own circle it would not have been. But a blog isn't only seen by my mates!
I can't talk about individual cases or risk identifying people so I'm unable to provide the kind of information necessary to prove the specific claim made in the post.
On the general issue of unaccompanied children, I'm going to do some research to see if I can provide evidence that will not compromise any individuals. If anyone reading this has relevant information, please pass it on in the comments section or email me at info at debialper dot co dot uk.
However, I accept that the way I phrased the original post has led to frustration. I stoked up emotion but then failed to equip people with the means to do anything practical to try to make a difference. If I was unable to do that, I should not have published the post in the first place.
Would I do it differently if I had my time again? Yes, definitely.
I will be very careful in future not to dash off posts on such vital subjects without thinking through the implications. I clearly hadn't done that in this situation.
I'm still getting used to having these global conversations via my blog with my direct voice 'out there' and available to everyone.
I'd imagine that's true for all of us. It's a steep learning curve and I'm still climbing.