Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
Everything you needed to know about how stupid the high-brow newspapers think tabloid readers, everyone on the web and the youth are is encapsulated in an Independent headline.
This interview with Russell Brand could well win Ed Miliband the next General Election
Undaunted by the glaringly obvious conclusion that Russell Brand’s influence over the electorate is on a par with John Snow’s socks, the Indy tells its readers that Ed Miliband’s walk through his home echo chamber really mattered to the more go-head members of society:
Ed Miliband’s attempt to break the log jam by making a late-night dash to Russell Brand’s flat was the one moment which left traditional media flat-footed. His interview on Brand’s Trews YouTube channel has been watched by 1.2 million people, many of whom would never consider watching Newsnight.
How many of those 1.2 million were journalists on the social media news beat is possibly in the high hundreds of thousands. And mention of the BBC’s post-Jeremy Paxman, post- Jimmy Savile Newsnight is apt. That show’s desperation to attract a younger audience also featured the preening, anti-intellectual Brand, this time talking with the show’s Evan Davis.
It was an excruciating verbal dad-dance of BBC-sanctioned rebellion.
Brendan O’Neill saw it all:
Hilariously, the very same people who accuse the Murdoch papers of brainwashing their readers into voting for the Tories – such undiluted snobbery – believed that a celeb with a webcam and a lively Twitter presence could simply click his fingers and get the hordes voting Labour. But he couldn’t. And it isn’t hard to see why. It’s because people aren’t idiots. They want substance, seriousness, not finger-wagging gags about EVIL TORIES and instructions to ‘save Britain’ by giving the nod to Ed.
Forget middle-aged, middle-brow, David Icke-lite Russell Brand. The cool-hunting adults should invite Jake Yapp on instead – he’s cheaper and funnier:
How do readers of The Guardian live with a Tory victory in the General Eleection? That question is rhetorical The answer is: draw faces on fruit.
In today’s Daily Star, UKIP leader Nigel Farage is offering readers a free pint:
But in the Daily Express, readers just get a littler Nigel and no booze:
Are Daily Star readers so easily bought?
Russell Brand isn’t registered to vote. But he says you should vote Labour, unless you live in Brighton, where you should vote Green. Also, Scots should only vote for a Scot – “If you’re Scottish, you don’t need an English person telling what do to do…” Brand the revolutionary likes fixeed boaders and nationhood. He’s wary of foreigners. He sounds a bit UKIPy.
Also, he’s made his views known after the closing date for voter registration. So, Brandios, get in your times machines and vote soon and vote often for a UKIP-Green-Labour-SNP coalition.
What do we make of this? Helping us are the newspapers experts.
He has nearly 10 million Twitter followers; his YouTube interview with Ed Miliband received well over a million hits and counting; he is listened to by hundreds of thousands of disillusioned Britons, particularly young people who have been repeatedly kicked over the last few years. Russell Brand matters.
Sure: Russell Brand entertains.
And however much bluff and bluster the Tories now pull – maybe more playground abuse from David Cameron, who called Brand a “joke” – his endorsement of Labour in England and Wales will worry them.
More people have registered to vote than ever before: between the middle of March and the deadline to register, nearly 2.3 million registered, over 700,000 of them 24 years old or younger. In countless marginal seats, disillusioned voters who were either going to plump for a protest party or not vote at all could well decide whether we are ruled by David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith for another half a decade.
They could. They could not.
Naturally, Brand’s endorsement is being portrayed as a giant U-turn, and sure enough, he has abandoned his “no vote” stance.
Anyone keen to have their beloved leader preserved as a relic, should know that the bodies of Vladimir Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il are waxed and dipped in aspic by the “Mausoleum group.” Scienific American reviews their work:
To maintain the precise condition of Lenin’s body, the staff must perform regular maintenance on the corpse and sometimes even replace parts with an excruciating attention to detail. Artificial eyelashes have taken the place of Lenin’s original eyelashes, which were damaged during the initial embalming procedures. The lab had to deal with mold and wrinkles on certain parts of Lenin’s body, especially in the early years. Researchers developed artificial skin patches when a piece of skin on Lenin’s foot went missing in 1945. They resculpted Lenin’s nose, face and other parts of the body to restore them to their original feel and appearance. A moldable material made of paraffin, glycerin and carotene has replaced much of the skin fat to maintain the original “landscape” of the skin.
Come the Revolution, you can eat him…
Harvey Proctor was a Member of Parliament for Basildon and for Billericay between 1979 and 1987. He’s written on the allegations of a VIP peado cover-up. Mr Proctor is not shy of media, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today in March that he was keen to be interviewed by police as soon as possible to clear his name.
You can read about Harvey Proctor here. In 1987, Mr Proctor admitted “spanking sessions” with male prostitites.
The Press feasted off the story:
Today he writes:
In the context of recent speculation and allegations on the internet, I write this to say that I am innocent of the allegations against me and I will maintain this stance until my dying breath.
You wonder how bad it can get? You wonder what they can next come up with to make us agog. And then Ed Miliband stands in front of a large headstone. It’s the #Milimonument.
Spotter: Sam Freedman
Daily Express: “Scots police put on spot in Janner probe”
One of the Labour peer’s alleged victims claims the MP took him on a tour of Scotland in the early 1970s during which he was subjected to serious sexual assaults. He made a report at an Edinburgh police station in 1991 but the Crown Office yesterday confirmed they have never been notified.
Where is this report?
It raises fears that Scottish officers may have been ordered to drop any investigation into the politician, like their counterparts south of the Border.
The Sun (Page 8): “Paedo probe judge to check Janner claims”
Claims of his innocence?
There is to be an…inquiry into why Lord Janner was never tried in court. An inquiry is the country’s default position for anything the elite want to moralise on. A “panel” will investigate “whether the 86-year-old Labour peeer was protected by an establishment cover-up”.
This way the elite get to bury the ghosts and no-one gets hurt. It is a State-serving affront to justice.
Daily Express (page 2): “Sex abuse inquiry will review allegations against Lord Janner”
Will it be as big as the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking and tabloid journalism? Will everyone who has ever known or worked with Janner be put on the stand? Will we see all the social workers, police and everyone who worked with Frank Beck, the LibDem councillor and convicted paedophile who ran children’s homes and lived in Braunstone, where Janner is titular Lord? Will it be televised? Will there be dawn raids and mass arrests?
Pump it up! Cameron comes out fighting
Has there ever been a worse speech than David Cameron’s ridiculous address to an audience of lucky businessmen in London?
Perhaps he has been experimenting with drugs.
Perhaps he is going through a mid-life crisis.
Lord Janner Watch: a look at Labour peer Lord Greville Janner in the media.
Daily Mirror (page 20): “Janner could still face charges over child sex”
He could. But he won’t. Tom Pettifor has an “exclusive”.
Greville Janner could still be charged with child sex offences after one of his alleged victims challenged the decision not to prosecute the former MP.
It could be changed if the CPS could prove: a) Janner does not have dementia; b) prove he is a criminal threat.
An internal review will be carried out into the ruling it was “not in the public interest” to put the peer on trial, despite evidence he had allegedly been involved in child abuse.
When Ed Miliband popped over to anti-voting comedian Russell Brand for a televised chat in the kitchen, the papers reacted. What do the tabloids make of Ed’s meeting of minds?
As ever the photos the tabloids chose to use are telling:
The Sun has Ed Miliband on its front page:
Political football is a game of own-goals. Just as a leading Aston Villa, Arsenal or Leeds United fan…
David Cameron is the latest (but probably not the last) politician to learn that football, when used as a political football, can result in an own goal.
In football parlance, it was the day the Conservatives’ gaffer became the gaffe-er. During an election meeting, the Prime Minister described our great country as a place, ‘Where you can be Welsh and Hindu and British, Northern Irish and Jewish and British, where you can wear a kilt and a turban, where you can wear a hijab covered in poppies. Where you can support Man United, the Windies and Team GB all at the same time.’
Lord Janner is still in the news. The Labour peer, who won’t face the court for alleged child abuse because his dementia makes him unfit for trial, remains in the media’s crosshairs…
Today’s news round-up:
The Daily Mail: “Home Office chiefs ignored FOURTH warning on Janner: Officials were told of child sex claims in 1995 report”
This goes to the top. Who warned them? What did they warn about?
The Home Office was warned that Lord Janner was abusing young boys two decades ago but did nothing about it.
What should it have done? Surely the Home Office can only act if there is evidence…
An MP passed a dossier of information to the department in the hope it would kick-start a fresh police investigation. But instead the paperwork was shelved by officials until it was discovered in 2013 and belatedly passed to Leicestershire Police.
Which officials? Why didn’t the MP make copies and send them to the Press? As ever, we just get more questions in place of facts. It all stinks. But what’s making the smell?
Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells has resigned? Why? Well, there was that comment her made, the one about gays and paedos:
“You don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That a child is far more likely to be abused and neglected….”
Ignorant balls, of course. But that’s not why Mr Wells has resigned. As he says:
“As many people are aware I have been focused on helping my wife during her fight for life. Those who know my family and I, know the last three months have been the toughest of our lives as we watched my wife, Grace, suffer two successive strokes and battle through major heart surgery. However, as she now faces further challenges I have come to the point where I am no longer able to continue my ministerial duties and give Grace the attention she deserves.”
Fair enough. But about his words linking child abuse and being gay… Well, on that he says:
“I accept that one line of what I said caused offence and deep concern. I regret having wrongly made that remark about abuse and I’m sorry those words were uttered. The comment did not reflect my view nor that of my party.”
Lord Greville Janner: a round-up of media reporting on the Labour peer mired in the story of Westminster peados.
Mail on Sunday: “Let’s hear Janner facts”
Now that the Crown Prosecution Service has admitted that Lord Janner could have been charged with serious sexual offences when he was fit to plead, calls for him to face a special hearing of the case against him in open court are, rightly, increasing.
He could have faced a trial if he had been ordered to years ago – back when historical sex abuse was not the hot story it is today. But he wasn’t. And coulds and ifs are not facts.
Peter Wanless, the head of the NSPCC, has added his powerful voice to the clamour for the allegations to be considered at a ‘trial of facts’ in which his accusers would be heard, though he would not need to take part, or face the risk of conviction.
Lord Janner: a look at reporting on the Labout peer in the news.
The Sun: “CRONY PROSECUTOR”
DPP worked at same firm as peado rap Lord she let off
It’s about Ms Alison Saunders, the head of the Crown Prosection service. The Sun says she “started her career” at 1 Garden Court Chamebers – where Janner…was a top QC.”
Thsi is an “exclusive”. Well, it is to anyone who has never read the Saunders CV or other news sources days ago.
The upper echelons of the judiciary are incestuous places.
Daily Telegraph: “CPS chief’s husbands is member of ‘tax loophole’ film investment scheme”
The knives are out for Director of Public Prosecutions boss Saunders.
Neil Saunders, whose wife is the Director of Public Prosecutions, is a member of a controversial scheme being investigated by the taxman, The Telegraph can disclose.
A lecture from the Daily Telegraph on the wrongs of legally exploiting tax loopholes might make you roll your eyes, but is it valid?
Neil Saunders, a defence barrister, is listed by Companies House as a member of a film industry investment scheme which is being pursued by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
How are the husband’s tax affairs relevant to Sauncders’ decicion not to send Janner to court? We’re not told. It’s just out there. As are these facts:
• DPP Alison Saunders took legal advice on Greville Janner from former colleague of his son
• DPP Alison Saunders spent £7,000 on business class flights while CPS headed towards crisis
The Press Gazette: “‘Eight officers stormed into my bedroom shouting Met Police’: Reporter’s three-year ordeal ‘for writing story about a fox'”
As well as looking at what cases Saunders did not think fit for court, it’s worth looking what what cases she has approved.
The Sun’s online news editor Vince Soodin has has condemned the Met Police for turning Operation Elveden into “a probe into unauthorised leaks to journalists – whether they were paid for or not”.
Soodin, along with former News of the World reporter Lucy Panton, was officially cleared at the Old Bailey yesterday – nearly three years after his initial arrest.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, Soodin, 40, said Operation Elveden has been “pursued without any sense of proportion” by the Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders – who he said “must resign”.
On his 7 August 2012 arrest, Soodin wrote: “I was set to go the London Olympics; instead I was woken – at 6.06am – by my doorbell. I was confronted by eight police officers; detectives stormed past me into my bedroom, waking my girlfriend, who was unaware I had gone to the front door, shouting ‘Met Police’ before I was allowed to explain to her what was happening. We were in shock.
“Officers bagged up our computers. Seized our belongings. They went through our clothes and underwear, personal diaries, everything. Almost anything connected to my job was tagged and taken. They still have my Sun contract of employment – as though this is damning evidence that I am a criminal.
“Detectives stood over us as we dressed. Then I was taken away from my girlfriend and thrown into a cell at a north London police station before being questioned by two detectives.”
Snodin then nails Saunders.
“Set alongside the Lord Janner scandal and February’s ludicrous prosecution of a doctor – on charges of female genital mutilation – who had stitched up a woman bleeding after childbirth, Operation Elveden has destroyed confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service under Alison Saunders. There is only one proper course of action now. She must resign.”
The FGM show trial was a disaster for the CPS. It was a victory for the jury which found Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena not guilty of carrying out female genital mutilation on a newly delivered young mother. Another man was cleared of abetting Dr Dharmasena. Both men was used to showcase the authorities’ commitment to combatting FGM.
But what of calling for someone to lose their job? Is that fair?
The Indepedent: “Lord Janner: How the Director of Public Prosecutions should have handled the Labour peer”
What most angers her critics is that after taking the trouble to consult widely on the decision, Saunders has chosen to deny Janner’s alleged victims any chance of having their day in court.
What angers her critics is that Saunders came to the conclusion they didn’t want.
Lord Janner’s mental capacity – he is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s – is not in question.
It is the question. It is very much the question. And many have sought to answer it. If Lord Janner was well, he would be charged with 14 indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988; two indecent assaults between 1984 and 1988; four counts of buggery of a male under 16 between 1972 and 1987; and two counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988.
…she seemed to perfectly understand what is at stake by deciding not to prosecute. Saunders explained: “There has been considerable public interest, and media coverage, of the fact of the investigations including identifying Lord Janner as the subject of them. Indeed, concern has been expressed publicly of a cover-up.”
And she went on: “The allegations that have been made against Lord Janner are extremely serious. Those who have made them are, entirely understandably, vociferous in urging the taking of action against Lord Janner.”
But what Saunders woefully failed to address was the possibility of a trial on the facts alone, so that the victims would at least have their allegations tested in a court of law. It would have required Lord Janner to be charged and then for the judge to officially rule that, although he was unfit to plead, a jury could still hear the issues.
The critics have also referred to cases under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 where a criminal court does decide the truth of allegations against a person suffering from a mental incapacity. But, as confirmed by the Court of Appeal in a judgment, R v Wells, in January, such cases are heard, despite the mental incapacity, because consideration is being given to imposing a hospital order or a supervision order on the defendant for reasons of public protection, or because treatment is required, and it is in the defendant’s interest that the facts are found before such an intrusive order is made. In the present case, and as the DPP has explained, the medical evidence is again unequivocal that Lord Janner poses no current threat to anyone.
Of course the decision is disappointing to the complainants. But the criminal process does not exist to give a platform for the making of allegations against a defendant who is incapable of defending himself. The gravity of the allegations makes it especially appropriate to protect such a defendant from unfairness, particularly when he denied the allegations in the past while able to do so.
The Indy goes on:
This would have been highly unusual, and may have broken new legal ground, but this is a highly unusual case in which the police and CPS have failed three times to do their job.
Saunders’ inability to anticipate the political backlash left her badly exposed.
So. Justice should be dictated by fear of the public mood?
Sir Clive Loader, Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, described the decision as ‘not just wrong’ but ‘wholly perverse’ and ‘contrary to any notion of natural justice’.
The police are now on the side of the angels.
Daily Mail: “The rape of justice: Damning new evidence of Labour peer Lord Janner’s child sex abuse covered up by police and social workers for over 20 years”
Police and social workers were told more than 20 years ago that the peer took a vulnerable boy to Labour Party offices and Parliament before molesting him in his marital bed.
What did the caring. child-friendly police do back then?
A ten-page witness statement details the alleged victim’s harrowing ordeal at the hands of Janner. But all references to the politician were removed from the child’s social services file, according to legal papers obtained by the Mail.
A children’s home manager told bosses she feared he was having sex with the child but her concerns were ‘swept under the carpet’. The scale of the cover-up helps explains how the former Labour MP repeatedly escaped justice.
Over to Guy Adams, who dramatises the story:
The middle of the night at a large family home in one of North London’s most genteel residential neighbourhoods. In one of the upstairs bedrooms, a teenage boy lies awake. It’s eerily quiet, and he’s a long, long way from the children’s institution that has in recent years been home. The house is dark and shadowy. Scary, even. He feels frightened, confused and very much alone.
But this boy is not alone. In the gloom, he picks out an unmistakable figure shuffling across the carpet. It’s the middle-aged father-of-three who owns this house where he is staying…
With sickening inevitability, this vulnerable and frightened child, who only recently reached his 14th birthday, is then subjected to a sexual assault. ‘He touched my penis and asked me to touch his. He then simulated sex with me as I could feel his penis rubbing against my body, but after a while he got up from the bed and went out of the room. I must have fallen asleep, because when I awoke it was morning.’
This attack, carried out in December 1974, is one of several described in chilling detail in a ten-page witness statement prepared several years later by a firm of Leicester solicitors called Greene D’Sa. According to the document, which was passed to me this week, it marked the start of an abusive ‘full sexual relationship’ that endured almost two years.
The attack was also the culination of a lengthy grooming process which had begun when the boy’s abuser, a high-profile MP, visited a secondary school in his Leicester constituency. That MP was Greville Janner, then 46, a Labour backbencher…
Titilated? The story then alleges who knew of Janner and the boy:
It tells how his relationship with Janner was known to everyone, from his friends, to his social worker, children’s home manager and the then-director of Leicester’s social services. Yet nothing was done to stop it….
In a second, 1993 witness statement, again passed to me this week, the same boy recalls in 1989 and 1991 meeting detectives investigating a historic paedophile ring said to have included Janner. The relatively junior police investigators were apparently convinced that this man had, indeed, been ‘buggered by Greville Janner’ during childhood. ‘They needed me to include that information in my statement before they could arrest Janner,’ it notes.
But, soon afterwards, the two junior detectives were forced to drop their investigation into the MP, apparently at the behest of senior figures within the Leicestershire constabulary.
The boy isn’t the only person to make this claim. Indeed, his 1993 statement appears to confirm a similar version of events made public last year by one of those two officers, Mick Creedon.
Should you wonder about the veracity of Mr Creedon’s recollection, it is illuminating to learn that he is now Chief Constable of Derbyshire.
Mr Creedon deneis any wrong doing. Lord Grevillw Jannwr and his family deny any wrongdoing.
Right now all we have are stories.
Leicester Mercury: “Alleged child sexual abuse victim will seek review of decision not to prosecute Greville Janner”
A man who alleges he was sexually abused by former Leicester MP Greville Janner says he will seek a review of the decision not to put the politician on trial. Paul Miller claims 86-year-old Lord Janner abused him when he was nine years old during a school trip to the House of Commons.
Mr Miller, 52, from Aylestone, said he had not yet received her letter, but would both seek a review and take up the offer to meet Ms Saunders…
He said: “I will meet her, but she had better pin her ears back because I am an angry man. I will tell her face to face she has got this wrong, and I will be asking for the review. I don’t think I will be the only one.”
Ms Saunders has stood by her decision not to try Lord Janner, despite saying there was enough evidence to bring charges against him in relation to 22 alleged offences between 1969 and 1998.
She said there was evidence that could have seen him charged in 1991, 2002 and 2007, but now he was suffering from dementia so severe he was unfit to stand trial.
Such are the facts…
Lord Janner: a look at reporting on the Labour peer accsued on child abuse. He denies all allegations.
The Sun: Columnist Rod Liddle is bold. Will Lord Janner reply? Will his lawyers?
Is the media biased against Janner? Are we all looking for what we want to find? This is today’s round-up of reporting on the Labour peer:
The Daily Mail, Page 6: “Janner gave his children deeds to his £2m home at height of abuse probe”
It puts the luxury apartment out of reach for potential child abuse victims suing the peer for compensation. His flat, in a gated community near Hampstead Heath, north London, was transferred free of charge to his two daughters and son in March last year – the same month that police raided his Westminster office, and three months after they had swooped on his home.
Rod Liddle has few words to say about Lord Janner, the Labour peer accused of sexually abusing children. Janner won’t be standing trial for alleged offences because the judiciary say his dementia is so far advanced he won’t understand what’s going on in court. Janner, 86, denies any wrongdoing.
So. Here’s Liddle in the Sun:
As we say, Lord Janner denies any wrongdoing. But will he reply to the Sun’s article..?
Grandpa is dead. Larry Upright’s dying wish is that you do not vote for Hilary Clinton:
Westminster paedos: a look at the reporting on allegations VIPs abused children and got away with it in the 1960s-1980s. All eyes are on Greville Janner, the Labour peer who denies any wrongdoing.
The Daily Express (page 11): “‘Doubt’ over the dementia of peer let off child sex charges”
How far gone is Lord Greville Janner? How ill is too ill?
OUTRAGE over the failure to prosecute alleged paedophile peer Greville Janner grew yesterday after it emerged he wrote to the House of Lords a fortnight ago, despite claims he is suffering from dementia.
Those claims of dementia have been substantiated by at least four medical experts. They say the 86-year-old peer is too old to understand any trial of the facts. But this is interesting:
Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders also faced accusations of double standards and a “cover up” because several defendants with dementia have been jailed for sex crimes in recent years.
Lord Janner, 86, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2009 and took a formal leave of absence last October.
On April 9 this year he replied to a House of Lords query about his retirement with a personally signed letter asking to continue his break.
The fact the Labour peer was able to sign the statement cast doubts on the DPP’s decision not to charge him with 22 child sex offences due to the “severity” of his dementia.
Dealaing with those points in turn: if other dentaia sufferers have been put on the stand for their alleged crimes, then why not the good Lord? And is the ability to sign a letter proof that you could follow complex legal arguments? Surely not. Dementia is often characterised by anosognosia –the lack of awareness of one’s disease.
Accusations that the peer is being protected by the Establishment grew after it emerged at least 19 men with dementia have been convicted of child sex offences since 2010, including 10 in the past year.
We don’t know the details of those cases (we’ll look later). Comparing one patient to another is fraught with difficulty. And we’re not told how many dementia partients were deemed unfit to take the stand. But a quick look reveals a few cases:
In 2013, Hans Lipschis, 94, was not tried for his life as an alleged former SS guard at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.
In 2011 a judge said John Hammond who killed his wife was unfit to stand trial.
In 2014, a farmer accused of murder was deemed to be unfit for trial.
Are sex crimes worse than murder?
The Express hears from Peter Saunders of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood:
“This letter is a clear blow to the lie that this man is suffering. If he understands something as important as taking leave from the British legislature then surely he is fit to stand trial. It stinks of an Establishment cover-up. There is unease that someone as influential and high profile as Lord Janner will not face trial when Joe Bloggs has.”
No. The ability to sign a letter is not proof of sound mental health. But what the officials said is lamentable. Hold you nose:
… the CPS judges that mistakes were made in the decision making at the time by both the Leicestershire police in 2002 and the CPS in 1991 and 2007. Lord Janner should have been prosecuted in relation to those complaints.
It is a matter of deep regret that the decisions in relation to the previous investigations were as they were. Had the previous decisions been to prosecute, as they should have been, Lord Janner would have had the opportunity to challenge the evidence and defend himself through the trial process, with a jury ultimately deciding on his guilt or innocence some years ago. Victims of the alleged offences have been denied the opportunity of criminal proceedings in relation to the offences of which they have complained.
It is of obvious and particular concern that such proceedings did not take place as a result of what the CPS now consider to be wrong decisions. In order to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice and to seek to learn appropriate lessons, the CPS has asked retired High Court Judge, Sir Richard Henriques, to conduct a thorough and independent review into the CPS decision making and handling of all past matters relating to this case; and to make whatever recommendations he considers appropriate. He has agreed to undertake this task.
As the past gets reviewed, the Express focuses on the now:
Page 12: “Janner case gets murkier”
“If he is too ill to stand trial he should have resigned from the Lords”
That seems a fair point. The Lord’s is no care home. It is a legislative body.
At present we are just taking the DPP’s word that he mentally unfit to stand trial despite evidence to the contrary
Is the Express suggesting some kind of public test, whereby Lord Janner could do a Q & A or undergo a series of cognitive tests, perhaps on Jeremy Kyle’s TV show? A letter is the Express‘ “evidence to the contrary”. But evidence to the fact comes from four medical experts. And what of those who know him? Are they all wrong?
Daily Mirror (Page 6): “Lord Janner: New child abuse ‘victims’ emerge”
Victims is in inverted commas. Nothing has been proven. The judiciary won’t allow it.
Leicestershire Police had already traced 25 potential victims during a two-year probe codenamed Operation Enamel. A force spokesman said: “A number of alleged victims have come forward to the Operation Enamel team following the announcement last week.”
Tom Pettifor turns to the Janner’s health:
Records show he claimed £2,500 for 15 House of Lords appearances in the month before a search of his home. In total, he attended on 138 days in 2013, but has not returned since December 18, 2013, a day after police completed a two-day search of his home.
And that letter:
It has been reported he wrote to Lords clerks earlier this month indicating he did not wish to step down as a serving peer.
John Mann, the Labour candidate contesting Bassetlaw, Notts said: “I don’t see how you can sign a document relating to membership of the House of Lords if you have dementia.”
The Mirror then adds:
He was diagnosed with dementia in 2009, and his condition is thought to have deteriorated since he became a suspect.
Or to put it a less laoded way: hid dementia has worsened with time. Is the Mirror just wafting the stink?
Daily Mail (Page 24): “”Dementia peer who’s too ill for sex abuse trial’ signed letter to Lords 12 days ago”
We hear once more from Pete Saunders: “…if he isn’t compos mentis, there’s no way he should be anywhere near our legislature.”
The Mail Online has examples of people with dementia who were tried for alleged sex crimes. But are their cases like the allegations made against Lord Janner?
Last summer Stephen Turner, who has bipolar disorder and fronto-temporal dementia, which leads to changes in personality, was found unfit to stand trial but found to have carried out a number of child sex offences.
He had performed a sex act on himself in front of children in a theme park three months after police found a cache of child porn on his computer, and was sentenced to a hospital order.
The Stoke Sentinnel has the facts.
Prosecutor John Butterfield QC said Turner was a patient at Florence House, a mental health hospital in Porthill, when on March 18 last year staff took him his to his old address in Hilton Road, Stoke, so he could collect some personal belongings. But a social worker spotted he was packing pornographic material. When they returned to Florence House Turner’s case was locked in an office. It was found to contain adult and child pornography in magazines and photo albums.
Police searched the defendant’s room and found more illegal images. In total they recovered 163 images at level one; 83 at level two; 32 at level three and 118 at level four. Turner made no comment to all questions put to him in his police interview.
He remained a resident at Florence House and on June 27 he was treated to a day out at Trentham Gardens. At 11am he went to the toilet at the same time as a group of 13-year-old boys on a school trip.
Mr Butterfield QC said: “Two boys saw the defendant moving from urinal to urinal. He then turned and performed a sex act on himself. One boy noted he was walking towards them as he did that.”
He was bang to rights. He was a clear and present danger to the public. The DPP says Lord Janner offers no threat.
Last March a former director of the Ulster Museum in Belfast, John Nolan, was convicted of abusing a little girl but given a suspended sentence. His defence QC told the judge that sending his client to prison ‘would be a death sentence and Judge Piers Grant agreed that although his offending deserved a prison sentence he would ‘exercise considerable mercy’.
The Belfast Telegraph:
Judge Grant told the court he was satisfied, given the historical nature of the offences and Nolan’s clear record, that he was not a “sexual predator”. He said that given those factors, his age and ill-health, Nolan did not pose a significant risk of harm to the public by reoffending.
As well as the suspended jail term, the judge ordered Nolan to sign the police sex offenders’ register for 10 years and imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
In February 2014 David Massingham was deemed unfit to stand trial back in February because of his memory loss and confused state. But a jury at Teesside Crown Court still heard his case and convicted him of ten indecent assaults and an offence of a serious sexual assault committed more than 30 years ago. He was also detained in a hospital.
David Massingham, 77, who has dementia, was detained under the Mental Health Act as a judge said he was still a risk to children
In 2012 Gerald Longman, now 81, was spared jail despite sexually and physically abusing his daughters, who waived their anonymity to say they wished he was dead. Longman was given an absolute discharge at Taunton Crown Court as he had been deemed unfit to stand trial due to dementia – but a jury listened to the facts and ruled he had committed the crimes.
This case seems more relevant:
Even though Longman was declared ‘unfit to stand trial’ due to his dementia, a jury listened to the facts and ruled he had committed the crimes.
They deemed him guilty of four indecent assaults, two rapes and inciting a girl under 14 to carry out an indecent act.
Judge Graham Hume Jones said his hands were tied and that he was unable to impose a tougher sentence The judge said: “It’s most unfortunate there’s nothing I can do in the circumstances. I have no doubt that all those who are listening to this case will keep a very close eye on the defendant in the future.”
Based on their knowledge of their father’s health, they are sceptical of claims by Longman, who committed his crimes when the family lived in Wellington, Somerset, that he was so affected by dementia that he was unfit to stand trial and therefore may avoid prison.
Let’s look once more at the official decision not to presecute Janner:
The medical evidence establishes both that there is no current risk of re-offending identified and that there is no likelihood of the defendant recovering from his medical condition (and thus that there is no future risk of reoffending either). Balancing these factors with those in favour of prosecution, the balance is that there is not a public interest in commencing criminal proceedings in this case.
Lastly, the Daily Telegraph looks at Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, who “spent almost £7,000 of taxpayers’ money on business class flights around the world while the Crown Prosecution Service headed towards crisis over Greville Janner and doomed trials of journalists.
Ms Saunders, who is paid £200,000 a year, flew business class to New York, Washington, Dubai and the Caribbean, and also jetted to Madrid, Rome and The Hague for publicly-funded trips while the CPS spent a year contemplating whether to prosecute Lord Janner…
We’re told that one taxi ride seh took was billed at £102.
A spokesman for the CPS said the DPP was allowed to charge business class fares for long haul flights when she was required to work immediately after landing. The CPS said staff were allowed to take taxis in certain circumstances, such as when heavy luggage or large quantities of papers had to be transported. The spokesman added: “Crime is international and so is the work of the DPP in combatting it. The DPP’s travel overseas helps the CPS to join forces with other countries so we can reduce serious crime both in the UK and around the world.”
Lord Janner maintains his innocence.
Such are the facts…
Lord Greville Janner: a look at reporting on the Labour peer accused of child abuse. His family maintain his innocence.
The Daily Mirror has nothing say on Janner. The paper has been hot on the story of Westminster VIP paedos. But not a word today. And there’s not a not a word on Janner in the Daily Star and Daily Express.
The Sun (page 11): “Did Janner get his senile trick off Saunders?”
That question is asked by columnist Kelvin Mackenzie. Is he saying that Janner, a member of the magic circle, has curable dementia, like Ernest Saunders?
MacKenzie recalls Ernest Saunders:
You may just remember he was the Guinness chief executive jailed for five years for manipulating his company’s share price ahead of a takeover. The reason Mr Saunders became famous in the late 80s was not due to his “crime” but because he was freed by the Appeal Court after serving only ten months of his sentence as he was diagnosed with pre-senile dementia associated with Alzheimer’s…
Miracle upon miracle, the symptoms soon disappeared and in no time at all he was in good enough shape to take up his business career again.
Saunders’ recovery was, indeed, remarkable. But what of Janner, who has Alzheimer’s disease?
[he] won’t ever face a court because that idiot Alison Saunders, who runs (for now) the Crown Prosecution Service, believes that his dementia is too advanced for him to have a fair trial.
I don’t believe a word of it.
Barack Obama is beyond parody: the US President is making sacrifices for the planet:
President Barack Obama announced in his weekly address that he will travel to the Florida Everglades on Wednesday, which is Earth Day, to bring attention to the dangers of climate change.
If one man on a huge 747 Jumbo Jet (plus bodyguards, support craft, a massive limo, Press pack and guns – lots of guns) can save the planet imagine what you can do?
It’s only an “occassional use of private avitaion fuel“…