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article imageOp-Ed: Lords in the news — Dead and alive

By Alexander Baron     Jan 20, 2014 in Crime
London - Now that he is dead, Lord McAlpine is fair game for any scandalous gossip. Lord Rennard is a different kettle of fish, in spite of Nick Clegg.
Lord McAlpine died Friday in Italy aged 71. Last year he instituted libel proceedings against a number of parties after it was claimed he had been involved in systematic child abuse.
The most high profile individual to feel his wrath was Sally Bercow, the wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Allegations against him were made then and for sometime before by many people in the fringe and alternative media, and their argument is basically that he was protected because of his wealth, political connections and so forth, and there has been a gigantic cover-up. Certainly there is such a thing as organised paedophilia, as the shocking revelations of Operation Endeavour show.
The ongoing Savile investigation indicates at the very least that people in authority at the BBC and elsewhere were prepared to turn a blind eye to his wandering hands, though it remains to be seen if anyone who worked with him suspected the full extent of his crimes. Then there was the curious case of Cyril Smith; it is clear here that the police at a local level were ready and willing to curb his activities, and that they investigated thoroughly; it is equally clear that they were told to take things no further. No mere mortal can halt a police investigation in the UK, which raises the question, is there a cover-up at a very high level?
One person who believes there is, is David Icke, but he also believes the Mossad caused a tsunami in Japan, and best not mention 9/11. Although once Mr Icke worked in the mainstream media, that was a long time ago; before Lord McAlpine's death he made repeated outrageous allegations against him, which were ignored.
It is extremely easy today for anyone to make false allegations against literally anybody: the rich, the powerful, and politicians are a favourite. Lord McAlpine was all three, but unless someone dug out some hard evidence against him, we should reject this the same way all reasonable people reject the plethora of conspiracy "theories" about the Kennedy Assassination.
So what hard evidence might there be? According to Scallywag, Lord McAlpine and Derek Laud were involved in child sexual abuse big time. You can read the allegations here. This used to be a magazine but now it exists only in cyber-space. This might just be due to its having libelled then Prime Minister John Major, making up a story about his having an affair with a Downing Street caterer. He sued. Later, it came to light that Major had instead been having it off with Edwina Currie.
So how much credence should we give Scallywag?
The astute reader will have noticed this article is a scan from the actual magazine; it was published originally in the 1990s.
While there is some truth in the article about the abuse of vulnerable underage boys, and on occasion girls, what is the evidence that any of the high and mighty were involved? The answer is close to zero. One specific allegation against Lord McAlpine is that in 1965 he was cautioned by Strathclyde Police for molesting an underage boy. If that had happened, there would be a paper trail. Indeed, it is quite likely that if it had, at the very least a police officer or someone in the know would have tipped off the late and unlamented News Of The World.
Alistair McAlpine.
Alistair McAlpine.
The Telegraph
As with Lord McAlpine, there is no reason to believe the claims made about Derek Laud, Michael Portillo or any other politician or businessman named in connection with this or similar scandals unless and until hard evidence is adduced. The recent non-case against him was based on a misidentification. This is extremely common. Would you be able tell this man from this one under less than ideal circumstances?
All that being said, we can allow Lord McAlpine to rest in peace, even if Scallywag won't. The allegations against Lord Rennard are thankfully nowhere near so distasteful. They were reported here in March last year, and again in late September when the police decided he had no case to answer.
That being said, one would have thought that would have been the end of the matter, alas, that is not the case. On January 15, seeking to maintain his squeaky clean image and to send a message to the loony feminist element, convicted arsonist Nick Clegg said Lord Rennard should apologise for the harassment claims.
Needless to say, the man himself did not see it in the same light as Mr Clegg, and even less so than the four female activists with whom he is alleged to have tried it on. So what is the bottom line?
Listen to Alison Goldsworthy talking to the BBC about what she calls the culture of politics. The reality is that most women who get involved in politics are anything but shrinking violets, and when you put men and women together, working long hours, fraternising in the bar later, what happens?
According to Nick Clegg in a BBC interview this morning there was broadly credible evidence dating back several years of "behaviour which violated the personal space and autonomy of the complainants". Which means what, exactly?
While Edwina Currie had no qualms about embarking on an affair with the Prime Minister - and never regretted it - and let us not mention the sordid Clinton/Lewinsky affair, it has to be said that Lord Rennard does not appear to be particularly physically attractive, so instead of embarking on an affair or giving him a polite brush off, we see all these hysterics about sexual harassment. This is frankly ludicrous; these are not vulnerable underage girls targeted by predatory paedophiles as we have seen in Rochdale and elsewhere, but grown, educated and one supposes worldly wise women who have taken up a profession in which if they have any success at all they will have to endure a lot worse from members of the public than a bit of sexual banter over a gin and tonic in the House of Commons bar.
This was never a matter for the police, nor should it have been one for any sort of internal party disciplinary hearing. If there is anyone who should take disciplinary action here, it is Lord Rennard's wife!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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