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Anorak | Paedophiles like Jimmy Savile are ok: it’s the quality of the abuse that matters

Paedophiles like Jimmy Savile are ok: it’s the quality of the abuse that matters

by | 3rd, January 2013

JON Henley writes about his Brave New World in the Guardian :

In 1976 the National Council for Civil Liberties, the respectable (and responsible) pressure group now known as Liberty, made a submission to parliament’s criminal law revision committee. It caused barely a ripple. “Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in with an adult,” it read, “result in no identifiable damage … The real need is a change in the attitude which assumes that all cases of paedophilia result in lasting damage.”

It is difficult today, after the public firestorm unleashed by revelations about Jimmy Savile and the host of child abuse allegations they have triggered, to imagine any mainstream group making anything like such a claim. But if it is shocking to realise how dramatically attitudes to paedophilia have changed in just three decades, it is even more surprising to discover how little agreement there is even now among those who are considered experts on the subject.

Bizarre stuff. The NCCL was once able to call on the support of Harriet Harman, its legal officer. The Labour MP and former Minister for Women and Equality has called for an independent inquiry into the Jimmy Savile scandal. She is aghast that victims felt “they couldn’t complain” . Harman joined the NCCL in 1978, two years after is comments that sex with children might be ok.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Mrs Harman said:

“What is necessary is that those who have had great pain and suffering – to be abused as a young person, and to feel trapped with your guilt and disgust and not able to speak out – for years they weren’t able to speak out about it. And we have to understand why for years they had to live with it on their own with all the difficulties it has caused them without being able to speak out, or they did speak out and they weren’t believed. One of the really key questions that we all need to understand and learn lessons from is why did so many people feel that they couldn’t complain, that they weren’t able to complain, or why did those people who did complain, why were they not believed. If ever there was something that needs an independent inquiry, [it is] serious sexual offences against many, many children across a range of institutions. If that’s what an independent inquiry is not for, I don’t know what is.”

In 1977, the NCCL was quoted:

“NCCL has no policy on [the Paedophile Information Exchange’s] aims – other than the evidence that children are harmed if, after a mutual relationship with an adult, they are exposed to the attentions of the police, press and court,” 

One other who sat on the board of the NCCL was Patricia Hewitt. The secretary of the NCCL from 1974 to 1983 was

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Posted: 3rd, January 2013 | In: News, Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink