The “independent” inquiry into child abuse cover-up starts today

The “independent inquiry” into “child abuse” has begun. This inquiry was set up by the government to whitewash the failings of the state to do anything about child abuse for the last n years.

Over the last 20 years revelation has followed revelation. From children’s’ homes and foster care to the very centre of power.

But the Home Secretary Theresa May knows how to pull the wool over the public’s’ eyes when necessary. Tell them that paedophilia is “woven into the fabric of society” [1] and set up an inquiry to whitewash the state.

What will the inquiry be doing?

The inquiry will:

consider the extent to which those failings have since been addressed [2]

That is – from the start they are already congratulating themselves on how well they have done with “Safeguarding”. Goodness, the problem has more or less gone away already.

Consider this from the terms of reference of the inquiry:

Consider whether State and non-State institutions failed to identify such abuse and/or whether there was otherwise an inappropriate institutional response to allegations of child sexual abuse and/or whether there were ineffective child protection procedures in place [2]

This is like asking is the Sky blue? No one who has been reading the papers for the last 20 years could be in any doubt as to the answer to this question. And of course there weren’t “child protection procedures in place” – all this is a recent innovation. The sheer disingenuousness of this question must call into question the sincerity of its authors. Oh, Theresa May again.

Consider this:

Disclose, where appropriate and in line with security and data protection protocols, any documents which were considered as part of the inquiry

This neatly gives them the scope to not publish anything really interesting. Well; what would one expect from a government inquiry? And how could “security” have anything to do with it? I thought that MI5 cover-ups of leading abusers [3] was part of the problem that the inquiry was supposed to be addressing? Apparently not.

People who suffered abuse from (e.g. politicians, social workers, care staff, teachers in special schools, foster parents) will have an “opportunity to bear witness to the Inquiry”. Wow. Fantastic. Is something going to be done about it?

It is not part of the Inquiry’s function to determine civil or criminal liability of named individuals or organisations. This should not, however, inhibit the Inquiry from reaching findings of fact relevant to its terms of reference. [2]

So. That’s a no. The inquiry will hear their “victim impact statement” and then toss them aside.

So what then is the point of the inquiry? The same as any other government inquiry. To absolve the state from serious blame. To “restore public confidence in the authorities”. This is what state run enquiries exist to do.

The report will (I can safely predict) find that there were serious short-comings in oversight procedures and that old-fashioned attitudes towards sexual abuse permitted a climate in which abusers could operate. But with all the new Safeguarding jazz it is is now all hunky-dory. Though there are still a few lessons to be learnt about listening to victims. (Using the new definition of victim which means anyone who makes an allegation).

Power used to use abuse as a means of controlling young people. Now it uses Safeguarding, “Circle time”, the language of “support”. The desire of power to control young people has not changed. They’ve just dropped overt sexual abuse because of the bad publicity.

An inquiry into child abuse since time immemorial  – that was another fix by Theresa May. She set the time limit to be open-ended to avoid too much focus on politicians in the last 20 years – is like an inquiry into evil. If I was a psychoanalyst I’d say that politicians suffer from delusions of omnipotence. You can’t make evil go away by holding an inquiry. Which, again, raises doubts about the sincerity of those behind this exercise.

The whitewashing of abuse is being done in quite a cynical way. If you report your abuse to this inquiry they will let you “bear witness”. But that’s it. Nothing is actually going to happen. But, if you don’t, then because you didn’t it is de-legitimised. It didn’t happen. The whole point of this inquiry is to wrap it all up and be done with it so the authorities don’t have to keep being embarrassed by a drip-feed of abuse stories.

Well. One winner will be New Zealand Judge Lowell Goddard who is heading the inquiry. Her package is worth £360,000.00 p.a. plus benefits. [4] And the cost of the enquiry as a whole is likely to be not less than £120 million. [5]







Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer