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From: The Socialist issue 863, 8 July 2015: Greek workers show the way

Search site for keywords: Child abuse - Trial - Police - Rape - Parliament - House of Lords - Media - Mansfield

Janner case: another example of establishment child abuse cover up

Photo Gido (Creative Commons)

Photo Gido (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Heather Rawling

The news that allegations of child sexual abuse committed by Lord Greville Janner are to be heard in court is to be welcomed. They should have been heard in a proper trial at least 25 years ago when public accusations were first made. Now there is to be a 'trial of the facts', where victims of alleged abuse can give evidence.

However, because the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, decided that former Labour MP Lord Janner was not fit to stand trial due to dementia, he will not be required to attend to defend himself. There can be no guilty verdict made and no sentence.

Battle to be heard

Despite Janner's dementia, he still visited the House of Lords on official business! Since his first diagnosis in 2009, he voted 203 times, attended 634 days and claimed 100,000 in expenses and allowances.

The victims and their supporters were determined to fight and have their voices heard. This undoubtedly had an effect on finally getting a trial of any kind.

Child sexual abuse takes place among all classes and cultures in the UK. The capitalist media and far right have emphasised the role of Asian men in the systematic rape and exploitation of girls in places like Rotherham and Luton.

However they are less vitriolic about the sexual abuse carried out and systematically covered up in the most powerful sections of society - parliament, the judiciary, the police and other institutions.

The death of Jimmy Savile and the glowing obituaries to the 'charity fund raiser' prompted some of his victims to speak out, which unleashed a wave of revelations about him, other celebrities and people in positions of authority including MPs.

Savile was regarded as an 'important person' close to Thatcher. He assisted the government with privatisation and attempts to break the unions (see the Socialist issue 819).

A Tory Party activist, Anthony Gilberthorpe, also alleges that he helped procure young boys for several cabinet ministers including former Tory Home Secretary Leon Brittan.

Thatcher and other members of her cabinet defended Brittan against rumours and accusations that he was a paedophile. During the miners' strike he played a crucial role in setting up the National Reporting Centre to collect intelligence on miners and coordinate the national deployment of police to defeat them.

Serious accusations of child abuse committed by the Home Secretary in Thatcher's cabinet would have been toxic to the establishment.

Inquiry

Now, current Home Secretary Theresa May is desperately trying to kick the revelations about cover-ups into long grass by launching an independent inquiry. She wanted to put it in a safe pair of hands.

First Baroness Butler-Sloss, sister to Michael Havers Attorney General from 1979 until 1987, was appointed to lead it.

Havers was alleged by Gilberthorpe to have attended parties where Savile had procured young boys. It was on his watch that a dossier alleging a paedophile ring at Westminster including Leon Brittan 'disappeared'. Sloss was forced to go.

Her replacement, Dame Fiona Woolf, resigned following criticism over her establishment links, most notably in relation to Brittan.

A New Zealand high court judge, Justice Lowell Goddard, is the latest to be appointed, but does not have the confidence of the abuse victims who are not allowed to sit on the panel because of their 'inability to be objective'.

On top of the establishment cover -ups, in recent years social services and the police have had their funding drastically cut due to austerity. Their ability to investigate and protect children from abuse has therefore been compromised.

Child sexual abuse has a massive impact on victims. It reveals in a horrific way, the extent to which the ruling capitalist class will go to protect and defend its privilege and power.

The White Flowers Campaign, which includes survivors of abuse and campaigners, organised a meeting recently at the House of Commons with Michael Mansfield QC and others, to discuss various cover-ups and their dissatisfaction with the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Whistle blowers who have revealed attempts to cover up child sexual abuse also attended. Some have been blacklisted, making the campaign also a trade union issue. There were calls at the meeting for the lifting of the Official Secrets Act in relation to the state cover-up of abuse.

Workers who suspect child abuse is taking place should be able to report their suspicions without fear of reprisals from their employers.

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