Update: Julian Lewis beat off rivals Bob Stewart and Richard Benyon to chair the defence select committee for the next five years. Final vote was Julian Lewis 314 and Richard Benyon 242 after Bob Stewart’s votes were redistributed.
If it was a work of fiction about Parliament you would think I have lost the plot. But this year’s election for the defence committee has produced the strangest bedfellows. Jeremy Corbyn, feared Leftie Labour leadership contender,a darling with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and scourge of renewing Britain’s independent deterrent has nominated the most right wing Tory you could possibly find to chair the powerful Commons defence committee.
He is backer of Julian Lewis, a passionate defender of the armed forces and the greatest defender of spending billions on renewing Trident in Parliament. See his campaign link- he’s on a minesweeper to make his point. I am told this extraordinary situation has arisen because Leftie Jeremy and Right winger Julian share a joint passion that overrides their contrary views. Both of them want the issue of Trident properly debated in Parliament – one to destroy any reason for having it , the other to make sure the penny pinching Tory government does not back track on spending money on it. Both are in their own different ways, anti-Establishment, and both believe in a thorough examination of the facts and proper probe into the defence budget is essential and they don’t trust more establishment Tory or Labour MPs to do a thorough job. And the amazing fact is that among Labour MPs Julian has also attracted support from the awkward squad. John McDonnell, another Labour Leftie who also supports abolishing Trident has backed him. So has Kevan Jones, a shadow defence minister, well known for digging deep into any issue – even if he isn’t on the far Left of Labour. Among independent non establishment Tories Julian has the support of Dr Liam Fox, Sarah Wollaston. and Charles Walker. Julian is standing against Richard Benyon and Bob Stewart. Full details on all the candidates are on the House of Commons defence committee website. Result on Wednesday.
Something else is going on behind the scenes isn’t there and it’s not about missiles
When Margaret Hodge’s Islington was shrugging off reports from whistleblowers that children in the council’s care homes were being routinely and brutally abused by its stuff, Jeremy Corbyn was “reassured”.by what he was told.by party colleagues at the Town Hall. He was reassured enough to employ Hodge’s successor Derek Sawyer up until 2010 as his constituency agent, despite Sawyer’s role in ensuring that the council’s investigation would hold no-one publicly responsible for what was done to the children in Islington’s care, or without seeming to notice Sawyer’s involvement in the abusive projects of his friend, the notorious Derek Slade. It’s good Jeremy Corbyn’s not going to let the issue of Trident renewal slip past by default. But perhaps kids in Islington and Gujarat could do with a little bit more attention from Corbyn and the other London MPs of all parties who left them to sink or swim, and apparently are still happy to do so.
Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.
Various social work staff told Islington council officers and councillors about the appalling abuse of children that was taking place in borough care homes in the early 1990s. Neither Margaret Hodge nor her successor Derek Sawyer did anything to allow the perpetrators to be publicly identified. More than two decades later they have still not been officially identified, allowing some of them to move into positions of authority elsewhere.
Why does Trident appear to be the easy target for Jeremy Corbyn’s political concern while Islington Council’s treatment of the children in its care remains an intractable problem not just for him but for Emily Thornberry, Chris Smith and George Cunningham as well. Did the fact that the borough’s children in care weren’t on the electoral role make them invisible from Westminster?
If Jeremy Corbyn wants to show the nation that he’s fit to chair the Defence Committee or lead the Labour Party the place to start is on his own doorstep.
Sorry, “… the fact that the borough’s children in care weren’t on the electoral roll …”
To his credit, Jeremy Corbyn is one of the paltry 45 MPs who’ve signed John Mann’s EDM 38 “CHILD ABUSE AND THE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT 1989”
That this House believes that justice for the survivors of child abuse should be a priority for the Government; notes that concerns have been raised by current and former police officers and special branch officers that by coming forward with evidence related to child abuse they could be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act 1989; and calls on the Government to introduce legislation to remove the threat of prosecution for anyone who has reasonable cause to believe that the information, document or article they disclose is relevant to an official investigation of, or inquiry into, historic child abuse.
And Julian Lewis isn’t.
Guardian TimeLine by Tash Shifrin of Islington politicians’ failure to respond to child sexual abuse in Islington care homes (to 2003 – reluctant apology to Demetrious Panton extracted from Margaret Hodge):
The Islington politicians’ reply to Liz Davies questions asking why nothing was done when she reported what was going on hasn’t yet materialised. Perhaps now would be a good time for Jeremy Corbyn to suggest that he and his fellow MPs and local Islington Labour Party members get their act together – an explanation is still required.
Hopefully another former Islington “name” nominated to chair another committee – Stephen Twigg and the International Development Committee – will do his best to prod his memory and see what belated contribution he can make to ensuring that the children of Islington abused while in his care too are able to pursue justice. Twigg has apologised for being, like Corbyn, too willing to accept assurances but he still has to explain why, and why he and his colleagues at the time have remained silent about terrible injustices in the years since. Stephen Twigg deserves to be commended for his efforts to ensure that that Omar al-Bashir, the author of the mass rape and killing of children In Darfur, is brought to justice. There are survivors of his own era in Islington who are waiting for him to show a similar commitment at home.
This is why Jeremy Corbyn should have spoken out about Derek Sawyer’s role in anonymising the perpetrators of abuse in Islington care homes. As long as the identity of the perpetrators remains concealed, vulnerable children are at risk today.
” Real Stories Gallery @HIVstories 17h17 hours ago
#CSAinquiry must at the very least ensure all the perpetrators who worked in all the Islington Children’s Homes R not working with kids 2day
9:06 AM – 22 Jun 2015″
Corbyn was told by a group of Islington social workers, again by the journalist Eileen Fairweather and by the abusee Demetrious Panton – three times at least, he listened politely and he did nothing. He’s had the opportunity to show that he hasn’t turned a blind eye but all he can say is that the allegations in John Mann’s letter are serious and need to be investigated.
Another characteristically thorough piece by Guy Adams. Why is this being left to the Mail to pursue? What’s happened to Nick Davies at The Guardian?
David I don’t think you’ve “lost the plot” but you do seem to have abandoned it as it was developing into something you with your involvement in the Exaro CSA investigations should have at least appeared to be interested in:
“Ceylon Today” – “Ad Hominem, Mr. Corbyn”, article by Padraig Colman, ministerial advisor on child protection for the Department of Health 1994-1997.
Colman declares himself a life-long Labour Party supporter who can envisage no circumstances under which he would vote conservative. His sympathies lie with the left of the Labour Party, and he considers himself a natural Corbyn supporter, except that he has a big problem with Corbyn – the history of Islington Council and child abuse.
From 1994 to 1997, I was a ministerial advisor on child protection for the Department of Health. I have seen the files. I know what was going on. There were serious and credible allegations that some care homes for children in Islington operated as brothels, with small children hired out for sexual abuse. Islington Council doggedly tried to obstruct the investigation. The main culprit was Margaret Hodge (former Minister for children – the irony!) who now chairs the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, but was then leader of Islington Council. She was strongly supported in her obstructionism by Jeremy Corbyn.
As recently as November 2014, Corbyn in effect lied to the House of Commons. He implied that, although there had been instances of sexual abuse of children in Islington, the Council had investigated and done their best to put things right. In fact, he knows fine well that Islington Council fought tooth and nail to avoid an investigation.
When a report was prepared, they blocked its publication for 20 years.
It was Hodge’s successor as Council Leader, Derek Sawyer, who commissioned the White Report. Ian White was Director of Social Services for Oxfordshire.
His report was a damning one and blamed the failures of Islington social services on extreme left-wing culture fostered by Hodge and Corbyn. More than 30 care workers were involved in abuse. All but one went on to work with children elsewhere.
The White Report was completed in 1995 and received a good deal of attention in the media at the time. However, the text was not published until 2014, in heavily redacted form. Islington Council has been covering up for over 20 years. They shredded every incriminating file, sacked whistle-blowers, slandered victims.
Complete article at https://www.ceylontoday.lk/51-99971-news-detail-ad-hominem-mr-corbyn.html