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    Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas poses for a photograph with a green question mark outside the entrance to Downing Street in central London on May 30, 2017

    Mainstream Media Miss UK Green Party Child Sex Abuse Scandal

    © AFP 2019 / Justin TALLIS
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    On August 26, UK Green Party leadership candidate Aimee Challenor dropped out of the race, days after the conviction of her father for "committing some of the gravest human rights violations that face women and girls across the world". It’s a scandal the mainstream media seem to have largely missed, the dimensions of which are yet to fully unfurl.

    The conviction of David Challenor in August was one of the most heavily-reported pedophile cases in recent UK history, and for good reason. The 50-year-old Coventry resident was found guilty of holding a 10-year-old girl captive in a "torture den" he'd crafted in his attic, where he carried out an assortment of perverse sadomasochistic acts, including electrocution and whipping, while she was tied to a beam.

    The court heard he'd dress up as a small girl in adult-sized baby dresses and nappies before carrying out the attacks, and attempted to force his victim to perform sexual acts upon him.

    After she was finally released, the girl was initially too frightened to tell anyone about her ordeal, but eventually plucked up the courage — and her adult confidant reported Challenor to the police.

    After his arrest, Challenor denied the offenses, claiming the girl was "a fantasist" — despite police searches of his property uncovering bondage gear, sex aids, gaffer tape, a stun gun, ropes, his dungeon-style attic and photographs of the abuse he carried out. Despite pleading not guilty, and his wife testifying in his favor, in the resultant trial the jury took mere hours to convict him of all but one charge, jailing him for 22 years.

    Conspiracy of Silence

    In a statement, Aimee claimed she didn't know the "full details" of her father's "despicable behaviour" until his conviction, despite the "heinous crimes" taking place in their family home.

    "His crimes are abhorrent…but I cannot be held responsible for the actions of my father. I am not to blame for his behavior. I did not go into the attic during my adult life — it was considered ‘dad's space'. That didn't seem unusual for me at the time. While I piece my own feelings back together, I want to underscore that my thoughts are firmly with the survivors of my father's abhorrent behavior including young women whose lives will be impacted forever. I ask for privacy while I rebuild myself and while I look after my mum who is also coming to terms with this," she added.

    Whatever the truth of the matter, Aimee certainly was aware David had been arrested and faced trial, but didn't disclose either during the party's formal nomination or selection processes — and even more shockingly, the aspiring Green leader named him as her election agent in the 2017 General Election and the local elections in May 2018.

    In a statement, an unnamed Green spokesperson said a "full investigation into how this was able to happen" had been initiated — and Aimee would not be undertaking any official Green Party roles while the party "urgently" looked into the circumstances.

    Nonetheless, some clue as to how Aimee managed to suppress her father's role may be offered by her campaign leaflets, which under UK law are required to include the name of a candidate's agent or promoter. Aimee's did not mention David by name, instead referring to ‘Baloo Challenor', her father's nickname, which he used in his work as an assistant Scout leader and volunteer with children's gymnastics.

    Pedophilic Precedents

    A pedophilia scandal in the UK Green party ranks has gone under-reported in the mainstream media before. In March 2015, Professor Andrew Dobson — who co-wrote the party's 2010 election manifesto, and ran as a party parliamentary candidate in 2005 — was arrested by police for engaging in sexually explicit chats with underage girls, and downloading images of child abuse.

    A professor at Keele University and author of five books on environmental political theory, Dobson used his home and office computers to have a "considerable amount" of sexually explicit online chats with seven girls aged 13 — 15. He told investigators it was a "fantasy" of his to have sexual intercourse with the children — and searches of his hard drives revealed 14 indecent images classed as Category A — the most serious classification — and 12 Category C.

    In January 2017, Dobson pleaded guilty to 17 sex offense charges — including 14 counts of attempting to cause a female aged 13 or over to engage in sexual activity, two of making indecent photographs of children, and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child — and received a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

    Pedophilia has also blighted Green parties in other countries. For instance, in 2013, the German Greens instigated an internal probe into the party's historic connections with pedophilia-advocacy groups, issuing a significant apology at a November 2014 press conference for the warm reception such organizations received in the 1980s.

    The investigation's findings made clear pedophiles were involved in German Green party activities since its founding in 1980 — its first-ever conference, in the city of Karlsruhe, was attended by many ‘Urban Indians' who advocated legalization of "all affectionate sexual relations between adults and children".

    That the German Greens were a magnet for pedophiles was perhaps unsurprising — several prominent members of the newly-founded party had histories of making highly questionable statements about sex with children. For instance, Daniel Cohn-Bendit (a Green MEP since 1994, and Co-President of the European Greens-European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament 2004 — 2014) described several erotic encounters with five-year-olds his 1975 book Der Grosse Basar (The Great Bazaar), which took place while he was a kindergarten teacher.

    "A child's sexuality is a fantastic thing. You have to be honest and sincere. With the very young kids, it isn't the same as with the four-to-six-year-olds. When a little, five-year-old girl starts undressing, it's great, because it's a game. It's an incredibly erotic game," he wrote.

    Several articles advocating sex with minors were also published in anarchist magazine Pflasterstrand in the 1980s under his tenure as Editor. In response to the controversy, Cohn-Bendit has alleged such writings were, in fact, fictional "obnoxious [provocations]", intended to challenge conventional thinking about sexual morality at the time.

    Related:

    'Historic Abuse': Green Party Wants Sweden to Address Its 'Colonial Past'
    UN Needs 'Quick Punishment' of Peacekeeper Sex Abusers to Regain Trust
    UK Political Establishment Involved in Child Abuse and Murder in 1970s-80s
    Could Pedophilia Be Cured? Scientist Urges Spending on 'Research, Not Revenge'
    Tags:
    mainstream media failure, political scandal, child sexual abuse, pedophilia, Green Party, Germany, United Kingdom
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