This is a spat between two extremes, and it is not taking the debate anywhere
While I do realise this is not the most original parallel in the world, I do think it apt: reading the news and analysis around the world in 2015 is like watching fifty Monty Python parrot sketches in different contexts.
Voter: I’ve come about this economic recovery you sold me last May.
Osborne: Did I? Might’ve done…
V: Oh yes, trust me, you did. Look at it.
O: What about it?
V: It’s just sittin’ there.
O: Yeh wull, that’s what economies do. Beautiful financial services yer Economy Britannicus.
V: That’s as maybe squire, but the problem is it’s dead.
O: Nar snot. It’s just restin’. Look, it’s sitting quite happily there, restin’.
V: It’s sittin’ cos you used 240 billion quid’s worth of QE glue to stick it to the bloody perch.
And so on and so on. But as time goes on, one realises that in our unreal politico-media world, where there is a debate, more often than not both the positions being adopted are equally mad. It’s as if Michael Palin insists the parrot is dead and John Cleese insists it isn’t, but in reality Palin sold a sick parrot and Cleese then starved it to death when he got home: they’re both lying.
Thus, capitalism is sick but socialism would kill it. Syrians are escaping Assad, but the forces against him would make things worse. Putin didn’t shoot down the MH17, but he did use false flag forces in Eastern Ukraine. Merkel was show-boating on refugees, but opportunists increased her discomfiture. And VW cheated on diesel emissions, but so do most car producers.
Now we have the Panorama rubbishing of Westminster VIP paedophile circles evidence, and the Exaro news team’s conviction that they did and quite possibly still do exist. Once again, I find both sides’ positions unconvincing.
I think the Panorama team has done Britain as a nation a great service in returning a degree of sanity to the question of systemic paedophilia in our institutional sector. It has been hugely exaggerated by those who seek fame and gain. But the idea that paedophile rings simply don’t exist doesn’t follow. And it is here too that Exaro has done some sterling – in fact, non pareil – work in showing further examples of corrupt policemen doing the bidding of Party politicians and senior members of the judiciary to pervert the course of justice. However, my view is also that they have been naive (as I was at first) in their willingness to believe those whose sole motive is money.
To drill down into the most infamous case of all, Jimmy Savile did not “groom a nation”: being dead, he has become a convenient bin into which ‘responsibility’ for heinous crimes can be chucked. But somebody did some of those crimes. And in turn, I am reasonably satisfied that Savile did harbour a penchant for sex with the defenceless…in his case, the disabled. Jimmy Savile has been a battering ram used by the Murdoch press with which to break down the BBC’s hold on public service broadcasting. But Jimmy Savile was not innocent of sexual crimes.
I said from the outset that Bill Roache, Stuart Hall, Ken Clarke, Rolf Harris, Dave Lee Travis and Paul Gambaccini were not paedophiles. Yesterday, Exaro Executive Editor Mark Watts repeated his claim that Stuart Hall is, but I will never accept that: Hall is a sleazeball who used his fame to shag anything with a pulse, but the “with girls as young as nine” lie has become standard cop procedure when collecting scalps. Stuart Hall was stitched up and then double-crossed by the legal system. Dave Lee Travis was a serial groper whom I knew slightly many years ago… a great big bear and a twit, but a man of his time who genuinely never meant any harm. He is today a tragic butterfly broken on the wheel. Rolf Harris is in prison but for the life of me I cannot understand why. The jury must have been either asleep or deranged to have convicted him.
I return to my central point: for the beleeeevers (and some of them on both sides scare the Bejesus out of me) there is never any middle ground between Monster and Saint. But you can’t play the game of All or Nothing with people’s lives; and such behaviour is all the more reprehensible when a ridiculous level of ignorance is involved.
With apologies to the long-standing Sloggers who’ve heard all this before, genuine paedophilia is an essentially psychotic condition in which adults (almost always men) entertain the delusional belief that human beings quite obviously not sexually mature – without pubic hair and not menstruating – crave sexual intercourse with aforementioned adults. Meet and interview a hard-core paedophile, and it will become clear relatively quickly that you’re dealing with a mental illness every bit as serious as murderous psychopathy or paranoid schizophrenia. Indeed, offenders who don’t get caught frequently in the end exercise the ultimate control they need by killing their victims. Ian Brady was a sadistic paedophile who went undetected until it was too late.
However, the crime of adults knowingly indulging in under age sex is most commonly found within families, and in reality can be more accurately termed incest. In the parent/sibling/child context, it is rarely accompanied by a serious mental illness, and is more often a reflection of low intelligence and familial/cultural tradition. Other relatives, however, use their position of trust within the family in the same way that teachers, care home workers and Priests have been known to do: they have an excuse to be around children, and abuse it. It has been estimated that the prevalence of the incest/relative occurrences outnumber sadistic/institutional crimes by some 20 to 1….but of course that statistic must be treated with care, because so much familial abuse goes unreported.
The fact is that, over the years, the police have been pretty hopeless at detecting all forms of paedophilial abuse: far too often, the condition only comes to light in the shape of a dead child or ruined lives. This failure – and other dictates I have suggested in many previous columns – explains why our police have become almost fanatical in their determination to demonstrate action now. Most of that action, in my experience, is really distraction.
I try these days to steer clear of this whole subject, because I find it murky, unpleasant, depressing, laced with the most appalling hypocrisy, and at times horrifically depraved. On the increasingly rare occasions when I re-enter the debate, however, it seems to me that each case must be treated, investigated and then if necessary prosecuted with little or no reference to the broader context.
From experiences stretching back 35 years, I have reason to believe that the now extinct Conservative Monday Club would (were its members to come back to life) have a lot of explaining to do about visits to Amsterdam. So too would the late Leon Brittan vis-a-vis his position as Home Secretary and then EU Commissioner. So too would the Groucho Club and its hastily deconstructed PIE contact website. So too would West Country MPs regarding some bizarre judicial events in Plymouth in recent years.
But equally, a dozen or more Labour Councillors were at best complicit in, and at worst happy to indulge in, a series of Islamic paedophile scandals from Rotherham to Halifax via Wakefield. Labour Councillors and social workers in Stafford looked the other way when the care system became a conduit for perverts who used discredited child psychiatry to prey on already damaged kids. And as for Liverpool and Glasgow…well, don’t get me started.
This is the bottom line: in every society and culture since God was a girl, the depraved have preyed upon the vulnerable. In Victorian times, perverts trained their victims to be pickpockets. (It has often been rumoured that the Dickens Character Fagin started out life in the first draft of Oliver Twist as an overt paedophile). In Modern Times, the vulnerable fall into other hands….either via the streets of metropolis, or through an increasingly muddled State care system.
But the big difference now is that the supposedly vulnerable have become yet another dubious political weapon.
The weapons are used – shamelessly and shamefully – to promote an extreme cause that absolutely refutes the concept of exceptions.
In this nightmare Universe, ALL Tories are depraved power freaks indulging their decadent sexual tastes; and ALL Labourites cynically ignore flagrant abuses of their State control over our lives by perverts.
The parrot may or may not be dead. It could be resting, or even hibernating. All parrots are individuals. Some parrot salesmen are villains, but many aren’t. Some parrot owners neglect their avian pets, but many don’t. Parrot stories like these unlikely to sell newspapers. Discuss.