The big news here in Britain is that the government is launching several investigations into child abuse by folk ‘at the highest level’, including looking into allegations that a paedophile ring operated out of Westminster (by which is meant Parliament and our Civil Service) which was powerful enough to protect abusers from prosecution.
I know I regularly adopt a pose of weary cynicism in this ’ere blog, but for once I am not doing so when I say that I’m not holding my breath.
Most certainly the nation will be presented with ‘results’ of a kind and most certainly names will be named. But anyone who thinks such a powerful ring – if, of course, it exists – will throw in the towel and come out begging for mercy is living in cloud-cuckoo land.
I was careful to say ‘if such a ring exists’ because the implication is that there is some kind of organisation involved. It is damn unlikely that that is the case.
I should imagine that wherever they live and work paedophiles will certainly know of each other and meet up, most probably to exchange or sell pictures they have, but given the abhorrence everyone has of their activities and that they could expect a visit from the old bill if word got out, it is also pretty likely that they keep their heads down and their circle of similarly inclined acquaintances small.
I should also imagine that any paedophile politicians and civil servants, working cheek by jowl in Westminster would know of each other and be fully prepared to watch out for each other.
That is what seems to have happened in realtion to a 40-page dossier handed over to the then Home Secretary at the beginnng of the Eighties by the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens. That dossier was ‘lost’, a copy which Dickens gave to his wife was destroyed by her after his early death, and a second copy which was given to the Department of Public Prosecutions also disappeared.
On the face of it it would seem that some kind of conspiracy to get rid of ‘the evidence’ was afoot.
The two investigations announced in the Commons by the present Home Secretary Theresa May will also try to find out what happened to 114-odd documents related to paedophila which also went missing from the Home Office.
As I say, I don’t think there is any kind of organised ring in Westminster, but undoubtedly paedophiles have been protected. One notable example is the, now dead, form Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale, Cyril Smith.
Time and again allegations about his behaviour were made about him, notably by Private Eye and a newspaper called the Rochdale Alternative Press, yet he was able to get away with abusing boys until he died. ‘Why’ is the obvious question.
We do know that any MP in the shit would, if he had any sense, go to his party’s whips for help and they invariably get him out of trouble. The price he – or, of course, she – paid was that from that point on he or she was their man (or woman), the misdemeanour hanging over him or her until the day they left Parliament.
But that could only account for some case.
The real question is: was there a real cover up and is there a network of paedophiles in and about Parliament, with very useful links to the police and the security services (who have shown in the past that they will engage in blackmail if it suits them. That is what they are said to have done to several Irish Republican and Nationalists who had taken to visiting the Kincora boys home in Belfast for underage sex. Of course, like almost everything else we, the public, ‘know’ it is mere hearsay. At the end of the day I haven’t a clue.
I’ll repeat: we’ll get the usual triumphal fanfare when one or two Westminster paedophiles are thrown to the wolves by their more powerful friends and backslapping all round. Then it will be back to business as usual.
Why the cynicism? It’s simple: whoever has had the clout to shut down police inquiries (an hour or so ago one former policeman told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight that his investigation into Cyril Smith was abruptly ended when several policemen visited him, demanded all his notes and warned him to do nothing more of any kind at all to do with the case), and whoever has the clout to ensure prosecutions are not made or chargees are reduced (one Tory MP who was caught smuggling paedophile videos into Britain was let off with a caution, as was now dead diplomat Sir Peter Hayman in whose flat a load of such material was found) will still have the clout.
I pray I am wrong, I pray that for once my cynicism will be unfounded ant that for once the Establishment is blown apart, but I’m really not holding my breath. As I say, there will be several sacrificial lambs who will be prosecuted and jailed to give the appearance of success and that, dear friends, will be it.