First the Banks were exposed as not to be trusted as they gambled our money away on the markets and gorged themselves on government handouts whilst the rest of us suffered and continue to do so.
Then we lost what little trust still existed in our politicians as the parliamentary expenses scandal (still unravelling) told us that in the main, (but not all) that they only really represented their own interests.
The media fell next as the ongoing phone hacking revelations shamed editors, closed titles and led to a expose by public enquiry as to the sordid and corrupt workings of our national press.
But we still had law and order surely? Not so, Hillsborough finally did for the Police as 23 years too late they finally admitted that snr police officers had instructed police officers to lie and alter their statements as to what really occurred on that tragic Saturday afternoon in April 1989.
Those of us who were in Parliament during the passage of the 2nd public enquiry (Lord Justice Stuart-Smith) were also shaken then and now at his inability in 1998 to find the fault lines in Lord Justice Taylor's initial report. A warning then if need that not all public enquiries naturally operate in the public interest.
But it is the news today that the Prime Minister has asked for an investigation into the way claims of child abuse in a Welsh children's home, decades ago were originally examined, which will tip the scales of the British Judiciary too far away from the truth for them seemingly to ever be balanced again.
The investigation, (have we now lost trust in enquiries as well?) follows almost daily revelations into the sordid and warped affairs of Jimmy Saville and threaten to be, without doubt the most damaging challenge that the wider British establishment has ever faced.
But it was only when my still good friend Tom Watson MP stood up in the House of Commons recently at PMQ's and asked the Prime Minister to comment on allegations of a 1980's Paedophile Ring stretching all the way back to 10 Downing Street, that people started to really sit up and take notice of a wider cover up of paedophile activity in this country, far wider that Saville and his bosses at the BBC
Tom, asked the Prime Minister to investigate allegations that a mystery senior Tory named by victims as part of that revelation is it is alleged to be amongst a group of 28 perpetrators that were never identified in public during or after the Lord Waterhouse enquiry which began in 1996 but did not report until the year 2000. Many people believe that powerful establishment figures at the time prevented the full extent of abuse and the names of senior public figures being made public.
The enquiry looked at allegations of hundreds of cases of child abuse in care homes in former county council areas of Clwyd and Gwynedd between 1974 and 1990. Sir Ronald Waterhouse QC, a retired High Court judge, was appointed to head the inquiry. The inquiry began in January 1997.
More than 80 people, many of whom were care staff or teachers, were named as child abusers in statements to the inquiry. The inquiry was stated to be "the biggest investigation ever held in Britain into allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children who passed through the care system".The tribunal sat for 203 days, heard evidence from more than 650 people, and concluded in 1998.
Its findings were finally published in February 2000, as Lost In Care.The report named and criticised almost 200 people, for either abusing children or failing to offer them sufficient protection. It made 72 recommendations for changes, constituting a massive overhaul of the way in which children in care are dealt with by local councils, social services and the police.
However, it found no evidence for the existence of a paedophile ring extending beyond the care system, as had been rumoured. Why?
On his blog http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/ Tom outlines the serious nature of these allegations when he writes:
"many more ordinary people have contacted me about suspicions they have had of a wider wrongdoing – in some cases so heinous it made me cry.
They have talked of psychopaths marking children with Stanley knifes to show “ownership”. They tell of parties where children were “passed around” the men. They speak of golf course car parks being the scenes for child abuse after an 18 hole round.
And they have named powerful people – some of them household names – who abused children with impunity.
Two former police officers have raised their concerns of cover-ups. Child protection specialists have raised their fears that the network of convicted paedophile Peter Righton, the nexus of the group, was wider than at first thought.
Others have identified a former cabinet minister who regularly abused young boys.
Some have raised mysterious early deaths, disappeared children, suspicious fires, intimidation and threats.
It’s bewildering."In a letter to the Prime Minister written today, Tom warns David Cameron that his announcement of an "investigation" does not go anywhere near far enough to get to the whole truth when he tells him
"My experience of uncovering massive establishment conspiracies leaves me in no doubt that what you have suggested does not go anything like far enough. Its limited scope may even slow things down, muddy waters, damage trails. What is needed is a much wider, but equally immediate, investigation."We can only hope that David Cameron is in a listening mood. I have seen a list of those from Tory high circles who it is alleged were involved in such abuse at the time and it is not a simple case of a single rotten apple!
There should be no historic sexual abuse of children which is off limits to this investigation. The police should be supported by a dedicated team of child protection specialists, many of whom have been raising their concerns for years. Your advisers will tell you to be wary of “opening the floodgates”. They are wrong. Their decorous caution is the friend of the paedophile. Narrowing the inquiry equals hiding the truth. That is the reality and it is not what you want.
A dedicated police unit is essential, investigating the organised abuse of children, wherever it happened – from the seediest backstreets even to Downing Street – without fear or favour of exposing the rich and powerful, or those who covered up for them.
And if it opens a floodgate of misery, then so be it. We will all feel dirtied and sickened – as we should. Victims have an absolute right to the whole truth."
Mr Messham, one of hundreds of children believed to have been abused, and has requested a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the allegations. So far the PM has only responded to Mr Messham by suggesting he give any new information to the North Wales Police, but Mr Messham tweeted that his claims had not been taken seriously, He wrote: “North Wales Police knew years before the Waterhouse inquiry and Downing Street tell us to go back to them.”
This reveals a another wider, deeper question still remaining, Steve Messham and others are saying that all the evidence they are now giving to the authorities was given to the police way back at the time, and to Watehouse enquiry, so why is it only now that an investigation is being called for? And if there was a cover up, just who was involved?
Simon Regan, (now deceased) the former editor of Scallywag Magazine, is also convinced that the cover up went all the way to the top, writing online in 2000 he said the following:
In the early nineties, in the now defunct Scallywag magazine, which I founded, we interviewed in some depth twelve former inmates at Bryn Estyn who had all been involved in the Wrexham paedophile ring, which the tribunal acknowledges existed. Most of these interviews were extremely harrowing and disturbing, but were gently and sensitively conducted over pub lunches where the victim could relax. We subsequently persuaded ten of them to make sworn affidavits which we proposed to use as back up to half a dozen paedophile stories we later published.The British State, its institutions and those who by their position within it are all responsible for both their actions, and/or omissions including those currently in office and at the time of these heinous crimes face an uncomfortable few weeks ahead.
Two of these young men, who had been 14-years-old at the time, swore they had been not only introduced to the paedophile ring operating in the Crest Hotel in Wrexham but had later been escorted on three or four occasions to an address in Pimlico where they were further abused.
We took them separately to Pimlico and asked them to point out the building where this had taken place. They were both positive in their identification. It turned out to be the private flat of a well known, and since highly discredited lobbyist who later went into obscurity in some disgrace because of his involvement with Mohammed al-Fayed and the 'cash for questions' scandal. At the time we ran a story entitled 'Boys for Questions' and named several prominent members of the then Thatcher government. These allegations went to the very top of the Tory party, yet there was a curious and almost ominous lack of writs.
The lobbyist was a notorious 'queen' who specialised in gay parties with a 'political mix' in the Pimlico area - most convenient to the Commons - and which included selected flats in Dolphin Square. The two young men were able to give us very graphic descriptions of just what went on, including acts of buggery, and alleged that they were only two of many from children's homes other than North Wales.
There was, to my certain knowledge, at least one resignation from the Conservative office in Smith Square once we had published our evidence and named names.
Subsequently, over a rent dispute which is still a matter of litigation, Dr. Julian Lewis, now Conservative MP for New Forest (East) but then deputy head of research at Conservative Central Office in Smith Square, managed to purchase the contents of our offices, which included all our files. It had been alleged that we owed rent, which we disputed, but under a court order the landlords were able to change the locks and seize our assets which included all our files, including those we had made on paedophiles. It was apparently quite legal, but it was most certainly a dirty trick.
All of a sudden very private information, some of it even privileged between ourselves and our lawyer during the John Major libel action, was being published in selected, pro-Conservative sections of the media.
Subsequently, during a court case initiated by Lewis, I was able in my defence to seek discovery of documents and asked to see the seized files. The paedophile papers were missing. This is a very great shame, because Sir Ronald Waterhouse certainly should have been aware of them.
I believe that the secrecy the Establishment wraps around itself easily equals that of the paedophiles. They really do look after each other and quite professionally cover their tracks.
The real trouble about exposing paedophiles is that former victims of child abuse make lousy witnesses. By the very nature of the abuse, when they are rudely shoved out into the wide world (one of the witnesses, Stephen Messham, for example, was released on his sixteenth birthday on Christmas day after two years of abuse, and had to sleep rough on the streets for four and a half months), they are often deeply psychologically disturbed.
Our society still in a state of shock from seeing the banks, our Members of Parliament, the media and the police and judiciary already weakened by past revelations, must now try to give reason to the way in which they have been governed and policed and judged. Unless clear and credible answers are forthcoming, the whole fabric of our society and the pillars it is built upon may begin to fall apart.
Paedophiles need exposing, catching and to be incarcerated, and if we uncover evidence that individuals whatever their political persuasion acting independently or collectively with others, covered up the actions of those child abusers and protected them from the law for political reasons thus allowing them to continue their abuse then their actions (those who cover up) are as heinous if not more so than the child abusers themselves.
What price do we attach to Justice, and what final cost do we apportion to the act of concealment?