Poll for Today: Child sex allegations

Resigned: Baroness Butler-Sloss.

Resigned: Baroness Butler-Sloss.

Vox Political received a message yesterday (October 7) from a vociferous critic – especially of the Labour Party – as follows: “Do you have any comment on or condemnation of the child grooming and sexual expoitation gangs curently in operation in Labour-held Middlesbrough? If you can answer why it always seems to be Labour-held areas and councils, it would be much appreciated too.”

This blog receives many similar queries, and most are dismissed as attempts to use the suffering of young children in order to score political points.

That being said, it may be just as damaging to ignore such queries as it is to give them any credence, as people may then fall into an unjustified belief that the Labour Party tolerates paedophilia.

It seems far more likely to this observer that the Labour Party is showing honesty about what it is finding in parts of the country where it runs the local authorities. Vox Political‘s response to the question ran as follows:

“According to the BBC, many councils are now investigating whether their area has a problem. My first question would be, why aren’t they all doing it and which party holds the ones that aren’t?

“Second logical deduction is that Labour is being honest about what is happening in areas it holds. That’s actually good, because it’s a necessary step towards stopping it from happening.

“Third thought is to wonder whether the Tories will be covering up any wrongdoing in the areas they hold. We never found out what happened about Leon Brittan and the missing dossier, did we?

“Labour’s attitude seems far more productive here – get the issue out in the open and sort it out. The Conservative response – cover it up – seems far more likely to allow the problem to continue.”

Did we ever find out what happened to the dossier that was given to Leon Brittan when he was Home Secretary, back in the 1980s? Didn’t it include the names of several prominent – Conservative – cabinet ministers?

Lord Tebbit is on record as saying that the Conservative attitude has been not to “rock the boat”. This year, the current Home Secretary, Theresa May, appointed Baroness Butler-Sloss to head an inquiry into historical cases of child abuse – only for the lady she chose to resign under pressure from the social media that there was a clear conflict of interest. May’s latest choice, Fiona Woolf, is also facing ‘conflict of interest’ allegations over a connection with – surprise, surprise! – Leon Brittan. She said she would be “making a statement” but at the time of writing that has yet to see the light of day.

So it seems, to this observer, that a choice between the Labour approach and that of the Conservatives is a choice between on one hand, realising there is a problem and trying to do something about it, and on the other, denying that there is a problem and trying to hide any evidence in fear of where it might lead.

But what do you think? Here’s today’s poll:

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30 thoughts on “Poll for Today: Child sex allegations

  1. joanna may

    Hi Mike It might have been easier for me, to vote on your poll if you had a none option. As it is I don’t feel comfortable because I have never seen justice for myself, on this exact subject, nor do I ever hope to!!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Whose approach do you think is best, based on the evidence that has been provided in the media?

      1. joanna may

        I’m sorry Mike I shouldn’t have responded only because, with my mental condition, I have not watched tv for 6 years nor listened to radio for over 10 years. I have watched the same dvd for 5 years, so your blog is the only way I know what is going on. If you bring up a subject that interests me, then I will look it up and learn more, and I never ever buy or read newspapers/magazines.

        So partly my opinions are based on personal experience, and partly what I read in your blog.

        Thank you Mike!

        ( I also miss your brother’s historical slant on things, I’m interested in history)

    2. anon

      I’ve avoided TV since 1993 when a couple of days cold turkey waiting for a repair man demonstrated to me that my quality of life would be immesurably better without it. This was mercifully just before the intrusion of reality-tv, ‘Big Brother’ (which I have never seen) and all the rest.

      Radio 4 was permanantly unplugged when it saw a dumbing-down purge of interesting content, by bringing in the likes of (posthumously outed pedo) John Peel to patronise younger listeners (as I was then).

      Print newspapers were cancelled in 1998 as soon as I got an internet connection at home.

      Nowadays I look on in shocked and nauseated disbelief when I see these boxes (now often taking up most of a wall of their sittingrooms…rechristened ‘TV rooms’ in many cases) blaring out in other people’s homes. Their (and their kids’) brains are being boiled like frogs, and frankly I don’t have much hope for our nation (or even the human race) while my fellow citizens are letting themselves be hypnotised by this junk. And they are all, ultimately, responsible for what they are filling their minds with.

      This is where the ‘Spirit of ’45’ just upped and went. No wonder Cameron could creep in and steal what was left of their welfare state and culture…while they were sleeping…

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        A word of caution: As far as I can tell, it has not been proved that John Peel was a paedophile. In 2012, after the BBC announced that part of Broadcasting House, the Egdon Wing, would be renamed the Peel Wing, some newspaper articles referred to a relationship between Peel and a 15-year-old girl in 1969 during which she became pregnant, and it was announced in October 2012 that the decision would be reviewed. However no outcome of this review has been announced, and consequently the building is still known as the Peel Wing. Two years is a long time to run an investigation and come up with nothing. I’m not saying you’re wrong; just that you should not be making allegations without evidence.

  2. samspruce

    When you say “But what do you think? Here’s today’s poll:” I imagine there will be a question to answer and some radio buttons or something. Is it that my browser is not displaying something or am I misunderstanding because I see no poll?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Your browser isn’t displaying something. The poll is up and many people have responded already.

      1. samspruce

        Chrome is getting useless and I am being pushed to use IE more and more. What a corrupt world we live in. 🙁 Thanks for the info. 🙂

  3. Tony Dean

    Unfortunately with no option for neither in the poll I can’t take part in it.
    Plus the concentration on a racial element is taking the public gaze away from long term paedophile rings amongst those in positions of power and influence that were blocked from investigation by the security services decades ago that are at long last being investigated by the police.
    When those investigations become public no mainstream political party will be squeaky clean, and neither will any other area of the establishment.
    I will not go any further on the subject as I have been subjected to recent fishing expeditions wanting information, but I have no intention of wrecking the investigation.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You don’t have an option for neither in the real world.
      I left it at two buttons for a reason – you have to make a choice or you don’t get heard.

      1. Tony Dean

        I can’t make a choice because New Labour, Tory , and Lib-Dem run councils have had the same problem.
        Anyone trying to politicise or racialise it is just wrong.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Who are these ‘New’ Labour-run councils? Do you mean Labour? New Labour hasn’t existed since 2010.
        They have all had the same problem – the question wasn’t about that. It was about whose approach was better.

      3. samspruce

        Oh no! More false references to “The Real World”. When people talk about the “real world” what I hear is cognitive dissonance. You have two people, as I write who, have clearly illustrated there are more than the choices you offered in the real “real world”. They chose to not fall into the trap and to make a statement to that effect. I think their statements are possibly more revealing than the poll results.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        There’s no cognitive dissonance here. You get what you vote for and in this country, at the moment, that means you get Lab or Con. If you don’t vote, you still get Lab or Con. I don’t see the comments to which you refer either – which two people?

      5. joanna may

        Mike in the real world or not, there has to be some middle ground, otherwise all the victims of this cruel world will never be heard, therefore important lesson would never be learnt, especially for future generations.

        I have just read about Thomas More, on voting on Henry Viii’s supremacy, he said, to vote for he would lose his soul,
        to vote against he would lose is body!

        I know it isn’t the same here, but for the victims of abuse, it might as well be, when the 2 choices are as distasteful as each other.

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        But are they? Are they as distasteful as each other? As I stated in the article, Labour appears ready to admit that crimes are taking place and try to take steps to prevent them, while all the evidence on the Tory side is that they’ll cover it up. I don’t see those as being equal in any way.

  4. Rob

    The other side to this is that, in general, the people being exploited are young, vulnerable working class girls, and it’s simply a fact of life that there are more of these available for exploitation in Labour-voting areas.
    It’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. These girls have historically been abandoned by society, regarded as ‘little slags’ and sexually promiscuous almost by their very nature. The right has never cared about them before. In fact, we’ve often seen vindictive proposals to punish them for being vulnerable. But now, in a cynical game, the right has decided to cry a few crocodile tears in order to make openly racist accusations about our Muslim and Pakistan-originated communities.
    The traditional disdain for young working class women runs deeply right across our society, from Tory ministers to shop floor trades unionists, and yes from middle class feminists to young working class men. We’re all at fault in one way or another.

    1. anon

      Agreed and other demographics, such as hunger and poverty, have a bearing on this. In most of the interviews I’ve read with survivors, they were tempted in with free meals, pocket money and treats which would have held little attraction for kids from an affluent, Tory-voting area.

      When we have (as reports now tell us) children in deprived areas roaming the streets foraging through dustbins because their families’ benefits have been capped and sanctioned, then we have government policy turning out easy pickings for such gangs.

      Historically such gangs have always flourished in working class areas anyway – albeit that their members may buy houses in posh areas and vote Tory themselves.

  5. Levinas

    ‘If you can answer why it always seems to be Labour-held areas and councils…’, that what? Always seem to be exposing the abuse? Perhaps the Conservative led areas are less willing to do the work to expose it? They certainly are taking their sweet time with the ‘investigation’ into historical abuse that encompasses their party alongside other organisations.

  6. wrjones2012

    Whenever I see these statements about Rotherham,I always answer by saying that whilst they were indeed entirely tragic events;At worst in Rotherham the Labour run Council stand accused of covering up the abuse of young girls.Whereas in the case of members of Thatcher’s Cabinet,they actually carried out the abuse themselves!

    Oh yes we are not talking here of.if you like,two a penny Local Councillors in the case of Rotherham,we are talking about Ministers of the Crown whose job was supposed to have been running the country,instead of being involved in the vilest abuse of vulnerable young boys like in the case of Bryn Estyn Children’s Home near Wrexham not far from where I write this.

    It is also known that Thatcher herself was actively involved in the cover up of her Minister’s sins along with MI5/MI6.Security Services who were not concerned with any defence of the realm but in defence of the reputations of truly vile men.

  7. Roland Scales

    I’d be interested to know what might be lurking behind the question, given the tendency of the extreme right to dismiss its opposition as either zionist or paedophile (or both.)

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      As the person who asked it I can categorically state that there was no ulterior motive behind it. I simply wanted to know which approach people think is better.

  8. artmanjosephgrech

    This is a subject which I have studied in some depth. After Labour came to power in 1997 Frank Dobson then Health Secretary admitted following the publication of the disastrously ineffective Children Like Us report that had it been possible to prosecute Governments for child neglect the record over the previous couple of decades would result successful prosecutions. At that point the decision by Conservative and Labour administrations to cover up the existing knowledge of the scale of crimes of physical including sexual violence against vulnerable children and young adults, including the involvement of “establishment” VIP#s was not just kept secret, but there was proactive action using the security services and police and through agents using the media to ridicule the idea of rings, sex parties and satanic form rituals where under age adolescents usually from or who had been in care homes were trafficked. A prime example of the cover is Christian Walmar’s book in 2000 Forgotten children although this is the only study of the width of the problem and his assessment of causes in the final chapter is excellent albeit understated.

    We had to wait for a decade and half before the emerging truth about the life of Savile led Peter McKelvie to give his evidence of the cover up in relation to Peter Righton to Tom Watson and his question to the Prime Minister in October 2012 to set in train developments which have now resulted in the Coalition making the issue the number one domestic priority, following representations by over 140 Members of the House of Commons from all political parties in England and Wales ( and Northern Ireland) but only recently in Scotland. In additional to the work of the National Crime Agency all 43 Police forces in England and wales have formed a overview group as they trawl records in relation to the establishment figures under investigation as well as the handling of “historical” allegations complaints.

    The Coalition Ministers shocked at what was being revealed, and with the Scottish referendum, the general election and the potential in out EEC referendum as well as Economic and foreign policy matters as priorities attempted to take action to deal with the present while leaving a number of separate bodies, The BBC, The Catholic and C of E Churches combining, an overarching Health Service look at Savile plus investigations into every establishment where someone had come forward with allegations( including some 20 homes and schools) identified to the Minister of Education as the means of dealing with new question about why and what was needing pending the outcome of the police inquires and those of the IPCC. Most significant was the need to hold a major inquiry again in relation to what happened in North Wales with the Macur review of why the Waterhouse inquiry restricted its terms of reference to crimes against children homes and rather like the first Hillsborough inquiry with its 3.15 cut off point Waterhouse did not look at the trafficking of children from care for use of others in other parts of the UK and the failure to give a date when the review will be published suggesting finding akin to Hillsborough.

    We were originally told that the second jointly chaired inquiry in the Missing Home Office files would take 6 to 8 weeks but now it is likely to be grouped with the completion of the
    Department of Health individual and overarching reviews, those ordered by, the Education Secretary of State and the BBC report when I would hope the opportunity will be taken for a rethink of the July announced Hillsborough style documentation review to establish the extent and nature of the failure of institutions to care and protect and make recommendations.. In fairness the government was bounced into announcing the inquiry by the all party political pressure and which led to extraordinary admission of the cover up by the establishment by Norman Tebbit on the Andrew Marr show.

    So in fact both major political parties where there is evidence of collusion have made disclosure albeit Labour back in the late I990’s and a new statement by a Labour Grandee would be helpful to re-establishing an a political approach to the past and achieving consensus on the future.

    Unfortunately social media branded the Home Secs documents review (schedule to last four to five years as only when all the prosecutions and inquiries are completion with any meaningful overview become possible… remember there was to have been a Leveson 2) as a Child Sex Abuse Inquiry which was never the intention and the clamour of a small group of individual survivors to be involved also complicated the position. The proposed People’s Tribunal was a possible solution although ti appears to have into difficulties.

    Turning to the specific accusations against Labour, the involvement in many situation historically is not surprising as over the Thatcher years the majority of urban local care authorities were Labour, but if you examine the number of investigations you will find there were many in Conservative un local authorities. The notion of freedom was taken up by some leading lefties with local government involvement in the 1970’s with the National Council Civil Liberties being a focus. Individual Insurance companies told local authorities they would not be covered if they admitted the truth and several inquiry reports were never published, individual protectionism was provide via Trade Unions and Freemasonry which again cuts across party political boundaries together with local and regional tribalism,.

    Those who involved especially survivors will have to wait a year or two before the kind fo truth and meaningful sense of justice as well as institutional changes become a reality. The publication of the Rotherham report reinforces the view of the Coalition and Labour, of the Police and service providers that while the hiustorical review is necessary, the focus must be on the present. I would like to see a national study of what happened to survivors, how many have committed suicide and how many have had their children taken into care

    Colin Smart
    A Director of Social Services 1974-1992

  9. Michele Witchy Eve

    It can’t be coincidence that it is mostly in Labour wards that high levels/organised child abuse appears to occur, since these are usually the same wards with huge numbers of people who do not vote Conservative and therefore usually have their councils budgets cut to the bone and beyond.

    The kind of people who are involved in this kind of abuse have always sought to do so on some kind of organised basis, even on the small scale, and they are only party-members by default and not be deliberate design. However, birds of a feather will attract each other.

    I’m old enough to remember when stories of orchestrated child sexual abuse were talked about on our estates back in the ’70s and they have continued to be discussed and feared each decade since (even ignoring press stories such as the satanic abuse scares). Gossip has always had it that there were those in authority that would, at the very least, turn a blind eye even while we, parents, accepted that it was more to do with lack of service and financial provision that was the cause of the blindness. It is the reason many of us at the lower end of the economic scale have a deep mistrust of govt. departments and children’s services in particular. My own child is now an adult but it still makes us both shudder to remember when Social Services knocked on the door with ‘anonymous information’. Even when at a severe personal crisis point in the late 90’s early 2000’s I would not have considered Social Services as the place to care for my child. Talking to youngsters and parents today tends to suggest not much has changed and, indeed, has worsened. That any council ward is willing to seriously address these issues is to be welcomed and encouraged. How they go about dealing with it is another matter. More importantly, without proper funding, staff levels and proper oversight I pity each and every council trying to find solutions to this and other serious problems involving our children’s lives. The threat to privatise these services is chilling and prompts deep paranoia.

  10. Michele Witchy Eve

    Amendment: I was wrong to suggest that it is solely the Conservatives that have cut funding to children’s services. It has been an on-going problem, to a greater or lesser extent, as far back as memory serves.

Comments are closed.