Socialist Appeal - British section of the International Marxist Tendency

That the British ruling class has fiddled whilst Britain burns is no longer a metaphor, it is literally true. Now that the Pandora’s Box of paedophilic corruption at the top has been opened, an avalanche of vile revelations exposing the whole establishment spews forth each day. Daniel Morley examines the latest news from the scandals surrounding the establishment.

That the British ruling class has fiddled whilst Britain burns is no longer a metaphor, it is literally true. Now that the Pandora’s Box of paedophilic corruption at the top has been opened, an avalanche of vile revelations exposing the whole establishment spews forth each day.

The latest news stands out for the scale of the cover-up it reveals. It is quite clear that for the British establishment cover-ups are routine and essential for self-preservation. The fact that this is the case proves that it is in the nature of the ruling class to engage in corruption and unpalatable behaviour.

This attitude of mutual protection in their mutual decadence was expressed by Lord Whitelaw, Thatcher’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Secretary, who apparently asked ‘Why has this been allowed to come out?’ when a ‘Tories and prostitutes’ scandal broke in the 1980s. This was admitted recently by a ‘very worldly former Conservative MP’. In other words, it was generally understood that there were practices to suppress news of this behaviour, and that by implication, this behaviour (of seeing prostitutes) was commonly practiced by Tories.

Rotting from the head down

Clive Driscoll, a former senior Metropolitan police officer, is becoming a familiar face on British TV screens. This is a man who has ‘seen too much’. His investigation led to the conviction of two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers, after, by his own damning indictment of the police, decades of ‘disruption tactics’ to let these racist murderers go free.

Having exposed his former employer for protecting racist thugs, Driscoll has reported that “when he revealed - in an internal meeting - the names of suspects he wanted to investigate [for child abuse], which included politicians, he was taken off the case. He told the BBC his inquiry was ‘all too uncomfortable to a lot of people’.” It is now known that, more specifically, a team of police covertly filmed the knighted Liberal MP Cyril Smith abusing children in Lambeth, for which he was actually arrested. He was then released without charge, and the officers were forced to hand over all evidence, including the video footage, notes, etc. and told if they ever spoke of it again they would be breaking the Official Secrets Act.

When asked how such a thing as the arrest of an MP could remain covered up for decades, Driscoll explained that “detectives are fathers, husbands, sons, they have their own families. It's incredibly difficult. If you felt that by coming forward and just telling the truth that you might have your livelihood taken away from you or you, worse still, may be taken to prison, then that's very difficult.” In an earlier interview, Driscoll said that this fear of victimisation for speaking out was widespread and exploited for cover-ups, “Whenever people spoke to you and shared their fears and their story about what they had seen, it was almost on the proviso that they wouldn't make a statement and that they would be scared if you realised who those people were that were talking for fear of reprisals to both themselves [sic] and their families."

It is clear that, as Labour MP Simon Danczuk has argued, Cyril Smith was immediately set free because a host of powerful people had participated with Smith in decades of abuse, and they feared his prosecution could lead to the whole network’s downfall. Clearly their ears and eyes were highly attuned to pick up any danger to their conspiracy and snuff it out immediately.

Scotland Yard itself now admits that a whole network of “politicians and establishment figures abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys.” Police have now raided the homes of former MP Harvey Proctor and former Home Secretary Leon Brittan for child abuse. The latter, who died only in January, stands accused of leading the entire cover up. According to one police officer he was actually photographed by police as he used ‘rent-boys’ in 1986 - that investigation was also rapidly shut down. Vishambar Mehrotra, whose son may have been one of those abducted and then killed by this network, took evidence of this to the police but was refused an investigation as it implicated ‘judges and politicians’.

So extensive is this network of paedophiles and mutual protection in the establishment, that the inquiry that has now been ordered into the scandal has moved onto its third judge after the first two were found to have close links to those implicated! They have had to go so far as New Zealand to find an experienced judge not discredited through connections to Britain’s paedophilic establishment!

Contempt for the working class

In any given week, one would normally think the exposure of one extensive cover-up to be fairly unlikely; and yet this week we have the unearthing of two! The public has known for some years now that the real cause of the 96 deaths in the Hillsborough disaster was not the drunken hooliganism of Liverpool fans, as disgustingly portrayed by the police and the Sun, but the ineptitude or conscious neglect of the South Yorkshire police force - the same police force that terrorised miners in the Battle of Orgreave in the Miners’ Strike. But the ongoing inquiry - taking place decades too late - has forced the police force into embarrassing admissions proving a cover-up took place.

David Duckenfield, who was in charge at the stadium on the day of the disaster, has admitted that it was his own foolish decisions that led to fatal overcrowding in the stadium. Under questioning he also revealed the police’s contempt for the working class that underlay such foolish decisions. For instance, even after realising the situation was a ‘medical emergency’ and not simple fan ‘disorder’, he called for reinforcements of police dogs and no ambulances as he watched fans dying. Duckenfield ‘has no idea’ why he did this. There can be no other explanation than contempt for working class football fans, who in his eyes were little more than thugs to be barked at and bitten even whilst being crushed to death.

But the questioning also exposed the cover-up that has lasted decades. The police’s line after the disaster was always that it was the Liverpool fans’ fault - a line infamously taken up and played with by The Sun. Paul Middup, a Police Federation joint branch secretary at the time, was put up to making vile slanders on Liverpool fans - such as that they were drunk, ticketless, took coins from dying fans and urinated on police who were ‘heroically’ resuscitating victims - because his bosses could not be seen making such allegations publicly, although they backed him up. Middup now admits he wasn’t even at the game but was watching snooker at home.

There is a mass campaign in Liverpool to boycott The Sun for making the slanders which helped to deflect blame from where it really lay. Now that we know the police conspired to fabricate these falsehoods, the working class of Liverpool and elsewhere should boycott the police force and establishment as a whole, which is clearly not only no better morally than the rest of us, but is engaged in systematic cover-ups, exploitation, debauchery and violence on a staggering scale.

Capitalism: legalised corruption

The British establishment is as corrupt and degenerate as any other, as George Monbiot has recently argued. He points out that, to top all this off, “The City of London, operating with the help of British overseas territories and crown dependencies, is the world’s leading tax haven, controlling 24% of all offshore financial services.”

Whereas our media patronises the Chinese, for example, with tales of widespread illegal bribing of officials and politicians, in Britain we have instead legalised and very traditional corruption - the buying and selling of politicians, something at which the Conservative Party is particularly adept. The unwelcome publicity around its notorious ‘black and white ball’ money raiser was extremely revealing. This was a party that welcomed oligarchs and billionaires from all over the world to buy favours from our government so they can fund their election campaigns and lifestyles.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the Tory MP, was very recently disgraced for offering his services to apparent Chinese businessmen in a very free and easy fashion, subsequently justifying himself on the grounds that he cannot be expected to live on a mere £67,000 salary.

Only yesterday, a sting on the Conservative Party recorded Hugo Swire, foreign office minister, joking that those on benefits can afford to make £55,000 donations, whilst at the same fundraiser Russian oligarch Alexander Termerko boasted he could provoke a change of Prime Minister since “for a change of prime minister you need 20 [MPs], I have 37. Much more than half.” So one oligarch feels he ‘owns’ 37 MPs, enough to select the Prime Minister of an entire country!

Rotten to the core

The relentless revelation of establishment scandals is now feeding off itself, as each outing encourages others to come forward and diminishes the press’ incentive to hold back - especially after they themselves feel aggrieved at the exposure of their own phone-hacking scandal. One wonders what other scandals are currently suppressed? What network of duplicitous MPs, press barons, bankers and royals are protecting each other’s secrets?

We cannot be fooled into thinking that these inquiries and press reports will weed out the corruption, which is too endemic to the ruling class. Mostly these inquiries happen decades after the fact when the crimes can no longer be denied, and their perpetrators are long dead. And where is the campaigning outrage against these scandals from our media and political parties? In the past, they actively encouraged not only outrage but marches and movements against individual, non-establishment paedophiles. Now they report on systematic cover ups by leading politicians, on entire networks of decades long abuse protected by the state, on our very own royalty accused of using under-age prostitutes. They report it, once they have to, but make no bones about these most appalling crimes which reveal that our society is run by liars and abusers of the worst kind.

What these scandals really tell us is that capitalist society as a whole is unjust, violently oppressive and based on lies and illusions. It is high time we rise up and overthrow the lot and avenge those countless victims of ruling class oppression.


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