Friday, 20 March 2015
Channel 4 News is carrying an interview with a victim of the sexual abuse at the former Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast who has bravely waived his anonymity.
Interestingly, it is the first occasion of which the Blether Region is aware where a definite link has been established between abuse at Kincora and what went on at the Dolphin Square apartment complex in London, suggesting both that the Kincora abusers were active members of a paedophile ring rather than simply immoral opportunists (their victims were teenagers), and that there may be a London link to the intelligence services, who were reputedly aware of Kincora, exploited it for blackmail purposes, and protected the offenders.
The late Cyril Smith MP, about whom numerous allegations have surfaced in recent years, is also thought to have been protected by the establishment, with some observers wondering why a relatively unimportant member of a minor party should have been mollycoddled that way — well-liked as the jovial Smith was at the time. Of course, deference may be part of it, as, perhaps, may be the patronage of other highly placed abusers.
But it is also the case that the Liberals held the balance of power in the late 1970s, propping up Jim Callaghan through the Lib-Lab pact.
Smith's parliamentary career began when he was "hand-picked by party leader Jeremy Thorpe to fight Rochdale in the 1973 contest". Indeed, "His first frontbench job was as chief whip at the time when the party was being buffeted by the scandal over [the secretly gay] Thorpe's alleged involvement in a plot to kill Norman Scott [...]".
Interestingly, Wikipedia notes that "In 1978, Smith approached former Conservative Prime Minister Ted Heath [about whom there have also been serious posthumous allegations] to discuss forming a new centre party."
Given the fact that there have been persistent allegations of a plot by the intelligence services to destabilise the Labour Government of the day, that surely merits further investigation — particularly since it involved Northern Ireland. In that context, it may be no coincidence that the operation was supposedly codenamed "Clockwork Orange".
As matters stand, Kincora has been ruled outside the remit of any inquiry into historical child abuse in England. That is a mistake, since, as Channel 4 has shown, the cases may well be linked. It is highly unlikely that Kincora can be adequately investigated by a tribunal in bankrupt Northern Ireland. That will suit any abusers who remain living — and it may also suit the powers that be.