So given that it wasn’t Lord McAlpine who was it?

As one cannot libel the dead then this interesting question can be reopened.

Lord McAlpine returned to priminence in 2012 after Twitter users, including Sally Bercow, the wife of the speaker of the House of Commons, wrongly implied he was the politician from the Thatcher era which Newsnight had implicated in allegations that boys were sexually abused at a children’s home in Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.

Newsnight did not name the politician, but during widespread speculation about his identity Mrs Bercow wrote on Twitter: “Why is Lord McAlpine trending. *innocent face*.”

Mrs Bercow later apologised and last October agreed to pay the peer £15,000 in damages. The BBC also apologised unreservedly to Lord McAlpine and settled his defamation claim for £185,000.

And of course it wasn’t Lord McAlpine at all.

However, there’s a certain blogging boat of all our acquaintance that has certainly claimed, in the past, to have known who it was. Be most interesting if this all came up again, wouldn’t it?

18 thoughts on “So given that it wasn’t Lord McAlpine who was it?”

  1. This affair showed up the British Left for what it is: dirty to its core. “Who’s the Tory paedo”: Alan Davies.

    So, if our friend thinks he knows he should say so, not hide behind cowardly ‘moderation policies’.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Mike Power – “Interesting that McAlpine never troubled people like David Icke, who made allegations against him for more than 15 years. No writs or take down notices.”

    That must be because Icke is protected by the Inter-gallatic shape changing baby-eating Not-Remotely-Jewish lizards that rule us all secretly. They prevented McAlpine drawing attention to their real nature.

    That, or everyone recognises that Icke is mentally ill and so his claims are hardly credible. Given no reasonable people would believe word Icke said, McAlpine’s reputation can hardly be damaged by anything Icke says.

    I doubt this question will reopen. As the only sensible position is to assume all claims of child abuse are the fantasies of the mentally ill being put up to it by the even sadder activist/psychiatric profession in the expectation of a big pay out until such time as actual real evidence is produced.

  3. I thought the allegations of it being a senior Tory was based on the prior, unpublished, false allegation that it was McApline, therefore there was never any other senior Tory in the offing.

  4. I was astonished that Newsnight aired the allegation at all, with the supposed Tory politician at the heart of the scandal effectively identifiable. They knew who they were targeting. Yet a little bit of diligent internet searching quickly revealed to me (days before the BBC admitted their mistake) that it was not Robert Alistair McAlpine , Baron McAlpine of West Green, who had been of interest to prior investigations.

    This may now be harder to confirm, as in the wake of the controversy, some archives have been pulled from the web.

    Interestingly Newsnight (or the external team making the project) made exactly the same blunder over mistaken identity as the Icke nutters had made previously. I can’t understand why that wasn’t a warning flag to the fact-checkers or editor.

    Robert Alistair McAlpine , Baron McAlpine of West Green, would have been well aware of the reason for the mistake of identity. McAlpine is not a unique surname. The “McAlpine” who was of interest was a very troubled character, something of a hanger-on, and not at all the high-flying Tory politician made out in the Newsnight report. Describing him as a (mystery) Tory politician was just a byproduct of the misidentification.

    It is unsurprising that Lord M didn’t want to explain this in detail, even though it would have made his innocence more palpably obvious. (Even now lots of people seem to think he only “won” because he had more expensive lawyers.) The subject had already been a source of great pain to his family. Reports that Lord M was distraught at the mistaken identity, to the point of it undermining his health, seem credible when viewed in this context.

    I think from what I have read I can state unambiguously: the mystery Tory in the Newsnight report was Lord McAlpine. But this hit job was a clear case of mistaken identity, on the part of the “journalists” involved, with an abuser who was not remotely a man of political influence or import. This is separate to the question of whether any other 1980s Tory politicians were involved in child abuse. If you want to rake that kind of muck then your best bet is Guido who is running some lurid stories at the moment, about an unnamed ex-minister currently (we are told) under police investigation and who (if we choose to believe Guido’s often dodgy sourcing) has been placed by video evidence at a sex party where underaged young people (which might mean 17 year olds, at the time, might mean much younger) were also present. Think we might hear more about that, but it is a separate allegation and I have no idea who is implicated.

  5. I understand Cameron has instructed his lawyers to sue for the defamatory allegation that he is a conservative.

  6. Lord McAlpine wasn’t the only member of his family to use the family house near Wrexham and close to the Bryn Estyn childrens home

    However, this is for his victim, Steve Messham, not me to confirm.

  7. Mike – it’s interesting that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, has never sued Mr Icke for saying she’s a shape-shifting space lizard who eats children.

    You’d think the least she could do would be to get Prince Philip and his secret MI5 death squads on the case.

  8. Radders
    “However, this is for his victim Steven Messham, not me to confirm.”

    By “his” do you mean Lord McAlpine’s?

    Just so we know what you are trying to say, OK?

  9. Ah yes, the Ickean barmcakes’ version of the official paedohysteria, in which the Establishment (who may or may not be green lizard aliens) are really an Illuminati gay paedophile ring.

    Presumably, Ted Heath will get his usual mention shortly. And that old favourite “Harriet Harman and the Paedophile Information Exchange”.

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