Nobody should be in any doubt of the seriousness of the current situation in regards to allegations of establishment complicity in child sexual abuse and the CSA Inquiry.
There is an old saying understood by politicians and journalists alike that the cover-up is always more damaging than the initial crime. In this case, it is not the case – but the cover-up leaves more evidence than the crime.
There has still not been any explanation as to why or how a letter from the CSA Inquiry’s former chair, Fiona Woolf, was redrafted by Home Office staff seven times. No explanation why, in the redrafting process, admissions by Mrs Woolf concerning private dinner parties with Leon Brittan, and a clear connection to an Edinburgh establishment child abuse allegation, were omitted from the final letter. Not only has no satisfactory explanation been given but absolutely nobody has accepted responsibility for these omissions.
In the light of this can anyone be confident that the Wanless report, due to be published next week, will be entirely his own work ? That it will not have been substantively reworked by Home Office civil servants ?
The concerns over the independence of that report are not new. Originally Peter Wanless was appointed alone to head that inquiry but he was quickly joined by top government lawyer Richard Whittam QC and it became the Wanless/Whittam review. For some this was simply abbreviated to the ‘Whitless’ Inquiry, a reflection in part of the lack of cohesion and headless chicken approach demonstrated by the Home Office over all child abuse matters in the last 2 years.
Anyway, this is how Daniel Finklestein, former political advisor to senior Conservative politicians and now a Times journalist, has chosen to write about the CSA Inquiry debacle. Not a helpful suggestion and a way of ensuring that any official inquiry does not get off the ground.
To Whom it May Concern,
We do not know each other and you may therefore regard this letter as presumptuous. However, please trust me when I say that, stranger though I am, I have your interests at heart.
I would however like to proffer some advice. If, in the next few weeks, you are approached by the Home Office to chair the independent panel inquiry into child sexual abuse, you should politely decline.
Unless those calling for an independent inquiry unite and put aside infighting then the establishment might still yet avoid legitimate scrutiny for past transgressions.