Sir Michael Havers was appointed as Attorney General by Margaret Thatcher in 1979, and was made Baron Havers in 1987. He intervened three times between 1981 and 1983 to stop the investigation and exposure of Establishment paedophiles, and to prevent the publication of stories which showed that Establishment figures were members of the Paedophile Information Exchange.
Although none of this implicates Havers’ sister, Baroness Butler-Sloss,in any way, it seems at the very least deeply inappropriate to have someone heading a ‘historic’ child abuse inquiry whose own brother played such a major role in the protection of Establishment paedophiles throughout the 1980s.
1981: Sir Peter Hayman
In 1981, Sir Michael Havers warned Geoffrey Dickens not to name senior diplomat Sir Peter Hayman as a paedophile in the House of Commons. Dickens ignored his advice, and was publicly condemned by Havers, who said “All Mr Dickens has done is make certain…
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In March 1981, Geoffrey Dickens used parliamentary prvilege to name senior diplomat Sir Peter Hayman as a paedophile and member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE). The case is summarised in a recent article from the Mail, and all the original press reports can be found here.
But there is still a mystery surrounding the trial of two paedophiles in Hayman’s network.
The sequence of events that led to Hayman being named began in 1978 when a packet was found in a London bus containing correspondence – “obscene literature and written material” – between Hayman and a number of other people. As a result of this find, seven men and two women were named by the Metroplitan Police as possible defendants in a report submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, but he advised against prosecuting any of them.
“Subsequently, the Metropolitan Police submitted a further report which…
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The conservative campaigner Mary Whitehouse (1910-2001) was well-known as a scourge of the permissive society, homophobe, anti-abortionist, high Christian moralist and would-be censor. In her capacity as founder and president of the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association (NVALA), she regularly attacked the BBC in particular, and considered practically all sexualised imagery to be corrosive and evil, as well as campaigning against blasphemy. Less well-known is her own support for the work of Geoffrey Dickens MP in his anti-paedophile campaigns, and also for her friend, fellow Christian moralist Charles Oxley, a headmaster who infiltrated the Paedophile Information Exchange in order to gain information to assist prosecutions and membership lists. I will blog further about Oxley’s works at a later time.
However, in the course of looking through several of Whitehouse’s books to find out how much she knew on this, I found one passage which is grimly ironic in light of what is now known. This, from Mary Whitehouse, Quite Contrary: An Autobiography (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1993), pp. 88-89. She discusses the various programmes or broadcasters who won NVALA’s annual award. Of all things to single out, she chooses Jim’ll Fix It, which won the award in 1977. Whitehouse speaks fondly about the ‘moving’ stories told by the production team, ‘like the one about the girl Jimmy said he was going to marry and they got engaged with a huge cuddly toy just a few days before she died’ (extraordinarily sinister in light not just of knowledge of Savile’s abuse of children, but also his fascination with dead bodies). She also says ‘I don’t know anything about Jimmy’s lifestyle and, in any case, it’s no business of mine’.
Clearly Whitehouse’s anti-paedophile campaigns had no effect upon her judgement here.
One of the events which was most significant in drawing public attention to the Paedophile Information Exchange was the Love and Attraction conference at University College, Swansea, hosted by the British Psychological Society, which took place from September 5th to 9th, 1977 (advertised in Magpie, Issue No. 2 (March 1977), p. 7). This came very soon after the campaign by the Daily Mirror in August, leading to far right demonstrations outside PIE meetings at Conway Hall, Holborn, London (see Lucy Robinson, Gay men and the Left in post-war Britain: How the personal got political (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2007), pp. 134-135). Much of the Swansea conference was relatiely innocuous, but it was the involvement of PIE which gained attention (Mathew Thomson, Lost Freedom: The Landscape of the Child and the British Post-War Settlement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 169). The conference as a whole was organised by Mark Cook, whilst Kevin Howell convened the symposium on paedophilia
The Dominican priest Father Michael Ingram (see the article on Spotlight here) was due to give a paper at the conference (‘Priest’s child sex views repudiated’, The Guardian, September 9th, 1977), which had been described by Tom O’Carroll as ‘an extensive, and largely positive, study of paedophile relationships between men and boys (O’Carroll, writing in Magpie, Issue 5 (July 1977), p. 6); he argues that in all but a few cases child sex does more good than harm. Ingram was attacked by the Bishop of Nottingham, the Rt Rev James McGuinness, who adamantly pointed out that Ingram did not speak for the Church, and acknowledged sympathetically fears of parents (‘Priest’s child sex views repudiated’).
According to the account of the occasion by Tom O’Carroll (then chair of PIE) (O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case (London: Owen, 1980), Chapter 4), all the papers on paedophilia and child sexuality, including one by Dutch psychologist (and frequent contributor to PIE publication Magpie) Dr Frits Bernard, were given in secret session. Various porters, kitchen staff and other workers, from the union NUPE, threatened strike action if O’Carroll were allowed to stay at the university, who acceded to their demands. O’Carroll, who was also physically attacked by one account, also recalls being accosted by one professor who thought that PIE’s ill-judged campaign had ‘put the case for paedophilia back at least ten years’, by turning an academic conference into a media sensation (O’Carroll, Paedophilia, Chapter 12; and ‘Notes & News’, Magpie, Issue 7 (September 1977), p. 2). Earlier this year, when PIE was once again in the news, Swansea University declined to comment upon the original invitation to O’Carroll (‘Swansea University silent on 1970s paedophilia advocate’, South Wales Evening Post, March 3rd, 2014). The Dutch politician and long-term paedophile advocate Edward Brongersma (1911-98) was rejected from the conference by Cook, who was concerned it would be used to make political statements. Brongersma would lambast the attitudes of the British to the subject (‘Conference ban puts paedophilia in the cold’, The Guardian, August 27th, 1977; ‘Dutch MP backs child sex’, The Guardian, August 28th, 1977; Iain Murray, ‘Britain ‘intolerant’ on child sex’, The Observer, September 4th, 1977; ‘The Forbidden Speech’, Childhood Rights, Vol. 1, No. 2, p. 1 – this issue of the PIE publication also contained Brongersma’s ‘On Loving Relationships Human and Humane’, pp. 1-4)
Christian right-wing activist and Law Professor Judith Reisman gave a research paper at the Swansea conference, speaking later of how:
I first met up with what I had come to call ‘The Academic Paedophile Lobby’ in 1977 at The British Psychological Society Conference on Love and Attraction, Swansea, Wales.”
I delivered a research paper on child pornography in Playboy 1954-1977.
Other conference academicians, some hired by pornographers, presented ‘scientific’ papers advocating the legalization of child pornography, prostitution and an end to age of consent.”
They promoted their ‘scientific’ claims for early childhood sexuality to lawmakers and fellow academicians via both legitimate and pornographic media.”
The DSM is typical of this degeneracy since they already had lightened the diagnosis of paedophilia as to make it almost meaningless, requiring that the paedophile be ‘bothered’ by his and her abuse of children and so on.
We now have women and children sexually violating children as well as men. This will continue to spiral down into, well, we’d have to say the abyss of hell, unless we retrieve our laws, our mass media and our schools. (‘Fears that academic conference will normalise paedophilia’, Christian Concern, August 18th, 2011)
(It should be noted that Reisman is a quite extreme homophobe, quick to equate homosexuality and paedophilia, and for this reason I would treat many of her wider views with caution. See ‘Judith Reisman: Homosexuality leads to “tyranny” and “slavery”‘, The Examiner, May 9th, 2013)
Another report on the conference told the following anecdote:
Up in the Press room at the university on the day I met a very charming and lively little boy who was passing his time making paper aeroplanes out of abstracts of delegates papers. I asked his father, one of the Department of Psychology, if he was hiding him up there in case Tom O’Carroll was about. “Good God no Man” he replied in an accent straight out of Milk Wood, “he’s such a little horror at home I’m hoping they do meet up. Might cure both of them” (Eric Trimmer, article in Medical News, September 21st, 1977, cited in ‘Read All About It’, Magpie Issue No. 8 (no date), p. 3).
Larry L. Constantine , a polymath figure who is also a computer software designer and composer, co-edited another key volume – Larry L. Constantine and Floyd M. Martinson (eds), Children and Sex: New Findings, New Perspectives (Boston: Little, Brown, 1981) – which collected various views on the subject, including Constantine’s own essay ‘The Effects of Early Sexual Experiences’, in which he notes that many studies have reported neutral or even positive reactions. More can be read on Ken Plummer (about who I will blog at length at a later date) here on Spotlight.
A book coming out of the conference was published in 1979: Mark Cook and Glenn Wilson (eds), Love and Attraction: An International Conference (Oxford: Pergamon, 1979). A full list of contents, with notes on contributors, can be found at this link. Below are some related articles, and the relevant chapters.
[A further book was produced in 1981, edited by the two Swansea conference organisers: Mark Cook and Kevin Howells (eds), Adult Sexual Interest in Children (New York: Academic Press, 1981). Includes Constance Avery-Clark, Joyce Ann O’Neil and D.R. Laws, ‘A comparison of intrafamilial sexual and physical child abuse’, pp. 3-39; J.W. Mohr, ‘Age structures in pedophilia’, pp. 41-54; Kevin Howells, ‘Adult sexual interest in children: considerations relevant to theories of aetiology’, pp. 55-94; Thore Langefeldt, ‘Sexual development in children’, pp. 99-120; Matti Virkkunen, ‘The child as participating victim’, pp. 121-134; Kurt Freund, ‘Assessment of pedophilia’, pp. 139-179; David Crawford, ‘Treatment approaches with pedophiles’, pp. 181-217; Kenneth Plummer, ‘Pedophilia: Constructing a Sociological Baseline’, pp. 221-250; Donald J. West, ‘Adult sexual interest in children: implications for social control’, pp. 251-270. ]
The Guardian, August 27th, 1977
The Guardian, August 28th, 1977
‘Priest to reveal startling facts about paedophilia’, The Sunday Times, September 4th, 1977.
The Guardian, September 9th, 1977
‘Priest’s child sex views repudiated’
Section on ‘Infant and Child Sexuality’
Section on Paedophilia 1
Section on Paedophilia 2
Douglas Hurd was Minister of State at the Home Office from after the General Election on June 9th, 1983, until September 10th, 1984 (when Hurd was promoted to the Cabinet, to become Northern Ireland Secretary), as detailed in his Memoirs (London: Abacus, 2003), pp. 318-328. Leon Brittan was Home Secretary at the time. Hurd writes the following about Brittan in the memoirs:
‘Another set [of Cabinet ministers] are centralisers. Loving detail, they gather it relentlessly into themselves. Such ministers can thrive only if they have trained their minds to absorb formidable quantities of facts and figures and transmute them into decisions. Two examples of this style in my time were Geoffrey Howe and Leon Brittan, which suggests to me that it comes most easily to lawyers. Serving later under Leon Brittan at the Home Office, I marvelled at his mastery of a complicated agenda.’ (p. 285)
‘‘Leon Brittan could have been forgiven some exasperation at this point. He was lumbered with a Minister of State nine years older than himself who had acquired a reasonable reputation at the Foreign Office but who seemed unsuited for the job he had now been given. Leon possessed a first-class legal brain, had served in the Home Office before, and held every issue at his fingertips. The pile-up of work was formidable. Leon would have been justified in politely pushing me to the margins and getting on with all important matters himself. If that had happened, then the fear I wrote into my diary a week after joining the Home Office that I would never reach the Cabinet would have come true. Leon’s style was centralising in the sense that he liked to know everything and took the main decisions himself. But he involved me fully in his meetings, listened patiently to my naïve views on criminal justice, delegated to me just the weight I could carry, and showed officials that I was to be treated with respect.’ (pp. 320-321) (my emphasis)
(William Whitelaw, Home Secretary during the first Thatcher Government, shared a similar view of Brittan’s brilliance, talking of him and Patrick Mayhew, both working under Whitelaw as ‘two outstanding lawyers’, and Brittan as ‘an exceptionally clever man’ (William Whitelaw, The Whitelaw Memoirs (London: Aurum Press, 1989), pp. 162, 256).
On Wednesday (July 2nd, 2014), Brittan issued the following statement:
‘During my time as Home Secretary (1983 to 1985), Geoff Dickens MP arranged to see me at the Home Office. I invariably agreed to see any MP who requested a meeting with me.
‘As I recall, he came to my room at the Home Office with a substantial bundle of papers. As is normal practice, my Private Secretary would have been present at the meeting.
‘I told Mr Dickens that I would ensure that the papers were looked at carefully by the Home Office and acted on as necessary.
‘Following the meeting, I asked my officials to look carefully at the material contained in the papers provided and report back to me if they considered that any action needed to be taken by the Home Office.
‘In addition I asked my officials to consider a referral to another Government Department, such as the Attorney General’s Department, if that was appropriate.
‘This was the normal procedure for handling material presented to the Home Secretary. I do not recall being contacted further about these matters by Home Office officials or by Mr Dickens or by anyone else.’
Then a few hours later, Brittan issued a second statement:
‘In the last hour I have been alerted to a Home Office independent review conducted last year into what information it received about organised child sex abuse between 1979 and 1999.
‘The review found information had been dealt with properly. It also disclosed that material received from Mr Dickens in November 1983 and January 1984 had not been retained.
‘However, a letter was sent from myself to Mr Dickens on March 20, 1984 explaining what had been done in relation to the files.’
Considering this dossier contained ‘explosive’ information, according to Dickens’ family, can we really believe that a Home Secretary who Hurd describes in such a fashion would act in this manner?
Furthermore, as detailed (with full references to published articles) on Spotlight, there were three Dickens dossiers, given to Brittan on c. August 20th, 1983, November 23rd 1983, and January 18th, 1984. Hurd was Minister of State at all of these points. A further Minister of State during the period was David (now Lord) Waddington., whilst David Mellor was Under-Secretary of State; he has today (July 5th, 2014) said that he remembered ‘sort of chat around the department’ that it ‘wasn’t a very substantive thing at all’, and that ‘People are talking about this document as if it’s a carefully worked through expose of people. There’s no reason to think it was’.
Hurd would, following his stint in Northern Ireland, succeed Brittan as Home Secretary in August 1985, saying that Margaret Thatcher ‘was moving Leon Brittan to Trade and Industry because she wanted more attention paid to these subjects. She asked me to explain this to Leon, as if that were my responsibility rather than hers.’ (Hurd, Memoirs, p. 346)
A full statement from Lord Hurd is needed, not least about whether Lord Brittan’s account of the dossiers is consistent with what Hurd himself has written about the man.
DICKENS DOSSIER #1, 20th August 1983 (approx)
“Geoffrey Dickens revealed that eight public figures were on his list of shame – and that one of them had been a personal friend. But Mr Dickens said he still planned to name the eight in the Commons unless the Home Secretary took action.
He said: “I’ve got eight names of big people, really important names, public figures. And I am going to expose them in Parliament. I have not enjoyed this crusade. It’s been horrible many times. One of those people among those eight has been a friend of mine.”
Mr Dickens’s own list of eight public figures involved in the sex scandal was handed to the Director earlier this week…together with the warning that he would name them in Parliament if necessary.
Two years ago, Mr Dickens defied leading figures in the Tory party by publicly exposing former diplomat and NATO…
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Very important to read, concerning the current chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee
In 1982, early in his political career and before he was an MP, Keith Vaz was Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Richmond & Barnes, as well as being Solicitor for Richmond Council.
Elm Guest House on Rocks Lane, Barnes, was at the centre of a paedophile ring in 1982. Boys from Richmond Council-run care homes such as Grafton Close were supplied to Elm Guest House to be abused by VIPs.
As Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate, you would expect Keith Vaz to have spent a lot of time talking to local residents and asking them about their concerns. Local people had a good idea of what went on at Elm Guest House, as we can see from this extract from a book by Jilly Cooper, a Barnes resident at the time, about conversations she had whilst walking on Barnes Common:
I asked Keith Vaz on twitter if he remembered hearing…
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Very important to watch.