Firstly, on the face of it the "misplacing" of Dickens' dossier is, at best, a catastrophic error. It is inexcusable that it should have gone missing. Yet that does not automatically mean its contents were of substantive value. As Reuben rightly notes, Dickens was
... a campaigner against witchcraft, and satanism, and against the decision by a previous government to repeal the 1735 Witchcraft Act – which he believed had made it a little too easy for evil to flourish. Of course these things were not unrelated, since like many people in the 1980s, Dickens was hooked on the idea that up and down the country children were being subjected to Satanic Ritual Abuse - a phenomenon now universally regarded as a moral panic with little-to-no basis in fact.This leads me to my second point. At the risk of sounding like Brendan O'Neill, the rising clamour around alleged paedophile politicians has created a constituency who almost want there to be a scandal. Matters are made worse by the crimes of Cyril Smith coming to light. So we have a media wanting something to fill their schedules and pages. And as for the wider anti-politics malaise, it's confirmation of the ultimate corruption of politics - despite mainstream politicians taking the brewing crisis by the bit and acting decisively. The febrile atmosphere leads to another issue. When a list of unsubstantiated allegations are a Twitter search away, when child abuse combines with a culture of lost trust and antipathy, there will be real problems ensuring any future defendants receive a fair trial.
In 1988 he told She Magazine that “up and down the country” hundreds of Children were being “sacrificed” to the devil. Interestingly, he said he was building up a dossier which he hoped would provide concrete proof of the evils of satanism, which he would be handing on to the police ...
In 1983 Dickens called on Brittan to investigate pedophilia at the royal court, buckhingham palace and in the diplomatic and civil services. It is impossible, right now, to know what was in that dossier – was it packed full of credible evidence, or was it dross about witches and satanists. Yet it is worth noting, that Dickens retained his own copy of the dossier, and remained alive for another decade, and was hardly shy about getting in touch with the media, if he felt (often wrongly) that had something credible to offer them.
If the rumours are substantiated, silence has, so far, allowed a bunch of paedophiles get away with it. It would be an awful irony if splashing allegations across the internet and media let them continue to do so.