On the 7th July, Home secretary Theresa May announced a wide-ranging inquiry into public bodies' and institutions' handling of historical child abuse allegations, to be headed by retired judge Lady Butler-Sloss. The inquiry would include allegations of historical abuse involving politicians.
|Home Secretary Theresa May.|
There are many reasons, some small but not insignificant, and some larger contentions, which cumulatively provide overwhelming justification for the growing insistence for the removal of Lady Butler-Sloss as head of the recently announced inquiry into public bodies' and institutions' handling of historical child abuse.The family relationship between Butler-Sloss and the former Attorney General Sir Michael (Later Lord) Havers, should in itself, be enough of a reason to bar the appointment, but it seems that Theresa May and David Cameron have complete confidence in the ability of Butler-Sloss to conduct a fair and impartial inquiry, based on her background of her time as a judge and the legal profession.
That may well be true, but her brother in his position as Attorney General, refused to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman, a diplomat and member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, a lobbying organisation for child abusers and in addition attempted to silence Geoffery Dickens MP, from exposing Hayman, (who was later convicted for an act of gross indecency in a public lavatory) as a paedophile and active member of PIE.
Another compelling reason for the appointment of an alternative person to head the inquiry, is that Butler-Sloss is herself, part of "the establishment" which the inquiry will seek to investigate and moreover, she has during her time in the House of Lords, been closely associated with many of the people who will inevitably come into the spotlight of the probe. There will always be the suggestion whether justified or not, that any decision, revelation recommendation or other findings of the inquiry, have been manipulated to place those under investigation to be shown in the best possible light to perpetuate and deepen the ongoing cover up.
It is curious that neither May or Cameron seem to have taken the family connection if nothing else into consideration when making the appointment. Their "complete confidence" in Lady Butler-Sloss as head of the inquiry is also odd as, quite clearly there is a potential if not actual conflict of interest in the appointment.
The way forward is abundantly clear. Butler-Sloss should immediately stand down as head of the inquiry or May and Cameron should remove her and appoint a new head, unconnected with family or taint of "establishment" bias.
The continued determination of government to support the appointment of Butler-Sloss, and her resolve not to stand down from the position, will inevitably raise its own questions as to motivation.