If evidence was ever needed that the Government is not serious about investigating child-abuse in this country it is now clear for all to see. Concerns are continually expressed that this investigation: should be thorough, should “shine a light” in all sorts of dark places and should not be an establishment cover-up. Unfortunately it doesn't look like this is going to happen.
The first nominee for chair was an outstanding judicial figure with extensive relevant experience. Unfortunately, it turned out that she was compromised because of family relations and was intelligent enough to realise that her position was untenable so she dropped out of the reckoning.
The second nominee for chair, although having many strong qualities, is currently under huge pressure to stand down for a number of reasons:
· She doesn’t seem to have much in the way of relevant experience – her experience seems to be in privatisation
· She is clearly an establishment figure in all sorts of ways
· She has personal links to some of the key people who are subject to investigation
This seems a damming list of negatives. You would think it in a country of some 60 million people, it would be easy to find someone who has relevant experience, is not an establishment figure and has no personal links. The sheer fact that the Home Secretary is desperate to support the current nominee suggests that such a person is NOT what they want to chair this committee. They are clearly scared about what might come out of the woodwork. Why else, did Leon Brittain not pursue the investigation all those years ago – he could probably and clearly see what and who was involved?
I would suggest that whoever chairs this enquiry should have all of the following key attributes
· They should NOT be a lawyer – legal advice can be provided to the chair and the committee as needed
· They should NOT be living/working in London – this is too close to the establishment in this country and there are 53 million other people living outside London
· They should NOT hold any form of honour (e.g. MBE, Peerage etc) and should indicate that they would not be prepared to accept any such honour in the future. The honours system in the UK is a malignant and malign system designed to turn people who are normally independent in nature into establishment cyphers
· They must be intelligent and shrewd enough to be able to see through all of the obfuscation and dishonesty that will continually come their way
· The investigating committee should have its own budget to enable it to acquire its own research and support staff. It is NOT acceptable for support to be provided by Home Office civil servants. The loyalties of those civil servant are to the Home Secretary who will be fully briefed about what is happening and will try to interfere. Forget “Chinese Walls” etc – they always fail.
· They must have some experience of work in a relevant field (e.g. children’s services) although they don’t, necessarily, have to be an expert. The committee itself will be full of experts.
· They should be able to demonstrate a background of independent thought and have a skin as thick as a rhinoceros. They are sure to face an immense amount of pressure and bullying from a variety of sources
· They should have a good life insurance policy
Of course, there is not a “cat in hells” chance of this happening. There are reputations, fortunes and goodness knows what else at stake here and it is seen as far too dangerous to let the truth come out.