MAY TO OCTOBER

Let’s face it – this hasn’t been the best of weeks for Tory leaders past or present. A day after the incumbent coughed and spluttered her way through what was supposed to be the moment at this year’s Conservative Party Conference when she reasserted her authority, a predecessor not even alive to combat his critics has seen his name dragged through the mud once again by a provincial police force desperately seeking straws to clutch that it hopes will justify the vast expense squandered on its futile investigation into him. Heath cannot change history; that duty is in the hands of the revisionists. But Theresa May has had ample opportunities to change the present and she seems utterly incapable of doing so; like Gordon Brown before her, poor old Mrs May stumbles into one farcical cock-up after another with the disaster-prone finesse of a classic sitcom character – the sitcom in question being, of course, ‘The Thick of It’.

‘Building a country that works or everyone’ isn’t the most coherent message for the Government to employ as reassurance that the country is in safe hands, but that was the slogan behind the PM when she staged her painful performance in front of the faithful. Party Conference slogans are usually meaningless combinations of words probably concocted by highly-paid strategists during ‘brainstorming’ sessions, but the loss of an F on the one used yesterday actually worked if one interprets it as a fitting symbol for the clueless shower running the show at the moment. Even if one overlooks the dubious attractions of a week-long event with a speech by Theresa May as its intended highlight, the Conservative Party Conference 2017 has been bad by any party standards.

What with Boris Johnson not even bothering to conceal his credentials as a successor and a ‘comedy terrorist’ interrupting the PM by handing her a P45, the whole shambles has been a fitting funeral ceremony for the May administration. Whilst there might have been a degree of sympathy in the hall for the Prime Minister as someone way out of their depth struggled yet again to convince anyone beyond the most sycophantic toadies that she’s the right woman for the job, Tories are not renowned for sentiment when it comes to their leaders. At times, the PM’s speech was reminiscent of an especially bad ‘Dragon’s Den’ pitch, and backstage rumblings of a coup are gathering pace once more as the house of Conservative cards is perilously close to collapsing.

In some respects, many Tories must be relieved the ghost of one of Mrs May’s predecessors has resurfaced, mired in murky hearsay that makes her misdemeanours appear all the more comical. It probably helps too that Edward Heath remains the Conservative Prime Minister whose unpopularity in the party remains as mysteriously potent as it was when he lost two successive General Elections in 1974; the passage of time has not diminished the antipathy he inspired. Indeed, what is a remarkably awful keynote speech when sharing column inches with a headline such as the one I came across on Yahoo News today: Former PM ‘raped 11 year-old boy’? The inverted commas were in place, but that was simple libel-preventing common sense where an unproven accusation is concerned; not that many seeing such a headline will pay much attention to inverted commas.

Operation Conifer, the retarded country cousin of Operation Midland which has spent the last couple of years Hoovering up most of the dead wood from that discredited witch-hunt via the congenital liar ‘Nick’, has come to the conclusion that Ted Heath would have been interviewed during the £1.5 million inquiry had he still been alive; and that kind of curious, nonsensical logic could be applied to practically any situation that didn’t actually happen.

Had Hitler not committed suicide in his bunker, he would have stood trial for war crimes at Nuremburg; had Gordon Smith not fluffed it in front of goal during the dying seconds of the 1983 FA Cup Final, Brighton and Hove Albion would have beaten Manchester United and won the trophy; had I been born twenty-five years earlier in Liverpool, I could have been the fifth Beatle. But, lest we forget, the Wiltshire Constabulary carried out their fishing party not to address the issue of Heath’s guilt or innocence, but to see whether there was a substantial amount of evidence to have interviewed the former Prime Minister, even though he inconveniently died a decade before they began it. Why didn’t they just reunite the ‘Time Team’ crowd and let them dig-up Heath’s back garden?

Are the tax-payers of Wiltshire so financially secure that they can afford the luxury of an existential police force? The county’s boys in blue have devoted the past couple of years to pondering on what they view as a perplexing conundrum – would Ted Heath have been interviewed under caution over allegations he raped an 11-year-old boy in 1961 if he were still alive? Hmmm, that’s a tricky one; let’s spend over a million quid coming up with the answer. Two years down the line, they’ve decided seven of the accusations would have warranted an interview under caution. Well done, lads. A pity the Woodentop who stood in front of Heath’s home and encouraged ‘victims to come forward’ isn’t around to crack open the bubbly, what with him being signed-off on long-term sick leave, but you can’t have everything.

The 100-page ‘summary closure report’ into Operation Conifer claims ‘no inference of guilt’ should arise from the fact Heath would have been interviewed under caution where seven of the 42 accusations are concerned; moreover, Dr Rachel Hoskins examined the so-called evidence last November and came to the conclusion that it ‘exposed a catalogue of fabrication’; she also dismissed the widely-publicised ‘Satanic’ angle so beloved of Icke disciples, advising the police to abandon the investigation. The police ignored her advice, and Operation Conifer has neither proven nor dispelled any of the rumours surrounding Heath whilst costing a small fortune in the process. All we know from its findings is that Ted kept his hands to himself throughout his tenure at No.10, as none of the allegations date from that period, funnily enough. He wasn’t daft, was he?

So, whatever Theresa May puts her foot in next, she can at least be content with the fact that it can’t top Satanic ritual abuse of minors. However, let’s see where we stand forty years hence. They’re a funny lot, those Tories, so you never know…

© The Editor

6 thoughts on “MAY TO OCTOBER

  1. I have no idea whether Ted Heath availed himself of over-youthful company, willing or otherwise, at any point in his lifetime, but he has joined the long list of ‘celebrities’ undergoing historic examination long after any real evidence-trail will have gone colder than a catacomb crypt.
    The (in)convenient fact that he is long dead and incapable of being either charged or libelled seems to have passed most of them by. One is left to assume that the accusers only do so in the hope of attaching blame to some deep-pocketed authority, in order to bag a little compo and pay some even larger bills from no-win-no-fee lawyers.

    I suspect that none of this ‘scandal’ would have seen the light of day if we had (a) a statute of limitations preventing such claims more than, say, 10 years after the ‘victim’ turned 18 and (b) we had not allowed conditional-fee lawyers 20 or so years ago. In practice (b) has also been responsible for most of the recent Health & Safety nonsense, as everyone takes drastic steps just to avoid the ambulance-chasers, usually forced by insurers who know how expensive those parasites can be.

    I already detest Ted Heath enough for taking us into the EEC without so much as a by-your-leave referendum, an act which I believe did more real harm to more real people than any alleged kiddie-fiddling may have achieved, so learning that he ate babies for breakfast or warmed his yacht by burning the live bodies of benefits claimants could hardly lower him in my estimation. But he’s already been lowered into his final resting-place, so let him continue to lie there and spin as we finally leave his beloved EU in the people’s belated act of retribution.

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  2. The report of Operation Conifer can be briefly summarised as follows:

    “Edward Heath might or might not have been a paedophile”.

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  3. The most serious allegation is the allegation, as you refer to in your piece, that Heath raped an 11 year old boy after a chance encounter. It has now emerged that the man is himself a convicted child abuser who is in prison. That does not disprove the allegation, as unfortunately some abuse victims later become abusers themselves. However, apparently the allegation was originally made to the Met in 2015 and for whatever reason, deemed by them not to merit further action.

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    1. I’m not dead set against the idea of investigating dead men, particularly powerful people. I do find it potentially credible, for example, that a victim of abuse by a powerful figure could have been afraid to report at the time, or even that victims did report but the police might have put the allegations on the ‘go slow’ file decades ago.

      But I have an issue with the allegation that Heath raped an eleven year old at a common-sense level. We are invited to believe that Heath, at that point not yet PM, but an MP of some years’ standing, considered able and ambitious, a ‘coming man’ in politics, was perambulating along the road, spotted a young boy, and was suddenly overcome with demented lust so consuming that he couldn’t stop himself kidnapping the boy and raping him. It doesn’t exactly pass the smell-test, does it?

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      1. Regardless of the increase in personal security, I find it equally implausible that a man with such an apparently insatiable appetite for little boys could restrain himself for the duration of his three and-a-half years in No.10; but it’s convenient none of the accusations emanate from that period, what with the day-to-day details of his life then so well chronicled.

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