Friday, 16 November 2012

Lord McAlpine: Guilty by innuendo....

Lord McAlpine was obviously hurt by the allegations against him when he was dragged into the scandal surrounding child abuse in North Wales. The Newsnight programme which didn't name him directly, resulted in trial by Twitter and forced him into a public denial.

His accuser withdrew his allegation, admitting he got the wrong man, but the saga resulted in the departure of the BBC's Director-General and the credibility of Newsnight in tatters. Lord McAlpine has settled with the BBC for a sum of £185,000 and those who named him on Twitter could find themselves being pursued by his lawyers. I hope that doesn't happen. His reputation and integrity are no longer in question and he has gained the sympathy of the public, who share his horror that his name was dragged into the scandal in such a shoddy manner.

The sadness is that terrible abuse did take place in North Wales and there are people out there who know the truth. Justice is not best served by accusations against innocent men like Lord McAlpine and the media has a duty of care to fully investigate allegations before falsely naming alleged predators, even if only by innuendo.

Steve Messham the man who wrongly identified Lord McAlpine as one of his abusers and apologised, appears to be having a tough time. He has been on Twitter saying he is in hiding from the media. There is no doubt that he was abused in the most horrible way when in care, but his value as a witness has been questioned on several occasions. Sadly, although he made an awful mistake over Lord McAlpine, it does not mean he is wrong about others.


  1. But Steve Messham didn't make a mistake. Long ago he was informed by the police that a photo of his abuser was McAlpine. Will anyone question the police about their mistake?

    1. I don't know the full background to the whole sorry mess, but victims like Steve Messham deserve justice. As does Lord McAlpine, who has also been found to be an innocent victim in all of this. One wonders who initally threw McAlpine's name into the affair way back then and what was their reason for doing so?

  2. With a photo of Mc there is no doubt.