Monthly Archives: February 2013

What Next For MWT ?

'This Morning' TV Programme, London, Britain - 06 Apr 2011

I wonder who he could mean ? Is it the senior Tory ex-cabinet minister, the world famous pop star or the Junior Minister that he and Tom Watson were discussing here ?

What next for the man who exposed the myth? Williams-Thomas says he is working on four big projects, adding that for one (“which is huge”) he is looking into allegations involving sexual abuse by “a very significant individual” at Elm Guest House in south-west London.

The Guardian


Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News

Father Tony McSweeney.


Earlier this month on February 6th, Operation Fernbridge arrested two men, hopefully the first of many. They were John Stingemore who up until 1981 was the Officer in Charge of Grafton Close children’s home and Father Tony McSweeney, a Roman Catholic priest of St George’s parish in Norwich. Both men have been bailed pending further inquiries until April.

Operation Fernbridge is investigating allegations that children in the care of Richmond council and other local authorities were taken to Elm Guest House and sexually abused by men including VIPs. Grafton Close is believed to be one of the children’s homes involved. It is understandable therefore that the Fernbridge police would wish to ask John Stingemore some questions as he was the head of Grafton Close during part of the period they are investigating.

But what of Father Tony McSweeney ?

Tony McSweeney was, during the time in question, training to be a priest at Guildford. He was very good friends with John Stingemore and during school holidays he used to stay at Grafton Close children’s home and help out. I know that many readers will have been unaware of this connection to Grafton Close but I think you’ll agree that it’s reasonable, given that connection, that the Fernbridge police would want to ask him some questions about events around that time.

Also, I’m sure you’ll all be interested to know that Father Tony McSweeney is a published author. He co-authored the rather snappily named ‘The Scout Fire and Folk Song Book: A Collection of Songs for Use at Camp Fires and Folk Concerts’, published by the Scout Association in 1977. I think this is a picture of it.


Available on Amazon 99p+P&P,

There weren’t that many copies left when I looked. So, hurry while stocks last.



Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics

I’m With The Picture Editor.


Paraic O’Brien on Twitter


How could any self-respecting picture editor resist ?


Filed under Abuse, News

Leon Brittan Speaks !


Paraic O’Brien on Twitter

Well, that’s all right then.

Move along, nothing to see here…….


Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News, Politics

Career Advice For Cardinal O’Brien.

Times, as everyone knows, are hard and as Cardinal Keith O’Brien resigns I’m sure we’ll all wish him well in whatever career direction he decides to take.

But what career options are there for a man with religious training ?

Here are my top three.

Lion Tamer


 Harold Davidson, the Rector of Stiffkey , was defrocked at Norwich Cathedral on 21 October 1932, on charges of immorality, after which he exploited his notoriety by making a living in various forms of seaside entertainment.

 In 1937 Davidson worked in Skegness, where he was billed as “A modern Daniel in a lion’s den”. He would enter a cage with a lion called Freddie and a lioness called Toto, and talk for about ten minutes about the injustice he felt had been done out to him. On 28 July, he was moving through his act when he accidentally tripped on the tail of the lioness, the lion attacked and mauled him.

He died from his injuries.

Totalitarian Dictator


In 1894, when Joseph Stalin was sixteen, he received a scholarship to attend the Georgian Orthodox Tiflis Theological Seminary in Tbilisi. Although his performance had been satisfactory, he was expelled in 1899 after missing his final exams.

Stalin became leader of the Soviet Union from 1922  until his death on 16 October 1952. In those 30 years as leader he is thought to be responsible for between 40 and 60 million deaths.

Evolutionary Heretic


 In 1828 Charles Darwin attended Christ’s College, Cambridge, and studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican parson but despite doing very well in his exams in 1931 he later that same year, on 27 December 1831, set sail on The Beagle.

Almost 30 years later Charles Darwin  published ‘On the Origin of Species’, on 24 November 1859. One of the most important scientific books ever to go into print, it rocked the religious institutions of Great Britain and the world.

So it would seem that the potential career paths for former Cardinal Keith O’Brien are many and varied.

I’m hopeful that readers will come up with other examples which I can add to this list.

Harold Davidson

Joseph Stalin

Charles Darwin


Filed under Humour, News

Cardinal O’Brien: ‘Hypocrite Of The Year’ ?


Only last November the gay rights organisation Stonewall named Cardinal Keith O’Brien as ‘Bigot of the Year’ for his homophobic rants.

But following the allegations levelled at him by three priests and one former priest, that he made ‘inappropriate’ advances toward them, perhaps he should be proclaimed ‘Hypocrite of the Year’.

The gay rights group Stonewall has refused to back down after it provoked a furious reaction by naming the Scottish Catholic leader Cardinal Keith O’Brien as its “bigot of the year”.

The Catholic church condemned the award as an attempt by Stonewall to vilify its critics. Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, and the Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, urged the campaign group to drop the category entirely, arguing that branding people “bigots” was counterproductive.

Davidson, who won Stonewall’s politician of the year award at the same event on Thursday night, said equalities campaigners ought to be seen to use “generosity, tolerance and love” to promote their cause.

The Guardian


Filed under Abuse, News

Cardinal Keith O’Brien Resigns

Cardinal Keith O'Brien allegations pope london office

Following allegations made in the press yesterday, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who was due to fly out to Rome and join the conclave which will choose the next Pope, has resigned.

Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, was due to be the only British representative at the papal conclave.

Three priests and one former priest had made an official complaint to the papal nuncio’s London office. They decided to go public because they felt it improper that Cardinal O’Brien should attend the papal conclave.

As, I’ve said on many occasions before on The Needle, when a name is made public, it is often the case that others, who had previously thought themselves alone, are more likely to come forward and it may well be the case that the bravery of the four priests who had the courage to go public, might have encouraged others with similar experiences to come forward.

Below is one of the news stories from yesterday.

The four complaints against Cardinal Keith O’Brien alleging “inappropriate acts” were given to the pope’s representative in the UK, Antonio Mennini, in early February.

They arrived at the papal nuncio’s London office, delivered by a trusted intermediary from the cardinal’s diocese, a few days before Pope Benedict XVI stunned the Catholic world with his decision to resign.

The earliest of the allegations, which are denied by O’Brien, dates back to 1980. That complainant, who is now married, was then a 20-year-old seminarian at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange, where O’Brien was the rector and his “spiritual director”. The statement claims he made an inappropriate approach after night prayers.

The Guardian


Filed under Abuse, News