John Ward – Assessing The Veracity Of ‘News’ : The Lessons Of Lockerbie, Climate Change, And The Paedofile – 23 December 2013

BoristhinktitleUltimately, only hard evidence or willing confession can turn information into conclusive proof.

The manipulation of gold prices, fiddles conducted to give the the banks “a leg up” on the Libor rate, the failure of QE to stimulate anything except stock market profits, the general misbehaviour of Boris Johnson, the scandal of press baron propaganda, and the misuse of surveillance and cyber capabilities by sovereign governments and their agents…..these issues can all be documented, their roots traced, emails page-captured, whistles blown, and evidence presented.

But the vast majority of today’s big debates cannot be thus concluded. Just take today’s crop and try to work it out.

Exaro has published extensively on the Lockerbie bombing of late. Al Magreheb now seems unlikely to have been the main mover – or indeed guilty at all. The CIA interfered, the UK secret services chucked a few red herrings in, and a new shady Iranian seems to be in the frame. But none of that explains why Gaddafi was always so shifty on the subject, nor can we ignore the face that Magreheb’s lawyers instigated the new enquiry.

The only conclusion we can possibly reach on this now very old and cold incident is that it was sabotage, and major power security agencies had ulterior motives. Nothing new there, then.

Don’t get me started on climate change. Scientists have egos and so do hacks. If Delingpole and his adoring camp followers are right, then let’s just give him the Nobel Prize and be done with it. Then if it turns out he was wrong, let’s fire him round the Hadran Collider. We still won’t know the answer, because all the science is unsafe – on the grounds of being in its infancy.

The Slog has a dedicated page called The Paedofile. But even the definition of such behaviour is hopelessly misunderstood, and while some are clearly guilty, at least an equal number aren’t. There are four sectors to the problem and a similar number of motives involved, and that’s before one even gets to the ghastly underworld of child trafficking.

This morning’s Telegraph has the news that Rolf Harris faces new sex charges, but worryingly, the usual “in some cases involving girls as young as 7 or 8″ mantra is in there, while some of the accusations go back fifty years and involve women aged 16-22. Such eclectic sexual behaviour is not typical of mainstream paedophilia.

Greville Janner was raided by police last week. His taking of little boys home while his family were away is too suspicious for me to dismiss his action as “naive”: but then his accuser later went to jail himself for well-documented paedophile offences…or did he? Was he fitted up by agents of the elite determined to rescue Janner? I don’t know, frankly…and nor do Needleblog, Mark Williams-Wotsit or anyone else not in on whatever there was (or wasn’t) to be in on.

The infamous but anonymous 1970s paedophile and porn-smuggling Cabinet Minister was being questioned again last week, and there are more promises of “this time there will be no cover-up” from the Plods involved. But we’ve heard all that in relation to this man a hundred times before – as we have heard that Fernbridge is really going rather well, and Ministers have been caught on film etc etc. I am far more certain about the guilt of those involved in this particular saga, because I have a massive range of feedback (built up since 2006) by those who were there or have seen Foreign Office evidence, or got the benefit of Margaret Thatcher’s view of such people in private. I’ve seen endless Amsterdam ‘days out’ by the Monday Club in the 1960s and 1970s confirmed and openly talked about by veterans who no longer need to worry about who knows and who doesn’t. But did Jimmy Savile know Leon Brittan? I’ve no bloody idea, to be honest. Did Savile visit Welsh care homes? Steve Messham says he did, but two former residents I’ve interviewed so he most assuredly didn’t.

Children’s minister Edward Timpson has mysteriously shredded documents following a meeting with Apple to discuss plans to protect kids from porn. An official in Timpson’s department wrote: “Handwritten notes taken at the time of the meeting have since been destroyed. Apple did not ask us to destroy them” which does have a guilty ring to it….and isn’t helped by Timpson’s predecessor in the job, Tim Loughton saying records of his meetings with Apple were kept – while adding, “In my experience Apple were not the most co-operative of companies in the Government’s drive to make the internet safe for kids”. Discuss.

Information is not necessarily conclusive proof or truth. The best way to deconstruct information purporting to be valid is to show that, in no particular order, it is plain wrong, utterly atypical, has been doctored/invented, other sources contradict it, it comes from an agenda-ridden source, was only released after a cover up, has been the object of an FOI rebuttal, does not fit the known facts about dates etc, or lacks something important in the way of a discernible logic or motive.

But in this world of page capture there is also the world of carefully worded statements which itself exists in a world of 24/7 news streams that don’t always report per se, and rarely analyse in any kind of depth. At the end of the process, I’ve been left over the last seven years at least with but one firm conclusion: any Freedom of Information system wherein permission can be refused on flimsy, ill-defined and ultimately mendacious grounds is the all-time oxymoron, and worse still, a complete waste of time.

In such a context, I do not see informed speculation as being something upon which the laws of libel should stamp with the vicious intent of a Mr Hyde; rather, I see it as a perfectly valid form of media counter attack. Especially when the Government (as did ours in the UK two week ago) tries to slip through an obviously politically Act to make it easy for those of a McAlpine personality to sue vexatiously.

However, it’s in those cases when denial makes the experienced, commonsense nose twitch that we need to combat not with wild accusation but rather evidence. The Coop Bank scandal is one of these – and Fukushima I think represents another. A couple are coming up next today at The Slog…because they very clearly demonstrate that something is both wrong – and being done without most of those affected by it having the faintest awareness of the calumny. So stay tuned.

Is anyone anywhere in an office this morning? Just thought I’d ask. / link to original article


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