If it is true that, at the highest levels of Westminster, the abuse of young people has been covered up by those who might have helped the victims see justice, it will go beyond scandal and will demand a response beyond outrage. It will demand that we examine, as a nation, what has become of our political culture and who it exists to protect.
Laurie Penny, New Statesman, 14th July 2014
After decades of ignoring the issue, there now is a general consensus that, historically, allegations of child sex abuse were not always properly investigated, that whistleblowers, witnesses and victims alike had to contend with a culture of denial, dismissal and disbelief that protected abusers and allowed abuse to continue unchecked.
Thanks to the efforts of a number of brave survivors of childhood abuse, backed by some tenacious campaigners, MPs, police and journalists, the culture of denial is being challenged – though not for the first time.
The government has been forced – very much against its will – to set up an inquiry into historic abuse.
Police investigations have been launched across the country into allegations of abuse and cover ups.
These investigations are ongoing, but meanwhile, a dirty tricks misinformation campaign has been launched which is attempting to discredit and intimidate survivors, campaigners and whistleblowers and elicit sympathy for those under investigation for abuse.
I’d like to say something about the current focus on “VIP” child sex abuse, ie, abuse by privileged people in positions of power and/or with powerful connections.
There have been suggestions from some quarters that focussing on abuse by VIPs is a bad thing, because it distracts attention, police resources and victim support from the far more prevalent phenomenon of child sex abuse in the home, in the family, by teachers, social workers or other everyday ordinary people.
It has even been suggested that there is a sinister agenda behind focusing on VIP abuse, some kind of deliberate attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the general public, and that somehow, focussing on VIPs lets ordinary abusers off the hook and leaves their victims unsupported.
There is absolutely no evidence of any kind to support this assertion.
Anything that challenges the culture of denial and disbelief is clearly beneficial to ALL victims and survivors of abuse.
Whether a father, the milkman, or a senior government minister, abusers must be brought to justice – clearly VIP abusers cannot be given special treatment on account of their status.
But what makes it even more urgent that investigation takes place in the case of VIP abusers is the fact that their victims have to contend with not just the general culture of denial and disbelief, but the whole state apparatus which is ranged against them to prevent their accusations from being given a just and fair hearing.
If famous/privileged people and their powerful protectors are NOT investigated for child sex abuse and covering up abuse, how on earth can victims of ordinary abusers hope to be listened to, let alone see justice done? An example needs to be set and justice needs to be publicly seen to be done.
It is obvious that celebrities, politicians, even Royals accused of abuse need to be subject to the same justice as ordinary abusers. Just as bishops need to be investigated, not just paedophile priests.
What is extraordinarily shocking is that people at the top appear to have been sexually abusing children, and getting away with it, for decades, because powerful interests have ensured that investigations are quashed and witnesses discredited or silenced.
Exaro News, an independent news agency (“holding the powerful to account”), have been instrumental over the last few years in highlighting investigations into child sex abuse by senior figures, politicians, celebrities and the like, but Exaro are not by a long shot the first to try to expose the cover ups.
Many have been active since the 1970s and 1980s, but have always eventually been silenced, smeared or dismissed.
The long list of whistleblowers and campaigners includes:
- Ex-Army intelligence officer Colin Wallace – after whistleblowing on VIP abuse at Kincora children’s home he was smeared as a “Walter Mitty” fantasist and imprisoned for 6 years for manslaughter before being completely exonerated.
- Ex-DCI Clive Driscoll – removed from post allegedly after child abuse investigations got too close to VIPs.
- Don Hale OBE – allegedly subjected to threats, his evidence removed and his investigations into VIP abuse quashed by Special Branch.
- Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens – smeared as a “clown” and “buffoon” and allegedly threatened, harassed and burgled (before dying young), after passing his dossiers of evidence on VIP paedophiles to Leon Brittan.
- Labour MP Tom Watson – subjected to a media smear campaign accusing him of being a liar, troublemaker and careerist, and subjected to interrogation by the HASC for whistleblowing on VIP abuse.
- Not to mention the numerous police officers who have come forward to the IPCC with allegations that investigations into VIP abuse were suppressed and investigations halted on orders from above.
VIP abuse is not something Exaro have invented to further their own ends!
It is not something Tom Watson pulled out of a hat to boost his career!
It is simply disgraceful that revelations of the sexual abuse of children by powerful people have been allowed to remain hidden for decades, that abusers continue to go unpunished, and that those who protected – and in many cases continue to protect – them, have still not been held to account!
It is ludicrous to suggest that this scandal that goes to the heart of our nation should be allowed to remain unchallenged, or that anyone fighting the continued suppression of VIP child sex abuse is part of a sinister conspiracy to deflect attention from ordinary abuse!
Quite simply, anyone making allegations of this nature has either been duped, or must be suspected of deliberately turning the truth on its head.
I want to warn people about this. Please be aware there are many individuals and organisations putting out subtle and not so subtle messages to the effect that VIP abuse is a scam, or a lie, a deflection technique, imaginary, made up, or not important.
Almost without exception, anyone working hard at putting these messages about in the public arena has an agenda which is indeed sinister.
That agenda is to ensure that powerful and privileged individuals and even institutions responsible for the rape, torture and sexual abuse of children, and the connections and cronies who’ve protected them for decades, will never face justice for their crimes.