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06 November 2004 - Jan Loxley Blount to UCAFAA


“The Role of Government Edicts in False Accusations of Child Abuse”.

Blue paragraphs 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 evidence”.

   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 page.

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