Tag Archives: child sex abuse

Defending the indefensible: LM’s position on paedophilia – it’s hysteria

The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) had some funny views about child sexual abuse in the 1980s and 1990s. They saw nothing to get worked up about.  It was all hysteria on the part of those who had recently alleged there was a high-level paedophile ring operating in Britain. So it comes as no surprise that Brendan O’Neill, the Telegraph’s chief contrarian writes another blog in which he paints those concerned about child sex abuse as hysterical.

The headline for his blog sums it up “Is it really true that children are being sexually exploited in every ‘town, village and hamlet’ in England”?  I’ve already written about the laager mentality of those who write for the Tory press but this title is mischief-making on O’Neill’s part. Reaching back into the recent past, O’Neill tell us,

In June, the deputy children’s commissioner Sue Berelowitz got tabloid headline writers hot under the collar when she declared: “There isn’t a town, village or hamlet in which children are not being sexually exploited.”Now, in an effort to back up this Grimm-like claim about the horrors facing British children, Ms Berelowitz has issued a detailed report on the allegedly nationwide scourge of sexual exploitation, which is dramatically titled: ‘I thought I was the only one. The only one in the world’

This blog follows in the wake of ITV’s Exposure update last night and I suppose it was only inevitable that one or more right-wing writers would try to throw the public off the scent or chide them for being “hysterical”. Here’s some more,

The media are lapping it up. Some newspapers are slating Ms Berelowitz for downplaying the specific problem of Asian gangs abusing vulnerable white girls, but for the most part hacks seem pleased that there is yet another shock-horror claim about child sexual abuse for them to write and get angry about. The Daily Mail informs us that “some 16,500 youngsters”, or “the equivalent of 20 medium-sized secondary schools”, are at risk of sexual exploitation by gangs and groups. Which sounds genuinely scary.

What O’Neill seeks to do is shift the emphasis back to the notion that it’s only gangs of Muslim Asian men who groom teenage girls for sexual abuse. In the light of the recent revelations, we know that this isn’t true. O’Neill operates in an unofficial capacity to protect the establishment from possible exposure by penning poisonous pieces like this.

Living Marxism (LM) for which O’Neill and the rest of the RCP once wrote, carried occasional discussion pieces about paedophilia. Take this one from Mick Hume, written in May 1998.

As a father, I do not much care what happens to those individuals who are guilty of violent sex offences against children. Throw away the key, throw them down the stairs, whatever; I won’t lose any sleep over one less Sidney Cooke in the world.

But as a father with libertarian principles, I do care about the implications of the national panic about paedophiles that is now gripping Britain (and, it seems, Belgium, Italy, the USA etc).

So far, so good.

To me, the paedophile panic looks like the latest outburst of one of the most destructive sentiments of our age: ‘stranger danger’, the fear and mistrust of other people that has grown stronger as the old communal ties and collective solidarities weaken.

Stranger danger has helped to create a climate of insecurity where, recent surveys show, British children spend more time than ever before alone with their own TVs, CDs and PCs in the gilded cages of their bedrooms, worrying about what might happen to them to the point where some are already on Prozac. And worse is to come if we continue to fill our children with a fear of life.

The trouble is that while there is hysteria whipped up by the very media for which O’Neill and Hume write, there is a serious case to answer about the child sex abuse and its cover up by the authorities. There is nothing “hysterical” about wanting to get to the truth and wanting to obtain justice for the victims who, I might add, figure very little, if at all, in O’Neill’s articles or those of his fellow LMers.

The Moral Maze’s Claire Fox produced this rather typical piece in the same issue,

Dea Birkett thinks another reason she receives a lot of abuse on this issue is ‘because victims feel as though you are personally attacking them. I think the victims themselves become victims of this hysteria, which is no help to them. When you have Michelle Elliot on television with a victim sitting next to her I think that means being twice victimised – once by the abuse that she has suffered and twice by this parading of her victimisation. I get very cross when I watch those debate shows where the victim of abuse responds “I’ve been abused 135 times”. As if that was an argument. As if I’m going to say “no you weren’t abused” or “that’s good” rather than “that’s bad”. I didn’t say child abuse doesn’t exist; don’t parade a victim in front of me as an argument against me. I’m not talking about that. I am talking about our attitude towards offenders. But when the victim speaks, that’s it; it’s like a statement “There’s no debate now”‘.

But where is the victim in this piece? The victim here is transmogrified into a logical fallacy; the blunt instrument of a discursive hijack. Interestingly enough, Fox appears as a speaker at The Freedom Association’s (TFA) “Freedom Zone” Events.

This is another rationalization of paedophilia.

Paedophilia is not a new problem in Italy; the Roman Emperors were, after all, as famous for their favourite boys as for their harems of women. What has changed is the public reaction to it. In particular, unpopular politicians desperate to make links with their electorate are preying on popular fears about paedophiles in a bid to win new authority.

So because Roman Emperors indulged in under-age sex, this makes it acceptable? Has nothing really changed in two millennia? We no longer have the pater familias as head of the Roman family. So what is this writer trying to say?

Back to O’Neill,

Likewise, the definition of “child sexual exploitation” in Berelowitz’s report is dangerously amorphous. To most of us, sexual exploitation means something like prostitution, the effective selling of a person or persons to perverted or depraved men. Yet Berelowitz’s report defines “child sexual exploitation” as including not only situations where a young person “receives something (eg. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affections, gifts, money) as a result of them performing… sexual activities”, but also things like “being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones” and being involved in “exploitative relationships”. When you read through the report, it seems pretty clear that lots and lots of different experiences have been lumped together to reach this figure of 2,409 children who have been sexually exploited by gangs – not only real and terrible cases in which young people have been abused by gangs, like the one in Rochdale that was exposed a few months ago, but also boyfriends pressuring girlfriends to send them rude pictures, men in their twenties having less-than-admirable relationships with teenage girls, and so on.

Once again, O’Neill drags in Rochdale and attempts to racialize the debate and thereby deflect attention from the obvious fact that there has been a high level cover up. Pederasty cuts across ethnic and cultural boundaries but don’t expect O’Neill to acknowledge this. To make things worse, he says,

Who benefits from this conflation of so many different experiences and the inaccurate depiction of Britain as a hotbed of sexual depravity and perversion? No one, I would argue. Certainly not the majority of children, who are encouraged to believe that they aren’t safe in any “town, village or hamlet” in England. In fact, there is one beneficiary of this scaremongering: the Office of the Children’s Commissioner itself, which gets to launch a grand-sounding, self-serving moral mission to rescue the downtrodden and enslaved from the evil scourge of gang culture.

Who’s hysterical now, Brendan? By painting public concern as “scaremongering” is pretty damned dishonest and hysterical.

O’Neill is the editor of the LM network’s journal, Spiked! Here’s Tim Black railing against the child abuse laws,

First came the Sex Offenders Register in 1997. Currently listing around 29,000 people, from children who’ve groped other children, teachers who’ve had liaisons with students, to those who’ve sexually abused young children, it is an unwieldy, indiscriminate testament to the special place the child sex offender occupies in the contemporary imagination (1). Its effect has been profound. The sex offender has now been officially distinguished as a breed of criminal apart, one that requires constant monitoring and house visits. Unlike others who have broken the law, the sex offender is forever stained by his offence, a subject of endless control. For the public the paedophile has become an everyday nightmare; a faceless threat living amongst us, but not like us – the enemy within. Seen in this way, it’s not surprising that since the compilation of the Sex Offenders Register, there have been periodic attempts to have its listed names made publicly available.

One has to treat Spiked and the rest of LM with a great deal of suspicion. These were the people who argued that making a stand against apartheid was a”bourgeois” pastime. We should also remember that TFA supported the apartheid regime in South Africa and was behind the rebel cricket tour of that country.

On 15 October, O’Neill wrote more about “hysteria”. Here he draws some rather weak parallels between Savile and the Salem Witch Trials.

So as in Salem, Savile-obsessed modern Britain has its alleged conspiracy of witches, in the shape of Savile himself, described by the Guardian as ‘the devil who tries, and succeeds, in passing himself off as a saint’, alongside other named or hinted-at individuals. Together, these ‘blood-curdling child catchers’ (Guardian again) apparently ‘stalked children’s homes and hospitals… preying on the most vulnerable victims one could imagine’. They were part of a ‘child sex ring’, say the tabloids, which ‘lurked’ deep within ‘the corporation’ (the BBC). Savile was even worse than JK Rowling’s Voldemort, journalists tell us; he was a beast more wicked than could have been imagined by ‘even the most gifted weavers of children’s nightmares’.

This amounts to a tacit defence of Savile and those who allowed him access to vulnerable children. Elsewhere in the article O’Neill tries desperately to connect the recent child sex scandals with the American Red Scares of the 1950s. It’s intellectually dishonest. He closes his article with this blast,

There it is; this is where we get to the rotten heart of the Savile hysteria. The Savile story is really a vessel for the cultural elite’s perverted obsession with child abuse, and more importantly its belief that everyone is at it – that in every institution, ‘town, village and hamlet’, there are perverts and innocence despoilers, casually warping the next generation. In modern Britain, the figure of The Paedophile has become the means through which the misanthropes who rule over us express their profound fear and suspicion of adults in general, and also of communities and institutions – even of the institutions they hold dear, such is the self-destructive dynamic triggered by the unleashing of the Salem ethos. If Savile had never existed, the chattering classes would have had to invent him, so perfect an encapsulation is he of their degenerate view of the whole of adult society today.

My emphasis. Notice how he paints this as an “obsession” of the “cultural elite”, a phrase he often uses to describe anyone who disagrees with him and his fellow LMers. This is also his euphemism for “the Left”.

James Heartfield had this to say in a 1993 edition of LM,

In the seventies, before it was prohibited, the Paedophile Information Exchange used to argue that children were capable of making their own decisions about who they wanted to have sex with.

Notice how the author tells what the Paedophile Information Exchange said but doesn’t bother to challenge their view. It’s taken as axiomatic. Heartfield’s view is that children should never be believed. He wrote,

Children’s rights are not just a misnomer. If that were all they were it would not matter. But in fact the growing interest in children’s rights is positively dangerous. The extension of rights to children is not an increase in liberty, but a degradation of the meaning of individual rights.

My question to O’Neill and his LM buddies is this: why do you defend the indefensible? They would tell us that it’s because they’re “libertarians”. But can we take this to mean that they seek to dismiss allegations of paedophilia as trivial nonsense or is it the case that they’re actually doing the bidding of the elites that O’Neill rails against? It’s both.

It’s worth considering O’Neill’s position on the Leveson Inquiry. In February he wrote a piece titled “Why we’re launching The Counter Leveson Inquiry”. I shall quote a small portion.

This is about to change. spiked has been raising concerns about the likely consequences of the crusade against ‘unethical’ tabloids since before Leveson was set up, and we have continually criticised the Leveson process for creating a censorious climate in the here and now, even before its recommendations have been made. And now we plan to gather together our arguments, and intensify them, in a Counter-Leveson Inquiry which will put the case against Leveson, against judges and police getting to tell the press what its ethics should be, and against any stricture whatsoever on the right of the press, whether highbrow or low-rent, to investigate and publish what it sees fit.

Why? Not because we hold a candle for tabloid newspapers, but because we carry a torch for press freedom, because we believe that Milton’s rallying cry is as fitting today as it was in 1644: ‘Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.

O’Neill also writes for The Australian, a Murdoch paper. Go figure.

In the 1980s I suspected that the RCP was a state-sponsored front to discredit the Left. It seems that I was, at least, partly right. LM’s successors work tirelessly on behalf of the state, its institutions and the corporations that benefit from state largesse. Its talk of liberty rings hollow when one realizes exactly how close it is to state and corporate power. Their strange brand of libertarianism blinds them to the damage done to those who have been victims of pederasty. They talk of freedom but what about the right of children to enjoy freedom from harm and exploitation? It seems eerily absent from their discourse.

I found this blog from George Monbiot that was written in 1998. Here’s an extract.

As you wade through back issues of Living Marxism, you can’t help but conclude that the magazine’s title is a poor guide to its contents. LM contains little that would be recognised by other Marxists or, for that matter, by leftists of any description. On one issue after another, there’s a staggering congruence between LM’s agenda and that of the far-right Libertarian Alliance. The two organisations take identical positions, for example, on gun control (it is a misconceived attack on human liberty), child pornography (legal restraint is simply a Trojan horse for the wider censorship of the Internet), alcohol (its dangers have been exaggerated by a new breed of “puritan”), the British National Party (it’s unfair to associate it with the murder of Stephen Lawrence; its activities and publications should not be restricted), the Anti-Nazi League (it is undemocratic and irrelevant), tribal people (celebrating their lives offends humanity’s potential to better itself; the Yanomami Indians are not to be envied but pitied) animal rights (they don’t have any), and global warming (it’s a good thing).

O’Neill often refers to himself as a “Marxist”. Some Marxist.

N.B. O’Neill has closed the comments thread to avoid a cyber pasting.

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Message from Leah McGrath Goodman

Last week I signed a petition to press The States of Jersey to restore Leah McGrath Goodman’s visa. I got this update this morning from Change.org. The petition now has close to 3,000 signatures and she looks close to getting her wish.

Some new news — from Leah McGrath Goodman:

Thanks so much for your continued support. As we close in on 3,000 signatures, it looks like I may be closer to having my visa restored in the UK.

Right now, the heightened awareness of how abuse victims have been hurt in England has made it easier for the sponsor of this petition, Trevor Pitman, to engage in positive communications on my behalf with the UK’s immigration authorities. (Thank you, Trevor!) With any luck, I may have the green-light to continue my research by the end of the year.

This is only if the UK authorities follow through on their assurances, however. We are hopeful, but the hard work is not yet done and each step has proven expensive…both in terms of time, emotional resources and funding.

Please continue to spread the word. Awareness is key, so long as there are editorials like the one featured in last Friday’s Financial Times letting fly with such statements as: “Fraud, robbery, mugging, burglary – even rape and murder – may sometimes eventually be forgiven. But no such indulgence is available to child abusers. This was not always so.”

This very strange piece — which might have better run under the title “In Defense of Paedophiles” — comes from Sir Max Hastings, an otherwise respected British author, historian and journalist. Not sure what the point of comparing child abuse to burglary is — other than fouling oneself as a sort of paedophile apologist — but Hastings does not let it drop there.

“The public obsession with paedophilia now obliges art galleries and auctioneers to exercise extreme care in marketing images of children,” he says. “Many honourable and admirable people who work with the young must exercise elaborate care to avoid casual physical contact with their charges.”

Uh, isn’t taking elaborate care around children supposed to be a good thing?

While these are the kinds of ignorant sputterings I have long grown used to hearing from, ahem, “paedocrats,” it is disappointing to hear them from a fellow journalist — a beknighted one at that — who should really know better.

(Just an aside: You also have to ask yourself what motivated Hastings to write this editorial. To make a fuss over such high-class problems as the way in which auctioneers are suffering when the protection of children is in question seems to be in the worst of taste.)

The editorial must be read in full to be believed, but Hastings does reassure us that “child abuse is not a national plague” and we should instead focus on tut-tutting the “spasms of hysteria.”

Unlike Hastings, I do not believe getting to the bottom of the matter is, as he says, akin to an “archaeological dig.” Or that “Roman excavations are more fruitful.” I believe as long as there is a push to not ask questions or dig deeper there are plenty of reasons to continue to do so. With patience and compassion, there are ways to heal, but they cannot be approached from a place of denial or ignorance. Let us hope that the national discourse can be allowed to move forward, from a place of truth.

Thank you for your continued support. It has made all the difference!
Leah

The Cat has found the Max Hastings article, which appeared in the Financial Times. Here is a quote,

Whatever happened in north Wales care homes 40 years ago, it will be almost impossible to establish the truth at this distance of time, and it is a waste of taxpayers’ money to try to do so. While every reasonable precaution must be taken to prevent men from sexually abusing children, such crimes must be kept in the context of other evils in the world.

But this is hard to achieve in modern Britain. The late Daily Mail editor Sir David English observed 20 years ago that paedophilia had become, in the eyes of the public informed by the media, the only unpardonable crime. Fraud, robbery, mugging, burglary – even rape and murder – may sometimes eventually be forgiven. But no such indulgence is available to child abusers.

This was not always so. In the era when I was at boarding school, and for many decades before, everybody sniggered about the fact that some schoolmasters – and schoolmistresses – sexually exploited pupils. Cynics said: why else would they take the job? In the Church, and especially the Catholic Church, it is now plain that such malpractices have been widespread. What is remarkable is that many victims have gone on to lead apparently normal lives, though of course some do not.

The public obsession with paedophilia now obliges art galleries and auctioneers to exercise extreme care in marketing images of children. Many honourable and admirable people who work with the young must exercise elaborate care to avoid casual physical contact with their charges. Most children have lost the sort of freedom we knew at their age, roaming London streets and country lanes alone, unsupervised – and without fear.

It’s that third paragraph. What’s he trying to say? That such practices are acceptable in certain contexts? He isn’t clear.

UPDATE 28/1/13 @ 1810

I received an email last Thursday from Change.org, which informed me that Ms McGrath Goodman was being granted a 2 year visa.  Good news but one suspects the shredders in the States of Jersey have been working overtime in the last year or so.

Here’s the text of the email.

A Message from Leah McGrath Goodman:

At last, I have received my UK visa — a visa that will last me two full years!

And you, my wonderful friends, are the reason for this amazing victory.

I want to confide that at the final moment, the visa was held up by the UK Border Agency in New York, but Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley John Hemming put in a parliamentary question to Immigration Minister Damian Green about the delay and, presto, my visa arrived a few days later. (The magic of ministerial questioning.)

I also want to acknowledge the efforts of Jersey Immigration, which did a fantastic job of working with us once we were all able to fully communicate. (One of them actually contacted us late on a Sunday night to make sure all was in order.) In the final analysis, they had to overcome a struggle too.

I will be writing much more in the days to come, but for now I just want to say I am so grateful.

Let’s show the world that the power of numbers (with a little help from social media) can bring justice to those in need. This is a new era and the Internet can accomplish much — especially for those on a small island.

As I continue my work, I will be writing about what I find in my travels atleahmcgrathgoodman.com. Hope to see you there.

While you’re at it, please also check out the blog of Trevor Pitman, the courageous man who launched this petition and a member of Jersey’s Parliament. He can be found at:http://thebaldtruthjersey.blogspot.com

We’re also on Twitter guys! But we don’t want to deluge you.

Next month, Jersey legislators will be voting on whether a Committee of Inquiry will be allowed to do a comprehensive vetting of the island’s handling of its decades of child abuse. Will the committee be permitted to do a real investigation? This is an important time for eyes to remain on the island.

This is only the beginning, so please keep in touch. Remember, without your witnessing these events as they unfolded — and, now, as they continue to unfold — little would have changed. A thousand thanks to you.

We did it — !

Leah McGrath Goodman

P.S. Your excellent notes of support have been passed on to the victims’ advocacy group in Jersey, so those who still suffer every day know that people care for them. Because of your comments, they will not feel so alone.

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Filed under Child sex abuse, Society & culture

Savile and the dark heart of British politics

The shit has really hit the fan over, what is now being called, “The Savile scandal”.

Like many interested commentators, The Cat believes the Savile Scandal goes beyond the BBC and into the heart of political power.

I’d seen the pictures and the video of Savile with Thatcher and I’d heard the rumours about Ted Heath (he of the biggest sulk in history), his yacht and the Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey.

Today as I watched Prime Minister’s Question Time, you could have heard a pin drop as Labour MP, Tom Watson, suggested that there was a “powerful paedophile network” that may have had links to a former Prime Minister.

Watson told Cameron,

“The evidence file used to convict Peter Righton, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring,” he told MPs.

“One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former prime minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.

“The leads were not followed up, but if the files still exist, I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10.”

Cameron, who hadn’t been doing well at the despatch box was stunned.  He replied by saying it was a “difficult and complex case” and pledged to help in any way he could. Well, he has no choice.

Tom Watson’s blog has more.

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Jimmy SaVILE, patriarchy and cultural relativism

The news that Jimmy Savile had sexually abused teenage girls for the better part of 40 years, has shocked and disgusted many people who held him in great esteem because of his charidee work. Personally speaking, I wasn’t shocked and I always thought that his charity work was a convenient and clever cover for his creepiness; a means of diverting media attention from his predatory behaviour. Indeed,  I’d always thought there was something creepy about him: the shell suits, the jewellery, the bizarre turns of phrase all pointed to something rather disturbing that lay just beneath the surface. Louis Theroux’s encounter with him in 2002 was certainly illuminating for the fact that Savile tried to deny all knowledge of his ugly sexual predation and unwittingly  revealed his true self.

Here’s When Louis Met Jimmy.

Savile comes across as intimidating and arrogant as well as deliberately obtuse. One line that stands out is, “You’ll find out how tricky I am”. But the most telling admission comes at 14.46 when Theroux asks him about being a wrestler,  he replies, “I’m feared in every girl’s school in Britain”. This line is probably the most revelatory of the entire programme; it’s coughed up like a cat that coughs up a fur ball. When I heard him say that, my suspicions seemed to be confirmed but what a weird thing to say – even in jest.

But what I am certainly intrigued by is the silence of the EDL and the BNP about this scandal. Jack Straw hasn’t said anything either. Why should I mention the EDL, the BNP and Straw in the same breath? Surely there’s no connection between them? Ah, but there is. Rochdale.

Straw was quoted in the Telegraph as saying,

“It is true to say … that overall if you go into the sex offenders wings of prisons there are proportionally more white offenders than Asian offenders or black and we have got to deal with that separately.

“But it is also correct that in terms of group grooming there is an ethnic dimension which typically is of Asian men on white girls.

“And that is an issue which has to be faced and addressed within the Asian community about what’s going on there.

“That kind of leads to a sense of denial by them that all this is going on.

“These are small communities so people will have a rough idea that people are abusing white girls in this way.

“That has to be dealt with there as well as obviously with much more effective police and social services action.”

The far-right hold similar views to this. Racializing the Rochdale incident, in my view, was Jack Straw’s biggest mistake (he’s made plenty of others). His thesis that grooming gangs are a unique feature of Muslim culture has been comprehensively blown out of the water by the Savile Scandal. The thing that Straw cannot or will not come to grips with is the Patriarchy. I will return to this later.

The British Resistance, a far-right site, which I will not link to for obvious reasons, spins this as another piece of anti-Semitism dressed up as anti-Zionism,

It is also my experience, that birds of a feather tend to flock together and that is why there should be a public enquiry into this affair and also into other individuals both alive and dead who were known associates of him.

Interesting, for me at least, is the number of Jewish “celebrities” whose names I have found linked to Jimmy Savile.  Truth is not many people in the general public at large knew of Savile’s love for Israel, his grasp of the Yiddish language and the large numbers of Jewish friends that he made over his long life.

He was a rabid Zionist who disapproved of Israel sharing any land with the Palestinian people and an active supporter of the Leeds Kosher School Meals service and the Vilna Synagogue and a regular at the Leed’s In Time Club where the local Jewish community would go.

So pro Zionist was Savile that he described himself as “the most Jewish Catholic you will ever meet” and given that the entertainments business is dominated by Jews, that statement would most certainly have helped his career and leant weight towards the suppression of the truth about his paedophile tendencies being exposed.

I did in my research read that Savile was in fact Jewish but could not verify this piece of information.

It’s the last paragraph that gets me. He “did” his “research” but his information could not be verified. Pretty sloppy, if you ask me. The rest of this paragraph repeats, the by now, familiar lines that fash trot out at each and every opportunity. The usual stuff about the media and all the rest.  But linking Savile to Zionism and Jews generally is pretty desperate stuff. One thing that we can be sure of, however, is that he was close to the Conservative Party and Thatcher.

Casuals United, which is closely associated with the EDL attempts to deflect attention away from its own penchant for underage girls and boys. Here is a broken link: http://casualsunited.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/we-think-the-jimmy-saville-affair-is-the-tip-of-a-massive-iceberg-edl-evf-mfe/

We think the Jimmy Saville affair is the tip of a massive iceberg #edl #evf #mfe

7102012

Check out this site about Pedophiles in the Labour Party. Saville had friends in high places including the Thatchers and the Blairs

They offer a link to another site which claims to “expose” paedophiles in the Labour Party. But it is largely a smear job. The fact that they refuse to even mention their members who have been charged with possessing child pornography tells us a lot about the EDL and those who support them.

There is a mindset among many men that thinks it is perfectly natural for them to sexually harass women in the workplace and rub themselves up against women on public transport and no, this is not a natural way for men to behave. “What’s the matter, love? You a lesbian or somefink”? This demonstrates both a lack of respect for women and a lack of control over themselves. Sexual incontinence seems to be an accepted practise in some male circles. Then there’s the banter and the sexually explicit gestures, which when challenged, provoke the classic, “It’s just a joke, love”.

The BBC is a patriarchal institution that is run by men and is dominated by men. It would seem that there has been a cover-up going on for many years. I would also suggest that there was a culture of this sort of thing in the BBC.  In the coming months I expect more women to come forward with the sorts of stories that the BBC tried to sweep under its carpet or wave it away with a curt, “Get over it”.

Let’s be blunt: this culture has nothing at all to do with sexual attraction or masculinity, it’s about power. The men who run the BBC have often gone to single sex public schools, so their attitude to women tends to contain knowledge of the Other. They see women as exotic creatures, foreigners or objects, not as people.

Savile used his power and influence to deceive others for 40 years. He bought the silence of the press through his charitable works.  Paedophilia and the grooming of young girls for the sexual pleasure of men is not unique to Muslims, it transcends ethnic and religious boundaries – whether or not the far right or Jack Straw care to admit this. But the EDL and BNP are deeply patriarchal institutions, in which gross masculinity is celebrated. Straw’s playing to the gallery of racists cranks was deeply misguided.

The patriarchy damages women and men.

UPDATE: 12/10/10@ 1830

Changed title to better reflect content

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Filed under Child sex abuse, Society & culture