“The Role of Government Edicts in False
Accusations of Child Abuse”.
and extracts may be cut through shortage of time.
Red italic items are reference materials
not intended to be read out.
Good morning and thank you for inviting me to speak. I first came
to this conference in 2002 to listen to Earl Howe and Charles Pragnell,
speaking on the issue of False Allegations of Child Abuse. Since
then Earl Howe, Shadow Health spokesperson in the House of Lords,
has done more than any other UK politician to exert appropriate
pressure in the right places. I am proud to remember that he told
this UCAFAA audience that he was first alerted to what he called
“the parallel world” of False Accusations by a woman
in North London. I knew from the detail that he meant me.
Charles Pragnell is now in Australia but sends his greetings to
the conference and wishes he could be here with us today. He was
involved with the unravelling of the Cleveland Child Abuse scandal,
and has told me that False Accusations of child sex abuse in Cleveland
had been going on for years, but were only publicly exposed when
the child abuse activists became over confident and had a go at
the middle classes. He draws parallels with the roles of Steve and
Sally Clark and my husband and me in the exposure of the MSBP scandal.
In the October 2001House of Lords debate
on False Accusation of Child Abuse, the Lib Dem Health spokesperson,
Lord Clement Jones, spoke of some people likening the accusations
of MSBP to a new Salem and to the contents of Arthur Millers Crucible.
As far as I know the first people who shared this idea with Lord
Clement Jones were my husband and me, in a meeting suggested by
MEP Baroness Sara Ludford who knew my husband. I will come back
to Miller’s Crucible later.
My original title for this address concerned the MSBP case reviews
but as the Local Authorities were left to review their own actions
and turkeys don’t vote for an early Christmas there is little
to report. This is partly because of failed Local Authority complaints
procedures which, as I will illustrate later
from personal experience, do not work where accusation of
MSBP is concerned.
The Government insists that Local Authority complaints procedures
are in place. They do not seem to understand that self review fails
to uncover detail of content. By considering process only these
complaints procedures miss the point and are used to hide all kinds
of errors and omissions. When families try to complain to members
of Parliament they are frequently dismissed because the Local Authorities
shelter safely behind complaints procedures, as proof of supposed
innocence. I believe that there are plans to revise complaints procedures
but I am not au fait with these.
One important reason for the failure of Local Authorities to find
cases for review is the selective information collected and selective
filing of documents, by social services departments involved in
child protection inquiries. In our case a head-teacher declared
particular hospital visits as “unauthorised absence”
despite NHS referral and funding. The social worker therefore declared
information from the relevant Professor of medicine as “inadmissible
Click here to read the whole speech.
© Jan Loxley Blount 05 11 04 London
This speech is also available to download
from the documents section. Click here
to goto the download