Bad, mad and sad: The politics of scrapping the Child Sex Abuse inquiry

Westminster Confidential

Theresa May, home sercretary.Bad, mad and sad if she scraps the whole inquiry Pic Credit: Theresa May, home sercretary.Bad, mad and sad if she scraps the whole inquiry Pic Credit:

The revelations that Theresa May, the home secretary, is considering scrapping the newly set up independent panel by Mark Watt, editor of Exaro, will have more implications than many survivors can possibly imagine. It will go much further than the anguish shown by panel member and survivor  Sharon Evans, whose heartfelt views are reflected in her letter revealed in the Exaropiece.

Survivors who campaigned for a clean break hope for a new judge led inquiry or Royal Commission compelling everybody to give evidence which will solve all their problems and produce ” an all singing,dancing ” result. Some of them don’t want anybody on the panel at all.

What they are not aware is that a political decision to reshape the inquiry is now competing with a now much bigger political issue: The General…

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32 responses to “Bad, mad and sad: The politics of scrapping the Child Sex Abuse inquiry

  1. dpack

    the butler sloss comments in the media today do prove she really didnt get it .
    peter’s comments re the current state of play especially in relation to the home secretary were rather interesting .
    bbc 24hr news seem to be covering this twice an hour at the mo (perhaps hiding things in full view when few are looking ).

    • Why on earth did they wheel butler sloss out today is this Home Office meddling again like it keeps trying to do, another coded attack on survivors making it seem they are too simple minded to deal with big issues,
      Another insult from

  2. GMB

    DTD is investigating and obtaining evidence on a disturbing line of enquiry. A a major website which is accruing ongoing information from CSO victims and others is in fact being controlled by the UK security services. More will develop in the New Year.

    • ???

      DTD ?

      In case there is doubt, nobody ‘controls’ this website other than me. So if that is the implication it is a dead end.

      • Sabre

        Thought you and GMB were pals?

        I hadn’t detected any slights or slurs, none of us should be overly defensive, we’ve entered a paranoid nightmare and no one will escape unscathed. Some have of course suffered and are suffering infinitely more than others.

      • I’m not saying that it was a reference to this blog but I just wanted to be clear on it. We don’t pass contact details to anyone.

      • Sabre

        I thought that the latin verb to dig was being referenced !


      • BellaJI

        The idea that exaro is controlled by intelligence agencies is preposterous, and highlights how misplaced mud-slinging between campaigners has become. There is little doubt about the track records of people such as Hencke and Pallister. Look them up it doesn’t take long.

        This also plays into the hands of the abusers and those who wish to cover-up.

        Shame that the last six months of 2014 were dogged by in-fighting among good people who share common goals. That is what abusers and their supporters want.

    • dpack

      the follow the money and people referenced in pants on fire is not complete and only some of the most direct links are partially explored but there seems reason to be concerned by the most plausible conclusions from that data.

    • GMB

      As posted previously above I am now to be given a written report into the dealings of ‘a major website’ and others. Once read and immediately passed onto people who can raise it I will decide if it is for airing or for use at a latter date. PS I will make sure there are plently of paper copies handed around…unredacted!

  3. dpack

    “Consuesse enim deos immortales, quo gravius homines ex commutatione rerum doleant, quos pro scelere eorum ulcisci velint, his secundiores interdum res et diuturniorem impunitatem concedere.”

    we should gather strength and prepare for the fights ahead.

    • Sabre

      If Sedwill and the other evil mandarins get wind of a classical call to arms they may put their very fine port down for a moment and reflect.


    • Sabre

      This particular war of course is centred on Britain and possibly Holland rather than France and Switzerland.

    • Andy Barnett

      GE2015 could be the most interesting for a while if we choose to make it so. If our brave police force can do their duty to the British people and make the sorts of arrests John Mann has talked of recently, then there is every prospect of ‘the abuse of power by the elite’ being the number one issue amongst those with a vote. And I’m not just talking about the rape of care-home kids by depraved MPs and other senior figures, but the whole culture of privilege and power that allows those that control the system to benefit from that system, obscenely out of proportion to the contribution they make. It’s a culture that tells itself it’s a meritocracy, justifying massive inequality on the basis that ‘there are some more intelligent than others’. And it’s an attitude that says: because we have the power to control and exploit others, we have the right to do so – financially, commercially and yes sexually.

  4. tricia and sabre – my only axe to grind is that asa resident of North Wales I could never find a job. Good luck

  5. HI Sabre,

    I think you miss my point. I am not saying a civil action will be successful. I am saying the threat of a civil action will put more fire under those charged with bringing abusers to justice. One, if the reasons for it were presented properly to the public – and that does not require money – just clear and concise communication – and the public were given an avenue where they can send messages of support – it will add more heat. Two, it will also force the police to state when they intend to push criminal charges. If that is not immediate given how long they already have – well they would have to clarify why and on what grounds they object to a civil suit. it can not be because at some time in the future and we have no idea when that is we will be bringing criminal charges.

    I think my point is that the threat of civil action and the reasons clearly communicated could be one of many effective strategies to bring more pressure to the case.

    • Sabre

      Don’t get me wrong Tricia, I converted to favouring a more muscular approach sometime ago.
      I did a volte face from favouring a formal by the book approach to the opposite extreme of assuming that the State won’t (can’t afford to) right the manifold grievous wrongs thereby justifying naming the b******s.

      • Good to hear. Anyone who is still of the view that we must let the establishment control the dialogue and course of action will be very disappointed in the results.

        I do hope that those that have an audience such as Gojam start writing about Plan B types of actions. In fact, given the stuff on the police forum I think a civil action against the police would be very strong and should also be put on the table as an option.

  6. We are where we are now and this is not the time for looking back and recriminations. My Christmas message is one of optimism that announcements will be made during January and February which will please the majority of activists who seek

    – individual perpetrators of crimes against children, young people and young adults whatever their backgrounds, previous and current position to be tested according to the adversarial justice system operating in England Wales;

    – and a mechanism will be found to explore the nature and extent of the cover up of such crimes during the past 50 years and which embraces the whole of the UK including cooperation with Eire, Jersey, the British Overseas Territories, the EEC and other International, government police and security interests

    – and to establish a comprehensive database of information based on a timeline of police and other investigations and the outcome past and present

    – and to increase political and public understanding of what happened and why, and the nature of the problem today

    In the transitional meantime the process of developing a wide mix of responses, policy, organisational and management, to limit the commission of further crimes, control and where possible treat offenders will carried forward through the next Parliament

    While UKIP in England, and fourth political parties in the rest of the UK have a common vested interest in the exposure of VIP perpetrators in the other Parties before the General Election, the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democratic Parties also have common cause with each other to agree a mechanism/mechanisms which will satisfy Parliament, Public, and the majority of activists before the General Election otherwise they face a bigger public disaffection at the polls far worse than the reaction to MP‘s expenses thus preventing the possibility of outright election victory, a minority administration or a coalition which could see Salmond or Farage insisting on being deputy Prime Minister.

    Disappointed rejected panel members and those still hoping to be have a formal direct involvement should be consoled by the knowledge that their non involvement in whatever is agreed will be in the interests of the greater good.

    There is also need for a mechanism which will enable those who wish to have their story recorded and to begin to receive the level of help which all and any victim of a crime of violence against the person should receive. I would like to see a victim covenant and approach similar to that we now have for all members of the armed forces

  7. Thanks to Darren Laverty’s post. we are aware of a poor chap living in a cave in Llandudno who is from Bryn Estyn. I used to live within sight of the Great Orme and heaven knows I’d have brought him stuff by now.

  8. also can someone clear up Ian MF posistion. On the one hand it seems he is screaming for the panel to be disbanded. new and transparent one appointed. fair enough, he is entitled to his opinion, but in all his ranting he has yet to clarify how he proposes getting this new panel. what steps he would put in place to ensure selection of new panel does not get dragged out, so as to disappear due to GE etc.

    It seems pretty clear that if you get rid of existing panel chances are no panel will be elected before GE and maybe not at all in 2015. Is the existing panel so awful that Ian is prepared to throw them all out? Is he prepared yo accept that those in power wanting to delay this will leverage all and every opportunity to prevent a new panel seeing the light of day for a very long time? In other words is Ian saying it is better to risk having no panel for several months to a year -maybe never than continue with the one in place?

    Also Ian seems to attack Exaro quite a bit. Why? So what if they are getting paid and Ian is working for free? who said working for free to bring justice to abused children means you have a higher moral ground than those being paid. Seems odd to me, and frankly if it were not for sites like Exaro and you – people would have never found out the true extent of the cover up and abuse. Ian should be thrilled that sites like Exaro are doing some of the heavy lifting and getting the message out to a wider audience, instead of attacking them because unlike him they are getting paid.

    Also notice he attacks you for being a former politician of sorts. Again, I don’t understand it. It is because of several determined politicians, along with others, that this issue is having a hard time being buried again. Again blogs like yours have helped bring a complex story with mutiple moving parts/players/places together in a way for people unaware of what is going on to easily understand.

    Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and hoping cooler heads will prevail, and that everuone stays focused on the bigger picture.

  9. HI gojam,

    i have been following this from afar and it seems you are all being played, and you need to fight back. Even those that want a panel question if it can have statutory powers? Are you all mad? Of course, it bloody can.

    Either the law exists already to give it such powers or TM can draw up a one paragraph bill doing so and announce she is introducing it to the House ASAP and expects cross party support. she can also remove OSA protection in that bill. If you want to take back the conversation and control it then write something like that up and tweet the hell out of it.

    As for the ‘pretense’ that the panel might be scrapped because HO listening to survivors – really are people that stupid. The govt never listen to the people unless in doing so it suits them. Protests against Iraq/Bankers etc should wake most people up to the simple fact – if they are listening to you it is because it suits them.

    Third the survivors such as Nick should announce a civil suit. They should give the governement and the police a dealdine and put them on notice that if arrests are not forthcoming they will take civil action, as the long and on going action is proof that there is little desire to uncover and expose the sorid truth.

    These are just a few sugesstions, but it would be nice to see a proactive blog post instead of reactive one. The conversation needs to be claimed by those seeking justice.

    Finally, anyone shocked that it is really the civil servants in HO and other departments that run this country need their head examined. About time an expose was done on some of these individuals, who they are, and the power they wield.

    thank you for all you do

    • Andy Barnett

      Hi Tricia,
      Great points as usual. My own thoughts (for what they’re worth):
      – I’m surprised anyone wd say the inquiry *can’t* have statutory powers. The only questions I was aware of was whether we wanted the delay of restarting the inquiry, and whether being statutory meant the process taking so long the main perpetrators wd be dead before it finishes
      – I don’t know if a stat inquiry means witnesses are automatically protected from OSA. But yes, I agree there must be a way to guarantee this.
      – your view of ‘the govt’ never listening is completely understandable, but I do think this situation is a special case with issues unlike any other. I am open to the possibility that Theresa May is genuinely interested to doing the right thing – her words are in major contrast to Cameron’s for example. (Maybe I’m naive, but if we think they are all the same, then we might as well give up, cos we’ll never see justice)
      – the idea of civil action is interesting, especially if it means victims’ testimony can be heard in open court, without fear of libel action . Certainly worth exploring as your potential Plan B.

      What we need is a lawyer to advise on these points. Anyone know a good one?

      • HI Andy,

        i think some in power want to do the right thing, but they need help. all the confusion all over twitter about can statutory powers be added only helps those trying to delay this. Hence the need for blogs like this to articulate it in a clear and concise why, and then get it out all over twitter and hopefully into MSM. For example the question TM needs to answer is can the current panel have statutory powers, and if so why has she not done so? if it can’t why has she not put a bill to parliament. Same with OSA.

        All i see right now is nobody seems to know, and TM when asks just says it is possible. That is not good enough.

        As for a civil suit again it needs to be articulated in blogs such as this and others. If that course is pursued then the case should be made clear to the public why they have had to take this road. As for libel, not so worried about that I doubt many survivors have assets they could lose. Bigger question would be if the media were liable for reporting on civil suit. I don’t know. I suspect what might happen is the court will put a gagging order in place, but if that happens well just another cover up. However, regardless of what happens at the court level I think survivors coming together and clearly articulating why they feel they are being pushed to pursue civil action will make the public angry – especially if they make it easy for members of the public to communicate their support – and again put a fire under those charged with bringing the abusers to justice.

        the third thing victims could do and do now is take their case to European Courts. Again, in doing so it gives them back some power and means the police do not control all the momentum. These are all just strategies to bring pressure on those controlling the process right now, and it will also help those trying to push this into the open.

      • Sabre

        Civil action is easy to threaten but difficult to fund.
        Any Civil Proceedings likely to prejudice pending Criminal Proceedings will almost certainly be met with an application to stay the Civil Proceedings sine die.

  10. Sabre

    A screaming Lord might not be enjoying this Xmas.

  11. Sabre

    Mann alluded to death of Bulic Forsyth in Lambeth.

  12. Sabre

    John Mann MP, good 5 mins on Sky with Kay Burley.

    He’s either as mad as a hatter or sure of his ground !

  13. “Read more….647 words”
    no thanks the first bunch of words was bad enough …

  14. Sabre

    Sky news, John Mann, 2 Suspicious Deaths.

  15. Sabre

    The closeness of the General Election(s) will obviously impose political realities to be considered at the starkly obvious cost of an inquiry that is going to be nothing but bad news for the LibLabCon party.

    I alluded to it in my post re Big Brother accidentally telling the truth !