I have always been of the opinion that the age of ‘Savilisation’, a term I invented and now proudly watch as it propagates through the media, was a perfect storm of tensions between the media, the police and the charitable third sector. There have been spirited efforts to pin the blame on the Feminist movement, but I think they were just useful idiots on the sidelines. The real battle was between media barons, political ideology and charities whose fortunes waxed and waned in accordance with the electoral cycle.
In the doomed tradition of CEOs who ‘are determined to see the necessary changes put in place’, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is to hang onto his job for another year – the alternative being that he became the third consecutive Met Commissioner to be chased out of office for having offended one or other of the warring media parties.
Sir Ian Blair’s critics perceived him to be too close to New Labour; the shooting of de Menezes was the weapon of choice – that and the admission that he had taped his conversation with the then Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, ironically on the subject of intercept evidence. Blair’s downfall was the battle between Conservative forces such as Boris Johnson who saw him as emblematic of New Labour, and the oligarchs of the ‘Third Way’ who didn’t want their potential voters locked up. He was never a ‘copper’s copper’ – but an English language graduate who had been fast tracked into the political minefield of policing London.
Sir Paul Stephenson, a northern butcher’s son who had come up through the ranks, succeeded him. He fell foul of the battle between the left wing media and their sworn enemy – the Murdoch press. The Guardian whipped up a firestorm claiming that the News of the World had ‘hacked’ the missing Milly Dowler’s phone – the headlines later read ‘hacked the murdered teenagers phone’, although at the time she was just another missing teenager. That battle resulted in the nuclear bomb that was Leveson, the closure of the News of the World – and the demise of Paul Stephenson on the grounds that he was close friends with Neil Wallis, then editor. Three days after the arrest of Wallis – subsequently cleared of any wrong doing – Paul Stephenson lay mortally wounded by media comment. Eventually it was revealed that the News of the World had never ‘hacked’ Milly’s phone and the police had been promptly informed of their information.
Enter Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, former Chief Constable of Merseyside, now mired in the Hillsborough ordure. Hogan-Howe was a mixture of the previous two incumbents – a ‘copper’s copper’ who had come up through the ranks pace Stephenson, but had been spotted as a high flyer and sponsored whilst he obtained a Masters in Law at Oxford, pace Blair. The compromise candidate?
Four days after Bernard’s birthday in 2011, when he had been in office all of two months, Jimmy Savile died. A belated birthday present. A chance to turn the media attention to other matters. Those ‘matters’ – Savilisation – were to become a gift to both the embattled Murdoch press and their enemies, generating untold column inches in the proxy war fought in the ‘dead tree’ trenches, allowing a clear line of sight at the BBC, guardian of the left wing chalice.
It is easily forgotten in the current ‘paedo’ climate – that Hogan-Howe is not only still under IPCC investigation for his role in the Hillsborough disaster, but also for the part he played in Operation Care, an investigation resulting in the arrest of care home boss Michael Carroll, during which it was alleged that former Prime Minister Tony Blair was suspected of paedophile activity.
The senior investigating officer at the time would have been expected to have reported to his senior officers the fact a serving government minister had come under suspicion.It’s inconceivable to think that senior Merseyside officers would not have known.
Left wing politicians were alarmed at the idea of Hogan-Howe having any control over the subsequent inquiry into Operation Care.
Given the gravity of the crimes being investigated, it is worrying this is not a fully independent investigation. Instead the Met will lead this work with oversight from the IPCC. Surely this should be done by an independent investigator or, at the very least an alternate force.
There was another factor to consider in 2011. The NSPCC.
In that July, all was not well in the headquarters of Childline. The organisation had faced bankruptcy before in 2006, but then been taken over by the NSPCC. The NSPCC had acquired a generous £30 million from the Labour government to preserve the service, but that money had run out by the March of 2011. They chose to slash the organisation by 25%.
It was in July of that year that Meirion Jones found/was sent Karin Ward’s ‘fanstory’ claiming amongst other tales that ‘JS’ had abused her in his estranged Aunt’s school.
The perfect storm of vested interests. This then, was the turbulent political scene that Hogan-Howe inherited.
One of the mysteries of the past few days, is why Hogan-Howe has ordered an inquiry to be headed by Sir Richard Henriques into the handling of historic allegations of sexual abuse against public figures.
It is a brief 10 months since just such an ‘independent’ review was conducted into the manner in which all sexual abuse was investigated by the Met. I have managed to find a copy – it makes for fascinating reading, and I cannot understand how I managed to miss it before. Tomorrow I shall sit down and précis it.
Why another review, in such a short space of time, confined to public figures? There are far more ‘unknowns’ who have been on the sharp end of the historic abuse pitchfork. The key word in Hogan-Howe’s announcement is ‘public‘ figures.
They are the people who have born the brunt of our present determination to figure out good and evil via the medium of #Ibelieveher sexual allegations. They have born the brunt as a direct result of the media’s desire to avert bankruptcy and irrelevance. They are the click-bait that has kept the presses rolling over the past four years.
The politicians need the media, the charities need the media, and both are using the police to produce the raw meat to feed the beast. We, the public, are needed to keep the whole bandwagon rolling – by paying, in tax pounds, in subscriptions.
Operation Midland alone has cost 1.8 million – the equivalent cost at an average starting salary of £22,636, of 80 junior hospital Doctors. This is what Operation Midland looks like in my new currency – ‘Docs‘.
Just for good measure – this is what just the Leeds section of the cravenly politically correct NHS investigation into the historic allegations of abuse by Savile looks like expressed as ‘Docs’.
Both utterly dwarfed by the cost of the BBCs navel gazing. £4.9 million so far.
Or 216 Docs.