Anorak | We Need A Free Press To Save Us From Child Abuse And Westminster Demons

We Need A Free Press To Save Us From Child Abuse And Westminster Demons

by | 7th, July 2014

abuse of power


WHY are we wasting money on this when we could be spending it on that?’ is a favourite argument of the partisan. It’s usually spurious. But this collection of front pages does make you wonder how the Press came to be the arch-villains of the unholy trinity of politicians, police, Press. And that in turn prompts further questions about the extent and expense of the phone-hacking inquiry.

In the top row we have two peers (one Labour, one Conservative) under suspicion for rape, and the disappearance of 114 files from a 1983 dossier alleging that a number of public figures were involved in child sex abuse. At the bottom we have more allegations against Rolf Harris, who was jailed for sexual assault on Friday.

Putting Operation Yewtree and celebrity sex predators aside for a moment, let us remember that we also have the Cyril Smith allegations rumbling along in the background thanks almost entirely to the Daily Mail.
Those with short memories might also be reminded of the MPs’ expenses scandal and the men who drained moats or built duck houses with our money, the women who manipulated the capital gains tax system or declined to pay for their own bath plugs. We know about them thanks to the Daily Telegraph.

These are the people running our country; the people who decided that the law wasn’t strong enough to keep the Press in line, that a £5m public inquiry followed by a royal charter to set new parameters of behaviour was required.

MPs accepted after the expenses scandal without the benefit of a public inquiry that they couldn’t be trusted to police themselves, so an independent parliamentary standards authority was created. It’s made a huge difference. In 2009, the year of the scandal, MPs’ expenses totalled £95.4m. In the year to last September, the total was £98m.

The police, particularly the Metropolitan force, meanwhile remain mired in corruption allegations that any number of public inquiries and new brooms at the top have been unable to stamp

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Posted: 7th, July 2014 | In: News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink