Monthly Archives: February 2015

Astrologist David Tredinnick MP, Beyond Satire

Oh dear.

I kept reading this right down to the very bottom of the page expecting to see it was a joke but it just seemed to get worse.

At the risk of being accused of being a “racist” for asking; Who is dumber, Mr Tredinnick or the people who elect him ?


Mystic Mug

A Tory MP has claimed NHS over-crowding could be solved by doctors using astrology to treat patients.

David Tredinnick said consulting the stars would “take huge pressure off doctors” and predicts astrology will “have a role to play in healthcare.”

The MP for Bosworth in Leicestershire also admitted he had prepared astrological charts for fellow MPs.

In an interview with this month’s Astrological Journal, the controversial MP said: “There would be a huge row over resources.

“However, I do believe that astrology and complementary medicine would help take the huge pressure off doctors.

“Ninety per cent of pregnant French women use homeopathy.

“Astrology is a useful diagnostic tool enabling us to see strengths and weaknesses via the birth chart.

“And, yes, I have helped fellow MPs. I do foresee that one day astrology will have a role to play in healthcare.”

He added that opponents to astrology were “bullies”, saying: “Astrology offers self-understanding to people.

“People who oppose what I say are usually bullies who have never studied astrology.

“They never look at it. They are absolutely dismissive. Astrology may not be capable of passing double-blind tests but it is based on thousands of years of observation.

“Hippocrates said, ‘A physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician,’

More at The Telegraph


Filed under News

Insurers Accused Of Hampering Child Abuse Inquiries

I’m really pleased to see this story. This blog has continually raised the issue of ‘alleged’ insurance company’s involvement in child sexual abuse ‘cover-ups’ over the last two years. We recognise that many others have also.

I think this vindicates the objective methodology that The Needle Team have approached this disturbing subject with, that two of the key systemic failures that we had already identified, ie the movement of local authority staff around the country without proper background checks highlighted by Louise Casey at yesterday’s Communities & Local Government Select Committee hearing and the role that insurance companies have played  in possible Local Authority cover-ups, have been raised in the last 24 hours.

Though I think it is worth pointing out, that the issue of ‘insurance companies’ will not be restricted to Local Authorities but to other institutions as well and that one of these key systemic failures feeds into the other because it has often been the failure of institutions to pursue alleged abusers for fear of losing insurance cover that has led to abusers leaving employment without any indication that that they are a risk to children.

It is essential that these complex issues are thoroughly investigated by Justice Goddard and the CSA Inquiry

We’ll try to get the recording of this important radio program up here as soon as we can.

A BBC investigation has found evidence that some local authorities in England and Wales may have allowed fear of losing insurance cover to alter their approach to child abuse inquiries.

File on 4 has also been told of cases where insurers attempted to suppress information about abuse allegations.

An ex social services chief called the behaviour of one company “disgusting”.

The Association of British Insurers said the investigation “raised a number of serious matters”.

When Colin Lambert, then leader of Rochdale Council, proposed an investigation last year into a possible cover-up of child abuse in the town, he was shocked by a response from council officers.

Former pupils at the Knowl View special school for boys have alleged they were victims of sexual assaults by Rochdale’s former MP, the late Cyril Smith and others, in the 1970s, ’80s, and early ’90s.

Mr Lambert says he was told an inquiry could lead to problems with the council’s insurers.

“I can recall a conversation with officers that this could lead to the insurers withdrawing cover,” he says. “Holding an actual open inquiry would expose exactly who did know what – and therefore the council probably would have been liable. And that then opens up the insurers to claims.”

BBC News


Filed under Abuse, News

Nicholas Fairbairn: Commons ‘Diminished’ Due To ‘Squeaky Clean’ MPs


Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, former Conservative MP, Former Solicitor General for Scotland , and deceased arsehole.

Efforts by former Perthshire MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn to hide his private life from his constituents have been uncovered.

In newly revealed documents Sir Nicholas, who died in 1995, demands reporters be banned from investigating his private life and that of other politicians.

In the correspondence to the Commons standards watchdog which has been placed in the National Archives, the maverick MP called for press freedom to be “restricted”.

Fairbairn, who is the subject of child sexual abuse allegations in England and Scotland, claimed politicians should be protected from having their sexual behaviour exposed.

“Adultery and fornication have been the habit of most of humankind since Adam and Eve first committed the latter,” he wrote a few months before his death.

“Is there some ethical reason why those in public life should be holier than thou? Should they have the piety of monks and nuns?

“The House of Commons has already been diminished by the increasing habit of party organisations selecting candidates who are ‘squeaky clean’.”

The revelations come hard on the heels of an accusation by a woman who said Fairbairn raped her when she was four.

The Courier


Filed under Abuse, Politics

What Are Prince Charles’s ‘Black Spider Memos’?

Does anyone know when the Supreme Court will publish its judgement ?



Filed under News

Malcolm Rifkind – “Nobody Pays Me A Salary”


Two former foreign secretaries have been secretly filmed apparently offering their services to a private company for thousands of pounds.

Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind are the subject of the allegations, arising from a joint investigation by the Daily Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatches…

…Sir Malcolm is reported to have claimed he could arrange “useful access” to every British ambassador in the world.

The Conservative MP for Kensington and chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee was recorded saying: “I am self-employed – so nobody pays me a salary. I have to earn my income.”

He said his usual fee for half a day’s work was “somewhere in the region of £5,000 to £8,000”.

BBC News

Self-employed ? No salary?

Rifkind must have temporarily forgotten about the salary that the British taxpayer foot the bill for…

How much do Select Committee Chair get paid?

The salary entitlement of a Select Committee Chair is £81,936 (this figure comprises of MP’s salary of £67,060 and additional salary for Select Committee Chairs of £14,876) from 1 April 2014.

My guess is that both Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind will be shuffled off to the House of Lords where this kind of fiddling is par for the course and where they will both fit right in.


Filed under News, Politics

The Sunday Times: Part Of The Problem Or Part Of The Solution ?


It is hard to ignore the fact that when The Sunday Times had clear evidence of VIP’s involvement in child abuse 12 years ago they did very little.

“The list of 7,272 British names has been obtained by The Sunday Times. It includes at least 20 senior executives in pharmaceuticals, stockbroking, manufacturing and retailing, at least seven of whom are thought to be multimillionaires.”

Perhaps the information on the identities of 7,272 British citizens that came to light during the Operation Ore investigation was more valuable if kept out of the public domain ?

And I don’t think it is an unreasonable question, in the light of more recent events, to ask how The Sunday Times came to be in possession of such a sensitive list of names related to an ongoing police investigation in 2003.

One thing is certain, Justice Lowell Goddard must use the statutory powers of the new CSA Inquiry to legally compel The Sunday Times to hand over any evidence they have on VIP paedophiles.

City bosses named on child porn list

Sunday Times, The (London, England)-January 26, 2003
Author: Adam Nathan and David Leppard
SOME of the City’s leading businessmen are named on a confidential list compiled in an international police inquiry into internet child pornography.
The list of 7,272 British names has been obtained by The Sunday Times. It includes at least 20 senior executives in pharmaceuticals, stockbroking, manufacturing and retailing, at least seven of whom are thought to be multimillionaires.
They are among those caught by the American authorities using their credit cards to pay for graphic pictures of children as young as six being abused. The 1,000-page list, which was passed to British police last summer, details the names, addresses and the number of subscriptions paid to child porn websites.
Disclosure of the names to The Sunday Times is likely to prompt a major leak inquiry within the British police and other organisations in the UK supplied with the list.
It is also likely to renew concerns over the policing of the internet and the slow pace of the inquiry which has seen fewer than a third of those listed arrested.


Names on the list include:The former chairman of one of the City’s biggest firms of stockbrokers.A senior director of a well known drinks company. Contacted at home last week, he hung up when asked why his name was on the list.A millionaire business colleague of one of Britain’s best-known entrepreneurs.A director of one of the country’s biggest construction companies.A prominent City PR man who acts as an intermediary between boardrooms, the media and the government. He said last week that police had not visited his home.


A former director of one of the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals companies.A senior partner at a multinational accountancy firm.A top executive at a large manufacturing company.The Sunday Times has decided not to identify the businessmen because the police have still not interviewed them or made arrests in most cases.Others on the list include a senior teacher at an exclusive girls’ public school, services personnel from at least five military bases, GPs, university academics and civil servants. Many are married and respected members of their local communities.
The identities of suspects had been a closely guarded secret. Fewer than 50 of the 2,000 arrested have so far been named in the British inquiry – Operation Ore. The list was generated after an inquiry by the US Postal Inspection Service in 1999 into a pay-per-view child porn website in Texas.
Full article can be found on Spotlightonabuse


Filed under Abuse, News

The Times They Are A Spinning.

I’ll be candid and say that I had treated with some caution allegations that News International journalists had colluded with others to undermine former members of the Child Abuse Inquiry panel, nevertheless it is difficult to ignore the mounting evidence of bias and spin.

It is never a good idea for journalists themselves to become the story.

Anyone reading today’s Sunday Times will certainly not have been given a balanced report and will not be better informed.

Let’s first look at what Graham Wilmer posted yesterday;

The Sunday Times phoned me this morning, asking questions because Mr Lavery has told them the police are investigation me. His latest complaint is because I published on this blog the letter he persuaded Leigh Day to send to the CSA inquiry and the Home Secretary, in their attempts to discredit me and the inquiry. But, just a moment, Mr Lavery had already put that letter into the public domain when he gave it to the Observer on December 5th, and they published parts of it the following day – including revelations about his medical condition, as you can see here:

Survivors Support Service

As you can see Mr Lavery had already put this letter into the public domain along with details of his medical condition. You’d have expected Tom Harper, Home Affairs correspondent for The Sunday Times to have reported that fact if he were to do a story on the subject, wouldn’t you ?

After all, isn’t it the duty of a journalist, especially a broadsheet journalist on a newspaper of record, to inform the readership ?

Perhaps you’d also expect Tom Harper to report that Graham Wilmer had made complaints to the police against Andrew Lavery and Ian McFadyen last week. It is what you’d expect, right ? That would be ‘balanced’ reporting and Times readers would understand that Lavery’s police complaint was just a desperate response to the allegations of harassment made against him.

You’d have thought also that Tom Harper would have taken the time to include the fact that the original allegations made by Andrew Lavery against Graham Wilmer were investigated by the Home Office who found nothing of concern;

“As a result of these allegations, and in line with normal procedures for complaints of this nature, legal advisers considered the allegations against Barbara Hearn and Graham Wilmer. They found nothing of concern. This was an internal process and not a formal investigation.”
The Home Office

In the interests of informing The Times readership, you’d have thought that this meaty fact from a government department would have been included, wouldn’t you ?
Alas, you’ll find none of these salient facts in Tom Harper’s report for The Sunday Times today and I think it is fair for readers of this blog to ask themselves why.
Might it have something to do with the fact that Times journalists had developed a close relationship with those behind the undermining of former panellists at a time when those former panellists were unable to respond ?
I’m sure readers will recall the hatchet job done on Barbara Hearn published in The Times on November 1st last year which can be found HERE and I’m sure readers will have noted with interest the allegations that News International journalists were very close to Ian McFadyen and Andrew Lavery at the time that the appalling attacks on former panel members were being made.
And so I don’t think readers of this blog will have to tax their minds too hard to come up with a reason why Tom Harper of The Sunday Times wrote and published a bias and unbalanced piece today which failed to inform its own readership of so many salient facts.
Here is part of Tom Harper’s article. I can’t reproduce it all due to fair usage issues but I can assure readers that the full article is as I’ve described.
Tom Harper Home Affairs correspondent Published: 22 February 2015

POLICE are investigating a former panel member of the troubled child sex abuse inquiry after he removed confidential documents from the Home Office and posted them on the internet.

Graham Wilmer, who had advised the inquiry panel before it was disbanded earlier this month by Theresa May, the home secretary, published on his blog the correspondence between government officials and Andrew Lavery, a high-profile survivor of child sex abuse.

Wilmer has been locked in an online feud with Lavery, whose whistleblowing led to a police investigation into abuse by monks at a Catholic boarding school.

Since May reformed the inquiry under the leadership of Justice Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand High Court judge, Lavery has played a key role representing victims of historic sex crimes.

Wilmer, who heads the Lantern Project, a charity that offers help to abuse victims, is angry at the loss of his position and blames Lavery for it.

The row boiled over last week when Wilmer published on his blog highly sensitive correspondence detailing Lavery’s health and history of abuse that had been sent privately to the child sex abuse inquiry by his lawyers.

The Times

I’ve seen the correspondence and I can understand why Andrew Lavery refused to hand it over to the Home Affairs Select Committee when Chairman Keith Vaz MP asked him to. Why ? Because it clearly shows that Andrew Lavery had misled people over the nature and context of the communication.

Still, don’t go looking to The Times to inform you on this issue. Far from being impartial and objective, they’ve taken a side.

And I can tell you straight, they’ve taken the side of lies and trolling. In other words, they’ve taken the wrong side and it reflects badly on them.


Filed under Abuse, News

Fools Gold

The Friday Night Song


Filed under FNS, Personal

Nottinghamshire Care Home Abuse: Radio 4 Today 19 Feb 2015

Operation Daybreak, originally looked into allegations centred on Beechwood care home in Mapperley but has since been widened to include 12 other homes across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. 11 people have so far been arrested. There have been more than 100 complaints of abuse, dating back to the 1960s with potentially more than 150 abusers identified.

Tom Bateman reports on the Nottinghamshire children homes involved in historical allegations of abuse. Interviewed are Paddy Tipping, currently Police and Crime Commissioner, who was a social worker in the 1970’s. ‘David’ who is a survivor of abuse at the homes, and Supt Helen Chamberlain, head of Public Protection Nottinghamshire Police


Filed under Abuse

Swiss Police Search HSBC In Geneva

Swiss police are searching offices of the Geneva subsidiary of HSBC bank in an inquiry into alleged money-laundering.

I wonder if The Telegraph will report it ?

Why I Resigned From The Telegraph by Peter Oborne

Winning back the HSBC advertising account became an urgent priority. It was eventually restored after approximately 12 months. Executives say that Murdoch MacLennan was determined not to allow any criticism of the international bank. “He would express concern about headlines even on minor stories,” says one former Telegraph journalist. “Anything that mentioned money-laundering was just banned, even though the bank was on a final warning from the US authorities. This interference was happening on an industrial scale.

“An editorial operation that is clearly influenced by advertising is classic appeasement. Once a very powerful body know they can exert influence they know they can come back and threaten you. It totally changes the relationship you have with them. You know that even if you are robust you won’t be supported and will be undermined.”

When I sent detailed questions to the Telegraph this afternoon about its connections with advertisers, the paper gave the following response. “Your questions are full of inaccuracies, and we do not therefore intend to respond to them. More generally, like any other business, we never comment on individual commercial relationships, but our policy is absolutely clear. We aim to provide all our commercial partners with a range of advertising solutions, but the distinction between advertising and our award-winning editorial operation has always been fundamental to our business. We utterly refute any allegation to the contrary.”

The evidence suggests otherwise, and the consequences of the Telegraph’srecent soft coverage of HSBC may have been profound. Would Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have been much more energetic in its own recent investigations into wide-scale tax avoidance, had the Telegraph continued to hold HSBC to account after its 2012 investigation? There are great issues here. They go to the heart of our democracy, and can no longer be ignored.

Full article at Open Democracy


Filed under News

Next Time…

…you find yourself in a mob.

Stop, think, and try to be like this guy.



Filed under Personal

Graham Wilmer: Unacceptable Response From Guardian

Sorry  seems to be the hardest word…
Dear Mr Wilmer,
We had a statement from the Home Office this afternoon, which I believe is similar to the one John O’Brien read out to you on the phone, and which we have appended to the article as an update:
“As a result of these allegations, and in line with normal procedures for complaints of this nature, legal advisers considered the allegations against Barbara Hearn and Graham Wilmer. They found nothing of concern. This was an internal process and not a formal investigation.”
Although the Home Office has said today that the process of considering the allegations made against you and Barbara Hearn was not a “formal investigation”, we are satisfied that our reporter accurately reported the information she was given by the Home Office at the time.
Best wishes
Barbara Harper
Dear Barbara
Thank you for your response, which is not acceptable. The complaints made against me by andrew Lavery and Leigh Day were made in November 2014. The HO lawyers were asked to look at them as a matter of urgency, and concluded: ‘they found nothing of concern’ in November 2014. Your article of January 20th 2015 said “The Home Office said it was taking legal advice on the complaints and the investigation was continuing.” That is wrong and misleading. It was not a continuing investigation at the time of the report. Can you provide the name of the Home Office spokesman who made this statement to your reporter in January 2015? The additional para you have added is not acceptable, and I demand an apology. Could you please send me a link showing the appended statement.
Kind regards
Graham Wilmer MBE


Filed under News

Kincora scandal: Abuse victim seeks Judicial Review over MI5 link


A victim of abuse at a notorious boys’ home in Northern Ireland will seek this week to challenge the conduct of Whitehall’s ill-fated investigation into child abuse.

A former resident at the Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast, supported by other victims, is applying for judicial review into the decision to exclude the home from the London-based inquiry, now chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard from New Zealand. At stake is whether current and former members of MI5 can be forced to give evidence.

Widespread allegations of abuse of residents – including claims that abuse was covered up and allowed to continue unchecked for years because police and the British security services were using the home to blackmail people – are the subject of a separate inquiry in Northern Ireland, the Historical and Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, led by Sir Anthony Hart.

Critics of the HIA claim it lacks sufficient powers to get to the heart of the scandal, and want Kincora to be investigated by the Goddard inquiry. On Tuesday at the High Court in Belfast, lawyers representing a Kincora victim, Gary Hoy, will challenge the decision by the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, to leave the Kincora investigation under the control of the HIA. The lawyers want the decision judicially reviewed. The Government confirmed last week that it will oppose the application.

Campaigners say Kincora should be removed from the HIA and included in the Goddard inquiry because of the purported links with London of some of those who abused boys, and because, they say, the HIA will not be able to compel witnesses to attend nor insist on seeing sensitive civil service documents.

More at The Independent


Filed under Abuse, News

Graham Wilmer Letter – Subject: Complaint to Observer

Dear sirs
On 6th December 2014, you published an article by Daniel Boffey which contained inaccurate and misleading information about me. Mr Boffey contacted me the evening before publication to ask for my response to the claims being made against me by Andrew Lavery and his lawyers Leigh Day, which were that I had sent him unsolicited and threatening emails, which had caused him great distress.
As I was on a crowded train at the time Boffey called me, and because I was limited to what I could say anyway, because of the collective responsibility communications protocol I was under, as a then member of the CSA inquiry panel, I was unable to defend my position.
The story told to Boffey by Lavery was part of a wider campaign of malicious harassment against me and my family by Lavery and his colleague Ian Mcfadyen, whose sole aim was to disrupt the inquiry in order that they might have more influence themselves in the work and shape of the inquiry.
Now that the inquiry has been replaced with a new statutory inquiry, and the panel dissolved, I am free to speak out about this particular matter. I have therefore taken action against Leigh Day, Lavery and McFadyen, who stand accused of deliberately misleading the inquiry by making false allegations about me to the Home Secretary, the HASC and the media, including yourselves.
My complaint to you is that Daniel Boffey did not properly investigate the truth of the tale he was spun by Lavery, and his failure to investigate resulted in significant harm to myself and my reputation at the time.
The Guardian also continued this story line on 20th January, saying that there was an ‘ongoing investigation by Home Office lawyers’ into me over this, which was completely false. The Home Office have now confirmed to the Guardian that there is no such investigation, and never was. They will be printing an apology in due course.
The malicious harassment campaign against me by Lavery and Mcfadyen, which the Observer became part of, is now the subject of a formal complaint to the police by me, agreed with the Home Office, and other action is being taken to address the attempts by Lavery and Leigh Day to mislead the Home Secretary, the inquiry and the HASC.
I therefore request that the Observer publish a correction to the article published on 6th December, as it was inaccurate and misleading
Kind regards
Graham Wilmer MBE


Filed under News

Cattle And Cane

The Friday Night Song


Filed under FNS, Personal

Sow The Wind…



by | February 13, 2015 · 2:44 pm

Weatherman Fred Talbot Guilty Of abuse


Ex-TV weatherman Fred Talbot has been found guilty of indecently assaulting two teenage boys when he was a teacher.

The 65-year-old was cleared of eight other indecent assault charges by a jury at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

He was accused of abusing four former pupils at Altrincham Grammar School in Greater Manchester and a fifth schoolboy from the Newcastle area.

Talbot was remanded in custody for sentencing on 13 March.

BBC News


Filed under Abuse, News

Appointment of the Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse










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Filed under HASC, News

The Home Affairs Select Committee Endorses Home Secretary’s Nominee to Chair the Historic Child Abuse Inquiry

Home Affairs Committee 00:01 Friday 13 February 2015

The Home Affairs Select Committee took evidence from Justice Lowell Goddard at a pre-appointment hearing on Wednesday 11th February 2015.

The Committee made a number of recommendations, including:

• The establishment of a parallel Survivors’ Forum, on a formal basis, with strong links to the Panel. This forum should be properly funded, to provide any necessary support to its members.

• The new Panel should give consideration to hiring specialist staff to provide support to abuse survivors giving evidence.

• That the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office should conduct a new search of all government material, to establish that no relevant documents have been overlooked.

• The Panel should produce interim reports as frequently as it sees fit, but that the first interim report should be produced as soon as possible.

• Justice Goddard should play a full role in the selection of Panel members, as well as having a free hand over the appointment over the Inquiry Counsel and Secretariat.

• Justice Goddard should fully consult the Chairs of the Northern Ireland Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse and the Scottish national public inquiry into historical abuse of children in institutional care, with particular regard to seeking to avoid gaps between the areas covered by the various inquiries.

• The scope of the inquiry should be extended to include cases of abuse in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where there is reason to believe that material relevant to the case might be held by the UK Government. This would include cases such as the Kincora Boys’ Home.

Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

“We were impressed by the outstanding credentials of Justice Goddard, and the open and transparent way in which she gave evidence to the Committee. We believe she has the necessary skills and dedication to carry out this complex task effectively. She will be standing down from the High Court of New Zealand to take on this position full time and she will come to live in the UK. Both of these decisions show that she is strongly committed to giving this inquiry the full attention that it deserves.
Justice Goddard anticipates taking up her appointment full time in early April. By then the membership of the Panel, her salary and the terms and conditions of her employment should be concluded. We also look forward to receiving her letter detailing her interests as soon as possible. We reserve the right to recall Justice Goddard should this letter disclose any information which may cause concern.
We are confident that Justice Goddard will establish full independence from the Home Office and that she will shape and lead the inquiry in the manner she decides, but with proper consideration for the survivors. This is an important moment for the Inquiry, first established 221 days ago, and is an opportunity to renew the process after two false starts. We wish her well.”

Home Affairs Select Committee Document 13th February 2015

1 Comment

Filed under HASC, News

Kidnapped English Boy Found Abroad (1960)

Kidnapped English boy Tony Stephens is found on the continent, where his abductor – his school art teacher- had kept him for fifteen months. Tony was 11 when he was taken. His father, a milkman in Earl Shilton, Leicestershire, left his job and dedicated his life to finding Tony. After a year and half’s search, he was successful.



Teacher was a Catholic and into Scouting apparently.

unnamed (3)






Filed under Abuse