Tag Archives: child sexual abuse

The CSA Inquiry, The BBC And The Strange Case of Patrick Rock

In the last couple of weeks, the BBC and the Tory press have worked tirelessly to scupper the VIP child abuse story. In a recent edition of Panorama, the BBC poured cold water on the claims that the now deceased Leon Brittan was involved in child abuse or had raped a woman in 1967. Yesterday, Tory MP Nicholas Soames demanded that Tom Watson “apologise” for “traducing” Brittan’s good name. Watson rose to his feet in response and refused to issue an apology. Good for him. First, you can’t traduce or smear a dead person and second, Watson doesn’t need to apologise for anything.

The front page of today’s Daily Mail has this banner headline with the words “Labour’s child abuse witch hunt” in the opening paragraph. No agenda there. Right?

However, what is clear from these efforts is that the inquiry must be getting uncomfortably close to the Tories, so close that they’re now pulling out all the stops and getting their media chums to produce propaganda to counter any further accusations and smear the victims. The timing is also interesting for the fact that Harvey Proctor, a former Tory MP who’s so right-wing that he’d make a fascist blush with envy, recently appeared at a news conference to deny any allegations that he sexually abused children or witnessed any murders.

Now, before anyone reading this gets any ideas in their head that I’ve libelled Proctor, think on. I’ve done no such thing. Proctor was, however, a member of the notorious Monday Club. He apparently moved to purge the group of National Front members. So what?

Here’s the edition of Panorama in question.  The programme’s rationale is evident from the start: “It ain’t true”.

As Tom Pride observed yesterday, if Panorama’s team are so damned good at investigations, why did they fail to say anything about Jimmy Savile, who was working in the same building?

Let’s now turn to the case of Patrick Rock or to give him his full name, Patrick Robert John Rock de Besombes. Rock is the scion of an old Norman aristocratic family, a thwarted parliamentary candidate and was, until 18 months ago, a Downing Street aide. I say “was” because he was caught in possession of indecent images of children and appeared in court on those charges in July, 2014 and was bailed.  In December, 2014, Rock appeared at Southwark Crown Court and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Then it all went quiet.

I found this letter from someone called “P. Curran” to the Cabinet Office on the What Do They Know website that makes a Freedom of Information request. P. Curran writes:

Dear Cabinet Office,

I am seeking information on Patrick Rock, a former senior aide to
David Cameron, who appeared in court over child abuse images.

According to this Guardian report of Friday 19 December 2014 12.40
GMT, he was ‘ bailed to return to Southwark crown court for a
pre-trial hearing on 27 February 2015’:
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/…

Since then there has been no news whatsoever. What has happened to
Mr. Rock please? Has he had his pre-trial hearing yet? And if so
where and when?

Yours faithfully,

Thankyou.

P. Curran

The letter was written on 2 June, 2015. If the pre-trial hearing took place, then there is no record of it. This begs the question: “why”?

A follow up letter appears on the same website, dated 17 June, 2015.

Dear Cabinet Office / FOI Team Mailbox,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Cabinet Office’s
handling of my FOI request ‘Trial of Patrick Rock’.

Many thanks for this reply, but if you read my original question,
this is not what I asked.

I asked: “What has happened to Mr. Rock please? Has he had his
pre-trial hearing yet? And if so where and when?

I did NOT ask whether the information was held on your paper or
electronic records.

I would also draw your attention to the following:

Guardian: Possible Cabinet Office cover up re: Cyril Smith child
abuse allegations:
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015…

Same story from the Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-….
Indeed, from the article: “Downing Street cynically tried to
prevent the release of damaging files exposing the scale of the
cover-up over paedophile MP Cyril Smith.
The Cabinet Office repeatedly blocked The Mail on Sunday’s attempts
to see the bombshell documents – and caved in only after being
threatened with High Court action.”

Same story from Sky:
https://www.newstalk.com/Thatcher-knew-o….
From the story:
“He [Simon Danczuk] added: “(The Cabinet Office) have resisted
publishing these documents for over 12 months – that’s not
acceptable. They refused to tell the public who
nominated Cyril Smith for a knighthood. A journalist managed to get
that out of them after going to the Information Commissioner. It
was indeed David Steel.
And we now know they are resisting publishing at least four other
files relating to historic child sexual abuse. We have to ask the
question is the Cabinet Office fit for purpose?”

Private Eye story on Cabinet Office cover-up:
https://twitter.com/privateeyenews/statu…

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w…

So, given Mr Patrick Robert John Rock was deputy head of David
Cameron’s policy unit at the time of his arrest and has known him
since the late 1990s (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28054433 /
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics…),
I would be extremely grateful if you cold please tell me about the
trial / pre-trial hearings of Patrick Rock, supposedly held at
Southwark Crown Court , case number T20140498 (not whether the
information is stored on your paper or electronic records) .

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
available on the Internet at this address:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t…

Yours faithfully,

P. Curran

The exchange between P. Curran and the FOI team continues for the next few weeks until, finally, there’s a reply from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

REVIEW OF REQUEST UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000
Cabinet Office Internal Review Reference: IR 321173
(Original Case Reference: Fol 321173)
Thank you for your email of 17 June 2015. You asked for an internal review of our response to
your request for information of 8 June 2015. In your request you asked for information about the
trial of Patrick Rock.
It may be helpful if I start by explaining that the Freedom of Information Act provides a right of
access, subject to exemptions, to information held in a recorded format by a public authority.
Public authorities are specifically scheduled under the Act and the Cabinet Office (including No1 O
Downing Street) is one of those scheduled authorities. Each government department and agency
is separately listed under the Act.
As such, the Cabinet Office can only respond in terms of information we hold in a recorded format.
I have reviewed your request and have concluded that the Cabinet Office does not hold any
recorded information, which would answer your question. I recognise your interest in this case but
I regret that we do not hold the information to be able to answer your question.
The substance of your request is a matter for the criminal justice system, which is outside the remit
of the Cabinet Office. The only advice and assistance I am able to offer is to suggest that you write
to the Crown Prosecution Service or Her Majesty’s Court Service. I should also explain that even if
they hold any information in a recorded format in scope of your request, one or more exemptions
under the Act might apply.
If you are unhappy with the handling of your request for information you, have the right to apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

It turns out that that Rock is due to appear in court in the next three days. However, there is nothing in papers about it, nor have the television news providers mentioned it.

Don’t you find that a little odd? I know I do.

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What’s The Crack With Edward Leigh?

Edward Leigh, he of bright red face and hardline right-wing views, is an implacable opponent of equal (gay) marriage and opposed lowering the age of consent for gay males. Leigh is a Thatcherite to the core of his being and served as correspondence secretary to Th*thcer while she was leader of the opposition. In the Commons, he often speaks on matters of security. Like Julian Lewis, it would seem that he has no other interests apart from getting moist at the thought of nuclear weapons systems.

Leigh has been in the Commons since 1983 when he represented the seat of Gainsborough and Horncastle. Since 1997, he’s represented Gainsborough. He comes from landed gentry and is often referred to as “the viscount”. Leigh was knighted in 2013 for “public and political service”. When Th*tcher resigned in 1990, he and disgraced MP, Michael Brown tried to convince her to continue. They were both reported to have had tears in their eyes as they left Downing Street and returned to the Commons. Oddly, Brown was later outed as gay after the Cash for Questions scandal. Leigh is apparently opposed to gays.

When John Major won the 1992 General Election, Leigh was given a role in the Department for Trade and Industry but he was soon sacked for being one of the “bastards”, who opposed the Maastrict Treaty.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across this article in Pink News that claimed Leigh had met with a businessman, Duncan Breeze, who was convicted for the possession of indecent images of children in 2007. The original article, which appeared in the Sunday Mirror in November 2014, describes Breeze as a “consultant”.

Sir Edward Leigh, 64, hosted lunches inside Westminster for a businessman released from jail for making thousands of “sickening” images of children.

Consultant Duncan Breeze, 39, was entertained by Sir Edward, as recently as a few months ago.

Yesterday the veteran MP defended their relationship, insisting: “He has served his time. I believe in redemption.”

It’s ironic that Leigh should claim that he “believes in redemption” when he has called for tougher sentences in the past. It would appear that his call for toughness is selective, especially where his pals are concerned.

Breeze is described as a “lawyer turned panto actor” on this BBC page. The word ‘consultant’ can cover a number of activities. But what is he? A consultant, a pantomime actor or a businessman?

Jailing him, Judge Geoffrey Breen said: “Some of the images are particularly disgusting and sickening and it is not difficult to imagine the distress caused to the children in them.

“If it were not for people like you there would be no market for material of this kind.

“There is no doubt that you have achieved a great deal and that you are very talented and hard working.

“But it is difficult to see how you will ever be able to resume work in the entertainment industry.”

What’s so odd about this story is how quiet it went afterwards. It’s almost as if someone somewhere was trying to cover things up. Surely not?

 

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Janner Request To Keep Seat In Lords

According to news reports this week, Greville (Lord) Janner will not be facing prosecution on charges of child sexual abuse because he’s suffering from Alzheimer’s. This was the same excuse that allowed Ernest Saunders to escape a prison sentence and Augusto Pinochet to avoid justice. In Saunder’s case, he made a miraculous recovery. To the best of my knowledge, no one has recovered from Alzheimer’s. Pinochet was similar: as soon as he touched down in Santiago, he practically danced across the tarmac. As The Needle points out, Janner recently requested to keep his seat in the Lords. Interesting. No?

theneedleblog

From today’s edition of The Sunday Times

The reference to the general election indicates that this is a recent development. Lord Janner seems to have been well enough to sign a letter requesting that he remain a voting member of the House of Lords.

It seems that he is fit enough to plead for his job but not fit enough to enter a plea regarding the  very serious criminal allegations that have been made.

I think it is fair to ask, what the hell is going on here ?

Janner can’t have it both ways !

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The LM Network and Operation Yewtree (or Won’t Someone Think of the Abusers?)

Since the government’s announcement last week that there was to be an over-arching inquiry into child sex abuse at the highest levels of British politics, it was only inevitable that the LM Network would be out in force to cry foul and muddy the waters a little. In the last few days, Frank Furedi and Claire Fox have been conducting a tour of national television and radio studios to offer their rather suspect take on the matter. Within the space of hours, Furedi and Fox have both attempted to claim that the latest call for inquiry will lead to a “fear of adults” and that parents will be too afraid to let their children play outdoors for fear of being kidnapped and/or molested. This is not the issue and they know it. The majority of the abused children did not come from stable homes, nor were they kidnapped while playing on the swings in the local park. Many were in care homes and others were students at boarding schools. This point has been consistently sidestepped by LM in order to advance the claim that ‘freedoms’ are being compromised or eroded. It’s a classic appeal to emotion.

On Monday, Furedi and Fox’s fellow LMer, Brendan O’Neill, was quick out of the traps with this piece of drivel.

For around 30 years now, Britain has been in the grip of a paedophile panic.

You know where this is going and predictably enough.

There has been no break from the paedophile panic over the past three decades. Even when certain forms of the panic are exposed as baseless, as completely hollow, the underlying urge behind the panic, the moralism that is its fuel, simply moves on to another terrain, adopting a new language and a new focus to keep the concern with evil child abusers alive.

O’Neill continues:

Yewtree has institutionalised the 30-year-long paedophile panic, elevating it from an ever-present but sometimes ill-formed thing into an actual institution, a key part of British political, social and moral life, a constant provider of yet more horror stories, claims and rumours about wicked behaviour. And when (if) Yewtree is wrapped up? It will be replaced by something else. There are already demands for an extensive ‘Hillsborough-style inquiry’ into the rumours of a paedo ring in Westminster, the paedo obsessives clearly already looking for their next outlet, the next moral terrain on which they might keep alive their panic and spread more fear about the demonic dangers surrounding children in every town, village and hamlet in Britain.

Nowhere in O’Neill’s article is there even a modicum of sympathy for the victims. It’s all about him and his libertarian friends and how the investigation/inquiry will limit their ‘freedom’. That reminds me, the comments thread is particularly vile. Take this comment from which I shall quote a portion.

Yes, Rolf Harris’s conviction and absurd six year sentence today is a travesty of justice: a show trial of man-hating ideology.

This is just a sample of what passes for libertarian-style analysis. Demands for justice for the murdered and the abused children are dismissed as part of some “man-hating ideology”. It’s at times like this that some right-wing libertarians reveal, not only the limits of their thinking, but their real thoughts about women and children, who they believe exist solely for the pleasure of men.

In February, The Grand Furedi contributed this article to Spiked. He complains that Operation Yewtree is “more propaganda than policing”. He rationalizes Yewtree thus:

Operation Yewtree was different: it was not designed to solve reported crimes. Its principal aim, rather, is to construct crimes through soliciting allegations of sexual abuse committed decades and decades ago.

Children were killed and many more have been scarred for life, but all Furedi and his gang can do is complain that any attempt to get justice for the victims (a word he rejects) is an affront to his notion of ‘liberty’.

Here’s The Grand Furedi on Monday’s edition of Newsnight. Count the number of times he refers to children’s homes.

Not once. Cristina Odone, who often makes little sense, actually talks more sense than Furedi!

The LM network has always had questionable ideas on pederasty.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the LM Network wants no restrictions on Internet pornography. This includes child pornography.

What LM and their libertarian friends conveniently ignore is the impact that their ‘freedom’ will have on the freedoms of others. Theirs is nothing less than a rationalization of selfishness. The right of children to be free from exploitation and abuse is of little or no interest to them.

 

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Thatcher Cabinet stifled Kincora child sex abuse inquiry 30 years ago

The Thatcher Cabinet was certainly up to no good when it stifled a report into the Kincora Children’s home in 1983.  As we now know, Thatcher turned a blind eye to Peter Morrison’s paedophilia but what else did she ignore? Jim Prior (now Lord Prior) was partly responsible for the suppression of the report and needs to be brought to book.

David Hencke

Jim Prior,now Lord Prior. blocked the opportunity for a full-scale public inquiry into the notorious Kincora child abuse scandal, Cabinet minutes released under the 30 year rule revealed today.

The minutes of the Cabinet meeting (see http://bit.ly/19zxFqT ) reveal on 10 November 1983 Jim Prior, then Northern Ireland Secretary, proposed not to have a full Tribunal of Inquiry – the same mechanism, used to investigate  the Bloody Sunday atrocities, the North Wales child abuse scandal and the Dunblane massacre.
The minutes reveal the Cabinet – who included the now all ennobled Leon Brittan, then home secretary, Michael Heseltine,defence secretary and Norman Fowler, social services secretary, bought the Royal Ulster Constabulary line that there was nothing in it. He said he was being “pressed to hold an inquiry under the Tribunals of Inquiry”. But he didn’t believe Parliament would buy it.
But he said two police investigations had discovered nothing and…

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