Sunday, 3 October 2021
Institutional and Cultural Mechanisms
How, exactly, is the French Republic defining paedophilia, since it has no age of consent, whereas the Catholic Church makes it a specific canonical offence to have sexual conduct with anyone under the age of 18 regardless of the local secular law? It is obvious who has the moral high ground there. Or in Britain, come to that. The age of consent here is lower than 18, and is in any case meaningless in practice due to the Gillick competence that ought to be called Thatcher competence.
Then again, perhaps it should always bear the name of the Prime Minister of the day? Thatcher competence, Major competence, Blair competence, Brown competence, Cameron competence, May competence, Johnson competence: pimps of children all. There has never been a Commons vote on Gillick competence. Let there be one, and smoke out the people who wanted there to continue to be no age of consent, as has been the case for all practical purposes since 1985.
Of course there have been many thousands of paedophiles active in the French Church since the 1950s. As in comparably populous Britain, there have been hundreds of thousands of paedophiles active in France in general since the 1950s. Look anywhere, and you will find them. It is a question of where one chooses to look. One month ago, we saw that same point illustrated on this side of the Channel.
There is child sexual abuse throughout society, so there is child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, in the Anglican churches, and in each of the 38 religious organisations that have lately been opened up to the same vilification. As much as anything else, that exposes the uselessness, at least in relation to its official role, of the safeguarding-industrial complex that has controlled most of those 40 bodies throughout the present century. Anyone would think that the true purpose of that complex were something else entirely.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse could have looked anywhere, and with the same results. It chose those 40 targets because the kind of people who end up on these things have a very particular ideological position that has been in government continuously since the Budget of December 1976, and which has been restored to its accustomed hegemony by the replacement of Jeremy Corbyn with its embodiment, Keir Starmer.
Or has it? The immediate and longer-term results of the 2019 General Election may yet beg to differ. Either way, the hegemon can do without 40 or more potential, and in many cases already a lot more than potential, centres of resistance. So it is using something that could be used against anything, most certainly including itself, and moving to take direct control of those 40 or more possible rivals.
Does it care about child sexual abuse? Quite the reverse. There is certainly no less than there has ever been, and quite possibly more. In hegemonic circles, sex with young teenagers, at least, is as endemic and as acceptable as cocaine use. Through the safeguarding-industrial complex, those circles have already controlled most of the Feared Forty for decades. Last month's report and its two predecessors have still managed to find child sexual abuse in all of them. That, though, is not what this is really about.
Sadly, but undeniably, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse could have looked anywhere and found what it has chosen to find in 40 bodies that had at least the potential to provide ideological and organisational alternatives to its own position. Indeed, it could no doubt have looked to itself, since on its own figures, at least one of its members must be a perpetrator of child sexual abuse. It is almost worth looking forward to that one in the next year or so.
Everyone is getting it in the neck, one way or another. But look at who are being hit hardest. Haredim, who are pejoratively labelled "ultra-Orthodox", and everything about whom is at once incomprehensible and repulsive to the metropolitan liberal elite. And Jehovah's Witnesses, who would certainly refuse to fight in that elite's beloved wars even if it were legally obligatory to do so. Hitler killed every Jehovah's Witness in Germany. Every last one. Just think about that.
The neoliberal and neoconservative safeguarding-industrial complex has controlled most of the Feared Forty for decades, and the IICSA's reports confirm that it is worse than useless at its nominal function. Anyone would think that what were really being safeguarded was sexual access to children, in accordance with the 1970s academic and professional formation of the safeguardians.
On that note, the scandalous allegation against me on 2nd March 2020 was recanted under oath at Durham Crown Court on 11th of that month, calling gravely into question my convictions the next day by exposing that key character witness as unreliable, a fact that was not mentioned in closing statements or in summation. Unless, as is widely assumed, the real reason for them is the content of this book, then the sanctions imposed upon me in my absence on 2nd March 2020 are void. I had not received a written apology by 30th September 2021, nor was any such thing to be published in full in The Northern Cross.
Financially, I would then have settled for the reimbursement of my victim surcharges. One would not wish to have to sue the Church. But while I am not yet in a position to act on it, I must now declare my intention in principle to do so. And if I were to be defeated at the next General Election, then I would seek to have that result overturned in the courts on grounds of undue spiritual influence by the Safeguarding Office of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, naming all relevant persons in the court papers. It has come to this.