Socialist Worker

Child abuse scandal lays bare guilty elite

Published Tue 13 Nov 2012
Issue No. 2329

The British establishment is being rocked by crisis after crisis. The revelations of the latest horrific child abuse scandals threaten to engulf it.

Politicians across the board are distancing themselves from the allegations of high level corruption and cover-ups.

The media has swiftly moved from the facts of the abuse to poring over its own coverage of events. It has turned itself into the main story.

All the earnest talk of listening to those that have suffered abuse has receded into the background as the papers try to discredit the victims. All this suits those Tories panicking about where further investigations will go.

Moral panics over paedophilia are usually directed at individual abusers. Politicians and the tabloids often join in the feeding frenzy—encouraging vigilante actions in local communities.

Today they are happy to try and distract us from the fact that the abusers are still being protected by their rich and powerful friends.

Those at the top want to stop us looking at anything which points to a wider scandal, the consequences of which could be devastating for them.

The Jimmy Savile cases are serious and involve the police, the BBC, and various sections of the prison and health service.

But the scandal of the abuse in the children’s homes in Wales goes even deeper into the ruling class. They have been trying to bury this scandal for decades but it is still toxic.

Recent years have seen profound questions raised into how the powerful elite at the top of British society rules over us. From MPs’ expenses to the financial meltdown, phone hacking and endemic police corruption—the spotlight has been on everything that is rotten in the upper echelons.

Now one of the most vulnerable sections of society, children in care, are the victims. These working class children have been regarded as a burden.

They are taught that they are worthless and that no one in authority will listen to them. They are vulnerable to coercion from adults who appear all-powerful.

These are state substitutes for the family and, just as in the family, children are regarded as the private property of the adults in charge.

Child abuse is most prevalent within the family, contrary to what the headlines say. But when families break down, their factory-like substitutes can sometimes expose children to greater suffering from predatory adults taking advantage of their position.

Speculation about conspiracies at the top are usually the obsession of a minority on the margins of politics.

Today they may be the basis of truths that threaten the whole edifice of the British ruling class.


Real reason for BBC crisis

The media’s attack on the BBC in the wake of the child abuse scandal is the height of hypocrisy. Three people, including the BBC’s director general, have resigned from the corporation.

Disciplinary proceedings have begun into some of those involved in the Newsnight programme that sparked the crisis.

Politicians and the right wing media are baying for the BBC’s blood. They are desperate to shift the crisis away from powerful Tories to the broadcaster.

This is just like the role the Hutton inquiry played in the crisis over Iraq’s fictional weapons of mass destruction.

So the Sun’s associate editor Trevor Kavanagh said the BBC is biased towards targeting “Tories, capitalists, News International”. He attacked the quality of its journalism.

Kavanagh works for a paper that is up to its neck in the phone hacking scandal and alleged illegal activities. It seems there’s one set of rules for private media and another for the BBC.

The BBC is not a radical institution or a thorn in the side of the rich and powerful. It is part of the British establishment. But the reason people like Kavanagh hate it is because it isn’t a privatised, profit-making corporation.

The real problem in the child abuse scandal isn’t the BBC. It’s powerful people raping children—and the establishment going to any lengths to cover that up.


Article information

What We Think
Tue 13 Nov 2012, 17:18 GMT
Issue No. 2329
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