Posts Tagged ‘Newsnight’

10 Reason to Cancel Your TV License and more…

January 15, 2013

BanTheBBC says:

Up until the last few years I used to be a big fan of BBC programming and would invest at least a few hours every day watching programmes like Eastenders, Top of the Pops, Only Fools & Horses, Question Time, Newsnight, Panorama, etc.

But these days I cannot bring myself to watch any BBC programmes at all. Even watching just five minutes worth makes me feel dirty. It’s not the quality of the programming that’s at issue, it’s the fact that the BBC is such a repulsive propaganda machine that seems to pay no attention to the concerns of the very people who are funding them.

The BBC has had it too good for too long. One of the major problems posed by the BBC is their lack of accountability to the very people who pay their wages — us. The BBC is never far away from controversy but nothing ever seems to change and no one in their corporation ever seems to be worse off as a result of their wrongdoing. Imagine for a moment that it was a completely different media company we were talking about, and not the BBC. For argument’s sake, let’s say it was ITV or Sky. What would happen is that the viewers would refuse to watch that TV station any longer and/or they would cancel their subscriptions. And if enough people did this, the company would go bankrupt very quickly. That’s because these company’s are directly accountable to their viewers who pay their wages via subscriptions or from watching the adverts. However, the BBC does not afford us this luxury to the people who fund them. It doesn’t matter how many people stop watching BBC programmes because the BBC will continue to receive £3.4 billion a year from our pockets. Therefore the BBC has no financial impetus to even want to change what they do. Even if a million people suddenly stopped watching the BBC, it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference to the BBC’s annual turnover, which means that they can continue to anger people as much as they want without any fear of redundancies, pay cuts or the company going bust through lack of consumer confidence in their products.

Therefore we only have one real option available to us and that’s to cancel our TV Licence…

More on ‘The Great TV License Scam’…

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McAlpine Paedophilia Twitter Case Threatens To Expand UK Libel Law

November 24, 2012

By Erik Larson and Kristen Schweizer
Brisbane Times/Bloomberg

A former UK politician wrongly named on Twitter as a paedophile after a false report by the BBC may expand the reach of libel law with his threat to sue thousands of people over online posts.

Alastair McAlpine, 70, a former Tory party treasurer, has said he’ll take legal action against about 10,000 people who he says tweeted or retweeted defamatory posts after the BBC wrongly implied he sexually abused a boy in the 1970s.

The cases may correct the view that libel on social media isn’t as bad as in print publications, said Ruth Collard, a media lawyer at Carter-Ruck in London.

“It’s no defence to say you had no idea.”
– Ruth Collard, media lawyer

“With Twitter and the internet generally, people think it’s not the same as publishing a newspaper, book or magazine, but if you are the author, then you take responsibility for it,” said Collard, who isn’t involved in the dispute. “It’s no defence to say you had no idea.”

The BBC, the world’s biggest broadcaster, agreed to pay McAlpine £185,000 pounds ($284,096) after the November 2 error on its Newsnight report, which gave hints about the ex-politician’s identity without naming him. Before the mistake was uncovered, Twitter postings accusing McAlpine were already spreading, setting the stage for the biggest case of its kind in Britain.

McAlpine, who was deputy chairman of the UK Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher, wants Twitter users with fewer than 500 followers to apologise and donate to the BBC Children in Need charity, said Charlotte Offredi, a spokeswoman for McAlpine’s lawyers.

500 followers

Twitter users with more than 500 followers, including a journalist at The Guardian newspaper and Sally Bercow, the wife of House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, should also apologise for naming him, she said, though McAlpine hasn’t decided what legal action to take against that group.

McAlpine’s libel dispute has caught the attention of the Metropolitan Police Service in London. Officers are meeting with “interested parties” to determine whether a crime may have taken place, the service’s press office said.

Until now, the highest-profile Twitter libel in Britain involved former New Zealand cricket captain Chris Cairns suing Lalit Modi, ex-chairman of an Indian league, for tweeting that he fixed matches. Modi failed to prove the claim in court and was ordered in March to pay £90,000 ($138,202) in damages.

As McAlpine brings the threat of such legal claims to average citizens, the former politician who now lives in Puglia, Italy, may create a “tipping point” in the public’s view of defamation, including libel, said Andrew Terry, a media lawyer at Eversheds in London, who isn’t involved in the cases.

Hard time

“What the extreme nature of this situation shows is how easily reputations can be damaged by social media and why it is so important that there can be redress, whether those defamed are public figures or not,” said Terry.

While newspapers can defend mistaken reports by showing they tried to get it right, Twitter users don’t have the same standards and may have a hard time defending postings that are later proved wrong, Collard said.

Twitter limits postings to 140 characters and users can share another person’s tweet with a few clicks.

“At least if you’re writing an article you can ask the other party to comment and you can be balanced,” said Steven Heffer, a media lawyer at Collyer Bristow in London. “But in a short tweet you’re taking a risky step if you allege something, but you can’t prove it.”

Honest belief

It doesn’t matter if the Twitter users believed they were spreading correct information at the time, because the “good intention or honest belief of the publisher doesn’t help”, said Eddie Parladorio, a media lawyer with PSB Law in London.

Although tweets that name McAlpine and accuse him of crimes are clearly defamatory, Parladorio said, a tweet doesn’t even need to cite him or the word “paedophile” to give him a case if a “reasonable reader” of the post would link him to the BBC report.

After the BBC report, Bercow tweeted, “Why is Lord McApline trending? *innocent face*”. She later tweeted that the tweet wasn’t libellous.

John Bercow’s office in Parliament declined to give out Sally Bercow’s phone number and said she could only be reached through standard mail delivery. She didn’t immediately reply to an email to her husband’s office and her Twitter account has been turned off.

English law

If the threatened cases make it to court, the defendants may be helped by a provision of English law allowing judges to reduce damage awards based on how much money someone has already received from other sources, Heffer said.

McAlpine’s potential lawsuits are “an unusual approach, particularly when he’s received a large award from the BBC,” Heffer said. McAlpine may also have a hard time identifying users who don’t name themselves on their Twitter pages and may have to sue Twitter to do it, Heffer said.

Twitter, based in San Francisco, is often resistant to requests for users’ personal information. Helen Prowse, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to comment on McAlpine.

The scandal started when Steve Messham, a victim of abuse at a children’s home in Wrexham, north Wales, alleged involvement by an unnamed senior figure in the Tory party. He said he was “sold” to men for sexual abuse at a nearby hotel.

McAlpine issued a statement on November 9 denying subsequent internet rumours he had been part of a paedophile ring, complaining of a “media frenzy” and saying he “must publicly tackle these slurs and set the record straight.”

“A lot of people who made the allegations were just repeating what had come to them,” Collard said. The McAlpine case “may make people think more cautiously about sending on rumours or gossip without really knowing anything about it”.

Read more at Brisbane Times

RELATED: McLibel 2.0 – Why Did ITV Hand Over 125K for ‘Schofield’s List’ and Can You Sue 10,000 Twitter Users?

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BBC Trustee Anthony Fry Defending George Entwistle’s ‘Entitlement’ – The 450K Golden Parachute

November 24, 2012

By Andrew Woodcock

A BBC trustee who was involved in the decision to give George Entwistle a £450,000 payoff for resigning as director general insisted today he still believes it was the right thing to do.

Anthony Fry said that Mr Entwistle made clear he wanted a full year’s salary as a condition of resigning after just 54 days in the job – twice as much as he was entitled to under his contract and the same as he would have got for being sacked.

Mr Fry said the BBC Trust was faced with the decision of whether to draw a line under the issue immediately or face a protracted wrangle and a possible industrial tribunal, which lawyers warned could result in Mr Entwistle receiving an additional £80,000.

Despite his “irritation” over being asked for double the payout to which the director general was entitled, he told the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that he decided – and Trust chairman Lord Patten agreed – it was better to accept the offer of resignation on November 10.

Mr Fry revealed that the outgoing director general also received a year’s Bupa private medical cover, as well as up to £10,000 to cover legal fees connected with his resignation, legal expenses of up to £25,000 to help Mr Entwistle give evidence to two inquiries into the Jimmy Savile affair, and £10,000 for PR.

The BBC trustee accepted that the figures involved would appear to licence fee-payers to be “in the stratosphere”, but insisted that they were not out of the ordinary for senior BBC managers.

Mr Entwistle received less than former chief operating officer Caroline Thomson, who was paid £670,000 – two years’ salary – when she left earlier this year after being beaten by him in the contest for the director general’s post, he pointed out.

“The director general made it very clear to the Trust through his lawyers that the only thing that was on the table if he was to resign was a payment of £450,000,” Mr Fry told the PAC during a hostile grilling by the committee.

With an increasing sense of crisis building around the BBC following Mr Entwistle’s much-derided response to Newsnight’s inaccurate report on child sex abuse, Mr Fry said he felt that getting the matter resolved quickly was “by far and away more important than sitting on a moral high horse and trying to get the director general to change his mind about the terms under which he would leave”.

He told the committee: “That was a judgment call. If I was asked to make that judgment call again today, I would do the same thing.”

Mr Fry said he felt “a degree of substantial irritation and aggravation” at having to pay Mr Entwistle £450,000, rather than £225,000.

But he was interrupted by PAC chair Margaret Hodge, who told him: “It is not you. It is the licence fee-payer.”

Hearing the details of Mr Entwistle’s severance package, Ms Hodge told Mr Fry: “We express incredulity. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how this is viewed in the public domain, given that it is licence fee-payers’ money. That is the real shocker about this.

“He took a public job, he was hugely well remunerated, he failed in 54 days, he gets incredibly rewarded for failure… There is no understanding of what the ordinary punter turning on the telly feels about it.”

MPs on the committee expressed shock that Mr Entwistle’s contract – and his severance deal – included thousands of pounds-worth of private medical cover.

BBC chief financial officer Zarin Patel told the committee that Bupa cover was a standard part of senior managers’ packages, with 574 of them enjoying the perk at a cost of around £2 million a year, but the practice was halted for new recruits as a cost-saving measure last year.

Ms Hodge said: “I think we are shocked that the BBC feels it is appropriate to use licence fee-payers’ money to fund individuals to get private medicine. I think that is shocking as a principle.”

She urged the Trust to “reflect” on whether medical cover should also be withdrawn from existing staff.

And PAC member Richard Bacon demanded to know why licence fee-payers’ money was given to Mr Entwistle to pay for “PR or bouncers” to help him deal with “doorstepping” by the press.

Another committee member, Guto Bebb, said the director general’s severance brought to £4 million the sums paid out to 10 departing BBC executives in the past two years, adding: “It does look as though losing a job at the BBC is the same as winning the lottery.”

Mr Fry told the committee that the Trust, which acts as the BBC’s regulator and has no part in day-to-day operations, met on the afternoon of Saturday November 10 in the wake of what was widely regarded as a disastrous set of interviews by Mr Entwistle about the Newsnight affair.

The programme had been forced to apologise to Lord McAlpine after wrongly implying that he was involved in child sex abuse, but the director general admitted he had not been aware of the allegations the BBC2 show was planning to air.

At the meeting, Mr Fry said there were “serious concerns around the issue of whether the gravity of the situation had been grasped by the director general”, who told them the BBC must not “over-react” to the crisis, while trustees felt the main danger lay in under-reacting.

“It is clear from what happened subsequently that the director general left the meeting with the very clear impression that he no longer carried the full support of the BBC Trust,” said Mr Fry. “I would characterise that as a fairly accurate reading of the tone of the meeting.”

Mr Fry said Mr Entwistle contacted the BBC’s director of human resources Lucy Adams later that afternoon and asked her to tell Lord Patten that he was “minded” to discuss the terms of his resignation. His lawyers then made clear that he wanted a payout of £450,000, along with further sums to cover other expenses, some of which were refused.

But the Trust never told the director general that he must resign, revealed Mr Fry, telling the MPs: “We did not at any stage, and nor did the chairman, say ‘George, you’ve got to go’.”

There were “no reasons under the terms of the contract” under which the BBC could fire Mr Entwistle without giving him a full year’s salary as compensation, said Mr Fry. And he added: “At no stage on Saturday evening was the director general prepared to resign his position as director general of the BBC other than with the payment of £450,000.

“I expressed the very strong feeling that, in the best interests of the BBC and licence fee-payers, reaching an urgent conclusion was better than playing it long and hoping that in the next 12 or 24 hours the director general’s position would change.”

He added: “Did I feel good about it? Absolutely not. Do I still feel good about it? No. I still feel it was the right thing to do.”

Mr Fry said that compensation for resignation or dismissal was a standard feature of senior people’s contracts at the BBC and it would have been “extraordinary” for someone in a position like Mr Entwistle’s to be expected to serve a probationary period after being hired.

Ms Hodge urged the Trust to allow spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) to look at the terms of Mr Entwistle’s departure.

But Mr Fry said he was not in a position to give permission for such an inquiry, though Lord Patten made clear he was ready for the NAO to conduct a “holistic” review of the BBC’s senior management, including the issue of severance packages.

Mr Fry said he was “deeply concerned” about the number of senior managers at the BBC and the levels of pay they receive, and had taken steps since arriving at the Trust to reduce both.

He told MPs that some cuts had been made, but added: “It is still a journey, still work in progress…

“I recognise – more than sometimes people understand – how shocking some of these numbers are to licence fee-payers.”

Mr Fry said that in addition to his pay-off, Mr Entwistle had a pension pot of £833,000, which would give him an annual pension of £38,000 to £40,000…

Read more at The Independent

 

More Public Funds: Lord McAlpine Wants Police To Open Special ‘Twitter Investigation’

November 21, 2012

Lord McAlpine, the former Conservative Party treasurer wrongly named as a paedophile by people on Twitter, has made a formal complaint to Scotland Yard

By Steven Swinford

This morning the peer asked police to investigate potentially thousands of people who used the website to make “malicious communications” against him but have failed to apologise.

The police complaint could lead to mass prosecution, fines and criminal records for people who wrote about him online.

Scotland Yard said that officers will begin “scoping” whether any offence has taken place but said it is “too early” to say whether a criminal investigation will take place.

Lord McAlpine has promised to take on the “Twittering fraternity” and to force people to “start thinking about what they are saying” before posting messages.

Last week the BBC, which wrongly linked him to allegations of sex abuse on Newsnight, settled with the peer for £185,000.

‘McLibel’ Tweets: Tory Lord wants Scotland Yard to get involved.

He is also seeking up to £500,000 in damages from ITV after This Morning presenter Philip Schofield showed a list of alleged Tory paedophiles to David Cameron

Lord McAlpine’s lawyers have hired a team of experts to collate the offending Twitter messages, including those that have been deleted, as well as “re-tweets” in which one user republishes a message posted by someone else.

They have identified more than 1,000 people who sent their own tweets implying or directly saying he was a paedophile, and a further 9,0-00 who “retweeted” the claims of others.

Last week, Lord McAlpine said he was left “terrified” after becoming a figure of public hatred” because of people naming him as the subject of a BBC Newsnight report wrongly claiming a senior Tory was a paedophile…

Read more at The Telegraph

RELATED: The BBC, Lord McAlpine and ‘The New Machiavelli’ Book

Very Odd: Alistair McGowan’s parody of Eminem courting Jimmy Savile

November 18, 2012

From BBC’s “Big Impression”, in Christmas 2000…

The opening features McGowan as newsreader Huw Edwards. After, Eminem writes obsessively to Sir Jimmy Savile in the hope of a Fix-it. Starring Alistair McGowan and Ronni Ancona.

The last lines by McGowan (as Savile) are a little spooky, however, where Jim is offering to ‘fix it’ with a ‘private trip to Alton Towers’…

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – ‘THE BLACK ARTS OF SPIN’

November 18, 2012

THIS IS HOW IT’S DONE, RECOGNISE THE FOOTPRINTS…

‘Schofield, the decoy witchhunt and the black arts of spin’

The Firm

… At 9.51pm on Wednesday, an email popped into my inbox from an individual I had never encountered. No introduction, no pleasantries, no context, and no frame of reference, except the line in the subject box: “Newsnight & the guilty men”. The tone was brusque, abusive and could even be construed as threatening, and it was an attempt to steer me off any further reporting of the online naming of the figure or figures at the heart of the abuse scandal. 

And it came from a producer at the BBC. 

Why would someone in such a post at the institution which occupies such a central role in the Jimmy Savile story, try to persuade me that abuse survivor Steven Messham’s testimony was “unreliable”, and that he was a “damaged individual”? Newsnight certainly didn’t feel that way, and as we have learned this week, a deluge of formerly concealed corroboration of systematic abuse claims similar to Messham’s has come to light. And last night, a former Clwyd council worker revealed revealed a list of 56 alleged abusers whose identities were protected by the Waterhouse report, 30 of whom were never spoken to by the police. Three, it is claimed, were recognisable names in authority at the time.

The intervention and objective of this figure in the BBC was not isolated. Messham himself, who only took to twitter this week, had complained earlier in the day that a reporter from the Daily Mail had phoned him and was compiling a story that said Messham was telling lies, and that he had not been resident at the infamous North Wales care home at all during the key periods.

What is Michael Crick’s role in the the take-down of Newsnight?

A little earlier than that, ex-Newsnight reporter and now Channel 4 correspondent Michael Crick had declared via twitter that he was “more and more sceptical” whether the (then) largely unnamed figure from the Thatcher cabinet was guilty as alleged.

And thirdly, at the same time, the Guardian had run an online news story headlined “Inconsistencies found in child abuse allegations against senior Tory”, which narrated some contradictions in the various accounts of abused children. Two national newspapers have now run stories excluding one senior former Tory from connection to these events, although that intervention doesn’t get anyone any closer to securing justice.

Philip Schofield has now become the subject of much challenge and criticism over his handling of his interview with the Prime Minister, but his sudden vilification carries a ring of familiarity.

People in my trade learned (or ought to have) how what has become known as the “dark arts” are perpetrated, and thanks to The Thick Of It, so have most of the public. I think we can all accept that a ritually violated child may remember things differently from another similarly ritually violated child over a forty year timeframe. And I don‘t know about you, but as a 9 year old, my ability to identify politicians was pretty feeble. But at no point prior to yesterday was witness credibility openly challenged in relation to this affair.

That master of the dark arts, Alistair Campbell, coined a term for what I experienced yesterday, and narrated it in his memoirs when discussing the “sexing up” of the dodgy dossier which was used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Campbell aggressively attacked the notetaking capabilities of Andrew Gilligan and the editorial judgement of the BBC, and as Nick Davies describes it “used it as a decoy to distract attention from a highly embarrassing story”.

“This move finally established the decoy story as the main media line,” Davies continues.

“The original questions about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were shunted into the sidings. Several political reporters wrote at the time that this looked like a diversionary tactic.”

In his diary for that day, Campbell noted: ‘Flank opened on the BBC.’

Tory MP Rob Wilson: Was he the fall guy if things went sour?

The exact repetition of the tactic in this instance, and the apparent outrage expressed by MP Rob Wilson, who has spearheaded the Conservative party’s attack on Schofield, mirrors the flanking operation undertaken by Campbell, and is indeed quite successfully diverting the main media line away from the acts of abuse at Bryn Estyn, and onto the manner in which it is being reported.

I challenged the individual who contacted me, a person who is -as far as I am aware- unconnected with Newsnight, and challenged them on why they would seek to divert me, and evidently others too. The response went on to denigrate Newsnight for their “absence of judgement”, and my second attempt at seeking an answer was met with a withering traducement of Angus Stickler, the investigator who had sourced the Newsnight story in the first place.

Then silence.

The BBC are in a tough spot just now, criticised for dropping their exposure of Jimmy Savile last year, and for enabling his activity over all those years. Newsnight’s subsequent story into North Wales has threads that appear to lead to the heart of the Tory Government of the 70s and 80s, a place, coincidentally occupied by that same Mr Savile, who boasted of spending fireside Christmases on ten successive occasions with Mrs Thatcher at Chequers in each year of her office. I cannot speculate as to why someone in the heart of the BBC would want to steer inquiry away from the North Wales story, but as I assured them, it got my nose twitching.

And I smell a rat. 

WEB OF DECEIT: Common Purpose and Media Standards Trust Exposed in the National Press Today

November 17, 2012

Disturbing questions over Leveson’s key adviser, Sir David Bell and ‘Common Purpose’: Special Investigation into a central figure in the McAlpine scandal and judicial inquiry into the press

– Sir David Bell’s suitability as senior adviser to Leveson Inquiry under scrutiny
– Sir David is a trustee of the tarnished Bureau of Investigative Journalism
– BIJ behind the disgraced Newsnight probe that implicated Lord McAlpine

By Micheal Seamark and Sam Greenhill
Mail Online

What is Common Purpose? Ask David Bell…

Sir David Bell is on the six-strong panel of assessors assisting Lord Justice Leveson, whose report into press standards is expected within weeks.

But a Daily Mail investigation has uncovered evidence that questions both his suitability as an adviser and the impact this may have had on the objectivity and neutrality of the Inquiry.

Sir David is a trustee of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the group behind the disastrous Newsnight report that falsely implicated Lord McAlpine as a paedophile.

With his lawyers preparing to sue the BIJ for damages, the former Tory Party treasurer yesterday described the devastating impact on him of the programme that has left the BBC in crisis, with the resignation of its director general.

The 70-year-old spoke of how the shattering allegations had consigned him ‘to the lowest circle of hell’ and said it had made him ‘a figure of public hatred’. The BBC last night agreed to pay Lord McAlpine £185,000 plus legal costs.

This was followed by a grudging apology from the BIJ, which read: ‘The bureau’s trustees apologise to Lord McAlpine for the extent to which its contribution to the Newsnight broadcast on 2 November fell short of the high standards it expects and for any incorrect speculation about the identity of the politician that may have been encouraged by the bureau managing editor’s tweet in advance of the broadcast.’

At the Leveson Inquiry, the BIJ, which bragged it was the gold standard of investigative journalism, proposed a media levy that would force newspapers to fund groups such as itself.

As well as the bureau, Sir David is co-founder of the Media Standards Trust, the lobby group behind a huge amount of evidence presented to the Leveson inquiry.

The Trust, which Sir David chaired until recently, subsequently spawned Hacked Off – the campaign group demanding press reform fronted by actor Hugh Grant and comedian Steve Coogan – which has boasted of its role in considerably expanding the Inquiry’s original remit.

Julia Middleton: Heading what some describe as a ‘cult’ – Common Purpose.

Sir David’s friend and Trust co-founder is Julia Middleton with whom he heads an organisation called Common Purpose which receives millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money from public servants sent on ‘leadership’ training courses. It is described as the Left’s answer to the old boys’ network.

Two more of Leveson’s panel of advisers, ex-Ofcom chairman Lord Currie and Sir Paul Scott-Lee, ex-chief constable of West Midlands Police, have indirect connections with Common Purpose.

The Mail investigation has uncovered an incestuous network of political, business and financial links between Sir David, ex-chairman of the Financial Times, and individuals and organisations appearing before the Inquiry to demand statutory press regulation. It reveals:

  • Many of the witnesses who provided the most hostile anti-press evidence to Leveson are linked to senior figures at Hacked Off and the Media Standards Trust;
  • Significant funding for the Trust comes from a charitable trust of which Sir David is a trustee;
  • The Trust has links with Ofcom, the statutory media regulator which some suspect has ambitions to regulate Britain’s free press;
  • Despite being formed by the Trust, which is campaigning for ‘transparency and accountability in the news’, Hacked Off refuses to detail the source of its own funding;
  • The ‘prestigious’ Trust-administered Orwell Prize for political writing was handed to a journalist who turned out to have made up his ‘award-winning’ articles;
  • Common Purpose is ‘likely’ to have breached the Data Protection Act – the charge levelled at the Leveson Inquiry against virtually all newspapers;
  • It has strong links with powerful and controversial lobby and PR groups;
  • Common Purpose ‘leaders’ have had a significant influence on the appointments process in Whitehall.

Tory MP Philip Davies, who sits on the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, said: ‘This is about a lot of people of dubious intentions setting up organisations to push their own opinions and inveigle their way into positions of influence. They are simply promoting their own ideological agenda in a surreptitious manner.

‘It makes you wonder, if we had statutory regulation of the press, just who would be sitting on such a body.’

Common Purpose, which once shared the same headquarters as the Media Standards Trust, charges up to £5,000 for a week-long course and claims more than 35,000 have ‘graduated’ in the UK and worldwide.

Who is behind ‘Common Purpose’?

The BBC spent more than £126,000 in a five-year period on its courses. Among senior police officer ‘graduates’ of Common Purpose is Cressida Dick, the Scotland Yard commander in charge of the bungled operation that ended with the 2005 shooting of innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes.

It was Miss Dick who personally chose Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers to head the investigation into phone-hacking and payments to police and public officials at News International.

Another lucrative connection between the police and Common Purpose involves the West Midlands Force.

The force sent 27 West Midlands officers, including one assistant chief constable, on Common Purpose courses under Sir Paul Scott-Lee’s leadership.

New Labour peer Lord Currie was the first chairman of Ofcom and the media regulator also sent people on the courses.

Two of his board members have been involved with either the Media Standards Trust or Hacked Off.

The Mail sent detailed questions to Sir David, Lord Currie and Sir Paul but none replied.

The Leveson Inquiry issued a statement on their behalf, saying: ‘Before the assessors were formally appointed to their role they were each asked to declare any issues they felt might cause a conflict to arise with their position on the Inquiry.

‘As part of that process, each assessor discussed those matters with Lord Justice Leveson and provided a written declaration accordingly.

‘He was satisfied then that there was nothing in their disclosures which caused him concern or justified any of them not taking up this role.’

Common Purpose chief executive Miss Middleton said: ‘I am proud of my private and personal association with the Media Standards Trust, started by many people in response to widespread feelings that increased transparency in the media should be encouraged.’

She said none of the organisations she was connected with had a role in selecting the assessors.

READ MORE

Hounding Steve Messham, smears in the Mail, threats against MPs and police complicity

November 16, 2012

The Slog
John Ward

In what I admit is something of a risk, The Slog today tries to blow away some of the dry-ice being liberally sprayed about by the Establishment in relation to its long-standing record of depravity by the few, and complicit blind-eyes being cast by the many.

If there is a genuine desire to root out the tiny but powerful minority of paedophiles in our élite, political, social care and teaching professions, then I would respectfully ask that the Carter-Ruck’s of this world stay their hands… and assimilate instead this one simple point: are they suggesting that five separate documented cover-ups in 27 years, and 0ver 2000 witness statements, are all the work of malign and/or deluded conspirators?

Steve Messham: First abused, and then bullied by the establishment

The United Kingdom stands at a crossroads today. A much overused map reference perhaps, but a genuine one in this case. Thanks to some bungling in the BBC, a cynical campaign being carried out by the Murdoch Press against that organisation, and knee-jerk idle distraction concerning the fate of George Entwistle and background of Steven Messham, we are rapidly being pulled behind a bush somewhere quiet – and molested. Lascivious glee at the fate of Newsnight – a format whose anchor Jeremy Paxman is one of the few people, along with Ian Hislop, prepared to go for the hypocrite’s jugular – is woefully misplaced at best, and malign at worst.

I would ask everyone covering and reading this story to consider these opening questions:

1. We still do not know for certain who injuncted the BBC ten days ago, but there remains a very strong and widely-held suspicion that he is a political big beast in David Cameron’s Cabinet. David Cameron asks us to go to the police, who have  – in 4 out of the 5 coverups mentioned – either actively or passively conspired to derail enquiries….just as they did during the Hackgate enquiries. When is somebody going to tackle the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary about this?

2. Look into the history of Steven Messham, and you will discover a consistent catalogue of victimisation by the authorities. Why is nobody interviewing Mr Messham and allowing him to relate that history?

3. The Report from February 2000 into the North Wales cover-up and abuse (admirably covered by the Independent on Sunday this weekend) contains details and statistics to make even the most cynical hack’s blood run cold. When are more people going to read it, and more journalists drill down into it? (Have a look at it here)

4. In Britain’s local Courts, there are over 35 documented cases of rape and paedophiliac abuse in the local government system of the UK – predominantly involving Labour councillors – in the last eight years alone. When is Ed Miliband going to address that? When is the Shadow Home Secretary going to address that? When is Tom Watson even going to achnowledge that?

5. This morning, the Mail on Sunday has published an article by Sir Alfred McAlpine expressing disgust at the media in general and the BBC in particular. It is at best disingenuous. When is somebody in the media going to question the McAlpines on their convenient memory-loss in relation to cousin Alfred ‘Jimmie’ McAlpine?

For legal reasons, I cannot refer to a sixth example: but surprise surprise, if I could, somebody would have to act. However, in the temporary absence of that tale from the public domain, I’d like if I may to deal with Point 5 above first.

The Mail piece is remarkable for the vilification brought forth by Sir Alfred McAlpine. This extract is typical:

‘Now we know that all it took for my brother Lord (Alistair) McAlpine to be exonerated as a paedophile was for the victim Steven Messham to be shown a photograph of his alleged abuser. Both he and the BBC’s Newsnight programme have apologised for the terrible slur on a good man’s reputation. But the damage has already been done – to my brother’s name…. I only discovered last Tuesday from a senior Tory party member that Alistair was the person being traduced on the internet as the guilty party. I was completely taken aback. Of course, I had heard it was someone close to Mrs Thatcher but the idea of my younger brother being involved was so preposterous, I laughed it off’ …

Read more at the SLOG

It’s Supposed To Be A Public Broadcaster: Will the BBC Trust fix it?

November 15, 2012

By Ben Fellows
MaxFarquar.com

The BBC Trust are to investigate how the BBC, its management and structures led to one of the country’s worst cases of institutional paedophilia within the BBC; which spanned decades and continues to this day.

Lord Patten: Chairman of ‘the BBC Trust’

BBC Trust fat cat, sorry I mean Chairman Lord Patten, told BBC staff when he took up his post in May 2011 that there has been “no golden age of governance”. In light of his remarks, one can only assume that the “Golden Age” is not starting anytime soon or at least not under his watch. So, in true children’s BBC tradition, “lets go through the round window” and take a closer look at the BBC Trust and see how exactly they represent us – the licence fee payer.

The BBC Trust was established at the time of the last Charter renewal in 2007.
On the BBC website the Trust states :

Our job is to get the best out of the BBC for licence fee payers. We set the strategic direction of the BBC. We hold the Executive to account for its performance of its functions, and for its compliance with the law, with regulatory requirements, and with the policies, guidelines and codes that we set. We are supported by the Trust Unit, a team of professional BBC staff who report directly to us and who are operationally independent from the rest of the BBC

In other words the BBC Trust is responsible for employing my old frenemy, former Director General Mark Thompson who oversaw the Newsnight fiasco. So I believe it’s unlikely that they will find themselves at fault for hiring the wrong man – or was he? Maybe Thompson was the right man for the job as he’s given himself plausible deniability for his staff’s actions; which gives the board a buffer zone of protection. The BBC Trust members are made up of people from privileged backgrounds. They have conflict of interests galore and are members of a globalist oligarchy.

How are the BBC Trustees appointed?

BBC Trustees are appointed by the Queen on advice from DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) ministers through the Prime Minister. When new trustees are needed the posts are publicly advertised. The one thing that puzzles me is this. If the posts are truly advertised publicly – meaning the public who apply have a fair and equal opportunity to be on the board – then why isn’t the board more diverse? Or is it simply lip service recruitment policy whereby the Royal Charter and law states that posts must be externally advertised which happens in nearly all major corporations nowadays. In other words unless you’re a “good ole boy or gal” you haven’t got a hope in hell of getting involved in the BBC Trust.

How much do the BBC Trustees earn?

Everything it seems about the BBC Trust is hidden in plain view. Trustees’ fees are set by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. The Chairman’s fee is £110,000, The Vice Chairman £70,610, £37,660 for the National Trustees and £32,952 for other Trustees. The Chairman, Lord Patten, is expected to spend 3-4 days a week on Trust business and the Vice Chairman, Diane Coyle, about 2.5 days. Other Trustees are expected to spend about 2 days a week at most for their £32,952 salary.

In the words of Mel Brookes, and of course I’m paraphrasing massively …

“It’s good to be a member of the BBC Trust!”

So without further ado – here are the BBC TRUSTEES, or as the Sicilians would,call them, the BBC Cosa Nostra, and I suppose they would know. Make of them what you will …

Chairman Lord Patten

Education: Oxford – now Chancellor of the University of Oxford

Conflict of Interest: Best friends with Cabinet Minister Kenneth Clarke and all that implies.

Salary: £110,000 for 2-3 days per week maximum.

Vice Chairman Diane Coyle OBE

Education: Oxford and Harvard

Conflict of Interest: Married to BBC correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones and runs a private technology consultancy for new technologies.

Salary: £70,610 a year for 2.5 days a week maximum.

Trustee Sonita Alleyne OBE

Education: Cambridge University

Conflict of Interest: Non-executive board member at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and screenwriter husband.

Salary: £32,952 for two days a week maximum.

Trustee Richard Ayre

Education: Unknown

Conflict of Interest: Board of OFCOM, Food Standards Agency and Chairman of the Broadcast Review Committee.

Salary: £32,952 for two days a week maximum.

Trustee Anthony Fry

Education: Oxford, Harvard Business School

Conflict of Interest: The Rothschild Group, Global Media and European Telecoms, lead franchise bid for the National Lottery, Evercore Partners and Espirito Santo Investment Bank.

Salary: £32,952 for two days a week maximum.

Trustee for England Alison Hastings

Education: 1 year at the National College of Journalism

Conflict of Interest: Runs a private media consultancy business and appointed to the Press Complaints Commission.

Salary: £37,660 for two days a week maximum.

Trustee David Liddiment

Education: Always knew he wanted to work in Television

Conflict of Interest: Creative Director for All3Media the country’s most successful “independent” programme producer.

Salary: £32,952 for two days a week maximum.

Trustee for Scotland Bill Matthews

Education: An engineer by training

Conflict of interest: Portfolio of non executive roles and Broadcasting Council Member.

Salary: £37,660 for two days a week maximum

Trustee for Northern Ireland Aideen McGinley OBE

Education: Unknown

Conflict of Interests: UK National Lotteries Charities Board, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Employment and Learning and at the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland.

Salary: £37,660 for two days a week maximum.

Trustee for Wales Elan Closs Stephens

Education: Unknown

Conflict of Interest: A career academic at University of Aberystwyth – guarantees jobs for favoured students within the BBC. Welsh Broadcasting Council and Chair of the Welsh language broadcaster S4C.

Salary: £37,660 for two days a week maximum.

Trustee Suzanna Taverne

Education: Unknown

Conflict of Interest: S.G. Warburg & Co Ltd, The Independent Newspaper, consultant Saatchi & Saatchi, Director of Strategy and Development at Pearson Plc and Managing Director of FT Finance. Managing Director of the British Museum, executive director at Nationwide Building Society and at Ford Credit Europe, Trustee of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, Shakespeare Schools Festival and sits on the Advisory Board of Manchester Business School.

Salary: £32,952 for two days a week maximum

Trustee Lord Williams of Baglan

Education: University College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies

Conflicts of Interest: Under-Secretary General The United Nations – implementing U.N Agenda 21 and board member of the BBC World Service Trust.

Salary: £32,952 for two days a week maximum.

It appears that not only do the BBC Trustees not represent the diversity of our nation. They all have conflicts of interest ranging from owning or running private media organisations and consultancies to being former high level executives of banking cartels. Of course if you go the University of Aberystwyth and implement ideas of BBC board member Elan Closs Stephens – you are almost guaranteed to walk into a senior role at the BBC, or at least that’s the perception.

Would the University of Aberystwyth be a main media hub if it wasn’t for their connection to the BBC?

I’m absolutely certain that if I was on the board of the BBC Trust then my film production company would benefit greatly from my participation. Just take David Liddiment for example. As Creative Director of All3Media he ensures his company gets the lions share of commissions to produce programmes for the BBC. Which again proves that so-called independent production companies are simply ex-BBC staff or current BBC Trustees setting up major media firms to soak up lucrative commissions.

Read more

The Original SCALLYWAG Magazine Paedophile Ring Investigation Turns Up Online

November 15, 2012

21st Century Wire

It seems that the original 1990’s SCALLYWAG Magazine paedophile investigation has popped-up online, included in it the complete exposé of the North Wales Boys Home scandal, and details of a sophisticated child abuse network running through Westminster, and elsewhere.

The SCALLYWAG article in questions is as hot today as it was back then, and names X, Y, and Z – including top Tory Party officials, police, along with other detailed information on men surrounding Bryn Alyn Boys Home in Wrexham, Wales. The article states:

“This ‘rent boy’ ring has operated for more than 20 years, and is still in operation at addresses all over Britain, despite the fact that the mastermind behind it all is at present on bail awaiting trail with 10 specimen cases against him…”

At the time, this particular Scallywag Mag in-depth investigative article from the 1990’s contains pieces of information from other investigations in the Observer, Private Eye, HTV and the Independent on Sunday, all of which were under threat of libel of North Wales ex-Supt Angelsea at the time.

Some commentators believed that Scallywag had sufficient evidence during the time of their publishing the article, but details are sketchy. Other famous politicans did sue Scallywag, like John Major, over allegations of an extramarital affair.

This Scallywag article was very controversial at the time and continues to be so today, with speculation that it may have been connected to the bizarre death of the magazine’s editor Angus  James, co-founder of Scallywag, who died  in Cyprus in 1994 some time after the magazine  was investigating the elite paedophile ring.

Photo: Scallywag publisher, Simon Regan

The  letter below was penned  by Simon Regan, Editor of Scallyway Magazine, and  half  brother  of Angus  James Wilson,  co-founder of Scallywag, who later died  in Cyprus in 1994.

Regan laments the tragic  cover-up by the Courts and the Establishment – a concerned shared by most of Britain, especially in the wake of hundreds of  different Jimmy Savile revelations. Here’s his letter:

Abuse

The Waterhouse Report 

By Simon Regan 

20 February 2000 

The fact that the Waterhouse report went as far as it did is highly commendable, and obviously long overdue. But the trouble with any investigation which tries to break through a ‘cult of silence’ is the lingering doubts that it will ever get down to the whole full truth of the matter. Waterhouse is probably merely the tip of the iceberg….

Read full text of Regan’s letter here

So why are the Law Lords so eager to shut this case down?

Here is a recent interview with survivor Steve Messham, where it appears as if the police deliberately lost the key evidence…

It’s an incredible story, but only a proper resourced, independent investigation can do this kind of story justice.

Will we get one this time around?

Good question… good question.

….

RELATED: Max Clifford on Alan Clark: ‘I have all the evidence’, know where all bodies are buried

RELATED: CAMERON JUST DOESN’T GET IT – The Police and Judiciary are Part of UK Abuse Problem

A SHOCKING INTERVIEW: Wrexham Child Home Abuse Victim Describes Elite Paedophile Sex Parties