Ah, the puppet master. Never gets old…
Ah, the puppet master. Never gets old…
Yesterday the Guardian’s Paul Lewis, based on an “investigation” carried out by Greenpeace, put to anti-windfarm campaigner James Delingpole the following conspiracy theory:
Last night it ran on the front page the headline:
On Twitter last night Guido got into a spat with Ian Katz, the deputy editor of the Guardian:
@GuidoFawkes Haven't seen any reason not to but will look forward to your post tomorrow with interest. Night, night—
ian katz (@iankatz1000) November 13, 2012
Only one problem with the conspiracy theory is that it was – apart from Chris Heaton-Harris bragging about his links to Delingpole – demonstrably untrue. He and Heaton-Harris MP are both anti-windfarm campaigners, they are allies and they regularly talk to each other. No big deal, Delingpole is after all his constituent. However a plot involving the Energy Minister John Hayes would be worth a front page. Anyone following the issue would be aware that there is a policy shift going on and enthusiasm for the expensively subsidised windmills is much diminished in austerity governments all over the world. That shift was clearly signalled by the appointment of Hayes during the last reshuffle.
The idea that Hayes was in on a secret plot centred on Delingpole’s Corby campaign is demonstrably nonsense. Delingpole told the Speccie he was going to run in Corby on August 8, 2012, Hayes was only appointed as Energy Minister on September 4, 2012. The supposed plotters could not possibly know that would happen.
Delingpole told Guido when Hayes made the no-more-windfarms speech that he was pleased to be off the hook of running a time-consuming campaign destined to be unsuccessful at the ballot box – “I needed an excuse”. A pretty good excuse given the policy change was a complete victory as this blog reported on the day:
Even in the video recorded by Greenpeace, Heaton-Harris confirms “it was just fortuitous timing”, yet Greenpeace was still allowed to spin on the Guardian’s front page that there was a conspiracy in Corby “linked” to the Energy Minister. Readers might think it was a Guardian story, it wasn’t, it was put together by Greenpeace as a package for the cash-strapped, loss making Guardian – out-sourced like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Newsnight paedo story. John Sauven, Greenpeace’s executive director, says it was “their investigation”. If you outsource investigative journalism to a political campaign, this is what happens. Conspiracy theories replace evidence…
The Guardian has grudgingly changed the headline online this morning to “Energy minister denies collusion”. The wind has been taken out of the story…
Guido agreed with every word of Dan Sabbagh’s sensible piece on Twitter witch hunts today. Unfortunately the Guardian’s media sage hasn’t been taking his own advice. Just ten days ago Sabbagh tweeted that he was googling the name of a child abuse victim who has alleged online that he was the victim of an assault by a serving MP. The tweet has now been deleted…
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) November 09, 2012
Awkwardly for Tom, it was his beloved Guardian that poured cold water all over the McAlpine story.
Sources tell Guido that the NUJ chapel at the Guardian are balloting on whether or not to have a full vote on whether or not to strike. How this will help the situation is beyond Guido.
Given the Guardian loses a £100,000-a-day it might even save them money…
Guido hears that Guardian hacks are being offered £100,000 if they take redundancy. Given that they are trying to move 70 of their staff on, it’s going to be a costly cost saving.
But why £100,000? The latest gag doing the rounds is because that’s how much the paper loses every day.
Guido knew things were bad at Guardian towers, but he didn’t think they were this bad. A leaked internal memo sent today reveals that Guardian employees have been told to clear out their cupboards immediately, with the lights to be turned off officially this weekend. Has the day of reckoning finally arrived?
Alas, no. Kings Place will merely be undergoing a full power shutdown on Sunday in order to fulfil health and safety requirements, and normal service will be resumed on Monday morning. You didn’t get your hopes up, did you?
The Telegraph has this afternoon published a story claiming that GNM is ‘close to axing the print editions of the Guardian and Observer’. It is a rehash of a blog written on a small advertising website.
I can confirm this is completely untrue.
The newspaper makes up two thirds of our revenue and remains core to our strategy. The figures for going digital only and abandoning print simply don’t add up.
As David pointed out in his email this morning, Guardian content is accessed by 5.8m across print, web and mobile in GB every week – more than any other national quality title, including the Telegraph.
This is something that we should all be incredibly proud of.
Surprise at Guardian towers that Telegraph's untrue story about the Guardian is still on the website. Will it run in print?—
Dan Sabbagh (@dansabbagh) October 17, 2012
Rusbridger’s sword of truth has spoken…
Rusbridger’s broadband poll tax was laughed all the way out of Guardian HQ when it was floated through David Leigh last month, the family silver is being sold off and up to seventy hacks face the sack. Now media analysts are reporting that, for the first time, the paper’s bosses are seriously considering ditching the print edition altogether in favour of an all-digital operation. Rusbridger has been left isolated by the Scott Trust, GNM’s owners, and is reportedly close to becoming the only person left on the company’s board opposed to signing the newspaper’s death warrant. This could be the beginning of the end…
UPDATE: Rusbridger himself says it’s untrue.
Never believe anything until it’s officially denied…
How the Tories Can Win in 2015 | Harry Phibbs
View From Lord Bell’s Summer Party | Speccie
What Dave, Ed and Nick Want You to Hear | James Kirkup
In Praise of Apple’s Tax Plan | Daniel Mitchell
Christine Blower Can’t Do Maths | Toby Young
Cameron is Having a Shocker | Iain Martin
UKIP Still Back Flat Tax | London Loves Business
Dave Will Probably Win in 2015 | Dan Hodges
EU’s Tax Harmonisation Agenda | Dan Hannan
Tories Have Always Sneered at Party Faithful | Simon Heffer
French Youth Fleeing Socialism | Reason
Ai Weiwei in China fighting the taxman…
“Under totalitarian rule, no one is protected by law. We will all be the same helpless victims. When a country insists on its lies, it’s time for an artist to bring forth change.”
Ned Flanders – Clegg
Lisa Simpson – Natalie Bennett
Milhouse – Hilary Benn
Martin Prince – Andy Burnham
Edna Krabappel – Luciana Berger
Crazy Cat Lady – Glenda jackson
Comic book guy – John Prescott
Carl – Chucka
Lenny – Philip Hammond
Willie – Eric joyce
Poochie – Gordon Brown
Reverend Lovejoy – Tony Blair