Tag Archives: child abuse

On the process of political smearing

Labour Leadership 2015I wasn’t planning to write another blogpost on the Labour leadership election. (I hope I’m not going to be starting a lot of blogposts over the next few weeks with that sentence.)

I don’t have a vote because although I’m a member of an affiliated organisation (which has sent me a mailshot about the election) I didn’t register for a vote because I am a member of the Scottish Green Party. So I’m just waiting for 12th September, like everyone else who doesn’t qualify for a vote, which is 99.0472% of the population of the UK.

610,753 people do have a vote, and according to most polls the majority currently plan to vote Jeremy Corbyn.
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Filed under Politics

Cyril Smith and Rochdale

Cyril SmithIn 1962, when Cambridge House in Rochdale was opened to give young men a clean safe place to stay, Cyril Smith was 34, already an important man in the local community, and he seems to have regarded it as his private pleasure centre. The hostel ran from 1962 to 1965, Cyril Smith had keys and could come and go at any time, and was responsible for bringing in several boys to live there who’d been in difficult home situations, often then to work for the local authority, so that Smith would have control both over their jobs and over their home. Continue reading

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Filed under Bread, Children, Corruption, Justice, Police

Mail attacks Labour

Adrian Hilton, Archbishop CranmerDoes Adrian Hilton – former Conservative party candidate, who blogs for the Daily Mail – really believe that Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey and Patricia Hewitt are paedophiles or support child abuse?

On his personal blog, using his preferred pseudonym “Archbishop Cranmer”, Adrian Hilton writes:

But when three current Labour politicians – former officers of National Council for Civil Liberties – are confronted with documented links to something that really was called the Paedophile Information Exchange, and when it is set down in black and white that this group really did agitate for all of the aforementioned ‘progressive’ policies, you have to wonder why Ed Miliband has not at least instigated an internal inquiry and done a few background checks on Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey and (former MP) Patricia Hewitt. Instead, he declared that he doesn’t “set any store by these allegations”, and that Harriet Harman in particular is a person of “huge decency and integrity”.

The evidence (if it be) has been set out in the Daily Mail, even alleging that “the Labour government of the time may have helped finance the organisation”.

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Filed under Children, In The Media, Justice

Making invisible the victims of child abuse

Cardinal Sean Brady In June 2012, Cardinal Brady – who in 1975 had let a child abuser loose to prey on further victimspublicly if not very personally apologised:

Cardinal Sean Brady has said it is “a matter of deep shame” that the Catholic Church did not always respond properly to victims of child abuse.

The Catholic primate of all Ireland was delivering a homily at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.

He said he wanted to ask for the forgiveness of abuse victims.

He said the church had “first betrayed their trust and then failed to respond adequately to their pain”.

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Filed under Children, Human Rights, Religion, Women

What’s black and white and read all over?

Lord Justice Leveson - the Leveson InquiryOver the past week, there was a big row in the press about three children who had been fostered for eight weeks by a couple who were members of UKIP (and who were heterosexual, as UKIP does not hold with gay foster parents).

The story the press were telling was that the evil social workers of Rotherham had taken these children away from righteous foster parents just because of the fosterers party membership. This was a good story and got lots of people talking seriously about UKIP and grumbling about social workers.

By the way, between social workers and a newspaper, I’m more likely to trust the social workers. Social workers are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to child protection. If they take children away from their parents, the media get on their case, attacking the social workers for breaking up families and acting with unbridled power.

If they leave children with their parents and the children are seriously hurt or killed, the media get on their case, attacking the social workers for failing to protect the children.
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Filed under Elections, In The Media, J. K. Rowling

Lord McAlpine is a taxdodger

Much of the mainstream press is awash with very public horror at the thought that the government might legislate regulation on the national press if that’s what Lord Leveson recommends.

Last week, Lord McAlpine’s lawyers met with the Metropolitan Police to begin what Scotland Yard calls a “scoping exercise” to discover if the police can treat the tweeting and retweeting of the allegations that McAlpine abused children as a criminal offence. I saw no mainstream press expressing horror that this might lead to legal curbs on a free press. Scotland Yard said:

“We have not received an allegation of crime at this time, however, we can confirm we will be meeting with interested parties to start the process of scoping whether any offence has taken place. It is far too early to say whether any criminal investigation will follow.”

Lawyers for McAlpine said they had identified up to 10,000 allegedly defamatory tweets about the former Tory party treasurer.

They announced plans to sue Twitter users and broadcasters, including the BBC and ITV, for libel following the inaccurate Newsnight report into child sex abuse on 2 November.

You might ask – as Tom Pride does – why a man who opts to live in Italy rather than pay his taxes in the UK, is getting this kind of special treatment from the Metropolitan Police. Let him call upon the Italian police to investigate Twitter, since he chooses to live there.

Lord LevesonTomorrow, Lord Leveson will publish his recommendations from the Leveson enquiry.
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Filed under Equality, In The Media, Poverty

Money talk, money silence

According to the Daily Mirror, Alastair McAlpine is presently engaged in the largest libel case in British history.

He intends to sue about 10,000 people, unless they come forward and offer him an apology and a settlement. Maybe more.

Their crime is either to have tweeted or to have retweeted an allegation that Lord McAlpine was one of the men who raped Steven Messham. Lord McAlpine was not the “McAlpine” apparently identified by the police to Steven Messham: it seems that was probably Alastair McAlpine’s cousin Jimmie McAlpine, who died in 1991.

Keith Gregory said he thought a different member of the McAlpine family who lived locally may have been mistaken for Lord McAlpine.

A man who children at the care home believed to be a McAlpine would arrive there in an expensive car, he said.
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Filed under Children, Equality, In The Media, Poverty