Unedited version of Aamer’s column in Scottish Sun on Sunday 5th May 2013
THE ESTABLISHMENT & CHILD ABUSE
Every trial of a paedophile is accompanied by the predictable lynch mob banging on the prison vans outside the court whipped into hysteria by politicians and the media. Yet for some reason child abuse by the rich and the powerful has always been protected by a culture of silence.
The latest crisis to hit the news is sexual abuse at North Wale’s children’s homes. The police announced over 140 people, mostly males had come forward to complain of sexual abuse at 18 childrens homes in Wales, when they had been aged between 7 and 19, in the years 1963 to 1992. But over a thirty year period there had already been several police investigations and official inquiries, which protected the identities of the powerful and guilty.
Victims who complained of a whitewash were labelled as ‘fantasists’ but their abuse goes to the heart of the establishment. Many who testified in the past wanted to talk about how as children they were driven from homes to other destinations, to be tied up and raped repeatedly by many men over many years.
All of this was considered to be outwith the parameters of the Inquiry, because it did not happen in the childrens home. Despite allegations made against senior Tory politicians, judges, police officers they were allowed to flourish as pillars of the establishment. One council even destroyed copies of its internal inquiry so that it did not lose their insurance cover.
Those responsible for guarding children against abuse were part of the problem and victims were told they would be ‘disbelieved’ or even killed.
Jimmy Saville openly wrote of such a culture in his autobiography-
“A high-ranking lady police officer came in one night and showed me the picture of an attractive girl who had run away from a remand home. Ah, says if she comes in, I’ll bring her back tomorrow, but I’ll keep her all night first as my reward. The officer was dissuaded from bringing charges against me by her colleagues for it was well known that were I to go, I would probably take half the station with me.”
An inquiry in 2000 found that 240 people had been systematically abused in forty Welsh children’s homes in a ‘climate of violence and a culture of secrecy’. But most of the perpetrators managed to evade justice. Many now say what is the point of dragging this all up so many years later, as so many of the abusers are old men or dead?
I believe we owe it to all the victims to end the cult of silence and prosecute the guilty in the twilight of their lives.
Until we do that there is no point in political leaders, chief constables, or social workers producing bulky reports to gather dust on bookshelves, so they can grandstand on our Six O’clock News with painful expressions to tell us that ‘ important lessons must be learned’.
The best lesson is for abusers to learn that they will spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulder, pursued no matter how long ago the abuse occurred, no matter how deep their pockets are and no matter how many letters and titles they have after their names. That will be justice.
THE LIGHTBULBS ARE OUT
I’ve never been particularly handy about the house, but Mrs A, was raging when the last light bulb had gone out in the kitchen and I asked her to use the fridge light to make me a sandwich in the dark, I tried to claim that ‘low lighting’ added to the romantic atmosphere.
Following the tirade of abuse, threats of violence and starvation, all bulbs have now been replaced.
COMPUTER SAYS NO ?
As parents we are sick of trying to get an appointment when our children are ill. There is no more helpless a feeling for a parent than being unable to do anything to make your child’s pain go away, especially when the child cannot speak.
If you phone to get an appointment- ‘the computer says no’ and the earliest appointment is often a week away. Receptionists must practise being miserable and unfriendly.
Should you commit the crime of turning up late twice for an appointment, maybe because your child has vomited or you are just plain shattered, you are threatened with being booted off the surgery register.
I remember as a child when I was ill there was nothing more comforting for my mother than dialling up our GP so he could come to the house. Today we have to call an anonymous call centre and ‘efficiency’ means a home visit is out of the question.
When exactly did this Brave New World start? Before we know it we’ll be left to die on the street if we don’t have health insurance.