Edge of Seventeen

The Friday Night Song


Filed under FNS, Personal

36 responses to “Edge of Seventeen

  1. artmanjosephgrech

    We are more close to a Very British Coup now than when Chris wrote the work and but Charles, the Corbyn of the Royals would act like the Spanish king and say no..

  2. dpack

    fascinating and perhaps a warning of what is to come with the goddard show

  3. dpack

    regarding jersey a few things have been mentioned over the years but this recent nugget seems relevant to the theme of cover up and intimidation.


  4. Owen

    My correction to what I said before about what Corbyn “did” seems to have become detached from the post it referred to and ended up as the guard’s van of this thread. WordPress can be quite perverse at times.

  5. artmanjosephgrech

    apologies for the typing errors and I must remember to put on my reading glasses and not press the send button before do so

  6. aliharris


  7. Pingback: Edge of Seventeen | Alternative News Network

  8. artmanjosephgrech

    I guess Simon Danczuk is not joining in this song

    • Andy Barnett

      Don’t you think that Danczuk’s downfall was meticulously planned and executed by those that wanted to send a message to any more would-be whistleblowers or parliamentary campaigners? Even the payments by the Mail for his columns attacking Corbyn were all part of the plan, ensuring that when the dirt was thrown, he’d have noone on his side to support him. At least his most recent wife has shown some class in standing by the poor man.

      • Nige

        The poor man? You’re kidding, right?
        Class and his most recent wife. Lol, now I now you’re kidding.

      • artmanjosephgrech

        I made my comment to make the point the point to the Needle team that for once I had taken time not just to listen to the Friday night song but to work out why it had been chosen,

        I have been a public critic of Simon for his damaging disloyalty to democratically elected leader of the Labour party, some who I did not vote for because I feared what has happened would although my admiration for him knows no bounds and I have agreed with what he now says and with what I have come to know what he has said and done in past although until he came to the fore I was unaware of his past,

        However Simon deserves respect for speaking out in public as have many in the leadership struggle, particularly those who potentially gave up the opportunity of serving in Shadow cabinet because of their different viewpoints and beliefs. What I cannot accept nor should Jeremy and his team is the attempt within the PLP and some house to undermine Jeremy who had not just secured overwhelming support from new members of Party but from the majority of those who have been members and supporters as I have for over 50 years being on a local party executive for a short time in the early 1960’s and returning as a party member when ceased holding a post where membership was prohibited although throughout my working life I made it clear that I was a fundamentalist humanist and socialist who respected those with different views and beliefs including religious ones.

        In the early 1970’s Sir Keith Joseph was the dinner guest at first conference of the new Family and Child Care Section Conference of the .British Association of Social Workers and as its first chair I shared a flat overnight with Sir Keith and who at the dinner table asked why I was not working in Russia when I said that I was a socialist but I like to think he remember that I said that when the revolution comes we are likely to be early candidates for being taken out and shot or worse when as Secretary of State for Social Services he agreed my appointment as Director of Social Services
        despite one national headline Ex Com gets top job.

        I obviously do not know any of the actual facts about the role of Simon in recent events particularly how far he is author or contribution to his own political downfall although predictions of his political death may well be premature and may who have run the media gauntlet survive in politics or have established themselves in other public careers. I wish him well and would remind that Simon has been responsible fro bringing justice to many victims of crimes of sexual abuse through enabling the police and other judicial authorities to bring to justice a number of perpetrators. The decision to include the role of Cyril Smith and past events centring on Rochdale in at least two of the Justice Godard investigations expected to lead to Hearings is one indication of the contribution he has made..

        It is noteworthy to mention that others who have been prominent in campaigning which led to the Justice Goddard headed panel statutory Inquiry have recently had to run the gauntlet of media criticism notably Tom Watson and Zac Goldsmith.

      • Owen

        Danczuk seems to have crossed the threshold when he ignored the advice offered to him in a corridor at the Commons by a concerned Parliamentary colleague from the other side of the house.

        I hope John Mann can count on more resolute public support when his turn comes.

        • artmanjosephgrech

          I do not understand John Mann’s repeated public attacked on Jeremy Corbyn and leaking of what goes on the PLP. His important role in bring to public attention various issues concerning crimes against children and young people merits praise. But eh is finance and supported by the Labour Party and no member of the PLP can be immune from the wrath of those who go out in wind cold and rain to canvass and campaign and who democratically elected out new Leader. He will reap what he has sewn.

          • Owen

            Sadly the wrathfulness of the Labour Party doesn’t seem at the moment to be paying much attention to whether MPs have made an effort to secure justice for abused children or not. That’s politics, I guess.

            • artmanjosephgrech

              They can and do support victims who come to their surgeries for advice. They are restricted by law from interventions in matters already under investigation by police and the Home Affairs Committee had to be repeatedly warned that while it could raise the issue of the closed rape investigation re Lord Brittan it risk censure by wanting to stray on matters still being investigated. It cannot cover matters under investigation by the Justice Goddard panel inquiry because it is statutory but will be able to consider any individual reports issued following the public hearings or on other subjects which are likely to be issued over the next five years or so.

              Meanwhile there is on going work through the all Party Child Protection Committee which my MP chairs and the All party Child care Committee is doing work. There is an independent examination of Residential Child Care Narey Committee, Only this past week there was an interesting two debate on prevention children coming into care and remaining in care led by the one of the new Tory MPs who is left of centre within the party and Children’s Commissioner had some very important things to say when before the Education Select Committee the day beforehand. the inquiry into the well being of looked after children. It is not the fault of MPs if the media is obsessed with reshuiffle politics and others issues which do not interest the majority of voters and victims

          • Owen

            If you don’t understand John Mann’s original criticism of Jeremy Corbyn, you might reflect on Corbyn’s decades of silence and inaction in Islington, and the Islington Labour Party’s apparnt lack of interest in the education received by young boys in Suffolk, Swaziland and Gujarat.

            • artmanjosephgrech

              Pot calling kettle black seem to think was he not a councillor in Lambeth and entered Parliament in 2001.. did he speak out against the Cameron Watson Mullin HAC committee reported which effectively stopped police inquiries and did speak out against the cover up organised by Cabinet and other colleagues between 2002 and 2012 .

              • Owen

                Mann can and certainly should be asked those questions about the past, but fellow Labour MPs seem less interested in tackling him on the subject of his record on child sexual abuse than they do in discrediting his criticism of Corbyn’s silence.

                You suggest that Corbyn might have been constrained by the risk of interfering with ongoing police inquiries. If we are to believe constituency whistleblowers, that doesn’t seem to have been an explanation he was offering them.

                If you really believe John Mann should expect to have to keep his mouth shut about Jeremy Corbyn because his presence in Parliament is financed and supported by Labour Party members’ subscriptions, by that sort of token non-voting minors shouldn’t have expected their MP to be prioritising inquiries about their treatment.

                If John Mann is no more than a pot calling the kettle black, as you say, it’s worth remembering that the kettle is now asking the rest of the British electorate to trust him. Surely by your criteria voters are entitled to expect more attention from him than those non-voting children in Islington care got?

                • artmanjosephgrech

                  This is quickly becoming a sterile discussion because it rests on your premise that the reason that Mann has been so hostile to Corbyn’s different approach to politics from the rump of the PLP is due exclusively to questions about his role in the cover up by the Labour Party and the Metropolitan Police media etc specific to Islington in the same way that some Tories have turned against Zac Goldsmith because of his role in the campaign for he original Inquiry which the Home Secretary proposed in response to work of the gallant 7 then joined by others,.

                  .I hope you appreciate that the basic attack on Mr Corbyn is because of his approach to politics and where some policy issues and differences are being used for the purpose of stopping his quiet revolution before it gains speed hence the viciousness of the attacks from with and without the Labour party, ands which in my view as Chris Mullin explained in his book and other writings is likely to lead to an attempted violent counter revolution in the past. I am not sure if out institutional he of state would have interviewed he way of the Spanish King although one thing I am confident about is that Charles, the Corbyn of the Royals would have no truck with such a move nor will his eldest son.. All the leading but active in oitrher ways military people free to speak as well as those involved with military strategy with geo politics known that the renewal of Trident is about continuing economic and political power and otherwise unnecessary as all we need to do is keep up with the operational and associated defence technology of not just the nuclear capacity but the likely threat is from the use of chemical and biological warfare which destroys people without destroying building or all natural resources such as the oil and the gold underground. If tou study what Cameron has said on the bombing of Syria is was clear this not bring about an early resolution of the conflict and he also misled by stating out involvement in Syria was for the use of our smart weaponry which is yet to employed or that we would strike at the the Syrian HQ which again we have not and where other do not unless it is clear from ground intelligence that human shields are not being used which would aid the propaganda and where those we want to eliminate remain secure underground.. The polirtical established has been shociked to the core by the rise of the SNP in Scotland where the hoped the security trump card would work and it failed and change political landscape. The SNP has been shocked by what happened in May just as Dirty ( tricks) Dave was shocked by the outcome of the GE

                  If Mr Mann is against the approach to politics of Mr Corbyn just because of what he is alleged to have done or not done re Islington Child care then why has he not made this clear in various statements. If it such a big issue then Mr Cameron would have raised the matter himself or arrange for others to do so, although I accept it an issue where all the politicians and political parties have major questions to answer to the Justice Goddard statutory panel inquiry during the next five years or more of its likely existence..

                  I am guessing that the particular issue of Mr Corbyn’s role in what happened at Islington, is a major concern of yours which is fair enough but it is unrealistic to expect anyone participating in the present government or Opposition front bench teams in either House of parliament who has been in Parliament before 2012 not to have a case to answer, as all police forces, all the media and everyone else who held senior positions in the institutions covered from the Queen and her officials down. That in reality is nature and size of the problem where I would argue we all failed and did not do enough. One of the conclusions I expect Justice Goddard to say when the work of the Inquiry is all wrapped up.

                  What I hope is that you and anyone like me who believes individual politicians and others holding prominent positions failed to act or acted in way which did specific harm to children particularly children in care will provide Justice Goddard with the detailed substance of the case you believe which can be made.

                  However of great importance is the number of NHS in hospitals who have information that institution deliberately covered the number of elderly, people with mental health and learning difficulties who failed to survive hospital treatment because of negligence if individuals or institutional policy and practice. I think you will find the number of deaths is greater than the number of children in care damaged by the care experience with long term consequence than the damage that led then to being and remaining in care.

                  The Statutory Inquiry will have determine if the allegations of cover up made against any individual merit referral to the police or to become part of one of the announced investigations, to be part of a new investigation. I would have preferred Justice Goddard to have announced that she was holding one investigation in the role of political parties in the cover up and propose to make this case depending on the content of the initial hearings when these take place. I assume Mr Mann will be contributing to the important Lambeth Inquiry which according to Clive Driscoll was stopped by the intervention of the Police and the Department of Health and where I provided Clive and in the process of providing the Inquiry which information of relevance and substance.. Mt attention will then turn to North Wales once the Macur Inquiry is published if it is.

                  Where we agree is that there has been something rotten in our body politic which has been prepared to treat children in care as expendable because of other greater interests of the state and system.. The use of blackmail for example by the Whips as a means of controlling the political behaviour of MPs is well established and don’t you think if Jeremy was not as clean as any human being especially politicians can be then it would have been used to bring him into line or down decades ago.. At the moment one attack on the new politics is the resurrection of ruthless methods associated with the Militant Tendency, Socialist Labour League and such like but which from my experience was and is no different from the usual age old methods ridding troublesome priests although such methods are usually more subtle and sophisticated.

                  My hope is that I will live long enough see real change to out institutions without violent revolutions and indeed effective long terms change usually only occur when institutions change themselves through leadership at the top support by an increasing number of those employed or working for the institution in question. This what the Corbyn leadership is about and should be supported..

      • Owen

        Would that be the same Keith Joseph who seems for reasons best known to himself to have decided that it was appropriate for Derek Slade to be given six weeks advance warning of an investigation into allegations of abuse at St George’s School, Great Finborough, and whose officials felt it unnecessary for the inspectors to report on pressing child welfare issues at the school?

      • Owen

        AJG, I’m not labouring under any illusion that John Mann is opposed to Corbyn solely on the grounds of Corbyn’s failure to deal with the Islington residential care issue. I thought Mann made a big mistake in making his support for Yvette Cooper clear as a very small part of his original statement because then it was obvious that what has happened would happen – Corbyn’s supporters closed ranks and the Labour Party revival has dealt with Mann’s specific criticism of Corbyn in relation to Islington in the same way as you have done my mention of it, by treating it as part of the general attack on the post-New Labour movement for change, regardless of the fact that Mann’s concern predated the contest and Corbyn’s success.

        Like most people I was aware of the Hodge issue a long time ago but it was only as I learned more aboout the post-Hodge cover-up managed by her successor with the unsavoury connections and her successor’s role as party leader and constituency agent up until 2010 that I understood the depth of what had happened in Islington and started to think about Corbyn’s role, right from the time of his apparent failure to act after his defensive criticism of Geoffrey Dickens when Dickens raised the issue of the Elthorne Estate allegations up until his uncomplicated dismissal of the issue in the 2014 debate as all having been investigated. That “washing hands” moment was an eye-opener.

        Corbyn’s stance on the Islington abuse inquiry has provided a glimpse of his real capacity to be the leader of democratic change. His leadership may still serve as a vehicle for change but the man himself doesn’t embody the change that a lot of his present supporters are hoping for.

        In the same way that we’ve learned that the security services’ apparent willingness to exploit the vulnerability of children in care in Northern Ireland gave us an idea of their fitness for the task of defending a democratic society, Corbyn’s reluctance to pursue justice for children in Islington’s care – or do something about the possibility of children elsewhere being abused by the pensioned-off perpetrators – appears to show us how willing he is to prioritise the interests of the powerless over those of the (relevantly) powerful.

        Corbyn’s apparent desire to brush politically inconvenient dirt under the mat in his constituency sits alongside his willingness to find excuses for the likes of Milosevic and Gaddafi and even now to let Ken Livingstone get away with his snide nastiness about depressive illness.

        Corbyn isn’t Michael Foot, which perhaps is why he appears more likely to be successful than Foot in standing up to the media onslaught against him and the movement for change. But in the long run Corbyn’s flaws are as much of a threat to the hopes for change as the Daily Mail and its allies.

        Sawyer, his wife and Wendy Warner were dismissed from the board of the Ubombo schools in 2009 after Ubombo learned about Derek Slade’s background and how Sawyer’s IBEP had produced the references that got him his job as headmaster. Sawyer remained Corbyn’s agent until 2010. So Corbyn spent nearly three decades working alongside councillors who had covered up the abuse in Islington, nearly two of those after the Islington whistleblowers appealed to him for help.

        I don’t like most of what Simon Danczuk says he stands for and I disagree with a fair amount of what John Mann says. But I respect them both for taking the risk of standing up for the vulnerable. From the time of Danczuk’s corridor encounter they must both have had a good idea of what they were up against.

        Politics we’re told is about issues, not people. So what does the absence of any visible Labour Party support for – or even opposition to – John Mann’s dossier presentation at the committee session chaired by Valerie Vaz tell us? That antagonism towards individuals is more important to the Corbyn Labour Party than support for issues?

        If the wrath of Labour Party activists is more important than MPs getting to the bottom of the cover-ups, that tells a bit more than disappointing. I wrote to all the constituency candidates at the last election telling them that for me the historical cover-up of the abuse of vulnerable children was the priority issue for me and asking about their personal stance. Three replied to me.

        My Labour MP, who’d ignored or misinterpreted previous letters on the issue, did not. For the first time in I can’t remember how long I didn’t vote for the Labour candidate. And as of now Corbyn’s leadership doesn’t offer the hope for real change that would turn me around next time.

        • artmanjosephgrech

          The detailed response to my comments deserves more thought and time than I can devote .just now so this is my first reaction.

          The situation at Islington as in several other local authorities and within other institutions merit the kind of thorough, comprehensive and truthful investigation that Justice Goddard has promised in relation to the investigation areas announced leading to hearings. It should not mean that she will not add Islington or other specific authorities or other institutions as the inquiry develops apace and police investigations are completed. The absence of Newcastle is one example which had the highest number of of criminal child abuse situations commencing in 1976 than any other local authority to my knowledge and where its Director of Social Services, the most influential individual in social services recommended placing children in the homes run by now twice convicted John Allen in my presence to other Director of Social Services and then pretended he was not aware why his department had 69 children from the North East to North Wakes together with an unspecified number of children on intermediate treatment./.

          It is important that those with information especially knowledge of where records should be located advise the Goddard Inquiry Direct and in terms of the cover if there is evidence this was done to prevent the due process of justice that matter should be drawn to the police and if more appropriate to the IPCC, if the role of police is in question.

          At the last count so 90 existing and former politicians are investigation by the police and once these investigations have been completed, if prosecutions are not agreed or possible because a person is dead it is my understanding the available information will be passed to the Inquiry and this applies to all the VIPS currently under police investigations. This concerns perpetrator investigations and how much will be public or individual complains given information which will satisfy them I suspect will be limited.

          However nothing has been said about those who covered up, who will interviewed who will be asked to given evidence at a hearing and in public. It would be surprising if the Inquiry did not have to Start with the Queen or at least the Palace and government official who advised and then the Prime Ministers and their colleagues and officials. I give you two first hand experiences.. The first directly concerned child sexual abuse when a head a home married a girl who had been in care at the home shortly after her 16th birthday in the era of the Children’s department and where there were allegations of a corrupt relationship between the head and a local and regional politician who went on to have a national role in local government politics. I was asked to investigate after the Children’s Officer and Chief Home office Inspector in the region and on leaving the authority I advised the then Deputy Chief Inspector at the Home Office and a senior member of the House of Lords who subsequently also had an appointment at the palace. I also subsequently spoke with a senior legal officer in the authority which was one of those abolished in 1974. All the key people involved are dead and it is debatable if there are records or if the matter was mentioned at the Palace. A very different situation arose in 1980 when I was invited to participate in a non statutory independent judicial led and run panel inquiry which was held in 1981 and reported in1982 where I drafted the majority reported.. When I asked why the Inquiry I was told there was interest from the Palace and this was only recently confirmed with the release of the ten page communication prepared by a Secretary of State for the then Prime Minister for passing on to the Palace. Subsequently afterwards the Chief Inspector made a private visit to learn the background to why there were two reports and I explain this and also what the Chairman and I had agreed not to include and this was passed on to the then Secretary of State, I do not know id this also made its way to Prime Minister and the Palace, but given the publicity, the location and some of the people involved I would be surprised if it was not

          It should be evident from this that while much has been by the involvement of the security services in Northern Ireland and here in the UK in stopping investigations and where a number of police officers included one who became a Chief Constable has endorsed. You must appreciate that while Ministers should not become involved in the process of intelligence gathering, in, national securing and policing any decision to stop an investigation where evidence had emerged or was emerging can only have come from Government n depending on the issue the Palace would also be informed and indeed consulted when the Royal prerogative was to be used as investigated by the Northern Ireland Selected Committee last year in relation to on the runs.

          I have repeatedly advised that the appearance of something particularly the public appearance of something is usually far from its reality. Within months of becoming Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher arranged for a back bench Labour Member of Parliament to ask PMQ in which she admitted that the Keeper of the Royal Art, a cousin of the Queen mother was a double spy and had not been prosecuted because he had made a clean breast. Thirty years later her former press secretary said she had done this because she did not believe in cover up. The Spy had written a memoir about his early life which on his death was locked away in the British Library until although those named were dead.

          When I have the time I will try and explain how the state works through the Privy Council committee and where the Cabinet is a Privy Council sub committee and how the two Party political system worked and now it needs to be changed if for example we are not to treat children in care as expendable, elderly people, people with mental health or severe learning difficulties dying without ill health cause in hospital or indigenous people in places like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq dying in the name of international capitalism. and the international arms trade where we are one of the world leaders

      • Owen

        AJG, thank you for that detailed explanation, but we are still left with the issue that I presume lies at the heart of Kincora. Can the security of the state /of society justify the systematic abuse of the most vulnerable members of society, children entrusted to the care of the state? And at all levels below the level of national security – can any considerations of political importance at any level of government, from national down to municipal, justify ignoring the administration’s delegated responsibility to the vulnerable?

        In 1992 Corbyn had his attention drawn to problems of which he should already have been aware – by the group of social workers including Liz Davies, by the investigator of child abuse Eileen Fairweather and by the abusee Demetrious Panton. He acknowledged what had been said to him, was reminded on subsequent occasions, but still did nothing.

        Because of the way Islington Council managed the terms of reference of the inquiry it was forced to undertake, its failure to secure evidence and its decision not allow the general publication even of a redacted version of the report until twenty years later, it’s thought that many of those implicated in the horrendous abuse were able to leave the Council’s employment with unblemished references that made it possible to seek employment with social services departments and other bodies concerned with children’s welfare.

        I’m not pointing the finger at Corbyn alone, we know that others of his colleagues were equally involved. At least one, Stephen Twigg, appears to have made an attempt at an apology. The problem is that for twenty years Corbyn sat on the responsibility specifically entrusted to him by the whistleblowers and gave no indication of having taken any significant action based on that information.

        Claims that individuals significantly involved in the cover-up have facilitated abuse elsewhere of other particularly vulnerable children have not been convincingly refuted. Until they are, despite your observations, I see no reason why Jeremy Corbyn should not be considered answerable for his silence. He is now a candidate for the highest public office. If he and his Party colleagues don’t think that in those circumstances there is no need for them to explain why action was not taken to ensure that vulnerable children were not placed at risk of harm and harmed, they deserve to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

        That’s my bit. As I’ve said before, I am not privy to any special knowledge, there is more than enough information in the public domain to make anyone connected with the Islington politics of the era hide their face with shame, if they don’t deserve to be put behind bars.

        • artmanjosephgrech

          You have made a powerful case and I know of other situations as well as from my own experience that concerns have been spelt out to those in high authority where on the surface no action appears to have been taken. situation where a situation was spelt out and nothing appears to have been to prevent,

          The reality is that it dos not matter who you are if the state says no the state says no and at least the Home Secretary has made it clear and public that those who have signed the official secrets Act of may communicate with Justice Goddard and her team, where there are thousand upon thousands of us and who may are not allowed to communicate to third parties information they have received of action being taken or not taken with or without reasons being given in confidence and which such people remain in a difficult position in relation to those who brought brought the information to them.. The problem for those on the outside of which I have been one for some two decades is of no having the information to make an informed judgement and although Goddard will investigate everything submitted it is impossible for everything to be investigated with thoroughness and comprehensiveness, with a hearing and where all or part of the hearing will be in public

          Obviously I do not know Jeremy or anything directly of the everything under scrutiny but form what I have read and heard he is just not the kind of person who does nothing. Remember he has been a rebel MP throughout his long political life voting against his party more than supporting because of his beliefs and without a sniff of real power or influence until now., Tine is need to see how he able to use that power with survival the first priority.

          On the general point I am not saying one has to accept the reality that men women and children often the poorest have been expendable in the interest of others including the interests of the state . It always has been and always will that is reality of human beingness.. It is important that people campaign and protest but do so in ways that enable them to make progress and effectiveness change the institutions and the individuals who abuse their power. I have always acted in the belief that I was doing more good than harm in the long terms and when I found this was not so I stopped and did something else which I hope would be more positive in the long term. If we do not at least try then the evidence is that situations will get worse than better. The Catholic that remains in me also does not accept to see the changes needed but to just keep trying.

          • Owen

            AJG, I understand and sympathise with a great deal of what you are saying. I’m perhaps less willing to look for unspoken explanations for Corbyn’s silence than you are because of my past antipathy to his willingness to find ideological excuses for the powerfully wicked elsewhere. But that’s not why Corbyn is the focus of my concern – I hold him accountable because he has now arrived at the point where he must tell those who hoped to see him bring significant change that either he does or he doesn’t have an absolute line in the sand where the abuse of the most vulnerable is concerned. And so far the evidence of decades suggests that he doesn’t.

            If he hadn’t suddenly arrived in his present position, Corbyn would be no more than one more out of a fairly large group of the great, good and culpable of Islington who were happy to let Hodge be a deserving target while they all hid from sight behind her. It’s time they all faced the music.

            Yes, Goddard has said she will be looking at Islington but surprisingly not as part of her “first wave” (surprisingly since so much groundwork has already been done to prepare her inquiry for her). However, as you point out, she has laid down ground rules that seem intended to stitch up the public mouths of anyone who believes that it s important to contribute their evidence to her review. Pretty cynical and I would say ominous if it wasn’t just what was to be expected.

            Unless Goddard finds the inquiry’s teeth cracking on the pips as fortunately seems possibly to be happening in Jersey (studiously ignored by Needleblog), how will anyone be able to know whether their “peripheral” experiences are relevant to matters at the core of the Islington thread when no-one apart from Goddard and the people working with/for her knows where the thread has led and what connections may have been made? Goddard (or perhaps I should say campaigners) may have secured a suspension of the OSA for individuals who believe they need to talk to her because they know they need to talk to her, but it’s going to be hard for others to second guess how relevant their knowledge might be, survivors/victims and third parties both. (In my ignorance I may have completely misinterpeted the situation, but in that case I doubt I’m the only one).

            So that’s why however uninformed we on the outside are about what’s been happening on the inside, we still need to shout as loudly as we can, in order to make plain that those inside that there are limits to what the citizens of a democracy can tolerate even in extreme circumstances. From what you say, I’d guess that you and I are standing on the same ground here. So that’s why I insist on saying that although Corbyn may have had to keep his mouth shut and however knowledgeable he may be and however ignorant we are, it’s vital that we are not silent with him.

            And that’s why, however much I may disagree with Simon Danczuk or John Mann on any other political issue, I’m disgusted to see Labour Party activists rush to show them the door when those activists have shown a pathetic unwillingness to stick their necks out in the way Danczuk and Mann have on behalf of the children and other vulnerable individuals for whom I believe you and I share a common concern.

      • Owen

        Sorry, I obviously can’t know that Corbyn did nothing after being warned by the whistleblowers. At the end of my second paragraph I should have said “but still said nothing meaningful and as far as has been reported apparently did nothing meaningful either.

        • artmanjosephgrech

          Yes what people are known to have done and said in public is not the same thing as what they do and say in private. It is interesting that when the Home Secretary was promoting the original panel inquiry there was much talk of transparency as buzz word. I suspected that at the time she was wanting to put the spotlight on those pressing for the inquiry and on those who were known to have covered up. I have always been less sure about covered up by the state and its governments, unless of course you are wanting to focus on the cover up by previous government of a different political cast. In fair to Mrs May I still believe she was wanting the truth out as I believed so did the Shadow Home Secretary and I wanted both to contest the 2020 general election for that good reason. I knew little about Mr Corbyn at the time, as I suspect did most of the UK population. and since then Dirty tricks Dave, the nasty party of Tory party, and a chunk of the shadow cabinet and Parliamentary Labour party Party have done their damning best for the majority to have a biased and negative view of him. I retain an open mind about what he did and did not do re Islington bearing also in mind that we do not know what the majority of MPS did or did not do about the matters drawn to their attention. I had a warm letter of greeting from Chris Mullin when I went to Sunderland but he sang a different tune after I called in the police. After I supported the call of another Labour MP for an independent inquiry, he stopped calling for it and it was the Conservative Leader of the Opposition on Sunderland Council who suggested to Nick Davies of the Guardian that he should investigate. It was someone on behalf of Margaret Thatcher who asked a Labour MP from this region to ask a PMQ six months after she became Prime Minister to confirm that the Keeper of the Queen’s art who was also the cousin of the Queen mother had been a spy for the Russian and given a royal pardon after he owned up because as her press secretary said 30 years later she did not believe in cover up.

          Given that the present Prime Minister and present deputy leader of the Labour Party served together on the Mullin Home Affairs Committee which in 2002 recommended that police investigations should stop unless approved by a Judge in advance and compensation should be restricted to the Criminal injuries Boards I have since speculated how the Watson Cameron PMQ exchange came about. It was timely wasn’t it that Lord Tebitt appeared on the Andrew Marr show revealing that the cover was almost unconscious and the way things were done the morning before the Home Secretary announced the ill fated inquiry and where one of the first panel members had given evidence during a non statutory inquiry were I had drafted he majority report 30 years before having been recommended to the panel by the Department of Health after the Palace had pressed for information with the response drafted by the Secretary of State for the Department of Health for he Prime Minister now published and which included comments from the then Chief Social Work Services Adviser, who after the reports were issued made a private visit to my office for a briefing so that the Secretary of State, a new one and one may presume the Palace could be advised why there were two reports including what we had both left out.. The appearance of something is not usually its actuality.

          • Owen

            AJG, your comment “The appearance of something is not usually its actuality.” goes to the nub of the problem for those of us outside the inner circles. If we sense something is wrong, we try and find out if there’s substance to our suspicions. We reserve our judgment in the hope that more of the full picture will reveal itself to us. But we ask the essential question, “Can we tell that something wrong happened?”.

            Once we’ve satisfied ourselves that there’s adequate evidence it has, wde go on to ask, “Should something have done something about it?” And then, “Who should have done something about that?” We next ask, “Have they tried to right the wrong?” And finally we ask “If they haven’t put it right, have they gone some way either to righting the wrong or making sure it doesn’t happen again?”

            If at the end of the process we have found out what we can and we still believe that something wrong has happened and hasn’t been properly dealt with, we have to ask the person or people who we believe should have done something and ask them “Why weren’t you able to?” If they tell us, directly or indirectly, that actually they really can’t tell us, then we are left to decide whether they have convinced us. If they haven’t succeeded in persuading us they should have the benefit of credibility, they leave us little choice but to believe they are part of the problem that’s prevented the wrong being righted.

            By where we are now, neither Theresa May nor Jeremy Corbyn has done what I hoped they would do or convinced me that what they have done showed good faith. So whatever lies behind the appearance they leave me with no reason to believe it is any better than the appearance. May’s and Corbyn’s lack of credibility has now become part of the problem as well.

            Your mention of Chris Mullin is a timely reminder of how someone else we believed could be trusted to judge whether what what was behind appearances was acceptable or unacceptable in the end for whatever reason sadly chose to forfeit that trust.