Robert Green’s letter to @SimonClarkeMP
Robert Green’s letter to @SimonClarkeMP
John Swinney has been accused of mounting a “delusional” defence to claims that his officials ran a lobbying campaign aimed at influencing the testimony of Holyrood witnesses.
Emails obtained by The Times show that civil servants sought to identify witnesses due to give evidence to the Scottish parliament’s education committee about the named person scheme, then rushed to set up meetings with government staff working on the policy before their appearances.
The tactic caused concern among MSPs on the committee, who suspect Mr Swinney’s staff were seeking to persuade witnesses to water down their criticism when giving their evidence.
The committee wrote to Mr Swinney asking him to explain the actions of his officials. In his reply to the committee, Mr Swinney said: “The FOI release simply sets out the detail of engagement that took place with stakeholders which had already been the subject of discussion at the committee.”
He did not attempt to explain why meetings had been set up with committee witnesses before they gave evidence. The committee is likely to take further action.
Oliver Mundell, the Conservative MSP, said: “I think this response borders on the delusional. It’s not credible that he didn’t recognise the issue, which is his officials interfering with the committee’s role of providing scrutiny.”
6th Feb 2018 Scottish Government denies ‘coercing’ Named Person witnesses http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15923443.Scottish_Government_denies___39_coercing__39__Named_Person_witnesses/
25th NOV 2017
The natural response to the news that parents are selling their children on the streets for sex is one of sheer disbelief.
To then be told that the police and social work services know this is happening and has been happening in a sustained and persistent manner for more than a decade but are choosing to do nothing because of racial sensitivities, well, you couldn’t be blamed for raising a sceptical eyebrow.
In Govanhill, however, a proportion of residents did not react with scepticism or disbelief when media reports detailed that just such is happening in their community.
In fact, they offered anecdote by way of fact. Everyone you speak to – for there are no specific numbers, just sweeping generalisations – knows a man who has been offered a young child or teenager for sex while walking along a Govanhill Street or emerging from a Govanhill pub.
Child prostitution, it is claimed, is rife in Govanhill. If I may, there is no such thing as child prostitution – there is child sexual exploitation and child abuse.
I have had three phone calls this week – one more credible than the others – all telling me that if I want to know more I can “speak to any taxi driver”.
There is one story that does the rounds as fact, about a child so small they were seen being made to stand on a car battery during an assault. In other versions it is an upturned crate.
I have heard this story many times now and not once has anyone questioned the fact that this scene was witnessed yet not reported to the police. That’s quite extraordinary. Some say going to the police is pointless or potentially dangerous and that it is not the public’s responsibility. Every member of a community is responsible for protecting children. Of course speaking to the police can be daunting, of course it can feel hopeless, but to witness a child at risk of sexual exploitation and do nothing is unconscionable.
READ MORE BOLLOX
Authorities are conducting a thorough and detailed investigation into allegations of child sexual exploitation in one of Scotland’s most deprived communities, the Justice Secretary has told MSPs.
Michael Matheson said members of Glasgow’s Govanhill community would be invited by Police Scotland to pass on any information around claims that Roma children are being routinely prostituted by parents and relatives.
But he stressed that officers currently have no evidence to substantiate the allegations which came to light in The Times newspaper on Friday.
“Although there is no evidence or intelligence to substantiate the allegations at the present time, these are being thoroughly investigated by Police Scotland and also by Glasgow City Council.”
Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur called for reassurance for local people bringing forward fresh information.
“We’ve obviously seen atrocious abuse in areas such as Rotherham and in that instance there was evidence that concerns were dismissed or ignored,” he said.
“Will the Cabinet Secretary ensure that there are no barriers that might discourage people from coming forward with reports, particularly in the community itself.”
Authorities in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford came under fire for failing to tackle large scale child sexual exploitation predominantly by Asian men.
A child prostitution ring which is sexually exploiting immigrant Roma children as young as nine is operating in Glasgow, the Sunday Herald can reveal. Police have been running undercover surveillance operations in empty homes and unmarked cars in the Govanhill area in the southside of Glasgow for months in the hope of catching those behind the ring and the men paying to have sex with children.
Our investigation has also uncovered: l That high-grade intelligence about the ring led to the mounting of the covert operations; l An eyewitness who saw at first hand the sexual abuse of Roma children on the streets of Govanhill; l The name of the key suspect thought to be the leader of the child prostitution ring – a Roma man from eastern Slovakia now living in Govanhill.
Last night, Superintendent Mike Dean, who is leading the inquiry from Gorbals police station, confirmed that undercover detectives were hunting those behind the child prostitution ring and called on the public to help the investigation.
Jim Miller, from Govanhill, told the Sunday Herald how he stumbled upon a child being forced into prostitution on Allison Street, one of Govanhill’s main thoroughfares. Miller has already given a statement to the police.
“Roughly two months ago,” said Miller, “I was out walking my dog at about 10.15 in the morning. The dog ran into a close which was filled with rubbish, bin bags and old bedding.
“It was dark, and as I walked through the close I saw a man with his trousers around his ankles having full sex with a young Roma girl who was about nine or ten. The man had made the girl stand on a car battery in order to have sex with her.
“The guy just looked at me,” said Miller. “I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The wee lassie looked totally bewildered.”
Miller says he hurriedly left the close in order to get the police and spotted a Roma man waiting outside. At the same time the man he had seen having sex walked out of the close, as did the young girl. The Roma man, waiting outside, took the little girl by the hand and got into a nearby car, with a third man at the steering wheel, and drove away. Miller said he noticed that the girl walked with a limp.
The Sunday Herald knows the identity of the Roma man believed to have been pimping the child. Police sources confirmed that he was known to the police and a possible suspect in the child prostitution ring.
Miller quickly located two police officers, informed them of the events and passed on the car registration number. Miller says that when he returned to the scene there was a used condom and tissues at the site. “I was almost hysterical by this point,” said Miller. “I’d just seen a child being raped in broad daylight.”
Police say they have received various reports of child prostitution in the Govanhill area. The ages of the children allegedly involved ranged from nine to 14.
Police are concerned that allegations could ramp up racial tensions in an area already under inter-ethnic strain. Many locals in Govanhill from the Pakistani and white communities are openly racist about Roma people.
Miller stressed he was speaking out because a crime had been committed against children, not because he was racist. “What I have a problem with is what I saw happening to that little girl in that close. It made me feel sick.”
Another Govanhill resident, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed he saw an incident in which two boys aged between seven and nine – who appeared to be of Roma origin – were engaged in a sex act together in the backyard of his tenement building.
The man said: “I realise that this could be used as a recruiting sergeant by racists and the BNP, but I have to speak out as we are talking about child protection.” The man feared that the children may have been abused.
A senior police source said: “We’ve had directed and targeted surveillance based on intelligence about the abuse of children involved in prostitution. This intelligence specified particular areas in Govanhill and related to the Roma community. At least six separate incidents involving the alleged abuse of children have been reported to us.”
When asked if the allegations could have been exaggerated or made up by racist members of the community, the senior police source said: “In this case, I have to say that I think it’s a matter of no smoke without fire. There have been many allegations by people in the area about child prostitution.”
Undercover police officers involved in the Govanhill operations have been told that they must blow their own cover the moment it appears that a child is about to be abused. “We’re there to save kids, not wait for a child to be abused up a close before making an arrest,” the senior police source added.
There have so far been three separate periods of undercover surveillance in Govanhill – each lasting a week. The senior police source said: “Such action only takes place on the back of good intelligence, or if numerous sources of intelligence are saying the same thing.”
Superintendent Dean said: “We are aware of allegations about child prostitution in the Govanhill area. Certain police operations have taken place but have so far failed to identify the perpetrators. I would appeal to the public to come forward if they have any information about this matter. The abuse of children cannot be tolerated.
“If we find any evidence of child prostitution we will come down with the full force of Strathclyde Police.”
Dean said the allegations should not be seen as a reflection on the Roma community: “The Roma community would be up in arms itself if the people were aware of these allegations.”
He added: “If anyone is offered a child for the purposes of child prostitution I want to hear from them immediately. If they do have information but do not want to come forward I would challenge them to look at their conscience.”
Police sources say that the Roma man suspected of involvement in the ring was linked to agencies in Slovakia who brought Roma people to Scotland with the promise of jobs and housing.
The police say he makes some of his money in Glasgow as a gang boss by getting employment for Roma men in low-skilled labouring jobs or picking fruit and then taking a cut from everything they earn. He recently bought a new home in Slovakia. There is suspicion that he may also be involved in the drugs trade.
CHILDREN as young as primary school age are being sold for sex on the streets of Glasgow, an investigation has revealed.
Community groups in Govanhill, one of Scotland’s most deprived areas, say Roma children are being sold by parents and relatives – and that the practice has been going on for decades.
The community has come under fire in the past for fly tipping and slum conditions
But authorities have failed to take action for fear of being branded racist – Govanhill has the highest Roma population in Scotland after a dramatic increase in 2004.
The community has come under fire in the past for fly tipping and slum conditions.
Locals have seen girls and boys propositioning people as they walk through the streets at night, reports The Times.
Cops say child sex exploitation enquiries were carried out ten years ago but residents say the problem has re-emerged.
A police statement in 2007 confirmed that at least six instances of child abuse had been reported.
And two years ago councillors formally flagged the sickening problem – but residents say kids as young as primary school age are still being abused.
Olive Arens, the chief executive of Up-2-Us, a government-funded charity that works with vulnerable teenagers, was told the abuse was an “urban myth” when she flagged concerns.
She said: “The sexual exploitation of Roma children in Govanhill is a longstanding issue. You could see the activity.
“It was children and adults making deals in huddles. It is very clear what was taking place but nothing ever happened to stop it.”
In 2015 Crosshill and Govanhill community council recorded that “an issue had been raised regarding child prostitution within Govanhill” and that children were seen to be “wandering the streets at night” in its minutes.
Group leader of the time Joe Beaver said the police didn’t seem surprised by the report.
Social work also said parents were “using their own kids”.
A spokesman for the first minister said “these are deeply concerning claims” while a Glasgow City Council spokesperson added they were “fully alert to the risk of child sexual exploitation in Glasgow”.
Detective Superintendent Alwyn Bell, of Police Scotland, said: “Glasgow child protection committee and the numerous statutory and voluntary agencies represented have robust, well-established child protection procedures.
“Child sexual exploitation is a constant threat within our communities and an area all partners are alert to. As a partnership, we constantly review our procedures in an attempt to continuously improve our services and learn from good practice elsewhere.”
He said local communities should report “anything that appears suspicious or gives cause for concern”.
The scandal over the conduct of UK politicians claimed its first Holyrood scalp when Mr McDonald released a statement admitting his behaviour may have made others uncomfortable.
Mr McDonald,37, said he would remain as Aberdeen Donside MSP which he has served since the 2011 Scottish election.
Formerly regarded as one of the SNP’s rising stars, Mr McDonald issued an unreserved apology to those he may have upset.
His statement said: “It has been brought to my attention that some of my previous actions have been considered to be inappropriate – where I have believed myself to have been merely humorous or attempting to be friendly, my behaviour might have made others uncomfortable or led them to question my intentions.
“My behaviour is entirely my responsibility and I apologise unreservedly to anyone I have upset or who might have found my behaviour inappropriate.
“In light of my position in government, I believe it would not be appropriate for me to continue to serve in my role in the Scottish Government at this time and I have tendered my resignation as a minister.
“I hope that in taking this step neither any particular woman or my family will be the focus of undue and unwarranted scrutiny.
“It has been an honour to serve in the Scottish Government and I will continue to serve my constituents in Aberdeen Donside to the best of my ability.”
Press Event on Thursday 26th October 2017 for the Scottish Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and Satanist Ritual Abuse (SRA) Awareness Roadshow Starting in Spring 2018 10Am To 3pm.
Fresh Start Foundation Ltd, a not for profit company, is delighted to announce that we, together with partners, will be rolling out a programme of child sexual abuse & Satanist ritual abuse awareness road shows throughout Scotland from Spring 2018, with the message that we will not leave any Victims & Survivors behind.
The lack of engagement with the Scottish Government’s CSA Inquiry, speaks volumes that Victims & Survivors are suffering in silence in large numbers. We are inviting you to engage with us so that together we can reach out to Victims & Survivors, to empower them by giving them a voice, so that they do not have to suffer in silence any more.
Accordingly, Fresh Start Foundation would like to cordially invite you to our Press Event on Thursday 26th October 2017, at the SYHA Edinburgh Central to announce the dates for these road shows and outline why it is so important that we all work together for Victims & Survivors.
W I L D C A T
MEET THE FRESH START FOUNDATION..
Psychologist Cordelia Fine is the third woman in a row to win the £25,000 award, which has been described as the Booker prize for science writing. Her book, Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds, follows Gaia Vince’s win for Adventures in the Anthropocene in 2015 and Andrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature in 2016.
Judges of the Royal Society Insight Investment science book prize, which was awarded in London on Tuesday, praised Testosterone Rex for its eye-opening, forensic look at gender stereotypes and its urgent call for change.
Palaeontologist Richard Fortey, who chaired the judging panel, described it as “a cracking critique of the ‘men are from Mars, women are from Venus’ hypothesis.”
It is the third investigation of gender bias in science by Fine, who is professor of the history and philosophy of science at the Melbourne University. In 2008’s A Mind of Its Own she examined the brain’s ability to deceive itself. Her 2011 book Delusions of Gender challenged the idea that differences were hardwired into male and female brains.
In Testosterone Rex, the 42-year-old author concentrates on hormones, writing in the Observer: “There are no essential male or female characteristics – not even when it comes to risk-taking and competitiveness, the traits so often called on to explain why men are more likely to rise to the top.”
“Testosterone affects our brain, body and behaviour. But it is neither the king nor the king maker – the hormonal essence of competitive, risk-taking masculinity – it’s often assumed to be.”
Read more Why Testosterone Rex is extinct
The book emerged as winner from a six-strong shortlist, which ranged from the frontiers of medical science (Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life and Joseph Jebelli’s In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s), to maths (Eugenia Cheng’s Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of the Mathematical Universe), evolution and artificial intelligence (respectively Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life; Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death).
Judge and BBC broadcaster Claudia Hammond said: “Testosterone Rex stood out from the start. In our sifting for the longlist it was one of only three books that all the judges picked.”
She added that the book had made her question some of her own assumptions, particularly about the association of masculinity with risk-taking. “Having a baby in many parts of the world is risky, as is giving up your job to have a baby. It all depends on what you regard as risk.”
“There have been plenty of books about gender and stereotyping and unconscious bias. What’s original in this book is that she takes apart the science so forensically. I was slightly surprised that it ends with this great call to action, but that is what is refreshing about it,” said Hammond. “It’s also very funny. She manages to be witty in a book that could so easily have ended up sounding hectoring.”
Fine joins Stephen Hawking, Jared Diamond, and Stephen Jay Gould on a winners’ list dedicated to identifying the best in popular science writing.
Broadcaster and particle physicist Brian Cox, who hosts the awards, said science books were “more valuable than ever in today’s so-called post-factual world”.
He conceded that Fine’s win might be seen as a provocative choice by some, but added that “the very idea that a book about science as we currently understand it can be considered provocative tells me that there is something amiss in public discourse”. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/19/testosterone-rex-royal-society-science-book-of-the-year-cordelia-fine
Aside from the obvious Gender Agenda behind the article, there’s another reason I blogged this.
It reminded me of the gender education “scheme” Gendersaurus Rex!
Which in simple terms is FishFace & ScotGov oh-so-casually funding the mind warping of our children!! (links below)
WHAT’S THE DEAL WI DINOSAURS & GENDER F*CKSHITTERY?
Or is it more to do with the word REX? Who knows?!! But i’ll be keeping a wee eye on those damn dinosaurs!!!
DAVID BOWIE WAS A RAPIST & A PAEDOPHILE!!
UNIONIST politicians have been told to stop cosying up to social media “trolls” who carry out foul-mouthed abuse and intimidation of independence supporters online.
Politicians who promote accounts which have engaged in racist and misogynistic abuse have been accused of “hypocrisy” by the Scottish Green’s external affairs spokesman Ross Greer MSP. SNP MSP Christina McKelvie, Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee, added that threats must stop.
McKelvie, who has been attacked by unionist trolls as a “f*****g bam and a “c**t”, said: “I had to get the police involved just before the 2016 election as the abuse and threats where becoming a tsunami with hundreds of posts…a day. Many of these people, including some elected members, are blocked by me…on police advice.”
Ross Greer, who has called out trolls among Yes supporters, said: “Many unionist politicians like to demand the Yes movement cleans up its act, but they don’t see the hypocrisy of making this call while interacting with, following and promoting some of the nastiest trolls on their own side. They act like the abuse is all one way but everyone knows that’s not the case. Any party whose representatives give these trolls legitimacy through their interactions have no place calling out others until they get their own house in order.”
Last month MEP Alyn Smith proposed a new online code of conduct for the SNP as a first step to cleaning up Scotland’s social media wars. There seems to be no moves to tackle problems on the unionist side of the debate, howver.
A Tweet sent last week by former director of the pro-union Better Together campaign, Blair McDougall, said: “Mainstream SNPers who mocked us when we complained about abuse and now find themselves on receiving end of monster they created: no sympathy.”
The Sunday Herald has collated examples of some of the most vile trolling which pollutes Scottish cyberspace. Much of the vitriol is misogynistic. Pro-union Twitter user @brianspanner1 has described SNP MP Mhairi Black as a “nasty little f**k”;
SNP minister Roseanna Cunningham as a “bitter shovelled old c**t”;
Scottish independence supporter and actress Elaine C Smith as a “thirsty c**t”.
The identity of the person (or people) behind the account is unknown, but high-profile, pro-union Twitter users, including author JK Rowling and Labour Hame editor Duncan Hothersall, regularly engage with the account.
MP Mhairi Black was also a target of the ‘historywoman’ account run by Jill Stephenson, an historian. She said in 2015 Black was a “foul-mouthed slut”.
Twitter user @500_mrg recently posted an image of former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh speaking to a group of children and said she was a “slut” who was “dressed like a common street whore”.
Edinburgh-based tweeter @mark2410 – who is followed by Tory MSPs Miles Briggs and Dean Lockhart – surmised that SNP supporters must be “rapists” because “they just don’t seem to understand that no means no”.
Graeme Orr, who tweets as @mrsitter89, said SNP supporters are “worse than rapists”.
SNP Councillor Julie McKenzie, who has been a target of unionist trolls, said: “It’s about time tangible measures were put in place to tackle it head on. Instead of sweeping this form of harassment and it’s associated behaviours under the carpet we all have a duty to call it out for what it is. A good starting point may be an open register of convicted online abusers.”
An account named @stevewright63 – which has now been removed – tweeted to SNP minister Humza Yousaf “people like you are just as much a threat to the UK as those killers in France”.
Another Twitter user who went by the name of @james47238383 before his account was suspended suggested terror group Isis “missed a turn” and should have targeted #marchforindy, a pro-independence demonstration.
He also described Nicola Sturgeon as “A F*****G prostitute”.
Former Tory councillor Gordon McCaskill was later suspended from the party after tweeting he would like to see members of Islamic State infiltrate Sturgeon’s home.
The account @BillyLawrence81’s tweeted in June 2016: “I’d love to kick that c**t @nicolasturgeon right in the face”. By putting an @ symbol before Sturgeon’s name he ensured the First Minister’s account received the threatening message.
Steven Burgess’s account @Beddau71, followed by Tory councillor for Forfar Braden Davy, posted a tweet in October last year which said: “The only way to protect Scotland is for these nationalists to be anaesthetised.”
There are dozens of tweets likening the SNP to Nazis, its leaders to Adolf Hitler and the party logo to a Swastika from accounts including @purpleline, @graeme_m_scott and @Trebor68.
The account @stevesayers1 lifted a video of a little girl giving a pro-independence message and posted it publiclyurging the NSPCC to investigate whether the child had suffered “abuse”.
In 2016 @Lizcampbell41 accused “SNPers” of constantly “touching kids”. She is followed by Tory MSPs Jamie Greene and Liam Kerr, Labour peer Lord Foulkes, and Scottish Ukip leader David Coburn MEP.
The SNP said: “Political arguments should be made with courtesy and respect at all times.” A Scottish Tory spokesman said: “There is absolutely no excuse for abusive and threatening language online and all political parties have a duty to make it clear this behaviour is totally unacceptable. We have taken swift and decisive action in response to incidents involving party activists or members and would expect all other parties to do the same.”
A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: “Any form of abuse is unacceptable.” The Scottish Liberal Democrats did not respond to a request for comment
PART 2 ON YOUTUBE
BLOGS FEATURED & OTHER CONNECTED BLOGS
ESTHER RANTZEN: She has links to LOTS of paedo. But it’s ok, she’s here to HELP Scottish kids. https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/10/29/esther-rantzen-here-to-help-scottish-kids/
Abuse campaigner: I told Esther Rantzen about paedo Jimmy Savile 18 years ago https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/984731/abuse-campaigner-i-told-esther-rantzen-about-paedo-jimmy-savile-18-years-ago/
Moira Anderson, Gallogley, Gartshore, Willie McRae & The Untouchables
ROBERT EWART HENDERSON QC
HANDS UP ALL THOSE WHO ARE DEAD! Ian Brady, Myra Hindley, The Glasgow Godfather, Savile, The Krays, Robert Black & More
ROBERT BLACK: What happened to innocent until PROVEN guilty?
Could Robert Black Be Innocent Of Murder?
ROBERT BLACK ALIVE & FREE 2 ROAM THE COUNTRY
Paul Ferris & The Krays
Ferris, Massey Guns & MI5
SCOTLAND, GANGSTERS & SECURITY SERVICES
THE KING RAT: The Godfather, The Krays, Massey, Domenyk & Paedophiles
Glasgow’s gangsters: Arthur Thompson – the Godfather
Circles & Rings: Major, Minor & Magic
Fred & Rose West: Documentaries, News Reports & Interviews https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/09/13/fred-rose-west-documentaries-news-reports-interviews/
Satanic Cover Up: Fred & Rose West – Occult connection?
What was the REAL meaning of Fred & Rose West’s postcard to their paedo pals?
30 “Historic” Newspaper Articles on Thomas Hamilton & Dunblane
McRae, Gallogley, Paton, Ibrox, Celtic’s Jock Stein & Kevin Kelly, The Catholic Church & Savile all over the damn place!
MISSING, LOST, STOLEN & HIDDEN PAEDOFILES https://spidercatweb.blog/2015/10/09/missing-paedo-files-2/
A prestigious school rocked by child abuse allegations has contacted more than 3,000 former pupils in an effort to uncover historic offences.
Allegations of Gordonstoun pupils being abused first became public two years ago. A number of ex-pupils at its junior school, Aberlour House, claimed they were preyed on by teachers during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Since then, staff have been helping police with their investigation.
And now it has emerged the school has been in touch with thousands of former pupils to ask them to report any abuse they may have suffered while studying there.
Principal Lisa Kerr said it was important to “learn the lessons of the past” in order to ensure the abuse never happened again.
She said: “We have been incredibly proactive in contacting our alumni and saying ‘if you had a bad experience please come forward’.
“If things happened which were criminal, we want them reported to the police, and investigating officers have been very supportive.”
Gordonstoun – where several members of the Royal family have studied – is one of several independent schools in Scotland named by judge Lady Smith, who is conducting a national inquiry into historical abuse.
Writing in the most recent alumni magazine, the school’s chairwoman, Eve Poole, expressed her support for the Scottish abuse inquiry and included its contact details.
Historic sex abuse allegations were first made against the school on a private Facebook page set up by former students, and became public in 2015.
One student claimed she was raped as a 12-year-old on a school camping trip, while another claimed he was assaulted in his dormitory at Aberlour House in 1990 after getting injured in a rugby game.
Now school bosses say there are measures in place to ensure any evidence of bullying or abuse will be immediately detected.
But Ms Kerr said that its leaders needed to know about events of the past to ensure they were not repeated.
She added: “There is not an organisation in the country that could not put its hand on its heart and say things had happened in the past which they wish did not.
“That’s a matter for sadness and regret in society as a whole.
“What we are doing here is giving as much attention and care to people who did not have a happy time in the past as pupils in our care do today.
“For us, it’s not about trying to brush anything under the carpet, it is quite the opposite.
“We cannot give the kind of care we have here today if we try to pretend that the past did not happen, we have to be open about it.
“I am determined to do that, and I hope it will give people the confidence to come forward.”
Ms Kerr, who was appointed last year as Gordonstoun’s first female principal, said she is proud of the support and care given to students at the school today.
A computer system allows information to be shared about any pupil who may be showing signs of distress or “unusual behaviour”.
Each pupil is assigned a staff supervisor, a group leader, a child protection officer and student counsellor – a system that has been approved by the Care Inspectorate.
The school, founded in 1934, taught Prince Charles and brothers Andrew and Edward, along with other members of the royal family.
Former pupils also include Lossiemouth’s Olympic gold medal-winning rower Heather Stanning.
PRESS & JOURNAL 26th June 2017
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry heard safeguarding measures put in place by the Christian Brothers at St Ninian’s school in Fife fell “well short” of what would be expected today.
Last year two former teachers were jailed for a total of 15 years after being convicted of the physical and sexual abuse of boys in their care.
Appearing before the inquiry in Edinburgh on behalf of the Christian Brothers, Michael Madigan said the congregation acknowledged with “deepest regret” that children had been abused.
Mr Madigan said priests had been allowed unaccompanied access to boys despite a warning in the “Chastity” section of a 1946 report which discouraged Brothers from spending time alone with children.
He said dormitories at the school were often supervised during the night by just one Brother and said the disappearance of log books for the period 1976-83 – when much of the abuse took place – was “mystifying”.
One priest, now dead, had been removed from the school and later relieved of his vows in the 1960s because he “could not be trusted with children”.
The inquiry, before Lady Smith, heard that 858 boys passed through the school between 1958 and its closure in 1983.
A total of 35 former pupils came forward with allegations against five members of staff ahead of last year’s trial, but only two men were convicted.
Mr Madigan said the congregation acknowledged there had been “systemic failures” and had not done enough to protect children.
He added: “By today’s standards, certainly, we would have fallen well short of what was deemed desirable.”
Mr Madigan, who was asked by the Christian Brothers to compile a report for the inquiry, said log books detailing physical punishments at St Ninian’s were held in the congregation’s archives in Dublin.
But he said the records were “scant” for the period 1973-76 and non-existent for the period 1976-83. The inquiry heard a constitution published by the Christian Brothers in 1946 had discouraged priests from spending time alone with children in their care.
Asked why that was the case, Mr Madigan said: “The risk of temptation to molest the pupils. Unfortunately, a lot of experience would have borne that out.”
The inquiry continues.