Monday, 7 July 2014

Destroyed, Missing or Not Found

Lets take a short break from our professional woes seeing that at long last the shocking story of historical child sexual abuse by the Establishment in this country is finally breaking. It's taken a very long time indeed, such has been the skill and brazen pernicious operation of the old-boy network amongst Britain's state institutions. It comes as no surprise to me that we now discover that 114 documents relating to allegations going back 30 or so years are found to be either "destroyed, missing or not found" and the spotlight is on Theresa May's department the Home Office.

I've written about this before, such as here in relation to the Stuart Hall case last year:-
As I highlighted the other day, post Leveson, the Association of Chief Police Officers are in the process of changing their policy of confirming the names of suspects. If this is correct, we will have to get used to seeing more instances like this, where apparently a 'comedy legend' in his 70's has been arrested by officers assigned to Operation Yewtree, the team tasked to look into the Jimmy Saville affair.

Potentially this secrecy could hinder more victims coming forward, whilst protecting the reputation of famous people, a situation that could be said to be quite handy for any possible politicians found to be implicated in the Elm Guest House scandal. Actually for those of a conspiracy-minded propensity, it's being said in some quarters that all these arrests of elderly celebs is designed precisely to provide the public with a distraction from the very disturbing goings on at this establishment in the 70's and 80's.

My feeling is that when the true extent of what went on at the Elm Guest House eventually emerges, the political ruling class in this country will find that the shock delivered to them by UKIP and the public on Thursday in the Local Elections will be nothing compared to what might be in store at the General Election in 2015. I think it might be time to find out what Nigel Farage's view is on probation privatisation.
Of course we now know that the 'comedy legend' in his 70's referred to was in fact Rolf Harris, sentenced last week to 5 years 9 months for historic sexual assaults on children. I'm not at all sure what the current policy is regarding the police naming potential suspects because of course the genie has started edging up the neck of the bottle as a result of the news that former Home Secretary Lord Brittan was interviewed recently in relation to an alleged rape of a female student before he became an MP apparently.

Being by nature a deeply suspicious person I'm particularly intrigued that this story only emerged after Lord Brittan first denied having any memory of a dossier of allegations handed to him when he was Home Secretary, then remembered but not whom he passed it onto, and finally he recalled definitely passing it to the right people for investigation. It seems I'm not the only one that feels the timing of the female student rape story smells like a classic setup - a smokescreen that's easily deniable and won't be going anywhere. This is John Ward on the subject:-
This charge comes out of nowhere, and is vehemently denied by those around Brittan. I have been on the former Minister’s case now for three years, and this is the first I’ve heard of any such allegation. I rather suspect here that Brittan is being set up to face a charge he can easily deny…..thus allowing the Government to say that justice has been done.
On the general theme of an Establishment cover-up, even being suggested I notice by Lord Tebbit on the Andrew Marr show, what exactly are the police doing with Operation Fairbank and Operation Fernbridge? They both strike me as extraordinarily slow investigations, but with things now warming up in Parliament, very difficult questions being asked and the media smelling a large fat rat, possibly the Metropolitan Police might find some renewed enthusiasm for finding some names?

At long last the Establishment might be realising that the cover-up is about to be exposed and that it would be jolly handy to come up with a couple of fall guys pretty damned quick. It's dangerous though because they've always known it has the capacity to ensnare all political parties, several agencies of the state, royalty and show business. Despite what is being said officially at the moment about not needing a full public enquiry, my money is on precisely that, the sure-fired way the Establishment can kick the issue into the very long grass in the lead-up to the 2015 General Election.

22 comments:

  1. Looking at this has got me thinking. With all the knowledge probation has about the famous and infamous who have been subject to our supervision, you'd think the government would treat us a bit better. The thing is, they know we would never disclose such information. Can they be so sure that private companies will have the same ethos?

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    1. I think that's a very important issue where CRC's are concerned and the employment over time of less qualified and vetted staff totally unaware of the previous public service ethos. My guess is it will leak like a sieve - of course the MoJ thought of this and hence all public profile cases go to NPS, irrespective of risk.

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    2. No doubt the various security services will have copies of all the relevant 'missing' files and probably many others and also no doubt they will never see the light of day without the appropriate redactions and omissions.

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    3. Especially as I'm led to believe members of the security services are implicated!

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    4. Jim, there is a bit of a contradiction here if it is the Government that are losing the files why should they keep all the high profile cases in NPS it doesn't make sense with their security record. Again this is another the CRC's are shit type of message as if we haven't been denounced enough.

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    5. Well I think we must assume that the Government is capable of keeping some secrets and of course NPS staff will be bound by the Official Secrets Act.

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    6. Jim I have been in the service for over 30 years and I too am bound to the Official Secrets Act, it was shown to me all them years ago and it lasts for life. Despite the fact that we will/might have different employers we are still the same the PO's that worked for the Trust and what ever they were before that. Sorry if I sound a bitter but I am sick and tired of being made to feel the poor relation when I am and others in the same position as me are more experienced, than those assigned to NPS, and I am sure will work with the same integrity. Please Jim don't you start jumping on the bandwagon as well we feel bad enough as it is.

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    7. I agree and I suspect we are in danger of having an argument about nothing! I was merely stating what I understand the position to be, namely that public profile cases are destined for NPS as far as I know.

      Regarding the OSA, I've never heard any colleague make mention of it. As far as I am concerned, I have always felt bound by professional ethics and a duty to a code of behaviour expected by everyone in public office, not the OSA which I have never signed or been made aware that I could be subject to by virtue of employment as a Probation Officer.

      I appreciate this is all a shit situation for us all, and I'm trying to do all I can to remedy that, but changes have sadly been imposed and we have no idea who will buy the CRC's and what decisions they might make regarding staffing etc. Please don't shoot the messenger.


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    8. I don't think anyone need get exercised over the Official Secrets Act. As it's a law and not a contract it is immaterial whether it is signed or not. I read that ATOS had all its nurses and doctors sign it, but it was pretty meaningless legally. By putting staff through this ceremonial I suppose ATOS hoped to deter whistleblowers through a bit of control freakery.

      The purpose of the act is to protect national security and the deterrence of espionage, though there is a section relating to the disclosure of law enforcement information that would assist a criminal or the commission of a crime. So it's irrelevant whether you are in the NPS or CRC. Anyway the quotidian probation is worlds away from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In fact when it comes to spying and double agents these usually are from the establishment elite – thing of Burgess, Maclean, Blunt, Philby etc.

      Probation staff should not feel inhibited by the OSA. It adds nothing to existing codes of conduct and it certainly does not prevent anyone from speaking their minds about working conditions and the effectiveness or not of operational models.

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  2. Great article Jim.

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  3. Hmmm, Cameron now determined to strip back secrecy & let justice be done for the victims. No chance. How defended and unapologetic was he about Coulson? The System will keep its secrets. The "great & the good" will be safe & secure and will be long dead before anything leaks. Cameron is just a naiive boy in the company of wolves who let him sit up front. Libel barristers are sharpening their pencils and dusting off their cash registers if the words of Sir Peter Bottomley (Today, R4 this morning) are anything to go by.

    The Real Establishment are terrifying creatures who, when angered, can make most of the world's psychopaths, sociopaths and 'evil' people look tame and meek.

    Through the complicated life of a late family member I was allowed a glmpse of The Establishment at work many many years ago. The victim was financially & emotionally crushed beyond repair. No-one blinked, no-one broke sweat or broke stride. It was swift and absolute. Simply terrifying.

    It takes me back to the "Dead Head" TV series with a scarily young Denis Lawson (which might have predated Hoskins' similarly grim "Mona Lisa"?).

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    1. Yes I agree completely, but a lot of the details are out in the public domain on numerous websites and the Establishment can't control the internet. I'm convinced this time it will all come out and the old Establishment tricks won't work.

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    2. I hope you're right, Jim. But without wanting to protect those who have been vile and pernicious in their ways, we also have to be careful what we wish for. Never forget the vacuum left by the Wicked Witch was filled by the Blair Witch Project - I would suggest the latter was the most toxic period of modern uk history; a toxicity that has a far greater half-life than anything Thatcher left behind. We are where we are today, dismantled and angry, because of Blair and his cronies.

      If The Establishment is dismantled, what comes next? I fear a 21st century incarnation with Blair and his ilk weasling their way in. He's outwith The Establishment - too brash, too loud, too self-important for their conservative taste. They barely tolerate him and prefer he whores himself around the globe claiming to save the world.

      My greatest hope is that The Establishment will ring the changes themselves and give up the transgressors rather than protect them at all costs. The rules and ways of the world have changed, as you rightly say, and maybe its time they cleaned up their act. I doubt the most hallow'd names will fall, and expect sacrificial lambs to be proffered. There may be some high level collateral if we're lucky.

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    3. Well the die is cast - it's unstoppable now. I'm normally a pessimist, but desperately wanting to be an optimist. I feel good can come of it, and to be honest it's got to be done for the sake of future children. I'm sure the Establishment can learn and adapt for the better - there, the optimist coming out again.

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    4. Peter Bottomley in the Mail online, threatening to sue anyone linking him to 'untrue allegations'. He's been a very busy boy today:

      "But he dismissed suggestions that there had been a major conspiracy to cover up abuse by Establishment figures.
      He said successive governments did not take seriously enough the activities of groups like the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange, ‘partly because people couldn’t believe it, partly because there may have been one or two senior people in the police or some other forms of public life’.
      But he added: ‘The idea that there could be an organised group that could stop things happening is, I think, imagination.
      ‘If I tried to organise a conspiracy on something I knew a lot about I think it would fall apart in two or three days. If this were an organised conspiracy there would be much more there.’"

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  4. This time there is a press ready to prove its worth against the establishment....no hiding place me thinks...

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  5. Why is there a sudden cacophony of noise, a swell of support for an enquiry? Old lags like Tebbit & Bottomley raising their voices? What are they hiding? What's being 'disappeared' behind the scenes? A timely blog, Jim m'laad.

    While Osbourne & Hague share a trip to the old colonial homeland to bolster morale Dave has come over all sporty, gasping at Cav's crash just yards from the finish line - but still third ranked on the news behind Wills, Kate & the other one, and the Beckhams.

    But what will May actually achieve with today's proclamations?

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  6. Following the announcements, Mr McKelvie - giving his first television interview for 20 years - told the BBC he believed there was evidence to link a number of former politicians to an alleged paedophile network.

    "I would say we are looking at upwards of 20 (people) and a much larger number of people who have known about it and done nothing about it, who were in a position to do something about it," he said.

    Mr McKelvie said some of those who were alleged to have abused children had now died.

    He told the BBC he had spoken to victims over "many, many years" and that children - "almost exclusively boys" - were moved around like "a lump of meat".

    They had been subjected to the "worst form of abuse", including rape, he said.

    Mr McKelvie was a child protection manager in Hereford and Worcester and worked on the conviction of paedophile Peter Righton - a former consultant to the National Children's Bureau.

    Righton, who is now dead, was also a founding member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), before he was convicted of importing child pornography.

    However, Mr McKelvie told the BBC that the evidence discovered in the case went much further than simply Righton.

    'Boxes of evidence'
    Mr McKelvie - who had access to documents relating to paedophile networks linked to the Righton inquiry - said he told police in 2012 there were seven boxes of potential evidence being stored by West Mercia police.

    He said the evidence included letters between Righton and other alleged paedophiles.

    In 2012, Mr McKelvie took his concerns to Labour MP Tom Watson, who then raised the matter in Parliament, prompting a preliminary police inquiry in 2012 that became a formal inquiry in 2013.

    His interview comes after footage emerged of a former Conservative MP suggesting to the BBC in 1995 that party whips might not disclose certain behaviour of colleagues including that "involving small boys."

    Tim Fortescue, who was a senior whip in Sir Edward Heath's government from 1970-73, claimed that MPs would "come and ask if we could help and if we could, we did".

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  7. In 1995, the BBC showed a Michael Cockerell documentary called Westminster’s Secret Service about the role of the chief whip, whose task it is to ensure MPs attend important debates and vote as the party leadership desires. It was revealed that the chief whip kept a little black ‘dirt book’ which contained information about MPs, and this was used as a method of political control.

    Tim Fortescue, who was Ted Heath’s chief whip from 1970-73, said:

    For anyone with any sense, who was in trouble, would come to the whips and tell them the truth, and say now, I’m in a jam, can you help? It might be debt, it might be…..erm……erm, a scandal involving small boys, or any kind of scandal in which, erm er, a member seemed likely to be mixed up in, they’d come and ask if we could help and if we could, we did. And we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points……., and if I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then, he will do as we ask forever more.

    In short, the chief whip would cover up any scandal, even if it involved “small boys”, child sexual abuse, child rape, whatever you want to call it. They wouldn’t report the crime to the police, although they may use their contacts with the police to make sure to make sure the matter went no further. This means that a paedophile would be the ideal candidate for promotion within the party, easily blackmailed and bought, loyalty and discretion guaranteed.

    An example of how the dirt book may have been used is the case of Sir Peter Morrison, who was Conservative MP for Chester from 1974-1992, as well as being Margaret Thatcher’s Parliamentary Private Secretary. Morrison has been linked to a notorious paedophile ring that sexually abused children in North Wales care homes. Chris House, who worked as reporter for the Daily Mirror, twice received tip-offs about Morrison being caught abusing underage boys which resulted in just a police caution, but libel threats stopped the newspaper from running the story. Peter Connew, the former editor of the Sunday Mirror, said “such was the hush-up that nobody could get hold of a log of the arrest”.

    Edwina Currie, who was a Conservative MP at the time, said “Peter Morrison has become the PM’s PPS. Now he’s what they call ‘a noted pederast’,’ with a liking for young boys; he admitted as much to Norman Tebbitt when he became deputy chairman of the party, but added, ‘However, I’m very discreet’ – and he must be!”

    It seems possible that Morrison was given the job of PPS precisely because he was a paedophile; the party had ‘dirt’ on him so they could rely on his loyalty. Morrison was an alcoholic, famously incompetent, and often found asleep at his desk, so I can’t think of any other reasons for his promotion to PPS. Not a thought was given to the poor children who he abused, and nobody in his party went to the police to stop him committing these crimes. Edwina Currie was quite happy to save this ‘gossip’ about child rape to boost her book sales.

    If an MP’s ‘indiscretions’ became too public to cover up, they were demoted or exiled to an obscure position. Mike Hames, who was head of Scotland Yard’s Obscene Publications Branch, talked of a raid on a brothel during which a man in pinstriped suit announced that he a cabinet minister. “That was before the end of Communism and, through a politician friend, I informed the PM, Mrs Thatcher. I noticed that the man, a junior minister, was quietly dropped later in a reshuffle.”

    Elm Guest House would have been well known to Margaret Thatcher, having been raided by 60 police and then covered up by the DPP and the Attorney General, who stopped the press from reporting on it. It is thought that at least 7 Conservative MPs were visitors to the paedophile brothel. Were any of these MPs later promoted to ministerial positions?

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    1. Above from http://spotlightonabuse.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/the-dirt-book-how-the-sexual-abuse-of-children-is-used-for-political-gain/

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  8. July 1998 Hansard, Committee report

    "1. Much public concern has been expressed in recent years over the treatment of children "looked after" by local authorities (formerly known as children "in care").[1] This concern has focused chiefly on allegations of physical and sexual abuse. In November 1997 Sir William Utting produced a valuable report on this subject, to which we shall make frequent reference.[2] Our report aims to be complementary to Sir William's rather than simply to replicate his findings. Our inquiry has had a somewhat different scope to his, in that where he deals very comprehensively with the issue of abuse, we have concentrated on other areas where we believe that the interests of looked-after children are neglected and that the care system is currently failing those children. These areas include assessment, planning and review, training of staff, the rights of the child, education, physical and mental health, training of staff and after-care."

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  9. 1997 Lords announcement on Uttings' report

    ""The House will know that last year, after the conviction of people in North Wales for sexual and other crimes against children in their care over a long period, the previous government commissioned from Sir William Utting a review of the adequacy of safeguards against the abuse of children living away from home. They also set up a judicial tribunal of inquiry under the Tribunal of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 into the events which led to those convictions. The North Wales judicial inquiry, chaired by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, continues and is expected to report next summer.
    "Sir William Utting has now reported to my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales and myself. We are publishing his report today. There is a comparable review for Scotland, which my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is also publishing today.

    "Sir William's review was necessary because of continuing revelations of widespread sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children living away from home, and in particular in children's homes over the preceding 20 years. In addition to the convictions in North Wales, there are investigations or prosecutions in progress in the North West, the North East, South Wales and some home counties.

    "The report presents a woeful tale of failure at all levels to provide a secure and decent childhood for some of the most vulnerable children. It covers the lives of children whose home circumstances were so bad that those in authority, to use the jargon, took them into care. The report reveals that in far too many cases not enough care was taken. Elementary safeguards were not in place or not enforced. Many children were harmed rather than helped. The review reveals that these failings were not just the fault of individuals--though individuals were at fault. It reveals the failures of a whole system."

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