Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Conservative Government, The BBC & Child Abuse Investigations

Isn't amazing just how quick the Tory led government have been to jump on the BBC to try and expose them as incompetent? Too quick in my opinion! The Tories hope the report commissioned by George Entwistle which is to be "on his desk on Sunday", helps to sort this mess out - Oh the delicious irony of those words. It wasn't that long ago that David Cameron announced within minutes of Jeremy Hunt, the then Culture Secretary (which would have covered the BBC) giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, that he would not order an Inquiry into Hunt's behaviour with the disgraced media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. Cameron went on to refuse to ask outright for an investigation by Sir Alex Allan, the Independent Adviser on Minister's Interests into Hunt's behaviour and Allan decided that no investigation was necessary, even though Hunt was guilty of misleading parliament and not declaring his role into News Corporation's bid to control BSkyB and followed evidence that was submitted to Leveson that Hunt was pro-bid and had texted messages of support to Rupert and James Murdoch on the day Hunt was handed responsibility for the bid. Jeremy Hunt far from being punished for his probable favourable interference in the BSkyB bid has been promoted to Health Secretary! One hopes he will do a better job that Kenneth Clark when he was Health Secretary, when Jimmy Savile was give the keys to Broodmoor!

This is yet another omnishambles concerning this Conservative government, they cannot get anything right and anything they touch, or have dealings with always seems to end in complete shambles, farce and total mayhem. It very much appears that the Tory controlled coalition government are now in the process of playing the "morally outraged" over concernbs with the BBC and ITV presenter Philip Schofield who infamously tried to hand David Cameron a list of names and he inadvertently held it at the wrong camera angle. (The same thing that caught out former BBC DG Mark Thompson). Whether Newsnight or Schofield are wrong or right is not really the issue, the real issue is that this has allowed the Government to cause an enormous smokescreen and bury any amount of bad news and worse of all, the victims of this abhorrent child abuse scandal are once again being sidelined, this time by the Tory led government.

Soon after becoming PM, the then Director General of the BBC Mark Thompson was forced to defend the broadcaster's position when he was photographed entering Downing Street to attend a meeting to discuss a season of radio and TV programmes about the government's spending cuts holding a clutch of notes and an internal email from the BBC's News Director, Helen Boaden. The email entitled ""Briefing for Steve Hilton meeting"" revealed that Boaden had had lunch with Andy Coulson (the PMs former Director of Communications who was forced to resign under a cloud) and that he (Coulson) had expressed concern that the BBC "give context to our [the BBC's] spending review season". One legitimate question could be why on earth was the BBC Director General attending a meeting with Steve Hilton (the PMs then Director of strategy who has also disappeared under a cloud)? One BBC insider has asked "what the fuck is he [Mark Thompson] doing seeing Hilton anyway? Management and editorial should be kept separate", yes they should, so why did this happen?

Soon after that meeting the BBC pulled a logo of a giant pair of scissors that was to accompany their series of programmes about Government spending cuts and also the Government applied pressure to the BBC to have the word "cut" replaced by "savings" wherever possible and the BBC is still following government instructions.

After Andy Coulson was forced to resign under a cloud, the Prime Minister hired the former news editor of the BBC's flagship News at 6 o'clock and 10 o'clock programmes, Craig Oliver, as his head of Communications (spin doctor). Craig Oliver is said to telephone his former colleagues in the BBC newsroom several times a day - why?

In 2011 David Cameron  appointed Conservative Peer, Lord Patten to become Chairman of the BBC Trust.

Now George Entwistle who is reported to be like the son the BBC Chairman Conservative Peer, Lord Patten never had has replaced Mark Thompson as Director General.

The BBC has journalists and presenters like the Tory sycophants Nick Robinson and Andrew Marr who routinely give every Tory minister and MP an easy ride, while interrogating Labour MPs to within an inch of their lives, it should be the other way around as the Tories form the government, instead they are allowed to get away with making grossly misleading statements.

In just 2½ years the BBC seems to have gone from a worldwide respected broadcasting corporation to a 3rd rate amateur current affairs flick on YouTube.

This is what happens when the government interfere in what is being broadcast on news and current affairs programmes.

Like everything they else this Tory led government interferes with, they have now managed to corrupt and ruin the BBC reducing it to a completely shambolic laughing stock across the world.

Sensing a bandwagon to jump on and welcome relief from the media spotlight focusing on Conservative and coalition troubles, the Government have come down upon the BBC like a ton of bricks demanding an Inquiry into the BBC's handling and involvement with the Jimmy Savile scandal and why a programme planned by Newsnight which was to expose the scandal was pulled. (This was when Mark Thompson was BBC Director General) we even had another BBC flagship programme Panorama investigating the BBC's Newsnight. Newsnight were criticised for pulling that programme about the Jimmy Savile and paedophila, and now they have been vilified for airing a programme about child abuse in a children's home in Wales. Damned if they do and damned if they don't! But it's their own fault for consistently allowing lines to be blurred between government and the functioning of the BBC.

After the Jimmy Savile Newsnight and tribute saga, you would think that the BBC Director General, George Entwistle, would have been all over the Newsnight programme like a rash, yet he denies even knowing this programme was going out?! Why didn't he know it was going out? It was all over Twitter, why didn't his aids tell him?

Entwistle now claims that he has already taken disciplinary action, and that more will follow, yet the decision to broadcast Newsnight went right up to senior board level and still and the programme went out, albeit the name was withheld. As a viewer I can see that a few mistakes were made with this broadcast 1)..Why wasn't Mr Messham shown a photograph of Lord McAlpine and 2)..Why didn't journalists on the Newsnight programme approach Lord McAlpine and speak to him before airing the programme?

So what was Newsnight actually guilty of? I saw the programme and as a lay person, I understood that Newsnight were exposing the inadequacies of the original Inquiry. Newsnight did *not* name names, although they did make reference to a senior figure associated with the then Conservative Government.

The rumblings continue about the Jimmy Savile scandal, but that scandal isn't just the BBC's, it is our political establishment's and the NHS too. Anyone who wants to blame this entirely on the BBC (and others) is probably a Conservative politician, trying to escape the wrath of the public when is descends (and descend it will). I name the Conservative party, because as with any other major scandal, it always seems to emanate from when they were in power. This could be because they were in power from 1979 to 1997 and 18 years is a long time to escape a major scandal and we all know that the Tories had enough of their own scandals during that time, however, it all comes down to this one simple thing - it's how a government or a political party handles events that separates them from others, and as we have seen, ever since the Tories came to power under the guise of the coalition government, ludicrously propped up and kept in place by a supposed left wing party of nob heads (Liberal Democrats), they have handled every single drama excruciatingly badly and turned it into a full blown crisis.

I never blogged about the paedophile accusations now engulfing the Conservative party and I certainly would not name the names that I have seen. I know the internet, anything can be written by anybody and this doesn't make it true. I try to keep my comments this side of the truth.. My sympathies go to Lord McAlpine and his family, I would not wish that to happen to anyone, not even a Tory and fortunately Steven Messham was brave enough and man enough to admit his error and set the record straight. It was not Mr Messham's fault, it was a case of mistaken identity going back years, and that fact that it happened at all, is just another nail hammered home in the incompetent coffin that was the deliberately narrow Inquiry that was ordered by the then Conservative Welsh Secretary, William Hague in 1996, to be led by the now late Justice Sir Ronald Waterhouse. The Inquiry reported to the then Labour Welsh Secretary, Paul Murphey MP in  2000 and was Known as the "Lost in Care Report". The remit and scope of the Inquiry ordered by Hague was so narrow that it effectively bound Justice Waterhouse QC and restricted what he could allow in court and did not permit victims to tell their stories in full, or to name names, had this been allowed at the time, the case of mistaken identity of Lord McAlpine, may never have happened because the error could have been picked up at source and quickly dealt with. Mr Messham has suffered his whole life because of what happened to him and his story is shocking, made even more so because of the era it occurred in. He said he was shown a picture of a man by a policeman, who he identified as one of his abusers and was told by police officer that this man was Lord McAlpine. Checking up on who is who at the time was not an option for Mr Messham, he had to trust what the police told him was correct. Mr Messham also remembers exactly who the police officer was who held him up against the wall and threatened him if he exposed anyone else.

The John Jillings report could have helped clarify this situation now between Newsnight  Mr Messham and Lord McAlpine, however, the report was shredded apparently on the say-so of Clywd Council insurers who feared litigation and compensation. John Jillings himself has said he doesn't have a copy of his own report - why? I find this extremely worrying that a report is commissioned and then shredded so victims of abuse cannot verify their testaments to seek legal redress fro what happened to them and equally I find it astonishing that "insurers" could request that official documents be shredded, on whose say so? Does a copy of this report exist in Government archives? I find it incredulous to believe that insurers could order the destruction of an official report without the government's knowledge or the knowledge of the then Welsh Secretary, William Hague MP now Foreign Secretary's authority.  That was a legal document and the law depicts its retention for at least so many years. There are a great deal of questions still to be answered about this and this is one of them!

I think that Lord McAlpine was wronged, but why did he not make this public statement before Newsnight went out? This had been rumbling on for days prior to that. What does remain and needs to be investigated is that a man with a high profile name with connections to Wrexham and the Bryn Estyn Children's Home was named as an abuser and Mr Messham has been forced to live with this all of his adult life.

What is the undeniable truth is that there was child abuse in children's homes across Wales, the Waterhouse Inquiry concluded this and also concluded that there was a paedophile ring operating in the county of Wrexham, but because of the terms of the Inquiry laid down by the then Welsh Secretary, William Hague, it couldn't name names and because of this paedophiles have got away with the most sickening and prolific abuse.
It is also clear that children who had every right to be protected by the State, were raped and violently sexually and physically abused and mentally tortured in children's homes across the country.

What is also the truth is that in 1988 Kenneth Clarke was Secretary for State for Health and Edwina Currie was a Health Minister and under these two, Jimmy Savile was given a role at Broadmoor Maximum Security Hospital, although Kenneth Clarke is trying to pass the buck onto Currie, saying it was nothing to do with him, nevertheless Clarke was Health Secretary and it was under his watch so it had everything to do with him. The propensity to buck-pass by this Tory controlled government never ceases to astonish!

Edwina Currie's autobiography contains a chapter about Sir Peter Morrison a former Tory MP and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative party under Margaret Thatcher, Morrison was one of the first to back Thatcher for leadership of the Tories, In the chapter Currie tells all that Morrison who died in 1995 aged 51 was
" a noted pederast, with a liking for young boys" Apparently Morrison’s “liking for young boys” was common knowledge. Currie expresses her worry saying “all the press know” and when Morrison became deputy chairman of the party he even referenced the fact people knew, joking: “I’m very discreet“. 
It is alleged that Morrison had sex with boys aged 16, and although the age of consent has lowered from 21 to 16, Currie reaffirms “Was he doing anything illegal? Almost certainly.”   Political Scrapbook
According to an article by Nick Davies in the Guardian in 1998 entitled "The sheer scale of sexual abuse in Britain" 

"The fact that the sexual abuse of children is so hidden is not entirely the result of the age its victims. This is also a crime of conspiracy, of the abuse of power and, from time to time, of incidents which suggest that a paedophile with prestige may be more likely to escape justice than a more humble offender. 
For example, police now invest relatively little time in the surveillance of public toilets where gay men go cottaging. The one thing that is likely still to trigger such an operation is a complaint that under-aged boys are involved – unless, that is, the toilets in question happen to be those behind the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, in which case, under the terms of a long-standing Metropolitan Police policy, the operation will take place only if it has the approval of an officer of the rank of commander or above. According to experienced London officers, the reason is that those toilets are used by High Court judges and barristers, and the Metropolitan Police have always said they do not want to encounter such a powerful offender without special authority. 
Fleet Street routinely nurtures a crop of untold stories about powerful abusers who have evaded justice. One such is Peter Morrison, formerly the MP for Chester and the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. Ten years ago, Chris House, the veteran crime reporter for the Sunday Mirror, twice received tip-offs from police officers who said that Morrison had been caught cottaging in public toilets with underaged boys and had been released with a caution. A less powerful man, the officers complained, would have been charged with gross indecency or an offence against children. 
At the time, Chris House confronted Morrison, who used libel laws to block publication of the story. Now, Morrison is dead and cannot sue. Police last week confirmed that he had been picked up twice and never brought to trial. They added that there appeared to be no trace of either incident in any of the official records."

I am wondering why the government have made such song and dance of this whole affair and why they allowed the Philip Schofield incident to be v blown up out of all proportion, completely diverting attention away from the victims, who are once again being sidelined? Is this government trying to conceal anything?

I don't trust the police to investigate themselves and I don't trust David Cameron, who has been found lying repeatedly.

Is the Conservative controlled government trying to make it virtually impossible for TV and newspapers to accurately tell the story of what really went on in our children's homes and if so why?

The Conservative controlled government need to learn that this is the kind of unholy mess that gets created when governments, prime ministers and MPs play politics with one of the country's best known institutions, the BBC. It gets murky, messy and people start to think and wonder if the government are trying to force the press, TV and other concerned individuals into silence.

The Conservative government have played politics with the BBC right from the start of their administration under the guise of the coalition government. They have forced the BBC to report only what the Conservative led government are doing and only in the style they want them reported on and to portray them in a good light. When the country was losing its NHS and the Health & Social care Bill was being voted on, the BBC reported very little, if anything much at all. Yet the NHS is dear to us in this country and massive changes were being forced upon it and the BBC hardly reported on it, they barely mentioned it was even going through parliament or the Lords.Whatever else the BBC is or isn't anymore, what has become clear is that it has been infiltrated by the Conservative government who have parachuted Conservative supporters into key positions and those people appear to be having a massive influence on what gets reported, how it gets reported and why it gets reported. Probably when it comes out we will discover that the government were also behind why the Savile Newsnight programme was pulled. Up to date, no one has yet admitted they asked for that programmed to be pulled, so who was it?

If trust and integrity is an issue for the BBC then it is also an issue for David Cameron and his Tory controlled coalition government. Never before has the BBC been in such rough waters, but then never before has it had David Cameron and this government trying to control everything from inside and outside. But the crimes against children surely must eclipse everything and everyone, but do they?

It is said that sexual abuse of children is a special crime, not only because it seriously damages its victims, nor even because it provoked anger and fear in whole communities, but because it is easy - an easy offence to commit and an easy offence to get away with. With the "moral outrage" and fuss the government are causing (leaving aside Lord McAlpine who can defend himself and fight his own battles), they are making it easy once again for the offenders, the paedophiles of so much harm and sickening damage that has ruined countless lives to get clean away with their crimes, again. I simply ask: "Why"?

  •  Why are the victims of these heinous crimes ignored time and time again? 
  • Why are the people, the social workers and the whistleblowers who work tirelessly to expose these criminals often punished and their findings covered-up (as with the shredding of the Jillings Report)
  • Why is there so much secrecy and corruption leading to the very heart of the British government?
  • Why has the Home secretary, Theresa May ordered the police to investigate possible police involvement?
  • Why wont the prime Minister and Home Secretary hold one super Inquiry which could oversee all the other Inquires ensuring that all findings are logged and reported and coordinated? 

And why now after everything is the Tory controlled government creating one mother of a smokescreen diverting attention away from where it should rightfully be - with the victims?

The victims must be heard, perpetrators must be named and those responsible must be punished and compensation must be paid to the victims for the huge amount of damage it has caused them in their lives and recognition of their suffering and the cover-up must be fully acknowledged. It wont change much in their lives, but at least they can rest easier that people have been brought to justice for what they did.

I can still hear the children screaming and crying - Keith Gregory.



Nick said...

i think all of this scandal has been instigated to send a warning out to make sure that in future anyone in the press or the bbc keep their mouths shut to any wrong doing that goes on behind closed doors

A muted bbc you can be sure of in future with none of it's own journalistic input

they will in future only be reporting the news that has already been broadcast they themselves will not be making any news and program's like panorama will be muted to such an extent they wont be worth watching

Gracie Samuels said...

Nick, I agree with you completely, in fact, I find the government's attitude chilling. It may have worked once, but we didn't have the internet then, we have now so we must work to get the victims voices heard. This should be party political, it should be something we a can unite and fight together!

Gracie Samuels said...

That should read *shouldn't* (predictive text again!)