The poisonous legacy of Leveson drags on. The main stream media has turned into âpenny dreadfulâ country in its efforts to prove that it should be allowed to print anything and everything (well, not the denials and furious rebuttals of its angry victims â only the allegations against them appear on the front page). We have no Bob Woodward, or even Bob Woffinden, to carry on the forensic investigative work of Richard Webster. Just terrified âstill employedâ journalists dutifully cutting and pasting from the Internet.
One of their main sources has been âExaroâ â or âExaggeroâ as it is known in the trade. âExaroâ is the private fiefdom of one Mark Watts, a journalist who once edited âPress TVâ for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Exaro is so left leaning it would fall over were it not shorn up by the robust figure of Tom Watson, one half of the Tom and Jerry duo currently appearing at the newly cleansed Augean playhouse.
It is equally shorn up by the finances of Jerome Booth, (Â£112 million according to The Sunday Times Rich List) â and frequent donor to the fortunes of one Andrew Mitchell and the Conservative Party. Jerome founded his fortune from asset management company, the Ashmore Group â an organisation that specialises in investing in emerging markets, an activity one would normally associate with a Tiny Rowland type appetite for high risk/low morals, rather than Exaroâs delicateÂ balancing act, teetering on the edges of the moral cliff top.
Shades of Peter Cook, poking at the âestablishmentâ from inside his salubrious Hampstead idyll via Private Eye.
Exaro is just another blog; better written than David Ickeâs commentators can aspire to; better connected to those in power in the Murdoch press (Mark Watts is ex-Sunday Times) and better financed than the legion of other blogs. None of which is to be sneezed at â they have managed to get their âsourceâs storiesâ into the main stream consciousness â from the risible Darren, through the âgradually being discreditedâ Nick â and whatever happened to the hilarious Esther who belatedly discovered that she too had been ferried to and fro the deeply fashionable Dolphin Square VIP abuse parties whilst her Mother was at work (presumably when said VIPs werenât running round Midlands forests…)?
Exaro rode the crest of the #Ibelieveher/him wave on the front page of the main stream media, Sky rolling news, and onto Australiaâs favourite soap opera â60 minutesâ. Now they are sliding down page 8 in the Sunday Times. Even Mark Williams-Thomas has recovered his lost voice to whine that investigating these far fetched fantasies could undermine efforts to tackle genuine child abuse. Funny, he called me a paedo- apologist for suggesting the same thing some time ago…
Operation Midlands was started up as a direct result of the âExaroâ claims on behalf of âtheirâ sources. As opposed to âGraham Wilmerâ sources, or even âMark Williams-Thomas sourcesâ.
Exaro reported accounts from two people who alleged that they were abused as boys by the âWestminster paedophile networkâ at Dolphin Square, the apartment complex in Pimlico where many MPs have their London homes. One of the two witnesses says that members of the paedophile network murdered three boys in separate attacks.
Exaroâs reports led the Met to set up investigation, âOperation Midlandâ. Clear enough?
The Met press statement was: On Friday, the Met announced Operation Midland was now -investigating âpossible homicideâ. âPossibleâ. This was soon translated by Exaro as âWe reveal today that Police are investigating three murdersâ. No hesitation there â and the story was taken up by both the main stream media, and the foreign press.
Why not? By then Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald had said that âNickâsâ allegations were âcredible and true.â Why not Darrenâs tales of murder and mayhem at Thornham Magna?
Harvey Proctorâs home at Belvoir Castle with the Duke and Duchess ofÂ Rutland was nosily searched. Neighbours watched agog in the army garrison town of Aldershot as the home of Lord Bramall, former chief of Defence staff, was turned upside down by the #Ibelievethem police. Lord Brittanâs widow received a similar visit whilst still in the depths of grief, a mere six weeks after his death. Subsequently, General Sir Hugh Beach, the highly decorated Second World War veteran and deputy commander- in-chief of the UK land force in the 1970s, was interviewed concerning his âpart in VIP paedophile ringsâ as described by âDarren and Nickâ though he seems to have escaped the indignity of PC Plod raking through his y-fronts. Not to mention former MI6 chief Sir Maurice Oldfield and Sir Michael Hanley, one-time boss of MI5 both safely deceased. Wiltshire Police caused an outcry when they were filmed outside the home of the deceased former Prime Minister, Edward Heath, appealing for witnesses to the mythical âsurplus rent boys thrown off the back Tedâs yachtâ. (As allegedly supplied by Jimmy Savile, who has now attained such iconic pantomime paedophile status that he caused a minor Twitter ripple yesterday when it was discovered that his image and alleged reputation was being used by a Welsh recruitment advert illustrating âwho not to employâ ).
Both Nick and Darren claimed to have been witness to and have information about three boys having been murdered. From the lurid accounts of their allegedly tragic deaths, it is obvious they are not even the same three boys. A senior police detective of my acquaintance wrote to me defying me to use my âfirst class investigative skillsâ (top praise indeed from him â thanks!) to find even one example of a witness to not merely one, but three separate murders, who was neither the murderer nor an accomplice, just as innocent bystander. He had been unable to trace even one example….outside of Baron Munchausenâs residential training camp. Exaro apparently had two. Nick and Darren.
Plod dug on, diligently searching for bodies, or even missing people who might have fitted the bill, or even, well anything really…not even a piece of coconut shell turned up. Then just as suddenly, the bubble burst with a conference. Within days, Police officers were telling the Daily Mail that:
Â Officers have not found a âshred of credible evidenceâ to back up claims.
Â There are now fears he is a âWalter Mittyâ who made up shocking claims.
Â Senior figures in the separate judge-led public inquiry into historic child sex abuse and in the Crown Prosecution Service have been told informally that there appears to be no substance to the allegations made by a witness known only as âNickâ.
As if that was not sufficient, at virtually the same moment, âDarrenâ hit the credibility barrier nose first, with a mighty wallop. Suffolk Police had called in an accredited child protection social worker to see if arrangements for Darrenâs son were âsafeâ. Darren was furious at thisÂ display of concern for his child, telling Exaro that he was âoutragedâ to be told by a police officer that:
âStatistics show that a large number of survivors of abuse do go on to become abusers themselvesâ.
Suffolk Police have also reportedly requested sight of Darrenâs medical records to see exactly which medications he is, isnât, or bloody well should be, currently taking…
Exaro have called in their own social worker, (how many blogs can boast their own social worker? Iâm impressed) to declare that the child is safe, and Graham Wilmer from the Lantern Trust has gone on record as saying that âresearchâ (unspecified) says it is completely wrong that those abused go on to become abusers and âbesidesâ it could deter victims from coming forward…
Darren is so upset with this concern for his sonâs welfare that he has taken his ball and gone home, declaring that heâs not going to help the Police find the graves of âAndrewâ and the other men he dug graves for in Thornham Magna any longer.
Which only leaves Esther Baker for the million pound Operation Midland to investigate…
Dig deep tax payers. Genuine victims of current sexual abuse of children, patience, wait your turn, there are another 14 historic abuse inquiries for Plod to work their way through before they get round to you.