Westminster paedos: one complaint exposes Lord Bramall of Bushfield to the media’s ‘witch hunt’
Westminster peados: a look at reporting on an alleged cover up of VIP child abuse.
Daily Mirror (page 10): “Retired Field Marshal In Child Sex Quiz”
We meet Field Marshal Lord Bramall of Bushfield. Lord Bramall is 91. He is one of the UK’s highest-ranking veterans. He is Field Marshal Edwin Noel Westby Bramall, Baron Bramall KG, GCB, OBE, MC, JP, DL.
Police probing claims that children were abused by a VIP paedophile ring in the 70s and 80s have quizzed a former head of the British Army. Field Marshal Lord Bramall of Bushfield, 91, was interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives as part of Operation Midland.
Tom Pettifor adds:
The probe will also examine allegations that three boys were murdered.
Lord Bramall is quoted:
“Categorically, never have I had a connection or anything to do with the matters being investigated. It is not in my character or my psyche.” Allegations he was involved in child abuse were “absolutely a load of rubbish”, he added.
Scotland Yard make a statement:
“A man in his 90s was interviewed under caution after attending a local police station by appointment at 11:00hrs. He was not arrested. He will not be subject to police bail conditions.”
Innocence must be presumed. But the Mirror loads the report:
Eton-educated Lord Bramall…
Is that relevant?
He was awarded the Military Cross by Field Marshal Montgomery in 1945. Lord Bramall stood down as a cross-bench peer in 2013 although he has kept his title. In 2006 it was reported he hit fellow peer Lord Janner after an argument in the House of Lords.
The matter was dropped after he apologised.
The Standard reported in 2006:
When Lord Bramall was asked if it was true that he had had an argument with Lord Janner over the Lebanon crisis, in which he made anti-Israeli remarks, he replied: ‘We are very old friends, we have corresponded since then.’ Asked what ‘then’ meant, Lord Bramall said: ‘Since we had a slight argument.’
Questioned over whether the argument involved any physical contact, Lord Bramall replied: ‘Not an assault,’ before terminating the conversation.
The Mirror’s report makes no mention of why Lord Bramall was questioned by police? Surely he was just helping them with their enquiries. But the paedo hunt is on so Lord Bramall is “grilled on VIP paedo ring”.
On the BBC, the news is less loaded:
He spent nearly two hours at the police station during which he answered questions. He was not arrested. Lord Bramall told the BBC he had no comment to make…
He become chief of the general staff – the professional head of the Army – in 1979, and in 1982 he oversaw the Falklands campaign. Later that year he became chief of the defence staff – the most senior officer commanding the UK’s armed forces.
The Daily Mail includes the key fact about the man’s home:
The D-Day veteran attended a police station close to his £900,000 Surrey home…
Still we are not told why Lord Bramall is being questioned.
Daily Telegraph: “Friends condemn ‘absurd’ decision to interview Lord Bramall in paedophile inquiry”
“The main aim is to get the whole bloody thing cleared up,” said the friend, who declined to be named. “His attendance at the police station was entirely voluntary. The whole thing is absoultely ridiculous.”
…another friend said: “It’s all part and parcel of this absurd business before. He went to the police station to clear up various problems and hopes to be taken out of the investigation.”
Various problems cleared?
Max Hasting is named. He wrote of Bramall’ “witch-hunt” in the Mail:
An unspecified allegation of a sexual nature had been made against him, said the officers, dating back to the Seventies and involving a minor. They had a warrant to search his house. Some 20 officers in white overalls entered and spent the next ten hours examining every corner and crevice.
They finally left at 7pm, taking with them an old visitors’ book and copies of two speeches Lord Bramall had made, one to Sandhurst cadets and another about a fellow Army commander.
Since that ghastly day — and how could such an experience be other than ghastly for any of us — he has heard not another word from the police, who are presumably still examining whatever evidence they believe they have against the old soldier…
Nothing, said the officers, except that an allegation had been made to them last October from someone who had been under 16 at the time of Lord Bramall’s supposed assault on him.
This is interesting:
I remember dear old Lord Deedes, my predecessor as editor of the Daily Telegraph, saying sadly 20 years ago: ‘Once upon a time, if the police called in someone for questioning about a serious crime, nothing would be heard about it publicly unless they were charged. Today, the questioning is all over the front pages next morning.’
The paedo hunt has not found all that much, has it. It might. It might not. But the story has taken on a life of its own.