Tediously, a very poor legal judgement earlier in this truly depressing week for justice forces me to make one thing clear at the outset of this post. After extensive enquiries, and genuinely to the very best of my knowledge, I do not think that Lord McAlpine has any history whatsoever of paedophile tendencies. So the fact that his name appears in the same headline as the jeu de mot ‘Paedofile’ should not be taken, by hearse-following legal vultures, to mean that any libel is involved here.
I do think that, in the familial sense, Lord Ally McAlpine has been shall we way somewhat discreet since he was falsely accused of infant-buggery; but that is an entirely separate issue. No – this piece is about the continuing inability of the British to come to terms with the sex-maniacs in their midst.
We are a hopelessly divided country, I’m afraid. The Daily Telegraph columnist Graeme Archer, for instance, writes about the Bercow judgement today. He seems like a jolly good egg – but I’m quite certain that he is allowing the ‘form’ of Sally’s Silly Tweet to override the content of it. A no more than adequate defence team (and that lets Carter-Ruck off the hook, I’m led to understand) could have argued that she was commenting upon a trend, not opining upon – let alone suggesting – guilt.
In that context, frankly, *innocent face* is utterly irrelevant: Lord McAlpine was trending because he was thought by thousands of innocent tweeters to be under suspicion. As he quite obviously was (thanks to the incompetence of a spineless BBC team) to find La Bercow’s tweet libellous is a very poor judgement indeed.
And therein lies the rub…for the Judge was none other than Michael Tugendhat, the brother of a Tory politician with close links to many of the leading lights in the Party in the time of Lord McAlpine’s fund-raising hegemony. Tugendhat attended Ampleforth College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Oddly enough, his elder brother the Conservative Peer Christopher Tugendhat also attended, er, Ampleforth College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. As patrician Conservatives are fond of remarking, “Do you follow?” Yet another dark cloud advances across the sky, settling firmly over an Establishment which seems determined to attract accusations of self-protection.
While to the best of my knowledge Lord Alistair McAlpine is not and never has been a paedophile, he is nevertheless not just a harmless old bloke in a flat cap with a dodgy ticker either. One only has to read his extremely erudite literary output to see that. What the BBC did was to make a silly mistake. What Mrs Bercow did was comment upon one of the consequences of it. To find her guilty of libel on that basis is a gross attack on free speech.
Were I in her shoes, I would appeal….and request rather more distantly involved members of the Judiciary to be on the Bench at that juncture . Oh – and, um, I’d think next time before I tweet. For it is not a level playing field out there Ducky….even if you are Mr Speaker’s wife.
But back in the real world of systemic sexual sadism that is but a conspiracy fantasy in the disordered minds of mad people, the turning of the blind eye in Rochdale is once more in the news. Placing the blind eye to the telescope seems to be near-ubiquitous in this once quite respectable suburb of Manchester. I write this as a chap born on Rochdale Road itself no less, but then in 1948 there was no such thing as a Council with a CEO. There was the Leader of the Council – usually a bloke – and if there might be so much as a whiff of scandal involving ladies let alone kids, mass resignations would’ve occurred. Sixty-five years on, things have changed.
A damning report out yesterday has found that former Rochdale Council CEO Roger Ellis, “did not appear to be interested in children’s social care issues” and that there was no evidence that Mr Ellis had any intention of investigating the events that led to high profile child sexual abuse cases coming to court. The report went on to say that senior officers of Rochdale Council ‘turned a blind eye to child sex abuse’.
But you see, the thing is – how do you turn a blind eye to adult men sticking their parts up the backside of children in your care? I mean, HTF do you do that? How do you become uninterested in children’s social care issues when you’re paid an unfeasibly undeserved wedge to take an interest? Beats me Squire, but Labour MP for Rochdale, Simon Danczuk, has called for Roger Ellis “to pay back his enormous pension fund”. Yes, well….the day I take what Labour MPs say at face value is the day I will be open to any silly suggestion about the innocence or otherwise of the UK Establishment. Like so many of the Murphia in Rochdale, Danczuck is a Catholic. He told the Manchester Evening News recently that he was confident “Lessons have been learned,” [Chestnut of the Century Winner, 1845] “There’s no complacency on the part of police about these horrific crimes and I’m confident every effort is being made to get these predators off our streets”.
I’m bound to observe, that’s not my take on GMP Plod. My take on GMP Plod as outlined here is that he (and equally often, she) takes the view, “Greater Manchester Police, their motto: ‘You detect the crime, so we don’t have to’.”
In Redditch, a sixth man has been arrested as part of the investigation into a sexual assault claim at a nursery. An investigation was launched yesterday following a claim made to a mother by her child, who attends one of the Bright Eyes nurseries. Five arrests were made and six properties searched, including the branches in Redditch, Bromsgrove and Droitwich. All six arrested persons have since been released on police bail for two weeks (why?) while investigations continue.
Police will tonight meet with concerned parents during two meetings at Redditch Town Hall from 6 pm until 8 pm. Detective Superintendant Amanda Blakeman, from West Mercia’s Protecting Vulnerable People team, said: “The meetings will be private and designed for the needs of the parents and guardians, who we want to be able to talk in confidence about difficult issues. There will be senior and specialist officers on hand to give advice, support and reassurance, such as giving guidance on how to discuss sensitive issues with young children. Meanwhile, our criminal investigation continues at the three nurseries, and we are liaising with partners such as Ofsted, Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board and local councils about the practices at the business over recent years and whether they were up to the standards parents would expect.”
It is amazing, is it not, that all these cops and councils and whatevers have Protecting Vulnerable People teams and Safeguarding Children Boards, but when the chips are down, our kids seem to have very little in the way of protection and safeguards that actually work, as such.