When you speak to a policeman they will tell you that they are ‘public servants’, with the interests of the public at heart – and not those who employ them. However, the latest revelations in connection with the Westminster child abuse scandal makes you wonder at their true role – to protect the vulnerable, or to protect the powerful?
In a BBC Newsnight investigation this week, it seems that this conundrum – the powerful versus the vulnerable – was skewed firmly in favour of the powerful when they arrested Liberal MP Cyril Smith freshly aglow from a child sex party in the 1980’s. Those who were investigating abuse of some of the most vulnerable people in society were ordered to desist their investigation and hand over their evidence under the explicit threat that speaking of the investigation could result in prosecution under the Official Secrets Act, and would lose their jobs.
Cyril Smith was a very charismatic politician and it now appears, a dangerous and prolific child abuser with good connections to the organs of power. If charged for his offences there would have been a scandal to match the sinking of the Belgrano a year later. As it was he was released the same evening he was arrested with his feathers ruffled but it appears, happy that he had just got away with it by threatening a policeman.
One lone paedophile can’t escape justice. Smith attended parties where children from care homes were invited to order, as if lobsters in a restaurant aquarium. For those parties to even happen there had to be a number of others who moved in similar circles to Smith.
That he abused lots of children is bad enough. How many of those children have traumatic memories today that blight their past, and have impacted their future? But that his friends had sufficient influence to threaten the police in such a way that they backed down is scary in the extreme.
I have long stood by the idea that in the UK, the British Establishment is the only conspiracy theory worth investigating. Left wing writer Owen Jones published the book last year called The Establishment – and How They Got Away With it. This shows an amorphous and constantly changing power structure at the top of the UK tree of power. According to Jones, the police were part of it for a while until the Police Federation took on the government over ‘Plebgate’ and won in the last few years.
This amorphous power bloc has many positives – it can be impressed upon to really change things for the better, even only for a target few at the expense of many. The common man has weekends off work – women the right to vote. People of any political persuasion can point out where the Establishment has shafted certain interests for its own needs. The 3 day week in the 1970’s – the war on ‘benefit scroungers’ today.
A can of worms to be opened?
If I were to threaten a policeman – saying I’m a journalist and I will wreck his career after I committed an arrestable offense – they would laugh in my face as they slammed the cell door shut. It takes quite some power to threaten the police and win.
That individual policemen on the investigation have indicated they will speak only on condition of anonymity due to the still present threat of the Official Secrets Act, suggests that there were a group of people in the very upper echelons of power who had something to hide. Given that police have been identified as being members of the Establishment of the day, were Chief Constables part of Cyril Smith’s circle of friends? What about media magnates who steadfastly refused to report on such allegations?
MPs have been sent to jail in the past. Former Cabinet Minister, Tory MP Jonathan Aitken got 18 months in 1999 for perjury and perverting the course of justice. Chris Huhne got 8 months for drink driving more recently. In the 80’s, MPs were busted by the press for extra marital affairs and worse so often it was almost a standing joke.
But the Cyril Smith incident was different. Why didn’t the system threaten the police over Aitken 18 years later? Who was at it with Smith? Who else was present at these parties? Suspend your disbelief – these were clearly some of the most powerful people in the UK…
When the bubble bursts expect a mess, though if there are current Establishment figures – can we expect a cover up? After sexual abuse, you trust no one. There will be men in their 50’s today that were abused as teenagers who will trust absolutely no one, and who may well have met those at the very levers of British power.
To speak in in confidence to Stephanie Prior, head of child abuse claims at Osbornes Solicitors call us on 020 74858811 or e-mail Stephanie on firstname.lastname@example.org.