Taking Liberties: Civil Liberties and Sexual Abuse

The Daily Mail ignores in its purported exposure — shaming — of Harriet Harman and the National Council for Civil Liberties over the organisation’s tolerance of, and confusion about,  the Paedophile Information Exchange in the 1970s:

Liberals and civil libertarians were routinely muddled or utterly wrong about personal power and oppression — often unable to detect the problem of power in intimate relationships.

It was feminism that strengthened the will of those who resisted PIE’s sly overtures.

There were always men and women on the left who were opposed to PIE. But some men were soft on it — both gay and straight.

Some gay men promoted the ‘love of boys’. Like some straight men — notoriously Roman Polanski — promote, as he puts it, the wish to ‘fuck young girls.’

I recall ferocious arguments among some comrades on the left in the 1970s and 1980s about PIE. It seemed inconceivable that it should have been tolerated within the NCCL community. But as civil libertarians the NCCL was as muddled as liberals and libertarians on both right and left.

Ultimately, people who advocated sex with children were kicked out of the gay movement, and Britain’s civil liberties movements, and they never had any traction at all in the Women’s Liberation Movement.

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