I’ve been absent, I’m sorry. It’s been very hectic (no sympathy expected) and I’ve had that virus, now in its 12th day, with little sign of it wanting to move on. I might even get to see in the new year with it. Lovely. New Year brings rituals, of reviewing the ‘old’, casting aside some shackles and welcoming the new. I happen to be one of those people who love dusting off the passage of the year, looking back, reflecting, celebrating and sometimes cringing! Continue reading A new year beckons…
I came across this letter a week or so ago, and kept on meaning to post it up. It’s a great letter, and let’s hope that Cameron takes note. I think Tom Watson is being brilliant on not letting things lie. What do you think – perhaps reading some of the comments in response might generate some thoughts?
BTW, he is well worth following on Twitter… @tom_watson
The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
10 Downing Street
5 November 2012
Dear Mr Cameron,
Congratulations on ordering a review of what information government departments may hold about organised child abuse at the heart of government 30 years ago.
In acting swiftly you have sent an important message about how seriously you take this matter. You have done the right thing and I commend you for it.
And the inquiry that you have announced performs a useful function. It is certainly important that government departments trawl their archives to see what documents they hold. But my experience of uncovering massive establishment conspiracies leaves me in no doubt that what you have suggested does not go anything like far enough. Its limited scope may even slow things down, muddy waters, damage trails. What is needed is a much wider, but equally immediate, investigation.
Since sharing my concerns with you at PMQs, a number of people have come forward to say that they raised their suspicions with the police, but investigations were not carried out. One allegation involves alleged child abuse and a former cabinet minister. We both know that many untruths are told about politicians, but this allegation was specific, informed and appeared well corroborated.
Cutting through a concerted establishment cover-up requires meticulous, diligent, fearless commitment to uncover the truth, whomever it unmasks.
My advice to you as Prime Minister – and from one father to another – is that you need to order a special police investigation, outside the affected forces, with proper resources, to review all relevant police files and those of the intelligence services. If they have documents suggesting politicians in the Commons and Lords or others in positions of power were involved in child abuse then they should make them available to a new inquiry team.
The forces so far known of be affected (Met, Surrey, West and South Yorkshire, West Mercia, Dorset, Kent, Essex, North Wales, Suffolk and Sussex) need to have their archives systematically searched for intelligence from witnesses/victims making claims which were not investigated; investigations which were closed down, and so on.
If what you really want – and I believe that it is – is the truth, then you must draw the terms of reference such that the police inquiry has licence to follow any lead it finds in what will be, after all, a serious criminal investigation. There should be no historic sexual abuse of children which is off limits to this investigation. The police should be supported by a dedicated team of child protection specialists, many of whom have been raising their concerns for years. Your advisers will tell you to be wary of “opening the floodgates”. They are wrong. Their decorous caution is the friend of the paedophile. Narrowing the inquiry equals hiding the truth. That is the reality and it is not what you want.
Detailed recommendations about how to organise an investigation is in the possession of the government. The 2002 guidance on Complex Child abuse investigations: Inter agency issues (Home Office and DoH) continues to be relevant and is referenced in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 Investigating complex (organised or multiple) abuse (p194 6.10-1.6.13).
A dedicated police unit is essential, investigating the organised abuse of children, wherever it happened – from the seediest backstreets even to Downing Street – without fear or favour of exposing the rich and powerful, or those who covered up for them.
And if it opens a floodgate of misery, then so be it. We will all feel dirtied and sickened – as we should. Victims have an absolute right to the whole truth.
I know you want to do this and ask that you give it your urgent attention.
You have no choice.
Tom Watson MP
Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East
Operation Yew Tree is the name given by the Metropolitan Police into the investigations of allegations of sexual abuse linked to Jimmy Savile (that’s not the best sentence in the world, but I can’t work out how else to put it). To date seven men have been questioned, six of them under arrest. I’ve heard rumours of one, but daren’t publicise the name. The latest have been Max Clifford and DLT – both of whom deny the allegations.
As promised, here is the link to the Chrissy B Show. I would highly recommend watching the whole show, the two survivors give incredible testimonies. I join them on the couch in the last segment of the show.
I’d be interested to know what you think, or what questions it raises… I might be able to answer you here.
The last few days have been slightly bonkers, with ‘normal’ life turned upside down. There are things I’ve been meaning to write, but they’ve had to wait. I should change the comments on the home page, but our grandson was born on Monday evening… My mum’s birthday! We had a suspicion that something was happening, as Mary was not replying to a text – turns out she was a bit busy! We were so excited to receive a call from Michael on Monday evening, hearing that both baby and mum were doing fine was music to our ears. Michael asked us to go to the hospital to collect them in the morning. Talk about a million Christmases! I was far too excited to sleep, so spent the night tossing and turning. It turns out that Michael, alone at home was the same, and Mary couldn’t sleep because she didn’t want to stop gazing at her son.
George Stephen had to be helped into the world, and has the marks of a suction cap on his tiny little head. These marks will fade, but even with them, he’s perfect. We had to wait longer than we thought until we could see Mary and George (how the morning dragged), but caught up with them when the hospital opened up for visiting. Pete choked, I cried, Mary beamed, George wriggled. It was an incredible moment. We both held him for cuddles, before passing him back to mum. They wanted to get him home, and we were in danger of holding up the discharge processes.
I cannot really begin express how this has moved me in ways I didn’t expect to. I was so excited to know that he was in this world, and Pete was deeply touched by my palpable giddiness. I have such deep love for Mary, for the gift of life that she’s created. We both feel connected in a different way into our family, so my affection for the baby is so very deep – for the sense of family that baby George brings. We feel so incredibly proud, slightly daft with happiness, and we know that we will move mountains to help keep him safe, healthy and happy….
Grandpa with baby George: