This message is from Trevor Pitman, Deputy of the States of Jersey who started the petition "@ukhomeoffice: Restore the visa of banned journalist Leah McGrath Goodman #FreeJersey," which you signed on Change.org.
Some new news -- from Leah McGrath Goodman:
Thanks so much for your continued support. As we close in on 3,000 signatures, it looks like I may be closer to having my visa restored in the UK.
Right now, the heightened awareness of how abuse victims have been hurt in England has made it easier for the sponsor of this petition, Trevor Pitman, to engage in positive communications on my behalf with the UK's immigration authorities. (Thank you, Trevor!) With any luck, I may have the green-light to continue my research by the end of the year.
This is only if the UK authorities follow through on their assurances, however. We are hopeful, but the hard work is not yet done and each step has proven expensive...both in terms of time, emotional resources and funding.
Please continue to spread the word. Awareness is key, so long as there are editorials like the one featured in last Friday's Financial Times letting fly with such statements as: "Fraud, robbery, mugging, burglary – even rape and murder – may sometimes eventually be forgiven. But no such indulgence is available to child abusers. This was not always so."
This very strange piece -- which might have better run under the title "In Defense of Paedophiles" -- comes from Sir Max Hastings, an otherwise respected British author, historian and journalist. Not sure what the point of comparing child abuse to burglary is -- other than fouling oneself as a sort of paedophile apologist -- but Hastings does not let it drop there.
"The public obsession with paedophilia now obliges art galleries and auctioneers to exercise extreme care in marketing images of children," he says. "Many honourable and admirable people who work with the young must exercise elaborate care to avoid casual physical contact with their charges."
Uh, isn't taking elaborate care around children supposed to be a good thing?
While these are the kinds of ignorant sputterings I have long grown used to hearing from, ahem, "paedocrats," it is disappointing to hear them from a fellow journalist -- a beknighted one at that -- who should really know better.
(Just an aside: You also have to ask yourself what motivated Hastings to write this editorial. To make a fuss over such high-class problems as the way in which auctioneers are suffering when the protection of children is in question seems to be in the worst of taste.)
The editorial must be read in full to be believed, but Hastings does reassure us that "child abuse is not a national plague" and we should instead focus on tut-tutting the "spasms of hysteria."
Unlike Hastings, I do not believe getting to the bottom of the matter is, as he says, akin to an "archaeological dig." Or that "Roman excavations are more fruitful." I believe as long as there is a push to not ask questions or dig deeper there are plenty of reasons to continue to do so. With patience and compassion, there are ways to heal, but they cannot be approached from a place of denial or ignorance. Let us hope that the national discourse can be allowed to move forward, from a place of truth.
Thank you for your continued support. It has made all the difference!