White devotes an entire chapter of his 1995 report to History, Context, and Culture of Islington.
Nowhere is it mentioned that a decade previously the small inner London borough had served as the headquarters of the national pro-paedophile rights activism between 1975-1984.
If White had been aware of the press coverage of the Paedophile Information Exchange’s activities in Islington he doesn’t mention it.
Leisha Fullick, the Chief Executive of Islington Council appointed in 1996, stated in her report ‘Modernising Islington’ that one of the risks identified as the Council being ‘vulnerable to lobbying groups.’
Which lobbying groups? If these ‘lobbying groups’ were lobbying for pro-paedophile rights, what does the Chief Executive’s admission of the Council’s vulnerability mean?
Vulnerable in what sense? Capable of being influenced by? Ideologically? Financially?
- For five years, between 1975 – 1980, Islington Council helped fund a voluntary organisation — London Friend — enabling its move from Paddington to Islington. This voluntary organisation proceeded to vigorously promote, support and defend PIE from its HQ located only a few doors down (305 ft to be exact) from Islington Town Hall
- During 1975-1980 London Friend’s two General Secretaries were quoted in the press as vocal defenders of PIE, both of whom also served on the NCCL Executive Committee and on the NCCL Gay Rights Committee alongside Paedophile Information Exchange stalwarts Micky Burbidge, Nettie Pollard, Keith Hose and later Tom O’Carroll
- In May 1977, London Friend’s support for PIE extended to hosting PIE’s Annual General Meeting at their Islington premises with 31 paedophiles and pro-paedophile rights activists gathering for four hours to elect Charles Napier as Treasurer, Tom O’Carroll as Chair and accept Peter Righton’s resignation as Community Liaison Officer.
- In October 1978 Peter Righton co-founded a new gay youth group in Islington with PIE Manifesto co-author Micky Burbidge along with Roland Jeffery attending. The Joint Council of Gay Teenagers (JCGT) was hosted by London Friend and Grapevine – both voluntary organisations also in receipt of funding from Islington Council. JCGT was conceived of and convened as an umbrella organisation under which pro-paedophile activists could gather existing grass roots gay teenage organisations to prey on and use as a front for lobbying purposes.
- In looking past the fact PIE operated in Islington, a central question is avoided:
To what extent did the Paedophile Information Exchange recruit Islington Council’s social workers and residential child care staff as members?
Peter Righton, as an Executive Member of PIE, was identified and published under his own name (possibly because Righton felt safe to say he was counselling paedophiles in either his role of Community Liaison Officer or Prison Visitor) despite most of PIE’s Executive Committee using pseudonyms. Any social worker or residential care staff joining PIE who recognised Righton’s name (from Social Work Today, Community Care articles or training he’d delivered) would have felt reassured. Any conflict between personal interests in lobbying for paedophile rights and their professional duties such as acting in the best interests of children’s welfare were surely negligible if Peter Righton, the person responsible for training residential childcare staff, didn’t see a problem.
1970: Father Trevor Huddleston launches Islington’s Council of Social Services
Four years before the DPP declined to prosecute Father Trevor Huddleston of molesting school boys in his role as Bishop of Stepney, he launched Islington’s Council of Social Service – a voluntary body established to serve as the focal point in coordinating voluntary services to supplement and extend statutory social services.
Trevor Huddleston & Others: Mr X and the Rule of Law
1974-1975: Home Office Urban Aid scheme applications for Islington
While PIE was busy putting a call out, recruiting social workers to the cause of promoting paedophilia as acceptable …
….On 11 February 1975 Islington Council voted in plenary on whether to contribute to voluntary organisations for which 75% of funding had already been raised through the government Urban Aid Scheme.
Just prior to being appointed Islington’s Social Services Director, John Rea Price had been working for the Home Office on the Community Development Project & Urban Programme in Southwark, out of which the Urban Aid scheme had evolved.
Letter to the Editor, The Guardian, [date 1973]
Islington Council Minutes, 11 February 1975
The ‘Homosexual Centre’ Councillor Denton was at pains to make clear he disapproved of was the Greater London & Home Counties branch of ‘Friend’, a national counselling and befriending organisation which had so flourished establishing various local Friend groups that it had spun off from the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) as a separate concern.
Originally based in a shopfront facing onto the busy market of Church Street, W2, almost equidistant between two national railway stations at Marylebone and Paddington, London Friend had been conveniently based to deal with some of the fall-out from Playland Trial 1 but by late 1974 the voluntary organisation was due to become homeless and was casting around for funding and somewhere to put down roots.
Mike Launder, an Islington resident and social worker activist had co-founded Friend and it was to Islington that Friend’s London HQ would move.
Islington Social Services Committee had come to the rescue with an Urban Aid application for funding and shop premises at 274 Upper Street, a few doors down from Islington Town Hall.
Islington Gazette, ‘Government money for Islington Gay Centre’, 21 February 1975, p.15
Despite Islington Gazette’s robust editorial reiterating Social Services Committee Chair Mrs Patricia Brown’s points about discrimination, a homophobic tirade from a Baptist Pastor from Highbury Place made it into the local press,
Note the use of “child molestor”, a term that PIE would erase from news reporting’s lexicon once paedophile became the accepted descriptor.
Islington Gazette, 1975
London Friend was given £7,900 per year over 5 years, which would be a total of £39,500 except for some reason the Gazette put the total at approximately £35,000 (possibly due to the Urban Aid grant being received part-way through financial year of 1974-75?)
25% of the total was provided by LBI council, 75% from Home Office urban aid
Using the Bank of England Inflation Calculator, in today’s money London Friend was due to receive £315,003.71 over five years (c. £63,000 p.a.)
LBI was scheduled to contribute somewhere between £7,900 – £9875 (in today’s money £63k – £79k)
“The organisation operates awareness groups and hopes to link up with other homosexual advice and information services to share resources.”
PIE wasn’t exclusively homosexual but it did consider itself an ‘information exchange’ and service to its members.
Islington Gazette, March 1975
“The Committee has pursued a policy of submitting urban aid applications on behalf of voluntary organisations. This has resulted in a great deal of central Government money coming into the borough to help solve pressing social problems. It is not our policy to exclude any groups seeking urban aid grants.” (Mrs Pat Brown, Islington Council Social Services Committee Chair)
May 1975: London Friend recruits first General Secretary
Having secured premises in Islington but not moved in yet, London Friend was ready to advertise for their co-ordinator, offering a salary of up to £2,500 (c.£20k p.a.). Without a permanent office address London Friend had to advise job applicants to write care of Peter Righton (PIE luminary and social work trainer and residential childcare policy): 48 Barbican Road Greenford Middlesex
“We are about to move into new premises in Islington, and are looking for a man or woman to run the office, coordinate the work of brefrienders, and build up effective communication and relationships between London Friend and the community at large.”
How far Peter Righton’s influence seeped into London Friend’s recruitment process beyond offering a postal address for prospective candidates to apply to is unknown.
London Friend’s 1st General Secretary
(September 1975 – September 1977)
Roland Jeffery was the lucky applicant who wrote into Righton’s address, was interviewed (by whom?) and bagged the job, starting in September 1975.
At Oxford University (1971-1974?) Jeffery had been a student CHE convenor and so was able to demonstrate previous experience in a voluntary organisation related to London Friend.
During 1975 he began volunteering with the NCCL Gay Rights Committee, campaigning alongside some of PIE’s most vocal and influential pro-paedophile rights activists: Micky Burbidge (PIE Manifesto author with Keith Hose), Keith Hose (PIE Chair 1975 – 28 May 1977), and Nettie Pollard.
NCCL Executive Committee Elections Ballot April 1978: Candidate biographies – Roland Jeffery
Throughout Jeffery’s tenure as London Friend’s General Secretary (September 1975 – September 1977), London Friend continued to receive PIE Newsletters.
PIE publications in archives bear ‘London F
It is partially courtesy of London Friend’s subscription to PIE and their newsletters and their subsequent submission to the LSE archives, that there is an archive of PIE’s publications.
October 1975: ‘Befrienders tackle sex with clients’
Gay News reported a debate at the National Friend conference on 25 October 1975.
At the conference, as well as a workshop and discussion on paedophilia, a discussion took place on whether Befrienders should or could have sexual relationships with clients who had approached the voluntary organisation for help.
Despite elsewhere reporting a percentage of under 16s as contacting Friend, any concerns that a sexual relationship between a Befriender and a lonely isolated adult contacting the organisation was a potential abuse of power or at all exploitative were disregarded. There were apparently no concerns that paedophiles could abuse this leniency to access vulnerable minors offering ‘counselling’ or ‘befriending’.
Roland Jeffery suggested Befrienders could offer ‘sex therapy’ and have sex with clients or “use education and porno films” in cases of sexual dysfunction.
Would paedophilia be considered a sexual dysfunction Befrienders should try to alleviate the loneliness and frustration of? Would ‘befriending’ a paedophile in such a case have included the provision of child abuse images or films in the case of lonely isolated and sexually frustrated paedophiles? The Protection of Children Act 1978 was not yet in force.
May 1977: Islington Council funded voluntary organisation hosts PIE’s Annual General Meeting
31 members of PIE travelled to no 274 Upper Street Islington N1, representing over 13% of the reported PIE total membership of 227. Postage costs were up to £25 per month.
Nettie Pollard of the NCCL Gay Rights Committee was keen to advertise NCCL as an emergency port of call for paedophiles seeking legal advice or to choose a defence solicitor or barrister.
“Nettie Pollard from the NCCL gave the meeting a short, but very helpful speech about homosexuality and the law, and about arrest. She outlined several aspects of some of the cases involving paedophiles which had come to her notice in her work as Gay Rights Organiser of the NCCL.”
“Care should be taken in the choice of a lawyer — NCCL maintained a list of suitable lawyers, and that organisation should be asked for their advice.”
Gay News No 126, September 1977
London Friend’s 2nd General Secretary (1977- 6 March 1980)
When Richard McCance took on the position of London Friend’s General Secretary following Roland Jeffery’s departure, the enthusiastic and vocal support for the Paedophile Information Exchange — 25% of which was being funded by Islington Council over five years — continued.
CHE 1977/78 Executive Committee Biographies
Social Worker Richard McCance’s support for PIE extended beyond his tenure as London Friend’s General Secretary, before and after.
A keen trade unionist and member of the British Association of Social Workers, McCance was eager to harness support for Tom O’Carroll, chairman of PIE, by using the Anti-Discrimination Clause he had successfully campaigned for adoption by a number of Trade Unions during 1976-77.
Just prior to joining London Friend, while on the CHE Executive Committee Richard McCance gave the view (‘Gays join PIE fight’) that since the National Union of Journalists’ anti-discrimination clause included sexual orientation, the NUJ would take up Tom O’Carroll’s suspension by his employer the Open University.
The implied assertion being that a paraphilia like paedophilia was a sexual orientation like heterosexuality or homosexuality and therefore capable and deserving of being protected against discrimination in employment.
Guardian, September 1977
In January 1981, while giving evidence for the defence at the PIE Trial of 4 of the Executive Committee, McCance said that as General Secretary of London Friend he received the magazine Magpie but without the contact page. He read it because elsewhere there was so much misinformation about paedophiles and Friend often had to help gay paedophiles who are “having to cope with all the hostilities of society.”
Gay News 22 Jan – 6 Feb 1981, Judge Orders PIE Re-Trial
Gay News, Judge Orders PIE Re-Trial, 22 Jan – 6 Feb 1981 p.
When Richard McCance penned an Editorial for CHE’s in-house publication Broadsheet (August 1978) denouncing “the virulent hostility towards paedophilia and paedophiles” and criticising Gay News for their betrayal of paedophiles who had supported their legal defence against Mary Whitehouse’s private prosecution for blasphemy, other CHE members felt strongly there should be more editorial consensus reached before allowing individual’s free reign for opinion pieces, and so an insert disclaiming McCance’s opinion as representative of CHE was included.
CHE Broadsheet, August 1978
McCance’s conflation of gay rights with paedophile rights was an essential and well-used approach to blackmailing gays and lesbians into feeling intolerant if they weren’t willing to campaign for the rights of adult to have sex with children:
“The virulent hostility towards paedophilia and paedophiles is not dissimilar to that encountered by the gay movement not so many years ago when CHE and GLF tried to hold their first meetings in public halls.”
Gay News 149 August 1980 p10
Roland Jefferies (sic) of the NCCL said:
“When PIE is under attack we should support them. Dropping the listing of PIE from the Gay News Guide may seem to them to be bad faith on our part.”
CHE Vice-Chairman slams Gay News, Gay News, September 1978
1978: PIE organising Islington’s gay youth
Following Dr Brongersma’s attendance at CHE’s annual conference in Nottingham, PIE’s Executive Committee past and present were repositioning their campaigning to more closely resemble the Dutch paedophiles approach. Instead of paedophiles campaigning for the right to have sex with children, paedophiles must create or infiltrate youth organisations so it appeared to be teenagers campaigning to abolish the age of consent and their rights to have sex with adults.
During October 1978 Peter Righton co-founded a new gay youth group with PIE Manifesto co-author and Islington resident Micky Burbidge: the Joint Council for Gay Teenagers.
1979-1980: London Friend suffers Council funding cutback
Over Christmas 1979 London Friend was “fighting a last-ditch battle to save its council grant.”
In 1978-79 Islington Social Services Committee had granted London Friend £14,350 but during 1979, despite Friend’s application for an increased grant of £17k, the Social Services Committee had voted to grant only £5,500.
However it soon became clear that there may be no money to be found for the borough’s funded help services and now all grants will be examined again before the final decision on January 29 1980.
Gay News 181, 13 December 1979 – 9 January 1980
Gay News March 1980
Within 3 years of leaving London Friend, Richard McCance had moved to Nottingham to be elected as a Labour Councillor.
Peter Righton’s Haven: Council funding for the Islington-Suffolk Project
Islington Council Minutes, March 1983 – Agenda Item 5.
Over the course of five years, funding from Islington Council to the Islington Suffolk Project had jumped from an annual ‘Capital Grant’ contribution of £3,233 to approximately £27.5k per year.
Despite being billed as a philanthropic venture by Lord Henniker, Islington Council was picking up the tab to send selected Islington children from schools, day centres and play schemes to spend 4 day weekends camping at the Project’s Thornham Magna campsite.
However, by March 1988 the Project faced losing £5,000 in Council funding cuts, a reduced contribution of £22.5k meaning that £50 per group (£25 of which was a deposit for camping gear) would be charged.
David Pare, Director of the Project based on St John Street in Clerkenwell spoke to the Islington Gazette about the council’s funding cuts.
Islington Gazette, March 1988