When Safeguarding becomes Smearing – the Media and child abuse investigations

This is the Guardian article on the reports that pop-star Cliff Richard is not going to be charged for historic child sex offences.

Notice how the Guardian does not miss the opportunity to drag in a repeat of the (totally unproven) allegations. This appears to be how the Guardian is determined to report these cases. They did the same with another aging person against whom allegations were made and no charges pressed; see here for our report.

In today’s world of ahem ‘Safeguarding’ to be accused is to be guilty.

The real questions the newspapers should be asking are about what the police are doing. Here are some starters:

i. How can it have cost £800,000.00 to investigate a handful of claims? Given that there is (presumably, otherwise there would have been a court case, no forensic evidence) how much does it cost to interview say 10 people?  This is money that could be spent on, say, running 5 youth clubs for a year in deprived areas.

ii. How can these ‘investigations’ be permitted to drag on for months? Again; how long does it take to arrange and conduct a handful of interviews? – Part of the answer to this one of course is that the game is to put the aging pop-star / retired general / MP out to hang and then sit back and wait for anyone to phone in with an allegation. This is the process that takes time.

iii. Why, when it is found that there is no case to answer, do we always have the mealy-mouthed ‘insufficient evidence’ – which is deliberately worded to avoid admitting the innocence of the accused. (From a perspective of royal power of course all who are not on the side of royal power are guilty).

To be accused is to be guilty

In the new world of ‘Safeguarding’ the authorities – and those who like to align themselves with power – take the line that to be accused of child abuse is to be guilty.

Lord Bramhall, a distinguished military figure, aged 92 was accused by the obvious phantasist ‘Nick’ of child abuse. A lengthy investigation was only recently dropped. As reported in theGuardian, Lord Bramhall was quite witty about it:

Bramall said questioning over whether he had attended pool parties had veered into absurd territory when an officer asked him whether he could swim. He said: ȼWell, I said, yes I can swim, and I saw his face light up: Ah, so you can swim, you must be halfway to a sex pool party.

Notice how the Guardian follows the trend. Even though there is clearly no case for Lord Bramhall to answer the story is peppered with hints that he might be guilty. He was interviewed under ”criminal caution”. And then this sentence:

In a separate allegation against Bramall, the man claimed he was raped and indecently assaulted by the peer between 1976 and 1984 at a military base in the West Country.

is an attempt to create the impression that there are other complainants than the obvious phantasist ”Nick”. But this is not the case. These claims too originate from ”Nick”. So. This is it. Absurd and totally implausible sexual phantasies translate into long-drawn out police inquiries with the police announcing in advance that the allegations are ”credible and true”. In the end a grudging admission by the police that there is nothing here – but still presented in a way as to leave a lingering doubt. And some papers – the Guardian for example – promote the idea that to be accused is to be guilty.

The purpose of all this to Safeguard the police and authorities from the taint of association with child sexual abuse – after it emerged in public from the 90”s onwards that the police and the authorities were absolutely complicit in child sexual abuse at every level – from tolerating abuse in childrens” homes to covering up the offences of people like Cyril Smith and Jimmy Saville.

Update 6/12/16

This is a brief summary of the Operation Midland fiasco in the Telegraph. Calls for an apology for Lord Bramhall are unlikely to get very far. The golden rule practised by all UK local authorities and public bodies is ”lie and lie and lie until presented with absolutely irrefutable evidence. Then say that someone will be sent for re-training.” If they don”t have to apologize they won’t. In the UK ”public servants” – with some exceptions at senior levels in the civil service -serve exclusively themselves.

State vigilantism

When a state permits violent groups to act on its behalf outside the law, nominally “enforcing” the law, we are in a very precarious situation. Think state sanctioned death squads in El Salvador or off-duty policemen clearing the streets of street-children in Brazil.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen in Britain right? Wrong.

There are a number of dangerous individuals obviously with far too much time on their hands who pose as young girls under 16 on Facebook and other social media web sites in an attempt to entrap men into “meeting” them for sex. Then they confront the individuals. Usually it seems two or more of the vigilante thugs confront the entrapped victim. Sometimes they abuse him by filming the confrontation and posting it on web sites. At least one (probably more) people have committed suicide as a result of this kind of activity. [1]

Clearly the kind of people who do this are sick and disturbed. Who would want to pose as a 14 or 13 year old girl on Facebook and try to entice men into chatting them up? Who takes it upon themselves to enforce the law? Who believes that real life happens on the Internet?

One would have thought that the police would be cracking down on these people as they do any other vigilante groups. One would have thought that the press would report their activities with a certain amount of disdain. One would have hoped that the judges would throw out the cases, or, at the very least, express concern about how people were entrapped by self-appointed on-line policemen.

None of the above happen. The police never express the slightest concern about these groups. By taking their material and basing cases on it they are in effect creating a kind of franchise and legitimising them. The press refers to these individuals and Facebook groups as if they were Neighbourhood Watch Organisations. Even judges praise them as if they were some kind of social service agency. [2]

What does this say about this society? A

The values of modern Britain

It is difficult to write this kind of comment piece without sounding like one is aspiring to get a job as a Daily Mail columnist. So, anyway, deep breath and here goes.

i)

The BBC is apparently due to screen a “documentary” about Lewis Carroll called “The Secret World of Lewis Carroll”. The programme will explore Lewis Carroll’s interest in young girls and investigate whether he was a “paedophile”. The Daily Mail