The situation with Smith could not be more different. John Mann Mp has been leading a virtually lone campaign against the powerful individuals who abused their position. He claims that there is a dossier containing the name of 13 Conservatives, 5 Labour and 3 other MPs involved in the sex ring and that this is now in the possession of the Police. It seems that exposing such rings is not a very 'healthy' option. The Scottish Sunday Express details how an SNP activist met a rather sticky ending following attempts to expose such a ring in 1985. What is even more disturbing is that John Mann's claims are not new. Tory MP Geoffrey Dicken handed over a file in the 1980's to Leon Brittan that was conveniently 'lost'.
Given the power and influence of those involved and the seemingly dangerous nature of reporting, it would not be at all surprising if many victims are sitting on their hands, in fear of their lives. The only way any of this will change is when the police actually start arresting and naming those involved in these rings. The likes of Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and the rest of the dodgy DJ's and entertainers now giving her majesty pleasure were largely brought to justice when the victims were given the confidence that they might be taken seriously, there would be no cover up and they wouldn't come to harm.
Of course the Police need to verify evidence and make sure there is a case to answer. It does however seem that the bar was significantly lower for the likes of Jim Davidson and Cliff Richards, who faced investigations with what appears to be very flimsy evidence. On the BBC Today program John Mann said that the number of victims may be in the tens of thousands and "too big for the state to handle". John Mann said
"I'm getting vast numbers of people, including my constituents, coming forward making allegations. Many of those people came forward in the past and weren't listened to or weren't believed. And that's a key part of the problem. What do you do with people making allegations against people, and nothing was done in the past, when the people they're making allegations against in some cases are dead."This is not some minor little issue and it will not go away. The view of the general public and the victims seems to be that they have no confidence in this government and Theresa May's ability to take the issue seriously. It is alarming that in the current Parliament, it seems only John Mann MP has the balls to actually do anything at all for these victims. I'd suggest anyone who cares about our country and wants to see justice for victims to follow John Mann MP on Twitter -
It seems to me that the pattern we see in parliament is very similar to what happened in the Roman Catholic Church when accusations of clerical abuse first came to light. At first the Church swept the issue under the carpet and protected evil men who abused their position and more importantly vulnerable youngsters who should have expected better. Eventually the scandal nearly destroyed the Church and I doubt that anyone of this generation will ever fully trust the Catholic Church. Even today we haven't had the archives fully opened to public inspection and I don't think anyone believes that every paedophile priest the Church knows about has been brought to justice.
Ultimately what has happened is there has been a huge lack of faith built up in the Catholic Church. I suspect that this MP scandal may well follow the same pattern, with the public having their faith in our political class undermined even more than the expenses scandal did. There are two questions I have. Are the MP's on John Manns list the tip of the iceberg or is that the full extent of the scandal and when will we actually start seeing some of these people facing justice.
Those who are not involved but who are in favour of sweeping this under the carpet are simply doing what the doodgy cardinals did in the Catholic Church. Whilst it wouldn't have been pretty for anyone if they had done the decent thing and exposed the abusers, at least they'd have retained the faith of the wider church. If this isn't dealt with, then the authority of Parliament will go the same way.