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When Labour Loved Liberty (and before they changed their minds)

by Eric Tazelaar

I have often wondered, beginning some thirty or more years ago, what long-term effects anti-pedophile hysteria, then just starting to gather real steam, would have upon children as well as their eventual adult selves.

The results now appear unequivocal and much worse than my worst imaginings so long ago.

“Thou shalt not suffer a paedophile to live!” seems not too strong a sentiment to represent prevailing societal opinion.

As is unavoidable – if one lives long enough – one is increasingly struck by the youthfulness of those high-minded idealists who now predominate among our journalistic detractors, most of whom were not yet born when Britain’s future Labour leaders rubbed elbows with Tom O’Carroll and PIE under the NCCL umbrella.

Many have decided that the decade of the 1970s was not only weird but had to have been almost supernaturally so, like the “weird” witches in Macbeth.

For one columnist, Tim Stanley, writing recently for The Daily Telegraph, the 1970s were not only “weird” but positively infested with “evil” villains actively propagating their “perversion” amongst the credulous and unsuspecting young.

“Evil men once exploited the sexual revolution and the Left’s naivety to advance their agenda and invade the mainstream.”

It couldn’t get much more black-and-white than that, now could it?

To Stanley, Allen Ginsberg, a man whom I knew well and whose amorous attentions, when I was eighteen years old, I politely rebuffed, is said to have been one of those “evil” infectious agents.

I was thunderstruck when I read that. Evil? Allen Ginsberg? Allen was possibly the least evil person I ever knew, unlike Andrea Dworkin whose unconcealed hatred for all things male and an unwavering conviction in the innate superiority of women made her, to my mind, a manifestly dangerous influence upon impressionable minds.

Stanley quotes her as having said of Ginsberg: “exceptionally aggressive about… his constant pursuit of under-age boys’’.

To that I say “Bullshit!” Although I was not, at eighteen, “underage” my rejection of his erotic interest in me was immediately accepted and we went on to become friends. Furthermore, I saw him interact many times with actual “underage” boys, none of whom he treated with anything but the greatest of gentleness and respect.

I will add that, of those friendships with boys with which I was familiar, most of whom were children of staff or students at the Buddhist school where he taught, none appeared unwelcome and neither the boys nor their parents showed any evidence of feeling threatened by him. Indeed, he was greatly respected and trusted throughout that community.

Allen behaved exactly as I would wish all people would behave: with the highest regard for the rights and dignity of the individual. One should aspire to be precisely that kind of person.

Clearly, Tim Stanley had never met Allen Ginsberg or Tom O’Carroll. Or Andrea Dworkin, for that matter.

No, Tim Stanley simply possesses the unshakable conviction that every lie, every distortion, every libel uttered about Ginsberg, O’Carroll, PIE or NAMBLA and, for that matter, all paedophiles, rings with an unassailable truth, having been levelled by those with intentions wholly good and pure. To Stanley’s mind, paedophiles and their cause are beyond all redemption and to be utterly destroyed, a process which I see to be well underway.

For Tim Stanley, facing down such irredeemable evil, there is no other side to the story and fact-checking in the interest of those proclaimed as evil simply isn’t required or even seriously considered.

But the state in which child lovers exist today is not the worst of it. An even starker reality which confronts us all is the sad and diminished state in which children and adolescents now find themselves, essentially held captive in what amounts to walled gardens where they are unable to form any contact with others not explicitly authorized or to be exposed to any idea deemed “inappropriate” by any but the most puritanical governess.

They benefit only from the society of other kids within one or two years of age or their families (but often minus Dad) or those adults specifically designated and vetted by the state.

All potentially contaminating ideas and people are carefully filtered-out to prevent their inadvertently contaminating today’s kids who, in their strict isolation, spend less time outdoors in unstructured and unscheduled freedom than ever before.

And, it would seem, when eventually they do grow up, they are often angrier than previous generations of young adults, harbouring resentments and suspicions which might be seen as unavoidable given their isolated and artificial childhoods in which kidnapping and molestation were identified as a continuous peril.

So it should not be surprising that many now also see paedophiles as an underlying source of their own social impoverishment as well as their greatest fear while growing up.

Bogeymen made their childhoods both frightening and constraining and they are, understandably, deeply resentful, even if they are misguided.

So this is where we are now:

• where rebels of genuine courage, many long-dead, are utterly vilified for having spoken that which was so obviously true, while hateful, emotionally unstable, misandrists are lionized for their viciousness and sanctimonious cruelty;
• where children, who have been urged daily – incessantly – not to talk to strangers, grow into adults who resist talking to, or trusting, strangers.

As shocking a reality as it is it should probably not come as a great surprise. The years have spoken and the answer to a question I asked, so many years ago, turns out to be much worse than I then imagined.




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