British governmental child abuse inquiry or cover-up?


This video from Britain says about itself:

A political cover up of child abuse in the 1980s

7 July 2014

Lord Tebbit, who served in a series of ministerial posts under Margaret Thatcher, said the instinct of people at the time was to protect “the system” and not to delve too deeply into uncomfortable allegations.

The former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit has said he believes there “may well” have been a political cover-up over child abuse in the 1980s. Lord Tebbit, who served in a series of ministerial posts under Margaret Thatcher, said the instinct of people at the time was to protect “the system” and not to delve too deeply into uncomfortable allegations.

His comment came as the Home Office announced a fresh review into what happened to a file alleging paedophile activity at Westminster which was handed to the then home secretary Leon (now Lord) Brittan by the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens. Appearing on BBC1′s The Andrew Marr Show, Lord Tebbit said: “At that time I think most people would have thought that the establishment, the system, was to be protected and if a few things had gone wrong here and there that it was more important to protect the system than to delve too far into it. That view, I think, was wrong then and it is spectacularly shown to be wrong because the abuses have grown.”

Asked if he thought there had been a “big political cover-up” at the time, he said: “I think there may well have been. But it was almost unconscious. It was the thing that people did at that time.” Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, said there had been a “veil of secrecy” over the establishment for far too long. Appearing on the Sky News Murnaghan programme, she added: “Thank God it is coming out into the open. I think the really interesting thing about it is there has been a veil of secrecy over the establishment for far too long. Now the establishment who thought they were always protected…find actually they are subject to the same rigours of the law and that’s right. What we really need to get right as well is how children are cared for today. Let’s learn from the historic abuse, let’s actually give victims the right to have their voice on that, but let’s actually also focus on the present.”

The previous review concluded that all the relevant information in the file had been passed to the police and the remaining material had been destroyed in line with the policies of the time.

The Home Office has also disclosed that 100 official files relating to historic abuse allegations have gone missing.

Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale at the forefront of the campaign to investigate the alleged paedophile ring in Westminster told Channel 4 News there was an attempt to lean on him by a Conservative MP not to name any names just before giving evidence to the Home Affairs committee last week.

He said: “He stopped me outside the chamber and had a word in my ear in terms of what I would and wouldn’t say at the select committee.

“I was quite riled by his approach, I said I’d listen to what he’d say, i’d consider what he’d said and leave it at that.”

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Tories warm up for the cover-up

Thursday 10th July 2014

PETER FROST is sceptical about the two new inquiries into the way the Home Office lost 114 files related to an Establishment paedophile ring

So Home Secretary Theresa May has announced, not just one, but two reviews of how her department, the Home Office, lost or destroyed 114 documents listing all kinds of important people including MPs, ministers and senior civil servants as paedophiles and worse.

May has promised total transparency, today’s number one buzzword it seems, for what often actually turns into the usual smoke and mirrors.

When questioned in the House as to whether the reviews would have access to the secret services and the police she hesitated before giving a reluctant answer in the affirmative. We shall see.

It didn’t take long for Tory ex-home office minister David Mellor to start mixing the whitewash for Cameron and May to carry out a typical Tory cover-up — this time no doubt with Nick Clegg holding the bucket.

Mellor, better remembered perhaps for adulterous hanky-panky in a football shirt than for anything he did in office, told Guardian readers “his only reservation would concern the frankly rather emptily populist decision to put the chief executive of the NSPCC in charge of the inquiry into how the Home Office handled abuse allegations.

“Far more sensible but, I admit, not so sexy publicity-wise, would be to invite a boring lawyer to review what were, after all, legal or quasi-legal decisions, not social worker stuff.”

Which translates to: “Better to pick one of those compliant judges we usually use for public enquiries — they usually come up with exactly what we want to hear.”

Mellor went on to say: “The government needed to act decisively, because the rush to judgement among certain politicians and sections of the press was becoming unbearable.”

Nothing then to do with actually uncovering the truth.

Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens was an interesting man. He was abandoned by his parents and was fostered. He suffered from polio, but he turned heavyweight boxer and later became a Tory MP. He died nearly 20 years ago aged 63.

Dickens was no leftwinger. He campaigned strongly in favour of hanging but he was also a vociferous opponent of child abuse and the cover-ups of the paedophilia he discovered all around him in the Establishment and in government.

In 1981 he used parliamentary privilege to name the deputy head of Britain’s military spying service Sir Peter Hayman as a paedophile.

The Establishment rallied round Hayman. Ted Heath had made the senior diplomat a knight in 1971 for his work in the Home Office and the diplomatic corps. Secretly Hayman had also held very senior positions in military intelligence. He was the long-time deputy director of MI6.

Despite all their best efforts at a whitewash Hayman was so blatant and so arrogant he was jailed in 1984 for sex crimes. With the help of some powerful allies he had got away with it for a long time.

In October 1978, Hayman left a package of paedophilia-related pornography on a London bus. The police traced it to a Notting Hill apartment where, under the pseudonym Peter Henderson, Hayman had huge amounts of pornography including 45 diaries describing sex with children and other obscene literature and photographs.

Hayman was investigated by police but telephone calls were made and favours called in. That old whitewash again. Hayman, under his alias, walked away with an anonymous police warning.

Dickens then named Hayman in Parliament. Thatcher and her ministers were furious.

Hayman waffled that he had received pornographic material through the post but it was not of an extreme nature, was non-commercial and in a sealed envelope, so did not warrant prosecution. So that was all right then and Hayman walked free.

Dickens complained in the House of Commons that he had suffered real harassment over the Hayman affair.

“The noose around my neck grew tighter after I named a former high-flying British diplomat on the floor of the House.

“First, I received threatening telephone calls followed by two burglaries at my London home.” Dickens even believed he had been put on a murder hit list. The Establishment and the media ridiculed it as paranoia.

Thatcher’s attorney general was Sir Michael Havers. He will be remembered both as a loyal Conservative politician, encourager of police and the courts against striking miners as well as the lawyer who prosecuted both the innocent Guilford Four and the Maguire Seven, all jailed and then later found not guilty and released.

What isn’t perhaps so well known is that Havers was the brother of Baroness Butler-Sloss who May has just appointed to head her other, more in depth, inquiry into the lost papers. No clash of interests there I am sure.

Dickens paid dearly for his brave whistleblowing. Thatcher never forgave him that some of those named in the dossier were very close indeed.

Meanwhile Hayman didn’t behave himself. Perhaps he felt he didn’t need to. In 1984 he was convicted for an act of gross indecency in a public lavatory. He died in 1992.

Dicken’s brave but unpopular campaign wasn’t over. In November 1983 he delivered a thick dossier to the then home secretary and the senior minister in Thatcher’s Cabinet, Leon Brittan.

It contained allegations of paedophilia in Buckingham Palace, the government, the diplomatic and Civil Service and who knows where else.

This is the dossier that Sir Leon Brittan says he cannot remember and the Home Office has either lost or destroyed.

The top civil servant at the Home Office Mark Sedwill told the home affairs select committee on Tuesday that he had not even asked to see a list detailing what the 114 missing documents related to.

He told MPs he presumed they had all been destroyed, the destruction had not been logged or recorded, but despite that they should not assume that anything sinister was at work. So much for May’s transparency.

Dickens also personally delivered a separate file to another member of the Establishment, the director of public prosecutions, Sir Thomas Hetherington, in August 1983. Amazingly that copy too has been conveniently lost or destroyed.

Dickens’s files and dossier contained details of at least eight prominent public figures who were paedophiles.

Dickens said at the time: “I’ve got eight names of big people, really important names, public figures. And I am going to expose them in Parliament.”

He never did. Pressure, threats, or some other reason kept him quiet. The dossiers and files were lost and a lot of very important people, with very dark secrets, breathed again.

So will those important names become public this time round? Or will the establishment and the Con-Dem cabinet manage to sweep it all under their capacious carpet with all the other sleazy secrets?

I don’t know, but if I were you I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Peter Frost blogs at frostysramblings.wordpress.com.

A FORMER headmaster of London Mayor Boris Johnson has been arrested on suspicion of historic sex assaults: here.

Cameron´s ex-underling Coulson convicted, Rupert Murdoch still at large


Andy Coulson and David Cameron, cartoon by Steve Bell

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Andy Coulson guilty over phone hacking as Rebekah Brooks walks free

• Former Downing Street spin doctor convicted by jury
• Ex-NoW editor Brooks cleared of all charges
David Cameron apologises for employing Coulson
• LIVE blog: follow the latest reaction to the verdicts

Lisa O’Carroll and Patrick Wintour

Tuesday 24 June 2014 12.31 BST

David Cameron‘s former communications chief Andy Coulson is facing jail after being found guilty of conspiring to hack phones while he was editor of the News of the World.

Coulson stood emotionless as he absorbed the news.

The News of the World‘s former managing editor Stuart Kuttner was also found not guilty on phone-hacking charges, but the jury have not reached unanimous verdicts on two further charges faced by Coulson and one charge faced by the News of the World‘s former royal editor Clive Goodman.

The judge instructed them to deliberate further and gave them a majority direction, which means they can return with a verdict that is not unanimous.

Coulson’s verdict raised immediate questions for Cameron, who hired him as director of communications only a few weeks after he quit the News of the World.

In a brief statement to camera, the prime minister offered a “full and frank apology” for employing Andy Coulson at 10 Downing Street, saying: “It was the wrong decision and I am very clear about that.”

He said he had given Coulson a second chance after he left the News of the World but conceded this was the wrong decision.

Cameron said he had asked Coulson about whether he knew about phone hacking, and he said he did not. “Knowing what I now know, those assurances were not right,” Cameron said. “It was obviously wrong of me to employ him. I gave someone a second chance. It turned out to be a bad decision.”

Coulson has spent the last seven years denying he knew about hacking and shocked everyone bar his defence team in court when he revealed for the first time he had listened to the voicemail of former home secretary David Blunkett in 2004, three years before he was hired by Cameron.

He went into the trial last year pleading not guilty to committing a crime by conspiring to hack phones and consistently denied that he had any knowledge the practice was widespread at the tabloid since he had resigned from the News of the World in January 2007. At that time he had stepped down because he took “ultimate responsibility” when one a reporter, royal editor Clive Goodman, had pleaded guilty to phone hacking.

His admission that he knew one of his reporters had hacked into the home secretary’s messages at a time when Britain was at war in Iraq and he did not sack or discipline him, raises questions about the security vetting he was subjected to before he was given clearance to work at No 10 in 2010.

Coulson has told the Leveson inquiry that he may have had “unsupervised access” to material designated top secret or above and attended meetings of the national security council.

At the Leveson inquiry in June 2012, Cameron said that when the Guardian first reported in 2009 that phone hacking at the News of the World may have gone farther than a single rogue reporter, the PM said Coulson had repeated an assurance made on taking the job with the Conservatives that he had known nothing about it.

Under oath, Cameron replied: “I was reliant on his word but I was also reliant on the fact that the Press Complaints Commission had accepted his word, the select committee had accepted his word, the police had accepted his word, the Crown Prosecution Service had accepted his word.” But at that point in 2009, Coulson had not been interviewed by the police, CPS or a select committee on the subject: and the PCC never interviewed Coulson personally.

In a sign of the political battle ahead, Labour’s shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, accused Cameron and the chancellor, George Osborne, of a grave error of judgement in appointing Coulson as director of communications at the Conservative party and then again in 2010 appointing him to head the No 10 press operations.

Osborne had conducted the initial interview with Coulson in 2007, and made the recommendation that Cameron appoint him to run his press operation in opposition in 2008.

In the House of Commons, Balls pressed ahead with an attack on Osborne during Treasury questions: “The jury has just delivered its verdict and the government’s former director of communications has been found guilty of a conspiracy to hack phones,” Balls said. “Does the chancellor now accept that it was a terrible error of judgement [to appoint Coulson]?”.

Bercow interrupted to say the matter did not relate to the chancellor’s responsibilities, but Balls was nevertheless allowed to go further. He continued: “Does the chancellor accept he has brought into disrepute the office of the chancellor and the Treasury by urging the prime minister for his own reasons to [b]ring Coulson into government and has he not damaged his own reputation, and that of the government?”

Osborne replied that the verdicts had been announced in the court, and that he intended to go and study them. “And if a statement is appropriate from me and the prime minister there will be one, not in Treasury questions where we are talking about the economy.

Labour will have to judge how it responds to the trial and the verdicts. The party feels it is legitimate to press the issue of Cameron‘s personal judgement, but is also aware that if ii oversteps the mark, it will look to be making political capital. Downing Street senses that Cameron‘s misjudgement has been factored into the share price.

One of the victims of phone hacking, the former Labour home secretary David Blunkett, said the issue was not about vindictiveness or vengeance. “It is about criminality, it is about obtaining justice, and I hope that has been obtained,” he said.

Blunkett told the Guardian it was little understood how hacking leads to a breakdown in trust within a circle, as its members cannot be sure how private information came into the public domain.

Brooks’s acquittal will provide some relief for Rupert Murdoch, who once described the woman who rose to be chief executive of his London based News International operation [as] his “top priority” when the phone hacking crisis first broke in the summer of 2011.

Coulson’s conviction brings the number of former News of the World journalists facing jail over phone-hacking to five. [B]efore the trial three former newsdesk executives, including Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup, pleaded guilty, as did the phone-hacker Glenn Mulcaire and a former reporter, Dan Evans, who confessed to hacking Sienna Miller’s messages on Daniel Craig’s phone.

Neville Thurlbeck, the News of the World‘s former chief reporter and news editor, pleaded guilty after the police found the tapes he had of Blunkett’s messages in a News International safe. Sentencing is expected a few days after the trial is finished.

Tainted Prime Minister David Cameron was badly scorched yesterday as he attempted to escape the heat of the phone hacking scandal. Labour leader Ed Miliband accused him in the Commons of bringing disgrace to Downing Street by employing the “criminal” Andy Coulson as his closest adviser: here. And here.

PRIME Minister Cameron used his usual tactic at prime minister’s questions yesterday, when asked why he brought a criminal into 10 Downing Street and thereby tainted the government, despite numerous warnings that he should not on any account employ him: here.

Disgraced No 10 spin doctor Andy Coulson was jailed for 18 months yesterday on phone hacking charges. Labour branded the jail term an indictment of Prime Minister David Cameron’s judgement: here. See also here.

Andy Coulson, the former News of the World (NotW) editor and former head of communications for UK prime minister David Cameron, was given an 18-month jail sentence Friday, for conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages: here.

Former Fire Brigades Union general secretary Andy Gilchrist demanded further investigations are placed on the relationship between News of the World staff and politicians after a jury found one-time editor Ms Brooks not guilty: here.

News of the World hacking trial ends: Scandal still poses threat to Britain’s ruling elite: here.

British government censors over 1,800 petitions


This video is called ‘Enemy of the Internet’ – UK accused of mass surveillance & censorship.

By Luke James in Britain:

Monday 2nd of June 2014

Coalition shuts down two a day in bid to stifle dissent

David Cameron’s claim to lead the most open government ever is collapsing today as the Morning Star can reveal that over 1,800 official government e-petitions have been shut down.

The Tory Prime Minister promised to throw open Whitehall’s corridors of power to the people before walking into Downing Street in 2010.

His Con-Dem government established an official petitions website in July 2011 in a bid to prove its commitment to improving Britain’s democracy.

Then leader of the House of Commons Sir George Young said it was “an important way of building a bridge between people and Parliament.”

But documents released after a freedom of information request by the Morning Star reveal that 1,869 e-petitions have been spiked since the site was set up.

The revelations come amid growing concerns that the government is censoring petitions that are politically inconvenient for the coalition.

The website states that “an e-petition may freely disagree with the government or call for changes of policy.”

But Stop the War warns that the government had tried to ban its petition against Nato troops being sent to Ukraine.

The campaign revealed last Thursday that a petition submitted to the government’s website on May 7 with the support of two MPs had been held back by the Ministry of Defence for weeks.

Convener Lindsey German said: “The government is censoring its own platform for public opposition because it is scared of public opinion.”

In a telling twist, the government ended its three-week ban on the petition when Ms German alerted journalists to the situation, immediately making the petition live.

“As soon as journalists began phoning the Ministry of Defence the government backed down and published the petition,” a Stop the War spokesman said.

More than 4,000 people have since backed the campaign’s call to keep Nato forces out of Ukraine.

The Star also revealed in April how 61 official e-petitions calling for Maria Miller to resign as Culture Secretary were shut down before they could attract any signatures.

Labour MP Ian Mearns labelled the blanket ban an attack on “democracy and openness.”

He sits on the backbench business committee that can choose petitions that attract 100,000 signatures for debate in Parliament.

A similar petition on an unofficial site calling for Ms Miller to go gained far more than the 100,000 limit.

A note beneath that petition explained it was rejected because calling for Ms Miller to resign, which she subsequently did, was “outside the responsibility of government.”

Breaking confidentiality, libel or defamation law and the use of offensive language are other reasons e-petitions can be rejected.

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