Writing as someone who was a fairly attractive boy in the 1970’s, the recent Labour/paedophilia revelations are of some interest.
Strictly speaking, they’re mostly not revelations at all, not just because Damian Thompson in the Telegraph went on about them in 2012, but as far back as the 70’s themselves, when I first started reading Private Eye, I remember the whole Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) getting headlines with the usual semi-amusing speech balloon on the cover photo of the Eye coming from the mouth of Sir Peter Hayman, top civil servant, and top paedophile.
There were lots of other similar scandals at that time and subsequently, the point being that despite what some apologists are saying, there was NOT a tolerance of this sort of thing back then, definitely not. And for the record, as a 10 year old, The Knife would not have been able to have an intelligent discussion on consent for sex, or indeed, incest. Both topics are relevant as they were both part of the specific proposal put forward by Patricia Hewitt at the NCCL.
Of course these clowns, Harriet Harman, her ‘all female shortlist‘ husband Jack Dromey, and Hewitt herself were not MP’s back then, they were just the usual ragbag of left lawyers and trade unionist types who, frankly, didn’t seem to give a shit about people, as opposed to their precious wacky ideologies. The only difference now is that they have incredibly, between them, held the following positions:
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Health Secretary, Minister for Women and Equality (Hewitt), Secretary of State for Social Security, Minister for Women, Leader of the Labour Party (briefly), Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Harman), and Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government (Dromey).
My reason for writing this is not for the admittedly pleasurable task of kicking these three morons, but because of the creeping apologists who still claim it was in some way ‘different’ back then. It wasn’t.
Here is Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian this week:
It’s a reminder too that what can seem enlightened and progressive in one era can look very different years later.
then he goes and spoils it all….
What neither Hewitt nor Harman can quite say is that the Mail’s attack depends on an unspoken assumption that the NCCL crowd were uniquely indulgent of PIE and paedophilia – that, while everyone else back then shared the revulsion we feel today towards child abusers, these crackpot lefty libertarians were inexplicably permissive. But that assumption is wrong.
The clue is in the name. The activists of the PIE did not hide who they were: they put the word “paedophile” on the tin. They had named spokesmen and a letterhead (featuring a line-drawing of two bare-limbed children on a rock). The existence of such an unashamed group is unimaginable now. “Paedophile” is the worst possible insult, languishing in the moral hierarchy somewhere between “racist” and “murderer”, if not, in fact, below both of them.
Yet it was clearly not that way 40 years ago. The PIE men felt they could hold their heads up, not just among the libertarians of the NCCL but in British society in general.
They were the daydreams of a Sixties intellectual elite which saw bourgeois ethics as limiting and imagined that society could be remade, and made better, by the total liberation of fleshly desires.
…but the same airheads are now seeking political office, and achieving it, and they still have a problem with “bourgeois ethics”. Then and now they have had a pretty bizarre idea of what ‘ordinary people’ think on these various sexual topics.
It’s nice of one middle class lefty (Freedland) to stick up for his ghastly, stupid mates, but when he claims that:
It’s hard for us to credit it, but it seems paedophilia did not carry quite the radioactive stigma it does today
…this is one fresh-faced 70’s boy who can tell you that such a comment is, frankly, bollocks.