The political bollocks, ignorance and cover-up protecting sociopathic sexuality: another double-header from The Slog

As a distinguished blogger pointd out to me yesterday, the paedophile scandal is turning into a cross between political football and media circus. The protection of paedophiles is inevitable given the attitudes of the entire Establishment, not just one Party.

There is too often a tendency in our culture to assume that high-sounding organisations and dramatic pleas are enough to ensure delivery of policy. This is and always has been rubbish. In the Children’s Commissioner Report of exactly one year ago today, this is what its leaders had to say about threats to children:

The four UK Children’s Commissioners will today call for an urgent reassessment of the impact of the Coalition Government’s Spending Review on the needs of vulnerable children.

In a joint report to mark the International Day of the Child, the Commissioners outline serious concerns at the high levels of persistent poverty across the UK.  They highlight the need for children to be given priority in national and local budgets so that vital children’s services are protected.’

Note how this opener rings with urgent spending reassessments, International Child Days, and vital children’s services. In an age of austerity, it is obviously a politicised Quango: there is no thought for quality, only systems. How wrong this emphasis looks a year on. And how the next paragraph in the introductory section screams ignorance about the situation on the ground:

‘The report also examines progress made in five areas – participation, children with disabilities, child poverty, children seeking asylum and juvenile justice – against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, an internationally binding minimum standard for all children and young people that was ratified by the UK Government twenty years ago.’

Not a single mention of endemic sexual abuse in Britain’s care home, social services and educational sectors. Just another overtly agitprop swipe using the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. And a blatant attempt to suggest that Britain doesn’t match up to its ‘requirements’.

“Hey guys, we got us a convention. Problem solved”.

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Let’s look at real figures in the real world of child vulnerability. Child abuse and neglect in the UK today (Radford et al, 2011) is a major piece of NSPCC research which interviewed 1,761 young adults aged 18-24 years; 2,275 children aged 11-17 years and 2,160 parents of children aged under 11. It found that One in six children aged 11-17 (16.5%) have experienced sexual abuse, and almost one in 10 children aged 11-17 (9.4%) have experienced sexual abuse in the past year.

A staggering 17,727 sexual crimes against children under 16 were recorded in England and Wales in 2010/11. That’s recorded, mind you: the Police estimate that under a third of victims report the crime. Significantly, during 2010/11 fewer than 10% of cases ended in a conviction. This is a miserable detection rate for such a serious offence.

The Slog’s position remains the same, and will do until somebody empowered to remove this stain on our culture starts to tackle it: somebody is doing this stuff to our children, and apart from the odd exception, the big fish aren’t being caught. People keep asking me, “But how did Savile get away with it?” and I’m afraid the answer is, “By creating exactly the kind of climate of litigational fear in the media in which Lord McAlpine is engaged right now.

On now to the CC report for 2012. Look how one media furore instantly wakes up this children’s quango:

If the recent allegations against Jimmy Savile are true, a conspiracy of silence allowed him and those who acted with him to continue to rape children with impunity for decades. It is too easy to simply blame the BBC as if what happened was entirely due to a failure in one organisation.’

Er…where were you then? But this time, the CC lays out – at last – the full extent of sex-abuse incidence:

The reality is that each year thousands of children in England are raped and abused from as young as 11 years by people seeking to humiliate, violate and control them and the impact on their lives is often devastating.’

 But the report is NOT chiefly about institutional systemic abuse: once again, an organisation dedicated to scoring political points refuses to aim any blame at the people employed in those systems. Apart from minute passing mention of ‘we know that children are sexually exploited in contexts other than in gangs and groups’, the Report focuses entirely on social group theory:

 ‘This report, coming at the end of the first year of this Inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children in gangs and groups, has uncovered for the first time the extent to which children in England are being sexually exploited. We publish the number of known victims over a set period of time but can say with certainty that our figures are an undercounting of the true scale of this form of abuse. We know that because there were some notable gaps, with a few local authorities failing to do so.’

 Oooh, I can’t imagine why they’d do that.

Just as on the Right there is a fear that the rich, powerful and well-placed might be heavily involved, so too on the Left there is an unwillingness to accept that trained professionals are in turn a major problem. Ed Balls’s daft suggestion of vetting 12 million citizens with access to children four years ago was in itself an unconscious desire to suggest that few if any perverts were already in the system.

I am increasingly convinced – as this investigation begins to unfold, unravel, and then get shoved into a smoke-filled Hall of mirrors – that the key factor here is protection of established interest groups: but the primary need is to consider the children, not the consequences. And in this regard, the problem is not a political one: like most disaster-areas in 2012, it is a cultural malaise.

This first part of today’s double-feature has tried to clear the confusion as to how most paedophile rings are allowed to flourish undetected. That is,

  1. The crime rarely results in a conviction.
  2. Many police forces seem reluctant to persist
  3. The UK’s political Establishment has a vested interest in covering up the scale of the problem
  4. From the Child Commissioners via Ed Balls and Harriet Harman, through to previous Home Secretaries like Ken Clarke and Jack Straw, the machinery set up to police the institutions with privileged and secret access to children is dysfunctional.
  5. Bizarrely, this factor too revolves around a curious unwillingness to reform anything.

Even without a predilection for wild conspiracy theory, all five of those realities above should be enough to suggest to open-minded people that the existence of a particularly pernicious ‘protection racket’ may well be in play here.

This afternoon, The Slog will look more closely at one especially controversial case which – more than most – acts as the perfect exemplar of what I believe to be the main driver in this regard: Establishment fear of the Unknown Paedophile.