It seems the US election was just the beginning of the fight for the Heritage Foundation:
Farage is part of the front-line fightback…
Faced with an uninspiring candidate at the Corby by-election, Labour’s campaign manager Ian Austin – not a man well versed with the truth – hyped up the mythical threat of closure to Kettering Hospital. When it was pointed out by the NHS that the hospital was in fact not going to close, the “Save the Hospital” spin campaign was heavily watered down. So, just how much does the Labour Party care about the hospital, and how much of it was guff from Austin?
Well today possible options to downgrade some services at the hospital was debated in Parliament. Just four Labour MPs bothered to turn up. One walked out half way through and the rest just sat on their phones. All hands on deck!
MacShame’s grovelling is starting to look as pathetic as it is empty. Today he apologised to the people of Rotherham in a letter to the Yorkshire Post:
“How do I say sorry? Rotherham has been such an important part of my life and I have let this wonderful town, its terrific people and my constituency down so very badly. I accept fully the responsibility for my actions. That I was at grievous fault there can be no doubt. I cannot convey how much I will miss Rotherham. I am not from South Yorkshire but the people took me into their bonds of friendship and made my young family…feel very much at home. I finish by apologising from the bottom of my heart for the damage I have done, I hope only temporarily, to the good name of Rotherham, through my folly and mistakes.”
Meanwhile the CPS met with cops this week to discuss reopening the criminal investigation. He will need to do more than say sorry when they come calling…
Guido went to see Argo this week – the story behind the Iranian hostage crisis.
Guido enjoyed it but Mrs Fawkes enjoyed it even more with Ben Affleck.
Today’s winner gets a t-shirt from the film.
Usual rules, like being funny, apply.
Speaking of uninformed commentators and trial by Twitter, George Monbiot has been in full grovelling mode today.
Though I didn't make direct allegations, I think I was wrong to hve mentiond McAlpine on Twittr, as contribtd to febrile atmos. I apologise.
— GeorgeMonbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot) November 9, 2012
Possibly something to do with the heavy threat of legal action at the end of McAlpine’s statement. Monbiot’s now-deleted tweets included:
I looked up Lord #McAlpine on t’internet. It says the strangest things.
I can confirm that Lord #McAlpine was Conservative Party Treasurer when Mrs Thatcher was prime minister.
Historical fact of the week: Lord #McAlpine was a well-known treasurer of the Conservative Party during the Thatcher era.
What was that about evidence-based science…
After days of speculation and the knife being twisted by Phillip Schofield’s blunder, former Tory Treasurer Lord McAlpine has broken cover:
Over the last several days it has become apparent to me that a number of ill- or uninformed commentators have been using blogs and other internet media outlets to accuse me of being the senior Conservative Party figure from the days of Margaret Thatcher’s leadership who is guilty of sexually abusing young residents of a children’s home in Wrexham, North Wales in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
It has additionally become apparent to me that a number of broadcasters and newspapers have, without expressly naming me, also been alleging that a senior Conservative Party figure from that time was guilty of or suspected of being guilty of the sexual abuse of residents of this children’s home.
It is obvious that there must be a substantial number of people who saw that I had been identified in the internet publications as this guilty man and who subsequently saw or heard the broadcasts or read the newspapers in question and reasonably inferred that the allegation of guilt in those broadcasts and newspapers attached to me.
Even though these allegations made of me by implication in the broadcast and print media, and made directly about me on the internet, are wholly false and seriously defamatory I can no longer expect the broadcast and print media to maintain their policy of defaming me only by innuendo. There is a media frenzy and I have to expect that an editor will soon come under pressure to risk naming me. My name and the allegations are for all practical purposes linked and in the public domain and I cannot rewind the clock.
I therefore have decided that in order to mitigate, if only to some small extent, the damage to my reputation I must publicly tackle these slurs and set the record straight. In doing so I am by no means giving up my right to sue those who have defamed me in the recent past or who may do so in the future and I expressly reserve my rights to take all such steps as I and my solicitors consider necessary to protect my interests.
On Tuesday, 6 November the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, made a statement in the House of Commons about the historic allegations of child abuse in the North Wales police force area. She explained that in 1991, North Wales Police conducted an investigation into allegations that, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, children in homes that were managed and supervised by Clwyd County Council were sexually and physically abused. The result of the police investigation was eight prosecutions and seven convictions of former care workers. Despite the investigation and convictions, it was widely believed, she said, that the abuse was in fact on a far greater scale, but a report produced by Clwyd Council’s own inquiry was never published, because so much of its content was considered by lawyers to be defamatory.
In 1996, the Rt Hon William Hague MP, the then Secretary of State for Wales, invited Sir Ronald Waterhouse to lead an inquiry into the abuse of children in care in the Gwynedd and Clwyd Council areas. Mrs May told the House of Commons that the Waterhouse inquiry sat for 203 days and heard evidence from more than 650 people. Statements made to the inquiry named more than 80 people as child abusers, many of whom were care workers or teachers. In 2000, the inquiry’s report “Lost in Care” made 72 recommendations for changes to the way in which children in care were protected by councils, social services and the police. Following the report’s publications, 140 compensation claims were settled on behalf of the victims.
Mrs May further said that the report found no evidence of a paedophile ring beyond the care system, which was the basis of the rumours that followed the original police investigation and, indeed, one of the allegations made in the past week. Last Friday, a victim of sexual abuse at one of the homes named in the report—Mr Steve Messham—alleged that the inquiry did not look at abuse outside care homes, and he renewed allegations against the police and several individuals. I am, as is now well known to readers of the internet and to journalists working for the print and broadcast media, one of the individuals implicated by Mr Messham.
I have every sympathy for Mr Messham and for the many other young people who were sexually abused when they were residents of the children’s home in Wrexham. Any abuse of children is abhorrent but the sexual abuse to which these vulnerable children were subjected in the 1970’s and 1980’s is particularly abhorrent. They had every right to expect to be protected and cared for by those who were responsible for them and it is abundantly clear that they were horribly violated. I have absolutely no sympathy for the adults who committed these crimes. Those who have been convicted were deservedly punished and those who have not yet been brought to justice should be as soon as possible.
The facts are, however, that I have been to Wrexham only once. I visited the local Constituency Conservative Association in my capacity as Deputy Chairman. I was accompanied on this trip, at all times, by Stuart Newman, a Central Office Agent. We visited Mary Bell, a distant relative of mine and close friend of Stuart Newman. We did not stay the night in Wrexham. I have never been to the children’s home in Wrexham, nor have I ever visited any children’s home, reform school or any other institution of a similar nature. I have never stayed in a hotel in or near Wrexham, I did not own a Rolls Royce, have never had a “Gold card” or “Harrods card” and never wear aftershave, all of which have been alleged. I did not sexually abuse Mr Messham or any other residents of the children’s home in Wrexham. Stuart Newman is now dead but my solicitors are endeavouring to locate a senior secretary who worked at Central Office at the time to see if she can remember the precise date I visited that Association.
I fully support the decision (announced by the Home Secretary in the House of Commons on Tuesday) of the Chief Constable of North Wales, Mr Mark Polin, to invite Mr Keith Bristow, the Director General of the National Crime Agency, to assess the allegations recently received, to review the historic police investigations and to investigate any fresh allegations reported to the police into the alleged historic abuse in north Wales care homes. Although I live in Italy and have done so for many years and although I am in poor health, I am entirely willing to meet Mr Polin and Mr Bristow in London as soon as can be arranged so that they can eliminate me from their inquiries and so that any unwarranted suspicion can be removed from me.
I wish to make it clear that I do not suggest that Mr Messham is malicious in making the allegations of sexual abuse about me. He is referring to a terrible period of his life in the 1970’s or 1980’s and what happened to him will have affected him ever since. If he does think I am the man who abused him all those years ago I can only suggest that he is mistaken and that he has identified the wrong person.
I conclude by reminding those who have defamed me or who intend to do so that in making this statement I am by no means giving up my right to seek redress at law and repeat that I expressly reserve my rights to take all such steps as I and my solicitors consider necessary to protect my interests.
McAlpine of West Green
8 November 2012
Some notable crusaders have gone very quiet today after this.
UPDATE: It seems Tom Watson is a little confused:
I see the pushback has begun in some sections of the media. The same people who dismissed the hacking allegations.Suspect they'll regret it.
— tom_watson (@tom_watson) November 9, 2012
Awkwardly for Tom, it was his beloved Guardian that poured cold water all over the McAlpine story.
Guido was pleasantly surprised by how few Tory MPs have signed a letter written by Cameron’s former Press Secretary George Eustice, demanding that the press be muzzled. The second anyone speaks out against statutory regulation, cries go up about prejudicing the inquiry, and accusations are thrown around about trying to taint Leveson. Moves to try to influence Brian the other way, like this morning’s Guardian splash are welcomed with open arms though.
Guido was not surprised to see former cabinet minister Caroline Spelman leading the way. This year the multimillionaire spent over £60,000 – the equivalent of one years salary as an MP – in a failed attempt to keep her drug cheat England rugby playing son out of the papers. The public interest in exposing cheating in sport was apparently second fiddle to the fact that Spelman was a politician. Any other member of the squad without a loaded, famous parent would have had to face the music.
The rest of the list is littered with your normal array of big state lovers, arms dealer chums, drunks, expenses cheats and shaggers. These are the people any new legislation will protect.
Guido’s Column | Sun
Carney is a Feminist | Kathy Gyngell
Middle Class Moralism of Owen Jones | Spiked
Booze-Fuelled Fight at Palin Party | Times
Nick Robinson Attacked as “Liar” | Mail
Sweden Turns Left | Times
Public Wants England Only Votes in Commons | Times
Ban Scottish MPs From Voting on Tax and NHS | Mail
Elitist Politicians Caused Democratic Disenchantment | Janet Daley
Police Can’t Stop Man Who Stalked Me for 7 Years | Nadine Dorries
Owen Jones’ Middle Class Moralism | Spiked
Martin Wolf in the Financial Times…
“Scotland can adopt the pound without a currency union..”