This is a well-meaning face. It belongs to Colette Yapp-Davis. She is, I am sure, a well meaning person attached to the Goddard Inquiry. I am equally sure her previous career as a Renewables Obligation Officer at Ofgem will have suitably qualified her to deal with some of the most sensitive matters currently occurring in our well meaning institutions.
The Goddard Inquiry is such a well meaning institution. Theresa May’s attempt to put right the many ‘wrongs’ of the past. More importantly, to attempt to find out how and why we have so many middle aged people claiming that they were abused as children and that the institutions charged with their well being had let them down.
As young children, they say, they were sexaully overpowered by adults, adults we shall collectively call ‘Fred’. For to an eight or nine year old, there is really no difference in the adult power wielded by ‘Fred the Butcher’ and ‘The Rt. Honorable Sir Fred’, the decorated politician – though arguably, ‘Sir Fred’ is likely to have his picture in the papers more often and to be both recognisable, traceable, and importantly to some, sue-able, in later life.
Without doubt all the ‘victims’, or ‘survivors’ if they prefer, involved in the Goddard Inquiry are deeply damaged and manipulative individuals. In some cases, this is indisputably the result of sexual abuse, though whether by ‘Fred the Butcher’ or ‘Sir Fred’ is becoming more difficult to discern by the day. Some are merely deeply damaged and manipulative through other causes in their life; they have made the journey to the promised land of ‘survivorhood’ and vindication of their psychological problems through conspiriland, via all manner of disturbing internet pages that speak to them of illuminati, lizards, and baby eating satanists.
They speak to each other on Twitter, and other social media; a few with their real names, most hiding behind aliases. Some are aggressive, bullying and manipulative; others shy, easily hurt – and subsequently further damaged by their on-line encounters. Some have background stories that so closely resemble that of others who have published ‘their story’ earlier, that it is hard to believe they haven’t borrowed events, times and places. Maybe they were abused by ‘Fred the Butcher’ and have decided that abuse by ‘Sir Fred’ might be a more beneficial route to salvation – maybe they were never abused at all, and are comforted by being courted as a ‘survivor’.
It is hard to imagine a more vulnerable ‘group’. Group? They have nothing geographically, biographically, even psychologically, in common with each other beyond their claim to have been sexually abused. Anyone who has witnessed their encounters on Twitter will be aware of how deeply damaging to themselves, their cause, and their mental health, that the opportunity afforded to them by social media ‘to meet’ has been.
Enter Colette. With the well meaning intention that ‘victims and survivors’ should have the opportunity to ‘engage’ with the inquiry. A noble thought. They should be engaged with the Inquiry.
Unfortunately Colette seems to be under the impression that these people are mere stakeholders, like renewable energy suppliers – you get them all together, lay out the chairs, lay on a few sandwiches, a couple of speeches and ‘Bob’s your uncle’. Stakeholder engagement.
She has sent them all a letter [Survivorforum], offering to pay their train fare from all parts of the British Isles, and join her in a merry get together in London on the 5th August.
Participants should be victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.
Participants in the Forum will also be asked to abide by a Code of Conduct on the day.
A ‘code of conduct’ may work very well with the shiny suited and gell haired officers of ‘renewable obligations’ – they can generally be trusted not to pull each others pigtails, or plaster the internet with snatched images of other participants, nor issue threats to their hated adversaries, nor ‘borrow’ details of whatever they have heard in that room, nor score points by revealing who was present and who wasn’t…nor have a group of banner waving ‘supporters’ waiting outside the building.
But the so called ‘survivors’ of ‘VIP’ abuse and ‘Satanic’ abuse? All together in real time with a pile of prawn sandwiches?
What could possibly go wrong?