Monday, 9 October 2017

Nonce Sense

Again I say that it is logically impossible to be a sexual assailant below the age of consent.

Meanwhile, it is all coming out about Margaret Thatcher's friends. She knew about Cyril Smith when she arranged his knighthood. Jimmy Savile's knighthood was rejected four time by the relevant committee, until she absolutely insisted upon it for the man with whom she spent every New Year's Eve, and on whose programmes she was so obsessed with appearing that her staff had to ration those appearances. Her closest lieutenant was Peter Morrison. Unlike the Prince of Wales, she would have jhad sight of every file on Laurens van der Post.

What was so important about Smith, a highly eccentric and largely absentee MP for what was then a tiny minority party? He was a Thatcherite avant la lettre, who had left the Labour Party when he had started to see cars outside council houses. Thatcher's father was also a Liberal until all of that fell apart between the Wars, and he was never a member of the Conservative Party to his dying day. He, she and Smith were politically indistinguishable.

That the Radical Right put out pamphlets demanding the legalisation of paedophile activity was mentioned in Our Friends in the North, which was broadcast in 1996. Our Friends in the North is so integral to subsequent popular culture that one of its four stars is now James Bond, another was the first Doctor of this century's revival of Doctor Who, and neither of the others is exactly obscure.

That Thatcherite MPs were likely to commit sexual violence against boys with the full knowledge of the party hierarchy formed quite a major subplot in To Play the King, the middle series of the original House of Cards trilogy. To Play the King was broadcast as long ago as 1993. No politician or commentator of the generation that is now in or approaching its pomp could possibly have seen anything less than every minute of that trilogy.

Moreover, anyone who came to political maturity in what were then the newly-former mining areas will have been made fully aware that the miners in the dock, all the way back in 1984 and 1985, routinely made reference to the proclivities of the Home Secretary of the day, Leon Brittan. Those proclivities were common knowledge from Fife and the Lothians, to County Durham and the southern part of Northumberland, to South Yorkshire, to South Wales, among other places. Nothing was carried in the papers or included in the court reports, but the pit villages never needed Twitter in order to circumvent that kind of censorship.

A museum to Margaret Thatcher would have been the stuff of very low satire even only a very short time ago. But if such an institution is indeed to be set up, then one trusts that it will feature statues of Sir Leon Brittan (comments about whom are no longer being deleted by well-connected websites that used to do so even after his death), Sir Jimmy Savile, Sir Cyril Smith, Sir Peter Morrison, Sir Laurens van der Post, and, towering over all of them, Alderman Alfred Roberts. For the man to whom she professed to owe everything, although there was little closeness between them during her adult lifetime, was notorious locally as a toucher up of young girls. In this day and age, he would have been arrested.

Despite attacking Thatcher on many other fronts, despite including the New Right's support for sex with children, and despite detailing what had always been the public record of the links between New Labour grandees and the Paedophile Information Exchange, I missed out most of this from Confessions of an Old Labour High Tory. I did so primarily because Thatcher and Brittan were still alive when that book came out. I regret that omission now.

The nearest approximation to Thatcher in this day and age is Hillary Clinton, who has built her entire career on supporting, and being supported by, one sexual predator, and who remains deafeningly silent about another, her friend and campaign contributor, Harvey Weinstein.

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