Matthew Parris

What kind of idiot tries to stand in the way of a national child abuse panic? I do

I know the rumours. I think they’re mostly nonsense. I don’t expect a fair hearing

12 July 2014

9:00 AM

12 July 2014

9:00 AM

As essay titles go, ‘On losing an argument with Tim Loughton MP’ may fail to catch the imagination; but there we are: I don’t need to be re-elected.

You know before you start when you’re on a losing wicket, and I had fully expected to lose this argument, which was on live television with Adam Boulton. But I thought the attempt might be interesting. I’d been inspired by a thoroughly sensible contribution to the subject on the Today programme, by Peter Bottomley MP.

The subject was whether we really needed an ‘overarching’ public inquiry to fill the gaps left by allegedly deficient previous inquiries into allegations of the (historic) sexual abuse of children by public figures. The Home Secretary was about to announce such an inquiry, but I had an impotent proposal to make: that we might at least press the equivalent of a ‘pause’ button while media and political excitement died down, and resume discussion more calmly in four weeks’ time.

It was the Monday after a weekend’s frenzy of slurs and whispers following the alleged loss by the Home Office (a loss reported by a previous inquiry in 2013) of a ‘dossier’ which the late Geoffrey Dickens MP had apparently handed the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, in the 1980s, containing allegations about child abuse perpetrated by leading figures in public life.

Mr Dickens was a lovely man, regarded affectionately at Westminster, but a sometimes preposterous figure, who once called a press conference and told surprised journalists he was about to telephone his wife with the news he was leaving her, having fallen for a lady he met at afternoon tea dances in Soho. In the 1990s I sent his widow the draft of a chapter on her late husband for my book Great Parliamentary Scandals, to check my facts. She came to see me, did not query the facts, but begged me not to publish because it had all happened years ago and publication would cause her family great pain. Softening, I binned the whole chapter, never expecting Geoffrey to lead the news again.

Now he does. I keep up with the news and, if you must know, I don’t believe the news. Or, rather, I suspect it’s a hugely overheated and distorted conspiracy theory based on a couple of probable facts and, imposed upon them, a great superstructure of improbable ones, laced with rumour, invention, sensation-seeking and the allure of compensation. I know at least one of the central figures around whom gossip has swirled for decades, and think the gossip to be false. I remember with what credulousness a bizarre story was believed about two Tory cabinet ministers who had (it was said) engaged in oral sex at Conservative Central Office on the night of Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 (or was it 1987?) election victory. Complete rubbish.


Tim Loughton is a former children’s minister who has been one of the most vociferous leaders of the campaign to secure a big new inquiry into alleged cover-ups of paedophilia involving prominent public figures. So when Sky News invited me to joust with him my heart said tally-ho. My head was saying whoa. My heart won.

Let me take you through the tussle that took place in my mind, will have taken place in many MPs’ and editors’ minds, and may well have taken place in the mind of Theresa May, the Home Secretary, before she acceded to the request of Mr Loughton and others, and ordered another inquiry.

Heart (to self): We don’t really believe that X was a secret pederast, do we? Or that there was a ring of them at the top, at Westminster in the 1980s? Or that they conspired to protect each other? Or that they ordered civil servants to suppress or destroy evidence of their pederasty? Or that any civil servant would have done this? Or that such a conspiracy could long have been hidden from the light?

Head: No, we don’t. But what if we’re wrong? We kept an open mind about Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith for too long, didn’t we? What if some killer fact emerges, incriminating individuals in a major way? We’re going to look worse than gullible, we’re going to look cruel and irresponsible, if we had argued against further inquiry. Remember Hillsborough.

Heart: Yes but the chances are greater that the whole thing will fizzle out. Wouldn’t we be given credit for opposing the hysteria — and the cost to the public purse?

Head: No, we wouldn’t. Nobody will remember or care. They’ll say it was important anyway to establish the truth and clear this matter up once and for all. That’s all Loughton’s saying now — and we’re hardly going to get a round of applause for saying that the truth should not be established.

Heart: Isn’t that an argument for agreeing to every public inquiry anyone ever proposes?

Head: Not your problem. Your concern’s to protect your own professional and personal reputation. And if you put your head above the parapet, some people are always going to say that you’ve got guilty secrets of your own to protect. They’ll say as much if you duck the issue too.

Heart: But I’ve never had the remotest sexual interest in children. I just hate the lynch mob.

Head: That’s what they all say. Join the mob, matey.

But there was no time on Sky News for Socratic dialogue. Mr Loughton was all crisp command, wise precaution, appropriate moral horror, and dark hints of knowing more than he could say. I was all ambiguity, hesitation and doubt. I appeared like a crumpled and compromised old roué, burbling legalisms as innocent children were carted away to their despoilation.

In short, I lost. But what the hell, eh? This national panic about paedophilia is careering right out of control, and somebody has to say so.

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Show comments
  • Meh.

  • Michael H Kenyon

    And what did you know but say nothing about, Matt? The smirking complicity and emollient fluff pushed by the Spectator on this matter is a disgrace. It may have been a few perverts rather than the crazed conspiracies claimed, but the fact remains that crimes were buried and the State apparatus corrupted. And you wonder why the public is cynical about politicians and sees conspiracies where none exist? Tell the truth and shame the devil.

    • Kennybhoy

      Well said.

  • edithgrove

    You say: “I’d been inspired by a thoroughly sensible contribution to the subject on the Today programme, by Peter Bottomley MP.” Peter Bottomley MP, without explanation, was given air time by the BBC to threaten anyone – the licence payer, the general public, any unnamed persons – that if his name should is so much as uttered in connection with the present scandal he’ll sue, as he has done before. And in the course of this bizarre episode, he fingered Tom Driberg a man unconnected with this scandal but indeed a homosexual. Did you not get the irony of that Matthew? I hope if I ever consider that I might be accused of some crime I haven’t committed the BBC and a gentle John Humphys will give me 5 minutes of air time to threaten any potential accusers.

  • jesseventura2

    And as a self confessed pervert and cottager and dogger?

    • BoiledCabbage

      Half the country is on Adultwork, get a grip.

    • George Smiley

      I would agree with the cottaging bit (what a queer bunch!), but there is definitely nothing wrong with being a dogger or a pervert!

  • Makroon

    Most Conservative governments which have fallen to Labour, have done so in a welter of sleaze allegations.
    Labour are desperate, but haven’t been able to make anything stick about the current incumbents.
    So, surprise, surprise, loads of smears and innuendo seeking to generically link “the Tories” with ancient rumours. Pretty much like the stunt to turn the phone hacking and “too close to Murdoch and the police”, which mainly occurred under Labour, into “Tory sleaze”.

    • rtj1211

      If you go through the smear/innuendo balance sheet it includes (you’ll note I’m not saying any of it has any basis in fact, I’m just reporting what is out there in internet land):

      1. Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are Paedophiles. OH, and so is Peter Mandelson, so is Gerald Kaufman. So that’s new Labour infested with them then. Not to mention Margaret Hodge ‘covering things up’ in Islington, all because she was born an Oppenheimer, apparently. Must have been something in the breast milk she was fed……
      2. ON the Tory side, there is Edward Heath (in fact they say his rent boys were bumped off and dumped in the sea). Then you have Portillo and Brittan. Not to mention the outed Peter Morrison. So they’ve been riddled with them too.
      3. In the Royals, there is Lord Louis Mountbatten. There was Anthony Blunt, when he wasn’t passing secrets to the Russians. You’ll probably find reference to Prince Andrew and his dad somewhere too, because everyone knows they have high sex drives, so that must include paedophilia too.
      4. For the Liberals, Cyril Smith has already been outed and plenty is out there about Jeremy Thorpe.

      5. Then there are the hangers-on. The fixers who have told Google to take down pages from their searches on the matter. The senior judges. The senior police officers. The senior members of MI6 like the late Maurice Oldfield.

      The level of accusation is McCarthyite in its insinuation.

      You met/knew/were acquainted with XXX, who was subsequently outed as a paedophile. Ergo you must be one them too.

      Red bums under the bed, you know. From all that paedophilic spanking, sessions with dominatrices and all that friction from having sex on rough wooden floors……..

      If we’re going to get serious, Simon Danczuk needs to name the Tory who warned him off. Name him in Parliament and get his name over all the airwaves.

      Then he can be quizzed in public and hounded out of office if he doesn’t answer questions. If he doesn’t, the Chief Whip follows. Same outcome for silence. Then the Chairman of the Conservative Party. Same for him too.

      Now it’s also about time that another big Labour paedophile is exposed. To even up the score. So the same chain of command can be quizzed and thrown out of public life for cover ups.

      Then we’d be getting somewhere.

      All we have right now is listeria hysteria, froth for diversionary purposes.

      For once in their lives, our self-righteous media need to go into battle, not like the Light Brigade, but using the tactics of Shock N Ore……..

      • Gwangi

        Well my favourite paedophile is Mohamed. He married a 6 year old but didn’t deflower her until she was 9. Now that’s what I call good manners…

      • GraveDave

        Margaret Hodge is a disgrace, and to understand why, you have to read the full story. But in the main she seemed to be more worried about keeping good relations with the gay community than listening to what happened there. She even tried to imply these children were all mentally ill, and the odds are a few probably were. But what happened there, happened. It was no conspiracy against Gays or Jews. She should have been sacked from public life and from working with children – forever.

      • GraveDave

        Margaret Hodge is a disgrace, and to understand why, you have to read the full story. But in the main she seemed to be more worried about keeping good relations with the gay community than listening to what happened there. She even tried to imply these children were all mentally ill, and the odds are a few probably were. But what happened there, happened. It was no conspiracy against Gays or Jews. She should have been sacked from public life and from working with children – forever.

    • GraveDave

      Nah, Tories wouldnt be involved in anything like that. The very thought of it!
      Meanwhile people are starting to wonder why it’s only a few old bearded pop celebs and the odd dead man we are able to name and shame.

    • GraveDave

      Nah, Tories wouldnt be involved in anything like that. The very thought of it!
      Meanwhile people are starting to wonder why it’s only a few old bearded pop celebs and the odd dead man we are able to name and shame.

  • MC73

    You’re a brave lad Matthew. Gay, former Tory MP, a journalist – ‘one of them’ in any nutter’s book. You might even be One of Them. If you had paediatrician on your CV your house would be in ashes by now.

    Remember, absence of evidence is evidence of conspiracy. Never mind that the Home Office probably lost 100 files in the time it took you to write that.

    Peter Bottomley’s are on the web even now, taking screenshots and idly wondering what colour a BMW 7-series looks best in.

    Any male MP who popped off in the past 20 years is about to be outed, especially if he was gay or just unmarried, or looked a bit funny.

    But it’s all about the children remember, it’s all about justice. Nothing to do with Tom Watson getting a stiffy every time he sees his fat face in the papers.

  • Let’s just start with two pieces of information.
    1. The chap who spoke about Saville and Heath was/is a barrister, who spoke on Bristol Community Radio. He currently writes for Veterans Today.
    2. The chap who spoke of his time as a whip was just that, a whip in the HoC. He specifically mentioned, amongst other things, people who had a liking for small boys.

    And a valid speculation. People in parliament are no different from anyone else. If paedophilia is found in society, it will be found in Westminster. If paedophiliac gangs exist in organisations geared to secrecy, cover up, and blackmail, it will be found in Westminster.

    This isn’t hysteria; this isn’t lizard people conspiracy, this is two accounts from people in the know, with a valid speculation, and the fact that no charges were laid against anyone despite this. No newspapers followed it up.

    And what do we get in return? “Oh, that Geoffrey Dickens, he was a lad. And Tim Loughton – can you believe it, he won’t name names in TV” (despite what happened to Schofield).

    The Pressminister cabal seem to think we, the readership, have short memories, but it is still only a few weeks since we saw a co-ordinated attack upon UKIP across the media; the same editorial line being taken on Left and Right. this isn’t just an inquiry into Westminster, it is a revelation of how much we can take the media seriously as an independent reporter of facts. And sadly, it seems you aren’t; all you do is trot out ad homs.

    • Moor Larkin

      The barrister chap you refer to at 1] claims that children were taken in secret German submarines to Argentina to be abused by a paedophile ring. Not the most reliable source of information methinks.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Ah, you must mean Michael Shrimpton.

        • George Smiley

          The so-called Queen’s Counsel who is not, with a chamber of his own (i.e., no chambers, just his own rented private office space), and with no personal website, because most decent and half-decent solicitors will not instruct him, and the Bar of England (and Wales) will not allow him to participate in the Direct Access Scheme either! No more credible than the office cleaner working in his office, then!

      • George Smiley

        You are wasting your time! The whole Jersey story is nonsense. Jersey is never the Queen’s personal property like Balmoral or Sandringham, or the Queen’s official property like Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, and operates to almost all intents and purposes a foreign Country. The whole idea that Heath, either in or out of office, could just secretly sneak in and out without anyone in the Bailiwick knowing and without having to meet and greet officials from the same said Bailiwick is just absurd.

        The whole idea rests upon the mad double supposition that because that Heath was unmarried, therefore he was an homosexual, and therefore he was also a paedophile, which is even more absurd; the claim that Lord Mountbatten was a paedophile also rests under the largely identical basis.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      “The chap who spoke about Saville”
      What do you call someone who still can`t spell “Savile”?
      Bit of a thicko, right!

      • George Smiley

        Being an autistic smart Alec and a git does not actually make you smart or clever either, my Japanese friend!

    • George Smiley

      Bristol Community Radio (cue David Icke)?! Give it a rest! If anything, are YOU in fact secretly or inadvertently some sort of Establishment attempted cover-up by painting the campaigners as conspiracy-theory loons?

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Still can’t spell “Savile”, solly?

      • Can you change your name to “Jacktheautisticpedantictwatt”, why don’t you please?!

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          “Madeleine McCann internet troll accused found dead in hotel”

  • SuffolkBoy

    Spot on! You will of course be trampled to death by standing in the way, or even knifed in the back or spat on or called a collaborator. Anyone who merely fails the join the mob when it senses some war, gang-fight or a spot of targetted arson is about to break out, let alone asking questions about its rationale, is likely to receive the same treatment. The gang warfare psychology is the same whether its Toxteth or Westminster; the difference is merely in the choice or weapons.

  • Chingford Man

    Tim Fortescue made his comments on the Whips helping out MPs who had run into problems with “small boys” in a documentary by Michael Cockerell in 1995. Now Cockerell’s superb films must surely be compulsory viewing in the Westminster Village.

    *Did anyone pick up on the implications of Fortescue’s comments?
    *Why was Fortescue not immediately approached by the Police?
    *Did one MP ask a Parliamentary Question?
    *Did one journalist, and Matthew was surely writing at that time, pursue the issue?

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist who tries to squeeze things into a pre-determined narrative. But there are so many troubling questions to be answered by so many people about the suffering of many young people in care.

    I expect the press to be formulating those questions. Some of the coverage seems to be trying the “Move along, nothing here to see” line.

  • Amir

    Readi this article about the child abuse inquiry:

    http://www.casualpolitics.co.uk/2014/07/what-child-abuse-cover-up-reveals/

    • Glidd of Glood

      If you want people to read it, it should at least be literate, which it isn’t.

  • Colin J Smart

    Everyone should listen carefully to what Dr Lyn Davies says in the interview and to what Peter McKelvie and others are able to say without prejudicing police and other investigations. Norman Tebbit proved the remains an important statesman with his remarks on Andre Marr show last Sunday. It was necessary for the Home Secretary to announce the new measures in House of Commons and again her statement together with that of the Heath Secretary in relation to the first disclosures following 26 NHS inquires in relation to Savile also merit close scrutiny to understand the gravity of what is already known and has led to increasing the central police unit from 7 to 20 officers in addition to those already deployed in the regions in relation to investigate specific ‘establishment’ individuals, The appearance of the Home Secretary before the Home Affairs Committee next week will be further illuminating.
    However Mr Parris was right to express concern at what quickly became a media frenzy in search of names and connections and which may well become the task of the independent Hillsborough type Inquiry where the original concentrated on looking at documentation while consulting and maintaining contact with victims families and other affected by the one day in question, and where police, the IPCC and a new Coroner’s inquest have followed which would not have occurred without the panel.
    In this instance as was disclosed in response to a question before the Home Secretary made her statement a great deal of the background work has been undertaken by the national group led by a Home Office Minister and it was right in my judgement for a Judge to be appointed as it is evident the work of the panel of child protection experts may well need to migrate into a statutory inquiry and the continuity of having the same personal with legal and judicial training and extensive experience will prove of value.
    It should not be forgotten that Leveson was only part one and that I believe some 60 to 80 cases involving prosecutions remain outstanding explaining why there are substantially more police officers centrally finishing Phone Hacking inquiries than the more limited number of establishment individuals presently known to have been involved, alive and in some instances still holding public positions with this number increasing this week from 7 to 20.
    It should also not be assumed that present focus on the Home office will not be extended to other government Departments. The Home Office through its Inspectorate was responsible for the inspection and monitoring of all forms of child care residential care establishment 1948 until 1971 when primarily these establishments catered for deprived children, education for the maladjusted and approved schools and borstals for the delinquent and where some young were labelled depraved and one politicians was said to not to have describe all children in residential care as vermin . There was not widespread serious crimes of physical and sexual violence committed by staff in local authority managed establishments but the reality as shown in the 1967 study of research into the outcomes of fostering and residential care by the National Children’s Bureau demonstrated the shortcomings
    Then with the coming of the generic Social Services department and the generic social services inspectorate, the introduction of corporate management and zero budgeting militant trade unionism into social work and residential child care, the understandable acceptance that homosexuality and lesbianism is biologically normal , the recognition that children have rights, the integration of delinquent and maladjusted children with the deprived in the new community homes system, the deskilling of child care practitioners and the absence at the top of those with qualification experience and in many instances interest in child care, disaster was forecast and warnings were ignored . It is not surprising that one Chief Inspector admitted he had not a clue of what was going on and that the inspectorate had to be radically reorganised the early 90.s when it became apparent that individual liaison inspectors to individual local authorities did not know what was going on either although some colluded with the punitive Pin Down behaviour control and modification approach then widely in operation in the community homes with education on the premises and the short sharp shock centres such as the one County Durham with over 700 individual complainants.
    This was the situation where an official on behalf of one Tory Secretary of State disclosed to me in writing and not marked confidential that they did not know what was going on individual local authorities which chose to cover up and where the first Labour Secretary of Sate after I had also revealed to him and his department information went on to to say at home and in Europe that if it had been possible to prosecute governments then government should have been brought to court for child neglect and failure to protect.
    What many of us such as Dr Davies Mr McKelvie and Mr Driscoll did not and still do not know is the extent of the evil establishment figures and others with whom they associated were perpetrating, sentencing many to a life of self doubt and guilt, alcoholic and substance misuse and addiction, emotional stability and despair which led over ten taking their lives from one notorious home in North Wales a home where Newcastle sent 69 of its care children and where its director one of the most powerful people in local authority child care for two decades lied in his public statements about not knowing why this happened when I was present when he recommended to other directors to place their children mentioning the hospitality he had received. It was after all Paul Burrell who disclosed that the head of state had commented to him about the dark forces in operation and I remind again that Norman Tebbit spoke of the unconscious natural tendency of the establishment to be protective of the national state and its stability as well as the protection of its own
    The amnesia of many political party whips against the honesty one fortunately recorded on tape is an indication of the necessary cleansing that is still to come and the grim truth to be faced but I suggest in a calm and considered manner over time not to re-traumatise victims. make the job of current staff even more challenging to impossible and the risk children now in care already disadvantage by the experience will have to run the gauntlet their peers.. Mr Parris your naivety is forgiven, but it is time to understand the society in which you have lived and animalistic baseness of some of your mankind.
    renden

    • GraveDave

      He’s a good man is Norman Tebbit. One of the old school.

      • Moor Larkin

        It’s LIZ Davies, not Lyn. Norman Tebbitt believed Jimmy Savile saved his life by getting him checked out properly at Stoke Mandeville after the IRA blew him up. I’d be very interested to hear what tebbitt thinks of all this craziness just now – especially the daft notion that Maggie Thatcher would have covered the tracks of paedo’s in No10. Not sure when this country went barking mad, but maybe 13 years of Blairism has proved too much for the British psyche.

  • Liz

    When did the Spectator take the editorial decision to be a friend to paedophiles? It’s all I’ve seen from them over the last year.

    • Gwangi

      You, lady, are sick in the head. Pervert.

    • GraveDave

      Sometimes the Spectator tries to lean toward the libertarian position, which would be fine if it wasn’t for their joke censorship and pre moderation device.

  • Gwangi

    Not an idiot at all – utterly rational.
    But in a world gone mad with paedo-hysteria, any appeal to reason will get you branded a suspect yourself (as the mental woman Liz proves here) – because why else would you not want this purge if you were not involved?
    I have an idea. Why don’t we just throw anyone who has ever been part of the political establishment into the Thames. Those who float will be proven guilty and thus hanged publicly. Those who sink will be proven innocent. Bless em…
    I look forward to those who stir up this very damaging paedo-hysteria, which does damage children who are now cooped up and overprotected by their idiot paranoid hysterical mothers, to be put on trial and punished in due course. If the world ever replaces the brain that has fallen out of its head.
    The press too are stirring this up – just to get ratings – as are man-hating women’s groups. Very wrong and sick in its salacious voyeurism.
    Let us repeat: most child abuse takes place in the home, and single mother families and step families create a context where abuse is much more likely to happen. Most babies and children who are killed are killed by women. Most violent and emotional child abuse is done by women, not men, and many women facilitate their partners in secksually abusing their children too (time to arrest all these women and lock em up and take away their kids).

    • Shenandoah

      Hello, Eddie.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Is it still legal to wink at someone? Or is it too risky – could this be construed as abuse in 40 years time when the next round of hysteria starts? When winking I might have had indecent thoughts running through my mind.

    • George Smiley

      Good. Vote UKIP!

  • Ordinaryman

    This matter is not a case of panic or mass-hysteria as some would have us believe, but a collective expression of revulsion and nausea over what is, thankfully, still widely regarded as a extremely serious crime against children. Unfortunately, with regard to the investigations and possible prosecutions, it is being turned in to a do we, don’t we academic exercise. The fact remains that there appears to be a strong (at this point in time) suspicion of child abuse, which may have happened in the past. Therefore, there is an obligation on the relevant authorities and society as a whole to look further into this. To not proceed with this and sweep it under the carpet would be a green light for those of a like disposition to continue with their obnoxious behaviour. It is well to remember that the welfare of the children is by far the most important consideration.

    • cremaster

      It was “ordinarymen” like your good self who said nothing for so many years. Just honest blokes who didn’t want to “turn everything into an academic exercise”.

      Yes, we KNOW you are capable of nausea. Most human beings are. You want an investigation. Fair enough. But are you aware of who will be doing the investigations?

      Have you noticed anything, ANYTHING AT ALL UNUSUAL about the police and judiciary these past few years? (Extending back into the BLAIR years, I mean?)

      • Ordinaryman

        “Ordinarymen” like me who said nothing did so because we were not privy to the information which is just starting to surface. Of course we knew that some people had perversions which took them outside the norm, but I, and many of my contemporaries were not aware of the possible, and I emphasise possible (there being no conclusive proof at the moment), extent that this permeates the higher echelons of society.
        It has been my experience that when a task, of what-ever kind, becomes an “academic exercise” it eventually suffers from ‘analysis paralysis’ resulting in a fudge.
        I am fully aware of who will be carrying out the investigations. I am also aware of a certain pattern of events, which could be construed as the machinations of some people with a political agenda. Nevertheless, I am loathe to get drawn into any form conspiracy theory. This would belittle the seriousness of the matter.
        To achieve what I consider to be a sensible conclusion, I have broken down the details relating to this into their constituent parts and then prioritised what I believe to be the right approach. And, as I mentioned previously, I keep coming back to the safety and welfare of the children being the over-riding priority.
        As ever, I would more than welcome and, hopefully, learn from what your approach would be.

      • Ordinaryman

        “Ordinarymen” like me who said nothing did so because we were not privy to the information which is just starting to surface. Of course we knew that some people had perversions which took them outside the norm, but I, and many of my contemporaries were not aware of the possible, and I emphasise possible (there being no conclusive proof at the moment), extent that this permeates the higher echelons of society.
        It has been my experience that when a task, of what-ever kind, becomes an “academic exercise” it eventually suffers from ‘analysis paralysis’ resulting in a fudge.
        I am fully aware of who will be carrying out the investigations. I am also aware of a certain pattern of events, which could be construed as the machinations of some people with a political agenda. Nevertheless, I am loathe to get drawn into any form conspiracy theory. This would belittle the seriousness of the matter.
        To achieve what I consider to be a sensible conclusion, I have broken down the details relating to this into their constituent parts and then prioritised what I believe to be the right approach. And, as I mentioned previously, I keep coming back to the safety and welfare of the children being the over-riding priority.
        As ever, I would more than welcome and, hopefully, learn from what your approach would be.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Damage control exercise, Matthew?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Britisher pals, it`s time to grasp that viewing kiddie porn on the web, however reprehensible, is in an entirely different league to hands-on child sexual abuse.

    • George Smiley

      A person who looks at gay porn regularly is not necessarily gay—if only!

      • Sweqrest

        You’re actually comparing apples to oranges somewhat with that comment. As so often in this subject you are mentally translating between psychiatric abnormality and the breaking of the law when they are different models attached to different phenomena.

        The Daily Star and the Sun used to regularly publish “kiddie porn” on page 3, prior to the law being changed in 2004 raising the age for such modelling from 16 to 18. Will all the men and boys who used the Star and the Sun as masturbation material prior to 2004 eventually turn out to be hands on sexual abusers of the underage? Obviously that’s ridiculous.

        Why then should men and boys who have collections on their hard drives today with topless 16 and 17 year olds, or even topless 14 and 15 year olds, along with their vast collections of topless 25 year olds and topless 35 year olds, turn out to be hands on sexual abusers of the underage? Because they are breaking the law whereas those who bought the Sun and Star did what they did when it was legal? Don’t buy it. They are no more likely to be having sex with teenagers in real life than teenage boys with a “MILF” porn collection are likely to be having sex with middle aged women in real life.

        • George Smiley

          This assertion is probably not what most psychologists would openly say or support by name—and calling pre-2004 topless 16- and 17-year-olds without full nudity or full penetrative sex “kiddie porn” is a novel definition and not one that most would understand, accept or subscribe to either.

          • Sweqrest

            You’re making my point for me – of course a professional psychiatrist would not call somene attracted to a topless 16 year old page 3 girl a “paedophile”, however the police DO call people who they arrest for accessing websites featuring nude 15 to 21 year old girls “paedophiles” and about 8 out of 10 times when the word “paedophile” appears in a newspaper it appears in relation to teenage adolescents, not the prepubescent. Such is the case with most “paedophile priests”, with Jimmy Savile (for the most part), with most “Asian paedophile gangs” and indeed with this Elm Guest House.

            Hence how we have this constant no true Scotsmen-esque bait and switch I described as was perfectly illustrated by your comments about gay porn. You view paedophilic and normal sexual attraction as bimodel, like being gay or straight, yet MOST of what the media is talking about when they talk about “paedophilia” is sex with teenagers or possession of pictures of teenagers. Attraction to teenagers and attraction to post teenagers is most certainly not bimodal.

  • cremaster

    Anyone remember divorce cases with their “abuse” accusations and huge cash payouts?

    Remember “sexual harassment” tribunals with their huge cash payouts?

    Both have become a cynical joke for most people. But not for the lawyers, who get most of the cash.

    Here’s a prediction:

    “Paedo” cases will become standard procedure. The claimants will wait until the “predatory ogre” is ageing and perhaps in receipt of an inheritance. Then they will strike. Everybody will tut-tut for years, but as the cases become more common, people will become more cynical, but it won’t make any difference.

    Cultural Marxism marches on; dismantling the economy one little piece at a time…

  • For Nonviolence

    Professor Tromovitch and the psychologist Bruce Rind (of Temple University) in 1998 published an article based on a peer-reviewed meta-analysis of 59 studies which used the self-reported experiences of child sexual contact with adults by 35,703 college students. A substantial percentage of the people in this study did not report any harmful effects of (non-coercive) sexual experiences (as opposed to victims of coercion), and a substantial minority even stated these intergenerational sexual contacts and relationships had a positive effect on their life. This article was published in the Psychological Bulletin, the prestigious, official journal of the American Psychological Association (APA).

    Predictably, this caused a storm in the mass media and in the political elite. Apparently for the first time in US history, both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate condemned a scientific paper and threatened to withdraw funding from the APA, so the APA apologised for publishing this study. 12 past and present presidents of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex sharply protested against the APA’s response to the public and political pressure surrounding the study, stating that it “cast a chill on all such research”. The American Association for the Advancement of Science refused APA’s request to review the study, stating they saw “no reason to second-guess the process of peer review used by the APA journal in its decision to publish” and that they “saw no clear evidence of improper application of methodology or other questionable practices on the part of the article’s authors”.

    More recently, the Harvard lecturer Susan Clancy came to the similar conclusions in her book “The Trauma Myth”, but she does not agree with Rind et al.’s view that such relations are not necessarily abusive.

    Popular ideology can’t handle real-life variation and nuance. That is why the case of Mary Kay Letourneau and her pupil (see about their case on Wikipedia, for example) is now forgotten and ignored, as are cases such as these ones below:

    Leahy, Terry (1994). “Taking up a Position: Discourses of Femininity and Adolescence in the Context of Man/Girl Relationships,” Gender & Society, 8(1), 48-72.

    “This article is based on a small-scale interview study (N = 19) of
    the experiences of girls who were or had been in sexual relationships with adults. It is confined to relationships that were considered by the young parties to have been voluntary and, in general, positive. […] The interviewees wanted to make their positive experiences of such relationships public in view of the widespread opinion that all such events are harmful to the younger parties involved. The interviews were taped and transcribed. […]

    Wendy met Paul when she was 12 years old. He was in his mid-20s. […
    From her account there is little doubt that Paul was in love with Wendy and showed this affection by his emotional support and understanding of her emotional needs at the time. A statement that stands as a summary of their relationship is the
    following:

    He was just really … he was much more sensitive than most people I’ve known. He’s much more concerned. He just had … the cup runneth over with love and affection. He was really attentive all the time and that sort of attention I’ve not had from, really from anybody. Just the depth of sensitivity and asking me how I felt about things all the time. […]

    Wendy’s account fits this theme; she claims that Paul and his friends encouraged her to see herself as capable of undertaking university study and that this had a major impact on her life. […]

    Wendy and Paul’s sexual relationship did not include penetration but was confined to tongue kissing and petting. […] In her account, Wendy describes Paul’s behavior in these terms:

    I mean he did want to. He wanted
    to be sexual, he wanted to be physically close and I felt that. I remember rubbing against him when he had a hard on and things like that but most of the time it felt like he just wanted to be really close and warm. … We used to cuddle a lot and kiss and things. It got vaguely sexual for a while. Tongue kissing … a great wet beard. He was really really really gentle. More gentle than I think anyone else I’ve ever known as far as that goes. He was obviously being really careful. […]
    At one point she comments on the feeling of protection she felt when Paul carried her in
    his arms. […]
    Whereas conservative romantic texts require that the male leads and the female follows, Wendy suggests that she prized and insisted on an equality of authority in relationship. She did not hesitate to oppose Paul. […]

    Bobbie, the last interviewee in this set of narratives, was introduced to her uncle when she was 11. […] Bobbie has no doubts about her uncle’s genuine fondness for her, and indicates a concern for her on his part which is consonant with the model of romance offered by conservative romantic texts:
    It was so caring and considerate, I s’pose, which
    most adult sexual relations aren’t because there’s more of an equal, supposedly there’s more of an equal power base so you don’t … I’ve never found that sort of catering for again but I treasure having been, not nurtured, but having been cared for that much and eased into it slowly and all those sorts of things. […]
    The experiences I had with an uncle whom I liked a lot and with whom I had a very important intellectual relationship were really important in terms of the development of my sexuality, like in terms of educating me basically.”

    If the prevailing ideology was humane, rational and democratically open, these kinds of voices would not be silenced.

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