Why was it necessary to try Stuart Hall in camera?
The more one gets into the area of child sex-abuse, the murkier it gets. Eight years and eleven separate promises of action later, the Secret Family Courts are still secret. Now it looks as if we’re going to have a new judicial Division, the Secret Celebrity Courts.
Until last night I had a very straightforward view about Stuart Hall: he was, for me, always associated with television programmes aimed at those with an IQ lower than their limb count – and therefore a bit of a prat. Now – piecing together source snippets and staccato media reportage, I have added a likely second opinion: he was an opportunistic paedophile working alone. It looks very doubtful indeed that he was a systemic, networked paedophile. Certainly, what he doesn’t have is any power: he’s old, ordinary and washed-up: that’s why he’s been caught and found guilty. Had he been dead, his crimes would’ve come to light before now.
But the thing is, I have not been allowed, as a free British citizen, to attend Court and make my own mind up about it.
Last night I returned from a lovely informal supper with solid, grounded friends here in southern France. There was an email waiting for my attention when I got back, and on the basis of it I ran an item in this morning’s Smoke Signals on the subject of Bill Roach’s arrest yesterday. The email warned me about the Hall case, and suggested strongly that Roach’s situation would prove to be similar in its outcome. The ‘media consultant’ referred to is not, in my humble estimation, the nicest of people: his basic premise when dealing with the élite is “You underestimate the intelligence of the thinking Brit: beware”.
I have not the faintest notion as to what the grounds were for hearing the Hall case in camera. Last year’s Pakistani mass-grooming cases were a different matter, and I went along with that in the community interest. But while Stuart Hall has the mark of sad about him, the Marquis de Sade he is not. He lacks influence, he is not a gangster capable of terrorising juries, nor does he have a regiment of cynical lawyers at his disposal to pervert such justice as still exists in Great Britain. I remain steadfast in my view that he is just a distraction: and so I would like to hear some MPs beyond Tom Watson’s tribalist niggling asking serious questions about why a media-excluded trial of Stuart Hall was necessary.
Of course I am mortified about the effect on Hall’s victims, and admire the diligence of the Lancashire police in putting together what seems to have been a complex investigation. But I am sick to death of hypothesising about what seems to have been. I’m a big boy now – I wear long trousers – and I want to see the highest professionals in the land coming to public trial…not just the pathetic, amateur lowlife disappearing into a black hole of judicial secrecy.
Of late, I have been courting more and more opinion about the psychography of organised child abuse. I think the personality match between Big State’s power over the Small citizen and Adult’s power over the defenceless Child is one well worth further investigation….if only because the condition in common is bullying. Bullies flourish in a culture of secrecy. My observation here is that two secrecies do not make a transparent.