Saturday, October 20, 2012
Jimmy Savile: Labour faces embarrassment over former child sex claims
Harriet Harman, the Opposition deputy leader, said the allegations that the late TV and radio presenter abused dozens of young boys and girls had “cast a stain” on the BBC and other trusted institutions.
But at the time Savile was at the height of his fame, Miss Harman was calling for the relaxation of the law on child pornography.
She was a leading light in the pressure group now known as Liberty, which advocated the lowering of the age of consent to 14.
The organisation, then run by the Health Secretary under Tony Blair, Patricia Hewitt, even counted among its affiliates a number of extreme pro-paedophilia groups whose leaders were later jailed.
It means that any independent public inquiry into the culture that allowed Savile to abuse children for so long with impunity, could end up looking into the radical left-wing demands for the liberalisation of child sex laws that were made in the 1970s.
Tim Loughton, the former children’s minister, said “It is rather eyebrow-raising to see Harriet Harman’s newfound zeal for clamping down on sexual exploitation of children, given that she was decidedly dodgy on the subject when she was part of an organisation calling for the relaxation of these laws.
“What we are seeing now is the result of a culture of complacency which has allowed celebrities and others to cover up their crimes, and Harriet Harman must share some of the blame for not taking these matters much more seriously.”
As The Daily Telegraph first disclosed in 2009, in the 1970s the extreme end of the sexual liberation movement included groups who openly campaigned for the abolition of the age of consent. The Paedophile Information Exchange and Paedophile Action for Liberation affiliated themselves to the National Council for Civil Liberties, now known as Liberty.
How Hattie’s friends defended paedophilia
Harriet Harman is calling for an independent inquiry into the Jimmy Savile scandal. A key question, she says, is why so many alleged victims felt “they couldn’t complain”.
Well, one answer is that attitudes towards paedophilia in the 1970s were bizarrely relaxed – and not just in Catholic presbyteries or BBC dressing rooms. This was the era when activists on the radical Left lobbied long and hard for changes in the law to reflect a more “enlightened” attitude towards sex between adults and minors.
In 1977, months before the future deputy leader of the Labour Party took up her post, the NCCL was quoted in the Evening Standard on the subject of the infamous Paedophile Information Exchange, the “information” in question being disgusting pictures of children involved in sex acts which members would pass to each other in plain envelopes. “NCCL has no policy on [the Paedophile Information Exchange’s] aims – other than the evidence that children are harmed if, after a mutual relationship with an adult, they are exposed to the attentions of the police, press and court,” said a spokesman.
In April 1978, the NCCL published a briefing paper on the Protection of Children Bill that was before Parliament. The author – one Harriet Harman – was worried that the draft Bill placed the onus on adults caught with film or photographs of nude children to show that they were possessed with a view to “scientific or learned study”. “Our amendment places the onus of proof on the prosecution to show that the child was actually harmed,” she wrote.
Ms Harman maintains that she always opposed child pornography, and is not on record defending belief in “harmless” paedophilia, though it was held by her employers while she worked there. But no such excuse can be made for Patricia Hewitt, who was general secretary of the NCCL from 1974 to 1983 – i.e., during the period when it issued the notorious 1976 submission.
As if that was not weird enough, let's put it into context. In her IPCC report 'The Family Way (1990) Harman stated '"it cannot be assumed that men are bound to be an asset to family life or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social cohesion". In May 2008 an interview she gave to think tank Civitas Harman stated that there was "no ideal type of household in which to bring up children' Reference
So, to sum up Harman's thinking, then: children's natural fathers are a harmful and malign influence, but paedophiles are a harmless and benign one.
Just in case you've forgotten, this person is the deputy leader of the Labour Party.