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Saturday 10 November 2012

Child Abuse – Dead Men Don’t Sue

[Update at end of post]

Following the BBC Newsnight investigation that didn’t name any names because there was insufficient evidence to do so, the Corporation is now getting it in the neck because someone else pitched one particular name, and that category of “someone else” may also include ITV’s This Morning. So the Beeb bashers have gone from “they didn’t have the courage to name him” to “they named him really”.

If he's f***ing dead he's fair game, c***

And going in with both feet, to no surprise at all, has been the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, who have splashed all over their front page this morning that Alistair McAlpine is going to sue the BBC. Actually, his lawyers have not yet taken any decision to sue anyone, but when it’s the Daily Mail kicking the Beeb, it’s a case of Publish And Hopefully Not Be Damned.

Also getting it in the neck has been Labour MP Tom Watson, who has been the target of, among others, opportunist Tory MP for Reading East Rob Wilson. Wilson has righteously taken to lecturing Watson about his conduct and suggested he directs his efforts via the law enforcement agencies. And just to be on the safe side, he leaked his letter to whoever would have it.

Now, going into Jon Stewart mode, two things here. One, the Newsnight feature, on which Wilson has also written and leaked, was about care homes in North Wales, and Watson’s intervention in the Commons was not on that subject, so his Big Tory Name wasn’t McAlpine. And two, for the folks at the Daily Mail, it wasn’t Peter Morrison either, not that the paper seems unduly fussed about such details.

Indeed, just to make sure that they get their readers a slice of the child abuse disgust that they don’t want the BBC to get any credit for, Dacre’s finest have once again gone after Morrison, who has the advantage of having been a known homosexual with a liking for younger men, and also safely dead and buried. Thus “the REAL story behind the care home child abuse scandal”.

In fact, the Mail names two supposed perpetrators of abuse: one, they claim, was Morrison, and the other, well, they’re not going to say, and in any case, he’s dead as well. That’s excellent news for the paper’s legal eagles, because dead men don’t sue, an attribute used in the past to maximum effect by spy writer Chapman Pincher, so much so that Private Eye called him “Body” Pincher.

So the best the Mail can manage is the Fox-style rhetorical question “If Peter Morrison was implicated in the Bryn Estyn child abuse scandal, was he the only member of the Establishment to have been involved?” to which they clearly don’t know the answer. “These are dark waters” they conclude, which means Dacre and his hacks will do no investigation, but continue to kick the BBC.

Thus our wonderful free and fair press in action. No change there, then.

[UPDATE 11 November 1630 hours: Tom Watson has replied to Tory MP Rob Wilson - a reply which I suspect Wilson will not be as ready to leak as he has been with his own letters - to put him straight. Watson tells Wilson that his assumption that the Police are not being informed or involved is wrong.

Moreover, he reminds Wilson that his intervention does not specify the political allegiance of the "senior aide", nor the time-frame within which the alleged events took place. He reminds Wilson that this is not a subject for partisan point scoring, which is another assumption that Wilson is making, and wrongly so.

That, of course, will not stop the meme that Watson is somehow looking for payback over the Jimmy Savile business and that he is trying to deflect fire from the BBC. It's looking like the false assumptions of Phonehackgate are being made all over again. Some folks never learn]

1 comment:

SimonB said...

Don't be too dismissive of the Peter Morrisson case. It may be bring used as a distraction but if there was an Establishment cover-up of his activities then there may be similarities in the alleged cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring.