Gail's Gab: why we need a real investigation into child abuse claims

How scary is all the child abuse and cover up scandals?

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It almost beggars belief to learn that some of the well known entertainers and celebrities I grew up watching and listening to were so downright cruel and evil. I honestly never liked Jimmy Savile so what has emerged about him has shocked me in terms of the scale of abuse but not the fact he is an abuser. To think how close he was to Mrs Thatcher and other very powerful politicians is frightening because surely they either knew what was going on or had at least heard all the rumours and accusations which were systematically ignored. He was so well connected among the British elite. He was made a 'sir' remember.

The Rolf Harris situation is frankly more surprising. I didn't see that one at all. Yet some of his own admissions have been truly shocking and disgusting. I can't see his 5 years 9 months sentence sticking. It will surely be increased after it is reviewed. Following on from Stuart Hall, Max Clifford and others it exposes an abuse of power by men who thought they were untouchable and above the law. Now we have well informed sources suggesting there was a cover up of child sex abuse at the very top of the political establishment who at best refused to sanction proper investigations into the likes of Liberal MP Cyril Smith and others while at the worst they had knowledge of the abuse which was taking place but turned a blind eye and deliberately covered it up.

What is required is not a toothless inquiry involving the establishment elite and politicians investigating the establishment elite and politicians. There needs to be a real and independent inquiry with powers to summon witnesses under oath and have access to buried Cabinet papers and reports and special branch and police reports. Remember the most effective and shameful cover-ups don't just involve the politicians, the police and/or the media. They involve them all. Innocent children have been subjected to systematic abuse for many years by men in powerful legal and political positions of power. The perpetrators have to be exposed and charged for their crimes but those who have covered up these crimes for years also have to be exposed and compelled to stand trial for their criminal negligence.

Too much sport on the box

I know I may be in a minority here but the amount of sport on the telly just now is driving me mad. From the football World Cup to tennis at Wimbeldon. The Grand Prix racing to the Tour de France cycling. And now the Commonwealth Games are only a couple of weeks away. The TV companies are letting me down. Sure the sport Billys and Brendas may be happy but I want Downtown Abbey, Inspector Morse, Happy Valley, Mr Selfridge not over paid footballers who look as though they slap on more make-up than me dominating my TV screen. So get the finger out BBC and ITV. Give me less sport and more well made drama shows with decent acting and storylines. That's not too much to ask.

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