The latest scandal to hit Britain concerns Sir Jimmy Savile, DJ, TV personality, indefatigable charity worker, and it now appears prolific paedophile. The controversy centres around why the BBC, Savile’s employer, ditched an expose of the sex offender in favour of a laudatory tribute. Media attention is focused on this aspect of the scandal for obvious reasons; the BBC in order to defend itself, other media outlets in order to point the finger at the BBC.

Sir Jimmy Savile

There are, however, other aspects to be exposed. With the breaking scandal we have a flood of media types who acknowledge awareness that something was going on but who did not raise the matter. This raises two questions: Just how many in positions of power at the BBC, then and today, were aware of Savile’s activities and tolerated them? Also, instead of exposing them to public gaze to what extent does the culture of celebrity serve as a shield for the activities of those in the limelight?

These questions are beginning to be raised, but we are still not asking the fundamental question. To what extent did the cult of sexual permissiveness in the 60’s and 70’s prepare us for the acceptance that any and all types of sexual activity was acceptable?

Today we view paedophilia with horror. Not so in the permissive progressive 70’s. PIE (Paedophile Information Exchange) was at the forefront of a campaign to lower and even abolish the age of consent. From 1978, until eventually excluded in 1983, it  was affiliated to, and supported by, the National Council for Civil Liberties, now known as Liberty.

At the urging of MIND the mental health charity PIE submitted a report to the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee on the age of consent. Their 17-page report proposed that there should be no age of consent, and that the criminal law should concern itself only with sexual activities to which consent is not given, or which continue after prohibition by a civil court.

When the Albany Trust, which developed into a counselling organisation for homosexual men, lesbians and sexual minorities, asked PIE to take part in production of a booklet on paedophilia to be produced by the Trust they were opposed by morality campaigner, and one of 20th century Britain’s greatest and bravest women, Mary Whitehouse.

Mary Whitehouse

Mrs Whitehouse and her supporters were of course excoriated by the self-anointed progressive elite . ‘Bigot,’ ‘prude,’ ‘prig,’ ‘repressed,’ these were just a few of the more printable terms used by those who today hold up their hands in horror at what they themselves have brought about.

PIE produced a bulletin Contact Page in which members placed advertisements which included details of their sexual preferences. In a survey conducted in 1978-9 PIE found that its members preferred girls aged 8-11 and boys aged 11-15.  Contact Page  eventually resulted in a prosecution for a “conspiracy to corrupt public morals.”

Officially disbanded in 1984 the last of PIE’s members was arrested on child pornography charges in 2006. Its then leader David Joy was warned by the judge that given his beliefs he may never be released from prison.

Patricia Hewitt

PIE proposed banning the concept of child pornography, in this they were supported by the NCCL whose General Secretary for nine years from 1974 was Patricia Hewitt, later a Labour MP and Secretary for Health in the Blair government.

NCCL’s Legal Officer at the time was Harriet Harman. Harman who also became a Labour MP was interim leader of the Labour Party following Gordon Brown’s resignation and is at present Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

Harriet Harman

Although she now considers Savile’s activities a “stain” on the BBC Harman was not always so opposed to the sexual exploitation of children. In a parliamentary submission in 1978 Harman argued that “childhood sexual experiences willingly engaged in with an adult result in no identifiable damage.” She also argued that the Protection of Children Bill would lead to “damaging and absurd prosecutions.” Today, as well as being Labour’s shadow Secretary for Culture, Harman sits on a Cabinet committee on child welfare.

In the time of Hewitt and Harman, whilst PIE was affiliated with the NCCL, it argued for incest to be decriminalised. It further argued that sexually explicit photographs of children should be legal unless it could be proven that the child had suffered harm or that it could be reasonably inferred that harm might have been caused. In support Harman argued that opposing proposal this would “increase censorship”

If Harman and other progressives have been shocked into recognising their errors let us be grateful. Those proponents of the 60’s and 70’s moral devastation should, however, beware of holding up their hands in horror at what has occurred. The cultural devastation they have caused goes beyond one sexual scandal.

This concerns more than the Savile issue. When sexual activity is considered mainly as a recreational pastime and a ‘right’ no matter what form it takes there are bound to be harmful results. That those at risk are to be found amongst the weakest and most vulnerable appear to have been of little concern to the anointed. More important was that they, their friends, and any fellow ‘boundary pusher’ should be able to express themselves.

Savile did, and was protected. Expressions of horror from the anointed ring hollow today.

I Can’t Blame Them

The problems which have given rise to the riots in England are the consequence of decades of policies from the progressive establishment, that is the two major parties, the media and the intellectual elites.

A culture has been created which makes no value judgements, which absolutely rejects even the notion of moral absolutes, which has destroyed the notion of the family as a social structure to be defended and promoted, which has undermined the very concept of personal responsibility.

In the face of the signs of a disintegrating society we find Harriet Harman, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, laying blame for the riots on “the cuts.” Never mind that the cuts have not yet come into effect, can anyone seriously believe that the children trashing shops in Enfield were doing so because their local library was under threat? Did the Birmingham thugs who deliberately drove a car at a group of men and killed three of them do so because their local swimming pool just might close?

Sleazy politicians will take any event and attempt to turn it to what they see as their own party political advantage.

Harman is merely the standard bearer for progressive apologists who see this as an opportunity to promote their own failed policies which have caused the crisis. In coming days we shall hear even more like Harman. To react to the present crisis by advocating more progressive policies is as responsible as saying to an alcoholic, “You know your problem, you haven’t had enough whisky.”

Christians, however, cannot blame politicians, academics or the media elites. We have our own progressives who have taken the reins of power in the church. No doubt they too will soon be excusing the rioters. Not condoning of course, but understanding “where they are coming from.” The blame will lie with society and of course, government policies.

The blame lies immediately with the perpetrators. There are millions of young people in Britain who did not riot over the last few days, who went to work, who contributed to family life, who cared about others. To blame poverty for the riots is to insult the people, like those of my parish, who face enormous problems and deal with them. what they don’t choose to do is to burn, destroy, steal and terrorise.

After the perpetrators it lies with a church which is squeamish about Christianity. The New Testament teaches us about personal responsibility, about earning and showing respect, about caring for the family, about upholding standards of morality, about naming wrong instead of excusing it. If the church doesn’t proclaim the standards we find in Scripture how can we expect others to uphold them?

Church leaders have been agonising over the plight of every victim group imaginable; they have shouldered each other aside to get on TV to pontificate on the wickedness of bankers, they have decreed environmental laxity a sin, they have wrung their hands over the correct labelling of goods from Israel, and all
the while our society and culture has been sinking into a quicksand of moral relativism.

The things they speak out against are, sometimes, worth speaking out about. But they are not vital, they are not the leading questions of the day, they are not important to the majority of the people of Britain. Perhaps to middle-class trend setters desiring to be cutting edge they are. Not to Jim and Jean who work as a labourer and a cleaner, who live in a tenement where they are concerned about their stair being used as a urinal and where they are afraid to let their children out to play. To Jim and Jean the plight of polar bears in the arctic is of secondary importance if that, they have real problems to face.

They want a church which speaks out for the old fashioned values they still hold. Parents staying together to care for their children. Children being encouraged to go to school and learn. Going out to work so that you don’t sponge of others. Trying to do what you know is right, even when the environment is against you.

Thankfully Jim and Jean and others like them don’t riot. Unfortunately neither do they attend a church which doesn’t prioritise them and their problems. They don’t believe in a God who apparently doesn’t care about them. I can’t blame them.

Reality Bites

In a recent comment I remarked that “For progressives, like any other totalising mind set, when ideology comes into conflict with reality then reality has to give way.” Two examples of this tendency have come to light recently.

Today’s Times has a front-page article, a leader and four inside pages dealing with gangs of older men recruiting, grooming and then using for sex girls as young as twelve. The Times has woken up to the fact that in these cases the older men are usually of Pakistani heritage and the children almost invariably white. This is no news to anyone who has been able to read court reports in newspapers over recent years.

Speaking of the police the Times reports “Most forces, in common with charities and agencies working to help girls who have endured weeks and sometimes months and years of repeated sexual abuse, have denied publicly that ethnicity has any relevance to this pattern of grooming.”

Yet of 56 men found guilty of such crimes since 1997 three were white whilst 53 were Asian. Of those, 50 were Muslim and a majority were members of the British Pakistani community. Those convicted are a tiny proportion of what one detective described as a “tidal wave” of such crime in the English Midlands and North.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Edwards of the West Mercia force said, “These girls are being passed around and used as meat. To stop this type of crime you need to start talking about it, but everyone’s been scared to address the ethnicity factor. No one wants to stand up and say that Pakistani guys in some parts of the country are recruiting young white girls and passing them around their relatives for sex.”

Mohammed Shafiq

Significantly the Muslim community in Britain are more prepared to speak out about this than our progressive elite. Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, says: “These people think that white girls have fewer morals and are less valuable than our girls. This is a form of racism that is abhorrent and totally unacceptable.”

The reality has been known for years but progressive ideology, caught up in embarrassment for our colonial past, sees racism as a one way street and refused to acknowledge reality. By such selective blindness progressives have left sections of the white working class population believing that they have been abandoned. There are times when progressives, by their ideological fervour, have acted as though they were recruiting agents for the Neanderthals of the BNP.

Another plank of progressive ideology is feminism. International research published yesterday by LSE economist Catherine Hakim indicates that far from rejecting men, women see them as allies in building a family, and want to rely on them as the main breadwinners. Rather than being barred from the top jobs by an oppressive patriarchy, women willingly choose jobs which allow them to have more time to bring up children and care for elderly parents.

Progressive ideology which sees women as passive victims of an all-male professional structure designed to keep them down refuses to acknowledge the reality of women in Britain, Spain and Sweden. Women are responsible free agents who choose the way they work to suit their lifestyle. Women around the world prioritise family above career, husbands above autonomy. It must come as a shock to progressives who preach as though only a big salary can fulfil and only a big title can bring happiness.

Harriet Harman

Progressives such as Harriet Harman pursue policies such as the 2009 Equality Bill. With this proposed legislation, Harman sought to include new obligations such as urging employers to adopt positive discrimination in favour of women. Is it possible to have a 50:50 ratio in any boardroom when 50 per cent of women don’t want an executive career? As Hakim puts it, “devoting resources to policies that are bound to fail is a waste of public money – which is doubly irresponsible at a time of economic restraint.”

Crude quota allocations in business or politics are a Procustean bed which does little more than distort the pattern of real people’s lives in order to give progressives a warm feeling that they are remaking society in their own image.