Theresa May under pressure to give investigation greater powers.
|Home Secretary: Theresa May|
As the much delayed inquiry into child sex abuse descends even further into the world of pantomime, another potential chair for this investigation bows to pressure and stands down from the post. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to find a suitable candidate to fill the role of chair for this essential inquiry, who has not had some contact or relationship with, or perhaps is related to, some “establishment” figure implicated in or otherwise involved in some form or other, at any level, with the allegations of abuse and the alleged cover up of these crimes.
The perception prevails, rightly or wrongly, that “the establishment” cannot be trusted to investigate themselves and the “old school tie” network, even in the first half of the 20th Century, is as rife now as it has ever been and will go to any lengths to protect its members from scrutiny, investigation or even impeachment. We have seen in other places, where prevarication, delays and glaring obstruction have been employed to prevent exposure of individuals and institutions involved in historic child abuse and the conspiracy to cover up the facts which might lead to prosecutions. It has now been some months since the Home secretary announced the creation of this enquiry, but we are no further forward than when the House of Commons was first given Theresa May's statement.
Clearly, a chair must be appointed who will have the trust of the alleged victims and their supporting organisations, but such a person will not be found from within the ranks of “the establishment”. There is a growing proposition that such a person should be brought in from outside, perhaps from Europe to chair this inquiry, where the Commons Select Committee could establish beyond any doubt the credibility and impartiality of the appointee. In this way, the possibility of further errors of judgement by Theresa May, would be avoided.
What is unquestionably essential, is that the inquiry must be commenced without more delay and must be broadened to carry statutory powers, including compelling witnesses and documents to be disclosed. Any continuing delay would be unacceptable to the public and the victims and would only discredit the legitimacy of the inquiry even further.