Friday, 2 November 2018

Cover-ups in action

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." 
Mike Robinson: "Well yesterday Penny Mordaunt was speaking at the Sexual Exploitation Conference 2018 and, of course, this is following the issues around Oxfam and abuse in the NGO sector, particularly in international development and she said: `Thank you all for your recognition that after the Oxfam scandal we had to grip this issue`. So I thought we`d have a look and see exactly how they`re gripping this issue. They`ve produced a nice little video with quotes from people who have been affected by this" ...

"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."

Brian Gerrish: "There`s so much to say on this, Mike. And the pause there is really my brain trying to take this in, because it`s the first time I`ve seen this clip. But what comes into my head is `participatory democracy` where these large charities, NGOs, are no longer acting in that capacity. They`re acting on behalf of the British government. They are considered part of the government and I think the key part of the problem is that we talk about Save the Children as if it was a big international charity. No it`s not. It`s there helping to carry out foreign policy for the British government, so the British government ultimately is going to defend it to the hilt, even if there are people who are going to carry out sex crimes or abuse within that organisation. So an extraordinary intervention but can we expect any more from Penny Mordaunt? No, I don`t think we can."

"Let`s bring David Scott into the programme at this point. Welcome to the programme David. What are your thoughts on what happened there?"

"I thank you. Yes, three quick points. I have seen this last night. I followed a link that described it as an outrageous and concerning security breech. That was the headline and of course I looked at it and it was nothing of the sort. There was no threat. There was someone making a point extremely effectively. The second point here is that Penny Mordaunt clearly had no answer and also we`re seeing a pattern once again of the most inappropriate person or inappropriate organisation being put in charge of investigating wrongdoing. We see this over and over."

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..."

"The question in my mind then is when are they going to do something about stopping people with similar problems from standing as MPs Brian?"

"Well, who knows? At the moment the so-called inquiry into Keith Vaz has just gone into the long grass. I think we`re two years into that inquiry. So Mr Vaz was videoed there with rent boys; there was discussion of drugs; that`s being investigated by Westminster, but all of that is now under secrecy rules. So we`re not allowed to know what is happening. And, of course, we`ve had MP after MP - many of them dead, yes, that`s true - but we`ve never got to the bottom of abuses in and around Westminster. And we`re going to mention the so-called child abuse inquiry in just a moment. So there is no delving into child abuse when it comes to MPs."

"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."

David Scott: "Well I wonder here if this is just an example of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted? Because we`re talking about excluding people who have been guilty of trafficking for sex: women and girls and boys into the UK; that does rather accept that these people were in the system first off. There doesn`t seem to be any attempt to exclude people who might be sex offenders sort of at source. And I understand that via polygraph and other psychological assessments this is actually really quite achievable but it`s not done. So there`s no real attempt to protect the public here. There`s simply an attempt to prevent the appearance of wrongdoing where you have someone entirely inappropriate getting elected. However, I thought that was something that the democratic process itself should be able to sort out and not where the problem lies."

Mike Robinson: "Indeed."

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:"

`Dear Mr Noakes,`

`Thank you for contacting the inquiry via email on 10 October.`

`The Chair is aware of Melanie Shaw`s evidence and the representations made about the relevance of her evidence to the inquiry. In light of the evidence already available to the inquiry both in documents and from other witnesses attending the hearing, the Chair does not consider it necessary to hear from her at the hearing.`

`The Chair does however recognise the importance of the experiences and perspectives of all those who make an allegation of sexual abuse during their time in care and the inquiry is preparing summary tables setting out details of the allegation of abuse and the complainant`s perspective of the response to it. Where someone has made an allegation to the police and/or the Council in relation to Beechwood this is included in the summary tables. All complainants, victims and survivors of child sexual abuse are entitled to anonymity in the inquiry`s proceedings unless they expressly choose to waive it and so will be anonymised in the summary tables,`

`Yours sincerely,

Correspondence & Engagement Team, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.`

"David, I`m going to throw this one at you. I do not think I have ever seen such a clear document showing the absolute intent that this inquiry will produce the best cover-up the British government has ever done to date because we are not going to allow the survivors to speak. If they do speak they`re going to be anonymised which of course dilutes their evidence and we`re going to produce tables which set out rough numbers of complaints and where they were. This is a cover-up which is just breathtaking."

David Scott: "It`s an astonishing response. The Chair is aware of everything regarding Melanie Shaw. The Chair does nothing. The Chair does not consider it necessary to do anything; to act. Melanie Shaw, solitary confinement, driven away from sanity it seems to be the objective, a series of questionable procedures at every stage, but we don`t need to hear from Melanie Shaw... It`s just ... there`s been so much child abuse, what we`ll do is summarise it in tables because that means that any one piece of evidence isn`t that critical, because there`s so much of it that all we need to do is give a general flavour of what is happening. Any one piece of evidence that might be concerning, say, a senior serving politician for example, that one piece of evidence is only a small amount of the total. So we`ll lose that because we`re looking at the bigger picture. This is what`s happening. This is cover-up in action. I`m astonished it`s so blatant."

Brian Gerrish: "Somebody in our chat box has said I thought anonymity was optional. That`s technically correct. People can decide whether they want to be anonymous or not. However, it now seems that the report is going to be based on anonymity. But of course the other thing we`ve got to remember is that where the local councils... have made compensation payments that has automatically come with a gagging order."

"I`m going to come back on to that but we`ll put this up on screen. It is clear that the conservative government now is running this massive cover-up of child abuse and as we said a few days ago... we were receiving very good information that they`re so panicked by the amount of information coming which is leading back to abuses in Westminster, around Westminster by MPs, that the bet is that IICSA will actually close down the Westminster part of its so-called inquiry."

"I tried to summarise just some of the key points here: but basically we invite survivors forward on the basis that they`ll be heard; we then refuse to hear them. And to be absolutely clear on this, IICSA has not received any of the testimony from Melanie Shaw. That is an absolute fact. The bulk of her testimony has not actually been revealed publicly in any case. So you refuse to hear those people. You deny them access to the panel. You refuse to hear professionals such as the police who have evidence of abuse and cover-up. We know that`s true because of John Wedger, former MET police officer, has been denied access to the panel. He was promised he could go on one of the panels and IICSA has now said they`re only going to deal with chief constables. We`ve got a government that`s approved gagging orders that come with the compensation payments and that directly stifles criminal evidence. If these people can no longer speak out about criminal abuse being acted on them then we have got a complete ... stifling of law in this country."

"And then what are we going to do? We`re going to produce anonymised statistical tables as findings which will essentially assure that no individuals are ever found guilty of the crimes. It is mind boggling but to be expected because as the UK Column and indeed many other alternative media outlets have said time and again child abuse is the fuel by which blackmail works within the British government and to keep that blackmail working you`ve got to keep the child abuse happening..."

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