Westminster paedophiles: a new pejorative collective noun for all the world’s ills
Westminster paedophiles has been a big story in 2014. As yet, there has been a lot of talk and speculation but no hard evidence that a group of “VIP paedoes’ operated in and around Westminster.
David Aaronovitch expalins why ‘Westminster’ is the buzzword:
Westminster: new pejorative collective noun. Once used to connote the geographical area around the Abbey, then the institution of the Houses of Parliament. Now a distancing word deployed by politicians who are pretending that they are not politicians but tribunes of the people, to collectively damn other politicians who have committed the sin of occasionally being in government.
Hence “Westminster” is out of touch, doesn’t “get it”, is “broken”, rides roughshod over the opinions of ordinary people, may be corrupt and (according to taste) is sometimes even dominated by networks of paedophiles. Anyone not espousing this view is said to be inside the “Westminster bubble”.
There is a Scottish variant of the usage. When the word “Westminster” (or, on Twitter, “WM”) is used by nationalists and independence campaigners, it means all the above but also connotes “England” and “the English”. As in “Westminster doesn’t understand Scotland”, when what the writer means is that the English are horrible to the Scots. The advantage is that it sounds more specific than “down there” and less obviously chauvinistic — chauvinism being a “Westminster” (ie, English) fault.
Westminster is them.
As for the story of Westminster paedos, this is our at-a-glance round-up:
The Guardian: “New Year honour for Fiona Woolf inappropriate, says MP”
Labour’s Simon Danczuk attacks award of damehood to lawyer who quit as chair of child abuse inquiry
Westminster’s self-styled expert on Westminster (see above) is n w an expert on the peerage:
An MP has criticised the “inappropriate” decision to award a damehood to Fiona Woolf, who was forced to resign as chair of the inquiry into child sex abuse. Woolf, a prominent City lawyer and former lord mayor of London, was made a dame in the New Year honours list, just weeks after she stepped down as chair over concerns among victims of child abuse that she was too closely linked to senior politicians.
Woolf, who is already a CBE, received the damehood for services to the legal profession, diversity and the City of London.
Good for her. Should we not cheer a successful and honourable woman in the City? Or is she forever tainted. And if we couold pick Anorak’s buzzword it wouild be “inappropriate”, the clarion call of censorship and cowardice.
Fiona Woolf was the second woman in 800 years to be Lord Mayor of London. It wa only in November 2013 that Cathy Newman, the Channel 4 News presenter, was praising Woolf:
One of her colleagues at her law firm describes her as a real “trailblazer”. So perhaps this Lady Mayor can forge ahead more determinedly than the 684 men who went before her.
Hear ye! But now – after no trial, no proof and no smoking gun – it’s all changed:
However, Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, who has led the campaign for an investigation of child abuse in Westminster circles, said it was an example of establishment figures looking after their own.
In other news, bear takes toilet paper to woods…
“Fiona Woolf caused unnecessary distress to victims of child abuse and caused a lengthy and avoidable delay to a very serious inquiry that urgently needs to get started. It seems inappropriate that she’s now being invited to Buckingham Palace to pick up one of the highest honours. I can think of many more worthy recipients of this honour, but once again it looks like the establishment is looking after their own.”
Got that? An entire life’s work undone by “delaying” an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse from the 1970s and 1980s. Mud doesn’t when you chuck it about with abandon; it just stinks up the place.
Woolf was the second senior figure to resign from the inquiry under pressure over her links to politicians, causing severe embarrassment for Theresa May, the home secretary. After she was appointed, it emerged that she was a friend and neighbour of Leon Brittan, a former home secretary.
He is under scrutiny because a dossier containing accusations about Westminster paedophile activity went missing from his department during the 1980s. He denies any failure to act and there is a letter suggesting it should have been passed on to police.
Typical Westminster, eh.
And the Mirror is on it:
Westminster paedophile ring: Jailed Charles Napier will be told to name VIP abusers
What if he can’t tell because there were none he knows if?
Caged child abuser Charles Napier faces a grilling by detectives who believe he could help expose a network of VIP paedophiles with links to Westminster. Officers probing claims that span decades think the former teacher – jailed last week for abusing 23 boys – can name Establishment figures including peers, Government ministers, civil servants and police.
Napier, 67, was treasurer of the twisted Paedophile Information Exchange, which campaigned on behalf of paedophiles in the 1970s and 1980s and argued that the age of consent should be lowered to FOUR. Dossiers compiled by campaigning MP Geoffrey Dickens and handed to former Home Secretary Leon Brittan in the 1980s were said to contain damning evidence about the group.
But the police are on it!
The late Labour politician Barbara Castle is said to have named members of the group in a dossier seized by Special Branch in the 1980s amid allegations of a cover-up. The Met Police are now trying to find the missing files and those compiled by Mr Dickens.
Can we incldued Yard to the Westminster slur?
The BBC has more on that enquiry:
Victims ‘should not lead abuse inquiry’ – Butler-Sloss…
Lady Butler-Sloss stood down earlier this year amid claims she faced a conflict of interest because her late brother, Sir Michael Havers, was attorney general at the time of some of the alleged abuse.
Speaking to the Today programme, of which she was guest editor on Wednesday, Lady Butler-Sloss said “there has to be a victim voice on the panel” but the survivors should not be able to chair it themselves or choose who fills the position.
“I worry that the victims, for whom I have the most enormous sympathy [….], for them to be deciding who should become the person chairing it creates real problems,” she said.
“Because if you do not have, in the past, a position of authority, how are you going to be able to run the inquiry?
“You need someone who knows how to run things and if you get someone from an obscure background, with no background of establishment, they’ll find it very difficult and may not be able actually to produce the goods.”
She said she had no regrets about accepting the role as the first chair of the inquiry and she thought it was her “duty” to do so.
While she believes she could have done the job, she said she is “so glad” she no longer had to.
Lady Butler-Sloss said establishment figures had covered up abuse in the past.
She said: “I do believe the establishment has in the past looked after itself, partly because people did not really recognise the seriousness of child abuse and they did not think it was so important, and it was important to protect members of the establishment.
“So I would want to go in with a knife and cut the whole thing open and expose it, as to what happened, bearing in mind, of course, that the views of those people are not the views of people today and that is a difficulty.”
So. Who wants the job? And best hurry – lots of names from back then are ill, old and dying…