A PAWN IN THE GAME OF MEDIA & MINING?
The Slog dissects the Rolf Harris trial, and offers more background about why the star was targeted in the first place.
Last night, I posted to assert, ‘careful analysis of current events – and preparation for future stunts – is what the decent citizens of hijacked sovereign States should be about’.
One such decent analyst, in my estimation, is Lizzie Cornish, an Englishwoman who has (like Anna Raccoon) chosen the route not of populism when it comes to the harassment of old men, but of honest investigation. You can find Lizzie here, and her observations (having investigated the Rolf Harris trial more thoroughly than most) make for reading that is as disturbing as it is startling.
Among many other things, Lizzie alleges/notes that:
1. The Judge Mr. Justice Sweeney QC told the jury to accept that Harris was at Leigh Park Community Centre where one offence was supposed to have taken place – although the evidence to prove this is without any media confirmation: after trawling through 7 years of newspaper archives by the prosecution, no reference to Rolf Harris at the event was found. Nor was any mention found in any council records, nor did any local person remember anything about such an appearance in this hall. Just two people came forward to “vaguely recall” Rolf Harris being present. His accuser, Wendy Wild, is the only witness determined to place him there. She also told the Court that Harris had “big hairy hands”. Er, he doesn’t.
2. The It’s a Knockout accusation: the Cambridge woman’s story was changed mid-trial, to another programme three years after the original alleged site of the offence. The trial was not stopped for this new story to be checked out in full at all. The ‘victim’ said Harris had abused her during the filming of ‘It’s A Knockout’ in Cambridge in 1975. This programme does indeed exist, but Rolf isn’t in it: the BBC sent it to the police, who checked it all out, as verified by Det. Sgt. Gary Pankhurst, of Operation Yewtree, at the trial, in Rolf Harris’s defence. [Even assuming the changed date reflected a genuine mistake by the witness, why was Harris not given the same benefit? Ex-Crimewatch presenter Sue Cook today told jurors it was “not fair” to label Rolf Harris a liar over claims he forgot about appearing in a 1970s TV game show in Cambridge: the one-time anchor of Children in Need admitted she too could not remember where the programme was filmed.]
3. Harris had an affair with a 18 year-old girl – a relationship he has always insisted she initiated. The accuser’s father found a letter from the entertainer about this and kept it for 17 years, without ever accusing Harris, or even contacting the police about it. This same accuser asked Rolf Harris for a £25,000 donation to a bird sanctuary after the affair was over: a ‘grooming’ she told the Court had left her scarred. Told of Mr Harris’s involvement with another woman some years later, she went beserk in front of witnesses. Is this the logical response of an abused woman? It isn’t…but it might help explain why she told the Court the accused had “a very small penis”. Regular Sloggers may recall the exact same accusation being lodged against the luckless Max Clifford by his tormentor; you don’t need an MSc in psychiatry to work that one out.
4. Harris’s other accuser Tonya Lee had, prior to the trial, already sold her story (via her partner) about Harris to the programme Women’s Day – which paid her $28,000 for the Harris assault story. Cross-examining the 43-year-old at the trial, Harris’ lawyer Sonia Woodley QC put it to her she was unemployed, with three children and in debt to the Australian Tax Office as well as a laptop hiring company. Lee admitted in open Court that yes, she was unemployed and indebted. Tonya Lee is also in dispute with celeb agent Mark Markson over the payment of a fee to be paid for her kiss-and-tell about Rolf Harris. [It seems odd to me that a sensible jury would not cast doubt on this witness; especially as it can be proved beyond any reasonable doubt that she also lied to the Court when she claimed her anorexia had presented as a result of Harris’s alleged abuse: yet she was 15 years old when she met the star, and 11 when the anorexic symptoms appeared.]
Clearly, Ms Cornish makes some telling points, but other anomalies also strike one as odd. “Miss F”, was one of several who came forward with claims about being assaulted by Harris, but her testimony was withdrawn. A second woman’s ‘testimony’ was ruled unsound for reasons that remain unclear, and a third was withdrawn by the prosecution with no explanation.
However, moving beyond this shambles of a trial towards the motives involved in bringing it, the glaring inaccuracies in the post-trial media coverage went beyond the usual salaciously hypocritical gloating. Several UK and Australian MSM titles afterwards referred to Rolf Harris as either a convicted ‘child molester’ or ‘child sex offender’ which is utterly untrue. MSN.cnbc referred to him as ‘disgraced paedophile’, the Irish Times as ‘sinister child-sex pervert’, and the Sun used this truly astonishing front page:
I suggest you try and stand up this story – I certainly can’t: it is risibly untrue (and defamatory) from start to finish. But The Sun, of course, is owned by Rupert Murdoch. And – as so often in these cases – Harris is accused largely in relation to BBC programmes. Well I never.
Here’s another from Australia’s Herald Sun: ‘Jury never told that Harris downloaded child porn, cruised teen sites, and tried to erase browsing history’. The story is presented as true, but is based on a couple of flimsy accusations from obscure – often unnamed – readers. Nobody close to the case (on either side) gives it any credence.
The biggest shareholder in the Herald Sun’s owner Fairfax Media (with 3 seats on the Board and editorial power) is Gina Rinehart, the richest woman in Australia. Lord Monckton toured Australia promoting climate scepticism in 2010 and 2011. He urged those he called “the super rich” to invest in or establish a satellite TV channel, so that climate sceptics could get more airtime. Both tours were underwritten by Gina Reinhart. Gina Reinhart is a mining heiress whose openly stated aim is to remove opposition to mining projects in Australia, and press for the “lowest possible tax rates and explorational freedom” for the Mining industry. In Australia, the Mining Industry is the equivalent of the City of London in the UK. Basically, it runs things.
Rolf Harris is Australian, and a passionate campaigner on climate change and nature preservation. His work in this field earned him an investiture in The Order of Australians. He was an influential ecologist and known critic of the mining industry.
I’ll give you what the evidence suggests to me about Rolf Harris: he is not and never has been a paedophile. But he is an ecologist and nature-lover regularly employed by the BBC, and a prime celebrity distraction from goings on in the media and mining business across the globe. There seems to me little doubt that, for much of his life, Harris was a groper in the same mould as Dave Lee Travis and Stuart Hall….both of whom also worked for the BBC. Forty years ago, such men were dismissed as “a pest”, not paedophiles or rapists. The knee-jerk attempt of the Murdoch press to link him back to Jimmy Savile (another largely BBC-employed DJ) rams the point home harder than anything I might allege: it is invented guilt by false association, pure and simple.
In the UK in recent years, it would be very hard indeed to overestimate the bending, obstruction and perversion of the due process of Law by the media, the City, and senior politicians. The evidence that Newscorp was and still is an all but physical presence in the Cabinet – and the police at all levels – is impossible to deny. And the evidence of hard-core paedophilia in national (mainly Tory) and local (mainly Labour) government has been mounting for years. The paedophile acitivities of the Monday Club in Amsterdam and of senior Conservatives/Royal household staff at Elm House remain hidden by the capacious buttocks of London Mayor Boris Johnson. The antics in Rotherham (first posted here in late 2012) are – at last – finally emerging: a damning report released yesterday audits a disgraceful 16 years of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, and accuses council and police chiefs of ‘blatant’ failings. It should’ve accused them of complicity, but let’s not go there.
Conspiracy theory turns into conspiracy fact with disturbing regularity in the contemporary world. The practice once referred to as ‘spin’ twenty years ago has become – under all of the last three Prime Ministers – perniciously mendacious smearing. The motives behind it are very clear to those who pay attention, be the subject fracking, beheading, banking, the NHS, or eurozone viability: that is, the triumph of untrammeled unelected Big over trampled, innocent Small; and the corporacratic takeover of the democratic political process.
More examples of the syndrome will follow at The Slog shortly.