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Chair, Alexis Jay's annual salary of almost £200,000 was an oft-repeated example of government waste

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA, 2014-2022)[1] in England and Wales was an "independent" state-initiated inquiry examining how the country's institutions handled their "duty of care" to "protect" children from sexual abuse. IICSA was nevertheless criticized for itself becoming an "institution", and was known for producing 19 reports on 15 investigations at great public expense. Much of this prolific body of literature was criticized for employing loaded language, outdated purity discourse and questionable statistical techniques.

IICSA was announced by the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, on 7 July 2014.[2] It was set up after investigations in 2012 and 2013 into the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal revealed widespread allegations of abuse, particularly unsubstantiated claims stretching back over decades, against prominent media and political figures, and "inadequate" safeguarding by institutions and organizations responsible for child welfare. After confected and media-amplified outrage as to the inquiry's scope, and the disastrous resignation of its first two intended chairs, the inquiry was reconstituted in February 2015 as a statutory inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, giving it greatly increased powers to compel sworn testimony and to examine classified information. Described as a "debacle" in 2016,[3] the inquiry has since been through another two chairs and faced criticism from child abuse charities, one of whom described it as a "very costly academic report-writing and literature review exercise".[4]

Criticism from MAPs

Many MAPs point to the IICSA as an example of how governments, in their purported attempts to "increase accountability", succeed only in wasting (large amounts of) public money - incentivizing credentialed academics to confirm existing prejudices by compromising professional standards. The repeated use of emotionally-loaded language by the supposedly independent inquiry chairs, and the moral validation of unethical legal practices are examples of this.

British-Irish author Thomas O'Carroll:

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say bring back Boris, the big blond guy was definitely right about one thing. He was branded “shameless” three years ago after he claimed that money spent investigating historic cases of child sex abuse was being “spaffed up the wall”.

He revealed that the vast Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) had cost a stonking £60 million by that time. But now, as the final report was presented yesterday, after this lumbering Behemoth had been wreaking havoc for a decade or so, we learn that Boris’s figure wasn’t even half the final one. It is now being officially put at a truly monstrous £186 million. And for what? Just so that a bunch of narcissistic attention-seekers could sound off, basically, and go grubbing for “compo”, aided and abetted by vulture lawyers.

I should know how ridiculous the whole thing was. I was approached by the inquiry’s chief solicitor and asked to be a witness in the Westminster strand of its deliberations. That, you may recall, was about an alleged “V.I.P. paedophile ring” involving PIE, as well as top politicians and the like, including former prime minister Edward Heath. It was all an utter farce, a wild concoction of fantasy B.S. in which many people were falsely accused. I blogged about it, so no need to reprise the sorry saga now, except to make clear that I did give evidence as requested, using the opportunity to tell all the parasites profiting from this scandalous waste of public money exactly what I thought of their endeavours.[5]

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