Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Even Educated Bees Do It

Cameron, oh Cameron, you dopey devil, what have you done? Here, here and unfortunately here about sums up numpty nuts, who is appearing a laughing stock of anywhere outside the shires? Our illustrious leading PR guru and half Prime Minister (PM 0.5) is taking a keen interest in the nation’s habit of masturbating.

Wait! I hear squealing, "It's for the good of the children."

“Bollocks” many, so very many, people retort, and about time too.

Can this nonsense about child protection get any worse?

Hitler said

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation. " -Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Publ. Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403

Cameron is no Nazi, but he is displaying all the tendencies of not being a friend of freedom either.  I am flabbergasted that this individual should succumb so easily to a knee jerk reaction more akin to an oppressive state than a considered and factual led response that should be at the heart of any serious democracy. this is enforcement of morality and ideology, and he should know better.

Too many hands being rung by Daily Mail readers perhaps Mr Cameron?

On the other hand, maybe, the all too powerful child protectionists are flexing their respective muscles. They are of courses rubbing their hands (washed of course) with glee. Interesting to note is the following excerpt from the Independent article quoted above.

 “There are 50,000 predators...downloading abusive images on peer-to-peer, not from Google,” he said. “Yet from CEOP intelligence only 192 were arrested last year. That’s simply not good enough.
“We’ve got to attack the root cause, invest with new money, real investment in child protection teams, victim support and policing on the ground. Let’s create a real deterrent. Not a pop-up that paedophiles will laugh at.” Jim Gamble.

“Show me the money,” remember that?

In addition, why 50,000 predators and only 192 arrests, what have you been doing with our £6,000,000 pounds over at CEOP. Do you not see that as real investment enough for you, how much do you want, and what exactly will be the result?

Your partner organisation the NSPCC states that:

"Over 90% of children, who have experienced sexual abuse, were abused by someone they knew."
 "17,186 sexual crimes against children under 16 were recorded in England and Wales in 2011/12."

If that is the case, and far be it to dispute the NSPCC, then 17000 cases were not concerning Child Sexual Abuse Imagery, is that correct. Or was, as is widely claimed, CSA discovered on all the computers of these folk in which case your quote is at worst manipulative and at best horrifically ill informed.
Questions I am sure will go unanswered, but in light of the fact that the current PM 0.5 is using this type of thinking and information as an excuse to moralise and enforce his own and others odious ideology of everyone as victim or aggressor, they probably should be answered in clear and concise terms.

Echoes of the war on drugs resound in his warbling and in the cries of economic need from the usual suspects. I cannot help but draw a parallel with the "slippery slope,” that being the slippery slope of censorship as opposed to drug use or pornography.

It began this time around with criminalising "child porn" a term grossly wrong and rightly now considered so as it was renamed CSA (child sexual abuse) imagery.

However soon this also encompassed cartoon and drawn imagery of CSA, then violent porn, and now we have a call to ban rape fantasy porn.We should have stopped them way before cartoon/drawn imagery became illegal; this is thought crime without doubt. We did not stop them, we should have and now we are in danger of paying the price, although I am hopeful that a technical hitch will grind this nonsense to a halt, so it would seem are others.

However, I digress, scene now set, I wonder what all this fuss is about and as usual, a giant leap follows.

This whole fiasco has me reminiscing.

"Birds do it, bees do it, and even educated fleas do it"

The song actually speaks of love, that rare commodity that some, and only some, get to experience as a lifelong and marvellous thing. For the rest of us it is just myth held up by a gossamer thread of hope. The over arching and sustainable love which is maintained with a healthy injection of regular “rumpy pumpy” that actually means something must surely be a pipe dream to many.

That can seem depressing stuff, because that is what we are force-fed as the ideal status to attain, which is depressing if you subscribe to Cameron’s twee ideology of how sex and sexual interactions should be, puritan and restrained one could surmise. Whatever it is, it is about enforcing morality, which government should avoid, especially in the area of sexuality, gender and attraction.

Believe it or not David some folk prefer an alternative morality, like to play the field, get rogered royally by many partners, fisted, strangled, play raped, spied on, doing the spying, peeing on and peed on, tied up, wrapped in cling film, rubberised and gagged, beaten and whipped, covered in cream and yes sadly, shat on occasionally (shivers). As with all things “one man’s meat is another man’s poison” to coin a phrase.  

Many folk prefer a more eclectic sexual life and that will include indulging in all the aforementioned activities, and surprisingly, despite this they remain, doctors, nurses, shop workers, bankers, teachers, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and yes politicians, all who contribute to society, but not for long if data gathering that you are allowing continues, especially with an opt out.

The good news is (or will have been), you can have a meaningful sexual relationship that lasts a large part of your childhood and most of your adult life, with no need to take them out to dinner, buy those gifts or apologise when you fart and shit the bed. This is the sexual relationship you have with yourself. Your companions on this journey, porn, either mentally or actually depicted, perhaps a catalogue with underwear wearing scantily clad individuals or possibly a copy of Wuthering Heights if that floats your boat.

Some I imagine (goodness knows why) choose not to indulge in tickling the little man in the boat or in order to refrain from spilling their seed o'er hill and dale, in encouraging lady palm and her five lovely sisters to visit. I am not one of those folk, thankfully, I am a wanker. I have murdered the entire population of the world through various means.

Leaving them to die of thirst on a variety of socks, pants and surfaces or sacrificing them to someone else's stomach acid. Maybe launching them into an ocean of water post shower where they swim hopelessly against the tide until they die of exhaustion without even the hope of a distant uterine passage coming into view, the sperms lot is not a happy one.

I discovered this marvellous past time pre-puberty at about 11, when the best I ended up with was a kind of nice feeling and a small puff of wind. That was till my discovery, at age 12 of the word "emission " in a dictionary, of course, read only after I had wiped my hands and mopped my sweaty brow over the sheer delight of the massive orgasm I had experienced a few minutes earlier.

Since that point, it is safe to say that bishop bashing is a hobby and the old chicken gets choked within an inch of its life, alone and in the company of friends and lovers, with superb regularity. Post 12 years old the lunchtime breaks in the field with mates was never the same again. Goodbye, infantile doctors, nurses, and say hello to group wanking, mutual masturbation and the odd bit of fellatio, it was utterly marvellous!

Roll forward to present day. Rome no longer holds sway over the world and the likes of Socrates and Plato and their thinking on the strength of the individual have long been abandoned in favour of the X-Factor, misery porn like Jeremy Kyle and "I am a victim, get me some money here.”
Makes me wonder what my sex life would be like if I was 12 now?

I believe my 12 year old self then, would be no different from those in a similar situation now. Except for the technology, so I could photograph my John Thomas, upstanding, dozing, playing Fireman Sam or spitting like a puff adder, then oh joy of joys, I could capture my glorious ass hole, pucker up boy, such larks. I could even video me at it, and would have.

Then I would show it to my closest friends, who of course in turn would show me theirs. Then we would film each other, find others on the Internet and show them. As I grew, if inclined, (painfully bashful so never would have) I may have created a blog about my experiences with photos and videos that I share with others who have the same tendencies towards exhibitionism.

The desire to do so would be so strong, the world gazing longingly at me in all my youthful glory, no old flesh just the beauty of my youth, my desire to be admired sated to the full. Hang on, take away the technology, and in some form or another we have been doing this same pattern a very long time, self discovery, sharing and then pursual of the object of our desire be that adulation or adulater.

Before I discovered love and the sexual liaisons that had meaning I discovered pornography, after that phase passed I moved on, but it has remained a constant companion, for all my friends, and myself it may have been illegal but it was never unavailable, and it will always be available, as it always has, for that simple reason Cameron is being idiotic.

To return to Cameron's crazy and problematic confabulation on the subject at hand and specifically the laws, which govern this arena, so broadly over arching that they become dangerous, and a useful tool for discrediting and hurting others. Let alone how to opt in if your a secret married porn user male or female, and what about randy 16 year olds, I just wish he would piss off really, we fought this nonsense before, who thought in 2013 we would have to do it again?

Admittedly, this is just one case, but one case is too many, we need to roll back this legislation and if the LibDems show some sense, they will fight the next general election on issues such as this. Of privacy, freedom of expression and minimising state interference at all levels of life. This will take bravery but they are not exactly winning fans and influencing people now are they?

The worrying factor for those who would curtail our rights to masturbate over whatever we wish to think about is the technology. This aversion to progress and all the change it brings is nothing new, but the main problem in comparison to the Luddites of old is that this lot are in power. They have powerful friends, moreover, so little to do that they tinker around with nonsense such as this all the time, and are obviously; loathsomely obsessed with sex, particularly if it involves children.

It seems that as some hurry from childish and youthful sexual shenanigans, enjoyed or not, good or bad, legal or illegal, we dive head long into adult disavowal over just how horny we were and what we would do to give the purple peaked pirate his bountiful plunder, or to quench the thirst of the furry cup.

At least growing older leads to understanding that I was not alone in these pursuits, on the contrary, although gay men do have a tendency to be more open about same sex encounters than their ostensibly straight counterparts appear to be, that discovery was a bit of a jolt and a great example of disavowal.

I only realised the depth when I personally had grown men whom I knew at school deny to my face we ever masturbated as a group, the fury they displayed was quite peculiar and disturbing. I was glad I did not mention how adept they had been at fellatio at that time, especially considering I could have been fellated by a Crunchie wrapper and paid out like a fruit machine in 10 seconds, meaning they were probably as crap at it as I was.

Could this disavowal be infecting the child protection industry and the legislation our recent moral panics have thrown up as well as Cameron’s craziness that takes in all people under 18 and lumps them together as if they never got past 10 years old?

A child is defined as under 18, that is a problem right there, but more on that later.

Back to the NSPCC, and here is a doozey on the subject close to PM 0.5’s heart:

”Child pornography” needs to be understood, not as a separate genre for and by 'paedophiles', but in a wider context in which cultural ideals of beauty are youth, and the media is reliant upon the sexualisation of children for financial gain.”(2003)

This little number is directly from the NSPCC, who espouse the protectionist arguments that underpin Cameron’s lunacy, and whose very ideology utilises the idea of child sex abuse imagery as direct descendant of a media carrying out a protracted and global move towards the sexualisation of children,

This portrays a horrific case of righteous cause mentality that defines an over arching evil so formless, yet easily definable, so ephemeral, yet timeless and so esoteric yet easily understood.  In essence, it is a shibboleth, by definition:

“A belief that is widely held, especially one that interferes with somebody's ability to speak or think about things without preconception” 

In spirit, this kind of thinking closes down debate, strangles dissidence and brooks no argument that maybe what we are doing is far too over reaching and our tendency to over react to this should be reined in.

When an ideology such as this needs fighting, how can you do so when the people involved in it cannot think past an unassailable and hegemonic monstrosity that forever dominates the landscape of their pre-determined views.

The answer is you cannot, it simply is too hard to do so. What you can do is sever the beast’s blood supply, and that requires repealing legislation Mr Cameron, not producing more.

To achieve this we need to understand where we are at currently, some definitions would help and after a little digging, I discovered this. The SAP Scale which defines CSA imagery for charities, courts and the police and others. They are labelled levels 1-5 and I have issues with most of them.

1.      Nudity or erotic posing with no sexual activity
2.      Sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child
3.      Non-penetrative sexual activity between adult(s) and child(ren)
4.      Penetrative sexual activity between child(ren) and adult(s)
5.      Sadism or bestiality

Level 1 is dodgy at best and erotic posing is subjective in the extreme so to begin with, naked pictures of children should not be illegal, this is the stuff of thought crime, and naked pictures of no one should be illegal. I wonder how many cases would fall over if that level were discounted, as it should be. What if thousand of under 18 year olds, far more than the protectionists would like to believe, share, enjoy and get pleasure from naked images of themselves and others?

Level 2 is also well beyond being realistic, sexuality activity of 17-year-olds is child sexual abuse imagery, I think not. 16-year-olds flicking the bean or saluting Sergeant Spitty is hardly earth shattering, (except perhaps for them) especially with technology that allows them to voluntarily film, edit, produce share and distribute it is in their pockets or bedrooms.

Level 3 means wanking I think, bit vague really, so two 16 year olds wanking each other is CSA imagery, again, bollocks, same goes for a 17 year old playing with a 25 year old, it just simply is not. Again, how many folk under 18 are voluntarily webcaming with people of 18, 19 or 45 or 16 or 15 for that matter, what if the numbers are huge?

Level 4 pretty much the same as three, is it not bizarre that you can legally have sex with a 22 year old at 16 but are a victim if you film it then post it and the 22 year old is guilty of producing and distributing CSA imagery but not child abuse. This is all so muddled headed.

Level 5 same applies again and the thought of leaving the definition of sadism to a jury as the term is badly defined is rather suspect. As for bestiality, more RSPCA than NSPCC, but I have to ask the question, surely this is extremely rare, or am I naive? Besides which, it is already illegal in separate legislation to play porky pig.

Bear in minds that under 18’s are placed on the sex offenders register. The law is simply too vague and some cases should never get to court, but they do, this nonsense of Cameron's will make it worse and in sitting by we are complicit.

This whole house of cards needs to fall and the sooner the better as scares in the press about the tracking of movements on the Internet by security agencies and the gathering of vast amounts of data, including those of children, abound.  

When the definition is so wide that the anomalies mentioned happen, then we are criminalising our young, making sexual experiences problematic, dirty, shameful and illegal through a Victorian and puritanical attitude to sex predicated on the fact that teenagers should not have a sex life and under no circumstances should the rest of us be able to see it.

The argument over child pornography is a smokescreen of the first order. If we are to get to grips with the really serious cases, apprehend the producers of the material and help children who are really at risk then the first thing is to stop farting about at the periphery, which is exactly what Mr Cameron is doing.

The time is not right for more controls it is time for less, before data about a child’s (sic) activity is used on them later in life as they run for office or achieve success, and for goodness sake do not be so naive as to imagine that will not happen it most certainly will. .

Mr Cameron, if you want to make a difference, then stop criminalising young people. Recognise that they make choices, have them (and here is the laughable bit) stand by their own decisions and learn from them. Stay out of what we view and produce as sexual beings and sever the beasts life blood to ensure that consenting people, who can legally have sex are not hounded by zealous police officers, school officials, psychologists, righteous cause zealots or god forbid vigilantes.

In addition, pass a law preventing censorship, and certainly preventing blocking, otherwise you may well remind the public of a certain gent pictured below. If not then you really are a silly cnut.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Front Page Report on Abuse That Even The Government Finds Incredulous

 “We treat the issue seriously and want to do all we can to help victims. But this report is highly emotional. We have concern about some of the figures.” 

Well said our lovely government.

Oh how I long for clarity on this issue.

Here , and again here, and also here.

And the gravy train rolls on, we all know some awful things happen, they have and always will, this continuing barrage of "Abuse Propaganda" is still allowing the powers that be in this industry to avoid responsibility for where most abuse takes place, in the home.

Propaganda is defined as the following:

Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicise a particular political cause or point of view.The dissemination of such information as a political strategy.

So straight away we have one article in the Sun, and another in the Daily Mail (who seem to have lost their critical faculties since my last post) One takes the angle on the abuse, the other on the fact it is related to porn on-line.  This is obvious from the headlines of each article. That, surely is propaganda?

In the Sun they quote the youngest as being 12, whereas in the report (or polemic, you decide) they state the earliest age of an "abuser" to be 14, then change their minds and say 12 later on, all rather confusing. Go figure. To me that illustrates something deeply wrong with the thinking, as if 14 is somehow less shocking than 12, so needed a bit of sexing up.

If the report is so accurate why would they make such a fundamental mistake or exaggeration? 

Now exaggeration, that's an interesting word I find, rolls of the tongue nicely and to put it mildly, is particularly appropriate to the narrative of abuse.

So back to the report which is predominantly about teenagers, not children per se! Just the definition in law of what a child is.It also interviews older people for its case, so we are talking retrospective here. Hmm, always worry about that one, retrospective re framing may have taken place.

"I Wasn't abused"

"Yes you were"



Ad nauseum until "victim" is coerced into belief. An example can be found here at 13:12 and continued here, her (Pamela Stephenson's) disbelief in Stephen and his obvious ability to define his own experiences outside her chosen narrative is nauseating. But, as with all things in this situation, complex and nuanced. 

The vast majority of the perpetrators of this terrible crime are male. They range in age from as young as fourteen to old men.

Well what a surprise, strangely enough if I go looking for crabs on a seashore I eagerly find them.The same is true here, how about a report in to why the vast amount of false allegations is made by women? Should not be hard to construct, especially if you only talk to the men accused. For me that is where the nub of it lies. I simply do not believe it.

Now lets not growl in haste, of course some of what has happened is no doubt disgusting and harmful, but hundreds  of bloggers and writers will give you all the gnashing and wailing of teeth if you go to the right sites, I prefer to take the side of sceptic.

What I simply do not believe is that this is as widespread or as cut and dried as Berelowitz and her followers would believe. Should we blindly accept this propaganda? To whit:

This report is a wake-up call. As one young woman said after telling us her story:

“I can let go now because you are dealing with this.” 

Each and every one of us owes it to her and all other victims to listen, to believe and to act to stop this terrible abuse. Using the warning signs lists, produced in this report, is the first step to identifying and protecting children.

A wake up call,to whom, who on earth is left that does not see through the eyes of abuse? Could this actually mean, "we need funding please, are you listening, FUNDING NOW!!!"

Then the the victim speaks to appeal to our emotions,, but not I hasten to add to our facility for critical enquiry.

After telling us her story? I would rather she prove her case.
How old was this young woman?
What is this terrible abuse mentioned?
Why would we encourage someone to let go and acquiesce to a specialist in the field rather than taking responsibility for their own life and move on through their own strength and fortitude, I smell victimology?
A warning list, god help us, but we will come to that.

So lets answer some of my questions using a couple of hypothetical.

Case A
She is 17, a spoilt, attention seeking brat,  who has had countless offers of help from her family and others but refused them all due to her own ego and arrogance.  Her behaviour is unexplainable, as the family is a loving unit and she adamantly maintains she has never been abused, in anyway, by anyone.

She propositioned a man who was 21 and he paid her for sex believing her when she said she was 18. She wasn't, subsequently read about the compensation possibilities in the media and realised a way she could make a few quid, great story for the press and a win for the child abuse industries trafficking nonsense.

He took his own life, how emotive of him!

Case B

She is 14, has been having sex with her 16 year old boyfriend, safely and in a loving context. A busybody child protection expert spotted this as school as the two of them truanted for a bit of rumpy pumpy one afternoon.

With glee they parted the two, brainwashed her into believing she was abused and charged the male, and he is now attending courses with the same guys you can hear about in...

Case C

She was 5, her father repeatedly raped her and then shared her with his brother till she was 11 years old, the Mother, who knew, did nothing, except film it and post it on the internet. 

No charges have been brought.

Further on in the report.

Without exception, all chose to share their accounts because they want to stop other children suffering as they did.

Really, without exception, are you sure, and if so how?

Are we to believe they are all telling the absolute truth?

I gave up halfway through reading, terrible I know considering I am writing about it, but it is an awfully damning report if just half of it is true. Again belief slips in, and the conflation of consensual acts, fantasy and distorted reality with horrendous abuse bores me. Can they not be more nuanced perhaps? To their credit they do mention consensual activities, albeit briefly.

And so to the list, had to include it, and have highlighted those that seem to be so nebulous as  to be meaningless.


The following are typical vulnerabilities in children prior to abuse:

• Living in a chaotic or dysfunctional household (including parental substance use, domestic violence, parental mental health issues, parental criminality).
• History of abuse (including familial child sexual abuse, risk of forced marriage, risk of ‘honour’-based violence, physical and emotional abuse and neglect).
Recent bereavement or loss.
• Gang association either through relatives, peers or intimate relationships (in cases of gang associated CSE only).
Attending  school with young people who are sexually exploited. (every child then!!! Overuse of exclamations called for sorry)
• Learning disabilities.
Unsure about their sexual orientation or unable to disclose sexual orientation to their families.
Friends with young people who are sexually exploited.
• Homeless.
Lacking friends from the same age group. (older friends, oh the shame :) the horror)
• Living in a gang neighbourhood.
• Living in residential care.
• Living in hostel, bed and breakfast accommodation or a foyer.
Low self-esteem or self-confidence. (The great catch all, an explanation for anything these days)
Young carer. (This is an outrageous assertion, they should be ashamed)

The following signs and behaviour are generally seen in children who are already being sexually

• Missing from home or care.
Physical injuries.
Drug or alcohol misuse. (teenagers like being pissed, so do I, and many of you, misuse is a fluffy idea at best)
Involvement in offending. (Shagging the GF/BF perhaps?)
• Repeat sexually-transmitted infections, pregnancy and terminations. (you don't say)
Absent from school.
Change in physical appearance.
• Evidence of sexual bullying and/or vulnerability through the internet and/or social networking sites.
Estranged from their family. (teenagers are supposed to, how else do we get them to leave)
• Receipt of gifts from unknown sources.
• Recruiting others into exploitative situations.
Poor mental health. (Oh please!)
Self-harm. (Fashionable isn't it?)
Thoughts of or attempts at suicide. ( Piffle, teenage years are a misery, they often cry wolf and try as we might we cannot protect them all, and this lot can make it worse if your not careful)

So much for rationality in all things, in the next blog, I will attempt to explore a more nuanced and sensible view of some of this, as right now I am a bit to bumfuzzled to think straight, this report does that unfortunately, when it should be offering clarity.

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Dead, Old, and the Falsely Accused Come On Down To the Show That Never Ends

It boggles the mind what has happened since the revelatory news about Jimmy Savile. Presupposing that I am more sceptical than most over these types of allegations, I expected the normal conversations from friends and colleagues, accompanied by hand wringing of the first kind, obligatory when discussing children and sex (shush now). 

Imagine the surprise when I actually got the opposite.  With the exception of one ill-informed individual, uniformly, everyone else seems to smell a rat, a rather large diseased rat with a pointy hat and a broomstick. Never before have cries of witch-hunt from the folk with whom I have discussed the case and subsequent fallout been so loud, new sceptics arise perhaps.

It seems that it was with a gradual escalating disbelief and then pure astonishment followed by derision that most greeted this particular manifestation of a MediabuboTM, led by the press, the great and good and anyone else near a microphone.

Evidentially, jokes are flying thick and fast across the networks and social media outlets, some rather good and most lame, about a subject that normally causes the majority of folk to lose their sense of humour, which departs like three men in a boat along with critical reasoning and intellectual rigour.The surprising amount of flippant remarks, including from MP’s and their wives, seems to have aided in making this normally unassailable “dominant narrative” (of historic abuse, victimology, schadenfreude and its sexually titillating cousin jouissance) seem terribly naked and vulnerable, ripe one could say, for some serious intellectual disection

Perhaps it is worth wondering whether this particular narrative has run its course so many times that people have started to ask questions as to its veracity. It certainly has not happened media wise with one exception, that of the Daily Mail. Despite a normalcy towards exaggeration and fabrication, they seem to have taken the proverbial bull by the horns and actual cast some doubt on the veracity of not just Steve Messhams’ allegations (what a cock up!) but on whether or not some rigour will be applied to other allegations as well. Brave stuff in current times. 

I cannot help but agree with them, other fundamental questions need answering and some blogs and commentators are attempting to answer them. The individuals over at Spiked Online have a plethora of probing and pertinent articles worth a look, as does the writings of Anna Racoon, particularly as she was at one of the homes involved in the initial allegations. 

Even David Cameron has joined the bandwagon after the odious Philip Schofields attempted to kick his political balls around one of those dismally cheerful morning television studios. I am watching question time as I write this and they are having the same discussion as they always do about this subject and it is going nowhere, catch up on IPlayer and have a fume as I do, Harriet Harman is particularly vile.

So far, so same old unfortunately, as the media merry go round grinds into action as each abuse scare plays out, spraying gobbets of damaging pus across the full societal spectrum and in doing so, further poisoning intergenerational relationships and without doubt, demonising men.

The usual suspects (NSPCC et al) line up to quote horrifying statistics ad nauseum, but as per has nothing to say about the false allegations that have caused an elderly man some dreadful grief, or the fact that poor Steve Messham seems to have form for lying, and not on a small scale, again see Daily Mail above.

As for Savile, Cyril Smith and as of today Dave Lee Travis (The Hairy Cornflake) alongside other accused, dead and alive, yes dead (god help us) this raises questions about the application of modern morality to historic allegations, particularly when coupled with rampant and manaufactured hysteria and those damned goggles of abuse we all seem forced to wear

Rightly, some will say that the date of the crime does not lessen the seriousness of it and in cases where evidence is available, they are quite right. However, historic allegations are often word against word and despite the silent shaken head denial of Harriet Harman on Question Time this evening, are devastating to all individuals involved whatever their status in the story. I use that word deliberately because that is what some of these allegations come down to, who can tell a better story in the theatre of court. 

Perhaps now the time is coming to recognise that our police procedures, laws and courts have become infected with pus from this paricular MediabuboTM and it's predecessors with a reversal of traditional safeguards like innocent till proven guilty, when a story (or gossip) becomes the only evidence, emotionalism rules the roost and memories are seen as concrete certainty even when they go back 50 years?

Children lie, adults lie, but, despite it being hard to believe that they would put themselves through the anguish of a revelation about abuse on a whim, they may not realise at the time how this particularly Kafkaesque monstrosity works. The lure of money, fame, mental illness, malice or an explanation for their own sorry lives or behaviour can be incentives. The fact that numerous cases have surfaced where false allegations of rape and abuse condemned an innocent (usually a man) to years in jail, illustrate that they do, even if we find the idea unpalatable.

Must we now ask ourselves with 400 plus allegations against Savil, how did he get away with it and equally as important, why did no one do anything or say anything before?  I have my suspicions that many of these opposed assaults were nothing of the sort, and unless the odious behaviour with the alleged victims is proven to be true, we must be very careful what we accept as fact. It is in no one interest that society blindly believe the word of an individual on myths perpetrated by vested interests. Is this not the price we pay for true justice?Will the enquiry into an enquiry (urk!), some more enquiries and a possible further enquiry lead to the truth?

Doubtful here, it will only lead to the "politically correct" truth if it reaffirms the dominant narrative discussed earlier. If, gods forbid, and as the new abuse industry sceptics seem to suspect, that a great many of these allegations will prove to be false, misleading or a conflagration of truths, halve truths, exaggeration and misremembering, will we have the courage to start bottling this damaging nonsense and try a fresh approach in considering that the definition of abuse is now so wide as to be almost meaningless at this point? 

Should we also consider that gleefully labelling folks as victims for small affronts is probably not a good idea and that in many cases, it may be better just to get over it and get on with your life


Should we consider a statute of limitations?


Should we consider the removal of compensation and replacing it with top notch counselling? 

I think it most certainly is time we did all four above, and quickly, otherwise we may never find a solution to the problem under scrutiny, I only know of one way to halt the vast majority of child abuse and that involves a camera in each room of every household with children monitored 24hrs a day by the state. Are there any takers out there for that idea? Thought not, but if we are really that serious about tackling child abuse of all kinds that is what the NSPCC and their ilk would be calling for, along with us.

Until that time, is our interest not at best hypocritical and at worst negligent and salacious? The MediabuboTM is after all, like its Black Death counterpart which required a devastating fire to do away, equally infectious. Somebody light the kindling please and lets find a new way.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Ray Gosling - The Man Who Never Stops Fighting - Euthanasia, Murder, False Allegations and Endgame

I am lucky enough to be able to say I know Ray Gosling, and for all his eccentricities he is a man of passion and conviction who exudes a quiet strength that is rarely seen today.

You can imagine then the shock with which I received the news of his part in the death of a suffering lover.

Not, I must add, so much shock that he had been part of this act of mercy, but that with all his experience of the UK justice system that he should open himself up to attack.

He has, of course, always been a fighter, all gay men and other disadvantaged groups, including myself, owe him a debt of thanks, although many younger folk would sadly not even know why.

His work, colleagues and the importance of CHE (Campaign for Homosexual Equality) has previously been recognised in 2004 by Manchester City Council. An important recognition no doubt, but I cannot help feeling that sadly, within 10 years, the very community that he and others like him laid the foundations for, will no longer know, or care, why the freedoms they enjoy, are available to them.

What is perhaps more galling than anything is that a 20 year relationship between CHE and Liberty has now ended, quite recently, and in response to the call for action on historical abuse claims CHE requested and Liberty stated was not even open to discussion.

This is a cause Ray Gosling and Alan Horsfall have passionately fought for this past ten years or more and it would be a shame if this was overshadowed by the revelation today has brought. I have to question whether there is a link between the two, Ray states on his site the following:


Ray writes...
I am very depressed and wondering quite how we can carry on.
The cases keep coming in – trickle by trickle – and we have folk we’ve been with through their terribletimes to care for / keep in touch with.

We went quite strongly last year to push the case for some STATUTE OF LIMITATION – writing to the press and gay groups across the land. We have dear Antony Grey a stalwart on our side and the support of CHE.

But others are lukewarm to hostile including Peter Tatchell.

When it comes to Europe and the USA we don’t know what we are talking about in any real factual way and no one will come forward to help us. In fact we don’t know how many cases happen in the UK nationwide – and nor do any relevant departments of Government.

I am very depressed and I’m 71 years old with how much more energy?

The link may well be the need to call attention to his ongoing work, coupled with the apparent cry for help above, borne by the hardship Ray has suffered personally, and no doubt, the suffering of others he has witnessed, this may indicate that he is still as caring, thinking and socially conscious as he ever was, despite age and exhaustion.

I would have said long may that continue, but I can't.

This revelation, guaranteed to provoke a reaction in the semi police state of the UK will truly test the "no such thing as bad publicity" idea to the edges. This places Ray at the centre of a current and difficult topic, one that we cannot get our collective head around as a society.

Ultimately, I believe the right to die is singularly ours and ours alone, and that it should be easier. Ray obviously has sympathy with that view. The result of this furore may be disaster. He will know this all to well, media veteran that he is.

He has stated quite clearly that he does not wish to make a crusade of this, and already doubt is being cast on the veracity of the story.

I can only hope that his promise not to tell the police even if "tortured" is a true one. His continuing fight against current injustices has made him enemies politically and in the force and I imagine hands being rubbed with glee in some quarters, shamefully so.

There is a certain ironic twist that a man who has spent the best part of his life fighting a hostile system should hand himself over to that very system so seemingly easy. Beggars the question what is his agenda here?

Can this be an attempt to re-engage the public with a veteran reporter who in his own words fell victim to a paucity of glamour over substance, allowing him to bring to the front the types of injustice he historically and currently still fights for?

Perhaps his age has caused him to recognise the need for a change in the law in time to prevent him, like so many others face daily, the ignominy and cruelty of dying slowly and painfully in stages of despair?

I am sure as the events unfold all wil be revealed. He is a clever man, allowing me to take comfort from the thought that whatever the agenda is, he will probably come away from it in one piece.

Ultimately, for all his courage and strength over the years, his epitaph should read defender of human rights and gay campaigner not murderer, and it would be a terrible thing if it didn't.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Music and Film Companies Should Awaken to the Realities of 2008

My interest was piqued today by the article in the telegraph and the times here and here. Its an old chestnut the issue of illegal downloading of content, but it appears that the capitulation of governments to the overweening and overblown music and film industry is set to continue as Europe and world wide initiatives swing ponderously into action.

I find this all a bit galling when in 2007 the US box office takings amounted to $9.6 billion up 5% on the previous year and part of a trend expected to continue.

Worldwide box office takings also rose to an all-time high of $26.7bn, a figure which only makes the whinging about piracy sound even more pathetic.

I think they should shut up and get on with it, especially considering the recently engineered format wars over Blu Ray and HD that echoes the old VHS/Beta squabbles of the eighties. The only loser in this is the consumer. As an avid collector of film I again see the writing on the wall with my nigh on 2000 DVD's being the equivalent of a bunch of VHS in a few years. Its so upsetting that once again an new format arrives, is grossly overpriced and gives the film industry another excuse to rehash old products that you can get for £2.99 on DVD but cost £24.99 on Blu Ray.

This is bad for a number of reasons. Firstly people will of course buy Blu Ray and replace favourite DVD's over time, but think of the waste! All that plastic, an environmental nightmare in the making.

The solution, retailers should be forced, along with distributors and film makers to organise a recycle facility where if you take in your old DVD of Mission Impossible then you get a copy on Blu Ray for a fiver.

Secondly, in theory you have already paid for the right to own and watch a particular film, so why have to pay for it again?

The solution, as above, with the prices reflecting the reality.

Thirdly, despite illegal downloading happening they are still making a profit and my time in the film business has taught me that people want to own the original. They will pay for it, even if they have seen it. So what's the fuss about in the first place.

Its about control, they want to milk the product by controlling the streams of income as and when they facilitate them. Of course they do and rightly so, but that only works if the realities of content availability in 2008 is taken into account. Whilst the major players fart around with region encoding (so only certain discs work in certain countries), staggered release dates and different windows of availability for different delivery structures (Cable, Satellite, DVD,Blu Ray et al) Joe public will happily download the film illegally in the sheer frustration caused waiting for the months away from release for the film they require.

An excellent example is House, the brilliant series with Hugh Lawrie, Season four is not out until October, nearly a year since season three and way after it's television premiers.

Like wise "The Mist" a fun adaptation of a Stephen King book that has yet to see the light of day in the UK but is available in the US already.

This appalling treatment of their core customers marks the film industry as a slumbering giant, resting on it's own laurels and not racing to be ahead of technological advances and differentiating their marketing strategy accordingly.

End region coding, standardise release dates, be brave enough to recognise that the person who goes to see a film at the cinema is not necessarily the same one who buys the Blu Ray or watches it on Sky and speed up the release to the home market of all films.

They also might wish to consider making some better product as well!

Meanwhile the music industry is experiencing the opposite and as this article in the times illustrates, it is new forms of music distribution that are giving the corporates such a headache.

It is a mess of their own making, as with film they have been cumbersome at addressing the needs of the new millennium and are now paying the price. They have ripped us off for years and now they have the cheek to act aggrieved? People have already bought the same songs numerous times on records, cassettes, eight tracks and CD's, it is hardly surprising that people feel comfortable with downloading songs illegally, they have a certain right to.

The music industry must wake up quickly to save itself from itself. If artists and bands, fuelled by the freedom an internet distribution centre offers them, see this as a chance to cut out the big guys, then they should. The big guys better get with the programme and find new ways of offering quality product at the right price.

The EU, Governments and ISP's should stop interfering and let the wheels of business grind on, the strongest will survive and the weakest will fall. Utilising legislative power to frighten and coerce people into compliance with these business behemoths is not their job, and if that is true then there is an ulterior motive, and its probably about surveillance and keeping checks on Joe Public, not on saving the bedraggled music industry from its own sorry self.

In 2008, we can download any content that can be made downloadable, now get over it, respond with a new business model that attracts us, your customers, back to you, or be prepared to sink under the weight of your own arrogance and ineptitude.

In the final analysis it seems that their is an easier way to force them forward. Instead of increasing the time an item remains copyrighted, we should decrease it. It's currently 100 years. Lets make it 10. A chance for all to make some good money but after that it is in the public domain, then they may sit up and take notice.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Time People Said No to the Nannying Ninnies of the Child Protection Industry

Three articles that seem to have some form of convergence to me. The Times on family courts and the Telegraph on child overprotection and the CRB fiasco in the making.

If the appearance of these three articles does not signify the inexorable slide into a police state that we are witnessing I am hard pushed to say what is. Beginning with the dreadful news that innocent people have been wrongly identified as having criminal tendencies by that quango the Criminal Records Bureau. Their response to this is as follows.

"The CRB is acknowledged as an improvement on previous checking arrangement, although checks which do not correctly reveal a persons true criminal record are still clearly regrettable - even if they do represent a tiny proportion of all CRB checks."

Regrettable! Of all the mealy mouthed responses. In our vengeance soaked current culture; shit has a tendency to stick, and I can only hope that those people who find themselves falsely identified can get redress quickly. This I doubt will happen, but when it does, large amounts of compensation should be paid for their troubles, and I mean large. It is not regrettable to those it happens to, I imagine it is devastating and this is not the first time it has happened. Over 3000 people caught in errors by bureaucrats. They should be ashamed.

This checking garbage has evolved into a money making scam, long past its original intention and now a divisive and dangerous virus that attacks social cohesion. The Telegraph readers observations of the paranoia of overprotection that we seem so singularly gripped by, highlights well the current mood in regards to this issue. Read the comments and you will see, hopefully with some surprise, that they too are fed up with it all.

The article continues:

"Ministers are planning a massive increase in the number of criminal records checks carried out on members of the public. The number of checks processed annually by CRB has risen from 1.5 million in 2002-04 to almost three million over the past year.

Under future plans, more than 11 million adults - one in four of the adult population in England - will have to be vetted and registered on the authority's database."

Has the UK fallen asleep, nodded off or gone to meet the choir invisible? The Home Office estimate that a quarter of the male population have a criminal record of one kind or another. That figure was for 2001 and goodness knows how many there are now with all the legislation that has been passed and the erosion of justice we have seen. Certainly more, and certainly for less.

The checks reveal all, not just convictions, but suspicions and so called soft intelligence that are gathered by the police, social workers et al. This culture of suspicion has reached epidemic proportions and needs to be stopped. Paranoia and policy do not good bedfellows make and I suspect that a lot of people will simply refuse to work with children or the vulnerable.

The Telegraphs article reveals a horrifying situation in the family courts that must be addressed. The secrecy is strangling justice. Many cases have highlighted to me the failings in this division of our justice system, unfortunately they are all anecdotal and supplied by the likes of PAFAA and FASO who struggle valiantly against the over zealousness of some police and social services employees.

The convergence is in the common thread of suspicion and myth that allies the overprotective nature of the child abuse industry and the family courts. As

Bill Bache, the indefatigable solicitor who acted for Sally Clark, explained it to me this way. “Court proceedings are initiated within a day or two. The local authority knows the ropes. Most parents, including the brightest and most articulate, are often too distressed and shocked to think straight. They may well turn up unrepresented. The local authority makes its case, often in lurid terms, stressing that the children are in acute danger and they are requesting an immediate interim care order. There is no time sensibly to evaluate the evidence, therefore, no doubt wishing to be safe rather than sorry, the court grants the order. Suddenly the children are gone.”

Here we have the classic storytelling scenario, make it lurid, dirty and damn the outcome for those involved. When it comes to the perceived safety of children it is again and again seen to be the cause of devastation and miscarriages of justice. For this to occur in secret is a double damnation for the innocent caught in the claws of the child protection industry.

The slightest touch, inappropriate look or utterance could well have you branded as a danger to children and that suspicion could well grow to be so much more. As we have seen in the criminal courts the paranoia we have in regards to children and the vulnerable has led to miscarriages of justice through the undermining of rules of law that have stood us in good stead for years.

This appears to be happening in the family courts also, but when the government, the NSPCC and other players in this industry fail to recognise, even with the cases in the public spotlight for all to see, that a witch hunt is occurring, it will take years to change anything. In the family courts that change may never occur at all.

So a suspicion that you are unsuitable as an individual to work with the young/vulnerable, can see you arrested, detained and charged on the word of one person. Or as a parent/carer in general that suspicion will drag you into the Kafkaesque nightmare that the family courts are detailed to be.

That suspicion could be raised by anyone, anonymously if needs be, and for a variety of reasons from malice to an error in judgement of what was seen or believed to have been seen. Once tainted, never cleaned. Any CRB that follows will when requested exhibit this suspicion, and you are probably totally innocent.

So what exactly is my beef? Well, first off this idea of vulnerable people is simply too wide in its definition. According to the Law Commission:

The Law Commission have suggested a broad definition of a vulnerable person, as someone of 16 years or over who:
is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and
who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
It is the last bit that does it, a charter for interference by any do gooder with a fanatical need to justify their own existence through aiding others.

Secondly the definition of a child is as follows

The Children Act 1989 states the legal definition of a child is ‘a person under the age of 18’. ‘Young person’ is not a legal term, for the purposes of the policy and procedures, a young person is someone who might not perceive themselves as a child, but who is still in the age range of the legal definition, and therefore fall within the term ‘child’.

Which is utter tosh of course. people over 16 are not by any stretch of the imagination children. They may behave childishly but that is a different matter. Requiring anyone who works with 16-18 year olds to be criminally record checked is a waste of time. Currently teachers, lecturers and others are criminalised for having sex with people in this age group whilst the rest of the population is not. So much for equal application of the rule of law.

We should call for an immediate change in the law so that people over 16 are no longer categorised as children, but adults. Then we can forget having to check anyone who comes into contact with them and save lots of cash all round. Now we can remove the passage from the vulnerable adults statement above. So far so good, or is it?

Next we must exclude irrelevant offences from the checks and only allow convictions to be reported. Not arrests, acquittals, successfully appealed cases and certainly not soft intelligence or mere accusations. In fact, lets make a criminal record part of an individuals right to a private life, so that they never have to disclose it unless the conviction has a direct correlation with the activity they are undertaking. You wouldn't be able to conceal a fraud conviction if applying to work in a bank for example.

That would allow focus on those who wish to make a life for themselves after conviction and would help ensure limiting re-offending by opening up possibilities for employment or learning.

Then we will have a purge of the records so that only verdicts of guilty remain on file in regards to CRB activities. I have no problem with the police keeping information, they obviously have to, they just cannot tell anyone about it.

We need to open up the family courts, and that's easy enough to do, the press can report the case detail without using names and perhaps with a little thought that is how all cases should be reported until conviction. Stop feeding prurient interests I say. Where required a judge could order the case an open one, protecting not only the public interest but those of the defendant.

Next, a full and frank investigation into the working of the NSPCC and other child advocate organisations who seem to be totally out of control and living in a world that is populated by Demons.

Finally, I look to you dear reader, it is time to say no to the nannying ninnies of the child protection industry, I do, have joined the Manifesto Clubs Campaign against vetting and would urge you to do the same.

Say no, next time you are asked to get a CRB when you are not directly involved with under 16's or vulnerable people for a significant amount of time.

Encourage other to say no, lets spread the word. You never know, we may be able to turn back the clock to times when we trusted each other, nurtured those in need instead of stifling them in cotton wool and actively encouraging suspicion and distrust.

We leave a legacy of fractured intergenerational relationships to our children and grandchildren if we do not, and avoiding that should be our goal.