Janner scandal: ruling class closes ranks

A Leicester Socialist Party member

The latest in the series of horrific mass child sexual abuse scandals is around Greville Janner, a Labour Party member of the House of Lords.

Scandalously, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says Janner will not be prosecuted, due to dementia and the “public interest”. ‘Ill health’ hasn’t prevented Janner from writing to the Lords on 9 April, asking for ‘extended leave’, giving him the option of returning to the red benches.

The police and CPS had numerous opportunities over a long period of time to investigate and prosecute him as a result of the evidence they had. The allegations are of the most horrific kind – that he raped and sadistically abused vulnerable young boys in Leicestershire children’s homes while he was Labour MP for Leicester West.

Survivors of the abuse, who up until now have not been heard, have publically protested at the decision. Ironically, Janner, a Queen’s Counsel, argued in the past that Nazi war criminals should be prosecuted no matter how old or ill they are.

Janner was a friend of Frank Beck, a council official in charge of Leicestershire children’s homes. Beck was convicted in 1991 for sexual abuse on a massive scale.

In Beck’s trial, Janner was named as being involved in abuse. What followed was the most blatant example of an establishment cover-up. Janner, using parliamentary privilege, denied the allegations in the Commons.

He was noisily backed by MPs of all parties. Keith Vaz, currently Labour MP for Leicester East and chair of the Commons home affairs select committee, called him a “brave man”.

This was followed by a deafening silence in the media and no follow-up by the police or CPS. Janner retired from parliament and was then elevated to the House of Lords.

Even in the 1980s the rumours about him were well known. But he was protected by the establishment. He may get away without facing a trial for the rest of his life. Yet working class people sometimes get jailed for relatively minor offences.

This case, along with others we know about, shows how the ruling class seeks to protect its own by denying victims proper justice.