The scandal tearing through Britain about missing home office files on alleged child abuse rankles. It’s happening to me. Now NSPCC wants to make covering up chlid abuse, by hiding files, a crime. I applied to see the files that reveal my entire childhood in care and everything of note that happened within it. It conceals eighteen years of the memory of me by those who were my parents, my family – the state. Imagine you had all memory of your first eighteen years held in a box with no parents or family to confirm whether or not it is there and yet you are the only person who knows that it was.
My files are the heart of the story from my birth. In 2010 I made a BBC Radio 4 documentary in search for them. Child of The State. The process was demeaning. I had to apply as a “customer” to “adult services” of Wigan Council. I was then proffered a staff member from one if its worst institutions – wood end assessment centre – who was commissioned to source the files. I thought there would be an outcome of some kind. There was an outcome but not the one I expected.