Guido Fawkes howler on Tom Watson allegations

10:00 am - October 25th 2012

by Tim Fenton    

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A particularly crass howler was committed yesterday by the rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, so eager have they been to
lay into Labour MP for West Bromwich East Tom Watson.

Watson intervened at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on the subject of alleged paedophile activity. His point was that, on the fringes of a known paedophile ring which involved a man called Peter Righton, there was another child abuser who “boasted of a key aide to a former Prime Minister who could help get hold of indecent images of children”. He did not name the aide.

The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, always on the lookout for anything that might enable him to put one over on Watson, got his newly appointed teaboy Alex Wickham to cobble together a post alleging that Watson’s news was not new, and had been (a) already covered in the Murdoch Sunday Times last weekend, and had (b) been exposed by a former Tory MP, Edwina Currie.

There was only one problem with this: it was bollocks. Watson was way ahead of the Fawkes folks

I am not naming the person for obvious reasons but for clarity it is not former MP, Peter Morrison. This afternoon my office has been bombarded with calls regarding Morrison, I think because he was named by Edwina Currie at the weekend as having inappropriate sexual relations with teenage boys.

So not only is the Fawkes blog wrong (again), they don’t even get a name check from Tom Watson, although they are more than likely the source of at least some of those calls his office has been getting.

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About the author
Tim is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He blogs more frequently at Zelo Street
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Reader comments

Who cares, I’m surprised the obsession you and Staines have with each other is allowed to infect this site yet again.

this tit for tat is completely pointless

If we’re off back to the nineties one of Nick Davies’ pieces is a good read –

So Guido Staines doesn’t know who it is and we don’t know who it is. Cameron said he’d look at Hansard to look up Watson’s allegations so will presumably be no wiser than the rest of us. Unlike the rest of us Watson has parliamentary privilege so doesn’t need to worry about libel but he didn’t use it. So what was his motivation? To put pressure on the police?

My thoughts exactly, John, why not indeed…. Too big to name? Not sure enough of his facts? Pure attention seeking? Unlikely the latter I think. Of the other possibilities the first is intriguing, but the second more likely, I feel….

well said eric and john

@Dave… spot on. Am astounded that the Editor here is letting what is ordinarily a blog of decent stories – albeit often utterly wrong politically IMHO – be used as a platform for Fenton’s obsession with another blog (which is also often wrong).

Likewise as the other comments say, and on the specifcs of the post, Watson has Parliamentary Privilege and can quite easily name names if he wants. That he didn’t suggest he’s either making it up for attention or he’s not confident about the reliability of what he thinks he knows to be the case, in which case, he should probably not have said anything.

Something doesn’t smell right, that is for sure.

Total Politics Top 100 UK political blogs:

2011 : 1st Guido Fawkes, 7th Liberal Conspiracy

2010 : 1st Guido Fawkes, 13th Liberal Conspiracy

2009: 1st Guido Fawkes, Liberal Conspiracy pulled out (but was 21st)

Guardian 2010, 10 Best Political Blogs (unranked) includes GF. LC fails to make top 10.

Political Scrapbook Top Bloggers based on Twitter followers: GF 6th, Sunny Hundal 27th

2010 Experian Hitwise Blogs ranked by visits: 1st Guido Fawkes, 17th Liberal Conspiracy.

Guido must be cr*pping himself.

An awful lot of guido lovers on here today.

9. Chaise Guevara

@ Paul

“An awful lot of guido lovers on here today.”

I think they use some kind of batsignal, only probably with the mask from V for Vendetta or something.

Since the Total Politics awards are based on people voting online, possibly being encouraged to do so by the sites competing, I wouldnt take much notice of it.

Its hardly the Oscars is it?

11. Chaise Guevara

@ 10 John

Ooh, does the Total Politics system prevent people from voting multiple times? Because that might swing things a little.

12. Waterloo Sunset

So Guido Staines doesn’t know who it is and we don’t know who it is.

Someone should teach him how to use Google then.

This is starting to remind me of the late Senator McCarthy’s technique in the US in the early 1950s – Yes! I’m that old.

He would stand up to make a speech claiming to have a list in his pocket of x dozen Communists working the US State Department and demand that action be taken to expose and root out Communists and crypto Communist sympathisers.

In the prevailing political climate of those times, he was taken very seriously by the Congressional UnAmerican Activities Committee, by Hollywood and the media. Dozens of movie actors and scriptwriters lost their jobs or found it very difficult to get work. Some sought asylum in Britain, like Sam Wanamaker and Carl Foreman.

At the time of the epidemic of Satanic Abuse sweeping Britain in the late 1980s and early 1990s, families were broken up as children were taken into protective care by local authorities. Curiously, following inquiries and Police investigations, no prosecutions followed because the Police couldn’t find corroborating evidence that could stand up in court.

In Wales, a woman who worked as a paediatric consultant had her home trashed because she had a name plate posted up with Paediatrician on it. Evidently, the Boyos in Wales didn’t know the difference between paedophiles and a Paediatrician.

That epidemic was soon followed by the epidemic of Munchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy, when a medical consultant could tell a man was guilty of murdering a sibling just by watching him interviewed on TV.

This is starting to look like it’s deja vu all over again.

14. Chaise Guevara

@ 13 Bob B

I do sometimes wonder why we don’t just go the whole hog and start determining criminal guilt using phrenology.

If these turn out to be the definite mortal remains of Richard III by DNA tests, that is worth at least a full-scale public inquiry or two as it looks as though the skeleton showed signs of a violent and therefore unlawful death:

The implications are horrendous. Not only did the Tudor dynasty usurp the Crown in 1485 but the whole subsequent Royal settlements were illegal. James I, the first of the Stuart monarchs, was never king of England, as well as of Scotland. There never was a lawful united kingdom. And as for the present, the Queen will inevitably need to abdicate asap. Tom Watson should get on to this.

16. Chaise Guevara

@ 15 Bob B

Our royal family, shorn of its legitimate claim to rule!

Ha ha.

According to at least one “news” report, JS was not only into abusing young girls but necrophilia as well.

There’s an old English adage: He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.

To my knowledge as a distant observer, the pop music scene at least since the 1960s was awash with sex and drugs. The urban myth about Marianne Faithful, Mick Jagger and a Mars Bars widely circulated in those times, long before the internet got going. The BBC banned: Je t’aime . . . moi non plus, a duet with Jane Birkin (aged 23) and Serge Gainsbourg (aged 41).

For any who read news of the hot gossip about the pop music scene, it cannot be any surprise that under-age sex went on, with or without JS and his associates, at any available premises. It’s naive to suppose otherwise. For years, Britain headed the European league in teen pregnancies. I’m led to the inescapable conclusion that all this is being spun out for ulterior reasons.

If only JS had still been alive, he could have been waterboarded or sent on external rendition to get at the truth. Or maybe not, seeing as how waterboarding (‘advanced interrogation tehniques’ is the official euphemism) seems to have been doubtfully effective at getting useful information from Guantanamo Bay detainees:


Good little, stupid populist tory troll/nazi

Bob B @ 15:

“the skeleton showed signs of a violent and therefore unlawful death”

I assume you are being playful here, but surely “violent” does not imply “unlawful”. Henry Tudor maintained that Richard was a usurper and a tyrant. So killing him in battle was no crime in the 15th century.

“Henry Tudor maintained that Richard was a usurper and a tyrant. So killing him in battle was no crime in the 15th century.”

Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, only won at Bosworth because the forces brought to the battlefield by Lord Stanley and Sir William Stanley at first held back and then decided to intervene on the side of Henry Tudor.

I doubt there was much in the moral balance between the rival monarchs but I’m inclined to follow the historians who say the Tudors brought a revolution to English government so that 1485 marks the beginning of our modern history.

Tudor governance coincided with the Renaissance and with the Reformation of the church. After the burning of Protestant heretics by Mary Tudor 1553-58 and the attempted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588 with a commission from the Holy See to restore Catholicism, it was unlikely that would ever prevail in England. It is unthinkable that Newton could have developed his theories about the planetary system had Catholicism prevailed. The Catholic church didn’t exonerate Galileo until 1992.

My earlier post was rather tongue in cheek and intended to show that the value of public inquiries about history are rather limited. IMO the froth about Savile is being whipped up for ulterior reasons, mainly to get at the BBC and also to deflect attention from other issues. We should be at least as horrified by the Channel 4 news report in 2010 about Catholic priests:

Channel 4 News has compiled the first map of Catholic abuse detailing some 37 cases across England and Wales where Catholic priests have committed sexual offences against children.

It was widely known back in the 1960s and 1970s that the pop music scene was awash with drugs and sex. I suspect that many participants were attracted to it for the excitement of those very reasons.

The BBC is culpable for promoting the celebrity status of JS, most likely because it was so pleased with itself for getting top ratings in an arena of popular entertainment where commercial TV might be expected to do better. Those are the values which need reassessing.

You think the allegations aren’t serious? I am not so sure. What about the child actor who’s story was going to be reported and then wasn’t? What about the cover up in Jersey? Why was Saville so sure he would get away with it all? Waterloo Sunset is right you just use google innit

IMO the allegations about Savile have moral parity with the convictions of 37 Catholic priests for the sexual abuse abuse of young people as reported in that Channel 4 programme in 2010 or the members of various gangs in Rochdale, Rotherham and Derby who were convicted of the sexual explotation of under-age girls.

By many reports, in every case except Savile, abuse had often continued for years before the arrests and convictions and usually despite complaints to authorities being made by some of the victims. Savile was investigated at various times by the Police and by the Crown Prosecution Service.

It’s not evident to me that the BBC was/is more culpable than those other authorities which had concluded that they had insufficient evidence to charge Savile.

What I’m saying is that for years the BBC promoted Savile as a celebrity in the pop music scene when it was widely known that sex and drugs were rife on the pop music scene. The tribute programmes about Savile produced by the BBC last year rather suggest that the BBC was smug about its role in promoting him.

Staines and his crew have also ignored the investigative work done by Scallywag. I wonder why that is?

According to the internet everyone was at it- from Lord Mountbatten and Ted Heath to Cliff Richard and Ronnie Kray. And, at the risk of being accused of being a conspiracy theorist, much of the evidence does, at first glance, seem to be somewhat persuasive.

If even half of what is being alleged is true, there are going to be some heads on pikestaffs before this is finished.

Now then, now then, now then! How’s about that then guys and girls?

This is the most accurate report that I’ve come across about the pop music scene in the 1960s and 1970s:

Jimmy Savile: People suspected. Nobody talked. Why?

How child abusers like Jimmy Savile hide their evil from the world – right in front of our eyes

Sex and drugs were rife on the pop music scene in the 1960s and 1970s and since to judge from many reports in the news and the occasional court cases when pop musicians were up on drugs charges. It’s not credible to claim that most of us had absolutely no idea about what went on. It’s also a mistake to believe that all the under-age sex was inflicted on unwilling victims. “Groupies” who gathered around pop groups were a recognised feature of the scene.

27. Maltese Cross

In order to protect the reputation of the author, comments have been closed.

What a childish article.

Regardless of any reporting ‘howler’ by Staines, it’s nothing compared to the cock-up by Watson, the BBC and various bloggers and tweeter, which got an innocent man smeared as a paedophile. Watson himself has gone uncharacteristically quiet. Perhaps he’s ruminating that he and those who advised ought to have got their facts straighter in the first place.

And before the next person comes in with, “never mind the unfortunate mistake, the most important issue is that of the abuse of children,” of course that is. But dealing with that properly and effectively doesn’t mean just accusing or smearing people on no firm evidence on the groundss that if we keep going we will eventually get the guilty. Had it been Tim Fenton on the receiving end of false accusations of this or any kind I doubt he would be treating that part of it so flippantly.

Some things are much, much more important than party politics – or trivial blog rankings. This issue is one of them. Liberal Conspiracy can do something good by reporting on this issue as calmly and accurately as possible, not like gleeful schoolchildren in the playground.

29. Leanne Newman

Dear Mr Tom Watson,

Please investigate the Groucho Club child pornography network and the subsequent cover up by the Police and the false report issued by the Police . If you are not simply just another cronies politician who is just playing the media game then you have a solemn duty to fully investigate a forum with 42,000 members.

This may be difficult for you personally as you may have many friends at the club especially after accepting a nomination of “Maverick of the year award”last year from the Groucho Clubs own Chairman John H J Lewis.

Incidentally, this was just a year after John Lewis played for his old pal Jeremy Hunt to fly to New York to Meet with the Murdock’s. I have always wondered if you ever became suspicious of this clear encouragement for you to go after the Murdoch’s and help expose the phone hacking .

Do you think you may have been a pawn or that you may have been used by John H J Lewis who is a Conservative Party Chairman of Tourism and certainly connected to Mr Jeremy Hunt also until recently was a tourism animal for the Tories.

Its obliviously to the dull man in the street that they (Lewis/Hunt)
turned on the Murdoch’s after the BSKYB deal went sour. Did you at any time
conduct due diligence by any chance or are you just old buddies with Jeremy
Hunt and or John H J Lewis. Do you ever happen to knock across Jimmy Savile or
any of the other sexual depraved wrenches at the Groucho club? Did you know
about the rapes at the Groucho club that to this day are “unsolved” despite the
Police being provided with the name of the perpetrator, the witnesses and the

Because they not only hang out at the Groucho club but Hunt has also been gifted money by the Groucho. Have you ever received any “GIFTS” From the Lewis/Hunt Groucho club?

Or are you just an honest politician who is oblivious to what goes on around him and can’t even Google the Groucho Club to find out for yourself what the place is like , that’s assuming you did not already know.

Next time your there perhaps you can keep a good eye out for the rapist who is still on the
loose and also ask the Groucho Club MD Matt Hobbs and the Chairman John H J
Lewis who destroyed the evidence of child pornography and who covered it up.

Leanne Newman

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