And so in today’s chapter of paedogeddon Home Secretary Theresa May and PM David Cameron claimed to be disgusted by the allegations made against a senior Tory of the Thatcher years ( who everyone now knows the name of but we cannot say) and a new enquiry into events in North Wales children’s homes has been ordered. Over at the BBC an enquiry is underway into allegations made against arch nonce Jimmy Savile and 29 others, some of them celebrities. The Old Bill has very publicly dragged Gary Glitter and Freddie Starr in for questioning and claims that other celeb arrests are imminent. Suddenly the establishment is desperate to be seen to be outraged, shocked and doing something.
It just does not wash. This is faux surprise, faux outrage and bandwagon mounting par excellence but I sense that no-one really believes any of it any more.
I served my time on Fleet Street. And so I heard stories about Savile and – even before he was nicked – Jonathan King. I was told about Ted Heath (who like Savile was a frequent visitor to a certain Jersey children’s home). And yes I heard about the senior Tory we cannot name and indeed another even more prominent Tory plus three very prominent Labour figures all of whom were widely believed to have a Savilesque taste in younger men.
To be fair to Fleet Street, the British libel laws were a stinker and it would have been hard to report much of it. It is only the totally unregulated world of the internet that means that you all now know all or most of the names that I know. And if you do not, ten minutes on Google will quickly bring you up to speed.
But over at the BBC and at Westminster, folk also knew the stories. And they could have done something. For May and Cameron to express horror at what is now emerging just does not wash. They would have heard the same tales so what we are hearing now is not, whatever they say, any sort of surprise to them. For years the political parties operated with dossiers on leading figures on “the other side” that could be used in an emergency. One of our nonces gets exposed we can deflect the damage by exposing one of yours. And so no-one said anything. But I think it was worse than that. I think that there was a genuine feeling that what the political elite got up to away from the office was their own business and that somehow they were not tied to the normal rules of society because they were just above all of that. And clearly they were.
When the original North Wales enquiry took place (cost to the taxpayer £14 million) there must have been plenty of folk at Westminster, in the police and secret services who were fully aware of well known figures who somehow escaped censure. They said nothing. How on earth are we now to believe that yet another “independent” enquiry organised by politicians will come any closer to exposing the truth than the first one?
And I am afraid that it may get rather worse. For it has been rumoured for an awfully long time that when some of the political nonces went just a bit “too far” ( i.e. risked getting caught) they were like peado Catholic priests simply moved to another parish, given a sinecure outside the House of Commons and told to shut up. If indeed that turns out to be the case (and if you want to get up to speed on this google is very helpful) then the political parties themselves (and possibly some figures still prominent within them) actively connived to protect these appalling men and to cover up their appalling activities. Were this to be true this would indeed be a monumental scandal for the entire political class (for it is suggested that this was a cross party matter). If there is to be a proper enquiry this matter needs to be addressed as a matter of critical importance, if only to put these suggestions to bed once and for all.
The BBC enquiry into itself is being conducted by a firm of lawyers that earns an awful lot of its money doing work for…the BBC. No-one has any faith in an enquiry into politicians organised by the politicians themselves (especially when there has already been one whitewash, I mean enquiry). Faith in the political and media establishment has never been lower. Quite simply they are not trusted at all. The false shock and outrage today from folks who have known these rumours (and probably more) for years will not change that one iota. Nor will the Police regain the trust of anybody by publicly leading old Gary Glitter off in cuffs yet again as it slowly emerges how they repeatedly allowed Savile and others off the hook, again and again and again over decades.
It has been another truly depressing day in the decline of a country that appears to be rotting from the head downwards.