The new head of the national child abuse inquiry is as Establishment as they come and is there to ensure that the truth does not emerge,
Fiona Woolf was recently appointed by Home Secretary Theresa May as head of the promised overarching inquiry into child sexual abuse after the first appointee, retired judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, resigned.
Butler-Sloss quit following revelations that her brother Michael Havers, who was attorney-general under Margaret Thatcher, limited the scope of an inquiry into child sexual abuse at the Kincora Children’s Home in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.
Cabinet minutes from 1983 reveal that Havers ensured that MPs and other prominent public figures were protected by restricting the terms of reference of the inquiry.
Anglican judge and one-time failed Tory parliamentary candidate Butler-Sloss also recently admitted covering up the crimes of Anglican priests while presiding over an inquiry into their paedophile activities.
Woolf, the controversial new head of the government’s inquiry into historic sex abuse, is now under growing pressure as more evidence emerges of her links going back at least a decade with Leon Brittan, who is accused of involvement in a cover-up when he was home secretary.
Lord Brittan recently admitted that as home secretary he received the now “lost” dossier on paedophile MPs compiled by campaigning MP Geoffrey Dickens.
In the early 1980s, Havers was accused by Dickens of a cover-up when he refused to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman, a diplomat, former MI6 deputy director and member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), a lobbying organisation for child abusers. Another PIE member has confirmed that he kept PIE files, records and membership details in the Home Office itself.
What these appointments confirm again and again is that when it comes to the government appointing one of its own to an important public inquiry, one whose outcome is likely to impact on the legitimacy of the political Establishment, only a safe pair of hands will do.
We have seen this over the decades, from the first tribunal under lord chief justice Widgery that covered up the truth around the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry in 1972 all the way through to the Hutton inquiry into the death of David Kelly in 2003 and the Butler Review into the infamous Iraq war “dodgy dossier” in 2004.
Woolf, like these previous appointees, has impeccable Establishment credentials.
She is currently Lord Mayor of the City of London, the heart of British capitalism, which since deregulation in the 1980s, has operated as a giant casino that helped caused a trillion-dollar crash in 2008.
Woolf was previously president of the Law Society and is a global ambassador for Britain’s financial services sector.
The City is immersed in financial scandal yet receives the lightest of regulation and no democratic scrutiny. Whether mis-selling of dubious financial products, fiddling Libor interest rates, dodging corporation tax, fixing false foreign exchange rates or money laundering the proceeds of drug cartels, the City is a cesspool of rapacious greed and mind-boggling levels of income.
Yet even the banking crash of 2008 and the wild behaviour of finance traders leading to the collapse of major financial institutions, later bailed out by ordinary workers’ taxes, has failed to prompt meaningful change in an inherently corrupt culture.
Woolf took a City of London lobbying team out to Bahrain earlier this year which prompted Amnesty International to report that children are being routinely detained, ill-treated and tortured in the Gulf state.
Scores of children arrested on suspicion of participating in anti-government protests — including some as young as 13 — were blindfolded, beaten and tortured in detention over the past two years following mass unrest in 2011. Others were threatened with rape in order to extract forced confessions.
“By rounding up suspected under-age offenders and locking them up, Bahrain’s authorities are displaying an appalling disregard for its international human rights obligations,” said Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.
Amnesty posed the following questions: “Did Fiona Woolf’s team make any effort to research the notorious human rights environment in Bahrain before they went out there, and once they were there did they show any interest in finding out more about what was going on?
“Did Fiona Woolf pay any attention to the abuse of human rights and in particular children’s rights in a country which presumably she already knew well from her three years spent there as representative of the lawyers CMS Cameron McKenna?”
Last November, the all-party Commons foreign affairs committee urged the Foreign Office to classify Bahrain as a “country of concern” if its human rights record did not improve.
Britain sold Bahrain military equipment worth £18 million in 2013, according to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT). Britain also hopes to sell Bahrain Typhoon jet fighters worth £1 billion. So money counts but children don’t.
Patrick Rock, a senior Downing Street aide to David Cameron, was arrested earlier this year on allegations of downloading computerised child abuse imagery. His brief was to advise Cameron on internet security for filtering online pornography.
This is just the latest in a series of revelations that began with the exposure of the crimes of late paedophile Liberal MP Cyril Smith, which together prove that paedophiles have had unfettered access to the corridors of power for the past 30 years, while police investigations have been stopped and official inquiries stymied as files go missing, are shredded or seized by the Secret Intelligence Services.
Leader of the House of Commons William Hague has declined MPs’ calls for a debate into Woolf’s appointment.
The independent inquiry has been broadened to shift the focus away from parliamentary paedophiles, and the Establishment are closing ranks, covering their tracks and making sure the truth will not get out.
Steven Walker is the author of The Social Worker’s Guide to Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Gyles Brandreth’s new book reveals how the main Westminster party whips conceal many dark secrets about MPs and goes a small way to lifting the lid on an Establishment cover-up of paedophile MPs.
In Breaking The Code: Westminster Diaries, Brandreth writes about his time as a Tory whip and confirms previous evidence of a deliberate cover-up of criminal acts against vulnerable working-class youngsters.
Asked about allegations of a paedophile ring operating in Parliament, Norman Tebbit even admitted this summer that “there was probably an Establishment cover-up.”
Brandreth, Edwina Currie and others named Peter Morrison as a dangerous paedophile while serving as a Tory MP.
Morrison worked as a government whip himself and was a close adviser to Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
Police have gone on record to say that he was found sexually abusing young boys in public toilets and seen driving away from the notorious Bryn Easten children’s home with a young boy in his car near his parliamentary constituency in north Wales.
The police took no action against him and a previous inquiry led by Judge Waterhouse into organised paedophile abuse in north Wales prevented investigators from following up high-profile suspects.
In Michael Cockerell’s 1995 BBC documentary Westminster’s Secret Service, Tim Fortescue, Edward Heath’s chief whip from 1970 to 1973, stated there was a tried and tested method for cover-ups called the “Dirt Book” system.
Talking about the role of the chief whip, Fortescue said: “Anyone with any sense who was in trouble would come to the whips and tell them the truth … a scandal involving small boys … we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points … and if, I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then he will do as we ask forever more.”
Put together with the fiasco of the Home Secretary’s second attempt at appointing as head of the promised overarching child sexual abuse inquiry, it becomes clear how the rich and powerful operate within a secret world where the laws of the land don’t really apply.