The Friday Night Song (Halloween)
Monthly Archives: October 2014
Fiona Woolf Resigns.
I don’t think I want to add too much other than it is a great shame that it has taken so long and I wish Fiona Woolf all the best for the future.
I think she’s been played and her year as Lord Mayor of London ruined by an incompetent Home Office.
Fiona Woolf is to step down as the head of an inquiry into historic child sex abuse, she has told the BBC.
She said it had been clear for some time that victims did not have confidence in her, adding that it was time to “get out of the way”.
Victims’ groups earlier told Home Office officials they were “unanimous” she should resign over social links with ex-Home Secretary Lord Brittan.
David Cameron had been certain that she could do the job, a spokesman said.
It comes after the first person appointed to lead the inquiry – Baroness Butler-Sloss – stepped down in July after concerns were raised about the fact that her late brother was attorney general during the 1980s.
Why I Believe Jim Gamble Should Chair The CSA Inquiry.
What a mess!
What an appalling and horrendous mess!
Following the announcement in July by the Home Secretary Teresa May of an ‘overarching and independent inquiry into child abuse’ there was a sense of momentum, a feeling of optimism, and a sense of trust that finally the horrible truth about child sexual abuse in UK institutions over many decades and allegations of establishment complicity and even involvement would at last be exposed.
That momentum has been lost, that optimism has been worn down, that trust has been squandered.
At the time of writing this, Fiona Woolf is still chair of the Inquiry but I doubt anyone would suggest that she will be for much longer. She will be the second chairperson to forced to resign due to conflicted links to those involved in issues that will almost certainly need to be looked at by the CSA Inquiry.
But the suitability of the chair alone is not the only concern that many have. This supposedly ‘independent’ inquiry appears to have had significant Home Office involvement. From the selection of the panel, providing Home Office staff to serve as the Inquiry’s secretariat, to even revising and redrafting Fiona Woolf’s public letter to the Home Secretary, the Home Office’s fingerprints are all over this. If the CSA Inquiry had made significant progress in the last couple of months then perhaps that wouldn’t have mattered but the entire process is stalled and questions are starting to be asked whether it was the intention of the Home Office all along to ‘sponsor’ a stalled, flawed, and impotent inquiry.
It is now abundantly clear that if this Inquiry is to be salvaged it is going to need decisive, independent and professional leadership and that is why I believe that Jim Gamble, the formerly the chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and more recently, since he resigned in October 2010 after the Home Secretary Theresa May’s money saving decision to merge CEOP with SOCA and other bodies into a new National Crime Agency, he has continued to actively promote child safeguarding.
There are many great potential candidates who might credibly take over the chairmanship of the CSA Inquiry but very few, like Jim Gamble, could walk into a Home Affairs Select Committee meeting tomorrow and demonstrate a broad understanding of the complexity, scope, and sensitivity of the issues involved.
Simon Danzuk MP has suggested that someone from inside the panel should be promoted to chair but I sincerely disagree because the effect of this recent Home Office debacle has been to undermine to a greater or lesser degree all those connected to it. I would not expect to see an entirely new panel but I would hope to see a new uncontaminated chairperson accompanied by a panel that can provide balance and oversight.
Brian Moore would be an excellent addition to the panel.
And to be frank, not accepting bollocks right now, after Home Office civil servants have been tinkering, is an essential qualification.
A well respected professional journalist would also add weight, required skill sets, and balance to the panel.
It is impossible for a chairman and a panel to be selected which will be supported by every survivor. Child sexual abuse is extremely personal and traumatic and the individual survivor is the only person that can express how they feel and that is why survivors will need a voice in this process. Every survivor must be given the opportunity to give testimony to this inquiry. Whether it is in private or in public, written or oral, whether in their own names or anonymously, that should be their choice but everyone should be given the chance if they wish.
I personally believe that Jim Gamble can rescue this travesty of an inquiry and deliver the answers that everyone wants. I believe he will deliver the clear leadership and independence which will give survivors confidence in the CSA Inquiry as a whole.
Filed under Personal
Peter Saunders On Radio 4 CSA Inquiry 31/10/14
From Radio 4’s Today program.
Can be listened to HERE
Private Dinners With Lord And Lady Brittan Were Hidden.
Filed under Abuse
Colin Tucker: Lost In Home Office Revisions
This didn’t make the final Home Office approved draft.
Maybe because Scotland is excluded from this ‘Overarching’ ‘Independent’ Inquiry ?
Or was there another reason ?
Fiona Woolf’s Letter To HASC And Drafts.
Original source can be found HERE
These are the images;
Below are the ‘Thunbnails’ of the drafts from the document which are reproduced in the same order as they appear in the document.
NOTE : This may or may not be the order in which they were created at the time by the Home Office/Fiona Woolf.
Click the image to expand, and click again to see full size:-
Seventh and Final Draft;
Filed under Uncategorized
Fiona Woolf Sent 7 Drafts To Home Office. Words And Facts Ammended
No wonder Fiona Woolf looked nervous when the Home Affairs Select Committee asked her to produce any drafts.
Her resignation should be immediate.
The head of the official inquiry into historic child sex abuse re-wrote a letter to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to play down her links with a Tory grandee at the centre of the scandal, it has emerged.
Fiona Woolf has faced calls to resign over her personal contact with Lord Brittan, who as Leon Brittan who was in charge of the Home Office in the 1980s.
Now it has been disclosed that a formal letter between Mrs Woolf and Mrs May was re-written seven times, with Home Office assistance.
Keith Vaz MP, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the re-writes “gave a sense of greater detachment between Lord and Lady Brittan and Mrs Woolf”.
Even facts about Mrs Woolf’s contact with Lord and Lady Brittan appeared to have been “amended”, he added.
Op Cayacos: Charles Napier To Admit Bulk Of Charges
According to Napier’s defence barrister on Tuesday.
So, it is rather odd that the BBC (HERE) decided to run a very confusing story about the one charge Charles Napier was acquitted of.
The half brother of a senior Tory politician will plead guilty to a ‘substantial’ amount of historic sexual abuse charges, a court heard today (tues). Charles Napier, 67, half brother of MP John Whittingdale, faces 21 charges of indecent assault on boys aged eight to 13 between 1968 and 1973 and is yet to enter his pleas. As a single gross indecency charge was dropped by the Crown today (tues) his defence barrister said he will be admitting the bulk of the offences at his plea hearing next month. Napier, who appeared at Southwark Crown Court dressed in a dark green jacket, pale blue shirt and blue tie, faces sex abuse charges relating to 21 schoolboys over a five year period. –
Ahhhh! Change Of Email Address
I’ve had to change my contact email address. It is now email@example.com .
I just want to make it clear that there is nothing sinister about this. I just stupidly forgot my password. I’ve been desperately trying to remember it this week but to no avail. So, if you’ve emailed me and received no reply, I’m sorry.
I want to apologise to everyone who has contacted me in the past but reassure everyone that the old account is perfectly secure. So secure in fact that even I can’t get into it!
I’ve got some contact email addresses and I’ll notify some people of the change but most I no longer have.
So, if you’d like to contact me then please use the new email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Filed under Personal
Jim Hood MP Outs The ‘Noble Lord’ Leon Brittan For ‘Improper Conduct With Children’.
Filed under Abuse
Op Cayacos: Charles Napier Acquitted Of One Charge.
This is in relation to Operation Cayacos. He has been acquitted of one charge only.
According to the CPS blog, he was charged on 21 counts – HERE
The news report isn’t clear and I’m assuming that he still faces other charges in court.
These Op Cayacos charges are stopping the media reporting that Charles Napier, half brother of John Whittingdale MP, had been arrested under a new Operation Fairbank strand, Operation Brancaster.
A man has been cleared of a charge of historical sex abuse after a judge said there was no evidence to support it.
Ex-teacher Charles Napier, from Sherborne, Dorset, denied inciting a boy under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency with another.
The allegation dates back to between February 1978 and February 1979.
Mr Napier, half-brother of Conservative MP John Whittingdale, remains on conditional bail with regard to further charges of historical sex abuse.
The 67-year-old is due back at Southwark Crown Court on 10 November.
Judge Anthony Leonard QC said that he should be found not guilty of this one specific charge after he was told there was no evidence to support the claim.
Mr Napier’s co-defendant Richard Alston, 69, of Vinery Road in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of sex abuse against a child dating from January 1977 to February 1980, at the same hearing on Tuesday.
The charges include six counts of indecent assault on a male and four counts of indecency with a child.
Leon Brittan and ‘Improper Conduct With Children.’
Link to Hansard transcript HERE
The full video of the Parliament session can be viewed HERE.
In my view Jim Hood MP should be commended for using parliamentary privilege to expose the child abuse allegations regarding the former Home Secretary Leon Brittan.
Since the appointment of Fiona Woolf as chairperson of the CSA Inquiry objections have been raised regarding her closeness to Leon Brittan and because no one in the media have been able to reference these child abuse allegations the general public have been left a little confused as to why so many object to Fiona Woolf as chairperson. Afterall. Lord Brittan had only mislaid a dossier, right ?
The fact is that Fiona Woolf has attended 5 dinner parties with a person alleged to have abused children himself.
Of course, it shouldn’t have been too hard for anyone to work out. Why else would a police operation run by the Metropolitan Police Paedophile Unit have investigated him over the rape of an adult ? Unless…
Parliamentary privilege only allows the media to report what is said in parliament. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow them to elaborate on what has been said.
But Jim Hood is correct. There are very serious allegations of child abuse against Leon Brittan.
And it should now be plain to everyone exactly why Fiona Woolf must step down as chair of the CSA Inquiry.
During a Commons debate on coalfield communities last night, Mr Hood said: “By the way, the current exposé of Sir Leon Brittan [sic], the then home secretary, with accusations of improper conduct with children will not come as a surprise to striking miners of 1984.”
MPs immediately challenged Mr Hood over his comments.
Conor Burns, the Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, said: “He has just made very profound, serious accusations against a noble lord. Is that in order?”
Lindsay Hoyle, the Deputy Speaker, said that he had not heard Mr Hood’s comments but added: “It’s up to each member to decide what they said and they must make that decision.”
However, Mr Hood continued: “The rumours that Sir Leon Brittan was involved with misconduct with children does not come as news to miners who were striking in 1984. When miners were going up into the dock in magistrates’ courts we were aware and miners were declaring… the point is miners were saying in the dock in magistrates’ courts throughout the strike that they objected to instructions coming from the home secretary when there was reports about child abuse being linked with that same home secretary.”
Mr Hoyle interrupted the Labour MP and said: “I think it is up to each MP, we have to be very careful on what we said, and we must consider what we are saying and what the implications are.”
Mr Hood continued: “I accept, obviously, what you say but I’m just repeating what I’m reading in the papers.”
The Home Office Canvas Survivors On Whether Fiona Woolf Should Go.
They are doing it via The Survivors Trust.
Frankly, I’m a little astonished that they feel the need to ask the question but one thing is for sure, Fiona Woolf will soon resign because I don’t know of anyone in possession of the facts who does not think that her position is untenable.
It is only a matter of time now.
If you’re a survivor yourself you can email The Survivors Trust and let them know if you think Fiona Woolf should stay or go at – email@example.com
Filed under Abuse
Justin Welby Weeps After Talking To Survivors Of Church Abuse
“Yes many institutions failed catastrophically including in the media, including children’s homes, foster parents, all kinds of areas, all kinds of areas, you find them all over the place, but the Church is meant to hold itself to a far, far higher standard and we failed terribly.” – Justin Welby
Everything I hear confirms that the Church of England are indeed doing everything they can in regards to the child abuse that they have a responsibility for. The only correct response when presented with the wealth of evidence and survivor testimony coming out now is to be open about it and I’m pleased to see the Church of England taking this stance.
I can only hope that other institutions have the same attitude. It can’t change what happened but it is the only path to some kind of closure for survivors of child abuse.
The Church of England process began before Welby became Archbishop of Canterbury but there does seem to be a definite acceleration of the process since Justin Welby took over.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has told how he broke down in tears at learning of the horror of child abuse within the Church of England.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said the details of sexual abuse dating back decades are “beyond description – terrible” and that he had been profoundly moved by the “shredding effect” of survivors’ experiences.
He also said the full scale of the abuse has not been revealed and that the failure of the Church was greater than other institutions such as children’s homes and the media because it purports to hold itself to a “far, far higher standard”.
Speaking to members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Westminster, he said the Church of England had “failed terribly”.
But he insisted that the Church is now taking the issue as seriously as possible, including trawling through 60 years of clergy personnel files searching for evidence of abuse which had gone unnoticed.
Filed under Abuse
Crown Prosecution Service Asked To Review The “Extreme Pornography” Law
These kind of incidences don’t help genuine victims of abuse and greater clarity in the law, especially given that the police have already said that they are unable to prosecute everyone in the UK found to have viewed indecent images online, is most welcome.
Also reported in The Independent
Frankly, the arresting police look pretty foolish over this.
Let me tell you a legal joke. A man walks into a Court. He’s charged with an offence under Section 63 of The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 of being in possession of an “extreme pornographic” video of a woman having sex with a tiger.
The video was sent to him by a friend, unsolicited, as a joke. He had no idea what the content of the video was before opening it. Yet the defendant was arrested at his home address, interviewed by the police under caution, charged, then bailed to the Magistrates’ Court and finally sent to the Crown Court. It was here that the Judge requested the video be played in full, with the sound on, in open Court.
The play button was pressed.
It turned out the “tiger” was a man in a tiger-skin costume, who turns to the camera and says: “That’s Grrreat”.
James Saville Doing PR For CSA Inquiry ?
Odd ? Coincidence ?
The Mail reported that a James Saville is representing one of the CSA Inquiry panel members, Sharon Evans and claiming to be working with the Home Office and that this person tried to dissuade The Mail from uncovering the truth about Fiona Woolf’s appointment as chair of the inquiry.
A Mail on Sunday journalist trying to uncover the truth about Fiona Woolf’s appointment to the child abuse inquiry received unwarranted threats from a PR man claiming to be working with the Home Office.
This newspaper was warned it would be reported to the new press complaints watchdog for simply arranging an interview with another panel member who could shed light on the controversy.
The threat was made by James Saville, a spokesman for Sharon Evans, a third person on the abuse inquiry. She runs a charity which includes Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff and Tony Blair’s daughter Kathryn among its trustees.
Last night, an MP said it sounded like another attempt at a cover-up. Labour’s Simon Danczuk said: ‘I find it bizarre. The last thing we want is for the Home Office, its representatives or PR people trying to silence journalists or to cover up the relationships that may have gone on.’
After a reporter had agreed last week to meet abuse survivor Graham Wilmer, who is on the inquiry panel, Mr Saville rang the journalist five minutes before the agreed interview time to say it had been called off.
But what is in a name ? There can’t really be any connection between this James Saville and the serial paedophile Sir Jimmy Savile…
Could there ?
I just wonder if this James Saville currently undertaking PR work for a CSA Inquiry member and working with the Home Office is the same James Saville, a journalist, who wrote this glowing tribute to the beknighted child abuser on his death.
Warning: Get your sick bag ready.
Jimmy Savile dead: Sir Jim fixed it for me – a tribute by James Saville (No Relation)
He was one of the most colourful, eccentric and brilliant celebrities in history – and someone I’m proud to say turned out to be a friend.
I first met him when working as a local reporter for the Bucks Herald while he was doing charity work at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
And when he found out there was a journalist with the same name as him, his eyes lit up like Christmas.
He grabbed me round the arm, hoiked me towards him, stuck a big fat cigar in my face… and the image was plastered embarrassingly on the front page of that week’s edition.
I think we should be told.
Update: Many thanks to My Sweet Landlord.
Yes it is him. It is the same James Saville.
Archbishop Of Canterbury: ‘Child Abuse Rampant In Institutions.’
From The Sunday Times
Britain’s self-deluded, incestuous elite.
We have nothing to add to Dominic Sandbrook’s excellent article in the Mail today, a short extract reproduced below;
“As the eminent sociologist Michael Young predicted back in the Fifties, Britain’s new incestuous governing elite is driven not only by greed for wealth and power, but by a kind of moral self-righteousness, too.
‘They can be insufferably smug,’ Young wrote of the new Establishment, ‘much more so than the people who knew they had achieved advancement not on their own merit but because they were, as somebody’s son or daughter, the beneficiaries of nepotism. The newcomers can actually believe they have morality on their side.
From family law and human rights to Europe and immigration, they are so convinced of their own righteousness they do not even bother to engage with people who think differently.
Indeed, they simply write them off as bigots and losers.
And all the time, even as the new elite congratulate themselves on their principles, the gap between rich and poor continues to widen.
‘So assured have the elite become,’ Young later observed, ‘that there is almost no block on the rewards they arrogate to themselves.’
He wrote that in 2001 — but it is more true today than ever.”
Read the whole article: Daily Mail 25th October 2014
Filed under Politics