Since the CQC has been so terribly emasculated, it was down to the BBC to uncover the truly shocking abuse that residents of the Winterbourne View private hospital in Bristol, owned by the Castlebeck group, suffered on a systematic basis. This expose alone is sufficient reason why we should all pay our licence fee.
Joe Casey, the undercover reporter for Panorama, writes how he felt covering the scandal here. From a personal point of view, the bit where he describes the dilemma of watching a person with learning disabilities being beaten and taunted, unable to intervene lest he blew his cover, is very troubling.
But from a political point of view, the questions he concludes with are ones that the we all need to ask:
The way we treat people like Simone and Simon is a measure of our common humanity. By that measure we have failed.
So where can the debate go now?
Do we need to pay higher wages to the people we hire to care for the vulnerable? Should support workers, like nurses, be listed on a national register? Should there be profit to be made in caring for these people? Should this be an industry or a public service?