Response to the Exaro/Sunday People allegations

Exaro and the Sunday People have published a story regarding allegations of child murder. Here’s my response:

The allegations of cruelty, torture and murder are truly shocking and go far beyond the case I raised with the Prime Minister two years ago. The public will be deeply concerned which is why it is vital the police quickly establish the facts. It’s such a disturbing allegation that I have no doubt the resources will be found to conduct a thorough investigation.

If true, this is a vital piece of the jigsaw in the pursuit of organised child abuse.

We are at the point where the government should consider a national police inquiry made up of specialists from around the country. It is unfair to ask the police in London alone to investigate alleged crimes that took place in many regions of the UK. I am writing to the PM to make this request.

Definition of Passion

1. A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.
2.
a. Ardent love.
b. Strong sexual desire; lust.
c. The object of such love or desire.
3.
a. Boundless enthusiasm: His skills as a player don’t quite match his passion for the game.
b. The object of such enthusiasm: Soccer is her passion.
4. An abandoned display of emotion, especially of anger: He’s been known to fly into a passion without warning.
5. Passion
a. The sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion, as related in the New Testament.
b. A narrative, musical setting, or pictorial representation of Jesus’s sufferings.
6. Archaic Martyrdom.
7. Archaic Passivity

The child abuse inquiry

The Home Secretary appointed Fiona Woolf to chair the child abuse inquiry on Friday. Since then, a number of people have asked for my views on the matter, some of them quite high profile survivors.

I’d never heard of Fiona Woolf until I saw the announcement but I know her type – successful, rich and married to a big Tory.

A number of survivors are concerned she’s too close to the establishment and seems to have some kind of social or informal links to Leon Brittan, the former Home Secretary who was recently interviewed under caution by the police.

Believe me, I understand the concerns of survivors but I’m supporting the appointment all the same.

The way I look at the situation is this:

A year ago, there was no chance of an inquiry.

Theresa May has done the right thing despite considerable internal pressure not to act. She has also listened to concerns of many survivors and MPs by assembling a panel of people who do not share the background of Fiona Woolf.

I’m desperate to see the inquiry get moving because I’m now convinced that members of organised criminal networks have evaded justice – and that some very powerful people need to be exposed.

As soon as the inquiry starts to take a look at documents as well as testimonies of survivors and former police officers,I believe the weight of evidence will be so great that even more will have to be done.

This might take the form of a bigger police inquiry team, made up of investigators from around the country but managed nationally. Then we really might see some powerful people brought to justice.

To oppose Fiona Woolf will have the effect of further delaying the evidence gathering, leaving survivors in limbo for longer and perpetrators evading scrutiny.

From what I’ve seen so far, we risk losing more with a delay than we do with a chair who has not yet won the confidence of a number of survivors. It’s for her to build trust with them through her leadership of the inquiry team.

I know enough about the panel members and their expert advisers to be certain that they will not tolerate an establishment whitewash. If more revelations come out about Fiona Woolf then I’m sure they will make their opinions known to Theresa May.

They should be allowed to examine the institutional failings of the past in order to understand how vulnerable children were abused by powerful people who were not held to account.

So, I’m giving Theresa May the benefit of the doubt.

It’s time for this inquiry to get moving. The team leading it should be judged on the tenacity of their research and the strength of their investigations.

I hope you can give them your support in what will be a very distressing inquiry.

Response to a Freedom of Information Request from East of England Ambulance Service

When I get responses like the ones below it always hardens my resolve to get to the facts. Though outrageously arrogant, and lacking in any transparency or semblance of accountability, the response below has hardened my view that there is something wrong with the culture of this particular part of the NHS.

You are entitled to see the deliberations of the remuneration committee, and an organisation that values public scrutiny would respond to the request to see the emails. I will appeal, of course.

Dear Mr Watson

Further to your email dated 21st July 2014, please find the Trust’s response below.

The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) is invoiced by the West Midlands Ambulance Service for £16,598 per month.

Regarding your request for the minutes and correspondence concerning this decision, unfortunately the Trust is unable to provide you with this information. The minutes of the Remuneration Committee are confidential and cannot be released. While the correspondence is held in individuals’ email accounts, many of those including the Chair, HR Director and Trust Secretary have since left the Trust and their accounts closed. As a result the Trust has calculated that this would take longer than eighteen hours to extract and collate the information you require and therefore would exceed the appropriate limit as defined by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 and as such we are unable to answer this part of your request.

Any details discussed in the Board minutes will be available on the EEAST website, and can be found here:

http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/Board%20papers/board-papers.htm