Child abuse is obviously a matter of grave importance but I do think the prosecutions of these doddering old guys have got out of hand. Child abuse has gone on for ever, so why now has society suddenly become so concerned about it? Why do grown men want to have sex with children? It is because in this area they are children themselves (hardly surprising that Rolf Harris was so good at communicating with them). We do not expect children to have the same control over their instinctive urges as adults are supposed to have, which explains why paedophilia is among the most compulsive of human conditions. This has been widely misunderstood in the widespread vilification of these poor men. In some cases too, although of course this is not the normal, in most cases the victims are in no way to blame and their lives have been adversely and severely affected by these appalling experiences, nevertheless in some cases it is the supposed abused child who is the responsible person and the wretched and almost helpless abuser who is the real victim. How often has a fly fourteen year old girl bedded a teacher or a celebrity and gone round swanking about it, and then forty years later, stumbling on a marvellous double argosy, finds she can do another swank under cover of claiming her life has been ruined and bank a shedload of cash as well? Why are people so naïve?
Could it be that awful as child sex abuse is it pales into insignificance beside the child abuse we are all involved in? Could we not really and absolutely ban excess sugar and salt in junk food if we wanted to? Of course we could. How many people in the UK were sexually abused as children? Several thousands perhaps? Hundreds of thousands will both physically and psychologically have uncomfortably obese lives (for obesity too is a compulsive condition) and die early from diabetes. Could we really educate every child in the UK really well if we were prepared to pay for it? Of course we could. Could it be that present day society does not treat children at all well and we project our guilt outwards? By all means put the old dodderers in prison for messages need to be sent. But don’t make so much fuss about it, ban salt and sugar totally in junk food and pay more, far more, in your taxes to improve education (by which I don’t mean getting to the top of league tables but humanly enriching future lives). Are we prepared to do that? Of course we aren’t.