Mary Whitehouse and Charles Oxley on PIE – and another letter to Leon BrittanPosted: July 8, 2014
During Geoffrey Dickens MP’s campaign against the Paedophile Information Exchange and organised paedophilia in general, he worked closely with two people in particular: Mary Whitehouse (1910-2001), founder of the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association and opponent of most sex and violence on television, blasphemy, homosexuality and various other things, and headmaster Charles Oxley (1922-87), also a conservative Christian campaigner, who lobbied politicians in support of both corporal and capital punishment. A full biography of Oxley – David Raynor, The Standard Bearer: A Biography of Charles Oxley, with foreword by John C. Beyer (Oswestry: Quinta Press, 2001) – details Oxley’s first contact with Dickens through the former’s chairmanship of the Campaign for Law and Order (pp. 77-80) and his infiltration of PIE under the pseudonym of Dave Charlton. This began with a long-running correspondence with Tom O’Carroll from 1976 to 1981, by which Oxley hoped to find names and addresses of members, then actual membership on Oxley’s part (again under the pseudonym), enabling him to attend various PIE meetings in London. Oxley met O’Carroll, Steven Adrian Smith, Peter Bremner, David Joy and others, and informed the police of Smith’s working at the Home Office (see this post), hoping that they might be able to obtain the membership list there. This was unsuccessful, but Oxley was able to pass on the names of nine members, leading to the trial of Bremner, Joy and Smith (who skipped bail and fled to the Netherlands, not to return until the early 1990s, when he was tried and convicted). Below I reproduce the chapter in Raynor’s biography detailing these events, and below that a chapter from Mary Whitehouse’s Mightier than the Sword (Eastbourne: Kingsway Publications, 1985). Both of these reproduce the same extract from a personal letter by Oxley to Leon Brittan, then Home Secretary, following Brittan’s meeting with Geoffrey Dickens (see this post for a wide range of newspaper articles and other documentation on Dickens and Britten, and this for a forensic dissection of Brittan’s statements last week compared to the documented accounts).
Was this letter (which may have contained more information as well as that reproduced by Whitehouse and reproduced by Raynor) found during the Home Office’s recent investigation? This should be asked at today’s evidence given to the Home Affairs Select Committee by Home Office Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill.
A range of press clippings related to Oxley can be found on Spotlight here. A 1983 TV interview with both Oxley and Dickens can be viewed here, whilst a Radio 4 interview from the same year with Oxley can be listened to here.
David Raynor, The Standard Bearer: A Biography of Charles Oxley, with foreword by John C. Beyer (Oswestry: Quinta Press, 2001)
Mary Whitehouse, Mightier than the Sword (Eastbourne: Kingsway Publications, 1985)