Speaking on the Sunday Politics the Financial Times journalist and regular guest talking-head, Janan Ganesh, told viewers that he did not believe an overarching full public inquiry into proven cases of organised child abuse in childrens homes and allegations of paedophile rings that include MPs, police officers, lawyers and even former ministers as members who used their positions of power to cover-up the alleged crimes was necessary or warranted. He called the public inquiry process a “stale ritual”.
There is no question that public inquiries are expensive and time-consuming and should not be seen as the answer to every contentious area of political or national importance. However, some issues transcend the national debate and run to the very core of our sense of justice. The question of press freedom versus the citizens right to privacy and not to be harassed or exploited unjustly was one such case and led, after much self-interested political resistance, to the Leveson inquiry. Like many others, this blog argues that the protection of the nations children from sexual exploitation is another.
Video © Channel 4 /ITN /BBC
For several years, we have been discovering how widespread and deeply embedded the tentacles of organised paedophilia are in the UK on an increasingly regular basis.. With each new scandal it has become increasingly clear that high-profile offenders, like Jimmy Savile, had sought and received ‘protection’ from an establishment that closed ranks to protect the reputation and the liberty of the abusers.
Allegations of an organised British paedophile ring involving high-ranking MPs, civil servants and other establishment figures, have been widely touted online for over a decade but for reasons unknown (although likely to include the potential threat of libel action as in the case of Lord McAlpine) the allegations remained largely unreported and their authors discounted as fantasists. As well as child sex abuse, these lurid tales include accusations of murder, torture, arson and much more besides. In one case, it is alleged that a member of the house of lords, with others, placed a child that resisted their sexual exploitation into a closed coffin and then simulated a burial by throwing loose soil on to the coffin lid. The terrified child was unsurprisingly compliant thereafter.
According to the Home Office 140,000 children under 18 go missing in the UK annually. Overwhelmingly these cases are resolved but thousands remain unaccounted for each year and it is not unreasonable to assume that many have fallen into a situation where they are sexually exploited and even murdered by adults seeking to cover-up their depraved acts. Between the huge numbers of missing children and the police’s apparent inability to clear-up murders that are not committed by a close associate of the victim (less than 10%) the probability of a paedophile being caught for such offences is extremely low.
Between the improbability of being prosecuted and the fact that if well organised with the appropriate level of authority a paedophile ring can ensure their crimes are never properly investigated and arrange for the victims to be marginalised or ‘disappeared’ the UK’s paedophiles can operate with understandable impunity…and they do. As the excellent investigative journalist Nick Davies wrote in the Guardian in 1998:
Child sex abuse is not only easy to commit, it is also easy to get away with. It is the least reported crime on the planet. Numerous victims say that they were silenced by their own emotions – the same emotions which gag the adult victims of rape, but which are magnified in a child’s mind…
…The fact that the sexual abuse of children is so hidden is not entirely the result of the age its victims. This is also a crime of conspiracy, of the abuse of power and, from time to time, of incidents which suggest that a paedophile with prestige may be more likely to escape justice than a more humble offender.
For example, police now invest relatively little time in the surveillance of public toilets where gay men go cottaging. The one thing that is likely still to trigger such an operation is a complaint that under-aged boys are involved – unless, that is, the toilets in question happen to be those behind the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, in which case, under the terms of a long-standing Metropolitan Police policy, the operation will take place only if it has the approval of an officer of the rank of commander or above. According to experienced London officers, the reason is that those toilets are used by High Court judges and barristers, and the Metropolitan Police have always said they do not want to encounter such a powerful offender without special authority.
Fleet Street routinely nurtures a crop of untold stories about powerful abusers who have evaded justice. One such is Peter Morrison, formerly the MP for Chester and the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. Ten years ago, Chris House, the veteran crime reporter for the Sunday Mirror, twice received tip-offs from police officers who said that Morrison had been caught cottaging in public toilets with underaged boys and had been released with a caution. A less powerful man, the officers complained, would have been charged with gross indecency or an offence against children.
At the time, Chris House confronted Morrison, who used libel laws to block publication of the story. Now, Morrison is dead and cannot sue. Police last week confirmed that he had been picked up twice and never brought to trial. They added that there appeared to be no trace of either incident in any of the official records.
The Guardian April 1998
Nick Davies’ full article will be re-published in a separate post on this blog
It is true that the Labour party have called for far too many public inquiries in the last few years but on this occasion they are right to do so. Only a public inquiry will clear the air and provide comfort to the people that those in power are not complicit in a cover-up of one of the foulest crimes that any adult can commit. Our children deserve to be kept safe especially those who like the author of this blog were raised in state run childrens homes in the UK.
This post is currently in draft form.
Please vote in the poll on my original post.
NSPCC http://www.nspcc.org.uk/ Tel: 0808 800 5000
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) http://www.ceop.police.uk/ Telephone: +44 (0)870 000 3344 or 999 in an emergency
*There is help available for adult survivors of childhood abuse online however I am not in a position to highlight any individual organisation
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