On occasions reading the online discussion regarding VIP paedophilia over the last 3 years has been a bit like watching the famous scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail (video below). I particularly remember how Eric Sykes was once accused of being a child abuser because he’d once worn a tartan hat which was similar to one worn by an unknown person in a photograph of the crew of Ted Heath’s yacht Morning Cloud.
What has astonished me this last week is seeing stories in the media, many of which have appeared in the very newspapers that have published rather dubious allegations themselves over the last 3 years, using the same kind of flawed logic to suggest that some people have been falsely accused of child abuse and then attempting to clear them.
Am I the only one that sees similarities between the Mail reporting that Tom Watson’s mother’s second husband’s brother is a convicted paedophile, and Exaro reporting that Daniel Foggo had once lived in the same road as Sir Peter Morrison, a report that the Daily Mail quite rightly described as a “smear” ?
The same Daily Mail article (HERE) goes on to describe Sir Peter Morrison as someone “plagued by gossip about his sex life” as though Morrison has been falsely accused in the same way as Paul Gambaccini has been. Sir Peter Morrison, once described by Edwina Currie as “a known pederast”, was a child abuser who was protected. This will all come out in time. Will the press be prepared for the same type of backlash that Exaro are now facing when those they appear to be attempting to exonerate without being in full possession of the facts are shown to have sexually abused children ?
Similarly, that one or more individuals might have made false allegations against Leon Brittan does not mean that Leon Brittan did not have an unhealthy sexual interest in children which he acted on.
All I can say to those media outlets who are making this assumption is that they are far braver than myself by taking this position. A position which might yet be shown to be untrue and then what ? How will the public judge the stories that are attempting to clear him ?
I can always remember discussing this issue with a senior police officer who was familiar with all the various allegations against Leon Brittan. “80% of the allegations against him are untrue”, he told me, “but the other 20% lead me to believe that Leon Brittan did have an unhealthy sexual interest in children.”
Even if all 3 of the allegations against Leon Brittan that were looked at by Panorama turn out to be false, and not just the one made by their witness ‘David’, that statement still isn’t contradicted.
Still, this seems to be the media’s direction of travel at this time. as I’ve said, they are far braver than me…