Paedophile Information Exchange
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The group's aim was to campaign for the rights of paedophiles. In 1976 it began publishing a magazine entitled Understanding Paedophilia which was later replaced with the punnishly-named Magpie. Amongst the contents of Magpie were book and film reviews written from a paedophilic angle.
The group came to the public's attention in late 1977; at the time it had around 250 members.
The LGBT rights advocate Peter Tatchell unwittingly contributed to a book written by Warren Middleton (former vice-chair of PIE) called the Betrayal Of Youth (initials BOY, geddit?), leading to claims from far-right organisations such as the British National Party that Peter Tatchell was an apologist for paedophilia and child sexual abuse. Tatchell denies any wrongdoings, stating that:
“”I had no idea that [Middleton] was involved in paedophilia advocacy when I was asked to write my essay. [...] When I was invited to write a chapter, I was told it was a book about children's rights and asked if I could write about the age of consent. It seemed a reasonable request at the time.
My chapter in the book did not endorse child sex. It merely questioned whether 16 was the appropriate legal age of consent. Different people mature at different ages. There are many countries that have diverse ages of consent, some higher and some lower than 16. I did not advocate the abolition of the age of consent or specify at what age sex should become lawful.I was not aware of who the other authors were or what they wrote until the book was published. I would not have agreed to be in the book if I had known. [...] There is nothing in my contribution that even remotely condones child sex abuse.
The National Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty) was loosely affiliated with PIE in the 1970s. The NCCL argued that photographs of undressed children should not be considered "indecent" unless it could be proven that the subject had suffered harm or that an inference to that effect or to the effect that harm might have been caused could reasonably be drawn from the images themselves, with Harriet Harman (later deputy leader of the Labour Party) arguing that it would "increase censorship". NCCL had excluded PIE by 1983.
In February 2014, Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, issued an apology for the previous links between the NCCL and PIE. She said: "It is a source of continuing disgust and horror that even the NCCL had to expel paedophiles from its ranks in 1983 after infiltration at some point in the seventies."
- "Paedophiles jailed after 3,000 child abuse drawings found", The Guardian, 15 July 2011
- Scans of which can be seen here.
- Underage se: Statement of clarification by Peter Tatchell, 1 October 2012
- Williams, Zoe (25 February 2014) "PIE, the NCCl and Harriet Harman: why she was right not to apologise", The Guardian
- Beckford, Martin (17 October 2012). "Labour faces embarrassment over former child sex claims". Daily Telegraph.
- Beckford, Martin (9 March 2009). "Harriet Harman under attack over bid to water down child pornography law". Daily Telegraph.
- Hope, Christopher (24 February 2014). "Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey, Patricia Hewitt and the Paedophile Information Exchange". Daily Telegraph.