This story is very interesting and not just because of the hook that the BBC and other MSM outlets have used to hang the story on, ie that Keith Harding appeared on ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ in the Christmas 1980 episode. That may be important and suggest a personal connection to Jimmy Savile, as it is alleged that his appearance was “set-up but it might also be erroneous and misleading.
The question that interests me the most is how the BBC got this information and whether it indicates that they have a copy of the full membership list for PIE.
A few points made in the article might give us a clue.
1) Keith Harding died in June this year. A search elsewhere clarifies that it was June 7th. [http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/]. Only 5 months ago.
2) One of his former employees said the clockmaker had described his role for the group as “membership secretary”. This may be his partner of 20 years John Ferris.
As a former ‘membership secretary’ of PIE Keith Harding would have access to the full PIE membership list at the time that he occupied that executive position, as well as other PIE related documentation, and as he’s only recently died it doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility that following his death someone close to him went through his paperwork.
But if true, this article is not a simple single source story.
BBC News has seen confidential social services reports from 1995 which confirm Harding’s “PIE involvement”…
…Social services documents described his convictions as a “real cause for concern” and warned that children should not be left unsupervised with him.
The BBC acquired independent confirmation that Keith Harding was involved with PIE and that he had been “convicted of indecent assault against four children aged eight and nine in the late 1950s and was a “schedule 1″ offender – meaning his convictions remained on his police file for life.”
And that independent confirmation is important. A quick search for ‘Keith Harding’ on Google throws up quite a few including some quite eminent. It would be a tragedy if a person completely unconnected to PIE were to be mistakenly thought to be a former member.
Another difficulty with identifying PIE members from a list is illustrated by the case of Peter Hayman who used a false name (Mr Henderson) and false address.