Micky Burbidge

1978-1983: Architects of PIE infiltrate Islington gay youth group to lobby MPs directly with Heath & Mandelson’s help

  • In 1978 Peter Righton and PIE Manifesto author Micky Burbidge team up to exert control over grassroots gay youth groups, establishing the umbrella Joint Council for Gay Teenagers (‘JCGT’)
  • Righton & Burbidge take control of the London Gay Teenage Group (‘LGTG’) liaising with the Greater London Council and ILEA for official recognition and relocating the LGTG to Islington, Manor Gardens Community Centre
  • In 1980 Chair Edward Heath and his Youth Affairs Lobby (‘YAL’) meet with Burbidge and the LGTG
  • With the assistance of YAL Liaison member the British Youth Council (‘BYC’) and its Chair Peter Mandelson, Burbidge gets to take a group of gay teenagers to lobby a group of cross-party MPs directly with Clement Freud MP (Lib), Charles Irving MP (Con) attending with 4 Labour MPs
  • By 1982 JCGT and PIE’s Micky Burbidge have been invited to meet with Islington Councillors Bob Crossman, Sandy Marks, Derek Hines and Keith Veness at a Gay Groups meeting – the access to Councillors lobbying groups had was later deplored by Council Chief Executive Leisha Fullick in her report Modernising Islington
  • JCGT teamed up with the National Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC) to form GYM (Gay Youth Movement) in time for GYM to campaign for the defendants of the second PIE trial during September-October 1983

1978: Righton & Burbidge devise an umbrella steering group to infiltrate gay youth movement

The backlash against Tom O’Carroll’s publicity stunts such as the public meeting to debate the age of consent in September 1977 did much to paralyse PIE. Mindful of the advice of Dutch MP and lawyer Dr Brongersma, Peter Righton and Michael Burbidge began to change direction, leaving behind the paedophile pride PR of O’Carroll and Hose. Instead Righton and Burbidge focused on energising and organising a gay youth movement supportive of paedophile rights, working with and through regional gay youth groups.

A London Gay Teenage Group (‘LGTG’) had already been established in 1976, for under 21s by under 21s, meeting at Grapevine on Holloway Road. Burbidge and Righton got together to find a way to exert control over a few gay teenage groups that already existed nationally, but particularly focused on the LGTG in Islington, as this was where Burbidge lived and Righton worked.

They came up with the idea of the Joint Council for Gay Teenagers  – a permanent umbrella body that would gather any organisations dealing with gay young people under Burbidge’s wing – and influence.

October-November 1978: Peter Righton & Michael Burbidge co-found the JCGT

The first meeting of the ‘Conference on Young Gays’ committee with Burbidge and Righton had taken place on 7 October 1978. At the second meeting on 25 November 1978, (at Grapevine at 296 Holloway Road, London N7) the suggested title of ‘Joint Council for Gay Teenagers’ was adopted.

“Nettie – for information – M”, JCGT 2nd Meeting Agenda 25 November 1978, Burbidge wishes to update PIE Member #70 Nettie Pollard with JCGT developments, LSE/ HCA/ JCGT

Righton spoke at the JCGT second meeting on how to develop relationships with relevant professions involved in the welfare of young people – such as social workers and teachers – in order to achieve JCGT’s aims.

“To counter the sexual and emotional fulfilment of gay teenagers by countering the bigotry that denies them the right to it.” 

Draft aim of Burbidge & Righton’s Joint Council for Gay Teenagers, 25.11.78

Burbidge kept Nettie Pollard (PIE member #70) in the loop on how he and Righton were progressing with establishing the National Joint Council for Gay Teenagers. Copies of JCGT minutes in archive are addressed to Nettie in Burbidge’s handwriting.

During this period Burbidge was also active in lobbying for the legal defence of PIE by meeting with Dutch youth parliamentary people (as introduced by the British Youth Council), at Burbidge’s Department of Environment offices to discuss options for Dutch support to report back to CAPM. CAPM’s third meeting was attended by (Lord Justice) Adrian Fulford, (Islington Chair of Social Services Committee) Sandy Marks, and two PIE members and NCCL Gay Rights Committee members Nettie Pollard and Tom O’Carroll. As Burbidge was already keeping Pollard appraised of how far progress was being made in pushing his pro-paedophile rights agenda in the gay youth movement, particularly in Islington, it is unsurprising he would document his attempts to network on behalf of CAPM.

1979-80: Burbidge’s booklet ‘I Am What I Am’ lobbies MPs on abolishing the age of consent

Burbidge co-drafted a booklet with which to lobby MPs on the age of consent fronted by gay teenagers. – “I Know What I Am”. While gay teenagers were happy enough to aim for parity in the form of a reduction of the age of consent for homosexual males to 16 – the PIE luminary steering the JCGT was intent on using the opportunity to lobby MPs on the age of consent to argue for its abolition.

For anyone aware that Burbidge was also the co-author of PIE’s response to the Home Office CLRC in 1975, JCGT’s position on the abolition of the age of consent would have come as no surprise.

Burbidge’s “I know what I am” concluded unequivocally in arguing for the abolition of the age of consent, stating that “the only civilised answer… would be to remove consensual sexual acts altogether from the realm of the criminal law.”

The two polarised ideological extremes of the revolutionary socialist stance of gay is good and gay paedophiles are equally as good vs the right-wing christian evangelism of all gays are bad but can be good with enough aversion therapy and prayer meant it appeared as if there was no one in the centre, campaigning for an equal age of consent AND the protection of children from abusers looking to exploit teenagers and children sexually.

LGTG, ILEA and the GLC

Around May-June 1978 Mary Whitehouse’s National Festival of Light (NFOL) Nationwide Bulletin reported their objections to ILEA’s discussions with LGTG. The language used was pejorative (gay youth should be encouraged to integrate to become ‘normal’=’heterosexual’ or mixed youth clubs and to allow gay youth groups was not only socially divisive but also ‘morally corrupting’), and featured alongside a request for funding from christian fellowships to place adverts offering evangelical counselling to those who “struggle painfully with a homophile nature.”

In 2017 the former Chair of LGTG, Steven Power, wrote for School’s Out of Burbidge’s support. The stress and confusion about whether Power would be privately prosecuted by Mary Whitehouse and the National Festival of Light played well for Burbidge, during two especially crucial years of campaigning prior to the first PIE trial of January 1981.

During 1978, Gay News was in the process of appealing their sentence to the Court of Appeal. This Bulletin shows that Whitehouse was concerned to block official recognition or funding from the Greater London Council to London Gay Teenage Group

“I was up for ‘conspiracy to corrupt public morals’ (section 5(3) Criminal Law Act 1977). If prosecuted, I faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison” … “I was next. But with significant support from a variety of donors, including some prominent MPs, we sought a Queen’s Council (sic) ruling which established the right of young people to meet regardless of their sexuality. A number of people supported me, including Micky Burbidge of Icebreakers, politicians, and others involved in the LGBT community. Without them I would have ended up in prison.”

OUTburst magazine / School’s Out UK Official Guide to LGBT History Month February 2017 p54-55 ‘A Brief History of the London Gay Teenage Group’ by Steven Power

It’s unclear as to what Steven Power was persuaded by Burbidge and others to be in fear of at the time – in another place he talks of Law Lords (as opposed to Queen’s Counsel being paid for a legal opinion) ruling on his case, although he was not prosecuted.

Steven Power’s LGBT Archive page:

Bearing in mind Power was only 17 at the time who was telling him he was going to be next to be prosecuted? Was Power being used as a human buffer / potential test case fodder by manipulative older PIE luminaries in their forties working through the gay youth movement in Islington such as Burbidge?

OUTburst magazine / School’s Out UK Official Guide to LGBT History Month February 2017 p54-55 ‘A Brief History of the London Gay Teenage Group’ by Steven Power
Young People, Inequality and Youth Work
edited by Tony Jeffs, Mark Smith p.115 ‘Sexuality & Youth Work Practice, Peter Kent-Baguley
Young People, Inequality and Youth Work
edited by Tony Jeffs, Mark Smith p.116 ‘Sexuality & Youth Work Practice, Peter Kent-Baguley

PIE’s Manifesto objectives

The PIE Manifesto of November 1975 had proposed a “new non-criminal legal framework for determining whether a child’s consent to sexual activity could have been communicated to an older partner, and for prohibiting the older partner from continuing the sexual activity”.

Just as Burbidge’s PIE Manifesto written 5 years earlier had proposed “the abolition of ages of consent, and the removal of consensual sexual activity at all ages from the criminal law”, Burbidge’s 1980 JCGT booklet “I Know What I Am” sought “to remove consensual sexual acts altogether from the realm of the criminal law.”

Both had been written and submitted to the Home Office, the former as ‘Evidence on the law relating to and penalties for certain sexual offences involving children – For The Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee’ aka ‘The PIE manifesto’ and the latter in response to a Home Office Working paper on the age of consent in relation to sexual offences.

As Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins had set up the Policy Advisory Committee to advise the Criminal Law Revision Committee to review the law on sexual offences. It was in response to Jenkins’ creation at the Home Office that Burbidge addressed the PIE Manifesto and JCGT’s I Know What I Am.

PIE’s faith in Local Authorities and Islington Council’s ‘tradition’/’family secret’

Burbidge and Hose envisaged paedophiles as liberated from the constant fear of prison and all its horrors, with all complaints of sexual assaults on children routed through a new council complaints system. As Burbidge and Hose struggle with setting out a process by which the Local Authority will determine children’s consent to sexual activity with an adult without it become a mock trial or kangaroo court, they find themselves granting local authorities the power to issue injunctions and prison sentences with no right of appeal.

PIE’s proposed legal framework, with its tiered age groups raising rebuttable presumptions of capacity to consent to sexual activity with adults, was to be administered and judged entirely by a Local Authority (council) complaints system. PIE wanted to grant local authority employees the right to act under Children and Young Person’s Act / Children’s Acts powers.

Instead of the police it was to Local Authorities complaints that unwanted sexual activity with children was occurring should be made and it was Local Authority employees as ‘administrators of the Children’s Acts’ who would decide if and how to act to protect the child. Note, PIE defined the issue as “could have been communicated” — the Local Authority would now be the judge of a child’s capacity to consent, which would be presumed possible for all children of 4 years and older. Only for babies and toddlers up to the age of 3 would there be a rebuttable presumption of incapacity to consent.

For PIE to achieve partial implementation of this particular manifesto aim at a local level only three things had to happen:

(1) A council (local authority) had to agree to deal with all allegations of sexual abuse against an employee without involving the police.

(2) Local branches of Trade Unions such as NALGO and NUPE had to be persuaded to adopt a non-discrimination clause including the term ‘sexual orientation’ which pro-paedophile activists would argue to be interpreted as inclusive of all sexual minorities

(3) Pro-paedophile rights activists had to gain positions on the council to ensure policy remain either neutral or positive to pro-paedophile objectives, formally or informally

Interestingly, by 1992 Islington social worker Dr Liz Davies noted NALGO’s response to her as:

“11.5 Although I went to my union NALGO for representation they did not support me and at one time were threatening. The branch secretary called my home number late one night and demanded I meet him outside the union office and that I came alone. Of course I was scared by the call and did not go.”

Personal correspondence with Dr Liz Davies

After 1977, when the legislative change objectives of PIE as a pressure group were proving difficult to obtain public support for and then the Protection of Children Act had whizzed through Parliament suddenly banning indecent images of children, local lobbying at local authority level intent on influencing council policy opened up places for paedophiles where the degree of local community acceptance created a welcoming climate for sexual offenders against children.

  • Islington Councillor and Deputy Council Leader Valerie Veness (1974-1986) went on to work as Jeremy Corbyn’s political assistant for 17 years between 1991-2008
  • Valerie’s husband Islington Councillor Keith Veness (1982-1986) was Corbyn’s electoral agent from 1984-1992
  • Keith Veness recruited Sandy Marks to the Labour party in 1975 and is currently campaigning for her suspension to be lifted following Morgan QC’s Review determining Marks was more likely than not a Fallen Angel and involved with Conspiracy Against Public Morals, campaigning for PIE

In July 1984 Valerie Veness, Islington Council’s Deputy Leader stated that the ‘traditional’ approach of the Council when an employee was suspected of a criminal offence was for the Chief Executive, Leader and Chair of the Personnel Committee to decide whether to involve the police or deal with the matter as an internal disciplinary concern.

Council Minutes, July 1984

In February 1993 Tunnard & McAndrew’s first report into Islington Council’s failings of its children in care wrote of the Council’s “Family Secret” where staff suspected of criminal offences were allowed to move on with references rather than being investigated by police.

These two pieces of information almost a decade apart tell us that Islington Council had developed an informal policy (or a ‘tradition’ or ‘Family Secret’) of not involving the police where council employees were suspected of criminal offences.

If this ‘tradition’ or ‘Family Secret’ applied to residential staff accused of sexual offences against children as council employees, the number of abusers who found positions with Islington in residential childcare would have been extremely difficult to remove, until the Evening Standard expose of October 1992 led to an exodus of staff almost overnight.

PIE Manifesto, September-October 1975, co-authored by Islington resident and civil servant Michael Burbidge and PIE Chairman 1975-1977 Keith Hose

Only if an abuser, having already abused a child and been subject to a restraining order preventing further contact with the child, breached the order and contacted their victim would they be subject to a fine and/or imprisonment.

“In the event of breaches of prohibition, fines or terms of imprisonment could be applied.”

So despite promising to liberate paedophiles from the fear of prison, the PIE Manifesto had merely argued for moving the seat of decision making away from the police to the Local Authority, cutting the Director of Public Prosecutions (1985 onwards CPS) out of the decision to prosecute also, apparently granting councils the power to impose prison sentences en route!

The faith that paedophile rights activists had in the will and ability of Local Authorities to become the sole adjudicators of whether children were being sexually assaulted en masse must have been incredibly strong to suggest placing all this unaccountable power as some form of a kangaroo-court in their hands (right of appeal anyone?)

What gave Islington resident Burbidge his deeply-held belief that were local councils to become solely responsible for adjudicating on the capacity of children to consent to sexual activity with adults they would exercise their power to the benefit of paedophiles is unclear.

PIE Manifesto 1975

Where “sexual activity with a child of this age occurs”, e.g. babies and pre-schoolers 0-3 years old (note there is no subject in this sentence such as a paedophile assaulting a child, sexual activity just spontaneously happens), a complaint should be made to the Local Authority who employs “administrators of the Children’s Acts” who could then seek a civil injunction/restraining order imposed by the “administrators of the Children’s Acts”. If the Local Authority fails to prevent the adult from contacting or assaulting the 0-3 year old child again, the Local Authority get to step in and take the child into care.

PIE Manifesto

Local Authorities already had designated officers and members with delegated Children’s Act powers, the officers working in the Social Services Department as Social Services Directors (SSDs), Assistant SSDs and senior social workers all had certain delegated powers as did elected members (councillors) serving on the Social Services Committee of the Council.

Only where a Local Authority could promise never to involve the police in an allegation of sexual offences committed against children and investigate and adjudicate themselves, could the criminal law be almost kept at bay in the same way as if paedophilia had been decriminalised through legislative reform. Changing legislation at a parliamentary national level to decriminalise sexual assault and rape of children became secondary to PIE’s objectives.

Where possible, through a combination of change in policy and practice by local authorities, communities of paedophiles fought for the space to breathe and grow in confidence and pride, supported in small localised safe havens.

PIE Manifesto

Note: Burbidge & Hose are only interested in establishing rebuttable presumptions of capacity to consent

PIE Manifesto

Burbidge’s evidence of harm of is drawn from a single anecdote from a client of one of his counselling group ‘Icebreakers’ – using a paedophile client’s one-sided account of his relationship with a 16 year old boy.

PIE Manifesto

PIE’s “new safeguard” was giving the ability to the Local Authority “administrators of the Children’s Acts to issue a prohibition injunction preventing further and continuing “sexual activity” (now surely capable of being defined as sexual assaults and rapes even according to PIE’s crime-free lexicon) with the child.

It was with a very clear strategy that Micky Burbidge and Righton had started making inroads into Islington’s gay teenage group, plotting a path to Parliament and a direct and public platform from which to pressure politicians over the age of consent.

April-July 1980: JCGT’s success Burbidge goes to Parliament with the help of Mandelson and Heath

Burbidge’s triumphant if little-reported arrival in the House of Commons with an entourage of teenagers was facilitated by the Youth Affairs lobby, an early version of the Youth Parliament, chaired by Edward Heath MP, with the help of a YAL Liaison Group Committee member – the British Youth Council, chaired by Peter Mandelson.

Notes for Jo Richardson MP, Chair, Youth Affairs Lobby-JCGT presentation to MPs

Notes for Jo Richardson MP on the joint JCGT and YAL presentation at the House of Commons billed Burbidge as the main author of the JCGT response to the Home Office Working paper on the age of consent in relation to sexual offences — titled “I Am What I Am”.

On 11 April 1980 representatives from JCGT met with a Liaison Group from the Youth Affairs Lobby (‘YAL’), the Chair of which was Edward Heath MP. As a result of that meeting, YAL felt very strongly that they should assist with getting Michael Burbidge’s group access to Parliament. The next meeting with more MPs was originally scheduled to take place on 20 May 1980 at 5.30pm.

The YAL was chaired by Edward Heath MP with Liaison Group Membership of the British Youth Council (BYC)

Former national President of the National Union of Students (1975-1978) Sue Slipman, aged 30, had taken up a position as an area officer with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) while she also served on Heath’s Youth Affairs Lobby Liaison Committee as a volunteer.

Steven Power, former Chair of the LGTG attended the first meeting with YAL as the LGTG youth worker and in 2017 he wrote of Edward Heath MP attending this first meeting on the age of consent

OUTburst magazine / School’s Out UK Official Guide to LGBT History Month February 2017 p54-55 ‘A Brief History of the London Gay Teenage Group’ by Steven Power

By July Burbidge’s group had the access to lobby MPs directly that Edward Heath and his Liaison Group from the Youth Affairs Lobby had felt so strongly about.

7 July 1980: Burbidge’s audience of MPs at the House of Commons

Gay News covered JCGT’s next event at Parliament where Burbidge was able to publicly apply pressure to MPs – it was the first time a lobby of MPs had been called together on homosexual rights, not by a gay group, but by the “non-aligned” Youth Affairs Lobby. More than 30 people attended – a delegation of about 15 from the JCGT and its supporters appeared in the photo posed for outside the House of Parliament. Burbidge was hopeful that through changing direction and organising for pro-paedophile rights within the gay youth movement further access to lobbying MPs would be possible:

“After the meeting, Micky Burbidge, a member of the Joint Council for Gay Teenagers and co-ordinator of the lobby, said: “The next step is that there should be a meeting of interested MPs to work out what we can do now.”

YOUNG GAYS DEMAND ACTION, GAY NEWS, July 1980

Notes prepared for the YAL/JCGT Lobby Presentation gave Jo Richardson MP a brief introduction to each attendee

Any MP known by the Paedophile Information Exchange members to have a sexual interest in either 
(a) children under the age of 16 ; and/or
(b) young men aged 16-21
was now in danger of being publicly put under pressure to abandon their hypocrisy and give support to abolishing the age of consent or at the very least parity for the age of consent with heterosexuals.

11 July 1980 letter from Michael Burbidge giving his views on which MPs should be invited to the JCGT Lobby Meeting

Throughout 1979-1980 Burbidge and the JCGT had been trying to find a way in which they could publicly raise the issue of gay youth and the need to abolish the age of consent by sending a deputation to the door of the Home Secretary (at the time Willie Whitelaw)

Burbidge felt that if he could just gather together the MPs who had shown the most interest, David Steel, Joan Lestor, Frank Allaun, Neil Carmichael and John Wheeler, he could capture their interest and gain their support for JCGT.

1 August 1980

Despite the success of having achieved an audience with MPs, their response was disappointingly unfair in relation to their own private lives, and for some individual MPs we can now see it was outrageously hypocritical in view of their own sexual preferences.

As indicated by Burbidge’s last paragraph in his update to JCGT Members above, the JCGT were being offered support for a two-step approach to achieving parity of age of consent – equality with heterosexuals – but the MPs could offer little else.

Burbidge and his JCGT entourage met with 6 MPs: 4 Labour, 1 Liberal and 1 Conservative and 1 future Labour MP: Peter Mandelson, who was then the Chair of the British Youth Council.

Only one of the MPs noted as attending is female – the Chair, Jo Richardson MP (Lab: Barking). 

Through her close involvement with the NCCL Jo Richardson MP had become the go-to representative for ideas on how to lobby for paedophile rights in Parliament. Richardson’s biddable responses to Nettie Pollard’s requests are recorded in NCCL Minutes, whether it be complaints that press reporting on criminal trials involving PIE was prejudicial or the impact of the protection of children bill by outlawing paedophile positive imagery (otherwise known as images of child sexual abuse), Richardson was always willing to see if there was a way she could assist. 

In 2012 Nigel West wrote that Richardson had been named in 1985 by Oleg Gordievsky when he’d defected – she had been identified as a “confidential contact” of his embassy. West asked “But were they simply “agents of influence” peddling the Kremlin line on any particular topic, or something more sinister?” 

If you consider the inside track Richardson had on which MPs in the Commons to speak to for a positive approach to issues concerning paedophiles, even as an “agent of influence” pushing for the normalisation and decriminalisation of paedophilia in plain sight, Richardson’s role throughout 1974-1984 with regards to PIE is deeply sinister and was surely treated as a threat to national security. Was Richardson under the same kind of surveillance by the Special Branch as activists of all kinds have found in the impetus to launch the Spy Cops Inquiry?

Clement Freud (Lib: Isle of Ely) In June 2016 it was revealed that Freud’s name had been given to Operation Yewtree in 2012 and that at least three women had come forward to report rapes and sexual assaults by Freud against them as children during the 50s, 60s and 70s. As a heterosexual ebephile sexually interested in grooming and molesting females aged 10+ Freud was particularly susceptible to pressure had it been known he’d moved a young girl he was sexually abusing from the age of 10 into his house as an au pair to his children. Telegraph

Ian Mikardo (Lab: Tower Hamlets, Bethnal Green, Bow) was criticised for his threats to block the Protection of Children Bill two years earlier. Richardson was very much his protege having started life as Mikardo’s secretary to the Tribuneites 

Allan Roberts (36) (Lab: Bootle): At the time of meeting Burbidge and his group, Roberts was a recently elected MP just over a year in his seat, having failed to get elected in 1974 in [ ]?. A senior social worker with Lancashire County Council, (initially trained as a teacher at Didsbury Teacher Training College and Manchester University) and a former teacher in primary and secondary schools, Roberts had experience in and connections to the professions Peter Righton had identified as so important in supporting JCGT in their aims back in 1978.

As Chair of Manchester Housing Committee, while a councillor, Roberts also had strong opinions on housing which echoed the views of Burbidge. In his Tenants (Consultation) Bill of 1982, which failed, Roberts embraced everything Burbidge could have hoped for in an attempt to legislate for tenant democracy and to enshrine in law the right of tenants to take over the management of estates (with government funds).

The year after attending Burbidge’s parliamentary lobby the News of the World revealed Roberts had attended a party in Berlin’s Buddy Club (organised by the Motorcycle Leather Club), at which he had donned a dog collar and been whipped by a man in SS uniform before a crowd of S&M enthusiasts . The man who had paid his medical bill when he had required medical treatment for the whipping was none other than Charles Irving MP – his fellow attendee at the JCGT Parliamentary Lobby orchestrated by Burbidge and Heath.

Charles Irving (57) (Con: Cheltenham since October 1974) As above Irving had paid for Roberts medical bills in Berlin. A large eared broad faced millionaire hotelier from Gloucestershire, Irving’s attention to detail in hosting would serve him well managing the House of Commons Select Committee on Catering 1979-1992. A discreet adviser to the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality for years, in 2014 Irving was alleged of having been involved with a clique of Conservative MPs who sought out young men and teenagers to sexually exploit.  [July 2014, Mirror]

July 1982: Islington Council invites JCGT to the table

In July 1982 the nominally National “Joint Council for Gay Teenagers” was invited to a roundtable “Gay Groups Meeting” convened by Islington Councillor Bob Crossman.

Crossman had been outraged that the toilet on Richmond Avenue had been reported as unsafe for children and demanded that if more resources were given to gay groups gay men wouldn’t have to “wave their penises at each other” in toilets in order to meet one another. No mention was made of that fact this particular public toilet was located not far from the Hemingford Arms, a well known gay pub, but also where PIE held meetings upstairs. The Richmond Avenue toilets were often used by children playing in Barnsbury Gardens.

“One reason why gay men go into lavatories and wave their penises at each other is that it is the only way some people in the population have of meeting other people and making friends.”

Bob Crossman on concerns for safety of children visiting Richmond Avenue public toilets, Islington Gazette 11.7.82

The Gay Groups Meeting Crossman convened was as a direct result of his demand that more resources be provided to gay and lesbian organisations. A number of the invitees to the Council’s Gay Groups Meeting were of the same view as the Fallen Angels, the pro-paedophile rights group Councillor Sandy Marks had been involved approximately 18 months before becoming elected, namely that paedophile rights to liberation such as the abolition of the age of consent should be embraced by and campaigned for within the mainstream gay rights movement.

Hailed as a PIE supporter by PIE chairman Steven Adrian Smith, Eric Presland, was invited to the meeting by Cllr Bob Crossman and met with Cllr Sandy Marks and Cllr Keith Veness. Veness, who was soon to become Jeremy Corbyn’s electoral agent for the next 9 or so years, has since defended Sandy Marks’ various denials of her involvement with Fallen Angels and following her suspension has demanded her reinstatement to Islington North Constituency Labour Party. In September 2017 in the Islington Tribune a friend of Sandy Marks observed she was being made the fall guy for those who shared her pro-paedophile views. However, with Marks’ return to a complete denial of involvement to Morgan QC’s review of November 2018 it remains to be seen whether Islington Council can follow through on a commitment to understanding the politicisation of paedophilia within the Council.

Eric Presland ran Consenting Adults, an Islington based mixed gay community theatre group putting on a weekly drama workshop. The year before attending the Islington Council meeting Presland had contributed a chapter on “Whose Power? Whose Consent?” in a book edited by North American Boy Lovers’ Association (NAMBLA) luminary Daniel Tsang on “The Age Taboo: Gay Male Sexuality, Power, and Consent”.

Steven Adrian Smith’s History of PIE

1983: JCGT disbands; Old Fogies forms

At last Righton and Burbidge had produced the kind of front the National Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC) could work with publicly and together NAYC and JCGT organised an annual conference for the Gay Youth Movement. Once GYM was established as an independent group of its own JCGT announced their disbandment in summer 1983. However within 6 months it was felt appropriate to set up an organisation called the Older Friends of Gay Youth (The Old Fogies) to inter-relate with GYM. 

At a GYM weekend workshop in Southampton at the end of November 1983 planning for an Easter conference was underway. Jimmy Savile with his long connections to NAYC and sexual interest in children, was to be invited to sit on a panel with other celebrities.

By the time of the second trial of PIE defendants during September-November 1983, Righton and Burbidge’s infiltration of the Gay Youth movement had proved so successful Gay Youth magazine (GYM’s magazine) had its support for PIE declared on the front page with accompanying obligatory cartoon.

How far PIE’s luminaries succeeded with their attempts to persuade Islington to rally to support PIE during its second trial after CAPM and Fallen Angels’ failure of 1981 remains to be explored in more detail.

But by November 1983 Chapel Market traders were organising a petition against PIE which Council Leader Margaret Hodge signed. If the majority of Islington’s Councillors appeared unaware their borough was being targeted by PIE, Islington’s residents were attempting to alert them.

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1975-1980: Islington Council helps fund voluntary organisation promoting PIE

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

Huddlestone

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.

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Letter to the Editor, The Guardian, [date 1973]

 

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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.

London Friend 21 Feb 1975 p15

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.

London Friend 28 February 1975 good news for the gay world

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.

London Friend 14 March 1975 Sodom slur

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
LondonFriendJobAdvert
“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.
At PIE’s AGM Charles Napier became Treasurer (sentenced in 2014 to 13 years for sexually abusing 23 boys between 1967-1983). By the time London Friend hosted PIE’s AGM in May 1977, Roland Jeffery had been working with Charles Napier for 6 months,  drawn together by the former National Association of Youth Clubs chief Harold Haywood and his Earl’s Court Nucleus project.

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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.

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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’

 

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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

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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.”
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Gay News No 126, September 1977

London Friend’s 2nd General Secretary (1977- 6 March 1980)

Richard McCance

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.

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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.

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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.”

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Gay News 22 Jan – 6 Feb 1981, Judge Orders PIE Re-Trial

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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.

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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

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.”

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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.

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Gay News 181, 13 December 1979 – 9 January 1980

Richard McCance

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

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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.

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Islington Gazette, March 1988

 

1971-1975: Ivor Street, Icebreakers and PIE

Ivor Street, Icebreakers and PIE

A key clique to emerge out of the explosion of energy and activism created by the Gay Liberation Front during 1970-72 was The Counter-Psychiatry Group, emulating US West Coast groups formed in reaction to gay men and women treated as if they had a medical or psychological condition which could be expunged or made heterosexual with ‘treatment’ such as aversion therapy. Icebreakers, a gay counselling/befriending group would emerge from the Counter-Psychiatry group during 1972, under the leadership of 35 year old sociologist and lead Housing Development researcher at the Department of Environment, Michael J Burbidge.

One third of the founding twelve members of the NCCL Gay Rights Committee established in September 1974 already knew one another through Icebreakers:

  • Micky Burbidge (PIE Manifesto co-drafter);
  • Keith Hose (first PIE Chairman);
  • Nettie Pollard (NCCL Gay Rights Officer responsible for PIE and PAL’s affiliation with NCCL and PIE member); and
  • Anna Duhig

“In London the group formed around Elizabeth Wilson, herself a psychiatric social worker with previous experience of the anti-pysychiatry theories and writings of RD Laing. The original lists of GLF members interested in the group survive and show twenty-eight names including Elizabeth, Mary, Jeffrey Weeks, Micky Burbidge and David Hutter, all of whom were to be centrally involved in its writings, actions and spin-off groups.” [No bath but plenty of bubbles: An oral history of the GLF 1970-73, Lisa Power, p.42]

“Version therapy (usually electric shock treatment) was such a major issue because it was the publicly accepted way of dealing with homosexuality. I knew that I was gay in 1962 and decided that I didn’t want to be. I read an article about a man who did aversion therapy for homosexuals and I wrote to him asking for therapy. He had a long waiting list, so nothing happened. Then I read a story in the paper about a man who had aversion therapy to make him fall out of love with the wrong woman and I suddenly realised that it was awful to think of switching off loving feelings by shock treatment. There had to be another way of dealing with it. That totally changed my mind and I decided that I wanted to be what I was, after all.” (Micky BurbidgeNo bath but plenty of bubbles: An oral history of the GLF 1970-73, Lisa Power, p.93)

Nettie Pollard and Micky Burbidge

“I was in the Counter-Psychiatry Group with Micky and others. I helped to organise a conference at the London School of Economics in Autumn 1971 — Homosexual Oppression?  Freedom? Mary McIntosh spoke on abolishing the age of consent and people from outside, like doctors, came along.” (Nettie Pollard, No bath but plenty of bubbles: An oral history of the GLF 1970-73, Lisa Power, p.97)

“My best friend who was called Jake read about it in the Daily Mirror in April 1971 and we went along. It was in Middle Earth. I was straight then. Bruce Wood was there and Ted Brown, Micky Burbidge. Elizabeth Wilson got up and told everybody about the Women’s Group and what they were doing…The second week I went, there was an argument about intergenerational issues. It was seen as an issue of solidarity — people wanted to help anyone oppressed by the state. I felt that I could identify with it even as straight, because it was about sexual liberation and not gay rights, it was involve with women’s liberation and gender roles and so on. There was lots of debate about what gay meant — did it conclude transvestites and transsexuals, anyone who didn’t fit in.” (Nettie Pollard, No bath but plenty of bubbles: An oral history of the GLF 1970-73, Lisa Power p.69)

“I knew some other gays through cottaging. People I met this way would ask ‘are you active or passive’ and there were a lot of self-denigrating attitudes. I was very relieved when I finally found out that you didn’t have to be one or the other. I saw a poster in Compendium for the first meeting and I thought it was incredible, I wanted to go but I was afraid to walk into a room full of openly gay people. It was Jeffrey [Weeks] who insisted I go to GLF, we were friends.” (Micky Burbidge) [No bath but plenty of bubbles: An oral history of the GLF 1970-73, Lisa Power p.24]

During 1971, at the height of GLF’s wave of liberation, Micky Burbidge could fill the neo-gothic rafters of All Saint’s Church Hall in Notting Hill with an outraged crowd, sickened to hear of electric shocks and chemical castration.

By 1972 the Counter-Psychiatry Group had become a regular Sunday evening meet-up at 24 Ivor Street, Camden, NW1, where Micky shared a house with a 24 year old Scottish soon to be drama student Angus Suttie and 27 year old Jeffrey Weeks.

“Counter-Psychiatry Group later after long vicissitudes went in different directions. Mary got involved in the Manifesto Group, so that was like the theoretical bit of the group. Some us, myself, David Hutter, set up a small group who produced the pamphlets…Another wing moved in to what became Icebreakers. We worked on Psychiatry and the Homosexual from September 1971 into 1972. The group moved around and part of the rota was Ivor Street where Micky, Angus and I lived at the time. One particular meeting, I remember, we discussed the way forward and I suggested the pamphlet. One subgroup formed to do that, another talked about the helpline which became Icrebreakers and we just evolved in different directions and went on meeting separately. The group as such faded away and its energies went into the subgroups.” (Jeffrey Weeks No bath but plenty of bubbles: An oral history of the GLF 1970-73, Lisa Power p.99)

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On occasion the Counter-Psychiatry Group would meet elsewhere, as when Nettie Pollard (who 2 years later would become a founding member of NCCL Gay Rights Committee alongside Micky Burbidge; and PIE member #70) hosted it at her home, as on Sunday 8th October 1972:

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In line with the Counter-Psychiatry Group’s thinking on and rejection of medical experts’ opinions on homosexuality, a new counselling/befriending group called Icebreakers began to emerge who believed there were no better or additional qualifications necessary to counsel gay people other than the counsellor being gay and out themselves. This put the group’s attitude to counselling at odds with the Albany Trust’s more conservative approach and Antony Grey’s emphasis on professionalism and concern to associate himself professional counselling bodies.

On Tuesday 7 March 1972 the first few members of a proposed Ice Breaking Group gathered at Micky Burbidge’s address at 24 Ivor Street to discuss how best to help the most isolated gay people to come out.

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1973-74: Phoney Bishop of Gleaves once housed Icebreakers

During 1973-1974 the Icebreakers crystallised into a collective of just over 20 gay men and 2 women on a rota answering a phone every evening between 7.30pm and 10.30pm. Keith Hose [PIE’s first Chairman] became a ‘prominent member of Icebreakers‘ and Anna Duhig, another founding member of NCCL Gay Rights Committee also joined Burbidge’s Icebreakers.

Surprisingly, considering Icebreakers had formed out of the GLF, the Icebreakers phone wasn’t at the GLF centre on Railton Road but instead was installed at one of the Bishop of Gleaves’ hostels on Branksome Road in Brixton [see further on the murder of Billy Two-Tone and TV documentary Johnny Go Home, Gleaves’ associate Malcolm Raywood as co-defendant with Charles Hornby in the Playland Trial].

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Gay News

However, it soon became apparent that Gleaves was answering the phone himself and directing teenagers and young men looking for support from Icebreakers to come and stay at one of his hostels. Lambeth Council had started asking questions about a ‘male brothel run by priests’.  Only 3-4 years previously in November 1970 had a group of men been found guilty of prostituting and sexually abusing children in a flat on Solon Road, moments from Branksome Road. Gay News reported Icebreakers had swiftly severed links with Gleaves and moved in to the South London Gay Centre on Railton Road, Brixton instead.

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Gay News No 76 p.4 [1976]

By Icebreakers 3rd year it reported it had received 4, 417 calls –

1 in 7 were women; [631] 14.2%

1 in 11 married or divorced; [402] 9.1%

1 in 9 were under 21; [490] 11%

Just under 1 in 20 were transvestites; [220] 4.9%

19 calls were from transsexuals; 0.43%

52 calls were from paedophiles = 1.18%

March 1975 Ivor Street, Camden: PIE’s London Inauguration

Three years after Icebreakers’ first meeting, the first official London meeting of PIE also took place at an address in Ivor Street. Michael Hanson resigned and a young graduate from Hull University who had led the university’s Sexual Liberation Society, Keith Hose, was elected as Chairman.

During autumn that same year Micky Burbidge and Keith Hose would work together swiftly to produce the Paedophile Information Exchange’s response to the Criminal Law Revision Committee consultation. Together Burbidge and Hose would propose the abolition of the age of consent and the decriminalisation of ‘consensual’ sexual activity with children. Despite deploring the trauma of courtroom appearances for children as a reason for decriminalisation, the civil system of injunctions they proposed to replace it meant children (with no distinction made for pre-verbal and non-verbal children in their lack of ability to voice consent) would still be required to give evidence in court, the only difference being that it would a civil court rather than a criminal court.

It is unknown whether PIE’s London inauguration gathered at Micky Burbidge’s address at no 24 on Ivor Street in Camden or whether there happened to be another house on this short street where a gathering of pro-paedophile activists would have been welcomed.

“It was Martin also, who along with Keith Hose presided over the PIE gathering at London’s Ivor Street in March – with the object of initiating London PIE meetings.”

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PIE Newsletter (No.6) 1975, p.4

In just 2.5 years Micky Burbidge had nurtured Icebreakers into a small clique who met regularly for consciousness-raising sessions in between taking calls from mostly men and boys aged 14 to 70.

Within six months of Keith Hose’s election as PIE Chairman and PIE’s inaugural London meeting at Ivor Street, Burbidge wrote into the Guardian to defend Hose against John Torode’s London Letter column of 28 August 1975. Torode had obtained a copy of the PIE leaflet circulated by Hose at the Campaign for Homosexual Equality’s 3rd Annual Conference in Sheffield and commented:

“In short we are talking about poor, sad, perverted adults who take pleasure in having it off with children too young to know what they are doing and why. People who need medical treatment rather than sneering persecution, no doubt. But above all, people who need to be kept away from your kids and mine.”

The suggestion of paedophiles as needing medical treatment conflicted with Burbidge’s belief that the categorisation of paedophilia as a psychiatric disorder was as wrong as homosexuality’s categorisation as a psychiatric disorder and should be campaigned for alongside homosexuality under the umbrella definition of ‘sexual orientation’. Instead, Burbidge argued,

“The ‘harm’ which sometimes is associated with paedophilic (sic) relationships is real enough: it stems from the bigoted reactions of adults, from the hounding and interrogation of younger partners by the police and others, and from the intense feelings of guilt and anxiety which distort relationships.”

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The Guardian, Letters to the Editor Sep 3, 1975 p10

On 3rd January 1976 Keith Hose, when writing to Mary McIntosh (a Home Office policy advisor) to offer an early copy of the PIE Submission to the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure he and Micky Burbidge had drafted, emphasised that mutual friends Jeffrey Weeks and Nettie Pollard had advised him to get in touch.

In spring 1976 Angus Suttie, Burbidge’s housemate at Ivor Street, wrote an article for Gay Left (launched as “A Socialist Journal produced by Gay Men” the previous autumn): “From Latent to Blatant: A personal account”. Suttie’s partner and housemate Jeffrey Weeks, [then Chair of the Charing Cross Branch of the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staff (ASTMS)] had co-founded the journal.

'The branch and Tony Kelly' by Jeffrey Weeks, Letters to The Guardian

‘The branch and Tony Kelly’ by Jeffrey Weeks, Letters to The Guardian ” 5 May 1976 p.12

In his personal account of coming out, Suttie wrote of the ambivalence he felt towards his sexually predatory scout master who molested him when he was only 10 years old; “to be gay or paedophile was to be a pariah and delight would be taken in making one aware of one’s outcastness”. For Suttie, despite recognising he’d felt no sexual attraction towards the scoutmaster as a 10 year old and that the experience was not ‘mutually pleasing”, the iniquity of society’s treatment of gays and paedophiles was suffered side by side.

“I at this time hadn’t reached puberty yet and all that was involved was tickling and stroking one another’s genitals, but on every occasion I felt dirty and guilty, so much so that I left the scouts and joined another troup. I had received enjoyment from the contact but I felt no attraction from the scoutmaster and I would think longingly of some of the other scouts with whom I would have much preferred a mutually pleasing sexual relationship.”

Perhaps for Weeks, it was the combination of his lifelong friendship with pro-paedophile activist Micky Burbidge with whom he lived for many years and his romantic relationship with Angus Suttie, which blurred his vision when writing of paedophilia ‘and its controversial, if contested, overlap with child sex abuse.’

Paedophiliac ‘relationships’ were only ever contested as not abusive by pro-paedophile activists arguing for the abolition of the age of consent and the decriminalisation of sexual activities children had ‘consented’ to. Unfortunately those activists or apologists never really got round to explaining how non-verbal or pre-verbal children could consent, or indeed, prove that they hadn’t, without a statutory age of consent to protect them.

Sexuality by Jeffrey Weeks, p.76, first published in 1986

Sexuality by Jeffrey Weeks, p.76, first published in 1986