Child sexual abuse and the ‘witch-hunt’ narrative

When reading some of today’s papers in regards the allegations that Margaret Thatcher knew there were child abusers in her cabinet and that she covered up for them, be prepared in the coming days, weeks and months that there’s going to be people calling any investigation into Thatcher, or Number 10 generally, will be a ‘witch hunt’.

Read this for a little bit of sense. Remember how close Thatcher was to Jimmy Savile, and how he was close to several other PM’s.

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There are two things you can guarantee when sexual abuse of children surfaces as an issue. The first is that certain media commentators start talking about mob hysteria and witchhunts (Iain Martin – Telegraph, Matthew Parris – Times, Charles Moore – Telegraph, David Aaronovitch – Times). The second is they smear the messenger.

Prosecuting celebrity offenders was a witchhunt they told us. Until Stuart Hall, Max Clifford and Rolf Harris were exposed in all their unloveliness. Now they are turning their denial laser on suggestions there may have been a paedophile cover up in Westminster. All based – they suggest – on the unreliable testimony of one oddball MP Geoffrey Dickens.

Picking off whistleblowers is an old tactic and easy to do. As American child abuse expert Roland Summit said “It takes an eccentric, potentially alienated personality style to override the shared reassurances of more comfortably socialized peers”…… the eccentric…

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