Perhaps the most obvious question surrounding the allegations of paedophilia swirling around Westminster — assuming that even half of them are true — is how so many individuals with the same minority criminal predilection managed to find themselves rubbing shoulders together.
Thus far, we can determine the following about those suspected:
- Most of them are Conservative, although there have also been allegations against the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, and a living Labour peer first accused while an MP in 1991 and reportedly now too senile to prosecute;
- Far from any stereotype, many of them are, when they want to be, conventional in their sexual tastes. Keith Joseph and Rhodes Boyson were both married twice, while Nicholas Fairbairn, who boasted of his enormous sexual appetite, had both a wife and a mistress;
- Most attended boarding school;
- While it may not be relevant, they were of a wartime generation and thus familiar with both violence and long periods away from women.
There are perhaps three possibilities about how they were able to conspire together:
- That the old clichés about boarding schools are — or, until recently, were — true, i.e. that sexual abuse of boys by masters and older pupils was common and, since a substantial minority of victims go on to become perpetrators, self-perpetuating;
- That, being a secretive "club", they helped each other in the same way as is sometimes alleged in the case of the Freemasons or, in Northern Ireland, the British-Israelites;
- That they were helped by another power, perhaps MI5, which was almost certainly either blackmailing them or seeking the potential to do so, or a more senior political figure, probably in the Conservative party.
The first two possibilities are almost certainly true on some level, but it would be difficult to prove to what extent.
The third possibility is supported by two suggestions. First, the Elm Guest House visitors' register included a man with a Protestant-sounding name who was said to be in Sinn Féin. That name was almost certainly a pseudonym, while "Sinn Féin" is likely to be a euphemistic reference to the IRA. In all likelihood, the man was either being given a treat by his MI5 handlers, or they were gathering information in order to increase their hold on him. Probably a bit of both.
Secondly, lurid allegations going well beyond paedophilia have been levelled at the former Prime Minister Edward Heath — with whom, coincidentally, Cyril Smith wanted to form a new centrist party in 1978.