Westminster paedophiles: we shouldn’t give a toss what the police ‘believe’
Two newspapers lead with news of alleged Westminster paedophiles who allegedly raped and murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s. The media calls these alleged killers and perverts ‘VIPs’. Doesn’t the acronym VIP place these alleged crimes firmly in their time. In the 1970s, VIPs were all the rage.
The Scotsman talks of the “paedophile abuse ring”. Again, the language is suggestive. The ‘ring’ suggests a closed circle tightly bound. But child abuse takes place most often in the home in secret. There is no ring, unless it’s a gold wedding band on the abuser’s finger. There is only depravity and opportunity.
The Guardian has news to chill and shock:
“London police: we believe claims of ‘VIP’ child sex abuse and murder”
Who cares what the police believe? The police should stick to facts, gather evidence and uphold the law of the land. Believing in something circumvents all the hard-fought barriers to proving guilt.
Scotland Yard says victim’s allegations against prominent political and establishment figures are credible and true
The police are now judge and jury. They are not looking for evidence. They are looking for proof. Because it is all ‘true’:
Scotland Yard officers have said they believe allegations that a ring of prominent politicians and members of the establishment abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys.
Detectives appealed for victims and witnesses to come forward and identified a flat in Dolphin Square, London, near the Houses of Parliament, as a scene of some of the alleged abuse, as well as military premises and other locations across London and the home counties.
The police are trawling for victims. But why haven’t more stepped forward? If there were so many victims, why have we not heard from more of them? Suffering sexual abuse is a horrific ordeal. But are all victims defined by the ordeal? Don’t some make successes of their lives? And do these people now feel confident enough to step forward and point the finger at the VIPs?
So far one victim, known by the pseudonym Nick, has come forward to tell of a decade of abuse he suffered at the hands of people including senior politicians and members of Britain’s establishment, and of three homicides. Police as yet have no bodies, full names of those abused or killed, or exact locations where the killings took place.
…as ‘yet’. The Guardian’s Vikram Dodd is in agreement with the police. It’s all true. Now show us the bodies.
But the detective in charge of the investigation pointedly described Nick’s allegations as “true” and said Nick had been abused from 1975 to 1984, between the ages of seven and 16.
Now in middle age, Nick has given partial names of other children who were abused, the Guardian understands, and has given names of “VIPs” alleged to be involved in the abuse. He is understood to have been scared of reprisals for telling detectives about the things powerful people did to him and other children.
Should we not treat one man’s claims with sceptisism? Doing so is not to call Nick a liar. Doing so makes any trial more telling. Hard questions will have been answered. Doubt will not linger.
If the allegations are correct, it represents one of the worst scandals in modern British history and endangers already thin public trust in the politicians who govern the country.
Not only trust in politicians. Trust in the police, too.
Police promised on Thursday to investigate “without fear or favour” but declined to say if any of those named by Nick had been interviewed as witnesses or suspects.
Or are dead, like Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith and Peter Jaconelli.
Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, in charge of the investigation, said police policy dictates that officers believe a victim unless evidence emerges to undermine their account, but in Nick’s case experienced detectives from two teams had concluded his accounts were true. “Nick has been spoken to by experienced officers from the child abuse team and experienced officers from the murder investigation team. They and I believe what Nick is saying is credible and true.”
Again with the “believe”. Police didn’t listen then to the young woman being abused Rochdale. They did not listen to the Blackpool children, like Charlene Downes. They do not listen now. They work to an agenda. They hear only what suits them. They are not listening to Nick. They are using him to look good.
Nick waited 30 years to come forward and talk to detectives, having talked to the media first. It is clear detectives are not just investigating but building criminal cases to take to court.
Deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse thanked the media for their work but warned them not to compromise crucial witnesses. He said in one case Nick had been shown a picture of a suspect by a reporter. “I need to be able to convince a court that any identification made by Nick was done within the rules … and Nick was, crucially, identifying the [person] he remembers from 30 odd years ago, rather than the photograph he was shown by journalists in the more recent past.”
Can we ask it? Can we say that Nick might have researched the individual, that he might have seen them in years past on the telly? The defence barrister will ask it. They will ask far more probing questions. At least, they should do.
McDonald said: “I appeal to men who were subjected to abuse 30 years ago to come forward. We are also investigating the murder of three young boys – we are determined to find answers.” He said people who lived at or visited Dolphin Square in the 1970s “will have seen or heard something that they only understand the significance of now.
Not ‘may’. Will.
And then we get to the crux of the police mission:
“I would ask you to trust me. I will support you, and do everything in my power to find those responsible and bring them to justice. I need your accounts to help me do that. The abuse he has detailed that he was subjected to was carried out by a man on his own, a group of men or during what have been described as parties.”
Trust in me. Trust the police. The same police that let down young people on Oxford, Rotherham and elsewhere. The same police that swooped on Jim Davidson as he arrived at Heathrow Airport, nabbing before the cameras an innocent man who was coming INTO the country for a TV show not fleeing it.
Trust them. Trust the police who never knew anything of a ‘ring of VIP’ paedos until Nick spoke out.
Nick told the BBC last month that the abusers would inflict brutal punishments on any child who did not obey orders and children were picked up in cars to be taken to locations where they were attacked.
“People who drove us around could come forward. Staff in some of the locations could come forward. There are so many people who must have had suspicions. We weren’t smuggled in under a blanket through the back door. It was done openly and people must have questioned that and they need to come forward.”
One man wants to find out what happened to his son.
The Daily Express: “Father claims son was MURDERED by Westminster paedophile ring – and police covered it up”
Retired magistrate Vishambar Mehrotra, 69, recorded a telephone conversation with a male prostitute who said that his son Vishal may have been abducted and taken to a notorious south-west London guesthouse in 1981.
He took the recording to the police at the time, but claims that they refused to investigate an allegation which implicated “judges and politicians” and instead launched a “huge cover-up”.
The youngster was abducted while walking home from watching the Prince of Wales and Diana Spencer ride in a carriage to their wedding on July 29 that year. He had gone ahead of his family members towards his home in Putney, and was last seen less than a mile from the guesthouse.
According to Mr Mehrotra, he received an anonymous call some months later from a man who suggested that Vishal may have been abducted by “highly placed” paedophiles operating from the Elm Guest House in nearby Barnes.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “I was contacted by a young man who seemed to be in his 20s. He told me he believed Vishal may have been taken by paedophiles in the Elm Guest House near Barnes Common.
“He said there were very highly placed people there. He talked about judges and politicians who were abusing little boys.”
Vishal’s remains were discovered buried in woodland in West Sussex.
Was Vishal murdered by ‘VIP paedos’? We don’t know. But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg does:
“We are in the early stages of really a reckoning with our past,” said Clegg, speaking on LBC radio, “of things happening on a scale and of a gravity which just a few months ago would have seemed unimaginable and almost too horrific to contemplate.”
A reckoning suggests facing up ‘our’ past. But we have very few details. And what about the here and now? And what’s this about ‘our’ past? Is any guilt now a collective guilt, encompassing everyone and anyone alive in the 1970s and 1980s?
The tale of Westminster paedos is not just an investigation into alleged crimes; it’s a chance for the country to unite and find a moral pupose. And the people running the show – the politicians and police we are supposed to challenge – are calling the shots.