From the outset, the Elm House child-trafficking scandal has been tarnished by wild claims about visitors ranging from Jimmy Savile and Cliff Richard to prominent royal equerries, Jess Conrad, senior cops and Leon Brittan. Now that most of these claims have been seriously questioned, media outlets once notorious for bigging up the case have been quick to rubbish it. But none quite so much as the Daily Telegraph.
The basic ploy being used now is that of distancing known abusers from the residence. The latest of these is Cyril Smith (above) about whom the Torygraph told us last week:
‘The Metropolitan police service has withdrawn its assertion that Cyril Smith attended a house in south London which was allegedly used by a VIP paedophile ring. Statements released by the force in 2013 and 2014 claimed that officers had “established” that the late Liberal MP who was known to be a child abuser had visited Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London. A new statement released by the Met to the Guardian has removed the claim, casting doubt on whether the late MP for Rochdale was ever there.’
If my sources are correct, in very short order Cliff Richard will also be cleared of ever being anywhere near the place….which is as it should be, because he is not and never has been a paedophile. Note also in the paragraph above the reference to ‘a VIP paedophile ring’. Clever to slip that bit in, but when the bordello first came to prominence it was nothing to do with showbiz VIPs… it was about government and politics. It was also specifically about corruption and evidence suppression at the Home Office, and the odd behaviour of one Leon Brittan – both then and since.
But the assumption made by the old media on the basis of this retraction is that the police thought they had established Smith’s attendance at the bordello, but as usual they’d screwed up. Given its recent history of waving the corporate bum about for the use of any political or media big beast, I would contend it is equally likely that the Met was told to retract by those with advantage to gain. Like senior Conservatives keen to erase grubby connections. The Mayor of London is a Conservative. So is the Prime Minister.
But for those with an open mind, Elm House is a long, long way from being in the clear as a venue. This issue is not like other over-hyped abuse cases where the motive of complainants was nearly always monetary reward: that kids were trafficked there with the direct involvement of executives within Richmond Council has never yet been denied: indeed, over the years substantial evidence has been assembled to suggest strongly that this was the case. In some cases, it has been confirmed in Court, and people have gone to prison.
In September 1992, Peter Righton (left) pled guilty to three charges of importing and possessing obscene material — paedophile gay porn — after customs officers at Dover intercepted two packages addressed to him. Righton had been a very senior and respected figure in the field of residential child care, and a former consultant to the charity the National Children’s Bureau. Once found guilty by a jury, it emerged that Righton was a founder member of the Paedophile Information Exchange. What was not widely understood was his close connection to both security officers and one Cabinet Member in what had been Margaret Thatcher’s government. I understand that, after Labour MP Tom Watson asked his now famous question of the Prime Minister, he received a great many calls from abuse sufferers…a substantial proportion of which pointed towards Elm House.
The LibDem MP John Hemmings told me at the Commons just prior to the Watson question that care home boys had, in his view, been trafficked to Elm House, and that the motive at Richmond Council was money – pure and simple. This is only one man’s opinion (although the subject is an area in which he has experience) but in turn two men, one of them Catholic priest Tom McSweeney, and John Stingemore (who formerly worked for Richmond Council) were arrested and charged with paedophile offences. McSweeney’s trial started at Southwark Crown Court in February 2015. Stingemore, however, was found dead at his home in January 2015 whilst still awaiting trial.
The Southwark trial established that in the late 1970s, McSweeney (right) was offered a role at Grafton Close by Stingemore, who worked for Richmond Council at the home as the officer in charge. Long before this, press enquiries also suggested strongly that the main ‘source of flesh’ for Elm House was Grafton Close. This too has never been denied. Sixty eight year old Father McSweeney was found guilty, following a 10-day trial, of indecent assault of a boy under 16, between January 1979 and July 1981, and three counts of making indecent photographs/pseudo photographs of children on or before January 15 2013.
Colin Peters (right) a Foreign Office barrister, was a regular visitor to Elm Guest House, where he allegedly abused boys. As long ago as 1989, Peters was jailed for being part of a network of paedophiles who abused over a hundred children following an investigation known as Operation Hedgerow, which recorded 650 offences against 150 boys. Former Grafton Close inmate Peter Hatton-Bornshin killed himself at the age of 28, having previously identified Peters as a man who abused him at Elm House. Pretty obviously, the victim’s motive on that occasion wasn’t money.
So Elm House is far from being the fantasised invention of faux-victims. Tom Watson himself has now at last woken up to the fact that many soi-disant victims are just greedy liars; but very obviously nefarious activities took place at Elm House, and Richmond Council is heavily implicated. Despite this, I think it only a matter of time before Mayor Johnson emerges to proclaim that the entire ‘history’ of the bordello was all made up in the first place.
I believe he will do this because one major connection to the place still remains something of a loose end: former Home Secretary Leon Brittan (left). Brittan was hired as a temporary Trade Minister by David Cameron in late 2010 on the recommendation of Nick Clegg. It was, and remains, a highly embarrassing link.
All of which explains, I suspect, why the same Telegraph defenders of press freedom have been doing an equally clever clean-up job on the late Lord Brittan in recent days. I always felt (and posted) that the invented ‘rape charge’ against Brittan by an adult female was a deliberate distraction from the bloke’s real proclivities. The anti-cop smear about the Met knowing of Brittan’s innocence in the case was a classic example of what I’d call defending Capone on pimp charges by saying what a generous charity donator he was.
In similar vein, the revelation that the Met police can now ‘no longer confirm’ Smith frequented Elm Guest House came as the man at the centre of allegations of a Westminster paedophile ring was forced to stand down from the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.
Peter McKelvie (left) – an original source of information to Labour MP Tom Watson before he made explosive allegations in the Commons in 2012 about a VIP paedophile ring “linked to parliament and No 10”– resigned as an advisory member to Justice Lowell Goddard’s Inquiry last week.
He was in reality pushed, the basis (not unreasonable at first sight) being a supposed conflict of interest between his role as an advisory panel member and his role as the originator of many of the allegations of child abuse by prominent individuals which the inquiry may investigate. Nevertheless, the move still strikes me as odd: if it’s an advisory panel and he claims to know more than most about the subject, why not have him, um, advising?
Well, the immediate answer to that is Mr McKelvie’s word has been “cast into doubt”. We’ll get to ‘by whom?’ in a few lines, but in the meantime – eager as ever to conduct Trial by Media – the Dacre Mail has already decided that McKelvie has been lying for England from the start: it included these quite astonishing misreprentations of the current situation in an article six days ago: (my emphases)
‘Peter McKelvie – the whistleblower who fed Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson false information about a ‘No.10 paedophile ring’ – wrote to Downing Street wrongly claiming the MP was linked to child molesters and objecting to his appointment as a minister, it was revealed’.
‘The child sex abuse public inquiry was in crisis last night after it emerged one of its key advisers tried to wreck a Tory minister’s career with baseless paedophile smears.’
Did I miss something? Where exactly has this ‘false, baseless’ fact emerged? Who extruded it? Well, Dacre knows best of course. But this is the ‘evidence’ that he went on before running the story:
- Mr McKelvie was informed in writing in December 2012 by a Scotland Yard detective inspector that there was no basis for his allegation about the MP. Yet on May 19 this year, shortly after the general election, Mr McKelvie repeated it to Downing Street. Good God, he didn’ believe a policeman! A sure sign of NVE tendencies there.
- McKelvie was appointed to the Goddard inquiry earlier this year, ‘raising eyebrows among a number of serving and former detectives’. Nar then nar then wossa goini on ‘ere? Have we haspied hay level playin’ field? You’e nicked, chummy.
- A former senior Scotland Yard officer, who concluded more than 20 years ago that there was no substance toMcKelvie’s claims about a paedophile ring linked to Downing Street, said he was ‘surprised’ by his appointment.
- Mike Hames, respected ex head of the Met’s paedophile squad, added: ‘Mr Watson’s claims about the Downing Street-linked paedophile ring set the hare running on the VIP sex ring scandal. But there has never been any substance to these claims, which originated from Mr McKelvie.’
One could be conspiratorial about this; but that would be uncharitable of me in the context of the level playing fields of Camerlot, and so I shall merely point the reader towards another area – that of managing expectations.
No turd will be left unstoned, the Goddard spinners tell us: it will be thorough, diligent and in fact the biggest child sex abuse inquiry ever launched in Britain. And so the very first thing La Goddard (right) said as she faced the press last July was “the inquiry could well last until 2020”. Just fancy that. And it only took 13 months from Theresa May’s announcement in June 2014 to get it up and running. This is breakneck-speed stuff, given that over two years ago Boris Johnson said he was ‘very happy’ about the progress of the Elm House Inquiry but nothing whatever has emerged: Goddard stands a reasonable chance at this rate of reporting before he does…although almost certainly not before Chilcot.
Tom Watson’s question to the Prime Minister on October 24th, 2012 contained the following key opinion:
The evidence file used to convict paedophile Peter Righton, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring. One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad. The leads were not followed up, but if the file still exists I want to ensure that the Metropolitan police secure the evidence, re-examine it and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No. 10.
His source was indeed (I’m told) Peter McKelvie; and given McKelvie has made some accusations in the past I’ve found either startling or just plain daft, there are grounds for doubting his word. But this does not in Law a guilty man make: just because Andy Coulson proved to have lied about everything he was ever asked by the PM or the media, a senior and respected Judge remarked in Scotland earlier this year, doesn’t mean he lied to cover his arse in a Coutroom. Perish the thought.
However, the substantive points made in Watson’s question do not require McKelvie to be Sister Theresa, for the simple reason that revelations (as always, post mortem) have shown – for example in the Court cases I listed earlier – that Watson’s belief in a widespread paedophile ring at Cabinet level three decades ago is shared by large numbers of police and those who were MPs at the time. Tom Watson wants to see the file on Peter Righton opened – will Goddard do that? If not, why not? Two close advisers to Margaret Thatcher have been outed as paedophiles with strong links to PIE – will Goddard be able to subpeona the security services who revealed that information to Maggie?
I would like to see some investigation (not necessarily of a criminal nature) of why Peter Bottomley (right) a very liberal former Conservative Minister was a member of the Monday Club, a far Right hotbed of NVEs if ever there was one. (That he was has been established beyond doubt by documentary evidence – indeed, to the best of my knowledge, he has never denied it). So if he was in the Club, did he ever join other members on jolly jaunts to Amsterdam?
The point I’m making in this trilogy – as the dedicated page containing this and other debates tries to show – is that every Truth one might seek when it comes to the self-styled British ‘élite’ involves a long search strewn with missing evidence, misrepresentation, blind alleys, divagation, lies, hearsay, muck-throwing, nutcases, bizarre conspiracy theories and every available kitchen sink imaginable.
The age of spin (and a former pr as Prime Minister) have made this an even more baffling search. The recipe for Cover Up Stew we see today does however have two very disturbing additional ingredients:
- A liberty-strangling press-control Bill due to become law on November 3rd next. This will, effectively, release the dissemblers from the tedium of casual day to day lying by simply banning the search for the Truth before any more naïfs embark upon it….rather as Boris Johnson tried to do at the start of the Hacking investigation
- The decision taken – for a variety of reasons by the proprietors who own much of the Right Wing media in the UK – to actively cooperate in the process of stifling investigative opposition…or as I prefer to think of it these days, resistance.
Out in Middle England, meanwhile, is a vast voting group of passive acceptors. Thus far, they have acquiesced without so much as a murmur in the politicisation of the media, the Law, and the police, as well as the corporate takeover of politics itself. The next target is to be the BBC.
I find it hard to believe anyone can fail to see what’s coming – let alone over half the population at the very least. But such is the Way of the World in 2015. My own age demographic clings to the erroneous belief that ‘it couldn’t happen here’, while citizens under forty simply never knew what it was like to live in a country where awareness of threats to liberty was always high enough to keep the control worms under their clammy stones. Thus we are, and shall remain, doubly at risk.
If you enjoyed this trilogy, you may well also like an archived post from February 2015