Tag Archives: Steven Messham

Money talk, money silence

According to the Daily Mirror, Alastair McAlpine is presently engaged in the largest libel case in British history.

He intends to sue about 10,000 people, unless they come forward and offer him an apology and a settlement. Maybe more.

Their crime is either to have tweeted or to have retweeted an allegation that Lord McAlpine was one of the men who raped Steven Messham. Lord McAlpine was not the “McAlpine” apparently identified by the police to Steven Messham: it seems that was probably Alastair McAlpine’s cousin Jimmie McAlpine, who died in 1991.

Keith Gregory said he thought a different member of the McAlpine family who lived locally may have been mistaken for Lord McAlpine.

A man who children at the care home believed to be a McAlpine would arrive there in an expensive car, he said.
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No, Boris. No.

For those that need the warning, references to child abuse under the cut.

Boris Johnson sweeps all the concern about child abuse out of the way. The real tragedy, says the Mayor of London, is that for about a week, Alastair McAlpine was being mistakenly named on Twitter as the man who’d raped boys from the Welsh care home, when it wasn’t him, it was probably his cousin, Jimmie McAlpine, who died in 1991. (Oh, and David Mellor thinks a child abuse survivor is a weirdo and the Daily Mail thinks it appropriate to do one of their hatchet jobs on Steven Messham.)

Boris Johnson: Smearing an innocent man’s name is the real tragedy here:

To call someone a paedophile is to consign them to the lowest circle of hell – and while they are still alive. It follows that you should not call someone a paedophile unless you are pretty sure of your facts. It is utterly incredible that the BBC’s flagship news programme decided to level this poisonous allegation against Lord McAlpine when it had not the slightest evidence to support its case. It was sickening yesterday morning, at 7am, to hear the BBC radio newscaster claim – as if it were some kind of mitigation – that Newsnight did not “name” McAlpine. Is it really claiming that it protected his identity?

How many times will we need to say it?

Alistair McAlpine’s hurt feelings at being mistaken for his cousin, or however it happened that the police told Steven Messham that the man who’d abused him was Lord McAlpine so many years ago, are not a tragedy.
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Justice denied is justice denied

Charlie Beckett writes: George Entwistle is gone but how to rebuild confidence in the BBC? and disturbingly proposes:

The NHS and schools have seen structural revolutions – why not the BBC? It is time for this tired old fortress to be opened up.

Is this crisis going to be the Tory excuse to destroy the BBC as they destroyed the NHS in England?

Steven Messham apologised: Newsnight apologised: George Entwhistle resigned. But who actually set the story going?

According to the Guardian, it was Iain Overton:

As the wine flowed at the Oxford Union, the stage was set for what would soon become a broadcasting disaster. The motion before the undergraduates had been “British politics is in the pocket of the media”, and, in the exhilarated post-debate atmosphere, one dinner-jacketed journalistic insider who had come from London to speak could no longer contain his piece of political gossip.

Iain Overton, head of the small non-profit Bureau of Investigative Journalism, said the next evening’s Newsnight was going to expose a top Tory as an abuser of teenage boys at a north Wales care home. According to one of those present, Michael Crick, former Newsnight journalist and now the Channel 4 News political editor, asked: “Do you mean McAlpine?” “Well, you said it,” Overton replied.

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