Socialist Worker

Child abuse scandal: the cover-up goes to the top

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2328

David Cameron has announced an investigation into allegations that senior Tories abused children during the 1970s and 1980s.

He was forced to make the move following claims that one senior Tory raped a child, Steve Messham, in north Wales “more than a dozen times”.

The senior Tory is said to have been a top ally of Margaret Thatcher.

The allegations are shocking enough. But more appalling is the fact that the establishment covered them up. Police dismissed victims as liars. An investigation into abuse in 2000 was limited to abuse that occurred inside children’s homes.

Those who had been driven elsewhere to be abused by others, including senior Tories, couldn’t give evidence about that. The final report protected the names of several alleged abusers—including two senior Tories.

A previous inquiry commissioned by Clwyd County Council was never published. Copies of it were pulped so that the local authority could maintain its insurance cover.

Politicians and the press are usually eager to denounce paedophiles and call for tougher sanctions for abusers. But when people in power abuse children, they turn a blind eye. It seems some abusers matter more than others.

Along with Cameron’s inquiry, the police investigation into allegations of child abuse in north Wales could also be reopened. Yet the entire establishment has failed victims of abuse time and time again as it has continued to protect people in power.

Sadly there’s no guarantee that fresh investigations will deliver truth or justice. This scandal doesn’t simply condemn individual Tories. It’s an indictment of the sick system they uphold.

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