On Jane’s Allegation


The latest story regarding the ‘Exaro Westminster Paedophile Scandal’ in the Daily Mail is a bit of a mixed bag.

Unfortunately, the obvious political agenda behind their continued attempts to associate Tom Watson, now Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, with Exaro’s unreliable stories are undermining the credibility of their own journalism on an important issue that they can rightly claim to have led on . The Daily Mail points out that both complainants Nick and Jane “had close dealings with Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and a controversial ‘investigative’ news website”. Daily Mail readers will infer more from that statement than it is correct to do so. In the last few years literally hundreds of survivors of child sexual abuse will have sought Tom Watson’s help and advice. The overwhelming majority of those survivors will not have been the subject of media stories including those published by Exaro and I would be surprised to learn that any dealings that Tom Watson had with either Nick or Jane were not at the request of Exaro.

That said I don’t believe that Tom Watson can avoid some criticism. Like too many he put too much faith in Exaro News, and he  didn’t realise until it was too late that Exaro were taking advantage of his reputation.

It is not necessary to call into question Jane’s integrity or character, as The Mail have elected to do, for any impartial observer to understand why the CPS made the decision not to prosecute Lord Brittan over Jane’s rape allegation. The allegation dated from 1967, there was no evidence  that Jane had even met Leon Brittan and as such it did not pass the Evidential Stage of the Full Code Test. In short, there was no realistic prospect of a conviction in a case that, if it had ever gone to trial, would have simply pitted Jane’s word against Lord Brittan’s.

And yet,  understanding all of this, Exaro’s editor Mark Watts embarked on a media campaign to put pressure on the CPS and the Metropolitan Police to continue their investigations and he used Tom Watson in that campaign by somehow encouraging him to write to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and demand that Jane’s allegations be looked at once again.

Was Tom Watson in full possession of the facts when he wrote to the DPP or had he accepted Exaro’s word that it was the correct thing to do ? That, I believe, is a fair question that could be put to Tom Watson.

Let’s look for a moment at what would have happened if Exaro’s campaign on behalf of Jane had been successful, if the Met and the CPS had succumbed to the media pressure that was being exerted and they had ignored the fact that the case before them had not passed the Evidential Stage of the Full Code Test, that it had also then passed the Public Interest Stage, and that Lord Brittan had lived. What would have been the outcome ?

A trial date would have been set, probably around one year from the CPS decision being taken. In that time the complainant Jane would have felt a huge degree of pressure and stress. Frankly, it is extremely doubtful that any Judge with sight of the evidence beforehand would have allowed the trial to proceed but as we are examining a hypothetical scenario where the police, the CPS, and the judiciary are all acting negligently, we’ll put that to one side and just accept that the trial goes ahead. The jury hears the evidence and it decides that Lord Brittan is not guilty because there is no way that it can possibly come to the conclusion ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ that Leon Brittan raped Jane based on her word against his.

How would Jane have felt at that point? Under those circumstances, could it have been said that Exaro had exercised its duty of care to a vulnerable witness by encouraging her to take that course and pressuring the authorities into ignoring the proper legal processes?

Now, here is the point; Mark Watts and Exaro were completely aware of the circumstances which had led the CPS to originally decide not to prosecute and yet they embarked on their vicious campaign which included personal attacks on the Detective in charge of the investigation. Why ?

I can’t answer that question. I can only tell you what my interpretation of it all was at the time and that was that it was nothing more than an unscrupulous play to prolong and exploit the lucrative commercial value of Jane, their source, and that at no point was any consideration given to the duty of care that they owed her.

Legal sources confirmed there was no evidence to support Jane’s claims. Nor was there any proof that she had even met the former home secretary.

The exhaustive investigation, which included tracking down key witnesses and examining Lord Brittan’s job and domestic arrangements at the time of the alleged offence, undermined his accuser’s story. Lord Brittan was questioned in June last year shortly after Mr Watson complained to the Director of Public Prosecutions that the case was not being handled properly.

Prior to his intervention, the CPS had concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove a rape offence – even if the woman had met Lord Brittan.

In his letter to the DPP, Mr Watson described the alleged rape victim as a ‘very credible witness’.

Late last year, the CPS again advised the Met that there was insufficient evidence. But detectives insisted on carrying out a further review of the case, which continued after Lord Brittan’s death from cancer.

Daily Mail


Filed under Abuse, News

78 responses to “On Jane’s Allegation

  1. DR Laverty

    Reblogged this on DR Laverty and commented:
    Exaro are the modern day David Rose- mediaphiles

  2. DR Laverty

    Exaro are so screwed by this and other stories.

    • dpack

      for a considerable time i have had grave doughts about exaro’s bone fides and journalistic practices.
      their “scoops” and “exclusives” as well as many of the stories they seem to have fed into the msm do seem to have either been over enthusiastically mistaken or deliberate smoke and mirrors.
      imho their relationship with their publicly exposed stable of “witnesses”has so far at best been an unhappy one and at worst been potentially very harmful to both those with important data and some who seem very vulnerable individuals.
      know them by their works is good advice , examining the origins of the company , the links between their founders and a variety of very dubious characters/organizations and then considering the plausible motives for the style and content of what they have provided might provide an explanation of their output .

      if i believed in an afterlife i would expect brendan bracken to be smiling up upon them from his very own dantean pit.

      no dought some will attack my opinion as “infighting” but i see it as counterintelligence which is based on the available data.

  3. artmanjosephgrech

    1, There us now a well organised campaign to discredit and stop contrinuing police invetsigations. This will have impact on the outcome of the Goddard Inquiry where the criminal prosecution test is not required but the failure of police investigations aprticularly the dsicrediting of the police and of victims will bre used to discredit Goodfard findings in duw course hence the necessity of the Goddard Inquiry having a strong legal and evidential basis.

    I am reminded of the successful campaign to stop historical inquiries and compensation payments at the end of the last century which led to the Mullin Cameron and Tom Watson Home Affairs Committee recommendations in 2002, rejected by the Blair 2001 Asministration but which appears to have had a significantly fdampening effect on further in inquiries until initiated by the question at PMQ’s from Tom Watson to David Cameron.

    2 It also has to be accepted that most victims of indivisual acts of abuse against them do not have the contemporary records to back their allegations and therefore cannot meet the test for a potentially successful prosecution. Hence the need to establish if there are other victims in relation to someone accused. Sometimes police, investigatives journalists and individual victims have become over zealous, sometimes deliberately damaging, some times there has been conspiracy and soemtimes individual blunder.

    • Sounds a bit like you’re suggesting that bad journalism shouldn’t be challenged.

      The fact is that it is the bad journalism that has created this situation.

      • dpack

        consistently ” bad journalism “is unlikely to be accidental imho as one should learn from ones mistakes and attempt to never repeat them.

  4. Reblogged this on VICTIMS OF THE STATE and commented:
    it sucks…

  5. Kentk

    I’m new to this topic and all available evidence indicates that there are some problems with Exaro’s reporting – but what about the Scallywag stories from decades back – are the police investigations on those extraordinarily detailed allegations still alive?

  6. dpack

    possibly but the lobster stories are far more reliable than the scallywag ones which seem to have less valid bone fides than the exaro output.


    i linked to them via urban 75 review as a tribute to a dead chap who posted there and was working on important data.

    you should be able to see the archive via this link


  7. IWTT

    I understand that “Darren” is currently writing a blog which will identify all of his media contacts (including Exaro) and how he feels he was manipulated and pressurised. He said it will take a few weeks to put it all together, but we will be given a link to it once it is done.

    “Darren” spoke out on Twitter and was accused of being ‘childish and silly’ by Discovery77. Out of all Exaro’s witness stories, only Esther Baker appears to have the on-going support of Discovery77.

    Supporters should be working together to support the alleged victims/survivors. Some witnesses/complainants will find that their allegations will not pass the evidential test. That is the nature of non-recent abuse – so hard to confirm and find corroborative evidence. It is not our role as supporters to decide what is credible or not credible in the eyes of the law.

    Mixing stories together in the MSM to link allegations together is just confusing matters, and thus negates the idea that VIPs/MPs have abused and are currently abusing children. For example, I do believe that Cyril Smith was known about in 1979 and was protected. I KNOW that he groped a 14 year old in my presence, because I was there! I KNOW it was reported to Regional and National Liberal HQs because I was in the room when my late-husband made the phone calls and I heard them.

    Exposure of the Westminster Paedophile Ring (as it is called by Exaro) will only happen if we remain critical thinkers. But at the same time we must support those who have been genuinely abused and are living a life-long sentence as a result of child abuse. They may not see justice in court, but we can recognise their pain and validate them as adults.

    • Aardvark

      There is no way they didn’t know what Cyril Smith and his kind were up to and they let them continue their abuse, beyond belief! What you say is very true, the Victims may still be denied their day in Court, but there are many, many people who believe what has happened and are disgusted by the powers that be!

      • IWTT

        Aardvark, I went to the police in December 2012 when I heard on BBC news that ‘nobody had reported Cyril Smith in his life time’. I nearly threw something at my TV in anger and disbelief. As I am non-aggressive in RL, I chose to phone my police station immediately to re-report a wrong-doing from 1979. I attended in person to give a full police statement with photographs of the evening.

        It was GoJam who gave me a voice in cyber world. https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/cyril-smith-eyewitness-account/

        When my story came out via Simon Danzcuk in The Daily Mail, it was embellished and exaggerated. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3025076/EXPOSED-Liberals-offered-hush-money-hide-Cyril-Smith-s-abuse-MP-SIMON-DANCZUK-reveals-devastating-new-evidence-raises-deeply-troubling-questions-David-Steel-Nick-Clegg.html I have reported the Daily Mail and Simon Danczuk via IPSO – and my complaint has been accepted.

        The Danczuk version of MY story features in the paperback edition of “Smile for the Camera” pgs 294-298 One of my photographs from 1979 is also used on the back of the 3rd page of photos. [GoJam has a full set of all my photographs taken at that time – I was so uneasy by April 2015 that I worried about photos being photo-shopped.]

        We must make sure that we only speak about the truth, and challenge any manipulation or bullying wherever that comes from.

        According to Matt Baker (who alleges he is the author of “Smile for the Camera”) it was the publishers who embellished stories and worked with the Daily Mail on the serialisation. One day, the truth will be told about who actually exposed Cyril Smith – and it certainly wasn’t Simon Danzcuk!

    • dpack

      i suspect a lot earlier as in 1966 he became a mayor and as such was part of the “civil defense” planning which would have led to an mi5 file being opened upon him.

  8. JamesS

    Exaro milked this one shamefully.
    No-one to back up her claims that she had even met Leon Brittan, who had never lived in a basement flat as she claimed either and still Exaro harps on.
    The sooner that charlatan outfit is fully exposed the better for everyone, most of all survivors.

  9. A frightened child, in pain and distress, subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse decades ago would have been wondering why the world was so cruel to one in need of love care and affection. They wouldn’t have been gathering forensic evidence and contemporaneous notes. The State wants all of this going nowhere and few if any victims are going to be of any evidential value. Aaronovitch et al will carry the day.

    • Aardvark

      Exactly, there are games upon games being played, to prevent the truth seeing the full light of day, it had to be expected, because the truth would have a dramatic effect on the establishment! How can any of them live with themselves, when they know there were many Children who have suffered beyond belief, and by covering it up all these years, they have created further suffering, shame on them!

    • tdf

      ^ Sabre,

      There’s an imminent personage on trial right now so I’m not going to accept the proposition that no progress has been made. The situation is not as negative as you suggest.

  10. Anon

    I’m keeping an open mind on Exaro.

    Is it any co-incidence that this article appears on the same day that they have published an article on an upcoming BBC Panorama program that they allege will be doing a Hatchet Job on victims of CSA?

    It would better that this blog spends its time investigating and reporting on CSA rather than slagging other sites with the same ostensible objectives.

    If my Enemy’s Enemies are my Friends then this site runs the risk of siding with those who seek to belittle those alleged victims who ought to be being supported in their efforts to achieve justice.

    Historical Abuse is still Abuse just as Historical Murder is Murder and we should not acquiesce to an informal Statute of Limitations on the grounds that “it all happened a long time ago”.

    Nor should we be distracted by sites squabbling among themselves.

    • tdf

      All these people on Twitter ranting and raving about a Panorama programme that is allegedly forthcoming but that no-one has even seen yet (and who knows, it might not even air or may do so in truncated form), in the next breath they will say they don’t pay any attention to the the BBC in any case due to Savile. Well, they can’t have it both ways.

      Also, many of them seem utterly ignorant of basic rules of sub-judice and indeed the law on defamation. I’m amazed, frankly, that they haven’t ruined a legal case already with their rantings. If you challenge them, they will block you and call you an ‘enabler’. I don’t really want to be associated with that element of the anti-CSA movement, it’s the main reason I’ve decided to cease my own activities on that platform (plus, being honest, I was spending far too much time on Twitter).

      • Panorama has plenty of form running interference for spooks and not only uk ones. Jane Corbin does a nice line in pro Israeli propaganda. The secret of panorama and similar programmes/ publications is to appear to be fearless and determined in their quest to hold power to account. The public who are wide asleep at the best of times swallow it hook line and sinker.

      • Panorama – stolen childhoods – Alison Holt, The weasel words in the first couple of minutes are enough to make you sick ’16 years’ ‘we as a society’ ‘blind eye’ 16 fucking years kids raped with cops driving past the parked cars it was happening in, politicians refusing to act due to ‘community tensions’ the nspcc refusing to get involved because they would have been perceived to be on the same side as Griffin’s BNP and the MSM leaving well alone for the same reason (where were you when we needed you Alison Holt? Panorama?) and this cover up was because the suffering of working class northern schoolgirls ranked lower than protecting the political experiment of multiculturalism. That rated nearly two decades of cover up, kids in care rank even lower than northern schoolgirls and the political establishment has an infinitely higher ranking than a gang of Muslim rapists.

    • dpack


      keep an open mind by all means but make it a well informed one.
      i stand by my comments above and others i have made over the last year or more regarding exaro and it’s background/activities/output.
      even if we were to collate our collective knowledge of pendry’s (and other’s) assorted links it would only be circumstantial evidence (although there is a large body of it) which it is not proof of ill intent but if one combines background with the efforts and outcomes of exaro’s works it might appear wise to be very cautious as to their output and motives.

      some of their staff may well be of good intent but their overall effect has been to present aunt sallys as easy targets to be discredited ,to avoid or divert from strong lines of inquiry ,to link things in misleading ways whilst avoiding important data and not highlighting things that are linked (and of significance ) and to generally create the impression that when examined closely there is little substance to claims regarding the basic problem of power often being based on blackmail,protection and reward with regard to “vip”csa offending.

      up to the point they appeared to deliberately confuse a “vip”being stopped at customs with csa videos(late 1980’s) with tricker being stopped with csa moving image material including one labled “lb” (early 1980’s) i was fairly convinced they were white hats if a little “tabloid” and over enthusiastic to believe what they wanted to believe was “proven” by their work.
      once the “solanki interview” was closely examined i altered my opinion and it has not changed as further “scoops” and “investigations”have been presented.

      i for one believe that some “friends”are perhaps more dangerous than some enemies.

    • sponge_mike

      My comments some time ago – the pissing contest must stop muddying the water.
      Sorry about the mixed metaphors.

  11. tdf


    I must say I am tiring of Danzcuk’s antics. He has done some good things regarding asking important questions in parliament on CSA, and that deserves to be acknowledged, but he seems a bit overly fond of the moolah also.

    • IWTT


      I had forgotten that Simon Danczuk had spoken to the House (I could only recall Tom Watson, John Mann, John Hemmingway). But you are correct: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141127/debtext/141127-0003.htm (27 Nov 2014)

      In that speech we hear about “William” and “John”. I hope they are being protected better than “Darren” and “Nick”.

      • tdf


        Thanks for this link.

        It should be said, in Danzcuk’s defense, that during his speech he states:

        “During my own investigation, Cyril Smith was found to be the subject of multiple police investigations, all of which were dropped. ”

        …so it is clear that he was not to blame for the incorrect assertion in the December 2012 BBC report stating that Smith was never reported to police during his lifetime.

  12. DR Laverty

    one word>Sir Peter Morrison OBE. Sums everything else up for me.

    • dpack


      this chap shares some similarities with morrison half a generation later.
      both vile fellows.

    • tdf

      It’s striking that while quite a few Tories (not all) will defend Leon Brittan, Morrison has been pretty much (albeit posthumously) thrown to the wolves by his former political associates.

      As far back as 1993 ,Volume 1 of Alan Clark’s diaries was published, which basically lumped much of the blame for Thatcher’s failure to win re-election as Conservative leader in 1990 on her PPS and campaign manager Morrison. (Basically, Clark says he was a lazy drunk.)

      There isn’t much about Morrison’s private life in the diaries apart from a passing reference to his batchelorhood status, but Morrison was still alive as of the time of publication, so possible defamation issues would have arisen if Clark had said anything more. (But see next paragraph, and note also that it was later alleged by Max Clifford that Clark himself had engaged in consensual but unlawful carnal relations with two daughters of the South African judge James Harkness at a time when they were under-age, and that he had helped Clark to keep that information out of the papers while Clark was alive. Although how much reliance can we place on the words of a former publicity agent who himself has now been convicted and imprisoned? Gah, what a tangled web!).

      In 1992 – at which time Morrison was still alive, remember – Edwina Currie’s “Diaries 1987-1992” was published, in which she admitted that she was aware of allegations about Morrison as far back as 1990, and also that she was told by another Conservative MP, Teresa Gorman, that Morrison’s former election agent (who subsequently acted as Gorman’s agent) had been offered money to keep quiet about his activities.

      More recently, in 2012, former Conservative MP for Clwyd North West, Rod Richards, was quoted as follows:

      “What I do know is that Morrison was a paedophile. And the reason I know that is because of the North Wales child abuse scandal.”

      “It fell to me to decide initially whether to hold a public inquiry. So I saw all the documentation and the files. Morrison was linked. His name stood out on the notes to me because he had been an MP. He and [the other man] were named as visitors to the homes.”and Sir Norman Tebbit delivered the hammer blow just last year.

      And another former Tory MP Gyles Brandreth (himself a survivor of abuse) wrote in his book “Breaking the Code” (originally published in 1999, with a revised edition published last year – I’m not sure if the quote below was in the original edition) that he and his wife Michele, while campaigning to succeed Morrison as MP for the City of Chester:

      “been told several times on the doorstep – in no uncertain terms – that the MP is ‘a disgusting pervert”.

      As against all of that – and by contrast with Brittan – I haven’t heard of any prominent Tories publicly coming forward to defend Morrison’s reputation.

    • A. Pedant

      I make that fourteen words

      • A. Pedant

        Sorry Gojam this was meant as a reply to Dr laverty. Trying to make light of a depressing subject. Keep up the good work by the way.

      • No problem. :-)

        Darren’s comment did remind me a little of the famous commentary by the late great Sid Waddell

        “There’s only one word for that: magic darts!”

  13. joekano76

    Reblogged this on Floating-voter.

  14. tdf

    Sorry, bit missing from end of third last paragraph in post above….

    What I meant to say was….

    Sir Norman Tebbit delivered the hammer blow just last year when he admitted that he had been directly informed about allegations that Morrison was a pederast, but when he questioned Morrison, Morrison strongly denied the allegations, and Tebbit felt he couldn’t do anything further as he had no specific evidence.

  15. The Daily Mail is deliberately misleading the public in claiming that Leon Brittan was “falsely accused.”

    The case was never tried in court, because the Crown Prosecution Service and/or the police decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute.

    The dropping of an investigation due to lack of hard evidence does not imply that the allegations are necessarily “false.”

    It simply means that either 1) the authorities felt that there wasn’t enough evidence for a conviction to be possible, or 2) the authorities didn’t want to prosecute him regardless of the strength of the evidence.

    The idea that the allegations must be “false” because Brittan wasn’t charged, is positively bizarre.

    Even if a suspect is ACQUITTED in court, the verdict is always “not guilty” rather than “innocent.”

    In other words, even an acquittal doesn’t necessarily mean that the accusations were false. It just means that the accusations couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The Daily Mail is becoming completely deranged and unhinged in its desperate attempts to turn the public against the VIP abuse victims, and discredit the investigations of elite abusers.

    Also, the fact that the accuser was a Labour activist is not “news.” It was reported over a year ago. The Daily Wail is simply dredging it up to try to discredit the allegations against Thatcher’s buddy Leon Brittan.

    By the way, what about all the child abuse allegations against Brittan? Were all those kids lying, too? Kind of odd that they woud pick an obscure, long-retired politician to try and smear.

    By describing the allegations against Brittan as “false” in a news article (rather than an editorial), the Daily Mail is arguably violating the Press Code of Conduct and prejudicing the findings of any future investigations into Brittan’s conduct, such as the Goddard Inquiry.

    I am seriously considering making a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission regarding this Daily Mail article, since the Mail is effectively accusing Jane of being a fantasist or liar, and thus damaging her reputation and credibility.

    • JamesS

      If at the time of the alleged offence Leon Brittain did not live in an apartment such as she described then that is not insufficient evidence – it is evidence to the contrary.

      Nobody being able to corroberate her claim that she had actually met Leon Brittain is potentially evidence to the contrary as well if they interviewed those she named and they contradicted her version. Her flatmate at the time being one.

      Even assuming that Jane’s claims were true, that he did not live in a place she said he did, nor had ever lived in a basement apartment, and with no-one to confirm Jane had ever met him, the outcome would have been the same whether he was Leon Brittain or anybody else far less prolific.

      • Having re read it you’ve got an allusion to Orwellian double think in there too. Ditching the currant bun readers for the Gruniad mob eh ? :-)

      • QUOTE: “If at the time of the alleged offence Leon Brittain did not live in an apartment such as she described then that is not insufficient evidence – it is evidence to the contrary.”

        JamesS, what matters is whether the substance of Jane’s allegation is true: did Sir Leon Brittan rape her, or did he not?

        That is what matters.

        If Leon Brittan did rape Jane, then it is irrelevant that she couldn’t remember what kind of apartment he lived in 50 years after the rape occurred.

        After such a traumatic experience, it is quite understandable if Jane’s memory of the actual event is suppressed or vague/blurred.

        It is certainly not “evidence to the contrary” if Jane mis-remembered details about an apartment, when the alleged rape happened in 1967.

        Moreover, how are we to know for certain that Leon Brittan didn’t live in a basement apartment at the time? Are we to take his buddies’ word for it?

        Of course, we can trust them to tell the truth, I DON’T think.

        Additionally, it’s possible that the apartment where the rape occurred was not Brittan’s primary residence.

        Perhaps the apartment belonged to a friend and Leon had access to it, or perhaps he rented it so he could have a separate location to lure women to, or perhaps he had another apartment for some other reason.

        Remember, Sir Peter Hayman also had an apartment which he exclusively used for paedo-related activities.

        I think it is entirely plausible that the rape actually did occur in a flat just as Jane describes it.

        It would be extremely stupid of a trained lawyer like Leon Brittan to rape someone in his own flat, since the victim could lead the police there.

        It seems very possible that the attack took place at another flat that Brittan rented or had access to, and Jane mistakenly assumed that it was Brittan’s primary residence.

    • In law one is innocent until proven guilty.
      If someone is acquitted or found not guilty they are legally innocent.

      • Andy Barnett

        Hence, anyone accused of a crime has been “falsely accused”, until such time as they are found guilty?

      • Think of it as Schrodinger’s cat on trial for scratching the nose of Pavlov’s dog.

        Schrodinger’s cat is innocent until proven guilty but he wouldn’t be on trial if the CPS and police didn’t think he’d scratched Pavlov’s dog’s nose.

        It’s a way of double-thinking that doesn’t prejudice the trial’s outcome by presuming guilt.

      • Perhaps Schrödinger’s cat is a bad example. To stretch the point for the discussion at hand the cat is both innocent and guilty at the same time, the wave equation collapses at the delivery of the jury’s verdict and the cat becomes innocent or guilty.

      • Exactly but we have to ‘presume’ innocence.

      • What are you on today Gojam? Schrödinger’s cat is going to be a stretch for most and then you chuck Pavlov’s dog into the mix. You’ll inspire some to dip into two very different scientific fields only to be hit by a surrealism overload ;-)

      • I just chucked in Pavlov’s dog because I’ve always found the idea of mixing him in with Schrodinger’s cat (yes I know it is a thought experiment) quite comedic

      • Incorrect, one is presumed to be innocent until a plea of guilty is accepted or a jury returns a verdict of guilty. The presumption is merely a default position placing the onus of proof on the prosecution. Schrödinger’s cat is ‘innocent’ and ‘guilty’ until the verdict. Pavlov’s dog views the cat as innocent or guilty despite trial or verdict depending on how his reflex has been conditioned.

      • The last comment was aimed at Lee.

    • JamesS

      “The idea that the allegations must be “false” because Brittan wasn’t charged, is positively bizarre.”

      The idea that the allegations must be “true” despite his not being charged is just as bizarre.

      “Even if a suspect is ACQUITTED in court, the verdict is always “not guilty” rather than “innocent.”

      And in the eyes of the law the suspect is therefore INNOCENT of the crime.

      “In other words, even an acquittal doesn’t necessarily mean that the accusations were false. It just means that the accusations couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”

      Again, in the eyes of the law a not guilty result = innocent of the crime. If a jury is not absolutely sure or certain then they must acquit. To be sure or certain is a very high threshold so some who did actually commit an offence will be acquitted so some who are guilty may well be acquitted because of that.

      Some who are acquitted ARE actually innocent – a strange concept for you to get your head around I know, particularly when you have pre-judged a person because they are in the public eye or because Exaro says it is so.

      • JamesS:

        QUOTE:”The idea that the allegations must be “true” despite his not being charged is just as bizarre.”[end QUOTE]

        Nobody is saying that the allegations against Brittan (or the other alleged VIP abusers) are definitely true.

        You are basically putting words in my mouth.

        I personally am inclined to believe that the allegations against Brittan (and certain other VIPs) are PROBABLY true, due to the wide variety of sources from different parts of society who have accused Brittan of sexual abuse.

        It is unlikely that retired police officers, Nick, Jane, other alleged victims, various witnesses, etc ALL decided to form a conspiracy to tell horrible lies about Leon Brittan.

        Thus, I tend to believe that the allegations against Leon are PROBABLY true.

        That is different than claiming the allegations MUST be true.

        You are complaining about a statement that I never made.

        QUOTE:”“Even if a suspect is ACQUITTED in court, the verdict is always “not guilty” rather than “innocent.”
        And in the eyes of the law the suspect is therefore INNOCENT of the crime. …
        Again, in the eyes of the law a not guilty result = innocent of the crime. If a jury is not absolutely sure or certain then they must acquit. “[end QUOTE]

        No. Again, a jury/court cannot make a finding of “innocent.” The verdict is either “guilty” or “not guilty.” You could think of it this way: guilty=proven, whereas not guilty = not proven.

        A “not guilty” verdict means that the allegations were not proven, hence the defendant does not face any consequences from the judicial system.

        A “not guilty” verdict does not mean that the defendant is necessarily innocent or that the crime never happened.

        If a person is found “guilty”, they can face a penalty such as a fine or prison sentence.

        The “reward” for being acquitted is that you don’t go to jail or pay a fine.

        The “eyes of the law” are not the same as the “eyes of public opinion.”

        If a defendant is acquitted, it means that the allegations are unproven and they do not face a prison sentence or other punishment.

        An acquittal does NOT mean that the PUBLIC is required to believe that the defendant never committed the crime.

        The public is free to believe whatever they want.

        At any rate, we are not discussing a guilty verdict. There has been no trial or verdict, since Leon Brittan died before he could answer for the allegations against him.

        So the issue of a verdict is a moot point.

        What we are actually discussing is the claim of the Daily Mail that Leon Brittan was “cleared” of the allegations by the police, and that since Leon was not charged, the allegations are therefore “false.”

        I think you would agree that the police do not “clear” people, or decide that allegations are “false.” That is the role of the courts, so the Daily Mail is being intentionally dishonest by claiming that Leon was “cleared” of “false” allegations by the police. In fact, Leon is STILL under investigation by Operation Midland, which raided his homes last March. However, that investigation relates to child sex abuse, and not the alleged rape of the 19 year old.

        Finally, you stated that “if a jury is not absolutely sure or certain then they must acquit.”

        That isn’t correct. The jury never has to be “absolutely sure or certain” of anything. That would probably be an impossible standard to meet, unless the jury were actually there when the crime occurred.

        The jury must find that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

        That’s it. They don’t have to be “absolutely sure.”

  16. GIHR

    I started out as quite a supporter of Exaro, who appeared to be leading the way when it came to reporting on the historic allegations about the Elm Guest House and so on.

    However – and I don’t know if it’s because Exaro has deteriorated, or because I simply was initially reading it through rose-tinted specs – in the last few months my opinion has changed entirely. I now view Exaro as a totally unprofessional outfit.

    Listening to the press conference audio, the Exaro editor’s questioning of Harvey Proctor bordered on hysterical – practically shrieking his questions with faux outrage, clearly under the delusion that he was some sort of crusading Jeremy Paxman figure. But he just sounded shrill, paranoid and irate. You could hear other journalists tutting and sighing at his histrionics.

    Then, the comments made on Twitter – not only on the editor’s personal account, but also on the actual Exaro account – in the aftermath of the press conference were biased in the extreme, basically stating as fact that Proctor was guilty by stating as fact that ‘Nick’ was telling the truth. That is not objective or professional reporting.

    The editor seems so incredibly personally invested in the whole matter that I fail to see how he could make any credible argument that he is capable of objectively reporting on it. His Twitter feed demonstrates that he is not capable. He even seems to perceive any editorial which in any way questions any allegation of abuse at Westminster – no matter how far-fetched or unsupported – as a personal attack on himself, and constantly uses the Exaro Twitter account to post juvenile rants and counter-attacks.

    I’m not saying it’s wrong for a journalist to care passionately about what they do. I think they probably should. But I also think they have a duty to behave objectively and professionally, regardless of their own personal feelings. I do not feel that is currently happening at Exaro. I feel the editor’s deep personal investment is increasingly apparent both in its stories and its social media output, and it is totally compromising Exaro’s credibility.

    • Andy Barnett

      That’s the difference between Exaro and the Needle. Make the smallest criticism of Exaro, Mark calls you an agent of the state; tell Gojam he’s a total wanker and he still publishes your comment. It makes the Needle a far more reliable source of information (even when Gojam is being a bit of a wanker:)

      • Andy Barnett

        Only kidding!

      • dpack

        just for a moment i will assume both exaro and needle are of good will .

        to seek a “good story”is the approach that exaro seem to have taken and to seek” truth” is the approach the needle seem to have taken.

        even assuming good will on both parts which is most likely to try to provide reliable data and interpretation?

        as i have come to the conclusion that exaro do not have either good will or seek truth the above does not apply.

        it isnt a pissing contest as far as im concerned,what matters is attempting to establish truth by examining data forming hypotheses and having those hypotheses peer reviewed until enough truth is established to make some very overdue changes to society.

        part of establishing truth is to recognize where untruths are rooted .

        ps schroedingers imaginary cat only had to imagine it was alive or dead and sitting in a box while folk tried to decide if their looking altered it’s condition,pavlov’s dogs had tubes surgically implanted into their salivary ducts to measure their response to his bell.i know which i find the most ethical experiment especially as it is obvious that the thought of yummy dinner makes me drool if im hungry.

    • JamesS

      Quiet Observer

      You said
      “Finally, you stated that “if a jury is not absolutely sure or certain then they must acquit.”
      That isn’t correct. The jury never has to be “absolutely sure or certain” of anything. That would probably be an impossible standard to meet, unless the jury were actually there when the crime occurred.
      The jury must find that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
      That’s it. They don’t have to be “absolutely sure.”

      Again, you are wrong. Juries have not been directed to to find someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for many years. Instead, as I have already said, the direction given is that they must be “certain”. or “sure”.

      The rest of your post is bollocks too.

  17. tdf

    Exaro today – quite correctly – reminded its followers not to tweet anything prejudicial during the Janner ‘trial of facts’, but went on to state that would include tweeting that there are no paedophiles in political circles.

    This is a bizarre interpretration of the sub judice rule. To tweet that there is or was no Westminister paedophile ring – or the opposite, that all politicians are nonces of the most deviant kind, are just bland broad generalised statements. I cannot possibly see how such statements would be in breach of sub judice.

    • I’m sure you know what it is all about. ;-)

      • tdf

        Who, me? Nah, I’m just parsing things together best I can, same as everyone else.

        “This house knows many things, but it is not omniscient.”

    • GIHR

      A particularly peculiar comment from Exaro, which published a complete transcript of Harvey Proctor’s press conference while legal proceedings against Janner were already ongoing, even though Proctor named Janner during the press conference as a suspect in the Operation Midland investigation. By replicating that comment by Proctor, Exaro was in flagrant breach of Contempt of Court rules. Now it wants to hector others about following them.

  18. The long-suffering victims are victimised yet again each time their allegations are denied, dismissed or downplayed by the establishment and the media.

    We should be very careful before dismissing the testimony of Darren, Nick, Jane, etc, because denying/dismissing their allegations as untrue is, in effect, victimising them yet again.

    • Until they can be proved, allegations remain merely assertions.

      • QUOTE: “Until they can be proved, allegations remain merely assertions.”

        I agree.

        In that case, why are Harvey Proctor and his mates so angry/outraged at the news media daring to publish “assertions” about him and other VIPs?

        As the saying goes, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

        If it’s acceptable for people like Proctor and VIP defenders to fling about allegations of “witch hunts” and accuse Nick, Jane, etc of being “fantasists” and “liars”, then it should be acceptable for people like Nick and Jane to make allegations without being threatened with libel writs.

        Why do you seem to consistently have a hostile tone towards the alleged victims of VIP abuse?

        I don’t know if you intend to sound like an apologist for the establishment, but with all due respect, most of your posts come across that way.

  19. chrisb

    A bit off topic but …

    It appears that publication of the Smith report into how much other BBC employees knew about Savile’s activities is being delayed at the request of the police because it would undermine other investigations. I presume that means that publication would give the accused grounds to claim that they would not get a fair trial. Perhaps the police are prolonging investigations that are unlikely to result in a conviction in order to delay publication of a document that would confirm unequivocally that a blind eye was turned to child sexual abuse.

    • JamesS

      Quiet Observer
      Or to put it another way and in the right order, if Nick, Jane and any others make allegations which are published in great detail in the media and FIRST, then is it only fair that Harvey Proctor, VIPS and anyone else are also given a platform in the media to refute them?

      If these accusations were made against a nobody they would not be deemed newsworthy and would not be reported as they have been in the first place. Even if they were the nobody would not have the opportunity to refute them. So the VIP has the advantage of newsworthiness which gives them the opportunity to publicly refute but also has the disadvantage of being newsworthy enough to have the allegations plastered around in the press too.

      Had Exaro News not sought sensation and published extensive details about the nature of the alleged offences and enough detail to give strong indications of who the alleged abusers were and published only scanty details instead this situation would not have arisen. When Harvey Proctor holds a conference and follows their example in terms of revealing details then an extremely ironic uproar follows amongst the Exaro supporting clan. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander is certainly the way things have been played, with accusations made and accusations refuted in the same way. This should not have been played out in public by either side, but who started it? E X A R O.

      The accusers are safe from the threat of libel – who has been threatening them? I suggest you do research on that.

      • QUOTE:”Or to put it another way and in the right order, if Nick, Jane and any others make allegations which are published in great detail in the media and FIRST, then is it only fair that Harvey Proctor, VIPS and anyone else are also given a platform in the media to refute them?”

        Exactly. Harvey Proctor and other prominent alleged abusers HAVE been given a platform to refute the allegations against them, and that is as it should be. Harvey’s press conference was widely reported and given favourable media coverage. The denials by the field marshal, the general, and others also received widespread media coverage. That is as it should be.

        The problem is that Harvey and his mates want to silence the accusers with threats of libel writs, and worse, Harvey and mates are pressing for persons ACCUSED of sex offences to be given anonymity.

        BOTH sides should be free to express their views in public, without threats of libel writs, or laws that give anonymity to the alleged abusers, or other legal impediments that are intended to shield the elites from public scrutiny.

        No one has a right to be shielded from criticism by force of law. The media and the alleged abusers have been very free in hurling invective and vitriol at the alleged victims (saying they are “liars” and “fantasists”, etc). For example, Harvey Proctor has accused Nick of lying. Proctor has accused Nick of being mentally ill, and has accused the police of being homophobic.

        Yet when it comes to the victims making allegations against HIM, Proctor starts whining about unfairness and demanding that alleged abusers receive anonymity and threatening libel action against anyone who reports on or repeats the allegations against him.

        Do you see the hypocrisy of the alleged abusers here?

        They (the alleged abusers) are eager to criticise and discredit the victims with venomous insults, but they don’t want anyone criticising THEM by reporting on or repeating the allegations.

  20. Aardvark

    Yes, sounds like the perfect set up doesn’t it. Just supposing this is the scenario; Create a media circus with a complicit news agency, (conveniently set up for the purpose), use the most serious allegations possible, hype it up over about a year or so, enter the accused ‘VIP’s furious etc, in an equally high profile media reactive storm, there by deflecting from all the many on going investigations into alleged VIP CSA. There are cries to stop all investigations into alleged VIP CSA and the said news agency to be brought down, made by Mr P himself.
    A complicit MSM, following the PM’s and Mr P’s directive , call it a ‘Gay witch hunt,’ not the investigation into Child abuse. The media produce a programme for Television, with another complicit broadcaster, (who have a multitude of on going CSA investigations of their own), which will undermine the accusations and get the public on side.

    So the ‘VIP’s you mention, with their connections and moneyed position and access to the best lawyers, yet again rule the day. While the ‘Nobodies’ you allude to, will be the ones who will not see true justice, because of their lack of good legal advice and due to their position in society, will be let down, yet again. Consequently and conveniently, questions will be raised about other accusations and investigations, Is this a plausible scenario?

    • dpack

      yes that is a plausible scenario

      the context is even more frightening

    • tdf

      It’s a plausible scenario. I don’t necessarily think it’s what’s happening here though. I think no-one’s in control of the dynamic.

      If your thesis is true, then, after the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four won their appeals and the British courts admitted that there had been miscarriages of justice, wouldn’t it have made it almost impossible to prosecute terrorist offences afterwards? Well, that’s not what happened – it didn’t (and not even bringing post 9/11 events into it – obviously post 9/11, we were in a different set of dynamics).

      • GIHR

        It is not a plausible scenario.

      • QUOTE:”If your thesis is true, then, after the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four won their appeals and the British courts admitted that there had been miscarriages of justice, wouldn’t it have made it almost impossible to prosecute terrorist offences afterwards? ”

        Hi tdf, you make a good point, but it’s important to remember that the circumstances of the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four were very different.

        Unlike the victims of VIP sex abuse, the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six had powerful people fighting their corner, constantly advocating for their release and for their convictions to be quashed. Their supporters/advocates included several Labour members of Parliament such as Chris Mullin MP and Kevin McNamara MP and Peter Hain MP (who later became a minister under Blair), as well as Gerry Fitt MP (Lord Fitt) and several others.

        Perhaps more importantly, they had the steadfast support of the vastly powerful Irish Catholic lobby in the United States of America, including Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Congressman Peter King, Congressman Chris Smith, and numerous others.

        The American Congress even imposed a weapons embargo against the RUC for several years, on the grounds that the RUC was guilty of human rights violations.

        With the Americans constantly complaining about the incarceration of the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four, the UK government was under considerable pressure to release them.

        The victims of VIP sex abuse have no such powerful defenders.

    • JamesS

      Quiet Observer
      All I am seeing is that you still don’t get it or are being deliberately obtuse. . You appear happy enough for extremely lurid claims to be made very publicly against a suspect but take offence to the suspect publicly repeating those claims when refuting it.

  21. I’d suggest a number of commenters on here have already decided who the real victims are. It’s often difficult but it’s best to keep an open mind.

    • QUOTE: “I’d suggest a number of commenters on here have already decided who the real victims are. It’s often difficult but it’s best to keep an open mind.”

      I’d suggest that YOU have decided that the “real victims” are poor innocent Leon Brittan and Nicholas Fairbairn and Edward Heath and Ralph Bonner-Pink and Viscount Hinchingbrooke and Cyril Smith and Robert Boothy and Sir Jimmy Savile, who have been viciously slandered and libeled by evil mendacious plebes.

      How dare these disgusting filthy plebes make allegations about Britain’s most distinguished citizens?

      • dpack

        i have some doughts about heath ,if one looks at the context(clockwork orange/gladio b,his nuclear weapons policies,his “one nation”politics ,his perceived weakness as a uk prime minister ,etc etc) smearing and replacing him would seem quite plausible.
        it may be there is some truth among the various stories but i would give it around even odds between guilty as accused of some things(but almost certainly not all his accusers are correct) and him being the victim of a very professional political plot which is still being hidden as best as possible by continued promotion of some very lurid stories about him which has the added advantage of providing opportunity for some of the lurid claims being proven false thereby discrediting other valid accusations about him or others.

  22. GIHR

    Just seen Exaro’s latest story, on the impending Panorama. Absolutely shocking.

    Full of subjective commentary expressed as facts. States as facts that the accusers were abused. States as fact that the BBC has ‘no credibility’. States as fact that an express story was ‘made up’. Uses leaked documents to substantiate a story criticising the BBC for using leaked information.

    And attacks the reporter fronting the show because he lived quite near to a politician as a child – even though it presents no evidence they ever knew each other, or even met, or that the reporter even knew the politician lived in his neighbourhood.

    Utterly farcical.