Some Tweeters are having an inordinate amount of fun this morning taking the piss out of a well-known and highly respected human rights lawyer. The sound of thrashing around on social media surrounds Adam Wagner, who is being linked to infamous former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, well-known in the past for his appetite for strict physical discipline.
The knockabout began yesterday, after Wagner mused, apropos of nothing, “I think you have to be someone who wears glasses to fully appreciate the true joy of a good glasses cleaning cloth”. Sounds uncontroversial. But former blagger John Ford had a prod at The Great Man anyway. “It's almost as satisfying as a successful cover-up, eh Ads?”
I say, this is getting terribly seedy
Harvey Proctor: skint, but not having a whip round
Whatever could this mean? Wagner was clearly unhappy, and by this morning had responded “John if you keep harassing me I’m going to block you”. Ford was nothing if not courtesy itself: “And a very good morning to you, Adam”. But Ranjan Balakumaran was also watching, and he introduced a most diverting new argument.
“Did alleged paedophile Harvey Proctor hire [Adam Wagner] and Geoffrey Robertson to represent him at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse? This, if true, would be extraordinary”. WHAT? It did look as if Wagner was listed as “Counsel” under Proctor’s name. Ford was concerned that Wagner see this: “Can anyone help by retweeting this to @AdamWagner1, he must be in a poor signal area”. Ho ho ho.
But while Balakumaran speculated as to Wagner’s role, Ford counselled caution. “Hold on, I believe in probity and jurisprudence. You cannot besmirch a man's character just because he repeatedly failed to engage, despite, as you say being named in official Gov documentation. It's libel, surely”. And then came another interesting intervention.
After Ford and Balakumaran discussed Proctor, the Duke of Rutland, Ghislaine Maxwell and (inevitably) Jeffrey Epstein, someone calling herself Virginia Giuffre weighed in: “Oh - he was involved in the highest degree. He just passed the buck onto Maria Villafana to take the fall. Corrupt to the bones!!” Who did she mean?
Ford was clearly concerned that this might get out of hand. “Wow, we have an expert witness, Adam, quick defend yourself or this might look bad for you. Clearly this ‘Virginia Giuffre’ is a troll with no knowledge or involvement in any of these matters - cover-ups or otherwise. We need a legal opinion to close this matter”. Well, quite.
Balakumaran was also concerned. "Why would Wagner get involved. And why on the side of Proctor? Is this even true? Adam's a public figure. He isn't going to just ignore”. Perhaps Ford was even more concerned. “I'm sure Adam is busy this morning defending the rights of the downtrodden. Allow the man time to defend himself, I mean who wants a kangaroo ruling on any important issue, particularly where human lives are involved”.
I’m sure there is a good explanation for all of this. Even if it is nothing more than a little not-so-light trolling and piss-taking. Perhaps Adam Wagner can enlighten us.
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