Asparagus & Child Abuse!

Three years ago, on a whim, I ordered some asparagus plants. They were squeezed into a series of containers with roots so long, I struggled to get the soil depth to cover them. All I had to do was to wait three years and when matured, I could start cutting. Amazingly, they all survived their modest surroundings; that is until that snow a few weeks ago. It’s frustrating. Having resisted the desire to cut even a single spear but just allow the fronds to wither, it seems that not all have survived the deep freeze.

A holiday in Aigues Mortes in the 80’s started the passion. Miles of sandy, almost desert like soil produced rows of sentinel spears, standing proudly from this grey & hostile earth. We ate asparagus at every meal. Not sure I will be eating my crop at every meal, but the three years have flashed by.

The years since the Waterhouse Child Abuse enquiry was held in Ewloe’s former council buildings,under the stern gaze of Sir Ronald Waterhouse, have also flashed by. “Private Eye” was bursting regularly with speculation over who was a Freemason or not! The jury was out on Sir R & other gentlemen of the legal profession but they were a formidable group. Any abused child would have felt scared when asked to relive their experiences in this hostile cauldron plus the cross examination and every word being transcribed. I used to chat with a victim, Steve Messham who burned with the injustice heaped on him whilst in care. He seemed to cope well with the pressure but he’d waited years to have his day in court and was not going to miss it!

I was on the North Wales Police Authority; I knew of the whisperings surrounding an Anglesey officer who had apparently suddenly been told to clear his desk and depart the force! All whisperings of course, and not helped by the secret Jillings report that held all the names of the main players but of course, it was withheld from public scrutiny. Too damning, it was suggested and the risk of being sued, was just too great.

Abusing defenceless kids in care is also damning and despite the cost and alleged effort, I don’t recall Waterhouse produced much at all.

The negative result was a serious disappointment to a fellow councillor on the North Wales Police Authority. Dennis Parry, then Leader of the long defunct Clwyd local authority. He knew as much as any body about child abuse issues and helped by a friend’s filing system had a good idea of the “baddies”in this saga. Sadly, the filing system author died suddenly. I had been taken once to the room filled with the boxes of allegations and suspects by Dennis Parry. Years of work all laid out on shelves of a small council bedroom. What happened to this painstakingly amassed work when the author died. I never knew.

The Savile enquiry & now the unfrocking of Stuart Hall, now waiting to be sentenced, proves this insidious crime seems rampant. It’s good that the victims have had their day in court but I feel sad for the Queen, who was shown pinning on Hall’s gong, ramrod straight with head respectfully bowed. If I was the Queen, I’d be furious to have found out that I had unwittingly honoured a raving sex fiend as desired by my ministers.

My same paper reported the downfall of the con man who sold a worthless gadget supposed to detect bombs. It beggars belief that so many were totally fooled by this dud device but so many were fooled by Messes Savile and Hall! Lie detectors are common in the States, so why not commission the invention of a device to warn of liars, child abusers and cheats when they step into the Audience Room to receive her Majesty’s gong?

Reel forward to the arrival of the Royal gong sex detector. Loud bleep when some BBC or other pervert approaches the Queen. “It seems you may have something odious in your past, Mr XXX? Perhaps this is not the time to reward you”? Heavy silence, scarlet face & punter slinks ignominiously backwards from the Presence! Police waiting in the wing with sharpened pencils at the ready!

For the record, no Queen’s Police Medal for me despite my historic appointment as the first woman to reach ACC in the entire United Kingdom. I’m not bitter. I can live without medals and know too many police officers who have been wrongly rewarded and just did not deserve the honour. I have no desire to be joined to such unethical by such a thing as a gong!

Now back to the real world. Time to check the asparagus.

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