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Monday 30 March 2015

Heffer Says Enoch Didn’t Do It

The unwavering hero worship of Simon “Enoch was right” Heffer for the late Tory and later Unionist MP has been put to the sternest of tests this weekend, as news emerged that an allegation had been made against The Great Man of potential involvement in historic child abuse. “Detectives investigating claims of a VIP paedophile sex ring have been passed lurid allegations relating to Enoch Powell” told the Mail.
The Hefferlump was aghast: “A monstrous slur against my friend: The allegations against Enoch Powell are lies beyond contempt … When on Saturday evening a fellow journalist told me of the allegations made by the Church of England, my first instinct was to laugh: but that soon changed into utter outrage when I realised he was serious … The Church has publicly accused Enoch of being involved in ritual satanic abuse on hearsay, without the slightest evidence”. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point.

Yes, it’s all the Church of England’s fault: “It is disgraceful and destabilising for clergy to behave in this way … He has been demonised not least because to attack his memory is a quick and effective way for them to score points by setting out their own political correctness. What better way for some mischievous Leftist priest to damage Enoch further than by linking him with the current rash of stories about child abuse?

And he warns the clergy that he and his pals are going to come looking for them after it’s all over: “The allegations are a monstrous lie. That the lie appears to have been retailed by a priest is beyond contempt … There must be an investigation and, for all the distress this outrage has caused, there must be a reckoning”.

Had Heffer actually bothered to read what has actually happened, though, he might have stopped and thought, but then, that would not have enabled him to use the bully pulpit of the Mail to generate More And Bigger Paycheques For Himself Personally Now. In any case, the Independent has told “the claims against Mr Powell were passed to police by the Right Reverend Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, more than a year ago … they have only now been made public”. So he’s too late now.

Moreover, Heffer’s accusations of “political correctness”, a “mischievous Leftist priest”, and “the lie … retailed [my emphasis] by a priest”, ignore the inconvenient fact that “Under safeguarding rules, institutions such as the Church of England now automatically pass allegations of abuse to the police for assessment”.

So if names are submitted to those who, like the Bishop of Durham, deal with safeguarding, they have no alternative but to submit them to Police. It should be noted that the clergyman putting Powell’s name forward had “first heard the claims when he was counselling young adults as a curate in the 1980s”. The idea that this is some kind of leftist plot to besmirch the name of Heffer’s hero is arrant nonsense.

Child abuse allegations have to be taken seriously. That is all. Get over it, Simon Heffer.


Anonymous said...

Investigate, but dont smear all over the tabloids before the result is known. What's so hard to understand?

rob said...

@ Anon 10:37

And who is going to stop the tabloids pray? The meaning of "the public interest" has no interest to them except that it means "£s" to them and possibly "sensationalism" is the only means of their survival.
The latest "Sun and Mirror" trials show that.
If a tabloid can smear a living person like Ed Miliband inter alia for whatever reason then they are not going to stop at the dead are they?

It's the "chilling" effect of the Leveson Inquiry - hah hah!

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed you don't report the context to this. The allegations were specifically of Satanic abuse. They were mentioned in a credulous book by Tim Tate, Children for the Devil. Worse still, Powell and Abse's names were put into circulation by a notorious con-man, Derry Mainwaring-Knight, as part of a plot to extort money from sympathisers. I wonder what else you think it would be the C of E's duty to report - abuse by aliens?

rob said...

@ Anon 12:38

I have sympathy with allegations made public in cases like this and in rape cases where innocent people get monstered by the media (and VIPS should not be exempt from this).

However in the present fevered climate and after previous proved allegations against members of The Church (and plastered all over the media) what do you expect the Church to have done?

The BBC did nothing about Savile although it is reported that allegations were made against him but were unbelieved (incredulous if you like). They still haven't recovered fully from that.

And of course police forces up and down the country don't seem to have had a good record of dealing with these matters either.

Tim Fenton said...


The post does not judge the allegations, only that the CoE is apparently following procedure and Heffer is suggesting otherwise.

AndyC said...

Satanic ritual abuse was an invention of a cabal of radical feminists and Christian evangelists with social workers tagging along which was clearly shown to be total nonsense but not, unfortunately, before scores of children had been removed from their innocent parents and many lives ruined. If involvement in that false alarm is what Powell is accused of then his reputation remains intact; well for that, if not for things he said on other matters.

Anonymous said...

"Investigate, but don't smear all over the tabloids before the result is known. What's so hard to understand?"

The story was in the Daily Mail. Heffer then used his column in the Mail to attack political correctness and Leftish priests on the basis of this scoop by the Daily Mail. Perhaps Heffer should have saved his venom for the Mail and its handling of this story. Heffer's accusations are a bit wild because

- there is no evidence presented about the political orientation of the churchmen involved

- there is no evidence that The Left (whoever they are) have used this story to besmirch the reputation of Powell.

(There is no need. Powell as Minister of Health recruited nurses from Barbados then a few years later got himself known as a brave man warning of the dangers of immigration. Powell's reputation is what it is, and there's no need to latch on to vague rumours of him being a child abuser.)

If Heffer wants to get outraged he should get outraged about his own newspaper.

PS I have said before, Heffer can write a sensible article if he wants to. I have to presume, though, that a balanced article for the New Statesman about Churchill takes more time and pays less well than an expression of faux outrage for the Daily Mail.