What should the left really want from the Westminster Pedophile Enquiries?

by Ray_North on July 9, 2014

Unknown-2Right, come on, let’s face it, when those of us on the left hear about stories of pedophile rings at the heart of the establishment at the time of the Thatcher government, our instinct is to hope that this will lead to a story of such monumental awfulness that it will see the Tory party crashing down around its ears, never to surface again.

We want names. We want details, though not too salacious, just enough to prove what we have always known – that they were a bad bunch of bastards, who would stoop at nothing to satisfy their evil immoral ways.

I understand that and I admit that that’s what I first thought when I heard that questions from Tom Watson were being asked a year or so ago, and that the story was rumbling along again.

And, I can justify it to myself, because, as someone who has a healthy contempt for the ‘establishment’ there are few things more odious and dangerous than a bunch of privileged people using the levers of the government to protect themselves.

But, this should not be the main story.

It appears that the abused children in this case, if there is any substance to the allegations at all, were deprived kids from difficult backgrounds who found themselves vulnerable to the predilections of powerful men. And that, just as much as our suspicion of the establishment, should concern each and everyone of us.

Although it is true that the abuse of children occurs in all walks of life and strata of society – it is just as true, that the children who can be best protected from it, are those who are placed into the care of the state, or who should be offered the care of the state – because the state is there to protect children. It is difficult to protect children from abuse within the family home (that is all to do with good parenting), similarly it is difficult to protect children from predatory random pedophiles (thankfully very rare, indeed far too rare to justify the hype about stranger-danger that we subject our kids to), but, we can, surely, ensure that the state has the resources to look after children.

I’ve just finished a trial where I was prosecuting a rural pedophile ring. All the children involved came from hopeless families who had suffered from generations of neglect, poverty and failure. The children were ill-served by social services and forgotten by the education system, and, as such found themselves in a situation where they were easy prey for unscrupulous men who started by making the children feel special and wanted, and ended up by, without doubt, destroying their lives.

As I trawled through the social services and educational files about these kids, it was obvious that the particular local authority involved was so under-resourced that it was almost impossible for them to monitor, assist and intervene in the case of these children, and as such they simply got lost and then abused.

I have no doubt that the children involved in the ‘Westminster Pedophile’ ring, if it existed, will have come from similar backgrounds, and will have been let down by the state in three ways, first, for not protecting them, then, for allowing those at it’s heart to abuse them, and third, by covering up that abuse. We’re all interested in the second and third elements, the gossipy elements, but we must not lose sight of the first element, because each of us has a duty to protect children by ensuring that the state we live in has the tools at its disposal to do the job properly.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Fionauk512 July 9, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Couldn’t agree more.


John Dunn July 16, 2014 at 11:32 am

What should the left really want from the Westminster Pedophile Enquiries?
Whatever results, we first want the right person to head up the process, and it was self evident that Elisabeth Butler-Sloss, was not that person?
If I could make a suggestion, I would be confident that someone like Shami Chakrabarti could handle such an important task. She may of course require some technical / legal support, but a civil servant and barrister to aid her work would (to me), seem perfectly reasonable, do-able, and I think the public would have confidence of no establishment interfering in her investigations?


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