‘Can you see what it is yet?’

Short video highlight from yesterday’s Home Affairs Committee session where Home Secretary Theresa May ’clarified’ to committee members exactly what the inquiry would, and would not, do. Finally, Chair Keith Vaz offers some advice to the Home Secretary.

This is part of the clarification, in Theresa May’s own words;

‘There is a review about lessons learned and the protection of children;

‘There is a review which is looking into work that was done in the home office which resulted from this question of whether Geoffrey Dickens had passed information to a previous Home Secretary, and whether that had been properly dealt with, or whether that had been in some sense covered up. There was a review on that, but now we’re having a further review to make sure that everything that was done by the Home Office was done absolutely correctly.’

The clip from the proceedings infers that Butler-Sloss would have led the first review, and Wanless-Whittam will lead the second review. I found it interesting that ‘inquiry’ and ‘review’ appear to have become interchangeable words.

It seems that the committee members were also somewhat confused by this ‘Inquiry’, but I’m sure they can see it clearly now…


This is a link to a larger extract of the same session, which firstly addresses the Baroness Butler-Sloss resignation, and then secondly the missing 114 Home Office files. Chair Keith Vaz clearly enjoyed the encounter.

NeedleBlog Video

HOC Home Affairs Committee Website



Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

19 responses to “‘Can you see what it is yet?’

  1. May was in disarray and came across as completely out of control.

    It’s a shambles. Possibly deliberately.

    More pressure, more revelations needed.

    And an ARREST.

  2. GMB

    I woz there…does’nt rate with Dallas 63 but I woz there! Can’t wait for the Wanless & Whitham hearing I have heard tickets are selling on e-bay for thousands. Go Keith!

  3. GMB

    Secondary thought: why does’nt the PM appoint the Rt Honable Keith Vaz as the overarching enquiry chairman? Online petition go-jam?

  4. dpack

    ,” but now we’re having a further review to make sure that everything that was done by the Home Office was done absolutely correctly.”


    ps the parliament tv seems to require “silverlight” which being kind is a pup and unkind a direct threat to privacy as well as causing various “issues”to the tidy functioning of one’s pooter.

  5. paul

    wasn’t wanless an advisor to portillo in the 80s? surely that’s a potential conflict of interest?

  6. dpack

    anybody connected to government has a potential conflict of interest

    re mr portillo based on nowt but what he has said and done and what seems to have been done to him over a few decades my instinct is that rather than being a far too plausible suspect he might be able to be a very well informed witness should he choose to be .

    im no fan of his political associates when he was in westminster but i get the impression nor is he .

  7. Congrats on the brilliant title for this one, gojam!

    Although we have to wait for the exact terms, I think the “sketch” of the outline given by May goes some way towards deliniating the scope and thrust of the eventual inquiry. It’s worth quoting her at some length:


    I think we’re very clear that there’s some very clear points about this inquiry, talking about the more general inquiry that Baroness Butler Sloss would have been chairing which is: it is looking at the issue of the protection of children, it’s looking at what has happened – we’ve got the experience of a number of historic cases – we’ve had a number of reports and reviews into, for example, hospitals in relation to Jimmy Savile, there are other reports and reviews as well.

    They will look at documentary evidence, they will have the power, be able to call witnesses. They will look at those historic cases, say what went wrong. They will look at today, and see: is this someting that could continue today, is there more that we need to do today in order to protect children […]

    It is not an inquiry which is looking into individual allegations or into allegations against specific individuals. If there is an allegation of abuse against an individual who it is alleged is a perpetrator, that should go to the police; that would not be for this inquiry panel


    So, at least the distinctions between figure and ground, between positive and negative space, are coming into view.

    At this point, the inquiry is not shaping up as “a national inquiry into allegations of organised child abuse” (which may have involved senior Westminster and Whitehall figures in the 1970s and 80s) that is requested by the petition at: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-and-theresa-may-establish-a-national-inquiry-into-allegations-of-organised-child-abuse and its over 75,000 signatories.

    Such an inquiry would not be cast in terms of excluding specific allegations of abuse.

    Or that’s how it seems to me. It’s not really for me to say. But is there some point at which the petition organisers can say “this is really not the inquiry we petitioned for” and withdraw support?

    Realistically, I don’t think they can – it’s just too confusing for one thing, and for another, who is going to say they’re against an inquiry with such blandly unimpeachable aims? Who is going to demand an additional inquiry amongst this surfeit of inquiries and reviews? I guess that is the play underlying the way this has been framed.

    There’s one or two slivers of hope in all this.

    Firstly, the dropping of Butler Sloss shows the public have some traction, still, and the press and popular opinion can make a difference.

    Secondly, there’s a slight chink in the expressed scope of the inquiry in that the Police are an institution: it’s still possible, without investigating “specific allegations against individuals” to investigate the repeating pattern of derailed police investigations. If the panel pick that up and run with it, there’s still a chance for getting to the truth.

    This has already traveled some way from an inquiry about allegations of abuse by Westminster higher-ups, and with each statement from the Home Secretary it seems to recede further from that goal. I hope the parliamentary supporters of that goal don’t drop the ball, and remember what is the real issue that got them and their petition so much public support in so short a time.

    The allegations won’t go away now. The victims and witnesses to breach of procedure are keen to testify. They have very patiently been awaiting a proper forum in which they can be heard. If this is now denied, they will be completely justified in making their stories known by whatever means.

  8. GMB

    She may be yesterdays news but she has alot of questions still to answer. Believe me.

  9. dpack

    when a real inquiry looks for files this


    type of problem might be an issue

  10. Goodness! What a Farse Smug Twats!!!!! They can’t even Sort this Out!!! How on Earth Will those Children, begin to believe that their Cases each and everyone of Them will be heard and get JUSTICE, Have they not been through enough?????? and MOST of the Kids have suffered at the Hands of these UNTOUCHABLE SMUG TWATS…………..

  11. I agree with all the comment’s made on this excellent blog!
    I would also like to highlight the fact that “historical child abuse” committed by celebrity’s & high profile figures,are given justice? whereas victim’s such as myself & 1000’s of other children abused in the care system during the 60’s,70’s,80’s,;are denied justice,it appear’s there is also a class system when it come’s to dealing with historical child abuse?

    • dpack

      a very valid point ,there are no high profile criminals or low value victims,
      just criminals and victims

  12. dpack

    thankyou for reminding me of that anthony ,i have found individual’s stories too difficult to deal with individually so i have tried to add what i can to a “big”picture but i never forget that each bit of data is somebodies life .
    im off for a cry in the garden now .