Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel have caught the eye – and the ears – of many with their pronouncements on law and order, most especially the Home Secretary’s declaration that she wants criminals to feel terror.
There is much to be said for a severe crackdown on criminal activity but there is unfortunately a small problem with such an initiative, namely that the innocent will be dragged into an ever-widening net of state-sponsored trawling for possible illicit activity.
Most people will think ‘It can’t happen to me’, and subscribe to the view that they don’t have anything to hide so why should they worry. This view, while understandable at least up to a point, has a number of issues; firstly, the only way to find out if you do actually have anything to hide is to investigate you. The second is that once such an investigation begins, the effect it will have on your life will be devastating.
The third point is that it has become astonishingly easy for somebody, anybody, to make up an allegation and for that allegation to be not only believed but for it to be virtually unchallenged. This aspect has been dramatically brought into focus by the case of one Carl Beech, otherwise known as ‘Nick’
Carl Beech is the unknown nobody who became somebody by making up what ultimately proved to be a ludicrous, and very false, tale of being sexually abused and tortured by a number of well-known and high-profile people, all of whom either had their reputations trashed and were unable to defend themselves because they were dead, or were – and are – still alive and had the means, primarily financial, to mount a defence of some kind.
Mainstream media (MSM) has made much of this last point with recent coverage and asked a very pertinent question; although the victims of Beech’s allegations have been vindicated (and very publicly so) they at least did have the means to defend themselves. But if the well-known could be put through this mill, what chance do ordinary people have if facing such abhorrent lies as those peddled by Carl Beech? The answer of course, is none. No chance at all. And it is why there are, now, in today’s UK, literally thousands of people carrying criminal convictions for crimes they did not commit.
MSM coverage has yet to ask however, how it is possible that such a situation could have come to pass. How could a country like the UK, steeped as it has been in fairness and doing the right thing, allow those such as Carl Beech to get away with destroying innocent lives? For, make no mistake, those lives have been destroyed; it is at best, very difficult and at worst completely impossible to ‘move on’ and return to being an ordinary person once one has had to live through a false allegation of sexually abusing children. So how has it happened?
Remember Tony Blair? That fresh-faced young guy with a winsome smile who swept to power on the back of consistent Tory in-fighting during the John Major era; that ‘new broom’ who ushered in over two decades of Labour rule, winning three general elections along the way – the only time Labour has ever been in power for more than one full term of office. Blair’s Labour remains thus far the only Labour government to have been in office for long enough to really get to work. Blair himself however, was never a real politician. He was a front man, one who could win people over. Yes, he was without doubt a powerful Prime Minster and yes it was he who appointed key people into government to run the country. What followed Labour’s 1997 election win thus happened on his watch and under his leadership.
Blair’s Labour did a number of things that have had far-reaching effects and one of them was to turn child protection into a massive industry of itself. Another was to take the UK into a number of armed conflicts around the world and this had a further side-effect; that of creating enemies of the UK who had the ability to take some kind of action against the country, most notably through terrorism. As a consequence, both child protection and terrorism were used, and are still today, to allow government to restrict or remove freedoms that were previously taken for granted in Britain. Labour of course, has not been in power now for nine years and it is a savage indictment of the Conservatives that they have done nothing to roll back Blair and Labour’s intrusions into our lives.
We are very emotional about our young and so we should be. The instinct to protect our young is one of the strongest we have and it is present in almost everybody. I say ‘almost’ because we all know that there is a very small minority of people who do not possess that instinct – that is why children are harmed. Yet children have always been harmed by that small minority. What is different now is that in days gone by, it was dealt with more sensibly, although not all of the time. There have been a number of cases that show child protection was not very rigorous and abuse did happen. It was still a small minority however but in the main, when cases did come to light, noticeably absent was the reaction prevalent today, a reaction that causes people to lose control of themselves and their emotions. As understandable as that is, it remains the case that in the past, children who were adversely affected were mostly helped quietly to recover and many did.
All that changed after 1997 and most significantly once general knowledge of the Criminal Compensations scheme became accessible. Under this, anybody who says they were a victim of a crime – any crime – can get a sum of money, and if one can demonstrate a plausible case, no conviction is needed. If one can also demonstrate that one was a victim of a crime over a lengthy period of time, as is often the situation with sexual abuse as a child, the amounts can be very large.
In my book, ‘Comments of a Common Man’, I make the point that if you want to control people, the most effective way of doing so is to instil fear. Of what doesn’t really matter; just instil fear and two easy ways of doing so are terrorism or the threat of it, and the other is child protection. Blair’s Labour used both ruthlessly to create that fear. Then came Savile.
Was Jimmy Savile really the ruthless predator he was made out to be? Nobody knows. He’s dead. He can never defend himself and there can never be a trial. The truth will never be known. The case of Jimmy Savile created a wave of understandable revulsion yet it was based upon the uncorroborated allegations of just a few people. Suddenly there came hundreds of allegations against him; all anybody had to do was show that they were in the same place at the same time and any allegation was instantly believed. But still there was no proof. Savile stayed dead.
There are those who say Jimmy Savile escaped justice. I agree. I agree entirely that this is so and I agree because no trial has ever taken place. Savile is still dead. So justice can never be served and it only is served if the one thing that is missing from the Savile case is restored to it - the presumption of innocence. The presumption of innocence is the very cornerstone of real justice but it has been markedly absent not just in the case of Jimmy Savile but in all of those subsequently. Guilt or innocence can only be established in a court of law where the evidence can be seen, heard and examined. But that can never happen. Savile was tried, pronounced guilty and sentenced via MSM - he was presumed guilty. And every single one of Savile’ accusers are entitled to large sums of money. Even though no conviction can ever be made.
What the Savile case did was spawn a host of similar allegations against other people, many from show business but not limited to it; those on the end of such allegations come from all walks of life but there are two common denominators to all of them. Compensation is one. The other is the way in which any investigation takes place.
As was graphically shown by the Carl Beech affair, this usually means the police getting a search warrant and raiding the home of the accused. Again as has been shown, this has a shocking impact on anybody on the end of one, particularly since they are often held at a very early hour of the day and in full public view. In other words, everybody knows the search is going on and why. The raid conducted on Sir Cliff Richard’s home is another prime example. And this is where the system goes terribly wrong.
MSM has been asking why the police got it so skewed with the actions taken over Carl Beech’s allegations, just as they did with Sir Cliff Richard. Some have suggested that, stung by accusations of inaction over Savile, the police have been forced to start doing something. This also applies in the case surrounding abuse gangs in Rochdale, Rotherham and elsewhere.
But it is only in the past twenty years or so that police action has taken the shape and form that it has. Yes, they have always had the ability to request a search warrant – and no the police do not have the right to one; they must ask a court of law for a warrant and justify its use.
Where we are now, and have been for many years, is that because of the willingness to believe the likes of Carl Beech, and there are plenty of examples preceding him, warrants are all too easily issued, and without any thought or regard to the effect a search has on the recipient and most importantly, without regard to the possibility of innocence. It is this which is at risk from the Home Secretary’s headline-seeking talk of putting terror into criminals – the risk that she and the government of which she is a member, and the party of which she is a member, will go along the same path as that of Tony Blair’s Labour.
One can also speculate as to whether or not a far-left Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn would be an improvement. History says no. The far-left have a woeful record of using anything and everything to maintain their grip on power, including criminalising the innocent to keep control. The same applies to a far-right government also.
Carl Beech has been described as a fantasist. No he is not. He is a liar, plain and simple. He lied to get his hands on a large sum of easy money. Just as numerous others have been shown to have lied to do the same, and just as a few of those who lied about Jimmy Savile have. I’ll wager that very few are aware that some of Savile’s accusers have subsequently been shown to have lied – that aspect remains unreported and uncommented on, just as Savile remains dead. As are a significant number of others accused of such horrible crimes.
And yes, child abuse is a horrible crime. Those genuinely guilty must be found and taken off the streets, preferably for as long as possible (as Carl Beech has). But it is precisely because it is such a horrible crime that investigations into it must be carried out with great discretion and sensitivity by the police because it is equally horrible to be accused of such a nasty crime when one is not, and has never been, guilty of it.
That is why both Boris Johnson and Priti Patel must be very careful about how they go about reducing real crime. It must never be at the expense of the innocent.
© Kevan James 2019
You can read more on law and order, along with other subjects like the NHS and the cost of having a home, in ‘Comments of a Common Man’, available from Amazon for £9.99.
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