If cardinal sinners and lordly lotharios float your boat…

Britain, I fear, will soon sink beneath the sea under the sheer weight of sex abuse claims made in the wake of the Savile affair. The first great tsunami, late last year, rolled across the land in the form of  hundreds of allegations against Savile himself; hard behind, a roiling tide fast engulfed fellow celebrities – singers, comedians, concert promoters – and  a major inquiry into “historic abuse”, implicating senior figures “at the heart of government”, crested the waves of excitement.
Now, in the last few weeks, new allegations in all sorts of unexpected shapes and sizes, like the crazily miscellaneous flotsam that all great floods bear along, have crashed into the chaotic melee: look there’s a lord in ermine bobbing about, his political reputation floating off to oblivion! Then, can it really be…yes, it’s one of the nation’s favourite TV soap opera stars, charged with “child rape”. Plus one, two – no it’s three – God it’s gone up to four; bloody hell it’s FIVE musical maestros from one of the most famous music academies in the land: all of them facing the music for vilely fiddling with their violin students! And to cap it all, we spot a red-capped cardinal, no less, struggling at first in the turbulent waters, then going decisively under. He’ll not be seen at the new pope’s election!
All this in the little island nation that once proudly boasted Britannia rules the waves! So, how to quell this terrible tempest? What to do? Well, if you can’t rule the waves you can try waiving the rules, which is pretty much what has been announced today by Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, the weak-kneed, lily-livered former human rights lawyer of whom great things were hoped, now just a dedicated follower of moral panic-driven fashion.
Child sex abuse investigations, Starmer pronounced, put too much focus on the victims’ credibility and not enough on the suspects. He announced a shake-up of the existing guidelines, saying “we cannot afford another Savile moment”. Hundreds of cases where there was no prosecution could be re-examined. These new guidelines will be developed, with a public consultation of the draft proposals, over the coming months.
No details yet, then, but the implications are clear, and clearly dangerous. Starmer’s earlier reaction to a dodgy police enquiry into the Savile revelations was revealing. That was the one, it may be recalled, that declared hundreds of complainants should be considered as definite victims, rather than alleged victims, even though evidence had never been heard in court. Starmer lamely backed that ghastly report, thereby grievously undermining the principle “innocent under proved guilty”. Now he threatens further to erode this cornerstone of justice in ways he as an experienced lawyer should know beyond doubt will lead to terrible injustice.
The present rules are in place for a very good reason: they came after a whole string of major miscarriages of justice in completely bogus “Satanic abuse” cases when children were needlessly dragged from their homes and taken from their parents “into care” i.e. away from care, for months on end. More recently, about a decade ago, other wrongful convictions were overturned after a great panic over alleged abuse at children’s homes turned out to be just that. Men had been wrongly jailed for years, losing their livelihoods, their marriages, their reputation, their dignity, all to secure “justice”, in those cases, for bogus compensation seekers and flaky personalities drawn to the tawdry power and glory of being able to point accusing fingers, and become lauded as “courageous survivors”.
“A new genre of miscarriages of justice has arisen from the over-enthusiastic pursuit of these allegations”. Those were the words of the parliamentary Home Affairs Committee in 2002, but now the lessons of that time are being forgotten.  Mark Newby, a solicitor who formed a panel to look at historic child abuse allegations, said today he was “gravely concerned” the balance might be shifted too far in favour of the victim. “We have to be really careful not to create a whole new genre of miscarriage because of the current atmosphere and pandemonium over these cases,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Too darned right! The perils of credulous belief in the stories of compensation hunters were highlighted vividly in a piece yesterday by the estimable blogger Anna Raccoon. Fellow heretics may recall that she was a pupil at Duncroft School, the one frequented by Jimmy Savile, and that she has blogged with admirable scepticism about the allegations.
I’d love to stop at this point, because that’s the main news right there already, in one super-compressed roll-up of many stories. The “crazily miscellaneous flotsam” does need some minimal picking and sorting, though, to note that not all of this stuff has been about child so-called sexual abuse. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, for instance, the UK’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, resigned as head of the Scottish Catholic church after being accused of “inappropriate acts” towards fellow priests. His worst crime in my book was extreme hypocrisy: in recent years, he has been highly vitriolic in his denunciations of homosexuality, but has now admitted he engaged in homosexual acts himself. No great surprise in this really: we should also suspect that many of those who are most venomous against paedophilia are struggling to deny or repress their own inclinations.
Also worth mentioning is that the alleged sins of Lord Rennard, a senior member of the Liberal Democrats, currently a governing party in coalition with the Conservatives, were confined to extremely nebulous “inappropriate” behaviour towards some female politicians – not the most obviously “vulnerable” people, one would have thought. As Zoe Williams noted in the Guardian, “Used by the women in this case, it means touching anyone, anywhere, with whom you do not have a prior touching agreement.” So, no more than an unbidden arm around the shoulder, maybe? Yet these allegations were leading the national news for days on end. Rennard was allegedly forced to resign a party position over these accusations some years ago, but only recently have the women gone public. The “scandal” nearly cost the Lib Dems one of their safest seats in parliament in a crucial by-election last week.
What does it all mean? One obvious and grim interpretation is that victim feminism is more virulent than ever, driving zero tolerance of male transgressions (if that’s what they are) to ever more demented extremes. The good news, perhaps, is that the Lib Dems survived the crisis. Maybe the electorate as a whole doesn’t really give a damn about precisely where His Lordship’s hand was placed, or whether he “inappropriately” suggested going back to his place for a bit of hanky panky, or rumpy pumpy, or whatever words lordly lotharios use for these things. Not that I am advocating “sexual harassment” here. Just a sane sense of proportion. The thought that many voters out there have not abandoned such a sense of proportion is perhaps worth hanging onto. Or is that a case of a drowning man clutching at straws in the midst of all the tsunamis!

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willistina556

Bouquets to H-TOC for the inventive and picturesque flotsam & jetsam tsunami.
A fave snapshot is, ” ..we spot a red-capped cardinal, no less, struggling at first in the turbulent waters, then going decisively under.”
While we return to a tried, and tired, yet politically well proven cliche, after the brutal styles of Uber Media Monsters, Goebells & Murdoch: ” Said Loud And Often, Anything, Will Be Believed ! ”
In the past 2-decades leading Child Welfare agencies have shown that the c. 400 million population all Murdochized Anglophone countries, falsely posing as ‘Best’, are in fact worst in the developed West for ‘Child Wellbeing’.
While, coincidentally of similar size population, the non-Murdochized mainland modern EU is, ‘World Best For Child wellbeing’.
It’s no coincidence !

Gil Hardwick

The relevant circumstance here lies only in the risk that a cardinal might lose influence within the church, a politician lose a safe seat, an academic lose tenure.
Children have merely become the new political battering ram.
Again, it has nothing to do with sex. Sex is ubiquitous, yet because in the society in question it is considered private, unknowable, it is made out to be nonexistent until, of course, some notable somebody wants to get rid of is exposed for having done it.
Here in Western Australia Labor did in fact have its hit lists. I know, I found myself on it for criticising their bullshit, and being a public figure that was the end of that.
Or so they thought . . .

Gil Hardwick

Just thinking, tomorrow will be seven years since my house was raided by Brave Hearts vigilantes and police, and the media campaign launched seeking to destroy me. Their press conference was all pre-arranged and conducted while I was still being interviewed, before I was even charged with anything.
Following my release in October 2008 after six months under protection in prison, in 2009 I was elected Senior Fellow of the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry, graduated with a 2nd Honours degree in Literature and English, completed 5 Law Faculty intensives on risk assessment, measuring crime, vicimisation and crime prevention policy, published 5 novels with a 6th currently well underway, and established a global epublishing business; going from strength to strength.
Anyone wants help and advice on recovering their identity and sense of self after being traumatised and abused by the child protection racket and their pseudo-vigilantes, by police, or by political activists and wannabes, please feel free to get in touch.
We are here to help.

dangeroustruthteller

Gil, I’m really loving your posts! They are so direct! They are clear! They are concise! Now if only I could write so well!
Now, the taboo around sexuality outside of straight procreation? To me this is all about so-called “conservative values” being built back up. Into a bullwark of ignorance so high and thick that no simple revolution will be able to touch it. I.e. some 1960s/70s-type scenario. I’m reminded of an article (by Cantor?) from alternet.org where, pushed, is the idea that Left-handedness is now something to see as “bad” (because Left-handers might be pedos); and the one about the “low IQ” push –as if there’s no politics in the IQ game! (no one challenges this oft-middle-class-oriented test!) And the one about “less brain tissue”, wow. A new feather for Rollback, er, “conservative” values, I guess. All harkening back to a rejuvenation of Eugenics, it sounds like.

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