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Thursday 8 November 2012

Paedophiles And The Prime Minister

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]

Young Dave has been for a chat with the people at ITV’s This Morning today, and what was no doubt intended as a jolly good idea for a bit of image burnishing on the sofa took a decidedly downhill swerve as the subject of paedophiles and child abuse was brought up. Presenter Phillip Schofield handed Cameron a list of prominent Tories allegedly involved, and then came the howler.

Makes me and the Fawkes blog evens, methinks

Dave asserted “I am worried this could turn into a witch hunt, particularly against people who are gay”. You heard that correctly. Where to start? Did he not keep tabs on the various stories from the past? For instance, this blog looked at the case of Derek McCulloch, aka Uncle Mac, who John Simpson named (as “Uncle Dick”) as being someone who “interfered” with children in the BBC gents’ toilets.

But it is doubtful that McCulloch was gay: he was married with two children. The idea that there is some kind of correlation between homosexuality and paedophilia is one that gets made only by those who have failed over the years to plug their brains in. And the situation for Cameron’s own party is rather more nuanced and complex than going after anyone who can’t supply a marriage certificate.

For many years, it was difficult for prospective Parliamentary candidates to gain the party’s approval if they were single, whatever their sexual orientation. So many entered into what might be termed marriages of convenience: three of those about whom I supplied clues last Sunday did this (but another did not, and there were children from his marriages). Cameron would have a rather difficult job gaining any insights from that kind of analysis.

To cut the Prime Minister some slack, he did insert “particularly” into his reply, but there is a fundamental ignorance at work here. The vast majority of Jimmy Savile’s targets it seems were female. Paedophiles target children, and to allow the debate to detour into the realms of nudge-nudgery is to potentially fail the hundreds of victims of abuse and leave the door open to witch-hunts.

What Cameron might be better advised doing is to get knowledgeable: for starters, there is the admission from the great Cliffus Maximus that he spun for former Tory MP Alan Clark – a rabidly heterosexual man if ever there was one – who it appears interfered with at least one under-age girl. Clifford’s candour makes one wonder what else is lurking in the closets of past and serving politicians.

Meanwhile, Young Dave may be wary of whose sofa he fetches up on in the coming weeks and months. There’s going to be a lot more on this one.

[UPDATE1 1700 hours: the video of Max Clifford has now been featured by the rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, with their post timed at 1613 hours. That puts them 3 hours and 25 minutes behind Zelo Street. And he didn't name Alan Clark as "one of the Tory paedophiles", as a view of the contents will confirm. He certainly didn't pitch the P-word.

What was that strapline, Fawkes folks? "You're either ahead of Guido, or behind"? Well, right now, this blog is well ahead of The Great Guido. Do try and keep up, lads]

[UPDATE2 9 November 1150 hours: the Independent posted an article on their website which featured a rebuttal by Max Clifford, but he did not take issue with the contents of the video, and nor did he take back anything he said. His thrust was - by the modern technique of asking himself the questions - that he hadn't asked anyone not to write about Alan Clarke and his possible indiscretion.

Sadly, no link can be posted as the Indy then withdrew the piece from view, but not before a screenshot was taken. Why that should be is at present unknown - after all, I expect that the Indy would have got its conversation with The Great Man on the record. No doubt there will be more to come]


Ceebs said...

I think for once I'm going to have to partly stand up for Dave here, If you look back before our current enlightened views, back as far as the 1980's it was not unusual to see pedophilia and homosexuality seen as one thing, entirely incorrectly, so what I think he was trying to do was, in a typically cack handed way was to say that in the infighting in the Tory party at the time, you may see that while a person was gay, it might be suggested that they would be after your children. I think that Dave was trying to say that some people who there are rumours that they were pedophiles, it will turn out that they were only actually gay, and we should beware of sparking off a hate campaign against homosexuals because some of the evidence will come from decades old attitudes.

So Dave was trying to say something positive, it just comes out utterly badly

Radio 5 this morning, in commenting on this story probably needs an apology from the presenter for presenting exactly this link between pedophilia and homosexuality as a fact

Celia said...

As Ceebs suggests, what Cameron probably mean is that many of the possible names are people who were already known or rumoured to be gay, and that people should make sure there's no homophobia in their suggestions before going "that guy, he's the one!" To expand on that, there are other reasons why bigots might want to start rumours about certain public figures (I've seen some Jewish names too). Obviously, members of minority groups are capable of terrible things too, but this is why we take care with naming names before we have any proof.