Greville Janner: A letter from a convict and a standing ovation from MPs

spotlight

In 1991 Greville Janner, the Labour MP for Leicester West, became the first MP in history to be accused of child sexual abuse in a court of law. (Guardian 31/10/91)

The Cyril Smith case has shown that allegations against an MP or VIP would never normally have got as far as court, but the allegations against Janner were raised indirectly during the trial of the paedophile social worker Frank Beck.

After Beck’s trial had finished, Janner returned to the House of Commons to declare his innocence and received a standing ovation from MPs.

And what proof did Janner have to convince other MPs of his innocence?

Well, apparently he had received a letter from a convicted criminal, a cellmate of Frank Beck, which  said Beck intended to ‘frame’ Janner.

The letter was never produced as evidence by Janner, his word alone was good enough for MPs to believe…

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Judge in 1991 Leicestershire sex abuse case on ‘people in high places’

In the 1991 trial of Frank Beck in Leicestershire, the judge in the case, Mr Justice Edwin Jowitt, intervened to prevent ‘people in high places’ being named. Here are reports from the time. All names of victims, printed in the original articles and reproduced on Nexis, have been redacted.

Who were the ‘people in high places’ being protected? I will add further articles relating to Greville Janner and his claims that Beck was trying to frame him, later.


Press Association

September 30, 1991, Monday

SEX ABUSE CASE JUDGE STEPS IN OVER ‘TOP NAMES’

SECTION: HOME NEWS

LENGTH: 438 words

A judge intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial today to prevent names of “people in high places” being revealed. A former social worker was about to name a man said to have had homosexual contact with a boy in care when High Court judge Mr Justice Edwin Jowitt stepped in. He told counsel representing former children’s homes head Frank Beck, who faces 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse: “Are names relevant? “Allegations are made, not necessarily by the people who know, and repeated second-hand against people who are not here to defend themselves. “Counsel have a responsibility not to drag in names of people who are not here to say anything about it.” Mr Francis Sheridan, one of two barristers defending Beck, replied he would continue the questioning “in another way”. Former social worker Mr D, 39, had said he was the care officer of a youth in care named as Mr A [name redacted] who had boasted of being a rent boy. Mr Sheridan asked: “Did he boast of having friends in high places?” Mr D replied: “Yes.” Mr Sheridan asked: “Did he tell you who those were?” At this stage the judge intervened. Mr Sheridan later asked Mr D: “Did you talk about one person in high places or more than one?” Mr D replied: “One. He just knew him and had contact with him.” He said that Beck knew about the relationship and he had raised it with him. Sheridan said: “Did he not make it clear he would raise it with the director of social services, Dorothy Edwards?” “Yes,” he replied. “I think most of the conversations which took place at that time were between Paul and Frank directly.” He said of Beck: “He was certainly going to make sure that action was going to be taken to sever the contact.” Mr D also said the person in question turned up at the children’s home, with a bicycle as a present for the boy. He said the incident happened sometime in mid-1977. Sheridan asked: “And he was sent packing by Frank Beck who told him bluntly no more contact?” Mr D said: “I wasn’t present when the person arrived but that was my understanding when Frank Beck reported back to team meetings.” Mr D earlier alleged he was sexually abused by Frank Beck. Beck, 49, formerly of Braunstone, Leicester, is in the dock alongside former social workers Peter Jaynes, 42, and George Lincoln, 39. Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, denies three offences of physical and sexual abuse and Lincoln, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies an allegation of buggery. The offences were allegedly committed between 1974 and 1986. The trial at Leicester Crown Court was adjourned until tomorrow.


The Times

October 1, 1991, Tuesday

Child case judge halts naming of ‘abuser’

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 213 words

A High Court judge intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial yesterday to prevent the names of ”people in high places” being disclosed.

A former social worker was about to mention he name of a man feared to have had homosexual contact with a boy who was in care when Mr Justice Jowitt interrupted, asking: ”Are names relevant? Allegations are made, not necessarily by the people who know, and repeated second-hand against people who are not here to defend themselves.”

The judge told defence lawyers: ”Counsel have a responsibility not to drag in names of people who are not here to say anything about it.”

Francis Sheridan, one of two barristers representing Frank Beck, a former head of a children’s home who faces 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse, replied that he would continue his questioning ”in another way”.

Mr Beck, aged 49, formerly of Braunstone, Leicester, is charged along with two social workers, Peter Jaynes, aged 42 and George Lincoln, aged 39. Mr Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, denies three charges of physical and sexual abuse and Mr Lincoln, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies a charge of buggery. The offences are alleged to have been committed between 1974 and 1986.

The trial at Leicester crown court continues today.


The Independent
(London)

October 1, 1991, Tuesday

Judge prevents naming of ‘people in high places’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 405 words

A JUDGE intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial yesterday to prevent the names of ”people in high places” being revealed.

At Leicester Crown Court, a former social worker was about to name a man said to have had sexual contact with a boy in care when Mr Justice Edwin Jowitt stepped in.

He told counsel representing Frank Beck, 49, a former children’s homes head, formerly of Braunstone, Leicestershire, who denies 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse: ”Are names relevant? Allegations are made, not necessarily by the people who know, and repeated second-hand against people who are not here to defend themselves.

”Counsel have a responsibility not to drag in names of people who are not here to say anything about it,” he said.

Francis Sheridan, one of two barristers defending Mr Beck, replied he would continue the questioning ”in another way”.

Mr D, 39, a former social worker, had said he was the care officer of a youth named as Mr A, who had boasted of being a rent boy.

Mr Sheridan asked: ”Did he boast of having friends in high places?”

Mr D replied: ”Yes.”

Mr Sheridan asked: ”Did he tell you who those were?” At this point, the judge intervened.

Mr Sheridan later asked Mr D: ”Did you talk about one person in high places or more than one?”

Mr D replied: ”One. He just knew him and had contact with him.” He said that Mr Beck knew about the relationship and he had raised it with him.

Mr Sheridan said: ”Did he not make it clear he would raise it with the director of social services?” ”Yes,” Mr D replied. ”I think most of the conversations which took place at that time were between Paul and Frank directly.”

Mr D said the person in question turned up at the children’s home in mid-1977 with a bicycle as a present for the boy.

Mr Sheridan asked: ”And he was sent packing by Frank Beck, who told him bluntly ‘no more contact’?”

Mr D said: ”I wasn’t present when the person arrived but that was my understanding when Frank Beck reported back to team meetings.”

Also charged are Peter Jaynes, 42, of Chatham, Kent, who denies three offences of physical and sexual abuse, and George Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, who denies an allegation of buggery. Both are former social workers.

All the offences were allegedly committed between 1974 and 1986. The trial continues today.


The Independent
(London)

October 4, 1991, Friday

Home head ‘humiliated social worker’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 313 words

A SOCIAL worker yesterday told the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial how he was ”humiliated and degraded” by his boss during so-called supervision sessions.

Mr K [name redacted], 40, told Leicester Crown Court how former children’s home head Frank Beck, 49, subjected him to repeated sexual assaults culminating in buggery.

Mr K, now a child care officer in Scotland, said he had ”felt degraded, debased, humiliated, de-humanised”. He told the jury trying Mr Beck and two other social workers how Mr Beck would organise ”supervision sessions” at the Beeches children’s home in Leicester.

Mr K, who began his social work career at the home aged 28, said these soon turned into homosexual sex sessions.

He said ”personal growth therapy” soon began to be dominated by questions of sexuality. ”It was hugging initially, fondling . . . It ended up with either one or both of us in a state of undress.”

Mr K said the sessions began to include masturbation. ”It developed, if that’s the correct phrase, into a period of oral sex.”

Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, asked why Mr Erskine became involved in the sex acts.

Mr K said: ”He used threats, physical assault and I felt he used his ability to manipulate the staff and residents to make life in work rather difficult for me.” He said he was threatened by Mr Beck with having his social work probationary period revoked.

The witness said he was slapped by Mr Beck in front of both other staff and children at the home.

He said once he tried to resist Mr Beck, but ”he physically took my clothes off, put my genitals in his mouth and bit very hard”.

Mr Beck denies 30 charges of physical and sexual assault against children in his care and other staff. Two former deputies, Peter Jaynes, 42, and George Lincoln, 39, deny a total of four charges.

The trial continues.


The Independent
(London)

November 12, 1991, Tuesday

Witness in abuse trial ‘kept letters from MP’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 4

LENGTH: 253 words

THE LABOUR MP Greville Janner sent a 13-year-old boy a letter after they allegedly slept together, the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial was told yesterday.

The letter – signed ”Safe journey, Love Greville” and dated 7 July 1975 – was produced in court when Mr B [name redacted], now 30, was giving evidence.

Mr B said he had kept other letters from the 63-year-old MP for Leicester West during their two-year affair.

Leicester Crown Court was told by Mr A that he was sexually abused by Mr Janner, a QC, over a two-year period while he was in the care of social services.

Mr B said he twice stayed at Mr Janner’s home in London, and that various sexual acts took place there and at hotels around the country.

He was giving evidence on behalf of former children’s homes chief Frank Beck, 49, who has denied 27 charges of physical and sexual abuse on children and former members of staff.

Mr B, who was transferred to a home run by Mr Beck after the alleged abuse by Mr Janner, said he was never ill- treated by Mr Beck.

He was asked why he had written to Mr Janner after Mr Beck’s arrest for a reference for the defendant.

He replied: ”I believe Mr Beck to be innocent and should not be treated in the way he is being treated and Mr Janner may have been able to help him in some way.”

Also accused are Mr Beck’s former deputy Peter Jaynes, 42, who denies three offences involving children, and George Lincoln, 39, who denies one charge.

The trial was adjourned until today.


The Uranians #1 – the nineteenth/early twentieth century PIE?

A key text associated with the Paedophile Information Exchange and its sister organisations elsewhere is the volume Warren Middleton (ed), The Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People (London: CL Publications, 1986), consisting of a whole series of essays generally written from a pro-paedophile viewpoint. Full details of the contents and contributors can be viewed here; in 2011 Middleton and various other PIE members were jailed for various offences relating to images of child sexual abuse. I have elsewhere posted the text of Steven Adrian Smith’s History of PIE from this book, but want to also post here the second appendix from the book, written by Timothy d’Arch Smith (author of Love in Earnest: Some Notes on the Lives and Writings of English ‘Uranian’ poets from 1889 to 1930 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970, of which I have recently received a copy and will post about when I have read more), on the ‘Uranian’ poets, specifically a group of poets devoted to the issue of man-boy love.

A three volume neo-Hellenic apologia was published by Boston aesthete Arthur Lyon Raile (Edward Perry Warren), A Defense of Uranian Love (London: Cayme Press, 1928-30), which can be read online here. A further book on the Uranians entitled Secreted Desires: The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater And Wilde (2006) can be read online here. Middleton, as can be seen below, specifically compares them and their offshoot, the British Society for the Study of Sex Psychology, founded in July 1914, with PIE. Recently two anthologies of Uranian poetry entitled Lad’s Love have been published, edited by Kaylor.

Whilst not yet any type of expert on the movement, I find what I read so far deeply sinister, and wonder about the extent to which secret cults of this type were allowed to flourish (perhaps in some of the English public schools?). As I say, I will post more on this subject in due time, but offer the below for your consideration.

Appendix 2: Timothy d’Arch Smith, ‘The ‘Uranians’’, pp. 246-253.

In Britain, the birth of what could be called a politically conscious campaigning paedophile movement occurred around October 1974 with the inception of two groups; PAL – Paedophile Action for Liberation, and PIE – Paedophile Information Exchange. However, after a scurrilous SUNDAY PEOPLE exposé of PAL on May 25th 1974, the group went into a steady decline which, by 1977, resulted in both PAL and its magazine PALAVER being incorporated by the Exchange.

Until the emergence of PIE, never before in the history of this country had such a cohesive group of crusading paedophiles come together so openly to press for changes in the laws and public attitudes. Indeed, the nearest and only comparison one can make is with the Victorian literary clique known as the ‘Uranians’ (or Calamites) and its offshoot, the British Society for the Study of Sex Psychology, founded in July, 1914 by some of the group’s leading lights.

The Uranians consisted largely of undergraduates who extolled the beauty of young boys in their poetry and prose, and much of their work is refreshingly outspoken for the period.

We are indebted to Timothy d’Arch Smith for bringing this remarkable and hitherto unsuspected literary phenomenon to public attention with his brilliantly research study, LOVE IN EARNEST.

For the benefit of those not acquainted with this study, and because the Uranians were the forerunners of PIE, he was asked to expound a little about them for the present book. –ed.

The word ‘Uranian’ was coined by the nineteenth century Austrian jurist, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, before the word homosexual had been invented. Casting about for at term to embrace a group of poets who celebrated in their verse the love of boys, for whom in any case homosexual would not do, I chose Ulrichs’ word. My book appeared as long as sixteen years ago and yet the name appears to have stuck. Since alternatives – paedophile, paederast – originally discarded as unfamiliar, are now so overloaded with opprobrium synonymous these days almost with monster, perhaps semantical and, astrologers tell us – the word deriving from the planet Uranus – fatidical inexactitudes, it will continue to survive.

The Uranians flourished between 1850 and 1930; approximate but by no means arbitrary dates. Three influences were the cause of their ascension. Urlichs’ pamplets, calling for revisionary views on homosexuality, began to circulate in the 1860s and 70s and their influence soon spread to England for propagation in the 90s by the sexual reformers, Havelock Ellis and John Addington Symonds. Attention was being directed to homosexuality by its incidence at the public schools whose traditional structure nurtured its existence as loving as it zealously stamped out its manifestations; and intense study by boys of the classics, read during the Victorian age as much for their content as for their syntax, directed sympathetic minds to Greek love. Further, as the century progressed, there arose a rebellious dissatisfaction with Victorian ‘stuffiness’ that would lead, in the nineties to the ‘decadent’ movement; a conscious, indeed a self-conscious desire to shock.

The movement, not intendedly one despite mutual ties but retrospectively observable as such, numbered about forty exponents, each the author of at least one volume of unmistakably paedophilic verse. The best of the British, the public school tradition – it must not be forgotten that the Uranian movement was quintessentially British and proud of it – was the Rev. Edwin Emmanuel Bradford (1860-1944). [1] With twelve books to his credit, he was the movement’s most prolific writer. His cheerful verses, airily overlooking any sexual implications, tapped out in rollicking jingles the Uranian philosophy. Of the proselytisers, the campaigners for sexual reform who, in those days, saw no difference between homosexual and paedophilic attachments, or if they did see it, advanced no reason for dissimilar compassion, we may single out Edward Carpenter (1844-1929), author of TOWARDS DEMOCRACY, [2] and John Addington Symonds (1840-1893), who never missed a chance of bending classical and biblical themes to a homosexually allegorical advantage. [3] If we exclude Oscar Wilde, the chief exponents of the decadent school were Wilde’s catamite, Lord Alfred Douglas (1870-1945), [4] and the fashionably shocking Theodore Wratislaw (1871-1933), whose two poems ‘L’Éternal Féminin’ and ‘To a Sicilian Boy’ were almost the only examples of Uranian poetry to have suffered censorship and suppression. [5]

Each of these sub-sections had, of course, its neurotics; obsessive paedophiles who spent their lives thinking of very little else. John Gambril Nicholson (1866-1931), [6] arguably the best poet of them all, friend to his recurrent disadvantage of Fr. Rolfe (‘Baron Corvo’), [7] fell into this category. Ralph Nicholas Chubb (1892-1960), attempted to raise paedophilia to a religion, and his prose-poems, issued in stringently limited editions from his own hand-press, were examples of fanaticism run riot. [8] A late runner in the decadent stakes, Philip Gillespie Bainbrigge (1891-1918), with his smutty pastiche, ACHILLES IN SCYROS, provided the best example of unashamedly erotic verse. [9]

Love of boys – or girls come to that, although there is no similar sub-literature – raises the acutest problems, and although Uranian poetry was, for the most part, not very good, it raised psychologically interesting points. Shot through with simple yearnings – analogy with the negro blues not too far-fetched, both reflecting the discontents of an outcast people – it was permeated with longings for the poets’ lost boyhood; with regrets for the briefness of boyhood’s span; with declarations of the supremacy of Uranian love over other manifestations of affection; its, as it were, rightness.

As might be expected, dissatisfactions outweighed euphoria. Celebrations of untroubled and untrammelled love affairs were few and far between. With admirable stoicism, however, the Uranians were able to console themselves with very little: a boy seen in the street, the sound of a treble voice, glimpses of bare flesh at a bathing place, and on occasions, a kiss. Hard won, of rare occurrence, these to the Uranians were riches indeed. Almost all of the group were quick to assimilate the catachrestic lessons of Symonds, and Uranian poetry abounded with reiterations of the legends of Achilles and Patroclus, Zeus and Ganymede, David and Jonathan.

The most striking curiosity of their verse was an almost unanimous obsession with class distinctions. This slightly reprehensible ‘snobisme’ took the form of the poet (the lover’s) desire for lads of the lower orders. Guttersnipes, lift-boys, oil-begrimed stokers on the knife-edge of puberty bowled over, like so many skittles, are Uranian poets. One wonders why this should have been.

The uniqueness of the Uranians’ ideal lay in their single-minded tenet that society should discard the socially acceptable prerogative of parenthood and allow them to take from a boy such love as he has had, in the past, to reserve for his father and mother at a time in his life when he most needs a trusted adult guide outside the confines of home and school.

That a man may take from a boy the kind of physical donation he should reserve for a girl may present us with a problem of the gravest kind, or it may not; for the Uranians maintained that the very nature of male-to-male experience of sex, with its unwritten code of impermanence, was not callous or immoral but altogether harmless. It was their bravery in throwing down this challenge which demands our attention. [10]

I will conclude this appendix with two poems, the first by Alan Stanley, the second by E. E. Bradford, both of which typified the work of the Uranians.

August Blue

Silver mists on a silver sea,
And white clouds overhead
Sailing the grey sky speedily
To where the east turns red.
And one lone boat her sails has spread,
Sails of the whitest lawn,
That seem to listen for the tread
Of the tender feet of dawn.

The risen sun now makes the sky
An arching roof of gold,
Amber the clouds turn as they fly
Uncurling fold on fold ;
The sun a goblet seems to hold
A draught of fervid wine,
And the young day no longer cold
Glows with a fire divine.

Stripped for the sea your tender form
Seems all of ivory white,
Through which the blue veins wander warm
O’er throat and bosom slight.
And as you stand, so slim, upright
The glad waves grow and yearn
To clasp you circling in their might,
To kiss with lips that burn.

Flashing limbs in the waters blue
And gold curls floating free;
Say, does it thrill you through and through
With ardent love, the sea?
A very nymph you seem to be
As you glide and dive and swim,
While the mad waves clasp you fervently
Possessing every limb.

King of the Sea, triumphant boy,
Nature itself made thrall
To God’s white work without alloy
On whom no stain doth fall.
Gaze on him, slender, fair, and tall,
And on the yearning sea
Who deigns to creep and cling, and crawl,
His worshipper to be.

(From Love Lyrics, 1894)

Boyish Beauty

See the lad, of late a child
Irresponsible and wild
Now look up with earnest eyes
Tender, passionate and wise!
Love has lent him for an hour
Beauty’s holy, awful power;
When he’s ripe for toil and pain,
Love will take it back again.

Boyish beauty comes and goes,
Like a rivulet that flows;
Woman, as a placid pool,
Long is fair if clean and cool.
Yet the running waters shine
With a splendour more divine;
So the fairest woman’s grace
Fades before a boyish face!

(From Boyhood)

NOTES AND REFERENCES

1. Among Bradford’s best known works, all of which were published by the London firm of Kegan Paul, were, THE NEW CHVALRY AND OTHER POEMS (1918); RALPH RAWDON: A STORY IN VERSE (1922); and THE KINGDOM WITHIN YOU AND OTHER POEMS (1927).

2. Carpenter’s TOWARDS DEMOCRACY, which was heavily influenced by Whitman’s LEAVES OF GRASS, first appeared in four parts at various dates, but the complete edition was published in 1905. Carpenter was also the author of many other works, among them, IOLAUS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF FRIENDSHIP (Sonnenschein, London, 1902), which was nicknamed ‘The Bugger’s Bible’.

3. Symonds was a noted classical scholar who wrote many books, among them, MANY MOODS: A VOLUME OF VERSE (Smith, Edler, London, 1878), and ANIMI FIGURA (Smith, Elder, London 1882).

4. Douglas’ best known boylove poems appeared in his SONNETS (Rich & Gowan, London, 1935), and LYRICS (Rich & Cowan, London, 1935).

5. These were included in his extremely rare book, CAPRICES: POEMS (Gay & Bird, London, 1893).

6. Nicholson, a schoolmaster, was author of the paedophilic novel, THE ROMANCE OF A CHOIRBOY (privately printed by F. E. Murray, London, 1916) and four books of boylove poems, including, A CHAPLET OF SOUTHERNWOOD (Ashover Derby, Frank Murray, Mayday, 1896), and A GARLAND OF LADSLOVE (F. E. Murray, London, 1911).

7. Corvo, the genius who died in penury in Venice, was the writer of the well known HADRIAN THE SEVENTH: A ROMANCE (Chatto & Windus, London, 1904), and the scandalous THE DESIRE AND PURSUIT OF THE WHOLE: A ROMANCE OF MODERN VENICE (Cassell, London, 1934). He was also the author of the notorious ‘Venice Letters’.

8. Poet and artist, Ralph Nicholas Chubb (Blake’s Mantle), was theauthor of several limited volumes of poems which were decorated with beautiful hand paintings of boys. Among the best were THE HEAVENLY CUPID: OR, THE TRUE PARADISE OF LOVES (Newbury, the author, 1934); and FLAMES OF SUNRISE: A BOOK [end p. 252] OF THE MANCHILD CONCERNING THE REDEMPTION OF ALBION (Newbury, the author, 1954).

9. ACHILLES IN SCYROS: A CLASSICAL COMEDY (Cayme Press, London, 1927).

10. For those wanting to know more about the Uranians, and see some of their works, read: LOVE IN EARNEST: SOME NOTES ON THE LIVES AND WRITINGS OF ENGLISH ‘URANIAN’ POETS FROM 1889 TO 1930, by Timothy d’Arch Smith (Routledge & Kegan Paul, Lonodn, 1970). FEASTING WITH PANTHERS: A NEW CONSIDERATION OF SOME LATE VICTORIAN WRITERS, by Rupert Croft-Cooke (W. H. Allen, London, 1967). SEXUAL HERETICS; MALE HOMOSEXUALITY IN ENGLISH LITERATURE FROM 1850 TO 1900, by Brian Reade (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1970). ERO; AN ANTHOLOGY OF FRIENDSHIP, by Patrick Anderson & Alistair Sutherland (Anthony Blond, London, 1961). THE PENGUIN BOOK OF HOMOSEXUAL VERSE, ed. By Stephen Coote, Penguin, Middlesex, 1983). GREEK LOVE, by J. Z. Eglinton (Neille Spearman, London, 1971). MEN AND BOYS: AN ANTHOLOGY (revised edition – the old Coltsfoot Press, New York, 1978).


A Kind of Hush

Important viewing.

spotlight

The morning after the broadcast of ‘Secret Life of a Paedophile’ in 1994, Richard Johnson, the author of the book A Kind of Hush, rang in to the Inside Story team to say that at 1.30 am he had received a phone call from ‘Mick’ (who the central character in A Kind of Hush is based on) to say that the documentary had vindicated him and everything he had told Richard about many years before. According to Richard Johnson the book was loosely based on a paedophile network that included Peter Righton, a Labour MP, a well known Labour politician, and a central figure allegedly named as a major paedophile in Islington children’s homes.

This information is based on written evidence seen at first hand by Peter McKelvie.

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A Meeting With Norman Baker

This is extremely important – please do read. The Home Office are not taking this seriously – proper action needs to be taken with VIPs named in Parliament – then the government will be unable to ignore public outrage.

spotlight

Peter McKelvie and Liz Davies met, on Tuesday 13th May at 11.30 am, with Norman Baker, MP for Lewes and Minister of State at the Home Office, in the presence of Adrian Sanders MP for Torbay. Adrian Sanders had requested that the meeting take place and it was tabled for half an hour. The meeting began 15 minutes late.

Report of the meeting

The Minister advised that he would be available for ten minutes as he had another important appointment. He listed a number of items that he could not discuss as these were not the direct responsibility of the Home Office – such as any current police investigations and individual cases. He also stated that the National Group on Sexual Violence against Children and Vulnerable People had been set up as a national response to child sexual exploitation. PM assured him that as former child protection managers neither he…

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Article from Telegraph – Simon Danczuk on child sex allegations involving senior Westminster figures

The following article does not seem to be available online to read – I believe it is very significant, so am posting it here.

The Daily Telegraph (London)

May 5, 2014 Monday
Edition 1;
National Edition

Government urged to reassure public about child sex claims

BYLINE: Peter Dominiczak

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 4

LENGTH: 230 words

MINISTERS must “reassure the public” about a series of child sex investigations involving Westminster politicians, the Labour MP who exposed Cyril Smith’s behaviour said yesterday.

Simon Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale, last month published a book on Smith which reignited the scandal over the former Liberal MP, who used his power and influence to abuse hundreds of boys for more than four decades.

However, Mr Danczuk has also disclosed details of allegations about two other senior Westminster figures who have been accused of historic abuse.

Mr Danczuk said that he has now been contacted by police officers about a case involving a senior Labour politician and said that officers are taking the allegations “extremely seriously”.

He has also disclosed that during the course of his investigation into Smith, who died in 2010, he interviewed a man who was sexually abused by the MP at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, London, when he was 16. The man gave him the name of another parliamentarian who had visited the guesthouse, describing him as a “much bigger fish” and significantly “higher up the food chain”. Mr Danczuk yesterday said that with so many investigations under way, the Government needs to make a public statement about the allegations.

“We need them to reassure the public that the police are getting adequate resources to carry out these investigations,” he said.


Peter Righton’s Diaries: Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and Michael Davidson – Updated 27/8/15

[EDIT: Since the publication of this post, Kevin Gosling, Director of Communications at the Britten-Pears Foundation, has responded. You can read his response here.]

[NEW EDIT: When I originally posted this, I omitted information about Peter Righton’s lover Richard Alston, as he was awaiting trial for offences against children. Since this has happened and Alston has been found guilty (see the reports from the trial here), I am now including more information about the references to Alston in Donald Mitchell’s book. There is more to be established about the precise nature of the relationship between Alston and Mitchell.]

I am publishing on here some information communicated to me by Tom Watson MP’s source on Peter Righton and networks of child abusers, which led to the infamous question from Watson to the Prime Minister on October 24th 2012 in which Watson identified a high-level paedophile ring linked to the aide of a former Prime Minister and thus to 10 Downing Street. Watson’s source is a former child protection officer who currently does not wish to be identified by name, but was involved in the investigations into leading paedophile and key Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) member Righton (on whom, see this documentary, this article in the Mirror, this Guardian article by Nick Davies, this article by Liz Davies, this article by Christian Wolmar, and the series of articles to be found on the Spotlight and Needle blogs). .

As detailed by Watson himself, after Righton’s 1992 conviction on child pornography, he moved to live in a cottage on the estate of the eighth Lord Henniker, in Thornham Magna, North Suffolk, and was allowed to use the estate for special holidays for vulnerable children from Islington (at the very time when there was an epidemic of child abuse in Islington care homes – see here and here for vital material from the journalist Eileen Fairweather and former social worker Liz Davies (now Reader at London Metropolitan University) who brought the scandal to public attention). The Chief Constable of Suffolk visited Henniker personally to warn him that Righton was a career paedophile, but he ignored this advice, and Righton was able to continue hosting children on the estate until his death in 2008. Just this week one man has spoken out about his experiences being trafficked around the country to be abused by strangers whilst in the Suffolk care system, and named Righton as part of the operation.

The important information is the following: in Righton’s diaries, he frequently referred to Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and Michael Davidson as ‘fellow boy-lovers’, and also spoke of how important to him (Righton) were their get-togethers at Snape Maltings. Both Richard Alston and Peter Righton is also thanked in the preface to Donald Mitchell’s book Britten and Auden in the Thirties: The Year 1936: The T.S. Eliot Memorial Lectures delivered in the University of Kent at Canterbury in November 1979 (London: Faber, 1981):

I am much indebted to Richard Alston without whose dedicated editorial assistance I should have found it difficult to see this revised edition through the press. [….] and to Peter Righton for correcting proofs.

Righton is also listed as a translator of some text in Mitchell’s facsimile edition of Mahler’s Seventh Symphony (Amsterdam: Rosbeek Publishers, 1995), and of some of Donald Mitchell and Andrew Nicholson (eds), The Mahler Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Mitchell was very close to Britten, edited the first major study of his work, Benjamin Britten : a commentary on his works from a group of specialists (London: Rockliff, 1952), and later became Britten’s principal publisher at Faber Music, becoming a senior trustee of the Britten-Pears Foundation after Britten’s death in 1976. He has also been general editor of the major collections of Britten’s letters and diaries published by Faber & Faber.

As I mentioned in my earlier article on Clifford Hindley, various biographers, including the late Humphrey Carpenter in his Benjamin Britten: A Biography (London: Faber & Faber, 1992), John Bridcut in Britten’s Children (London: Faber & Faber, 2006), and Paul Kildea in Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century (London: Allen Lane, 2013) have investigated at some length whether there was anything untoward in Britten’s relationships with the numerous boys with whom he worked for performances of his operas, works of children’s choirs, and so on. Only a small amount of evidence has been uncovered of any exploitation through enactment of these desires, including the testimony of Harry Morris, who did accuse Britten of abuse (see Bridcut, Britten’s Children, pp. 46-53), and also various accounts chronicled by Bridcut of naked swimming and sharing of beds with boys aged as young as 11.

There is no question about the proclivities or activities of journalist Michael Davidson (1897-1976). His 1962 autobiography The World, The Flesh and Myself (London: Arthur Barker, 1962) begins with the line ‘This is the life story of a lover of boys’, whilst his later memoir Some Boys (London: David Bruce & Watson, 1972) is nothing less than a stomach-churning account of international child sex tourism and assault, presented quite shamelessly. Below I reproduce scanned copies of the chapter of the book dealing with London. Davidson’s brother-in-law Christopher Southward taught violin at Gresham School, in the music department run by Walter Greatorex, who taught Britten at the school; Greatorex introduced the 26-year old Davidson to the then 16-year old W.H. Auden (Neil Powell, Benjamin Britten: A Life for Music (London: Hutchinson, 2013), pp. 29-31).

There is other information I am not in a position to print here for legal reasons; furthermore the information from Righton’s diaries of course constitutes claims rather than yet-proven allegations. The possibility that Britten and Pears were part of Righton’s circle (and thus perhaps also to other members of PIE) does not in itself prove anything, but undoubtedly this needs to be investigated, together with the meetings in Snape Maltings. But in order to help get to the bottom of the networks of abusers who have corrupted British society and childhood for decades, I would implore anyone with further information on the connections between and activities of Righton, Britten, Pears and Davidson to come forward if they feel ready to do so (I am happy to let anyone know by private e-mail – ian@ianpace.com – police or other contacts to whom they could speak).

I will add further information at a later date.

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