Plans to guarantee the anonymity of the mother of Baby P have been rightly criticised by some Tory MPs. Let's not forget that Baby P was effectively beaten and tortured to death over a sustained period, in a deliberate and calculated way (after all ,the mother carefully smeared chocolate to disguise his injuries) , and when he was taken to the hospital as an emergency, she demanded the ambulance waited so she could get her cigarettes. She may not be a member of MENSA, but Baby P's mother knew exactly what she was doing.
Others argue that her human rights must be defended, missing completely that Baby P's mother ignored her sons human rights,. But no, they say that she deserves the protection of the government in order to maintain her right to a normal life.
The problem is that what these people are arguing is that people should have the right to commit a crime but then be able to avoid the stigma, the ridicule and the shame that goes with committing certain offences. It was in the past the fear of stigmatisation and shame that kept people from committting crimes, indeed you could argue that this is one of the best ways of keeping people on the straight and narrow.
I know that prison is the punishment for the crime, but moral pressure from society as a whole is also a vital part of what keeps people on the straight and narrow. Knowing that people will know what you did was, and still is a factor in people's minds when they contemplate criminality.
There is, however, a simple solution in the case of the mother of Baby P. I know, I am supposed to be a wishy washy liberal, but the problem in this case would be dealt with if the Lib Dem proposal that life should mean life was adopted.