The Buck Does Stop With You Starmer

keir starmer

Main image: “But you were the Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Keir.

‘Not On Our Watch’ is a slogan that has been much used by the BM recently. Steve and Benny use it in their Under The Sunwheel podcasts each month. It means that we will take responsibility for events that take place whilst we are in charge.

Similarly, President Truman had on his desk a motto which said ‘The Buck Stops Here’, and was a promise that responsibility will not be passed on to anyone else. This week in Parliament, the leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, sat aghast after he was accused of refusing to prosecute the celebrity paedophile Jimmy Savile.

Although there is no evidence he was personally involved, as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) between 2008 and 2013, Keir Starmer was ultimately responsible for the controversial decision not to bring charges against the serial paedophile Jimmy Savile in 2009.

Last Monday in the House of Commons, PM Boris Johnson yelled that Starmer spent most of his time as DPP ‘prosecuting journalists and failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile’. Johnson’s tactic was obviously to deflect attention from ‘Partygate’ and on to his opposite number.

Starmer presided over the arrests of dozens of journalists as part of Operation Elveden, which investigated payments made by a number of reporters to corrupt police and public officials.

But the suggestion that Starmer, by virtue of being head of the CPS, failed to prosecute Savile for his crimes, led to screams of protest from Labour MP’s and a few of Johnsons own Tory backbenchers. Starmer himself later accused Johnson of ‘parroting the conspiracy theories of violent fascists’ for political gain. But Starmer has form when it comes to failing to prosecute controversial cases.

In 2012, law chief Starmer was reported as saying that ‘We failed grooming victims’.

A generation of girls was betrayed by the justice system’s flawed approach to sexual exploitation, England’s chief prosecutor has admitted. Keir Starmer, QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said that men who groomed teenagers for sex had escaped justice for decades because police, prosecutors and the courts failed to understand the nature of the abuse.

In Rochdale, local authorities had blamed their reluctance to prosecute on the fear of being perceived as racist due to the fact the perpetrators were of South Asian origin and the victims were mostly white British girls. Starmer was forced to apologise for the mishandling of the case, saying that prosecutors shouldn’t “shy away” from the “issue of ethnicity” which had to be “understood and addressed”

Sir Keir also oversaw the dramatic decline in the prosecution rate of rape cases as a result of the introduction of new guidance which led to police referring fewer cases to the CPS for charging decisions.

Not On My Watch is a motto that ‘leaders’ like Starmer and Johnson would do well to heed.

Jimmy Savile, Leeds Marathon 1982.


Top Image: CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Bottom Image: William Starkey, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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