Brian Gerrish from UK Column News 19 October 2018: "Well the big issue that is under the surface of UK government is dynamite. We hear about Brexit at the moment and little else but something far nastier and deeper is at work."
"Penny Mordaunt announced that they were going to prevent abuses happening in the first place. They`re going to listen... when abuses happen; they`re going to respond decisively and sensitively and they`re going to learn from each case that they`re dealing with. So, for example, `DFID and Interpol are launching a pilot of a new system to improve background checks on aid staff. UK NGOs, with support from DFID, are going to test a passport for aid workers to prove their identity, to provide background information on previous employment and confirm their vetting status. They`re going to introduce a disclosure of misconduct scheme across the NGO sector and prevent known perpetrators from moving around undetected.` And a whole host of other things announced which - well what are they doing, putting lip service to this? I don`t think they`re going to do very much and certainly people from the NGO sector agree with that."
"She said ...`If something happens you should report it. But in addition to this there must be action taken. The organisation should dismiss the person so that other men will learn that you cannot go around abusing children in this way... Often no action is taken and that is the problem`."
Mike Robinson continues with the list of proposals: "`The development of a statement of victims rights.` So this is all fantastic stuff. But as I say not everyone was terribly impressed by that, including a former Save the Children employee Alexia Pepper de Caires who intervened during Penny Mordaunt`s speech."
"So let`s just have a quick look at that..."
"So what did Penny Mordaunt have to say? She went on to say `I am very sorry some people feel excluded from this event...`"
"So Brian, quite an important intervention there, and we see this time and again. The key point ... she was making is that Save the Children, who she used to work for, have been given a role within this ... new globalised system of criminal records checks for aid workers; and she made the point they`re still under investigation by the Charity Commission themselves. That alone must demonstrate Penny Mordaunt`s Department of International Development aren`t taking this seriously."
Mike Robinson: "Absolutely. Well let me introduce you to Rishi Sunak who is the Local Government Minister... Well, the Local Government Minister has decided that something has to be done about government sexual exploitation at local government level. So the government is going to toughen the rules which ban sex offenders from being elected as councillors at the local council level. [These are] new disqualification rules to prevent people found guilty of serious crimes from serving as counsellors or mayors and so, for example, anybody in receipt of an antisocial behaviour injunction, a criminal behaviour order, a sexual risk order or who is on the sex offenders register will no longer be able to stand for elected office in a community. He says that current conditions make clear that anyone convicted of an offence carrying a prison sentence of more than 3 months is banned from serving as a local councillor but the new measures are going to strengthen this further by bringing disqualification rules aligning with modern sentencing to include the alternatives to a prison sentence..."
"Fascinating to see though they are targeting local councillors because we`ve already got the interesting situation where we have officers ... paid to do the job of I believe it`s called Monitoring Officer where they vet the standards of the elected members. So you have essentially a government place man in each council watching the councillors. But who is actually watching the council staff themselves? And the chief executives under vast salaries, of course, are going to do all they can to protect their own organisations. So I think this is starting to dismantle local democracy. I think this is what it`s about."
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
Brian Gerrish. "Well let`s have a look at IICSA and let`s remember what the government`s child abuse inquiry says: `I will be heard.` The inference there is very clear that any victim or survivor of child abuse will get the opportunity to come forward and to give their testimony at the inquiry. Well, we can tell our audience today - I hope it is a worldwide audience, because this directly impacts on the British government and the values of the present conservatives - that the `I will be heard` motto is simply not true because we now know that victims and survivors of child abuse will not be heard. And I`d like to thank this gentleman, Martin Noakes, who has shared the communication that he`s had from the IICSA inquiry. Let me read it to our audience:"