THE LOUSE & THE FLEA: PANORAMA, EXARO & THE VIP PAEDOPHILE SAGA

Reproduced with permission from Tim Tate’s blog – timtate.co.uk

Please visit to read this and other insightful posts by Tim Tate.

The-Louse-and-the-Flea_brothers-grimm

~

In 1812, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their first volume of fairy tales, Kinder- und Hausmärchen.  Tale Number 30 told the story of The Louse and The Flea.

In the tale, a flea and a louse happily share a home until one day the louse dies while brewing beer in an eggshell. What follows is a chain reaction of catastrophe, as the flea and then various household objects get dragged into a downward spiral. This eventually envelops a human child and a stream; finally the water from the stream overflows and drowns the flea, the louse, the child and everything in the little house.

Yesterday, news and social media were swamped by the latest row in the highly politicised saga of investigations into an alleged network of VIP paedophiles.   The cause was a much-delayed one-hour Panorama programme which purported to answer the question “What’s The Truth ?”

Panorama sought to examine these allegations – of which more shortly – and, more specifically, how they came to dominate the news, social media and police agendas over the past 18 months. Doing so brought it squarely into conflict with Exaro News – a self-proclaimed online “investigative news service”. Exaro has made most of the running in the VIP paedophile saga and, in happier times, the BBC itself had maintained a working relationship with its journalists.

The BBC programme makers’ decision to investigate the origins of what, lest we forget, is a very expensive police enquiry, produced howls of outrage from Exaro and its supporters. Exaro’s grandly-styled Editor-in-Chief, Mark Watts, took to Twitter to denounce the film (which he had not seen) as a plan “to smear survivors of child sex abuse”; for good measure he accused the Panorama reporter, Daniel Foggo, of having a “conflict of interest” on the extraordinary grounds that as a child he (Foggo) had lived on the same street as Sir Peter Morrison, a deceased Tory MP who unquestionably had a sexual interest in children.

Just as the sequential disaster unleashed by the louse and the flea expanded exponentially, so too did the battle between Exaro and the BBC draw in new players.  Exaro reported that the Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation into allegations that one of its officers leaked to Panorama personal information about the key complainants in the VIP paedophile saga; the Met followed this up with an additional statement denouncing the programme for its potential to deter victims of abuse from coming forward.   And to cap it all, MPs who had once campaigned for better child abuse investigation found themselves pointing fingers of blame at each other.

Before examining the behaviour of Exaro and the BBC it is worth recalling the key allegations in this tale.

According to a witness known only as “Nick”, he and other under-age boys were abused, tortured and – in three cases – murdered by a group of paedophiles at two addresses in London.   Among the men he has named are former Prime Minister, Edward Heath, former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, as well as senior army officers and spies.  These allegations are being investigated by Operation Midland. (Mr Proctor, for the record, roundly denounced the allegations at a televised press conference in August).

The broad thrust of “Nick’s” claims are alleged by Exaro to have been supported by a man known only as “Darren”, and a woman (who has waived her right to anonymity) called Esther Baker.

Beyond Midland’s remit is another police enquiry – Operation Fernbridge (formerly Fairbank). This has was set up to examine (primarily) allegations that in the late 1970s or early 1980s children were taken from council-run care homes to be abused at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, South-West London. In or around 2012 what purported to be a “guest list” of clients at EGH was put up on the internet. It contained a number of famous names including Cyril Smith MP (then deceased and recently-outed as an abuser of boys) and Leon Brittan.

Declaration of interest: in 2013 and 2014 I met and interviewed senior detectives from Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge.   I was not the only journalist to do so: the officers were – then – remarkably open and honest about the task they had been set. And it was a very difficult task. From the outset, Fairbank/Fernbridge was hampered by two serious problems. The first was one of resources: its team was very small – just seven officers – and struggled to get the financial resources to carry out its enquiries.  The second was Exaro News and the group of informants which had coalesced around it.

Two of the key figures in this were a former social worker called Chris Fay and a deeply-damaged man who, after meeting Fay, had first made allegations about abuse by VIPs at EGH in the early 1990s.

Fay had met Carole Kasir, the co-owner of EGH, in or around 1989 – seven years after the guest house was raided and shut down. After Kasir died Fay began campaigning to expose what he claimed she had told him about politicians and celebrities who abused children at the premises.  He claimed Kasir had shown him a list of names: he copied this down and, in time, it would become the “guest list” whose posting on the internet led to Fairbank/Fernbridge. He also alleged that Kasir had shown him photographs of her clients, including two showing Leon Brittan in compromising circumstances.

Unfortunately, Fay has never been able produce these photographs. Worse, he has both a conviction for serious dishonesty, and a habit of associating himself with proponents of extraordinarily wild conspiracy theories (notably the bizarre “film-maker”, Bill Maloney).

Fairbank/Fernbridge detectives interviewed Fay. They quickly came to the (correct) view that the so-called EGH “guest list” had no evidential value, since it was hearsay, not created by a first-hand witness to events and had no reliable chain of custody.  They also interviewed the man who had taken up with Fay in the early 1990s.  This man – then calling himself “Andrew” – had published versions of his stories on-line. He proved to be a voluble – and volatile – witness. When I first met the officers from Fairbank/Fernbridge they were in the middle of conducting a succession of very long interviews with him at a location several hundred miles outside London. The detectives were convinced that “Andrew” had indeed endured sexual abuse as a child, but were concerned at serious inconsistencies in his statements.

They were also deeply worried about the continuing involvement of Fay and Maloney – and, with Fay’s help, of Exaro News.  “Andrew” told the officers that these contacts were unwelcome and being forced on him by Fay. They moved Andrew to a safe house and set up surveillance: the senior officer told me that if Fay and Maloney turned up he planned to arrest them for attempting to pervert the course of justice.  But the surveillance revealed something different. It showed that “Andrew” was inviting Fay and Maloney to meet with him.  Not unreasonably, this raised further doubts about “Andrew’s” reliability.

That problem was further underlined by a story in Exaro. This claimed that Fairbank/Fernbridge had seized a videotape which showed an ex-Cabinet minister (although he was not named this was clearly Leon Brittan) in compromising circumstances at Elm Guest House.

I spoke with the detectives the day after this story appeared. Not only did they deny it point blank, they explained how it had come about. “Andrew” had told Exaro that a senior Fairbank/Fernbridge detective had told him that the team had seized the video. Exaro did not bother to check this claim with the police. It would not be the last time Exaro published unchecked or downright false stories about the VIP paedophile enquiries.

Exaro’s journalists were contacted by “Nick” in 2014. The news website began running a series of stories based on his claims.  At that stage it had no corroboration of any sort for the allegations. I – and others – have repeatedly asked Mark Watts whether it attempted any sort of due diligence investigation before publishing.  He has never replied. However, the website’s journalists have dropped hints that there was a corroborative source: the man known as “Andrew”.

Doubts about Exaro’s methods were re-enforced by two separate events. The first was the long strange saga of Leon Brittan and the Customs Officer. A full account of this can be found on this blog, dated August 4: but in essence, Exaro published a story claiming that a retired Customs officer had been recording telling a journalist that in 1982 he had impounded a film and/or video which showed Brittan in sexual circumstances with a child.

The story was simply and pitifully untrue. When the recording surfaced, it showed clearly that the journalist (working for the Express) had tried but failed to get the ex-customs officer to confirm this allegation. He did not do so. Exaro’s reaction to being challenged on this (and on its other ‘scoops’) has been to denounce those who ask questions as “spies” or “useful idiots” for the intelligence services.  For good measure it pronounced me to be “a disgrace to journalism”.

The second event was the arrival in the saga of a man known as “Darren”. The stories he told were similar to those of “Nick”, and involved some of the same perpetrators and locations.  Exaro duly decided that even though (by “Darren’s” own admission) the abuse he endured took place a decade later than “Nick’s”, this provided corroboration of “Nick’s” claims of abuse, torture and murder.

How much due diligence did Exaro devote to checking “Darren” out ?  Mark Watts does not reply to such questions, but had he or his staff done any research they would have discovered that “Darren” has a conviction for a bomb hoax and has previously made false confessions to rape and murder. This does not automatically mean he cannot be believed: it should, however, raise questions about how much reliance can be placed on his evidence.  Despite this, Exaro arranged for “Darren” and others in stable of complainants to take part in an Australian television programme on the VIP paedophile alegations.  That film presented their claims as established fact and was the worst piece of reporting on child sexual abuse allegations (a crowded field) that I have ever seen.

If, pace the Grimms, Exaro is the louse in the story, what of the BBC ?  Despite the outraged denunciations of the past two days, the Panorama programme was actually something of a damp squib. It provided very little new information, merely repeating the widely-published facts about Messrs Fay, Watts, “Nick” and “Darren”. And had it confined itself to that tepid ‘once over lightly” it might not have been drawn into the spiral of calamity begun by the lousy efforts of Exaro. Sadly, it did not.

Firstly, it conducted an interview with “Andrew” (now re-christened as “David”) in which he said that he had never intended to name Leon Brittan, but that the name had been suggested to him by Fay and others.  In purely procedural terms the Panorama team did everything right: it shot “David/Andrew” in semi-silhouette and used an actor to re-voice his words so that there could no fear of identifying him. It also – rightly – reported at least some of his lamentable history of unreliability and (again rightly) wondered aloud whether this invalidated his testimony. And there lies the problem: Panorama relied on what it acknowledged was a highly unreliable witness to demolish the foundations of Exaro’s equally questionable stable of complainants. The flea was dragged into the louse’s spiral.

But Panorama’s worst offence concerned Brittan himself. It wheeled out testimony from former colleagues of the late politician to portray him as a man terribly and wrongly traduced as a paedophile.

Yet as Panorama knows (or should know) there is strong evidence to indicate that Brittan had a sexual interest in children. As I have reported elsewhere, tucked in the files of Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge is a formal 2014 statement from the ex-customs officer. This, of course, denounces Exaro’s bogus story about the 1982 videos and films; but it also contains the startling – and detailed – account of how at a later date the ex-customs officer stopped Brittan as he arrived at Dover.  A search of Brittan’s car yielded a child pornography videotape which, even 30 years later, the contents of which the ex-customs officer was able to describe.

In seeking – quite rightly – to hold the Exaro/Chris Fay-generated stories of abuse, torture and murder up to the light, Panorama fell into the trap of dismissing all the clear and unequivocal evidence of VIP or politically-protected paedophiles (Cyril Smith, Peter Morrisson, Sir Peter Hayman to name but three).

This, as I and others have warned previously, is precisely the polarisation and entrenched shouting match which will lead to a backlash: a spiral of catastrophe which will engulf all those around the louse and the flea, and drown out the voices of those who have been genuinely abused.

It is a cliché to say that one of the biggest problems of modern Britain is its media.  In the particular case of child sexual abuse that cliché is horribly, miserably true. In the feverish atmosphere of claim and counterclaim, patient and forensic sifting of evidence is abandoned. Indeed, those of us who try to do so find themselves denounced by those who see only black and white as “running with the hare, while hunting with the hounds”.

I do not know whether the claims made by “Nick”, “Darren” Esther, or “Andrew/David” have any factual basis. They are – quite properly – being investigated by police.  What I do know is that the vicious ideological trench warfare being conducted by my fellow journalists (who likewise do not know what is true and what is not) can only hinder quiet, patient enquiries and ultimately damage the efforts of those whose job it is to protect children.

Flea and louse, louse and flea: tell me – what, really, is the difference ?

~

Reproduced with permission from Tim Tate’s blog – timtate.co.uk

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36 Comments

Filed under Abuse, News

36 responses to “THE LOUSE & THE FLEA: PANORAMA, EXARO & THE VIP PAEDOPHILE SAGA

  1. “In seeking – quite rightly – to hold the Exaro/Chris Fay-generated stories of abuse torture and murder up to the light, Panorama fell into the trap of dismissing all the clear and unequivocal evidence of VIP or politically-protected paedophiles”

    Panorama Fell Into The Trap…. Glad you informed me why they didn’t focius on all the VIP cover ups including Ball. Why they didn’t ask who was behind the cover ups? Why have 40+ investigations been sent for independent police review.? Here was I thinking they didn’t mention any of this because it didn’t serve their agenda.

    Glad to see the police take perveting the course of justice seriously even setting up surveillance. How long Tim do you expect before those involved in perveting justice regarding Ball are arrested? I say NEVER. I will not let that in anyway make me question just how diligent the police etc are in bringing those who committed these acts. and those that covered it up to justice.

  2. tdf

    “They quickly came to the (correct) view that the so-called EGH “guest list” had no evidential value, since it was hearsay, not created by a first-hand witness to events and had no reliable chain of custody.”

    While the above is entirely sensible, if there are names on the list that subsequently (i.e., post 1989) were convicted of child abuse in unrelated cases (excluding the very recent cases that have occured since early 2013) then that would give the lists some degree of credibility.

    • Hi tdf, I hope you don’t mind me replying to this.

      In my view, the ‘list’ of people (there are actually more than one) can be broadly divided into 3 categories.

      1) Those that were actually there ie, Cyril Smith.
      2) Those that Carole Kasir may have wished to taken revenge on because of her son being taken into care. (note the number of people that had an association with the care home, social services, the council etc.)
      3) Those that were offenders with convictions, arrests, or men that Chris Fay had heard may be offending given that he was in contact with a great many young people through NAYPIC.

      The list of EGH guests is not really a true list of guests. It is a private note of what CK had told him and men that he thought may have been guests and it was never meant to be made public. Chris Fay didn’t make it public and it is in part speculation.

      Yet given that this speculation was based on things that he heard and not just completely pulled out of the air, some of those named later turned out to be abusers BUT that does not then follow that they attended EGH.

      I hope that makes some kind of sense. As an example, say that Chris had heard from a few care home boys who all alleged that Joe Bloggs was and abuser. CK has not named Joe Bloggs but Chris Fay adds him to his list of names which is of guests but also men that he thinks may possibly have been guests. As it turns out those sources were correct and Joe Bloggs is convicted in 1995. You may think that this demonstrates that Joe Bloggs was at EGH but it does not automatically follow. Confusingly it also doesn’t follow that Joe Bloggs never visited EGH.

      • Katharine

        Is it possible that the circulation of the so called guest list has encouraged people to make allegations against a certain pop star ?

      • Hi Katherine I think that that is a fair question however there are a number of ongoing investigations and I’d like to point out that one of the very first things that Chris Fay told me was that there was no evidence that the pop star had abused children which should emphasise how careful anyone should be when looking at that list.

      • isis

        Gojam

        Do you know who the 3 MPs were who were questioned following the 1982 raid?

      • From Gay Capital – ‘Attorney General to probe London brothel reports’ (13.8.82)

        “The police denied the Express story that “at least three MPs, a member of Buckingham Palace staff and leading lawyers, doctors and City businessmen” were involved.”

        https://webbrain.com/brainpage/brain/0FE31538-2121-8495-33A5-86073BE95DE1/thought/918#-2169

      • @gojam – your analysis of the so-called EGH guest list is brilliant, and also superb writing. Straightforward, easy to follow, easy to understand and devoid of contaminating interpretation intended to push some agenda. This is the first time I’ve seen the probable reality so cogently expressed. Thank you.

        If any person had compiled a list in 1978-82, of UK residents widely rumored to have a sexual interest in children, or publicly accused of having a sexual interest in children but not charged at that point, or charged with sexual crimes against minors but not prosecuted for whatever reason, or tried for sexual crimes against minors but not convicted, or investigated but not charged for sexual crimes against minors alongside other persons who WERE charged and subsequently convicted, there would be an excellent chance of some names on such a list ultimately being convicted of a sexual crime against a minor given enough passage of time. Smoke doesn’t always indicate a genuine fire, but it can, and the right circumstances for successful arrest and prosecution of a given abuser don’t always occur the first time that suspicions are voiced about them.

        A speculative list of that nature drawn up in 1982, or in 1990, could certainly be vindicated by successful prosecutions occurring a few times over the following two or three decades. And as you’ve said, that wouldn’t prove anything about whether or not any of the persons on the list ever visited EGH, or Dolphin Square, or Chris Fay’s favorite pub, or any other location in the UK.

  3. tdf

    “Hi tdf, I hope you don’t mind me replying to this.”

    Not at all, I was kind of hoping you would tbh.

    “Yet given that this speculation was based on things that he heard and not just completely pulled out of the air, some of those named later turned out to be abusers BUT that does not then follow that they attended EGH.”

    Ok. So even in the event that a name or two appeared on the lists that were convicted or prosecuted in unrelated cases between, say, 1990-2012, that wouldn’t necessarily give the lists any credibility in itself.

  4. Tom

    I’ve no idea about the truth of individual accusations but I’m persuaded that at least some of them true because a) There seem to be too many allegations, over too long a period, for them all to be lies and b) The establishment is making such strenuous efforts to prevent and hamper all investigations into the issue that they plainly have something to hide.

  5. dpack

    well put tim .
    well put tricia.
    well put gojam.

    i cant really add much to this except to add no one seems to know if carol kazir was insulin dependent for diabetes and careless with her meds or if she was known to be suicidal before her death.
    the egh story seems to have more than a few loose ends that need attending to.

    • dpack

      ps well put tom.

    • At the inquest into her death, the court heard Kasir, a diabetic, was found by a friend about 11am with “numerous injections and phials of insulin” next to her body, but that did little to stem a series of outlandish allegations. The inquest was shown suicide notes allegedly written by Kasir to her lover, but three witnesses – two child protection workers and a private detective – queried the provenance of the notes, telling the court Kasir feared for her life because of what she knew. She had been receiving threatening phone calls, was being harassed by police and told them she was being followed by an unmarked car, they said.
      http://beforeitsnews.com/eu/2013/02/the-strange-death-of-carole-kasir-owner-of-elm-guest-house-2506962.html

      • dpack

        insulin dependent for diabetes ?
        yes from the coroners report which i assume (but cant be sure) included access to a correct medical history and other testimony.

        suicidal ?
        3 unidentified folk say she was worried,notes say suicidal,provenance of notes questioned by the 3 unidentified folk.

        umm if i assume that data is correct it explains means being available but still leaves was it suicide or not .

        i can see potential reasons for her to top herself and potential reasons for others to top her .

        i will try to find out the practicalities of suicide/moider by insulin, if there were notes accident seems unlikely.

        threats then moider is a risky strategy ,observation and moider is far safer ,the beforeitsnews data seems to suggest both which is a little odd unless there were separate teams interested in her at the time which is plausible.

        the details of demise of ck has possible significance.

      • “The inquest was shown suicide notes allegedly written by Kasir to her lover”
        Her lover being one of the men involved in EGH, David Issett and who knew Patsy Puddles.

        Don’t dismiss EGH because of the crap “journalism” of Exaro.

      • The “three witnesses – two child protection workers and a private detective” are Chris Fay, Mary Moss and Clive Godden.

      • dpack

        ta i was wondering who the witnesses were .
        being a suspicious type i still think moider plausible even though (or perhaps more because) i dont have much respect for those witnesses testimonies based on other inputs they have made.

        i recon “unsure”is my current thinking

      • dpack

        i asked a few questions of an expert and the exchange went as follows

        this might seem a really odd question but

        let me explain.
        as you know i have been researching some rather dark history and im rather puzzled by a death.
        as you know about insulin and have a scientific way of thinking you seem the best person to ask about this .

        some years ago one of the owners of elm guest house was found dead of an insulin overdose

        the inquest reports say

        she was found with used syringes (note the plural)and a “supply” of insulin(i assume that would be a small bottle or bottles with a rubber cap that can be stuck with a needle to draw up a dose)

        that she normally injected in her arm but the fatal event included injections(multiple)in her bottom

        there was a suicide note (this was said to be fake by 3 witnesses ,all of whom are of dubious honesty ,one is a right wrong un).

        this was in 1990 so i spose the meds and syringe sizes would be of that era.

        my questions are

        would somebody familiar with insulin and intending to commit suicide be likely to need multiple injections ?

        would they know a fatal dose?

        if they took what they thought might be enough would they be likely to be able to “top up”if it wasnt?

        if somebody who knew how much to use as a murder weapon would the victim die immediately ?

        is it likely that if somebody was trying to use insulin as a weapon and underestimated a fatal dose would the victim have time to struggle ,scream, struggle etc etc before they became unconscious?

        if somebody wished to murder using insulin how long would it take for them to find out they gave a less than fatal dose?

        the whole business that led up to her death is very dark and dodgy but trying to establish some basic background facts about insulin overdoses might help me decide if the horrid woman topped herself or was silenced.there are tales of threats,observation etc etc and i can think of quite a few reasons she might have topped herself .

        the whole story is a mix of truths lies and confusions and a few bits of well informed science might be very helpful.

        hope you can help,dont have nightmares as they say on crimewatch.

        _________________

        reply.
        Re: this might seem a really odd question but

        OK, well, there are two types of insulin, long acting and fast acting. You need both and a lack of either or both will lead to blood glucose levels rising, equally an overdose will lead to them dropping, but as their names suggest, the time ranges vary. The normal range for blood glucose levels in non-diabetics is about 6/7mmols and as near to that target is ideal in diabetics. Below 3 is hypo territory but the exact figure where you loose sensibility can vary between people, lifestages, fatigue levels etc etc.

        If you go as low as 1.5 most people will be out of it by then. I don’t know the exact point that would kill you but I doubt >0.5 would be a good idea. A lot of people in early 90’s would have been on mixed insulin with a combination of long and fast acting for a shot that lasts half a day. These days they tend to be going over to one or two shots of long acting combined with smaller, but more often shots of fast acting, whenever you eat carbs.

        The fast acting drops the bloods by 3mmol per unit (1ml = 100 units), so if a person was in normal range and they had 3 units without carbs, that should be enough to kill them. If they were on a 25/75 mixed insulin, as I was back then, they’d need 4x the dose to get the same amount of fast acting, so 12 units. The tricky bit is that once you go into a coma the body starts shutting down and requiring less glucose as you lose function in the non-vitals, so it’s not uncommon to be able to recover from a coma without intervention if you’ve got carbs to digest and you can recover function. I’ve done it before. When you come out of that state though it’s unlikely that you’d be able to think straight enough to inject some more. You’re more likely to be in survival mode and looking for carbs at that point. Only when you’d recovered rational thought would you try again to top yourself IMO.

        A diabetic coma is a relatively happy place, although going into or coming out of one can be less happy. You can be quite out of character & abusive without even knowing it before you drift off, you can also refuse help. You can still interact, but not conciously, before you go completely. Coming out of it you’re generally sweaty from the effects of ketosis & fat metabolism (that’s true, some body fat would make it easier to survive a hypo to a degree, of course too much could make ketosis more severe). You’re also quite miserable.

        Once you inject with fast acting you have about 20-30 mins before it really gets up to speed. If at that point you eat bread, that’s probably not enough, but if you eat sugar it should save you from going under. The doseage is 1 unit per 10g of carbs. If you’re sat around doing nothing you can double it, if you’re highly active you can skip it completely.

        So, if you were overdosing someone and didn’t know what you were doing, you might top it up when it doesn’t appear to be working, but if you knew about diabetic control you would proabably just wait. Also if you didn’t know the blood glucose levels to start with you might under estimate a fatal dose and top up. If you didn’t know the carbs status you might inject, find they come round after an hour and need to try again.

        Different people inject in different places, but I don’t know of many who do it where they can’t see. For a bigger dose you do need plenty of flesh but if I was killing myself I’d most likely use my thighs rather than bum. That sounds like someone either asleep with the help of another substance or restrained in some way. Alcohol also lowers blood glucose.

        Bottles were about 10ml, syringes (all in one syringe & needle) 50-100 units. Most needles were 10mm.

        I think that covers it all, if there’s anything not still not clear, just ask again.
        ______________
        Thanks note
        Re: this might seem a really odd question but

        thanks mate,that helps a lot.

        it does not answer the question of “did she jump or was she pushed ?” but it does throw that question more open by adding data that could fit either scenario and a few parts of what you say do seem to tend towards pushed perhaps by somebody who was not fully expert at such things(which is also of possible significance as some potential candidates would only use an expert for such dark arts(and the evidence from the scene would almost certainly look like suicide or an accident unless a “message” to others was part of the intent)

        she was a horrible woman and no great loss to the world but there are some indications she was trying to sell her story and/or wanted revenge on her ex masters for real or perceived betrayal and that “evidence”she may have had in a safety deposit box was secured by “dark forces” etc etc.

        again many thanks ,it is that sort of background information that can suggest relevant lines of inquiry or throw dought on the validity of some hypotheses .

  6. Observer

    I was under the impression Fernbridge was about the childrens home and this has had two successful convictions. Once this investigation closed it branched out into operation athabasca which is focussing on EGH, I suspect they could not investigate EGH until Fernbridge was completed or none of it would have stood in court. the defences first words would have been and where were the boys supplied from?. ANother force in the country is investigating Cliff Richard and this oeration is called Kaffie.

    All of these investigations are very much alive but in terms of getting to the truth it must be hard because of a number of reasons.

    I found the Panarama documentary bizarre in parts and full of heresay in others, similar to some of the accusations i have read, somewhere in amongst all of this are victims and i hope for them justice. One part of the documentary concerned me and should not have been edited in, the remark went something like ‘any of those making false allegations we will come down on very hard as this is intolerable’. I found this to be a veiled threat and as a lot of these and other investigations remain open then this statement should not have been said.

    I do read both this site and Exaro and find both to be of value keep up the good work

    • Andy Barnett

      There were many remarks like the one you quoted that betrayed the programme’s real purpose and intent. The description of the impact that investigations have had on victims, for example, may appear relevant, given the lack of funding available for victim support. However, it contributed nothing to the question of What is the Truth? The purpose of its inclusion was to attack those that are pursuing these investigations – the message being that they are adding to the pain of genuine victims and that they should leave well alone.

      Another example was the thinly-veiled attacks on Tom Watson, in regard to the Jane rape case. The fact that there is no constituency link has no bearing whatsoever on the truth or otherwise of the allegations. The remark was included to give the impression that Tom Watson’s motivation for pursuing the case was a political one. Its purpose was to warn him and others off, to tell them to stop meddling in things that don’t concern them.

  7. Losvanvan99

    Was ‘Jane’ a false flag operation, aimed at provoking a prosecution of Brittan for the rape of an adult woman that would be quickly thrown out? The purpose being to discredit other accusations that were true. Remember the best place to hide the truth is behind a lie. It worked for McAlpine.

    • Jack

      I am of the opinion that much of the more lurid claims involving Politicians and murder are designed to discredit the truthful allegations. Remember the whole Tory High Command into coke and rent boys came out via the msm the day after Cameron announced an enquiry into Westminster child abuse . The McAlpine doctrine writ large methinks.

      • dpack

        all the tory (or any other party) high command into coke seems unlikely , that some of them are is almost certainly true,there are photos of well known people in close proximity to what does not look like flea powder for the cat that just happened to arrange itself on the table(or hooker’s chest) as well as anecdotal statements from a variety of sources.

        perhaps such matters being aired has more to do with murdoch’s and ashcroft’s spats with the incumbents than a smoke and mirrors job regarding the csa issues.

    • Terry B

      @dpack and yet he’s still the Chancellor.

  8. pete townsend

    i read this biog purely for research purposes..

  9. Regarding this statement:
    “Watson said in parliament: “The evidence file used to convict paedophile Peter Righton, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a paedophile ring.
    “One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former prime minister who could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.
    “The leads were not followed up but if the file still exists I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it and investigate clear links of a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10.”
    First off, is Watson quoted accurately, here? Second, I’ve read that Peter Morrison was named as the “senior aide of a former prime minister who could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad’. Is that a fact, or merely speculation?

    I’ve also come across speculation that the reference to “a senior aide” actually refers to Leon Brittan – ? Is that part of the reason for people taking the retired customs officer’s sworn statement about seizing child sexual abuse videos from Leon Brittan’s vehicle, seriously? Despite his inability to specify when this event occurred, and the supposed lack of documentation about this incident in his own department’s records as well as those of police? Do people think that Leon Brittan was a PIE “mule” involved in importing CSA videos on their behalf?

    IF the custom’s officer’s claim is actually valid, using VIPs as porn smuggler mules sounds ridiculously “out of scale” for a seizure of “some” illegal videos. If there was supposed to have been an “untouchable” cabal of PIE linked UK VIPs involved in child prostitution and importation of pornography, a ring so politically powerful that none of it’s members could ever be prosecuted for any crimes against children, so powerful and protected that all records & evidence of a Leon Brittan type getting pinched smuggling child pornography could be made to vanish with no trace, doesn’t using such a network to smuggle mere handfulls of videos at a time sound like a massive overkill?

    In the early 1980’s in America, importation and distribution of the same (presumably) CSA videos was occurring on a massive scale by comparison:
    http://articles.latimes.com/1985-09-16/news/mn-22002_1_child-pornography/2

    “Commercial distribution of child pornography was dealt a serious blow with the imprisonment in 1982 of Catherine Stubblefield Wilson, a Los Angeles woman who police and Customs agents said had a client list of 30,000 names and was making $500,000 a year in both adult and child pornography.

    “Wilson’s customers sent their orders to a Denmark address. Her partners would then send those orders to Wilson and deposit the money in bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. Wilson mailed the material from many post offices across the country, according to federal prosecutors”.

    Catherine Wilson was no “untouchable”. She wasn’t a VIP, nor a politically powerful person. She wasn’t protected by corrupt lawmakers, senior law enforcement officials or intelligence agents. In fact, she was a mother and a housewife! If she could run a half-million-a-year CSA importing & distribution system, why would PIE affilated perverts require the likes of Leon Brittan to mule their CSA videos – one handful at a time?

  10. Thanks Tim for the fairy story. I feel it incumbent to make a couple of points if I may.
    David says the BBC story “ is based on a story which is totally untrue and is being made up out of three different answers to different questions which was not to the questions that they was making out I was supposed to have been saying and they also did a lot of the same thing in the panorama program as well basically the story that was put out is not the story that I gave at all and is being taken totally out of context if you were to see the interviews you would see what I was saying was a totally different thing altogether and what was put out was not what I was saying all but that of what panorama want the public to hear and I think attempt to discredit me with it”
    Panorama used the alleged testimony of ‘David’ who Panorama slur as an unreliable witness to denounce Chris Fay and Bill Maloney. That really seems to be something of a circular argument.
    David is a vulnerable witness in a police investigation into serious crimes. The media should not be involved in any sort of evaluation and certainly not manipulating him and using the cutting room floor to cut and paste his interviews. It really is abhorrent.
    I read your disclosure about information given to you by unnamed Police Officers from Fairbank/Fernbridge about David, Chris Fay and Bill Maloney. Please let me know if I am wrong but is the main informant DCI Settle? I understand Settle was briefing journalists during Fernbridge and leaking sensitive information about victims names and details to selective journalists. How do you come by the information that Andrew and David are the same person? You write “The detectives were convinced that “Andrew” had indeed endured sexual abuse as a child, but were concerned at serious inconsistencies in his statements.” It is unclear if this comes from your notebook and was contemporaneous or if you brought this from your memory. But, no offense intended, do you think it fair to make such a very public comment about a witness in an on-going Police investigation?
    Police officers should not give information to the press about vulnerable witnesses of sex crimes and if they do they should be removed from the case at the earliest opportunity. The BBC should not manipulate sex crime witnesses and cut and paste their interviews to suit BBC agenda.
    Well in my view!

  11. Thank you for this detailed and thoughtful analysis on the failures of Panorama and Exaro. I am confused however so perhaps you can untie the knots for me.

    First there is what you describe as “the long strange saga of Leon Brittan and the Customs Officer” that raises “doubts about Exaro’s methods”. This is the story alleging that “a retired Customs officer had been recording telling a journalist that in 1982 he had impounded a film and/or video which showed Brittan in sexual circumstances with a child.” A story you say must be dismissed as “simply and pitifully untrue” since the ex-customs officer failed to confirm the allegation.

    But then, we have a different although a very serious allegation “tucked in the files of Operation Fairbank/Fernbridge [is] a formal 2014 statement from the ex-customs officer.” which “as Panorama knows (or should know)” provides “strong evidence to indicate that Brittan had a sexual interest in children.” So is this formal testimony from “the ex-customs official” the same ex-customs officer as the one who spoke informally to the Express journalist or a different person? Judging from the Telegraph article (linked in your article), these are allegations are from the same person.

    But then how does this second allegation, which “contains the startling – and detailed – account of how at a later date the ex-customs officer stopped Brittan as he arrived at Dover” in any way, as you put it, “denounce[s] Exaro’s bogus story about the 1982 videos and films”? Has the ex-customs officer testified that this first story is false?

    The difficulty here may well be that I am simply not reading your account carefully enough, but, for the sake of clarity, is it possible to untangle my confusion and sum up in a few lines (bullet points, if you like) how these differing testimonies against Brittan do or don’t fit together?

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