Westminster paedophiles: call to create a permanent paedophile hunt
Westminster paedophiles: A regular look at the story of a ‘VIP ring’ of chgild abusers in the 1970s and 1980s.
Writing in the Sunday Times, David Aaronvitch looks at Fiona Woolf, the top lawyer who will not be leading the inquiry into Westminster peados on account of her being connected to and part of The Establishment.
Simon Danczuk, the engaging and ubiquitous Labour MP for Rochdale, indicted Dame Fiona on several counts. She had, he charged, “put herself forward” to chair the government’s unfortunate mega-inquiry into historic child abuse and had subsequently “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”. Perhaps, he speculated, the establishment had given her the damehood to force her to give up the inquiry and quietly shuffle off
Mr Danczuk’s colleague, John Mann MP, added that the honour would “create a lot of anger among those who have been leading the charge on historic sex abuse”. It was suggested by both men that survivors of abuse would be upset by the award.
Really? Forty years of waiting for justice and they are angry about a respected women getting a gong?
This kind of proxy claim on behalf of victims of abuse is now made all the time, and is almost never quantified or challenged. In the absence of any polling of victims or any proper study of their attitudes, we are left with some support organisations and a few individuals. Their opinions are to be respected, but to credit them with a great collective view goes farther than our knowledge permits.
Just as Westminster is a prejorative term for all the sins of power; victims are a group that only lawyers, police and MPs can speak on behalf of.
Dame Fiona clearly did not believe that her limited acquaintance with Lord Brittan, the former home secretary, excluded her from chairing the inquiry. She dined with him a few times, sponsored his wife on a charity walk and lived close by. But for various reasons this (what would you call it? A “sympathetic association”, perhaps?) connection was regarded as so toxic that a campaign was launched — by Mr Danczuk among others — to get her out. She had “lost the confidence of survivors”. How did anyone know that? They just did.
And the abused?
Put bluntly, anybody out there could now read the online rumours and construct a superficially corroborating story of historic abuse. And they can immediately get it into the papers. Two weeks ago Mr Mann presented to Scotland Yard a list of 22 names, “14 of them former ministers”, whom unknown people had accused of being child abusers.
The Daily Mirror ran the story, implicating an unnamed former colleague of Tony Blair’s who, from context, I could easily identify. The same newspaper had, a few months earlier, run a front-page story based on claims by one Anthony Gilberthorpe that he had supplied “under-age rent boys” for sex parties to senior Tory ministers (all now dead). The story was ludicrous. But if the Mirror wishes to produce the corroboration it required before running this damaging fable, I am happy to evaluate it.
The story is now all there is:
Increasingly I think that neither the victims themselves nor the country in general are being served by this process. The people doing well out of it are the people getting the headlines, selling the stories and filling our TV screens.
And as if to prove the point, the Express declares:
Tens of thousands’ could be victims of alleged Westminster child abuse, senior MP warns
A big number of victims could be out there?
Macer Hall writes:
Labour backbencher John Mann, who is campaigning for a wide-ranging investigation of the historic allegations, feared that the state “can’t deal with” the huge volume of claims that are being made.
Claims. Not victims.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, the Bassetlaw MP said there had been too much discussion of who was going to run the Government’s troubled inquiry into paedophile activity, and suggested a national institute needed to be created to make progress.
The Paedophile Institute? Will that be the place we can point to and show our moral superiority over the past, a bricks and mortar echo chamber? Let’s have a permanent paedophile hunt. No need to create new panics when you can have one rolling fear factory.
“It’s not just about who chairs an inquiry, it’s about what the remit of an inquiry should be, who else should be sat on that inquiry, who should be advising it,” the Bassetlaw MP said. “As an example, one of the things that survivors’ groups are calling for in the discussions I’ve had with them is for government to set up a national institute to take forward this work on what you do with all these people coming forward. Probably, it’s going to be many tens of thousands of people across the country. The state can’t deal with the numbers of people coming forward.”
Tens of thousands of victims would make any cover-up astonishing. Has not one of them evidence, a rapier blade of irrefutable proof they could just publish onlinem or send to a newspaper or parliamentarian? Better yet, do all three.
“The police and social services cannot cope with the volume that’s there, even now. And we’re hardly at the beginning of people coming forward.”
If social services cannot cope with abuse of the past, is the present suffering?
Mr Mann went on: “I’m getting vast numbers of people, including my constituents, coming forward making allegations. Many of those people came forward in the past and weren’t listened to or weren’t believed. And that’s a key part of the problem. What do you do with people making allegations against people, and nothing was done in the past, when the people they’re making allegations against in some cases are dead?”
Well, quite. What do you do? You could afford the dead the same rights as you would the living, question if their names are being bersmirched fairly. You could look for evidence.