Donald Trump has never courted the favour of those beyond his most enthusiastic hardcore fan-base (for whom he can do no wrong), so his unedifying behaviour in the face of imminent electoral oblivion was never going to win him any support outside of that fan-base; nor should his response have come as much of a surprise. Whether rooted in genuine fact or not, the President’s conviction that he has been robbed of a second term by the easily-corruptible archaic process of the US electoral system isn’t even receiving the backing of Fox News, which tells you everything you need to know. At the time of writing, Joe Biden has been declared the winner but the Donald hasn’t conceded defeat. And, of course, we wouldn’t expect Trump to bow out gracefully; such an act simply isn’t in his nature. Indeed, one could say it is that very nature which has served to squander a golden opportunity to wrestle control from the global elites that are now in a stronger position than ever; Trump’s four years in power can be written off as a temporary blip, a people’s revolt that was successfully suppressed due to the people’s champion being the wrong man from day one.

Trump was destined to blow it by virtue of his personality; a coarse, pig-ignorant, narcissistic egotist, schooled in a business jungle that prizes such attributes, was never going to appreciate or understand the exceedingly precious gift that fell into his lap when he’d successfully capitalised on the dissatisfaction of a disenfranchised populace left behind by the Davos/Bilderberg globalism clique – all the rustbelt peasants long since discarded by Washington and Wall Street and in desperate need of a spokesman to invest their hopes in. What do they do now? The Democrats can overlook the fact that their diversity narrative was contradicted by a greater proportion of ethnic minority votes going to the Republicans; they have their victims back where they want them and can continue pedalling the Identity Politics agenda that they cannot see will alienate them even further from the majority who do not view the world in terms of oppressed and oppressor. Now the project can proceed uninterrupted, especially when grandpa’s dementia quickly causes him to step down so a Woman of Colour can step up and take over without the trouble of being elected.

Ultimate power therefore remains with the dominant tech and corporate overlords, a cartel Trump would certainly have broken had he been handed a second term; their complacency was shaken in 2016, first by Brexit and then by Trump, and they vowed they wouldn’t get fooled again; and they haven’t been because they were up against a man too stupid to realise his good fortune. His paranoid and combative attitude towards his opponents gave them the green light to echo that attitude; what was the impeachment farce or the ‘Russian interference’ saga if not the mirror image of Trump’s own disdain for fair-play? Trump has consistently proven to be his own worst enemy throughout his presidency, so that even if his claims of electoral fraud in various states were indeed proven to be a bona-fide conspiracy on the part of the left-leaning, illiberal ‘liberals’ controlling every institution in the west, he’s cried wolf too many times to win a sympathetic audience other than the one that thinks the sun shines out of his orange ass.

The inescapable truth is that all of the Anglosphere – UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand – has now been fully absorbed into the pseudo-Marxist dogma whereby those claiming victimhood with the loudest voices are appeased, courted and pampered and the rest are cultural cannon-fodder; it’s not exactly a coincidence that these are the nations that have taken the most severe authoritarian approach to the coronavirus and have relished stripping away civil liberties in the process. Here in Blighty, mental health and disability charities are attempting to overcome the mask-wearing public’s hostility to those lucky souls spared the mask on medical grounds by suggesting the wearing of a badge; the ‘sunflower lanyard’ of the Hidden Disabilities charity has been proposed to identify the legitimate exemptions; why not just settle for the Star of David and have done with it?

As the brave new world of anti-racism advocates racial segregation that effectively revives the same Jim Crow laws that sprang from the figures immortalised in bronze which were hauled from their plinths by Antifa mobs, it’s funny how the further along the progressive road the far-left travels, the closer it edges to the fringes of the far-right. They meet in the middle and the beneficiaries are few while the losers are many. Not that this is evident to those too busy dancing on the Donald’s freshly-dug grave, deluded in their belief things can only get better simply because the wicked witch is dead. There is no such thing as a Biden-ite or Biden-ism; the old theory in football that one team didn’t win the league so much as their closest rivals lost it has never rung truer in a political arena in which one man becomes President not because anyone believes in him but because they despise his opponent.

Anyway, the pattern of this US Presidential Election is merely the latest symptom of a toxic trend that has its roots much further back in time than is generally recognised. The foundations for the vicious polarisation as exemplified by Democrat/Republican or Labour/Tory or Remainer/Brexiteer or pro-Scottish independence/pro-Union or pro-lockdown/anti-lockdown, in which an opposing opinion is not simply an ideological opponent but THE ENEMY (as the Germans or the French once were to Brits), were laid during a witch-hunt that began almost ten years ago. The great Paedo Panic that came in the wake of the Jimmy Savile ‘revelations’ effectively kick-started ‘cancel culture’, as anyone daring to question the accepted narrative then had the finger of suspicion aimed at them; it established a consensus built on fear that few were prepared to speak out against – and virtually none in the mainstream media were – because people were scared of the consequences. Only when a respected veteran broadcaster still in his prime such as Paul Gambaccini was targeted, and had the nerve to speak out, was the world prepared to listen.

Prior to Gambo’s platform enabling the wider public to be exposed to the truth of the witch-hunt, numerous online folk – most of them of my acquaintance at one time or another – had been bravely highlighting the flaws in the argument and had suffered the appalling brickbats of the trolls for their sins. Ageing celebrities may have hogged the headlines when seized upon by the pitchfork-wielding mob, but hundreds of unknown, innocent individuals and their families had their lives turned upside down too; and while the false allegations were pretty serious to begin with, the entrenchment of this approach as a means of destroying lives and livelihoods has descended into the realm of the ridiculous after a decade. It seems it was only a small step from losing one’s job and being publicly vilified following unproven allegations of sexual assault to losing one’s job and being publicly vilified for tweeting that men in drag can’t menstruate.

The introduction of DBS checks worked on the assumption those seeking to work with children were subconscious paedos just as Unconscious Bias Training now works on the assumption that anyone white working in the corporate world is a subconscious racist. The past was already being discredited and edited a decade ago, only nobody noticed when the genesis of the great revisionist exercise was focused on old editions of ‘Top of the Pops’. And my, how far the project has progressed since then. Post-BLM, in a world where the whole of western history and all of its achievements has now been declared evil, racist and deplorable, the decks have been cleared for a wholesale rewrite; prepare for social media to be awash with gloating Woke separatists, emboldened by Biden’s victory and seeing it as a means to implement even further an agenda that will continue to detach the minority from the majority and make a mockery of ‘healing a divided nation’; Identity Politics thrives on division. Just muse on what a wasted opportunity to give the majority a true voice the last four years have been.

© The Editor


At the back end of last year when I told a couple of friends I was starting work on my first new novel for over twelve months, a cursory summary of the story’s set-up from me prompted two different replies. ‘Oh,’ said one. ‘You mean like Planet of the Apes?’; ‘Oh,’ said the other. ‘You mean like Animal Farm?’ Well…er…sort-of, but not quite. A bit like the former, the tale takes place on an earth in which humans are not the dominant species and one of our animal cousins rules in our place; and a bit like the latter, I’m using the deceptive smokescreen of a kind-of farmyard fable to tell a serious story about an important contemporary issue. Then again, neither comparison quite matches.

Long-term followers still recall my spoof ‘Exposure’ series on the old, original version of YouTube, in which I satirised the Yewtree hysteria by having the men from the Met round-up children’s TV puppets of the 1970s instead of the decade’s ageing celebrities. It was a tactic that enabled me to say far more than I perhaps would’ve been able to get away with even in the less censorious online era of 2012-14. With this in mind, I decided that in finally addressing one of the most pressing (not say depressing) stories of our times via the vehicle of the novel, one way to do so was to adopt a not dissimilar approach. Yes, this is my ‘false allegation’ book, but in order to try and explain how the situation that embroils the lead character came about, I had to create a fitting backdrop.

The whole ‘Woke’ culture of Identity Politics is something I’ve tackled both on here and on YT (just before their new policy forced me off it), but I’ve never done so in fiction before. Satirising it seemed a given, so I went for it. However, the world of ‘The Kamikaze Harvest’ is dominated by the politics of Species rather than Identity, as this is a world ruled by cats and dogs. They don’t walk on all fours; they’ve evolved from that in the absence of humans and are anthropomorphic creatures blessed with everything that we take credit for – both good and bad. Canines were the supreme species for centuries, but have recently been usurped by felines, driven in part by the rise of Species Politics and ‘Radical Felinists’. They also have their own religious zealots, worshippers of an Ancient Egyptian Goddess known as Bastet. And you don’t f**k with Bastet.

It doesn’t take a genius to see through the true targets of this ploy, but there are so many aspects of 2019 which seemed ripe for satire that I realised I could place my cast of characters in our insane society and take artistic licence by just tweaking it ever-so slightly. For example, the story begins with the lead character (a black mongrel name of Max) being released from an eighteen-month spell behind bars for expressing an inappropriate opinion on an internet forum. As a result, he’s placed on the Speech Offenders’ Register for life and returns to a world in which cats have extended their powers by exploiting the trusting nature of canines even further. With universities, social services, the police and the judiciary all preaching the Species Politics mantra, feline-only shortlists have ensured the best jobs are now awarded on species grounds rather than merit, and Max has a lifetime of menial labour to look forward to.

Max has to endure a CBS (Canine Barring Service) check before he can re-enter the workplace – to ensure vulnerable cats and kittens are safe in his dangerous presence; and the best this former head librarian can manage is to be employed by a cleaning agency, to empty the litter trays of his cat overlords. One of his clients is Fenella, a leading feline rights lawyer and a household name via her publicised prosecutions of once revered and respected dogs. She initially treats him with utter indifference until he displays unexpected honesty and catches her by surprise in a way that causes her to reassess her prejudiced attitude towards canines.

Max believes in equality between the species rather than simply replacing one in a position of power with the other; but his is a discredited view. Dogs have been demonised as the embodiment of primitive savagery, not to be trusted – despite their inborn ‘privilege’. This opinion, enforced through the pedigree media and its chattering classes, not only preaches the philosophy that dogs should be in a permanent, self-flagellating state of guilt over the inherited crimes of their ancestors; but it overlooks the fact that cats, in their nightly hunting of rodents, are far more ruthless animals. But the propaganda promotes the latter as Victims, and this encouragement of victimhood amongst felines eventually leads to a mentally-disturbed cleaning client of Max informing the police that he’d brutally attacked her five years previously.

Needless to say, the police take the Victim’s allegation as ‘credible and true’, and it is only when Max is muzzled and escorted to the local nick following a Sunday lunchtime raid on his family home that he is made aware of just how deeply Species Politics have penetrated the ruling class. He calls feline barrister Fenella for help and she shocks her devoted felinist fan-base by coming to his rescue and agreeing to defend him in court. What follows is a high-profile test-case for the gains of ‘the revolution’ as one of its pin-up girls turns traitor and comes face-to-face with her professional nemesis whilst Max’s freedom hangs in the balance. On the strength of a deluded fantasist, he stands to lose his liberty as Fenella struggles to build a case against his accuser with the police pursuing a non-disclosure-of-evidence policy in favour of ‘the Victim’.

Yes, I’m taking an unusual route to tell a serious story. Much black comedy is derived from imagining what cats and dogs would be like in humanoid form, how they would behave in human ways yet retain traits we recognise from our four-legged versions. When Max cleans various feline homes, he takes note of how the floors are littered with objects the homeowners have pushed off surfaces for no palpable reason; when he spends an evening in his room alone, he entertains himself by chomping on a bone for a couple of hours before receiving a visitor and then engaging in conversation. They’re still cats and dogs at heart, but they’re also us.

I may have chosen to tell this tale in a rather eccentric way, but the main subject is not treated remotely light-heartedly. Perhaps I figured I could lure a few unsuspecting readers in by tricking them into thinking this was just an intriguingly silly story in which cats and dogs rule the world, before hitting them with the realities of a situation that has affected – and continues to affect – thousands of innocent people in this country, some of whom I have known. We shall see. Someone had to write about it, and I’ve chosen to do it my way. Check it out…

© The Editor


I’ve always found ‘The Week in Westminster’ to be one of the more engaging political bastions of Radio 4; the programme being broadcast on a Saturday morning enables it to benefit from the breathing space denied the likes of ‘Today’ or ‘The World at One’, which are both designed to cater for the gut (and knee-jerk) reaction in the immediate aftermath of events. A gap of seven days rather than seven minutes certainly gives rise to a preferable perspective, particularly in our instant age, when a comment is required on the spot and (often) without the facts. MPs of all the major parties are usually represented, as are MPs of old, many of whom have invaluable hindsight that even elevation to the ermine slippers of the Lords hasn’t entirely blunted.

I had to laugh at the latest instalment, however, when the merits of Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary were being discussed – and some of the conclusions reached were so worryingly ludicrous that laughter seemed the only tonic. Sir Keir Starmer was seriously touted as a future Labour leader in the event of Jezza losing the next General Election. For those whose memories of this man stretch back to his insidious activities as Director of Public Prosecutions, this isn’t necessarily a welcome solution to the monopoly of the party by the hard left. Moreover, that a man so lacking in charisma and one in possession of an android-like demeanour that is actually quite chilling in its absence of recognisable human qualities could be considered as a Labour leader (and possible Prime Minister in the process) is yet another cause for concern in a time of many.

In order to justify the terrible pun in the title of this post, I suppose I could say the second most notable Keir in the history of the Labour Party has held onto his frontbench seat by effortlessly blending in to the Corbyn worldview when many of his true ideological allies in the party stormed off not long after Jezza’s election. Starmer has been able to do so because he appears to be so devoid of personality that few have noticed he doesn’t quite fit the Socialist suit that is otherwise a prerequisite for membership of Team Corbyn. He also confirmed long-held suspicions this week by eagerly embracing the Second Referendum option, promoting the People’s Vote as official Labour policy, a move that places him on the same wavelength as the Independent Group, meaning the Starmer Chameleon now has a foot in two Westminster camps, utterly befitting a man who appears to be a blank canvas that anyone can draw a cock and balls on.

Starmer’s background is in Law; he qualified as a barrister in 1987 and became a QC five years later. Within a decade, he was named as the DPP (and therefore head of the CPS) following the retirement of Sir Ken Macdonald. Starmer courted controversy just two years into the job when he announced the police officer Simon Harwood would not be prosecuted in relation to the death of London newsvendor Ian Tomlinson, despite video evidence of Harwood striking Tomlinson on the leg with his baton and then pushing him onto the pavement, allegedly mistaking him for an unlikely G-20 Summit protestor in 2009. The unprovoked assault led to Tomlinson collapsing and dying moments later. However, the initial CPS decision was later reversed and Harwood was tried for manslaughter in 2012, found not guilty.

On Starmer’s watch, the CPS also pursued a case against Paul Chambers in the so-called ‘Twitter Joke Trial’, following Chambers’ frustrated tweet in 2010 after a flight he had booked was cancelled due to bad weather and he jokingly threatened to blow Robin Hood Airport ‘sky high’. The farcical legal action became something of a cause célèbre for notable comedy figures such as Stephen Fry and Al Murray. Chambers eventually had his conviction quashed in 2012, though rumours emerged that the CPS were prepared to drop the case until Starmer intervened and overruled them; Paul Chambers’ MP at the time, Louise Mensch, called for an investigation into Starmer’s behaviour by a Commons committee, though blame for the decision to pursue the case was laid at the door of the crown court and Starmer evaded scrutiny.

Starmer’s most damaging legacy as DPP, however, was to vigorously push through the ‘victim’s law’, a legal code of practice especially aimed at tipping the balance in favour of complainants in cases relating to sexual abuse. As a highly vocal promoter of Operation Yewtree at the hysterical height of the celebrity witch-hunt in the wake of the Jimmy Savile ‘revelations’, Starmer’s proposals were to seriously undermine the rights of defendants in such cases, creating the corrosive climate whereby police forces would not only instantly assume any allegation of a sexual nature to be ‘credible and true’ (AKA ‘I Believe Her’), but would co-operate with the CPS drive to improve stats on rape convictions by deliberately withholding vital evidence from the defence in order to secure a guilty verdict.

Establishing the comfort blanket of video evidence exclusively for the complainant as the norm and thus only exposing the accused to the lion’s den of the courtroom, Starmer’s rejection of the traditional fair fight has given the green light to every vindictive fantasist and serial accuser ever since. One wonders how many innocent men (and their families) have suffered the trauma of an extended police investigation without even reaching court or are actually languishing behind bars as a consequence of Starmer’s seal of approval on dispensing with the age-old ‘innocent until proven guilty’ Golden Thread of British justice. I’m sure they’d all be ecstatic at the prospect of Starmer one day being the leader of their country.

Starmer had advised the Labour opposition on his proposals in the hope the party would return to government in 2015; it didn’t, but Starmer himself joined the party’s ranks at Westminster after winning the seat of Holborn and St Pancras at that year’s General Election. The shit sorcerer had already handed the reins of power at the CPS to his awful apprentice Alison Saunders, who built on Starmer’s blueprint by steering the reputation of the Law to such a calamitous low that Sir Keir must have imagined he was well out of it; but even though Saunders too has now vacated the post, she has left behind an almighty bloody mess for which her predecessor must take a great deal of the credit. And this is the man some are touting as a future occupant of No.10. Hah. And we think we’ve got it bad now.

© The Editor


No, the irony will never escape me, but I do have to admit I owe Mark Williams-Thomas a great deal. Deprived of ITV’s top investigative reporter rising without a trace in 2012, I certainly wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading it. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the fearless ‘former police detective’ and ‘child protection expert’ in alerting the nation to the scourge of celebrity paedos hiding in plain sight, I have been able to acquire an audience for my ramblings both in this medium and another. In fact, it was the other that enabled MWT to facilitate my first big break; and for that I will always be grateful to my generation’s Roger Cook.

The ‘Exposure’ exposé on Jimmy Savile that aired on October 3 2012 was the career-launching platform MWT had desperately been looking for, following occasional work for ‘Newsnight’ in a similar vein. It also provided me with something of a platform too. At that point, I’d been uploading videos to YouTube for a good couple of years and had slowly built a small cult following for my redubs, remakes and remodels of largely vintage TV. After watching MWT’s sensationalistic hatchet-job on a dead man who was admittedly as loathed as he was loved in his lifetime, my scepticism was superseded by a light-bulb moment. Here was a chance to combine and contrast the old world with the new one. And so Jimmy Savile became Great Uncle Bulgaria.

My first ‘Exposure’ spoof appeared within 48 hours of its source material being screened and went down well with my regular subscribers as well as helping to pick up a few more along the way. It was fairly short and quite crude – in terms of technical quality; the crudeness of the humour was a given – and I would probably have left it at that had not MWT used his newfound fame to kick-start a bandwagon he was determined to be in the driving seat of. Whilst shocking examples of the real thing were taking place at that very moment (albeit under the radar in faraway northern towns), the media’s moral crusader convinced the nation that it had actually all happened in the 1970s and 80s; the rich, the famous and the powerful had been the perpetrators, and their wicked deeds had been securely shielded from the masses by top-level cover-ups, conspiracies and secret societies until MWT had the guts to shine a light on the clandestine network of shame.

The insidious instigation of Operation Yewtree, unleashing the Cromwellian storm-troopers of the police and their allies in the legal profession, spearheaded a Hopkins-esque witch-hunt in which safely unfashionable old celebrities were rounded-up one-by-one, usually thanks to the exhausting efforts of MWT. Yes, it was boom-time for ambulance-chasing law firms, false-memory therapists, and yours truly. By placing The Wombles at the centre of my parallel universe Operation It Could Be Youtree, I was able to expand the roll-call of the guilty (till proven innocent) by substituting each of the aged accused with telly contemporaries of Wimbledon Common’s most infamous residents – Bagpuss, Hartley Hare, Mr Benn, Nogbad the Bad et al – as well as encompassing the motley crew of Icke disciples, fanatical fantasists and self-appointed paedo-hunters MWT had given the green light to.

Recently revisiting ‘Exposure’, I was surprised that my version of Mark Williams-Thomas, reborn (almost inevitably) as Mark JOHN-Thomas, doesn’t actually appear until right at the very end of the third instalment. However, as MWT became more ubiquitous on-screen whenever Yewtree grabbed a headline, this humourless, pompous individual with a hilarious absence of self-awareness quickly asserted himself as the star of my show thereafter. MWT at that time had his own YT channel and such was his delicious vanity that virtually every appearance he had made on TV was there; I had an unlimited supply of footage I could play with. And I did. By the time I’d taken so much piss out of him that his bladder must have been running on empty, MWT mysteriously removed more or less all the videos I’d pillaged. Coincidence? The fact is my series had taken on a life of its own that went way beyond my usual YT audience, even as far as those directly affected by the events I was satirising.

Whilst I’d been playing my strongest hand to parody the hysteria, others had been playing theirs in different online mediums, and I discovered the ‘Exposure’ series was being passed around like illicit contraband. Some of its most enthusiastic fans made contact and new doors were opened to me as a consequence. Episodes gradually acquired a little more sophistication both in presentation and in material as I was being fed information I wouldn’t otherwise have come across. The mainstream media was sticking rigidly to the MWT manual and no prominent journalist had yet dared to stick their head above the parapet for fear of being labelled a paedo apologist. For a good couple of years, my videos and the more forensic blogs of various determined diggers were the only places where an alternative to the consensus could be heard.

It took until celebrities whose currency hadn’t dated along with their dress-sense found themselves caught in the Yewtree net before voices belatedly began to be to be tentatively raised. Gradually, the wider public were made aware of the dubious police tactics and yet we heard little of the non-famous casualties denied access to expensive lawyers, those whose lives had also been devastated by this appalling approach to law and order. Moreover, an #IbelieveHer agenda served to conveniently mute all those women whose men-folk had been whisked away at the crack of dawn by the CPS Stasi – all those wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters and sisters who were suffering in silence because their stories didn’t fit the narrative the MSM had opted for to present events, as ever, in simple black & white terms. Most are suffering still.

I’m lucky. I was able to walk away from the madness when I’d reached the end of the ‘Exposure’ road with a fourteenth and final episode that retold the tale in the style of Simon Schama’s ‘A History of Britain’ series. I felt I’d extracted every ounce of sap from the Yewtree and there was nothing left to say, for me at least. Firmly established as the resident paedo professor of the daytime TV sofa, Mark Williams-Thomas nevertheless continued to seek out new celebrity scalps even as more questions than ever were being asked about Operation Yewtree and its ramifications, as well as its equally unnecessary successors, Midland and Conifer. And now those questions are bringing the odious role of MWT into the public spotlight at last; prominent papers are actually saying out loud what the rest of us were saying out loud five long years ago, when we were routinely dismissed as beyond-the-pale paedo sympathisers.

Paul Gambaccini’s broadcasting clout guarantees him a sympathetic audience and gives him the freedom to openly describe what he went through as well as being critical of the system that exposed him to it, whereas others who experienced the same ordeal remain marginalised by their obscurity and tarnished in their communities. Yes, without Mark Williams-Thomas, there would be no ‘Winegum Telegram’; but without Mark Williams-Thomas, there would be far fewer damaged families and far fewer ruined individuals. I’d happily consign this blog to the same great online platform in the sky that the ‘Exposure’ series now resides in if that pound-shop Titus Oates finally received a taste of his own rancid medicine.

© The Editor


ted-heathIt’s probably true to say Ted Heath was his own worst enemy. Britain’s Prime Minister from June 1970 to February 1974 was famed for his cold, brusque aloofness in company, ignoring VIPs, dignitaries and his own MPs at social functions and earning a reputation as a rather pompous and grumpy old so-and-so that won him few friends and cost him support amongst his peers when he needed it. Yet he himself couldn’t understand why people found it so hard to warm to him; he always saw everyone else as the problem. He came across as uncomfortable, stiff-necked and ill-at-ease when PM both on television and when speaking in public, a poor communicator struggling to get his message across to the electorate. With the possible exception of Gordon Brown, he remains on paper perhaps the most unsuited man for the job in the post-war era, an unlikely candidate for Downing Street if ever there was one.

Yet, put a baton in his hand and stick him in front of an orchestra or sit him down at a grand piano, and he was in his element. A diffident and difficult man whose shyness was often perceived as straightforward rudeness, Heath relaxed when with those who shared his passions. Music had been the main one from day one, though later in life he applied himself to mastering the art of sailing and this became his other great love. The determination he displayed when it came to learning the latter mirrored his political ambitions. Despite his evident limitations for public office, he wouldn’t be swayed and the work he put in was eventually rewarded when he won the contest to succeed Sir Alec Douglas Home as Tory leader in 1965. Five years later he scored a shock win over Labour PM Harold Wilson, a man who had repeatedly dismissed Heath as a lightweight up until polling day in 1970.

We’re so used to the nauseating ‘family shots’ of Prime Minister with spouse and children these days that it seems even more bizarre now to have had a bachelor at No.10 forty-five years ago, let alone one who sought solace of an evening by playing the piano and then took a couple of weeks off from running the country to compete in, and win, a prestigious yachting competition. Heath was certainly his own man, refusing to enter into a marriage solely for PR reasons and brushing off predictable rumours he was an old poof (to use the parlance of the time). Heath became PM just three years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality, though the accusation remained the default insult to aim at the unmarried man; those who were genuinely homosexual during that era tended to marry, such as Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, as a means of deflecting accusations, though Heath had no idea how to interact with women in a romantic manner and didn’t bother trying just for the sake of his public image.

After innumerable difficulties with bolshie unions and Northern Ireland, as well as antagonism over his pushing of Britain to join the Common Market, the Three Day Week was the final straw for the electorate. After losing two General Elections in 1974 and surrendering No.10 to his nemesis Harold Wilson, Heath’s days were numbered. When his unpopularity in his own party gifted Margaret Thatcher the kind of support required to topple Heath as leader in 1975, Heath couldn’t fathom why it had happened and for a good year or so was convinced he could regain his position; when Thatcher won the General Election in 1979, her decision not to award a Cabinet post to her still-active predecessor provoked one of the great public sulks in British political history, one that didn’t end until Thatcher herself was toppled in 1990.

During half-a-century as a serving MP, Edward Heath made many enemies and wasn’t prepared to compromise in order to court popularity. His relatively humble origins for a Conservative leader provoked enmity from the old patrician Tories, who looked down on him as a social inferior, and his obstinacy as PM where the press and public were concerned lingered long after he had left Downing Street. Heath wouldn’t play the game and that kind of attitude inspired grudges that have lasted, even more than a decade since his death. Naming and shaming him as a closet gay, though there was no evidence to back up such a claim other than he never married, is no longer a sufficient weapon in our sexually enlightened day and age, so the default insult now is paedophile, a word that embodies all the revulsion once reserved for ‘queer’.

The last 16 months has seen 21 presumably thumb-twiddling officers of Wiltshire Police pack their rods for a fishing expedition known as Operation Conifer, a sort-of retarded country cousin of the Met’s Operation Midland, in response to unsubstantiated accusations against the deceased PM, and have so far spent £700,000 casting their nets in the vain hope of salvaging confidence in the country’s most discredited public service. Heath’s name had already been pulled out of the fantasist’s hat worn by ‘Nick’, the anonymous accuser of half-a-dozen VIPs and their alleged part in the Westminster Paedo Ring that never was, and Wiltshire Police took it upon themselves to pursue additional ‘credible and true’ accusations even when Operation Midland was rightly recognised as the criminal waste of public money and ruination of reputations it was all along.

This week Operation Conifer was even reduced to ‘investigating’ (and I use that term loosely) the anti-Common Market incident in 1972, when a protestor threw ink at Heath as he arrived to sign on the dotted line that would enshrine Britain’s membership of the EEC. What the hell that has to do with ‘paedophilia’ is nothing other than the painful sound of a barrel’s bottom being desperately scraped. After last week’s damning report into Midland, the continuation of Conifer merely confirms the priorities of the police as a time-travelling hit squad whose interest in solving twenty-first century crimes is secondary to rooting around the dirty laundry of the dead and dying on the hearsay of mentally demented finger-pointers fresh out of therapy.

It’s no surprise they should single out Heath in a last pathetic throw of the dice. His defiant oddness in Prime Ministerial terms was a gift for them, but each victim of the witch-hunt has been an individual eccentric and square peg, characteristics alien to the consensus of the day. Operation Midland has now been acknowledged as an outrage by the media, yet few have dared to allocate the same condemnation to Operation Yewtree, the granddaddy of them all, and a project responsible for the rotting in gaol of more than one household name as well as the soiled gravestones of many more. Makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it? No, me neither.

© The Editor


coltraneWell, it was only a matter of time in a British TV landscape devoted to revivals, retreads and rehashes; and if it had to be any television channel dramatising the facts of a project so stooped in fiction as Operation It Could Be Youtree, then one would naturally imagine it had to be ITV. After all, ITV essentially sponsored the whole witch-hunt from day one, what with Essex’s answer to Matthew Hopkins, Mark Williams-Thomas, and the tabloid sensationalism of his Jimmy Savile exposé in 2012 kick-starting a free-for-all that has ruined endless lives, careers and individuals unfortunate enough to have made a mark in public life prior to the revisionist’s paradise of the twenty-first century. However, the baton of shame has been passed on to Channel 4, that one-time home of radical and innovative television and now the channel that brings us property porn, poverty porn and naked dating shows.

Robbie Coltrane, the beached Caledonian whale whose serious acting career stalled after the end of ‘Cracker’ in the 1990s (and who has subsequently been reduced to those tedious travelogue showcases for 80s has-beens that ITV specialises in), is to play a beloved celebrity targeted by a Yewtree-style Historical Sex Crimes squad in a new C4 ‘drama’ titled ‘National Treasure’ this coming week. In order to hedge their bets, C4 have even recruited genuine National Treasure Julie Walters to play ‘the wife’; Judi Dench must have been otherwise engaged when the time for casting came around.

Plugging the programme he naturally hopes will salvage his dormant thespian ambitions, Coltrane has inserted the Savile caveat into the interview promoting the series in the current issue of the Radio Times, stressing the character he plays is in no way based upon Sir Jim. It’s merely the latest missive from the publicity circuit Coltrane has been on for the past couple of weeks, and photos released to the press that unnervingly recreate the images we’ve become sadly familiar with since 2012 must bring back such happy memories for the families of Dave Lee Travis and all those other ‘perverts hiding in plain sight’.

Echoing convenient sentiments previously uttered by another face from the past struggling to re-establish his ‘rebel’ credentials – John Lydon – Coltrane declares ‘Everyone knew Jimmy Savile was a creep. Everyone. I never met him but you’d watch him and you’d feel your skin crawl.’ Indeed – the millions who tuned into ‘Top of the Pops’ and ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ every week in the 70s, 80s and 90s felt exactly the same back in the day whenever they set eyes upon that ‘wrong ‘un’, didn’t they, Robbie, which would explain why they kept tuning in. How it pays to be wise after the event.

In many respects, Robbie Coltrane is the perfect choice to play a fictitious figure whose past comes under present scrutiny in the drama; after all, he was a prominent member of the Alternative Comedy generation, those post-punk radicals whose slide into middle-aged respectability (and the establishment honours that come with it) has been utterly seamless. These early 80s undergraduates had a particular grudge against the working-class showbiz heroes of the 60s and 70s, easy targets for mock-satire as their envy of their targets’ achievements eventually led them all the way to writing appalling jukebox musicals based on the music of notable fellow radicals, Queen, on one hand, and relishing the opportunity to condemn them anew via Yewtree on the other.

It pays to remember that, whilst newspaper columnists from Hitchens to Littlejohn can today question the veracity of accusations levelled against personalities they themselves admire and revere, such voices were thin on the ground three or four years back. In the frenzied Yewtree cauldron of 2012/13/14, only thick-skinned brave bloggers dared to question the consensus during the height of the bonfire of the seventies, and they were written-off as crackpot obsessives for their troubles.

Even when the first few household names tentatively raised their heads above the parapet a couple of years ago – when, tellingly, it took the arrest of respectable broadcasters such as Paul Gambaccini to provoke them into action – it remained an unwritten rule that they had to distance themselves from Savile sympathies as they sprung to the defence of their showbiz buddies. Having been so successfully re-educated as to the ‘truth’ of the deceased eccentric charity fundraiser, the public would clearly have to be reminded that any accusation would not necessarily place the accused in the same sewer of filth as Savile. ‘Of course Jimmy Savile was an appalling human being, but…’ went the script recited ad infinitum by the fearless defenders of those caught in the net that the Met had widened.

‘National Treasure’ doesn’t come with the ‘Based on a true story’ attachment, though it’s not hard to foresee that those who still believe Fleet Street brings the Gospel to the masses will switch on and believe they’re essentially watching a documentary. Indeed, it will probably be difficult to distinguish between drama and documentary if one is a regular viewer of what passes for both on the mainstream channels, considering the recent efforts of our man from Billericay to portray himself as a cross between Roger Cook and James Bond over on ITV. I tried my best to ruin his career, but I clearly failed.

In a climate wherein Cliff Richard remains out on permanent ‘moral bail’ and questions over insecure convictions for the likes of Rolf Harris are successfully suppressed within the mainstream media, dramatising such a miserable episode in contemporary police procedure seems the apex of bad taste, though ratings are guaranteed with this kind of cynical exercise; and that’s what matters when the fate of ‘The Great British Bake-Off’ is so pivotal to the wellbeing of the nation.

There’s no doubt there is future scope for fictionalising the experience of the famous and non-famous alike where it comes to the imaginary crimes of the past impacting upon the present; but I have distinct doubts that viewers of ‘National Treasure’ will be exposed to anything other than a PR job for the Professional Victims’ lobby and the crusading integrity of both the Met and the CPS.

© The Editor