Bad, mad and sad: The politics of scrapping the Child Sex Abuse inquiry

Theresa May, home sercretary.Bad, mad and sad if she scraps the whole inquiry Pic Credit: conservatives.com

Theresa May, home sercretary.Bad, mad and sad if she scraps the whole inquiry Pic Credit: conservatives.com

The revelations by Mark Watts, editor of Exaro, that Theresa May, the home secretary, is considering scrapping the newly set up independent panel will have more implications than many survivors can possibly imagine. It will go much further than the anguish shown by panel member and survivor  Sharon Evans, whose heartfelt views are reflected in her letter revealed in the Exaro piece.

Survivors who campaigned for a clean break hope for a new judge led inquiry or Royal Commission compelling everybody to give evidence which will solve all their problems and produce ” an all singing,dancing ” result. Some of them don’t want anybody on the panel at all.

What they are not aware is that a political decision to reshape the inquiry is now competing with a now much bigger political issue: The General Election. It will be the perfect storm for further inaction.

From next month any statement made by a politician will be about positioning themselves for winning the next general election not about the good of governing the country.

To deal with everything the campaigners want Theresa May has only until March 26 to sort out appointing a new chair, further advisers and staff. After that Whitehall runs the country – politicians are in purdah – and cannot make any controversial appointments or decisions.

There are over 100 applications for the chair and candidates will now obviously want to know what exactly they are being appointed to – is it a panel, a judicial inquiry or a Royal Commission? There is also now huge disruption to the work of the panel, the secretariat, who don’t know where they stand. I have heard that at least two other members of the panel – and not the people the noisy survivors have targeted – may well quit because of potential damage to their reputations and won’t want anything to do with it. There is a real danger that people may think it is so toxic that no one will want to be appointed to do the job.

This means it is will be a very tall order to do this by March 26. But that is minor compared to the storm on the way – the general election campaign.

As a seasoned political journalist I am aware that we face an extraordinary and unprecedented campaign. None of  the two main parties – Conservative and Labour  look like securing an overall majority. The Lib Dems- the third major party of the 2010  election- face potential oblivion.

The only parties who really connected with the electorate in the last year were UKIP, the Scottish Nationalists and the Greens who could all gain seats next May but not enough to form a government. Cameron will not replicate Thatcher’s 1983 victory and Ed Miliband will not replicate Blair’s 1997 landslide.

So what will happen in May is that NO party will have an overall majority and NO new government will be able to take difficult decisions. Furthermore  all three main parties could be plunged into  distracting leadership battles- with Cameron,.Miliband and Clegg toppled while new rivals ( in the Tories case, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, George Osborne and Theresa May herself  competing for the top job).

Then it is likely to be a SECOND general election under new leaders probably in October or November – while the big parties try again for a majority.

Why does this apoplectic vision affect what happens to the CSA inquiry? Simple really, if it is not finally settled by March nobody is going to bother to set up another inquiry – because they will be too distracted with leadership in fighting and trying to survive on a day-to-day basis to have time.

So all the work will be a waste of time. Paedophiles will be laughing all the way to the brothel knowing that the overarching inquiry into their  activities will not take place. The police will be let off the hook because they won’t have to be accountable to an inquiry now. The big losers would be survivors themselves – once again denied a national platform. That’s why I think to scrap the whole thing now will be bad, mad and sad.

39 thoughts on “Bad, mad and sad: The politics of scrapping the Child Sex Abuse inquiry

  1. I firmly believe that government and Ms May have engineered this entire fiasco to keep it out of the public arena until after the general election, so any maneuvering by the survivors needs to be done now to ensure people can be compelled under oath to testify. She could have consulted with them from the start and saved all this.

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    • why doesnt someone ask Terry May whats going on in her department. All this ” no cover up ” is rubbish its still going on and on today ,
      Not only had i had my FOI enquiry to Home Office rejected it was also marked ” HIDDEN” as well !!

      why dont you ask your mate Zac G to ask Terry May what the hell they are playing at !!

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      • Bob, In view of this continual criticism of the members of the panel I am thinking of doing a comprehensive piece on who they all are and what their expertise is – so we can have some facts about them.

        David

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      • @David whilst you are about it you can ask Terry May whats going on in her department too, its hardly in the spirit of FOI if HO decides to cover up and avoid replying to pertinent enquiries of public interest dont you think ?

        also Ms Evans maybe good at watching TV on dancing and getting awards on bravest business woman or whatever but she is hardly in Dr Davies league,,
        Also i blame exaro for this ” vocal minority”schtick as it set off a rumour mill abour who this VM is, even such ludicrous suggeations that VM are a bunch of covert paedos intent on wrecking the ” enquiry”
        that seems to stem from something Ms Evans was going
        on about .
        Some feel rather let down by exaro of late i have to say
        Its caused ” disquiet” about your firm to put it mildly

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      • Not only about the group. There are also mad suggestions going round that Exaro has been set up by the security services to wreck the inquiry and I am supposed to be working for MI5 if you please!

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  2. “… hope for a new judge led inquiry or Royal Commission compelling everybody to give evidence which will solve all their problems and produce ” an all singing,dancing ” result.”

    That’s hardly an objective description. It’s disturbing to find Exaro committing itself to such a black and white viewpoint.

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  3. We are where we are now and this is not the time for looking back and recriminations. My Christmas message is one of optimism that announcements will be made during January and February which will please the majority of activists who seek

    – individual perpetrators of crimes against children, young people and young adults whatever their backgrounds, previous and current position to be tested according to the adversarial justice system operating in England Wales;

    – and a mechanism will be found to explore the nature and extent of the cover up of such crimes during the past 50 years and which embraces the whole of the UK including cooperation with Eire, Jersey, the British Overseas Territories, the EEC and other International, government police and security interests

    – and to establish a comprehensive database of information based on a timeline of police and other investigations and the outcome past and present

    – and to increase political and public understanding of what happened and why, and the nature of the problem today

    In the transitional meantime the process of developing a wide mix of responses, policy, organisational and management, to limit the commission of further crimes, control and where possible treat offenders will carried forward through the next Parliament

    While UKIP in England, and fourth political parties in the rest of the UK have a common vested interest in the exposure of VIP perpetrators in the other Parties before the General Election, the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democratic Parties also have common cause with each other to agree a mechanism/mechanisms which will satisfy Parliament, Public, and the majority of activists before the General Election otherwise they face a bigger public disaffection at the polls far worse than the reaction to MP‘s expenses thus preventing the possibility of outright election victory, a minority administration or a coalition which could see Salmond or Farage insisting on being deputy Prime Minister.

    Disappointed rejected panel members and those still hoping to be have a formal direct involvement should be consoled by the knowledge that their non involvement in whatever is agreed will be in the interests of the greater good.

    There is also need for a mechanism which will enable those who wish to have their story recorded and to begin to receive the level of help which all and any victim of a crime of violence against the person should receive. I would like to see a victim covenant and approach similar to that we now have for all members of the armed forces

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  4. Personally I can’t believe anyone actually expected this to happen before the election anyway. Obviously they appointed people they knew the survivors and knowledgable counsel would find objectionable, thus causing delays. The people who are being protected are seriously worried, especially with all the recent revalations in Exaro etc about the goings on in MP’s digs in London and certain guest houses. They will do all they can to obfuscate the truth so that the brave people who have come forward to tell their highly distressing stories are forced to suffer even longer.
    SCUM doesn’t come close to describing those people that hurt these innocents. My heart goes out to them in this distressing time. I wish them closure in 2015, but I doubt very much if they will get it.

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  5. A Royal Commission set up now will not be affected by the election. Julia Gillard showed the way in Australia by setting up an RC before the 2013 election and it still under way even though she lost that election.
    And those thinking any sort of inquiry will not take 2 or 3 years are deluded.
    But Henke is dismissing Exaro’s own role in ramping up a certain amount oh hysteria by publishing the claims of 2 vocal Labour politicians John Mann MP and the conflicted Simon Danczuk MP ( with his Cyril Smith book to flog) both with questionable histories over the child abuse that happened under their watch- Danczuk as a Labour power lord in Rochdale & Mann as a Lambeth councilor (although Mann now trots out the well worn claim he alerted police but was told ‘higher ups silenced them) whilst neither apparently had ever heard of Fleet Street tabloids that would eagerly pursue any claims & publish generally without proof.
    So Henke is correct to point out that politics now plays a major role but avoids any mention of these two opportunistic Labour MPs, one who is now channeling Geoffrey Dickens with his “dossiers” which the media & Exaro promote as valid without any possible reason to.

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    • THIS IS VERY TRUE! any info that I receive will go straight to the press because historically the police have achieved nothing…other than they managed to loose my brothers files once in the ‘great flood of Kensington nick’ and then apparently roughly 8 years later oopsie’ the files disappeared again this time taken by a retired DC who took them to his house in Spain………! One day the truth of the “BULLET-PROOF PAEDO’S” will come out unfortunately the perps will all be dead and rotting in hell,which they will probably be enjoying anyway! bless all of the damaged children Kevin Allen

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  6. A quick trawl through the history of British inquiries should caution everyone against putting their faith in inquiries. Most are whitewashes and coverups; only a small minority have been honest and disclosed the truth. The best hope for child abuse survivors and those of us, who wish the guilty to face justice, is that the police do what they failed to do years ago and investigate the evidence, confront the accused and pass on their findings to the CPS.

    David Hencke is correct to point out that the inquiry into child sex abuse does not exist in a political vacuum. What he fails to point out though is that, while established political figures have everything to lose from being shown to have known about the abuse and failed to do anything, the exposure of the establishment’s role in protecting its own offers newly arrived politicians a fast-track to prominence and power. There is a world of difference in the incentives facing Cameron and Clegg on one hand and say Zac Goldsmith on the other.

    Nor should it be assumed that the outcomes of leadership elections are unimportant. Unless he wins a majority this time, an unlikely event given Farage’s personal animosity, Cameron is going to be replaced. We can expect Osborne and Johnson to do as they are told. There is probably enough evidence of their past in safes around the world to assure that. May however is another matter. Her speech to the Police Federation suggests that they have nothing on her. She will also be able to claim that she acted however imperfectly when shown evidence of historic sexual abuse. Whether stated explicitly or not, May’s campaign will picture her as the female, rank-and-file candidate pitched against the male Establishment. She may find opening up historic child abuse cases to her advantage.

    David Miliband’s recent hint that he may return to UK politics is probably a sign that he has received orders to play his part in shaping Labour politics post-election. Essentially he is to ensure that the neo-liberal consensus on economics is not threatened, that Trident is not scrapped, that the UK stays in the EU and that the truth about the Iraq War and rendition remains secret. Historic child abuse is not the only current subject on which there are powerful forces with a vested interest in hiding the truth. It seems likely that at some point in 2015 the Chilcott Report will be released. Even if it is heavily redacted, there will still be enough for analysts to cross-reference the report and recent revelations in the US. It will also shape the debate on Britain’s involvement in Iraq and Syria, a debate that will continue due to forces behind the scenes intent on again sending in our troops to the Middle East. It is likely that the struggle to establish the truth over the invasion of Iraq in 2003 will have ramifications for the struggle to know the truth about Westminster paedophile rings.

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  7. “Personally I can’t believe anyone actually expected this to happen before the election anyway”, How correct it was always going to end like this don’t blame the victims, the state failed them, from the Social Services, to the Police and the Law, because of the La of Libel (censorship) D notices, the criminals have got away with it. But remember those who have shielded them, could in the end face charges themselves for aiding and abetting and what is the worse crime those who commit them or those who shield them. I think its time to build a new prison, and put those who shielded the criminals straight into it.

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  8. There are 22 names on a list, evidence and victims willing to identify … So why not investigate now? A #CSAinquiry will take at least 5 years (probably as long as Hillisborough) by which time abusers and cover up accomplices will either be dead or senile. That is the true agenda. Postpone the Election until these vile criminals are rounded up and brought to justice. Give victims the priority they deserve.

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    • I think we have to face the fact that the enquiry is dead in the water. The Establishment think they have managed to silence and bury all these allegations. All his not lost, we could hold our own campaign on the Internet during the election campaign, and telling people not to vote as the system is corrupt and the politicians need to go to the police and tell them what they know about these crimes

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  9. and not the people the **noisy survivors**

    So tell me david /exaro when did sharon evans become a child protection expert and Dr Davies bevome no more than a ” vocal minority”

    was that your words or Terry May and her underlings
    I think we should be told dont you ?

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  10. “There is also a 1986 suggestion that sex aids could be banned as “obscene items” which could tend to “corrupt and deprave the public”.

    The suggestion came from then-home secretary Leon Brittan, after a meeting with campaigner Mary Whitehouse.”

    This on BBC today about Mrs Thatcher period of being PM

    Anyone spot the irony here??

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  11. Great article, GB’ legal system is being manipulated by a **vocal minority**like so many other parts of life. Cannot the Judges and lawyers speak out and object to ill thought out legal reforms?

    comment on spiked (vomit) online article almost claiming survivors are just a bunch of liars
    Seems you have a lot in common with the cronies in the Spiked gang

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  12. Surely sufficient evidence now exists to indict some establishment perpetrators. Rather than wait for the CSA issue to be kicked further into the long grass some high profile members of the establishment can be charged and prosecuted. Or don’t we have any members of the police and CPS sufficiently untainted by collusive cover ups to be trusted sufficiently?

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    • A people’s court, be careful with the terminology, you will be portrayed as a branch of the Socialist Workers Party, just stirring up trouble. Will your court have any legal standing of course not, so you unlikely to get the defence to turn up.
      Can I suggest someone making a documentary and broadcasting it on one of the news channels maybe RT and giving it a great deal of publicity beforehand on the Internet.
      You will need assistance with avoiding Libel Laws and I may be able to can provide you a name of a man who knows a lot about Libel and child abuse.

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  13. Hi David,
            I am sorry, but your  blog was the last straw. As a survivor of the care system (I choose not to label myself a victim) I object to being labelled a “vocal minority”.Since when have victims of the care system ever had a “voice”? So there won’t be an Inquiry, blame us then?Bloody journalists, what else did it for me was I had responded to a journalists questions as I always do, to get the word out there. His response was “Had I taken these things to the police back then”
    What? Now why did’nt we think of that!! Oh, we did!!
    I find I am just as angry now as I was back in my NAYPIC days. Indeed as angry as I was as a kid suffering the abuse and injustice of the care system.
    Did we go to the police? Well given Exaro’s recent reports,  I wrote a letter in Sep 1990, (I still have a copy) In it we had identified an address were we knew serious CSA offences, incuding torture and snuff videos were being made. We did pass this info to the Met. What happened , nothing!! No raids, no arrests, no questions.Mark, I am sure you have already identified this address from your victim, “Nick”. It was 130 Lexington Gardens W8, among others!!
    Further we also know that the individuals responsible were planning to attend a “party” in Oct of that year in West Germany were they planned to kill a little boy. Did we tell the police? Yes we did. Not only the Met, but as it was in Germany we informed Europol of what we knew. What did they do? Nothing! We later found out that in fact 3 young kids were murdered at that “party”.The official position of the Met and all other LEA’s was that snuff movies were an urban myth and did not exist.We were labelled as “fantasists” and “scaremongers”.
    As of today, there are hundreds of police “Operations” into historic abuse. Yet there is not one inquiry into how the police handled these complaints previously. I doubt there is a single allegation beeing made that the police were not previously aware of.The officer in charge of this latest one says “trust me, this time it will be different”, how exactly?So as Bob says, they have dropped the security services and private companies from the Inquiries TOR. So wheres the over-arching bit.You are  right, this will dissappear off the political agenda in an election year. It will be just another phoney Inquiry alongside all the others.
    What I cannot understand is this blind faith in the police. Oh we are told give it to the police, they must be given time to investigate, blah, blah!! The police have a well known and well documented history of cover-up stretching back to Kincorra and further. If you want a history lesson, how about the Post Office Boys scandel in the 1880’s. Some of the boys and low level players were prosecuted but not one single punter. They were in the words of the police “respectable gentlemen” of good character!! Fast forward a 100 years to the 1980’s, you have Hedgerow. 144 victims, all boys in care. A few low level players (a clerk, a shoe repairer and a labourer) were prosecuted, but not one single punter. They were all “respectable gentlemen”, MPs, members of House of Lords, Judges and lawyers. Both covered up by the Metropolitan police!! So yeh “Trust us”.Even more up to date. You know as well as I do that Fernbridge has been a successfull cover up. All evidence, not previously hoovered up has now been got. You are as aware as the rest of us, that EGH has been completely ring fenced. Not a single individual has been charged in relation to offences committed there, nor is anybody likely to be charged. Job done!!
    As a fully paid up member of the “vocal minority”, I’ll put in my two pence worth. As a kid in the care system I learnt the hard way, you don’t trust Social Workers and you do NOT trust the police. They are not your freinds and they are not there to help you. I am sure this is still true for kids in care today. As a victim I have a dark, deep hatred of social workers, police, judges and the Establishment. It is a deeply flawed system, rotten to its core at the highest levels and always has been. It is a system that protects nonces at the highest levels at the expense of protecting children in its care.
    Oh, and while we are on the subject of the Inquiry, who is going to investigate the 1,000’s of children who have dissappeared from the care system over the last five decades? Are we leaving that to the police as well?
    chris fay

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    • Chris Fay please contact. David Hencke has my number. You’re absolutely right to be so upset. There was never any intention of uncovering anything at all. What is needed is to bypass the authorities. It’s a bit like writing to Pravda to complain – all that happens is that the complainants are identified and neutralized. This goes far far deeper than s few rotten eggs. The whole system is rotten. So take matters into our own hands. Have a people’s court. Video it and show how rotten the system is. They’ve had long enough and all that’s happened is foot dragging and dodging the issues. There is so much to win and you’ll never win unless you stop waiting for Theresa May to find a ‘safe pair of hands’. Seize the day.

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    • Chris Fay please contact. David Hencke has my number. You’re absolutely right to be so upset. There was never any intention of uncovering anything at all. What is needed is to bypass the authorities. It’s a bit like writing to Pravda to complain – all that happens is that the complainants are identified and neutralized. This goes far far deeper than s few rotten eggs. The whole system is rotten. So take matters into our own hands. Have a people’s court. Video it and show how rotten the system is. They’ve had long enough and all that’s happened is foot dragging and dodging the issues. There is so much to win and you’ll never win unless you stop waiting for Theresa May to find a ‘safe pair of hands’. Seize the day and bypass the system.

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    • “I find I am just as angry now as I was back in my NAYPIC days. Indeed as angry as I was as a kid suffering the abuse and injustice of the care system.
      Did we go to the police? Well given Exaro’s recent reports, I wrote a letter in Sep 1990, (I still have a copy) In it we had identified an address were we knew serious CSA offences, incuding torture and snuff videos were being made. We did pass this info to the Met. What happened , nothing!! No raids, no arrests, no questions.Mark, I am sure you have already identified this address from your victim, “Nick”. It was 130 Lexington Gardens W8, among others!!
      Further we also know that the individuals responsible were planning to attend a “party” in Oct of that year in West Germany were they planned to kill a little boy. Did we tell the police? Yes we did. Not only the Met, but as it was in Germany we informed Europol of what we knew. What did they do? Nothing! We later found out that in fact 3 young kids were murdered at that “party”.The official position of the Met and all other LEA’s was that snuff movies were an urban myth and did not exist.We were labelled as “fantasists” and “scaremongers”.”

      Europol didn’t exist in 1990 did it?

      “The first concrete reference to a European police force is usually attributed to Helmut Kohl. In 1991, at the European Summit in Luxembourg, the German chancellor called for a European police agency to be set up along the lines of the American FBI.”

      “The idea was given more substance in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty on the European Union, which made Justice and Home Affairs one of the three pillars of the new EU. Article K1 (9) of the Treaty provided for police cooperation between member states to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and other international crime, and made explicit reference to a European Police Office (Europol).”
      http://www.europol.europa.eu/content/page/history-149

      “The Europol Convention was fully ratified on 1 October 1998 and Europol became fully operational as from 1 July 1999”
      May-Chahal C and Herczog M (2003) Child Sexual Abuse in Europe. Strasbourg : Council of Europe Publishing
      https://tinyurl.com/pjoklpw

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      • In history one thing is noticeable when a state as no morals at the top, then there will be no morality at the bottom and although everything appears to be business as usual, slowly the cement of morality wears away and the building starts to crumble. How appropriate then that Parliament of the British state is eroding away, physically as well as morally, It does not take a person with a vivid imagination to see the British Establishment and its pseudo democracy been swept away in a moral and economic collapse, which many see happening in the years ahead,
        In my youth anyone who predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union would have been at best as wishful thinking or at worst someone who needed medical help.
        In many ways the legitimacy of the British state is in danger, politicians are morally bankrupt, the Church is both morally and spiritually bankrupt, the economic system is under a strain, and the sense of community is vanishing, and paedophilia is just a symptom of the moral decay of this country, which like other problems of the British state can no longer be swept under the carpet.

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