Operation Yewtree: Tweeters make mockery of Lord McAlpine’s pain and Leveson’s Report
ANDREW Reid, legal representative to smeared British Conservative treasurer Lord McAlpine, says of they who libelled his client on Twitter:
“”We have been inundated by the public who have wanted us to deal with this problem of Twitter, and have encouraged and in some cases have actually offered us funds… Let it be a lesson to everybody that trial by Twitter or trial by the internet is a very nasty way of hurting people unnecessarily and it will cost people a lot of money…”he public are fed up with it. We are being pushed and pushed to get on and actually end trial by Twitter.”
The Guardian’s Paul Tweed responded:
“This action will no doubt create a degree of panic in the Twitter world at large, by highlighting the financial and other consequences of a thoughtless tweet. Online gossip is likely to be treated with more caution in the future.”
Lord McAlpine got redress. The tweeters who wanted bigot Emma West raped and murdered were not punished. Liam Stacey was jailed for his obnoxious an racist tweets. Twitter is not a bastion of free speech. It is a place where the mob narks report to the police things the State disapproves of but can allow other alleged crimes to go unreported. The police take racism seriously. Good. But why do they not sanction tweeters who call for a woman to be raped?
But has Twitter changed after McAlpine?
Let’s look at recent developments. As part of Operation Yewtree a man described as being in his 80s and resident in Berkshire has been interviewed by detectives. He was released without charge.
Gary Glitter, Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis and a man in his 70s, reported to be former television producer Wilfred De’Ath, have been arrested and bailed as part of the investigation. None have been charged with any criminal offence, although, of course, Glitter is a convicted paedophile.
Scotland Yard says of the probe:
Operation Yewtree, the enquiry into alleged child sexual exploitation by the late Jimmy Savile and others, has moved from an assessment to a formal criminal investigation. After two weeks of gathering information from both the public and a number of organisations, in excess of 400 lines of enquiry have been assessed and over 200 potential victims have been identified.
As we have said from the outset, our work was never going to take us into a police investigation into Jimmy Savile. What we have established in the last two weeks is that there are lines of inquiry involving living people that require formal investigation.
So. After the horrors endured by the innocent Lord McAlpine, many tweeters claim to know the identity of the man in his 80s. The police have not released it. They should not. It;s not bene reported in the press. B ut on Twitter, names are bandied about.
You may note what the Leveson Report said of the web:
“People will not assume that what they read on the internet is trustworthy or that it carries any particular assurance or accuracy.”
Mr Reid may care to browse twitter and find a new client to test the theory.
Such are the facts…