A former top civil servant who later went on to write academic articles on the love between men and boys in ancient Greece and in Benjamin’s Britten’s operas is at the centre of a Home Office inquiry into whether he sanctioned taxpayers’ cash to fund the Paedophile Information Exchange.
Clifford Hindley, who died some five years ago, was head of the Home Office’s Voluntary Services Unit from at least 1979 until 1983, which is now under investigation after a former civil servant has alleged there may have been a ” cover up ” over a grant re-application from PIE.
Reports in Exaro News and The People reveal today that the Home Office inquiry under permanent secretary. Mark Sedwill is examining recollections from the whistleblower that when he raised questions about why the Home Office should fund such an organisation Mr Hindley brushed this aside and asked him to hand over the paperwork. This happened around 1979 and 1980.
This has raised the question – as the whistleblower thinks it was a re-application -whether the Callaghan Labour and Thatcher Conservative governments actually funded PIE just at the time when the National Council for Civil Liberties was also supporting the organisation, Such a decision would be far worse than the present row going on between the Daily Mail and Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader, over her role at NCCL. It would mean that taxpayer’s cash has been given to fund paedophiles.
The whistleblower originally contacted Tom Watson MP who passed him on to the Home Office.
Last night Tom Watson said: “It’s a remarkable state of affairs and the Home Secretary must make sure a report is presented as soon as possible.
“If the allegations are true, it shows how insidious an organisation PIE was that they could even convince the Home Office to give them taxpayers’ money.”
Investigations by Exaro revealed that Mr Hindley, an assistant secretary in Whitehall, holds degrees in classics and philosophy from Oxford University and a degree in theology from Cambridge.
Exaro has also found articles and book contributions written by Clifford Hindley after he retired for academic and music magazines – all entirely on same sex relationships between men and boys.
His contribution to the Cambridge Companion on the composer Benjamin Britten is entirely on emphasising the love relationships between boys and men in his operas – a view that is challenged by other experts on Britten. as too extreme.
He has also written articles on the Greek historian and pupil of Socrates, Xenophon, again entirely on love between men and youths – either in the army or in society.
Ian Pace, a lecturer in music at City University, where he is head of performance, and a researcher said: “It is very hard to deny that there are pederastic themes in some of Britten’s operas, most obviously The Turn of the Screw and Death in Venice (mirroring such themes in the original literary works of Henry James and Thomas Mann respectively); and arguably also in Peter Grimes and Let’s Make an Opera (The Little Sweep).
“Some of Hindley’s writings on Britten certainly show a strong interest in such pederastic elements.”
An example is his description of the relationship between the ghost Quint and the boy Miles in the Turn of the Screw.
Hindley writes: “‘Quint is not a monster but one who opens fascinating new opportunities to the imaginative boy. Also fundamental is the fact that their relationship is one of homosexual love. It is presented as an emotional and mutually responsive relationship, in which the physical element is barely hinted at. It is nevertheless a bond of the kind rejected by conventional society’.”
The Home Office were not giving anything away about the inquiry – though it sounds as though documents – particularly from the Thatcher era – appear to be missing on anything to do with PIE.
At the moment a search is on to find out whether a dead man files will disclose a highly damaging fact that the vile organisation the Paedophile Information Exchange was actually funded by the government.