Paul Gambaccini, Jimmy Savile, Newscorp, Jeremy Hunt, the Met Police, Alistair McAlpine & Grant Shapps: how one BBC mistake allowed the Establishment to evade guilt
I have felt for nearly a year now that – whatever one might feel about the BBC one way or the other – the attack on its alleged sexual depravity is nothing less than dirty Establishment tricks. The last time I spoke to a valued source about this was over six months ago, but the remark made at the time turns out to have been hugely prescient: Gambaccini was one of the names mentioned as being “outspoken in private” about what was really going on. (As it happens, Jeremy Paxman was another: but he’s probably far too erudite for the Met to dare having a go at.)
Gambaccini’s big mistake was to join in a Radio Five broadcast on November 12th 2012, just as the news was breaking. He made two crucial points which have since been totally ignored by the MSM….but were (it is alleged) immediately spotted by those keen to destroy the BBC. The points made by the DJ were:
1. None of the alleged offences now being use to slur the BBC took place on BBC premises, so it is difficult to see what the BBC has to apologise about.
2. Savile’s particular predilection was for mentally sub-normal minors. This is so far out of the mainstream of paedophilia as to be almost homeoaepathic in its incidence. If you read the data (which pols and hacks never do) you will see that over 80% of all recorded cases take place entirely within private families. Surely there is more of a case for damning the mental care sector rather than the BBC in the Savile case…and a strong case for the cops to follow up domestic incidence rather than just looking away. There’s a relevant reason for the last observation: Savile I am now convinced was abused by his father as a minor. Join up the dots.
Paul Gambiccini has been fitted up here, and there’s a reasonable chance that, at long last, some of the less rabidly Conservative-supporting press might actually get off the celebrity phone line and look into it. Rather than mumbling complete denials and then walking off, Paul has already had this to say:
“On Monday night, 28 October, I attended an excellent production of the Kander and Ebb musical, the Scottsboro Boys, at the Young Vic theatre. It concerned a group of black men in Alabama in the 1930s who were falsely accused of sexual offences. Within hours, I was arrested by Operation Yewtree. Nothing had changed, except this time there was no music.”
Perhaps Plod has chosen a bridge too far this time. The Gay Community, for example, will be all over this incident like a rash. But what we have to do here is look at a straightforward sequence of events going back to the accusations made against Lord McAlpine, then at what happened immediately before that….and since. Case histories tend to be long and bitter, but public memories are short and sweet. Somebody somewhere high up in the Met Police and the Conservative Party is gambling on that always being the case.
On 2nd November 2012, McAlpine was mistakenly implicated in the North Wales child abuse scandal, after the BBC Newsnight TV programme accused an unnamed “senior Conservative” of abuse. McAlpine was widely rumoured on Twitter and other social media to be the person in question. The damage was caused in part by the publication on Twitter of material which linked him to the unidentified individual mentioned in the broadcast. Lord McAlpine was entitled to have his reputation restored. But he chose to sue the BBC, not Twitter…even though he then made great play of successfully suing prominent Labour supporter and Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow about her actions on Twitter.
McAlpine duly got a grovelling apology from the BBC on 10 November 2012. In addition, he was entitled to substantial damages to compensate him for the damage to his reputation, his distress at the accusation and to provide him with “vindication”. The BBC agreed to pay him £185,000 – a sum which a legal/media specialist website at the time described as “well in excess of the ‘going rate’ that would be awarded by a court”. But this wasn’t enough for Chemical Ali: he pursued ITV “for £500,000″, and claimed he would bring claims against “10,000 Twitter users“.
Looking at the ITV/Twitter and of this:
1. His claim that viewers could see his name on the list handed to David Cameron by Philip Schofield on an ITV Breakfast programme was nothing short of risible, and legal opinion I consulted at the time told me, “It is ridiculous to suggest that any viewer beyond Superman could see Alistair’s name on the list….there really is no case to answer here”. This was from my own in-house freebie legal advisor; he has never been wrong in three years of working with him.
2. McAlpine’s claim for damages against half a million Twitter users was silly and impractical, and in the end came to naught…but not before some mugs had coughed up money to McAlpine’s solicitor Reid, whose threats quite clearly defied every rule given by the Law Society in such cases. His Lordship did, however, win against Bercow, a result another legal contact (a judge, as it happens) called “a potion of ineptitude and incompetence accompanied by a strong odour of interference”. Almost the entire population of left-wing tweeters nevertheless headed for the hills, leaving a trail of erasure behind them.
My opinion – and that’s all it is – would be that this was a turning point for members of the Conservative Party’s Sh*t wing. At was a moment when they finally became convinced they could get away with anything. For example, given an open opportunity to confess to how the BBC’s mistake had occurred, Lord McAlpine answered on Radio 4, “I’ve really no idea…well, I have some idea, but I don’t want to go into that”.
It’s not hard to see why Alistair didn’t want to, one could suggest: the gentleman to your left there is McAlpine’s distant cousin Jimmy, a man whose infamy when it comes to child sodomy was and is well known in both Wrexham and Chester. At the time, I rang the Beeb twice begging them not to run with the Newsnight piece, because the mistake was obvious to anyone closely acquainted with the case. But that’s the dark side of the BBC, I’m afraid: once the liberal morons get the scent in the nostrils, there’s no dissuading them.
Let’s stay with the timeline. In September and October 2012, almost a year after his death, claims were widely publicised that Jimmy Savile had committed sexual abuse, his alleged victims ranging from prepubescent girls and boys to adults. By 11 October 2012 allegations had been made to 13 British police forces, and this led to the setting-up of inquiries into practices at the BBC and within the National Health Service. (You will note that nowt, zilch and diddly-squat has emerged from the NHS ‘enquiries’. But then, the NHS isn’t an allegedly hostile broadcaster, merely a victim).
Unlike Gambaccini, Savile’s mistake was to be dead. His other problem, I feel on balance, was that he was almost certainly guilty of at least some of the things of which he was accused.The point is, he was a large and famous target. As for the ‘wide publication’ of claims against him, an ITV documentary, Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, researched and presented by Mark Williams Thomas, a police investigator on the 2001 Jonathan King child-sex prosecution, was broadcast on 3 October 2012. ITV is, of course, a competitor of the BBC. But anyway, following the broadcast of the ITV documentary, the real rush began, as hundreds of self-assigned ‘victims’ came forward to make allegations.
Many bloggers (most notably Anna Raccoon) have since used extremely well-researched posts to prove beyond much doubt that a huge proportion of these latter claimants were what the cops are wont to call ‘bounty hunters’. But curiously enough, this wasn’t the way the UK press pack played it.
Equally odd is that they didn’t at first want to know about it. Miles Goslett was the first journalist to air allegations of child abuse involving Savile in a piece for The Oldie magazine in February 2012. All seven Fleet Street majors rebuffed his story.
But back then, the landscape wasn’t what it had become by October of that year. Barely a month after the Goslett piece, Rebekah Brooks was arrested on charges of conspiracy to pervert Justice. Then during April, James Murdoch gave some damning testimony about Jeremy Hunt, QC Peter Jay at one point asserting, ““It’s pretty clear you were receiving information on the lines the UK government on the whole would be supportive of News Corp.” Murdoch Jr then admitted Hunt had told him he “personally had no issues” with the bid, an entirely improper thing for a Minister of the Crown to admit to a senior executive involved in a takeover under his personal review.
In May, I reported how Plod was now going into overdrive on Hackgate. Murdoch was clearly feeling cornered, and shareholders in the US were beginning to question whether Big M’s family were the fit and proper sort. Finally, on 31st May Andy Coulson was arrested, and the link between Newscorp and the Prime Minister was thus made even more obvious.
Rupert Murdoch had already lost the News of the World and the BSkyB bid. Now he saw his political influence close to the point of extinction. Things were looking very dark indeed for two organisations that had been (and still were) corruptly involved with one another: Newscorp and the Conservative Party. By 12th June, Cameron had to defend Hunt against widespread MP outcry on the BSkyB issue, with their Coalition LibDem allies withdrawing their support from the Culture Secretary. Cameron himself was branded a liar for persistently evading questions about his Boxing Day lunch the previous year with senior Newscorp executives.
But in many ways, things were looking even worse for the senior bods in the Metropolitan Police. By mid 2012, so many Met Officers had obvious links to Newscorp, it was blatantly clear that at the very least there was a conflict of interest involved.
Andy Hayman – A former Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary and Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations at London’s Metropolitan Police, resigned in December 2007 following allegations about expense claims and alleged improper conduct with a female member of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. During Operation Caryatid, the investigation into the interception of phone messages at Clarence House by journalists from the News of the World, the officer in charge of the investigation reported to Andy Hayman. Hayman told the Home Affairs Select Committee in July 2011 that he had met with News International executives during the investigation, something he considered as not unusual as it would have been odd if he had cancelled the dinner. Andy Hayman went on to work for News International as a columnist for The Times.
Related to this tale: Full details of Hackgate are contained at The Slog’s dedicated page here.
The complete depth of dirt on Jeremy Hunt can be viewed at Hunt Balls.