Harriet Harman Double Standards On Paedophilia
This story was in yesterday’s Telegraph and also on Conservative Home, at the BBC there is deathly silence.
It’s emerged that a very senior Shadow Cabinet member once said that sexually explicit photographs or films of children should be legalised – unless there was evidence that the child had been harmed.
And at the time (the late 1970s), the spokesman was a senior figure in a libertarian group that wanted the age of consent lowered to 14, and incest decriminalised.
Furthermore, paedophile organisations were affiliated to the group – which said that “childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage”.
The story did indeed break yesterday. (The Daily Telegraph had it.) But –
* The politician in question wasn’t a Shadow Cabinet Minister. It was no less senior a Cabinet Minister than Harriet Harman, Leader of the Commons and prospective Labour leadership candidate.
* The organisation wasn’t a libertarian group. It was that establishment body, the National Council for Civil Liberties.
* And although Tim Loughton, our Shadow Children’s Minister, judged our reaction to the story well, there was – guess what? – little BBC reaction, no sign of a right-wing media ring-round, no reaction from the conservative commentariat: no sense of a story gaining momentum. I can’t find anything significant on it in today’s media.
My point isn’t that Harriet Harman wants to ease the legal restraints on paedophile activity. (It should go without saying that she doesn’t.) Nor is it that her views during the late 1970s are worth the kind of media rampage that I sketch out above It’s simply this.
Another ghost come back to haunt Labour like Gordon Brown’s go go dancing as a job for women.