It is deeply concerning that this government has appointed the NSPCC to run one of its enquiries into the extent and cover up of child abuse in British institutions.
Those of us who were in the care system and suffered the abusers have for decades seen our allegations face a brick wall of silence from such charities and organised suppression by lawyers acting on their behalf. In my childhood memoir, The Golly in the Cupboard , I chronicled some of the terrible abuse of young children that took place at our Barnardos home in Southport, Lancashire. I also related attempts of Barnardos to silence us children, to cover up the issue and their failure to pursue prosecution of the perpetrators following the intervention of the police.
Barnardos and many in NSPCC and other charities welcomed the book. However these charities, such as NSPCC, Barnardos, the Children’s Society and the Salvation Army, which previously cared for thousands of young people in children’s homes and refuges, remain quiet on the issue of not only their failure to act regarding abuse of children in their care, they have also yet to disclose who amongst their management were responsible for the cover ups.
Barnardo’s, which the courts demonstrated failed to disclose on horrendous abuse of children in its care in Northern Ireland has been given a key role in Parliamentary investigations and now, yet another potentially compromised charity, NSPCC, is put in charge of a historic child abuse investigation.
Justice demands that these charities that faced allegations of abuse should be forced to come forward and submit to police investigations into how those allegations were covered up and by whom. In response to the Savile outcry, David Cameron tried to smear the public outrage as a “witchunt against gays” Now this appointment of the NSPCC smells of being one more step of damage limitation i.e. a cover up to prevent the ”whole truth and nothing but the truth” from coming out.
That the government is struggling to find any institution responsible for children, government or law enforcement that is not tainted with cover ups of child abuse, is exactly the reason why a full and open independent public enquiry should be established immediately to root out the abusers and excusers that were and remain a menace to our children.
Former Barnardo Boy
Founder of The Care Leavers Association (2000)