Tag Archives: censorship

Operation Eleveden, Tom Harper, The Independent and the censoring of elite criminality

Robert Henderson

On 11th July 2013 I met the  journalist Tom Harper  who works for the Independent. I was introduced to him by the lawyer  Mark Lewis who has represented many of the phone-hacking victims.

The meeting was to discuss Operation Elveden’s refusal to investigate my complaints about  Piers Morgan  and Jeff Edwards receiving information from the police in circumstances that can only be illegal, Morgan and Edwards’ perjury before the Leveson Inquiry and the failure of the police (led by then Det Supt Jeff Curtis) to investigate my original complaints against Morgan and Edwards; this  despite my supplying them with a letter from Morgan to the PCC in which he admits the Mirror received the information from the police. The details of my dealings with Elveden are at  (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/operation-elveden-piers-morgan-et-al-the-dpp-advised-of-elvedens-refusal-to-investigate/).

We spent more than an  hour together. Our discussion expanded beyond Operation Eleveden  to the refusal of the Leveson Inquiry to call  me as a witness or use any of the information  I supplied to the Inquiry (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/).  From there it went to the Blairs’ attempts to have me prosecuted and the use of Special Branch and MI5 to keep me under surveillance after failing to do persuade the  CPS to sanction an investigation of me.  (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/) That in turn led to the story attached to the publication in Wisden Cricket Monthly  of my article  Is it in the blood?  in 1995. (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/is-it-in-the-blood-cmj-and-the-hypocrisy-of-the-media/)

During our conversation I supplied Harper with a good deal of material and the next day I emailed him with the other information he requested such as the responses to my  Data Protection Act requests to Special Branch  and MI5. ( The major evidence is listed in my first email to Harper reproduced below.)  Thus Harper  had all the information he asked for by 12th July.

Throughout our  meeting Harper was very enthusiastic about the material I gave him and the story I had to tell.  At the end of the meeting he said he was definitely going to run the story and wanted to do so quickly.

I rang Harper on 12 July and asked what was happening. He was still adamant the story was going to be used soon. I asked whether it would come out that  weekend . Interestingly, he responded in panicky fashion by asking me if I was going to offer the story to someone else. I assured him I had no plans to do that but did need some action soon. Harper promised to come back to me when publication was scheduled.

A week later I still had not heard from him. When I tried to ring him I always went to voicemail. I left messages but got no reply. Eventually on the 22nd July I emailed him and copied the letter to Mark Lewis. That shamed him into action and I received the email from him which I reproduce below.

Harper’s email is utterly at odds with both his behaviour at our meeting and the phone call of 12th July. My further email to him reproduced below deals with this transmutation of his attitude.  Harper did not reply to this email.

The most plausible explanation for his change of heart is that he has been leant on by someone in a position of authority, most probably his editor.  Whatever the reason, Harper can be added to the list of journalists and broadcasters who have censored the stories I have to tell, all of which are by any standard of prime public interest.

———————————————————————————–

From: robert henderson [mailto:anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk]

Sent: 22 July 2013 16:00

To: Tom Harper

Subject: I need to know your intentions Tom

Tom Harper

The Independent

22 7 2013

Dear Tom,

I have given you gratis  at least four  major stories:

1. The Blairs misuse of the security services against me

2. Unshakeable evidence of Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from the police.

3. The failure of the police to twice investigate the Mirror’s illegal receipt of information.

4. Leveson’s corrupt behaviour in failing to call me as a witness or using  any of the evidence I supplied to him including the Piers Morgan letter – see below.

Most importantly, I have not simply asserted these things happened. Instead  I have given you absolute proof that they happened by supplying you with, amongst other things:

a) Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC admitting he received information from the police in circumstances which can only be illegal.

b) A tape recording of Det Supt Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard promising to interview Morgan and Edwards, something he failed to do.

c). My correspondence with Operation Elveden showing their utter refusal to investigate my complaints against Morgan, Edwards and Jeff Curtis despite the fact that they had cast iron evidence of the alleged offences.

d) Correspondence with Special Branch and MI5 relating to my use of the DPA which demonstrated (1) they held data on me and (2) there was data that the y refused to release. This despite the fact that the CPS ruled the Blairs’ complaints against me as “NO CRIME” within hours of receiving the papers from Belgravia police.

e) A copy of the Belgravia Police report on the Blairs’ complaint which clearly showed the “No Crime” ruling.

f) Correspondence between the Met Police and me relating to the Belgravia Police report. This shows (1) that I managed to get the report significantly changed using the DPA and (2) that the Blairs had referred to me as “an irritant like Henderson”, a distinctly sinister phrase  from a man who was on the brink of becoming PM.

When we met You assured me that you were going to use the information and that it would be used quickly. You have now had the information the better part of two weeks,. No story has appeared and my attempts to contact you by phone have proven fruitless.  I need to know ASAP whether you intend to use the story and if not why you have changed your mind.

All political ills flow from censorship and most particularly censorship of the misbehaviour of the powerful.   Milton put it beautifully:  ‘And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose upon the earth, so truth be in the field [and] we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter…’ [Areogapitica].

Only those who are uncertain of their case ever wish to suppress information and argument.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

—————————————————————————————-

From: Tom Harper <T.Harper@independent.co.uk>

To: robert henderson <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>

Sent: Monday, 22 July 2013, 16:10

Subject: RE: I need to know your intentions Tom

Dear Robert,

Apologies for the delay in responding to you. I have been tied up with other stories that were on the go before I met you.

I have reviewed the information now. I am very grateful to you for taking the time to come and meet me and show me your dossier.

However, I do not think I can use it for a news story in The Independent.

I do not doubt that what happened back in 1997 was wrong, inhuman and had a deleterious effect on your health. I am truly sorry you had to go through those awful experiences.

But I do not think the information you have provided proves the stories that you say. Although it is mildly embarrassing that Morgan has admitted The Mirror got the info from a police source, there is no suggestion any money changed hands. That is the allegation that would create my “top line” – and it is flawed.

I know you will strongly disagree and I am sorry about that. But if you read some of my past work, you will see I am not afraid of having a pop at the police and/or the press and I am not being censored. I just do not think the evidence stacks up in quite the way you suggest.

However, I do think that some of it could be used as background material for a wider piece, but sense you want to try and get maximum impact so I would suggest approaching other journos.

Thanks very much for meeting up with me and good luck.

Warmest regards,

Tom

——————————————————————————————-

From: robert henderson <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>

To: Tom Harper <T.Harper@independent.co.uk>

Cc: Mark <mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk>

Sent: Monday, 22 July 2013, 16:53

Subject: Re: I need to know your intentions Tom

Dear Tom,

Your response literally makes no sense. You had the all information by the end of our meeting. Your attitude throughout our meeting was very enthusiastic. Not only  that but you promised me you would be using the story. You said the same when I spoke with you  a week ago. Now suddenly you pretend it is no story. Do you honestly imagine, Tom, that any disinterested third party would believe that you have rejected the story because it is not of great public interest?  If you had run it not only would it have brought down  Piers Morgan and several senior police officers, but it would have put the Blairs in a very awkward position.

I will address the particular point of Piers Morgan letter. I explained the relevant law to you during our meeting. Whether or not Morgan, Edwards or any other Mirror employee paid for the information is irrelevant to whether a criminal offence was committed.  The offences of misconduct in a public office, conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, breaches of the DPA and   breaches  of the Official Secrets Act  (there is a reciprocal offence for those knowingly  receiving material in circumstances covered by the Act regardless of whether they had signed the Act – the police do sign the Act)  were committed. Conspiracies to commit the other offences could conceivably also be brought. You will recall that Damien Green was investigated for conspiring  to commit misconduct in a public office in 2009 (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/editorials/leading-article-misconduct-in-public-office-1669922.html).  Of course, the odds are that the Mirror did pay for the information and that needs to be investigated as well.

As for Jeff Curtis and Operation Elveden, a failure to investigate an alleged serious crime when there is clear evidence of it constitutes a perversion of the course of justice.

You have thrown away a most tremendous story. I will not speculate here as to why, but I think we both know why.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

Operation Elveden, Piers Morgan et al: the DPP advised of Elveden’s refusal to investigate

Keir Starmer (DPP)
Rose Court
2 Southwark Bridge
London
SE1 9HS
Tel: 020 3357 0000
CC
Alison Saunders Chief Crown Prosecutor (London)
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Met Commissioner)
Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)
Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
John Whittingdale MP
Sir Gerald Howarth MP
25 July 2013
Dear Mr Starmer
I have been copying you in to a complaint I submitted to Operation Elveden in January this year. I have done this because my previous experience with the Met persuaded me that they cannot be trusted to behave honestly when complaints involve those with power, wealth and influence.   I enclose below my complete correspondence with Operation Elveden for your convenience.
There is a considerable scandal in the way Operation Elveden has responded to my complaints. Put simply they have been rejected without any investigation despite the evidence I provided being exceptionally strong.
The complaint  included a cast-iron case against Piers Morgan when editor of the Daily Mirror of receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.   The evidence I provided was just about as conclusive as you could wish: a letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC . In it he writes “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect…”  I attach a copy of the letter in facsimile.
There is also conclusive evidence against the Mirror’s erstwhile Chief Crime Reporter of having  received information from the police illicitly  and prima facie grounds for believing Morgan and Edwards committed perjury under oath at the Leveson Inquiry when they were questioned about receiving information from the police illegally.  Finally, there is  the complaint against ex-Det Supt Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard  for perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office  by failing to investigate the Mirror when the complaint about Morgan and Edwards’ illegal receipt of information was first submitted to the Metropolitan police.  This again is open and shut because Curtis failed to question Morgan and Edwards or examine the Mirror  accounts for evidence of payments  to the police officer who supplied the information referred to in Morgan’s letter to the PCC. He did this despite promising me that he would be interviewing Morgan and Edwards – provided Operation Elveden of a tape recording of Curtis making this promise.
The full details of  my complaint to Elveden can be found in the next  document down which is addressed to  the Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh on 21/1/2013.   Operation Elveden’s refusal to act (written by  Detective Inspector Daniel Smith)  and my response to that are the two last pieces of  the Operation Elveden correspondence below.
I am writing directly to you because this is a who shall guards the guards situation.  There is no point in my going to the Met to complain because they are the organisation about which I am complaining.
 Nor is there any point in my making a complaint to them about criminal behaviour arising from the failure of Operation Elveden  to investigate the clearest evidence of serious criminality. Consequently, I ask you to intervene to ensure that my original complaints and the criminal aspect of Operation Elveden’s refusal to investigate are properly investigated.
This has already been dragging on far too long so prompt action please.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
To
Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh
Operation Eleveden
Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8/10 The Broadway
London  SW1H OBG
(Tel: 0207 230 1212)
                                                                                                                                       21 January 2013
CC Gerald Howarth MP
      Keir Starmer (DPP)
      mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk
Dear Mr Kavanagh,
I submit conclusive evidence that (1) the editor of a national newspaper  received information from the  police illicitly and (2) when questioned under oath at the Leveson Inquiry committed perjury by denying that he had ever received information illicitly from the police.
Piers Morgan
The editor in question is Piers Morgan when he edited the Daily Mirror.  The evidence of his receipt of information is beautifully simple: he admitted this in a letter to the PCC dated  16 October 1997 in which  he wrote “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect”.  If the information had been given legitimately there would be no reason for protecting the source.   Nor, because no charges were laid or investigation made, could there have been a legitimate reason  for releasing  the  information. A copy  of the letter is enclosed.
The  letter was sent to me after I complained to the PCC about a dramatically libellous article Morgan published about me on 25 March 1997  (copy enclosed).  The illicit information related to complaints made about me by Tony and Cherie Blair to Belgravia Police  in March 1997. I had written to them seeking their help and,  when they refused, I circulated copies of my letters and  the replies I received to the mainstream media at the beginning of the 1997 election campaign. The Blairs did not go to the police when I sent the letters, only after I circulated them to the media.  The  complaints  had so little substance  that they were dismissed by the CPS with the ruling “NO CRIME” within a few hours of them  being submitted to them for guidance by Belgravia Police.
The odds must be heavily on the  Mirror having paid for the information because it is difficult to see what other motive  a police officer would have for  releasing such information.  However, by accepting information illicitly from the police, whether or not money was paid, offences relating to Misconduct in a Public Office and  the Official  Secrets Act were committed, both by the police officer and Mirror employees including Morgan.  If money was paid by the Mirror to the police officer,  further offences arise under  the laws relating to corruption.
The evidence of Morgan’s  perjury before the Leveson Inquiry is contained in the copy of my submission to the Inquiry informing them of the perjury dated 22 December 2011 which I enclose.
I ask you to investigate both Morgan’s receipt of illicit information from the police and his perjury before Leveson.
Jeff Edwards
In addition to Morgan’s perjury, the Mirror reporter who wrote the story about me, their then  Chief Crime Reporter Jeff Edwards, also committed perjury before the Leveson Inquiry by denying ever receiving information illicitly from the police.   The details are included in the copy of my submission to the Inquiry informing them of the perjury dated  25 March 2012 which  I enclose .
As Edwards was the reporter who wrote the story to which Morgan referred in his letter to the PCC, he must have been the person to whom the police officer referred to in Morgan’s letter gave the illicit information.
I ask you to investigate Edwards for his receipt of illicit information from the police and his perjury before Leveson.
The original police failure to meaningfully  investigate my complaint
In 1997 I made a complaint about the illicit supply of information about me by the police to the Mirror. The case was handled by Detective Superintendent Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard .  No meaningful investigation was undertaken because, as Det Supt Curtis eventually admitted to me during a phone call, the  “investigation” was ended without anyone at the Mirror being  interviewed; not Morgan, Edwards or anyone else.   I enclose my final letter to  Det Supt Curtis dated 2 December 1999, Det Supt A Bamber’s reply to that letter 13 December 1999 and the PCA’s letter dated November 1999  refusing  to investigate further. This again is self-evidently absurd because of the  failure to question Morgan and Edwards.
I ask you to investigate Ian Curtis for perverting the course of justice by failing to investigate conclusive and incontrovertible evidence of  a serious crime.
 Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
————————————————————————————————————————————
To
DC Paulette Rooke
Operation Eleveden
Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8/10 The Broadway
London  SW1H OBG
                                                                                                                                       29 January 2013
CC Gerald Howarth MP
      Keir Starmer (DPP)
Dear DC Rooke,
As we have not been able speak as yet I will try to expedite matters by ensuring that you have the basic details and by describing what I would like to happen.
The crimes committed
The evidence I have supplied leaves  Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards  with no wriggle room. There is the letter from  Morgan to the PCC admitting that he received information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal;  Edwards as the writer of the Mirror article must have been the recipient of the information and both Morgan and Edwards objectively committed perjury by denying receiving information from the police illegally whilst under oath before the Leveson Inquiry. Det Supt Curtis is condemned by his wilful refusal to interview Morgan, Edwards or anyone else at the Mirror after my initial complaint.  (I have him on tape promising to interview Morgan et al during my initial meeting with him).
The political dimension
The complaints I have submitted to Elveden are part of a larger scandal which has deep political ramifications. The general scope of these can be seen from  the Early Day Motion put down on my behalf by Sir Richard Body on 10 November 1999:
CONDUCT OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR SEDGEFIELD 10:11:99
 Sir Richard Body
That this House regrets that the Right honourable Member for Sedgefield [Tony Blair] attempted to persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring criminal charges against Robert Henderson, concerning the Right honourable Member’s complaints to the police of an offence against the person, malicious letters and racial insult arising from letters Robert Henderson had written to the Right honourable Member complaining about various instances of publicly-reported racism involving the Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaints of the Right honourable Member and the Right honourable Member failed to take any civil action against Robert Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon Robert Henderson, notwithstanding that Robert Henderson had been officially cleared of any illegal action.
This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record – see  http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702
I bring this to your attention because it was the political dimension which prevented me from  getting any redress for complaints I made to the police  following the publication of the Mirror story. My experience from 1997 to 2007 when Blair retired was of being in  a Kafkaesque world in which,  despite being subjected to harassment which ranged from death threats and an internet campaign which incited violence against me by posting my address on social media sites  to regular interference with my post, I was unable to get the police to investigate meaningfully any of the complaints which arose from the Mirror’s involvement and the  harassment which followed.  You have a classic example in the failure of Jeff Curtis to investigate the Mirror despite having Morgan’s letter admitting to receiving police information.
That my complaints caused  considerable concern to the police because of their political nature can be seen from the number of senior officers who got involved in complaints of crimes,  most of which  would normally be investigated by a Det Sergeant or a Detective Inspector at most.   At various times I dealt with the following:
Det Chief Supt Tony Dawson – The Met’s Internal Investigations Command
Dept Supt Jeff Curtis
Chief Supt John Yates
Chief Supt Eric Brown
Supt Cliff Hughes
Supt Alex Fish
Chief Inspector Julia Wortley
Chief Inspector Ian West
Det Chief Inspector Stephen Kershaw
Despite their involvement no one was ever  charged, unsurprising as no complaint was meaningfully investigated.  I also met with the same obstruction from the CPS.
Documents passed to Holborn police
The documents I  passed to PC G James 423EK and PC L Scully 471EK  from Holborn police station were:
1.Piers Morgan’s Letter to the PCC date 16 October 1997  in which he admits receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.
2. A copy of the Daily Mirror  story about me dated 25 March 1997 which produced the complaint to the PCC  which caused  Morgan to write the letter in which he admitted receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.
3. Copies of the then director of Presswise Mike Jempson’s correspondence on my behalf with the PCC relating to the Mirror story dated 23 December 1997, 9 January 1998, 20 January 1998, 18 February 1998, 2 March 1998.
 4. My evidence to the Leveson Inquiry of  Morgan ’s perjury dated 23 December 2011
5. My evidence to  the Leveson Inquiry of Edwards’ perjury dated 25 March 2012
6. My original submission to the Leveson Inquiry dated 25 November  2011
7. Sir Richard Body’s Early Day Motion 10th November 1999 which dealt with the general context of the events surrounding the Mirror story  with the role of the Blairs at its heart.
8. A copy of my Wisden Cricket Article Is it in the Blood? (from the July 1995 edition). It was my gross mistreatment by the mainstream British media after the publication of the article that led me ultimately to write to the Blairs asking for their assistance after all other available avenues of redress had failed me .
9. A copy of my final letter to  Det Supt Curtis dated 2 December 1999, Det Supt A Bamber’s reply to that letter 13 December 1999 and the PCA’s letter dated November 1999  refusing  to investigate further
10. A letter addressed to the new head of Operation Elveden Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh dated 21 January 2013.  A copy of this is below.
I attach copies of 1,4,5,6 and my final letter to Jeff Curtis (see 9)  in digital form.
What I would like to happen
The first step would be for the two of us to have a long talk about this. Because of the political ramifications I would also  like to meet DAC Steve Kavanagh .
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
——————————————————————————————
Flag this messageOPERATION ELVEDENMonday, 25 February, 2013 11:10
From: “Paulette.Rooke@met.police.uk” <Paulette.Rooke@met.police.uk>View contact detailsTo: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk
Mr Henderson
I write out of courtesy just to let you know that I am still looking into your recent correspondence with this office.
 I hope that you will receive a reply in the next couple of weeks.
 Yours sincerely
Paulette Rooke
DC PAULETTE ROOKE
JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD
Internal  58526  External  020 8785 8526
Mobile 07771 553043 (office hours)
————————————————————————————————————————————–
To
DC Paulette Rooke
Operation Eleveden
Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8/10 The Broadway
London  SW1H OBG
CC
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
Gerald Howarth MP
Keir Starmer (DPP)
mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk
26 February 2013
Dear DC Rooke,
Thank you for your email of 25 February. It is now a month since I passed  my complaints  to Operation Eleveden.  I really do think an early meeting between you,  me and a senior officer from Operation Elveden (preferably Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh)  would be fruitful.
I have provided Operation Eleveden with conclusive evidence of  Piers Morgan and  Jeff Edwards’  receipt of information illegally from the police and of their perjury before Leveson.     Consequently, most of the investigatory work needed to bring charges has been completed.  Apart from the admin involved in  getting the cases to court, all that remains to be done is to interview Morgan and Edwards and to inspect the Mirror’s  records and  Morgan and Edwards’ private papers to see if information relating to payments for the information exist.  I really cannot see what obstacle there is to proceeding with an investigation.
 Morgan will not be able to deny the offence because to do so would put him in the absurd position of saying he had not written the letter, that he had no knowledge of it being sent and that the whole thing was done by someone else.  That would be ridiculous if it was just a letter sent without any outside stimulation, but this letter is sent in response to a letter from the PCC.  Morgan would have to argue that a correspondence initiated by  the PCC had proceeded without his knowledge even though the Mirror side was made in his name.
Even without the letter it would be clear that the police had illegally  passed information to the Mirror.  Information in the story could only have come from the police. In addition  Jeff Edwards’ story contains this:   ‘A Scotland Yard  source  said: “By sending letters in a very unpleasant tone the writer has committed an assault. ’ Special Branch, who organise protection for MPs have been informed of the situation”.   Just for the record my letters were deemed entirely legal by the CPS within hours of their receipt.  It was a try-on by the Blairs.
I have spoken to Edwards once. That  was on the morning of the publication of the Mirror story. When he discovered who he was speaking to he panicked immediately.  I think there is a good chance that when confronted with the evidence of Morgan’s letter  he will simply come clean.  I have never spoken to Morgan,  but I would draw your attention to the fact that he has behaved recklessly and dishonestly in the past, most notably in his fabrication of a photos of soldiers  when Mirror editor , something which caused his sacking. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/may/14/pressandpublishing.iraqandthemedia). Reckless people tend to be careless and impulsive. Always a plus when an investigation is under way.
My complaint against Det Supt Jeff Curtis is also straightforward. The fact that he did  not interview anyone at the Mirror despite having Morgan’s letter to the PCC can be verified by checking the Met’s case notes.
If the Mirror received  information from the police illegally in my case, it is not unreasonable to suspect that this was a widespread  practice within the Mirror group. Investigate my complaints and you will almost certainly find evidence of other instances.  There is also the advantage for the Met in investigating the Mirror because it shows they are not merely concentrating on the Murdoch papers.
I would greatly welcome a meeting in the near future.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
———————————————————————————————————————————-
OP ELVEDENFriday, 22 March, 2013 10:51
From: “Paulette.Rooke@met.pnn.police.uk” <Paulette.Rooke@met.pnn.police.uk>Add sender to ContactsTo: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk
Mr Henderson
I have been asked by my Inspector to ascertain if you have any new evidence with regard to your allegations against those mentioned in your correspondence.
Yours sincerely
Paulette Rooke
ADS PAULETTE ROOKE
JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD
Internal  58526  External  020 8785 8526
Mobile 07771 553043 (office hours)
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————————————————————————————————————————-
To
DC Paulette Rooke
Operation Eleveden
Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8/10 The Broadway
London  SW1H OBG
CC
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
Gerald Howarth MP
Keir Starmer (DPP)
mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk
24 March  2013
Dear DC Rooke,
You ask in your email of 22 March whether I have any new information relating to the accusations I have made.  The short answer is no. However, having listened  again to the tape recording I made of my interview with Det Supt Jeff Curtis I shall be sending you a copy of that for the reasons given below in paragraph 4.
Happily  you do not need any further information to begin investigations into Piers  Morgan, Jeff Edwards and Det Supt Jeff Curtis. In fact, I think any disinterested third party would be rather surprised that the investigations  have not  already begun, bearing in mind that you have a letter sent to Morgan to the PCC in which he admitted that the Mirror had received information from a police officer in circumstances which can only have been illegal.
The reason the crimes  (apart from the accusations of perjury before Leveson) were not meaningfully investigated when I made my original complaints is beautifully  simple: corrupt practice by the police prompted either by the Blairs’ involvement in the story and/or a known or suspected corrupt relationship between Metropolitan Police officers and the Mirror (and other press and broadcasters).
The corrupt nature of the way my complaints were handled is exemplified  by Jeff Curtis’ failure to interview anyone at the Mirror even though he had the letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC.   Curtis told me this in a phone call and you can verify that this is the truth by looking at the original case notes. The tape recording of my meeting with Jeff Curtis is important because in it he says he will  be going to the Mirror, says the case revolves around Morgan’s admission and says it is a straightforward case.  The recording was made with Curtis’  knowledge and agreement.  The fact that he knew he was being recorded is significant because it removed the possibility from his mind of saying something to me thinking he could deny it later. Clearly something  irregular  happened between him leaving me and starting the investigation. It is reasonable to suspect he was leant on by someone even more senior not to investigate the Mirror.  That the police never interviewed anyone at the Mirror also means that the Mirror accounts and the journalistic records kept by Edwards  and Morgan (and perhaps others) were never scrutinised for evidence of payments to the police.  All in all, this is   a very obvious perversion of the course of justice.
The events to which the these crimes relate are 15 years old,   but that is irrelevant to whether they should be investigated now, both because of the serious nature  of the crimes and the fact that those I allege against Morgan and Edwards  were not investigated meaningfully when they were first reported. Nor is there any problem with a lack of compelling  evidence  because of the time which has elapsed. In the case of Morgan and Edwards you have  Morgan’s letter to the PCC and the Mirror story, while  Curtis’ perversion of the course of justice speaks for itself. Moreover, although it is 15 years since the events, the age of fully computerised accounts had arrived  before 1997 and   it is probable that a copy of the Mirror accounts  for the period is still held in digital form. The same could  apply to journalistic records held by Morgan and Edwards or other Mirror employees or freelances.  I know from my use of the  Data Protection Act soon after the Mirror published the story that the paper was holding information about me  which they refused to release under the journalistic purposes provision of the DPA. They may well be still holding it.
As for the perjury accusations against Morgan and Edwards, these are very recent complaints about crimes recently committed which have never been previously investigated.   You have the information you need to investigate the perjury because I have supplied you with the Morgan letter to the PCC, the Mirror story about me and the transcripts of the relevant passages in the evidence given by Morgan and Edwards before Leveson.
Apart from the killer fact of Curtis’ failure  to interview anyone at the Mirror and a consequent failure to investigate the Mirror’s records, the circumstances of that failed investigation and of other complaints I made at the same time provide very  strong circumstantial evidence that my original complaints against Morgan and Edwards were not  treated  normally.  For example, why was a Det Supt from Scotland Yard  investigating crimes  which would normally be investigated by a Det Sergeant or just possibly a Det Inspector?  To that you can add the array of senior police officers  (the details of which I  sent to you in my email of 29th January) who became involved in my various complaints at one time or another,  despite the crimes being of a nature which would normally have been investigated by  policemen of lesser rank.   The only reasonable explanation for their involvement is the political circumstances surrounding my complaints.
There are two scenarios which fit the receipt of information by the Mirror from the police.  The first is straightforward: a police officer, possibly of senior rank because of the Blairs’ involvement, has sold the information to the Mirror for mere personal gain.
The second scenario is more complex. It involves  a senior police officer engaging in a conspiracy with Tony and Cherry Blair  assisted by Alastair Campbell to feed misinformation to the Mirror.   This is more than a little plausible because the Mirror story was a farrago of grotesque  lies such as the claim that I had bombarded the Blairs with letters  or that the letters were “full of graphic racist filth”. There was also  a completely fabricated  quote “if he gets elected he’ll let in all the blacks and Asians”.  Ask yourself why the Mirror would have printed such things if they had read my letters after   they were given them by a police officer simply out to make money with no political axe to grind. It would not make sense. If, on the other hand, this was all part of a conspiracy between the Blairs, a senior police officer and Alastair Campbell  it would make perfect sense,  because then it transmutes from a political story  into an exercise in political propaganda to nullify me by smearing.  The story would then be whatever they wanted it to be with the content of the letters an irrelevance.
It is noteworthy that Morgan in his  letter to the PCC admits that the Mirror did not have copies of my letters and that he had not seen them.  That could mean one of four things: the Mirror did not have copies, the Mirror had copies but did not wish to admit it because they knew the letters would not substantiate their printed story about me, Edwards had seen the letters but  realised they were innocuous and not the basis for a smear story  or  no one at the Mirror had ever seen my  letters but had written their story simply from false information given to them by the police informant. The last possibility fits in most neatly with the conspiracy theory.  #
Why would the Blairs wish to engage in such a conspiracy?  The most plausible answer lies in the fact that they did not go to the police when I wrote to them, but only later after I had sent copies of my letters to the Blairs and the non-replies I was receiving from their offices to every mainstream media outlet at the beginning of the 1997 General Election campaign.  That can only mean the Blairs  wanted to  silence me during the election campaign.   Why? Only they can tell you that for sure. What is certain is that the Blairs  must have been very seriously worried about the media taking up the story told in my letters and their non-replies to get involved with a criminal investigation during the most important weeks of Blair’s life, namely, the General Election campaign.  Having miserably failed in the attempt to have me prosecuted it would have made perfect sense from their point of view to try to neutralise me by getting a friendly media outlet to print a false and hideously libellous story about me to dissuade anyone in the media from taking up the story told in my letters to the Blairs and their non-replies to me.
Here is something for you and your superiors to think upon. If the Met refuses to  properly  investigate my complaints (including questioning Morgan and Edwards) it will look  like yet another cover-up to go along with the persistent failure  by the Met to investigate phone-hacking until political pressure forced them  to  re-investigate cases which had previously been deemed to provide insufficient evidence for a prosecution or even a sustained investigation. The re-investigation of these supposedly hopeless cases has  resulted in dozens of arrests and quite a few charges, a fact which tells its own tale.
I repeat my previous requests for an interview with you and a senior officer within  Operation Elveden, preferably Steve Kavanagh . Apart from anything else you should be taking a formal statement from me based on the very strong evidence I have provided.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
————————————————————————————————-
To
DC Paulette Rooke
Operation Eleveden
Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8/10 The Broadway
London  SW1H OBG
26 3 2013
Dear DC Rooke,
I have posted a copy of the tape recording of my interview on 8 April 1999 with Det Supt Jeff Curtis to you by recorded delivery. I have sent the tape to JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD which is where you appear to be physically stationed.
Only one side of the tape has been used. You will need to listen to the entire tape,  but Jeff Cutris’ comments about going to the Mirror, it being a straightforward case and so on are towards the end of the meeting with  around 5/6ths of the tape played.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
—————————————————————————————
                                      Tel: 0207 387 5018   Email: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk
To DC Paulette Rooke
Operation Eleveden
Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8/10 The Broadway
London  SW1H OBG
2 April 2013
Dear DC Rooke,
Please confirm that you have received the tape recording of my meeting with D-Supt Jeff Curtis which I sent to you on 26 March by first class recorded delivery.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
——————————————————————————————————————-
To DC Paulette Rooke
Operation Eleveden
Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8/10 The Broadway
London  SW1H OBG
CC
Commander Neil Basu
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
Gerald Howarth MP
Keir Starmer (DPP)
mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk
17 May  2013
Dear DC Rooke
It is now more than four months since I submitted to Operation Eleveden cast iron  evidence of Piers Morgan’s  illicit receipt of information from the police, Jeff Edwards’ illicit receipt of information from the Met Police, the perjury of Morgan and Edwards before the Leveson Inquiry and Det Supt Jeff Curtis’ failure to meaningfully investigate Edwards and Morgan’s involvement in receiving information illicitly from the police.
To recap, the evidence I have provided includes a letter from Piers Morgan when editor of the Mirror to the PCC in which he admits receiving the illicit information, a Mirror story which  contains information which could only have been obtained illicitly from the police and a tape recording between Jeff Edwards and me in which D-Supt Curtis states that he will be interviewing Morgan and Edwards  and says the matter is straightforward because of the evidence I had provided. Curtis then failed to interview anybody at the Mirror or have any check made of their records for evidence of payments  for information.
With such rock-hard evidence in your possession, I think most people would be utterly astonished that no investigation appears to have commenced after 4 months. Yet that is, to the best of my knowledge, exactly what has happened.   I have had no substantive contact with Operation Eleveden since I submitted the complaint and my requests to give a formal statement and meet to  discuss the matter further  with a senior officer have been ignored.  When you reply please tell me exactly  what has been done so far to investigate this matter .
I repeat my requests to give a formal statement and meet with a senior officer from Operation Eleveden to discuss the progress of my complaint.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
————————————————————————————————————————————-
Paulette.Rooke@met.pnn.police.uk <Paulette.Rooke@met.pnn.police.uk>;
20 May 2013
Dear Mr Henderson
I have forwarded your email to my line manager.
Kind regards
Paulette Rooke
ADS PAULETTE ROOKE
JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD
Internal  58526  External  020 8785 8526
Mobile 07771 553043 (office hours)
— ———————————————————————————————————
Metropolitan Police  TOTAL POLICING
Specialist Crime and Operations
SCO12-AC Private Office and  Business Support
2.211
Jubilee House Putney
230-232 Putney Bridge Road
London SW15 2PD
Telephone
Fascsimle
Your ref:
Our ref : Elveden
13 June 2013
Mr Robert Henderson
156 Levita House
Chalton St
London
NW11HR
Dear Mr Henderson,
I write in relation to the allegations you made following your contact with DC Rooke in January of this year. I have reviewed the matters raised by you in this, and subsequent communications, with DC Rooke.
I understand that the matters raised by you relate to an article published in 1997 and that the matter was investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service (Complaints Investigation Bureau). The matter was referred to the Police Complaints Authority in 1999.
I understand that there is no new evidence or information available and as a result I have decided that no investigation will be conducted into the points raised by you.
In relation to the Perjury allegation, having read the transcripts provided, I do not believe there is evidence that shows an offence has been committed. As a consequence this allegation will not be investigated.
Yours sincerely,
Detective Inspector Daniel Smith
—————————————————————————————————–
Detective Inspector Daniel Smith
Operation Eleveden
Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8/10 The Broadway
London  SW1H OBG
CC
Commander Neil Basu
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
Gerald Howarth MP
Keir Starmer (DPP)
4 July 2013
Dear Mr Smith,
I have your letter dated   13th June which arrived on 21st  June in an envelope post marked 17 June.  I have mulled the matter over for a week or so before replying because your  decision regarding my complaints is  best described as inexplicable if taken at face value. Indeed, I think any disinterested third party would  react with the same feeling when faced with the truly indestructible evidence I have supplied to Operation Elveden and your blanket refusal to investigate.
To briefly recap the evidence, I have provided Operation Elveden with a letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC when editor of the Daily Mirror. In it he  admits to receiving information from a Metropolitan police officer in circumstances which can only have been illegal. You also have  a tape recording of a senior police officer D-Supt Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard  promising to question Morgan and co and saying the evidence was straight forward plus transcripts of the evidence Morgan and Jeff Edwards gave under oath before Leveson in which they denied receiving information  from the police illicitly.  To that can be added the fact that,  despite his promise to me, Curtis failed to interview Morgan, Edwards or any other Mirror employee or examine the records of  the Mirror to look for evidence of payments to the police for information. Finally, there is the Daily Mirror story written as a result of the illicit information from the Met . That alone demonstrates that the police illicitly supplied information to the Mirror to their then chief crime reporter Jeff Edwards.
The fact that I was unable to get anyone in authority, not the police, nor the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to act at the time of the original complaints  is not evidence that no crime had been committed. Rather, it is  further evidence of corrupt behaviour within the police and the police complaints system.  The criminal (take your choice between perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office) refusal to act in this matter was generated by the implication of  Tony and Cherie Blair in the  case.  To give you a short guide to that involvement let me quote the Early Day Motion about the matter put down by Sir Richard Body MP on  10 November 1999:
CONDUCT OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR SEDGEFIELD 10:11:99
 Sir Richard Body
 That this House regrets that the Right honourable Member for Sedgefield [Tony Blair] attempted to persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring criminal charges against Robert Henderson, concerning the Right honourable Member’s complaints to the police of an offence against the person, malicious letters and racial insult arising from letters Robert Henderson had written to the Right honourable Member complaining about various instances of publicly-reported racism involving the Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaints of the Right honourable Member and the Right honourable Member failed to take any civil action against Robert Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon Robert Henderson, notwithstanding that Robert Henderson had been officially cleared of any illegal action.
This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record – see  http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702
The Blairs made a profound misjudgement when they tried to get me prosecuted. As lawyers they must have known that their complaints were bogus and were relying on their political celebrity to persuade the CPS to charge me regardless of the evidence.  So feeble were their allegations  that the CPS sent them back within hours of receiving them  the papers submitted to them with an emphatic NO CRIME.
That immediately created a problem from the Blairs, but had they left it there that might have been the end of it,  because at no time did the police contact me about the Blairs’ complaints and I might never have known of their attempt to have me prosecuted. But the Blairs  could not leave well alone and made the further mistake of planting a false and toxically libellous story about me and their failed attempt in the  Daily Mirror. This alerted me not only to their attempt,  but the fact that Special Branch had been  set to spy on me (Special Branch are mentioned  in the Mirror story).   I then spent the entire Blair premiership suffering harassment which I can only presume came from either Special Branch, MI5 (I used the Data Protection Act to prove they held a file on me)  or some other agency employed by one or both of the Blairs.  The harassment included such things as death threats,  incitements to attack me on social media platforms and  regular interference with my post.
In addition to my complaints to the police against the Mirror, I also made a series of allegations  against the Blairs after I discovered they had been to the police. These  were also not  investigated in any meaningful way.
That was why everybody  but everybody in the Met Police  and the justice system refused to behave honestly when I first made the complaints about Morgan and  Edwards. If action had been taken against them then the Blairs would have been brought into the story, something they obviously could not afford to have happen.  The refusal  of the police and the  PCA to  deal honestly with my complaints is simply explained, namely, the political implications overrode their honesty  Until Operation Elveden began there was no  opportunity for me to again bring any part of the scandal to the police.  An amazing story but a true one.
The conduct of my complaints to Elveden has  been distinctly odd. I have made repeated requests to give a formal statement and meet with a senior member of Operation Elveden. Despite those requests I have not been given the opportunity to make a formal statement, nor,  despite my best efforts, met  any  member of Operation Elveden, junior or senior.  That suggests  a decision was made at an early stage to deliberately  exclude me from any participation in Elveden’s consideration of my complaints.  Writing a letter to me saying you will not investigate  for spurious reasons is one thing: telling me to my face that the Morgan letter to the PCC is not grounds for investigation quite another matter.
The paucity of detail in your letter also suggests that no meaningful consideration has been given to the evidence I provided. Indeed, your beginning of two paragraphs with “I understand that” suggests that you have not looked at the evidence. The other telling thing is that you do not give me any detailed reason for refusing the complaints against Morgan, Edwards and Curtis. All you say is that you understand that the complaints were previously investigated. Have you examined my evidence  in detail, including listening to the tape recording of Jeff Curtis and me?
Are you a gambling man, Mr Smith? Well, you are certainly taking a gamble here by refusing to investigate. Your gamble is this: you are betting that the fact that the Met are refusing to investigate the clearest evidence of serious crimes will remain outside the mainstream public domain.  That is a very big wager indeed.  All I need is for one politician or mainstream media outlet to  take up the story…
I suggest you sit down and try to imagine how you would explain to the mainstream media or a mainstream politician  Elveden’s  failure to act when you have in your possession a letter  from Piers Morgan when Mirror editor admitting he had received information illicitly from the Metropolitan Police.   When you have done that,  I hope you will reconsider your refusal to investigate and arrange to meet me to take a formal statement and tell me of the progress of the investigation you have started.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson

Book review – The Liberal Delusion

John Marsh, Arena Books, £12.99
Robert Henderson
“Is Western society based on a mistake?” asks John Marsh in his introduction. The possible mistake he considers is whether liberals have a disastrously wrong concept of what human beings are and what determines their behaviour  which leads them to favour policies that are radically out of kilter with the way human beings are equipped by their biology to live.
It is not that liberals do not believe in human nature as is often claimed. It can seem that they do  because they insist that nurture not nature is the entire font of human behaviour and consequently it is just a matter of creating the right social conditions to produce the type of people and society the liberal has as their ideal. But liberals balance this rationale on a belief that humans are naturally good, an idea which itself assumes innate qualities. Hence, they believe in an innate human nature but not one which bears any resemblance to reality.
The belief that disagreeable aspects of human nature do not exist and that all human beings are innately good is a product of the Enlightenment, where it took its most extreme and ridiculous  form in the concept of the ‘noble savage’. Marsh will have none of it. He debunks the idea thoroughly. He sees human beings as not naturally wholly good or bad but the product of natural selection working on the basic behaviours of humans. In this opinion he leans heavily on the Canadian-born evolutionary biologist Steven Pinker who in his The Blank Slate dismisses the idea of the noble savage with a robust
A thoroughly noble anything is an unlikely product of natural selection, because noble guys tend to finish last. Nice guys get eaten
If there is no rational reason why anyone should  think that human beings are innately good , why do so many, especially of amongst the elite, fall for the idea? Marsh attributes the phenomenon to the idea being emotionally attractive. There is plentiful evidence for this. One of the pleasures of the book is its first rate line in quotes, many of which are staggering in their naivety. He cites the grand  panjandrum of atheism and a fervent believer  in innate human goodness Richard Dawkins as writing in The God Delusion
I dearly want to believe we don’t need policing – whether by God or each other – in order to stop us behaving in a selfish or criminal manner
So much for Dawkins’ scientific rationality.

A religious realist – Baltasar Gracian, author of the Art of Worldly Wisdom
Or take the case of A. S. Neill, founder of  the famous or infamous (depending on your politics) Summerhill School, which did not require anything in particular from its pupils:
I cannot believe that evil is inborn or that there is original sin…. We set out to make a school where children were free to be themselves. In order to do this we had to renounce all discipline, all direction, all suggestion, all moral training, all religious instruction…We had a complete belief in the child as a good, not an evil being. For over forty years this belief in the goodness of the child has not wavered
That is a quasi-religious statement no different from a Catholic saying they believe in the Trinity.
In the first half of the book Marsh questions and finds wanting in varying degrees just about everything the modern liberal holds dear: that human nature is good and rational and formed by nurture alone, that freedom is the primary end sought by humans, that morality is a set of shackles rather than a safety catch on human behaviour, that science is an unalloyed good, that religion is no more than harmful fairy stories; that a county’s history and customs are at best unimportant and at worst a malevolent means of maintaining an undesirable status quo, that economics should be determined by the market, that universalism and multiculturalism are unquestionably desirable, equality is always beneficial, and the idea that the individual has primacy over the group.
Some of these liberal ‘goods’ are contradictory, for example, the clash between equality and the individual. To enforce equality inevitably means impinging on the wishes of individuals. Doubtless a liberal would argue that the individual should only have their wishes met insofar as they do not impinge upon the wishes of others. In practice that means a great deal of coercion to prevent individuals satisfying their own wishes, and often such coercion occurs where individuals have perfectly reasonable and moral wishes which cannot be satisfied at the same time. For example, two sets of parents may want to send their children to the same school where there is only room for one child.
There are also heavy question marks over whether modern liberals actually believe in individual freedom. The idea that human beings should and can be manipulated into behaving in a certain way by producing social circumstances which engender the desired behaviour is determinist. Where is the freedom if human beings are seen merely as automata responding to the stimuli of their circumstances? Nor is the ‘freedom’ liberals are supposed to espouse a general freedom. The individual in modern Britain may be free to drink what they can afford to buy, or be as sexually promiscuous as they choose, but they are not allowed any freedom of speech which attacks the core values of political correctness. Who would have thought even twenty years ago that English men and women would be appearing in the dock for saying things which went against the politically correct ethos, but that is precisely what is happening with increasing frequency.
It is also arguable that the modern liberal is interested not in individuals but groups. It is true that human ‘rights’ are exalted by liberals, but these are not really individual rights but communal ones. For example, a law which grants free expression or insists on due process is an individual right because it applies in principle to all. Conversely, if (for instance) ‘hate speech’ is made illegal, this is a de facto communal right given to particular groups, because in practice certain groups enjoy much greater protection than others, for the police and prosecuting authorities are not even-handed in their application of the law.
The second part of the book is devoted to the morally disreputable means by which liberals have propagated their beliefs. Marsh is unforgiving about this aspect of liberalism. It involves persistent dishonesty when dealing with evidence which contradicts their world view. The dishonesty consists of both calling black white and conscientiously ignoring and suppressing that which contradicts the liberal world view. In the case of Britain he singles out the BBC as being hopelessly biased towards the liberal left world view, with a particularly strong line in Anglophobia, something he illustrates by citing the BBC’s After Rome, a programme which painted Dark Ages Islam as a vibrant civilisation and Dark Ages England as primitive and barbaric (p152).
The author laments the fact that liberals have generally been silent on the abuses of Communist regimes whilst engaged in a never ending raking over of Nazi malevolence. He cites as a rare and most honourable leftist exception Malcolm Muggeridge, who exposed the Stalin-inspired Ukrainian famine and searingly described the all too many useful idiots of the British liberal left at the time:
Travelling with radiant optimism through a famished countryside, wandering in happy bands about squalid overcrowded towns, listening with unshaken faith to the fatuous patter of carefully indoctrinated guides, repeating the bogus statistics and mindless slogans – all chanting the praises of Stalin and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (p138)
There is a further problem which Marsh spends a good deal of time examining. It is not clear exactly what constitutes the modern liberal. Many of the most enthusiastic enforcers of what we now call  political correctness do not call themselves liberals, but are members of the hard left or  representatives of ethnic and racial minorities who see political correctness not as a moral corrective but as an instrument to promote their individual and ethnic group advantage, often with the greatest cruelty. Nor is this simply a modern phenomenon for it has been happening since the 18th century.
Marsh patiently records atrocities in gruesome detail generated by those following secular and rationalistic systems of thought deriving from the ideas of Enlightenment, from the grotesque slaughter of the French Revolution to the insanities of various communist and fascist regimes in the 20th century. This is a truly depressing catalogue not merely of murder on a colossal scale but murder committed with atrocious cruelty. His tale of atrocity begins with the suppression of the Vendée rebellion by Republicans during the French Revolution, where men were castrated before death and women killed by explosives detonated within their vaginas, to the madness of Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” which rode on slogans such as “smash the old culture“ and the terrible promise of the Red  Guards that “We will be brutal”.
Marsh’s judgement of liberalism both in its beliefs and the practical consequences of its implementation verges on the despairing:
To sum up: in the past there were positive aspects to liberalism, but at its core lies a deeply flawed attempt to impose a romantic, but unrealistic, view of human nature on society. Because it is fundamentally untrue, lies, bullying and coercion are needed to impose it, and opponents must be silenced. Because its view of mankind is idealistic, its devotees think it must be true, and are strongly committed to it. It is congenial to people who are well-meaning and who have a naïve rose-tinted view of the world, which avoids dwelling too much on the ugly side of life, like the single mum in a tower block in Tottenham, trying to keep her children safe and worrying about gangs and knife crime. It is in denial of the fact that many aspects of life are worse today than in the past. Liberals cling to their views, ignoring the evidence of science, psychology, anthropology, history and social workers. It is a blind faith in a Utopian project , which blithely dismisses reality and regards its opponents as prejudiced. There is nothing to discuss because we are right. Sadly, for its devotees, truth will out in the end. The experiment was foredoomed from the start (p171)
Damning as that judgement is, I think Marsh is being rather too generous to liberals (especially the modern ones) when he credits them with being generally well-meaning. They are ideologues. That makes them dangerous, because any ideology removes personal choice in moral decision making as the mind becomes concentrated on fitting the ideology to circumstance rather than addressing each circumstance pragmatically. As Marsh points out, it also gives the individuals captured by the ideology an excuse to behave immorally in the enforcement of the ideology on the principle that ends justify means. That is particularly so with ideologies which are what might be called millenarian in their psychology, with a promised land at the end of the ideological road. Political correctness is of this type.
Once someone has accepted the validity of ends justifying means and they know or even suspect  that the means will cause harm, that removes any claim to being well intentioned because their final end good intentions are swallowed by the immoral means. Nor can any ideologue, liberals included, rationally have any confidence that a great upheaval of a society will result in their desired ideological ends. What history tells us is that tyranny or chaos are invariably the results of such attempts.
There is also a tremendous arrogance in assuming that it is possible to define what is desirable human behaviour and what is a good society. Liberals may imagine that what they purport to be the ultimate human goods – non-discrimination, equality and the primacy of any individual are objectively what they claim – but in reality they are both no more than value judgements and highly questionable in terms of their outcomes. Modern liberals, or at least the true believers, are really just another set of self-serving egotists who think they know how others should live.
There is a looming leviathan throughout the book that is largely ignored, namely mass immigration and its consequences. Marsh to his credit does mention immigration as a problem, both in terms of weakening British identity and causing resentment amongst the native white population, but it does not feature in more than a peripheral way. Marsh never really asks the question “how much of the change in general British behaviour and the nature of British society in the past fifty years is due to mass immigration?” The answer is arguably a great deal, because multiculturalism and ‘anti-racism’ have been used as levers to promote the ‘anti-discrimination’ and ‘equality’ agendas across the board.
In the end Marsh stumbles in his task of debunking modern liberalism, because he is reluctant to face the full implications of what he is saying. In his introduction he writes,
So is this book a straight-forward attack on liberalism? No. It is not as simple as that. There are some areas in which I believe liberals are right. I acknowledge that some liberalism is necessary and beneficial. Few would want to go back to the restrictions of the Victorian era or live under a despot. There was also a need to free us from a negative attitude towards sex. Liberals are right to be concerned about inequality and to fight for social justice. There still remain great inequalities and their campaign for greater fairness deserves support. I welcome the undermining of the class system, the greater opportunities open to women and the improved treatment of racial and sexual minorities – the decriminalisation of homosexuality
He cannot quite bring himself to go all the way and see modern liberalism for what it is, a pernicious system increasingly aimed at suppressing the resentment and anger of the native British population as the consequences of mass immigration become ever more obvious and pressing. Clearly he agrees with much of the central politically correct agenda, but it is precisely that agenda which has created the present situation and it is difficult to see how such an ideology could ever have resulted in any other outcome once it became the guiding ideology of the elite – because the ends of political correctness run directly against human nature and can only be enforced.
Marsh’s sympathy with political correctness leads him wittingly or unwittingly to risk having his  argument distorted by concentrating not on the whole but a part of British society and treating that part as representative of Britain. Take the question of liberalism undermining the poor by making them dependent on the state and denying them moral guidance at home and in school. Marsh uses an interview with the youth worker Shaun Bailey (chapter 11) who works in a poor area of  London. The problem is that Bailey is black and this colours his interpretation of what is happening. He looks at the experience of blacks and treats that experience as representative of the poor generally, which it is not. For example, poor white Britons may have a greater incidence of one-parent homes and fathers deserting mothers now than previously, but the incidence of these behaviours amongst poor whites is much lower than it is amongst poor blacks, whether British born or  immigrants. Yet Bailey’s views are represented as being generally applicable to British society.
Despite these caveats, I strongly urge people to read the book. The Liberal Delusion is important because it succinctly performs the task of pointing out that the liberal emperor has no clothes or at least very tattered and insufficient ones. That is something which is sorely needed. The book’s value is enhanced by being  written in a lively and easily accessible style. Just read it with an understanding of the limitations imposed by Marsh’s residual, almost subliminal, hankering after the core values of political correctness.
First published in The Quarterly Review

http://www.quarterly-review.org/?p=1790

See also The Liberal Bigot

Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from the police, his perjury and Operation Elveden part III

ELVEDENFriday, 22 March, 2013 10:51

From: “Paulette.Rooke@met.pnn.police.uk” <paulette.rooke@met.pnn.police.uk>Add sender to ContactsTo: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Mr Henderson

I have been asked by my Inspector to ascertain if you have any new evidence with regard to your allegations against those mentioned in your correspondence.

Yours sincerely

Paulette Rooke

ADS PAULETTE ROOKE

JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD

Internal  58526  External  020 8785 8526

————————————————————————————————————–

To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

CC

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Gerald Howarth MP

Keir Starmer (DPP)

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

24 March  2013

Dear DC Rooke,

You ask in your email of 22 March whether I have any new information relating to the accusations I have made.  The short answer is no. However, having listened  again to the tape recording I made of my interview with Det Supt Jeff Curtis I shall be sending you a copy of that for the reasons given below in paragraph 4.

Happily  you do not need any further information to begin investigations into Piers  Morgan, Jeff Edwards and Det Supt Jeff Curtis. In fact, I think any disinterested third party would be rather surprised that the investigations  have not  already begun, bearing in mind that you have a letter sent to Morgan to the PCC in which he admitted that the Mirror had received information from a police officer in circumstances which can only have been illegal.

The reason the crimes  (apart from the accusations of perjury before Leveson) were not meaningfully investigated when I made my original complaints is beautifully  simple: corrupt practice by the police prompted either by the Blairs’ involvement in the story and/or a known or suspected corrupt relationship between Metropolitan Police officers and the Mirror (and other press and broadcasters).

The corrupt nature of the way my complaints were handled is exemplified  by Jeff Curtis’ failure to interview anyone at the Mirror even though he had the letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC.   Curtis told me this in a phone call and you can verify that this is the truth by looking at the original case notes. The tape recording of my meeting with Jeff Curtis is important because in it he says he will  be going to the Mirror, says the case revolves around Morgan’s admission and says it is a straightforward case.  The recording was made with Curtis’  knowledge and agreement.  The fact that he knew he was being recorded is significant because it removed the possibility from his mind of saying something to me thinking he could deny it later. Clearly something  irregular  happened between him leaving me and starting the investigation. It is reasonable to suspect he was leant on by someone even more senior not to investigate the Mirror.  That the police never interviewed anyone at the Mirror also means that the Mirror accounts and the journalistic records kept by Edwards  and Morgan (and perhaps others) were never scrutinised for evidence of payments to the police.  All in all, this is   a very obvious perversion of the course of justice.

The events to which the these crimes relate are 15 years old,   but that is irrelevant to whether they should be investigated now, both because of the serious nature  of the crimes and the fact that those I allege against Morgan and Edwards  were not investigated meaningfully when they were first reported. Nor is there any problem with a lack of compelling  evidence  because of the time which has elapsed. In the case of Morgan and Edwards you have  Morgan’s letter to the PCC and the Mirror story, while  Curtis’ perversion of the course of justice speaks for itself. Moreover, although it is 15 years since the events, the age of fully computerised accounts had arrived  before 1997 and   it is probable that a copy of the Mirror accounts  for the period is still held in digital form. The same could  apply to journalistic records held by Morgan and Edwards or other Mirror employees or freelances.  I know from my use of the  Data Protection Act soon after the Mirror published the story that the paper was holding information about me  which they refused to release under the journalistic purposes provision of the DPA. They may well be still holding it.

As for the perjury accusations against Morgan and Edwards, these are very recent complaints about crimes recently committed which have never been previously investigated.   You have the information you need to investigate the perjury because I have supplied you with the Morgan letter to the PCC, the Mirror story about me and the transcripts of the relevant passages in the evidence given by Morgan and Edwards before Leveson.

Apart from the killer fact of Curtis’ failure  to interview anyone at the Mirror and a consequent failure to investigate the Mirror’s records, the circumstances of that failed investigation and of other complaints I made at the same time provide very  strong circumstantial evidence that my original complaints against Morgan and Edwards were not  treated  normally.  For example, why was a Det Supt from Scotland Yard  investigating crimes  which would normally be investigated by a Det Sergeant or just possibly a Det Inspector?  To that you can add the array of senior police officers  (the details of which I  sent to you in my email of 29th January) who became involved in my various complaints at one time or another,  despite the crimes being of a nature which would normally have been investigated by  policemen of lesser rank.   The only reasonable explanation for their involvement is the political circumstances surrounding my complaints.

There are two scenarios which fit the receipt of information by the Mirror from the police.  The first is straightforward: a police officer, possibly of senior rank because of the Blairs’ involvement, has sold the information to the Mirror for mere personal gain.

The second scenario is more complex. It involves  a senior police officer engaging in a conspiracy with Tony and Cherry Blair  assisted by Alastair Campbell to feed misinformation to the Mirror.   This is more than a little plausible because the Mirror story was a farrago of grotesque  lies such as the claim that I had bombarded the Blairs with letters  or that the letters were “full of graphic racist filth”. There was also  a completely fabricated  quote “if he gets elected he’ll let in all the blacks and Asians”.  Ask yourself why the Mirror would have printed such things if they had read my letters after   they were given them by a police officer simply out to make money with no political axe to grind. It would not make sense. If, on the other hand, this was all part of a conspiracy between the Blairs, a senior police officer and Alastair Campbell  it would make perfect sense,  because then it transmutes from a political story  into an exercise in political propaganda to nullify me by smearing.  The story would then be whatever they wanted it to be with the content of the letters an irrelevance.

It is noteworthy that Morgan in his  letter to the PCC admits that the Mirror did not have copies of my letters and that he had not seen them.  That could mean one of four things: the Mirror did not have copies, the Mirror had copies but did not wish to admit it because they knew the letters would not substantiate their printed story about me, Edwards had seen the letters but  realised they were innocuous and not the basis for a smear story  or  no one at the Mirror had ever seen my  letters but had written their story simply from false information given to them by the police informant. The last possibility fits in most neatly with the conspiracy theory.

Why would the Blairs wish to engage in such a conspiracy?  The most plausible answer lies in the fact that they did not go to the police when I wrote to them, but only later after I had sent copies of my letters to the Blairs and the non-replies I was receiving from their offices to every mainstream media outlet at the beginning of the 1997 General Election campaign.  That can only mean the Blairs  wanted to  silence me during the election campaign.   Why? Only they can tell you that for sure. What is certain is that the Blairs  must have been very seriously worried about the media taking up the story told in my letters and their non-replies to get involved with a criminal investigation during the most important weeks of Blair’s life, namely, the General Election campaign.  Having miserably failed in the attempt to have me prosecuted it would have made perfect sense from their point of view to try to neutralise me by getting a friendly media outlet to print a false and hideously libellous story about me to dissuade anyone in the media from taking up the story told in my letters to the Blairs and their non-replies to me.

Here is something for you and your superiors to think upon. If the Met refuses to  properly  investigate my complaints (including questioning Morgan and Edwards) it will look  like yet another cover-up to go along with the persistent failure  by the Met to investigate phone-hacking until political pressure forced them  to  re-investigate cases which had previously been deemed to provide insufficient evidence for a prosecution or even a sustained investigation. The re-investigation of these supposedly hopeless cases has  resulted in dozens of arrests and quite a few charges, a fact which tells its own tale.

I repeat my previous requests for an interview with you and a senior officer within  Operation Elveden, preferably Steve Kavanagh . Apart from anything else you should be taking a formal statement from me based on the very strong evidence I have provided.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

See also

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/piers-morgans-illegal-receipt-of-information-from-the-police-his-perjury-and-operation-elveden/

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/piers-morgans-illegal-receipt-of-information-from-the-police-his-perjury-and-operation-elveden-part-ii/

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Tape recording of my interview with Jeff Curtis has been sent to you

Tuesday, 26 March, 2013 7:05
From:
“robert henderson” <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>

View contact details

To:
“Paulette Rooke” <Paulette.Rooke@met.pnn.police.uk>
                                      To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG 

26 3 2013

Dear DC Rooke,

I have posted a copy of the tape recording of my interview on 8 April 1999 with Det Supt Jeff Curtis to you by recorded delivery. I have sent the tape to JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD which is where you appear to be physically stationed.

Only one side of the tape has been used. You will need to listen to the entire tape, but Jeff Cutris’ comments about going to the Mirror, it being a straightforward case and so on are towards the end of the meeting with around 5/6ths of the tape played.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

Press regulation and the British constitution

Robert Henderson

The proposed regulation

The considerable constitutional implications of the proposed regulation of the  press by Royal Charter with  statutory restraints preventing the Charter’s  change and legislation creating different classes of plaintiff in civil cases seems to have passed our politicians by.

The proposal is for the normal ultimate control of a Royal Charter by politicians working through the  Privy Council to be circumscribed by a clause in a statute. In addition, further legislation to allow exemplary damages and costs. will be needed.  To demonstrate why this raises constitutional difficulties it is necessary to first understand what the proposed system will be and do. That requires a detailed examination of the draft Royal Charter.

The Royal Charter

There have been three draft Royal Charters: the original Tory Charter, the Labour/Libdem Charter and the third and latest which is the  draft  (published on 18th march) containing the agreed text by all three major party leaders. The  18th  March Charter  can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/142789/18_March_2013_Royal_Charter_on_self-regulation_of_the_press__for_publication_.pdf. A commentary on and full text of the previous draft Royal Charters produced by the Tories and  the combined efforts of the Labour and the LibDems can be found  at http://martinbelam.com/2013/royal-charter-diffs/.

The statutory underpinning

The statutory underpinning will be,  according to the BBC, a general instruction for all  new Royal Charters after a certain date in 2013, viz:

“Early on Monday a deal was struck, under which a clause in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill would be tabled in the Lords.

This would state that a royal charter cannot be changed unless it meets requirements stated within that charter for amendments.

It does not mention any specific charter, Leveson or the press – but the royal charter on press regulation would itself state that it cannot be amended without a two-thirds majority of Parliament. “(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21825823)

This statutory underpinning is intended to give absolute force to these provisions in the 18th March  Royal Charter:

“9.2. Before any proposal (made by any person) to add to, supplement, vary or omit (in whole or in part) a provision of this Charter (“proposed change”) can take effect a draft of the proposed change must have been laid before Parliament, and approved by a resolution of each House. For this purpose “approved” means that at least two-thirds of the members of the House in question who vote on the motion do so in support of it.

9.3. The Recognition Panel may only propose a change to the terms of this Charter if a resolution has been passed unanimously by all of the Members of the Board, who shall determine the matter at a meeting duly convened for that purpose.

10.1. This Charter, and the Recognition Panel created by it, shall not be dissolved unless information about the proposed dissolution has been presented to Parliament, and that proposal has been approved by a resolution of each House. For this purpose “approved” means that at least two-thirds of the members of the House in question who vote on the motion do so in support of it.”

The power to take or refuse complaints

The 18th March draft Charter gives  the proposed press regulator the power to take or refuse complaints as follows:

Schedule 3

“11. The Board should have the power to hear and decide on complaints about breach of the standards code by those who subscribe. The Board will need to have the discretion not to look into complaints if they feel that the complaint is without justification, is an attempt to argue a point of opinion rather than a standards code breach, or is simply an attempt to lobby. The Board should have the power (but not necessarily the duty) to hear complaints:

a) from anyone personally and directly affected by the alleged breach of the standards code, or

b) where there is an alleged breach of the code and there is public interest in the Board giving consideration to the complaint from a representative group affected by the alleged breach, or

c) from a third party seeking to ensure accuracy of published information.”

This gives both a very wide range of complainant and much subjective discretionary power to the Regulator.

The power to impose penalties

The penalties and procedures which the Regulator has to punish and enforce its judgements by the 18th March Charter are:

“15. In relation to complaints, where a negotiated outcome between a complainant and a subscriber (pursuant to criterion 10) has failed, the Board should have the power to direct appropriate remedial action for breach of standards and the publication of corrections and apologies. Although remedies are essentially about correcting the record for individuals, the power to direct a correction and an apology must apply equally in relation to:

a. individual standards breaches; and

b. groups of people as defined in criterion 11 where there is no single identifiable individual who has been affected; and

c. matters of fact where there is no single identifiable individual who has been affected.

16. In the event of no agreement between a complainant and a subscriber (pursuant to criterion 10), the power to direct the nature, extent and placement of corrections and apologies should lie with the Board.

17. The Board should not have the power to prevent publication of any material, by anyone, at any time although (in its discretion) it should be able to offer a service of advice to editors of subscribing publications relating to code compliance.

18. The Board, being an independent self-regulatory body, should have authority to examine issues on its own initiative and have sufficient powers to carry out investigations both into suspected serious or systemic breaches of the code and failures to comply with directions of the Board. The investigations process must be simple and credible and those who subscribe must be required to cooperate with any such investigation.

19. The Board should have the power to impose appropriate and proportionate sanctions (including but not limited to financial sanctions up to 1% of turnover attributable to the publication concerned with a maximum of £1,000,000) on any subscriber found to be responsible for serious or systemic breaches of the standards code or governance requirements of the body. The Board should have sufficient powers to require appropriate information from subscribers in order to ascertain the turnover that is attributable to a publication irrespective of any particular accounting arrangements of the publication or subscriber. The sanctions that should be available should include power to require publication of corrections, if the breaches relate to accuracy, or apologies if the breaches relate to other provisions of the code.

19A.The Board should establish a ring-fenced enforcement fund, into which receipts from financial sanctions could be paid, for the purpose of funding investigations.”

These powers are considerable and the fines  could cause genuine financial difficulty to lesser players in the press field because  fines are on turnover not profit.  The risk is severe because of the immensely broad definition of a publisher who is not a broadcaster:

Schedule 4 b) “relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom:

i. a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material, or

ii. a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine);

The recklessly broad  definition will almost certainly make the system next to unworkable if the Regulator is genuinely to take complaints from both third parties and  complaints about everything from a blog run by a private individual to the largest circulation daily. The experience of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is instructive with the ICO regularly taking one to two years to complete investigations.

The penalties for not being registered with the Regulator

The proposal is that any publisher (as defined by the Royal Charter) who does not sign up with the new regulator will leave themselves open to exemplary damages plus costs if sued  successfully in the courts and may be liable for costs even if they successfully defend a suit in certain circumstances.

These penalties are not part of the Royal Charter or the statutory underpinning already described. Consequently further  legislation will be required. This will be direct statutory control of the press no matter how much politicians try to fudge the matter.  How far such law would be subject to successful legal challenge is debatable because the Human Rights Act contains this:

“Article 10 Freedom of expression.

1Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.” (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42)

The constitutional issues 

If the Charter cannot be amended or dissolved  with less than a two-thirds majority of both houses of Parliament  because a statute has been passed forbidding it,  this  is an  attempt at a de facto superior law, a law moreover, which is binding on future governments. As the two thirds  majority would be extremely difficult to achieve, it would in effect sabotage the constitutional principle that no Parliament can bind its successors by passing laws which cannot be repealed. This is even the case with treaties emanating from the EU. All the major British parties have at one time or another maintained that Parliament is sovereign and the treaties and legislation resulting from   Britain’s membership of first the European Economic Community and its successor the European Union could be nullified by Parliament’s repeal of laws and repudiation of treaties.

Unless a formal framework for such a superior law is introduced into our Constitution, the present  attempt would fail because the restrictions on change or repeal supposedly created by the statutory underpinning could be overcome simply by repealing the entire law in which the statutory restrictions  are  enshrined. That would apply even if a separate Act was passed dealing solely with  restricting changes to the Charter or its abolition. This is so because there could be no such restriction under present circumstances on repealing an entire statute because all statutes are equal and subject to repeal by simple majorities in the two houses of Parliament. In passing it is worth noting that the legislation to make the early calling of general elections difficult  suffers from the same insecurity of application because it requires more than a simple majority.

The next problem is the clash between the general rules governing amendments to Royal Charters and the proposed restrictions imposed by statute:

…once incorporated by Royal Charter a body surrenders significant aspects of the control of its internal affairs to the Privy Council. Amendments to Charters can be made only with the agreement of The Queen in Council, and amendments to the body’s by-laws require the approval of the Council (though not normally of Her Majesty). This effectively means a significant degree of Government regulation of the affairs of the body, and the Privy Council will therefore wish to be satisfied that such regulation accords with public policy. (http://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/royal-charters/chartered-bodies/).

And

(d) incorporation by Charter is a form of Government regulation as future amendments to the Charter and by-laws of the body require Privy Council (ie Government) approval. There therefore needs to be a convincing case that it would be in the public interest to regulate the body in this way; (http://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/royal-charters/applying-for-a-royal-charter/)

The Privy Council practices come  into direct opposition with the draft Royal Charter  where it touches on amendments  to or dissolution of the  Charter.  It is important to understand that  if granted the Royal Charter will not be an artefact of Parliament.  Technically it will be a Royal artefact although in reality a government artefact.   It might be thought that Parliament being sovereign could override the Privy Council procedures, but it is not as simple as that. The Privy Council procedures are separate from Parliament.  If Parliament wants them to be subordinate to Parliament that would make Royal Charters in effect artefacts of Parliament in the same way that secondary legislation such as statutory instruments and orders  in council  are semi-detached   artefacts of Parliament.

The third and last difficulty is the fact that the proposed Charter would create a quasi-judicial authority (I think that that would make it  unique amongst Royal Charters).  That quasi-judicial function would leave it open to legal challenge, both at the level of the Recognition Panel (RP) which appoints the regulator and the regulator itself . Because there is statutory underpinning  of both the RP and the regulator and the RP is  in receipt of public funds at least in the early years, it might well be that either body could  be subject to judicial review because either could be deemed a public body and  a regulatory body established by statute  (http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/you-and-the-judiciary/judicial-review).

The other objection to the quasi-judicial status created by the proposed regulatory system is the fact that quasi-judicial powers (and very considerable ones) are being granted by a body other than  Parliament .

The likely outcome

The proposals are a cynical ploy to prepare the ground for serious interference  with the traditional press and the broader internet media because of the breadth of the definition of a publisher.   These are proposals which are incompatible with any society that calls itself free or has pretensions to be a democracy because by definition anything may be debated in a democracy.

The intended consequences of the proposals are clearly to manipulate the press and internet media both in instances of actual publication and through the deterrent effect of the possible consequences which publication of a story will bring. Moreover, anyone who believes that this will be the end of political interference with the press and internet publishers is credulous to the point of imbecility.  Once state regulation of any degree becomes the status quo  it will provide the psychological launching pad for further control. This will be difficult to argue against because the pass on press freedom will already have been sold.

The fact of such an agreement amongst the leadership of all our major parties is profoundly depressing because it means not one of them collectively understands the value of  free expression as a cleansing lotion for immoral behaviour, especially that by the powerful and influential.  To that is added the contemptible portrayal of the proposed scheme  by the major parties as anything but what it is, namely, grubby authoritarianism.

None of that is to  say that those abused by the press do not require protection.  A statutory right of reply (RoR) would do what was required without any chance of political interference. This is because it is a self-organising process which would involve only the newspaper and the complainant or, where an RoR was refused, the courts to enforce it.  The involvement of the courts would not require the courts to make a judgement on what the publication had written or what the subject of their story wanted to say in reply. All the court would be doing is forcing the publication to provide the RoR. The detailed arguments for an RoR  can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/curing-media-abuse-a-statutory-right-to-reply-is-needed/.

Is all lost? Happily there is some hope.  That exists not because there is likely to be any turnabout out of principle by our politicians. Rather, it exists because they have, as so very often,  not thought through the consequences of a policy.    Apart from the constitutional difficulties,  the practical difficulties are huge.  The great breadth of the definition of what is a publisher will potentially make the work of  the Regulator impossible simply because they will be overwhelmed with work.

In addition, there will be endless opportunity for the wealthier subscribers to the Regulator to pursue legal challenges to the rulings of the Regulator, not least because as I have described the legal position of the Regulator and the RP is a dog’s dinner.

Finally, there is the question of whether the  big press publishers will all sign up, even though that will protect them from exemplary damages and costs even if they have won a case in the courts.  There are signs that some at least  might well refuse.  If many refused that would kill the proposals stone dead. But even if they all signed up they could sabotage the intentions of the Royal Charter  by engaging in a barrage of legal actions against the Regulator.

The Financial Times goes after The Daily Mirror

Dear Robert

I hope you don’t mind me emailing you directly.
I am writing about phone hacking on behalf of the FT and investigating wider incidences of press abuse at other newspapers such as Trinity Mirror.
I would be keen to meet with you as I understand from one of my contacts that you may have evidence of wider press abuse.
Do let me know if you would be happy to meet. I am happy to discuss matters on background only.
All best
Rob

— Rob Budden Chief Media Correspondent Financial Times +44 (0) 207 775 6839 +44 (0) 7785 952 688 www.ft.com
Follow me on Twitter: @RobertoBud

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Rob Budden

Chief Media Correspondent

Financial Times 

1 Southwark Bridge,

 London SE1 9HL

Tel: 0207 775 6839

Email: rob.budden@ft.com

9 March 2013

Dear Rob,

As promised at our  meeting of 8th March, I send you additional information relating to Piers Morgan, the Blairs, the police, the Leveson Inquiry and myself. The details of the new material and the material I supplied to you when we met are listed below.

If you want to expose Trinity Mirror I have provided you with all the evidence you need to demonstrate their abuse of members of the public,  the committing of criminal acts through the receipt of information from the police illegally by the Mirror, probable perjury before Leveson by Morgan and Jeff Edwards and the wilful suppression of evidence by the police of police supplying information illegally to the Mirror. In addition, you have the wider story of the Blairs attempting to prosecute me for crimes they must have known were bogus and their subsequently use of the security services and Special Branch to harass me.

Please keep these facts firmly in front of you:

1. There was so little substance to the Blairs’ complaints against me that the police never contacted me about them, while the CPS rejected the complaint within hours of receiving it with a firm “No Crime”.

2. The Blairs did not go to the police when I sent them the letters, but only after I had circulated copies of my letters to them and the replies I received at the beginning of the 1997 General Election Campaign.

3. The Blairs failed to take any civil law action against me even though that has only the balance of probability evidential test.

4. At no time did I threaten directly or by implication either of the Blairs, nor did I ever attempt to physically approach them.

5. Despite being deemed innocent of any crime and despite never having threatened either of the Blairs, Special Branch and MI5 were set upon me.

6. I made various complaints to the police relating to the Mirror and the Blairs. None were meaningfully investigated.  The most blatant example was the failure of Det Supt Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard to claim that he had investigated my complaint relating to the Piers Morgan admission of receiving information from the police without interviewing anyone at the Mirror or looking at their accounts for evidence of payments to the police.

7. The harassment I suffered after the Blairs failed to have me investigated in March 1997 lasted for the entire Blair premiership and ended once he was out of office.

If you want me to write an article for the FT on any aspect of the business I shall be happy to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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Schedule of documents supplied to Rob  Budden

At our meeting on 8th March I supplied you with the following in paper form:

1. A copy of Is it in the blood? as it was printed.

2. Copies of the Mirror and Daily Herald stories relating to the Blairs and me dated  25 3 1997.

3. A copy of Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC dated 16 October 1997  in which he admits to receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.

4. Copies of the correspondence between the PCC and Mike Jempson of Presswise on my behalf relating to my complaints against the Mirror  and Daily Herald  following the stories of 25 3 1997.

5. A copy of Sir Richard Body’s EDM of  detailing the harassment I was subject to after the Blairs’ attempt to have me prosecuted during the 1997 General Election  campaign failed.

Copies of documents supplied 9 3 2013 via email in digital form (Wordfile)

1. The version of  the Wisden Cricket Monthly article  Is it in the blood? as I sent it to David Frith with supporting documents – see wordfile IsitinthebloodFT.docx

2. My initial submission to the Leveson Inquiry including original attachments (sent by separate email).

3. Details of Piers Morgan’s   perjury before Leveson  –  see wordfile  piersmorganperjury.docx

4.  Details of Jeff Edwards  perjury before Leveson  – see wordfile  jeffedwardsperjury.docx

5.  File relating to Robert Jay’s inept questioning  – see wordfile  LevesonRobertJay.docx

6.  My complaints  to Operation Elveden  regarding Morgan and Edwards’  receipt of information  about me illicitly supplied by the police to the Mirror and Morgan and Edwards – see wordfile  OperationElvedensubmissionFT.docx

The Letwin Plan – Freedom of the Press in a post-Leveson UK

The Letwin Plan – Freedom of the Press in a post-Leveson UK

Freedom Association meeting  25 February

Speakers

John Whittingdale MP (Chairman of the DCMS select committee).

George Eustice MP

Harry Cole Blogger

Depressingly John Whittingdale and George Eustice are both wholeheartedly in favour of the Letwin Plan which is the Government’s response to Leveson’s proposals.   I say depressingly because the Plan is dishonest in overt intent because it produces a system of regulation which pretends to be independent but is in reality authoritarian.

The proposed structure of the new system of regulation consists of a  Recognition Panel (RP) which licences a Regulator, the relationship between the two being broadly akin to that of  Ofcom licensing broadcasters, although here there will be three tiers of interested parties  –  the RP, the regulator and the press – rather than two.

The RP will carry out an assessment of the work of the Regulator  every three year. However, in exceptional circumstances an inspection can be made when deemed necessary.  The Regulator will have the power to levy substantial fines , viz:

15. 19. The Board should have the power to impose appropriate and proportionate sanctions(including but not limited to financial sanctions up to 1% of turnover of the publication concerned with a maximum of £1,000,000) on any subscriber found to be responsible for serious or systemic breaches of the standards code or governance requirements of the body.

The possible size of fines could have an excessive  intimidatory effect, especially on publications which have relatively small publications.

The regulatory structure is to derive its legitimacy from a Royal Charter rather than a statute  (The full draft Charter can be found at http://tinyurl.com/Draft-Royal-Charter-for-Press).  This supposedly gives it independence from politician. Apart from being the thin end of the wedge to more extreme regulation, the personnel of the RP  will be drawn from the usual cast list of the Great and the Good and,  in the cases of both the RP and the Regulator,  there will not be an outright  ban on people with a media background , merely restrictions on serving   mediafolk or their numbers.  The funding  of  the RP will come from the fees charged to those applying to be Regulators  with top ups from the taxpayer if required (the taxpayer will fund the first three years). The Regulator’s income  will come from subscriptions and fines levied from subscribers found to be misbehaving.

The dishonesty  continues with the claim that signing up to  the new regulator will be a voluntary choice for the press.  It will give a very strange meaning to the word voluntary,  because those who choose not to sign up will  leave themselves open to punitive damages in the courts whereas those who do sign up will be legally protected against such  damages.  This legal protection will require legislation.

During questions I pointed out the dishonesty and said that if the government was going to be authoritarian it was better if it was honest about what it was doing,  because this type of pretence was precisely what was disillusioning the general public when it came to politics.  Another questioner made the pertinent point that two classes of plaintiffs  would exist. There would be those suing subscribers to the Regulator (who would be protected against punitive damages)  and those  suing newspapers who had not signed up with the regulator who would be liable for punitive damages.  This could have the perverse consequence of allowing two plaintiffs with equal cases being awarded substantially different amounts in damages , or  even worse, a less serious instance of press misbehaviour resulting in higher damages than a more serious instance.   It could also  have a seriously  intimidatory effect on  the smaller publishers.

The  general problem with the Letwin Plan as outlined in the draft Royal Charter is the structural complexity of the system. The RP  will have an appointments committee which creates an executive  board  licenses the Regulator which also has an appointment panel to create an executive board for the regulator. The Regulator then has to set up a Code committee to develop the Code of Conduct.  This type of diffuse relationship is a recipe for buck passing.

Harry Cole was against the plan because the use of a Royal Charter brought with it difficulties of its own, most notably the fact that an amendment to a Charter required a two thirds majority of the Commons,  as opposed to a simple majority to repeal or amend a statute.  The draft Charter does indeed state this, viz:

9. CHARTER AMENDMENT

9.1. The Recognition Panel may add to, vary or omit (in whole or in part) any of the provisions of this Charter if, and only if:

a) a resolution has been passed unanimously by all of the Members of the Recognition Panel, who shall determine the matter at a meeting duly convened for that purpose;

and

b) the requirements of Article 9.2 are met.

 9.2. Before any proposal to add to, vary or omit (in whole or in part) a provision of this Charter (“proposed change”) can take effect:

a) the leaders of the three main political parties in the House of Commons (being the parties with the first, second and third greatest numbers of Members of Parliament at the relevant time) must each confirm in writing to the Chair of the Board that he agrees to the proposed change;

and

b) a draft of the proposed change must have been laid before Parliament, and approved by a resolution of each House. For this purpose “approved” means  that at least two-thirds of the members of the House in question who vote on the motion do so in support of it. (http://tinyurl.com/Draft-Royal-Charter-for-Press)

Similar qualifications apply to the dissolution of the Charter – see 10. DISSOLUTION10.1

These  Charter provisions would, if valid, make the alteration or the dissolution of the Charter very difficult – the procedures have to be initiated by a unanimous resolution of the Recognition Panel and before any change can be put to Parliament (both houses) the leaders of the three largest parties in the Commons have to each agree to either a Charter change or dissolution of the Charter.   However, there is a rather large question mark over whether they are valid.  Here are the general rules governing amendments to Royal Charters:

…once incorporated by Royal Charter a body surrenders significant aspects of the control of its internal affairs to the Privy Council. Amendments to Charters can be made only with the agreement of The Queen in Council, and amendments to the body’s by-laws require the approval of the Council (though not normally of Her Majesty). This effectively means a significant degree of Government regulation of the affairs of the body, and the Privy Council will therefore wish to be satisfied that such regulation accords with public policy. (http://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/royal-charters/chartered-bodies/).

And

(d) incorporation by Charter is a form of Government regulation as future amendments to the Charter and by-laws of the body require Privy Council (ie Government) approval. There therefore needs to be a convincing case that it would be in the public interest to regulate the body in this way; (http://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/royal-charters/applying-for-a-royal-charter/)

The Privy Council practices appear to come into direct opposition with the draft Royal Charter  where it touches on amendments  to or dissolution of the  Charter.  It is important to understand that  if granted the Royal Charter will not be an artefact of Parliament.  Technically it will be a Royal artefact, although in reality a government artefact.   It might be thought that Parliament being sovereign could override the Privy Council procedures, but it is not as simple as that. The Privy Council procedures are separate from Parliament.  If Parliament wanted them to be subordinate to Parliament that would mean a redrawing of the Constitution, something which has can have wide ramifications, as was show all to starkly by the last Labour government’s botched attempt at ending of the post of Lord Chancellor.

The problems do no end there. Reading through the  draft Royal Charter  there is a distinct whiff of the PCC about the set up. For example, take the parameters of the Code of Conduct:

15  7. The standards code must ultimately be adopted by the Board, and be written by a Code Committee which is comprised of both independent members and servingeditors.8. The code must take into account the importance of freedom of speech, the interests of the public (including but not limited to the public interest in detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety, protecting public health and safety and preventing the public from being seriously misled), the need for journalists to protect confidential sources of information, and the rights of individuals. Specifically, it must cover standards of:

a) conduct, especially in relation to the treatment of other people in the process of obtaining material;

b) appropriate respect for privacy where there is no sufficient public interest justification for breach; and

c) accuracy, and the need to avoid misrepresentation.

The likely code of Conduct will be one close that of the PCC Code , which apart from being frequently not applied by the PCC also gave plenty of wriggle room, especially when the question of the public interest was raised.

None of the panellists suggested that rather than having this great regulatory edifice  a statutory right of reply (RoR) would do what was required without any chance of political interference. This is because it is a self-organising process which would involve only the newspaper and the complainant or, where an RoR was refused, the courts.   Consequently I did.  John Whittingdale tried to dismiss the idea by saying it would be unworkable because of the number of people asking to reply would be vast.  I pointed out that this would not be a problem if the RoR was restricted to a reasonable length.

I also suggested that claims for  financial redress by  those abused by the press should be dealt with through the Small Claims courts with no right of appeal from the Small Court’s verdict and no lawyers allowed, that is, just the lay plaintiff confronting the lay representative of the newspaper involved.  Again this met with a blank lack of interest by the two MPs.    The Small Claims court could also deal with refusals of a newspaper to publish an RoR.

Had I been given the time I would also have raised the problem of how the Regulator would possibly be able to handle the likely number of complainants. In this context the Information Commissioner’s office  (ICO) can give some idea of the difficulties which are likely to arise. A complaint under either the Freedom of Information or the Data Protection Acts to the ICO is likely to take a year or more to gain an adjudication despite the fact that the IFO employs several hundred people.   You can bet your life that the proposed Regulator will not employ hundreds of people because the funding of the Regulator will come from the subscribing newspapers .  The difficulty of the numbers  complaining vastly exceeding the resources available is exacerbated by the allowing of third party complaints:

15.11. The Board should have the power to hear and decide on complaints about breach of the standards code by those who subscribe. The Board should have the power (but not necessarily the duty) to hear complaints: a) from anyone personally and directly affected by the alleged breach of the standards code, or b) where an alleged breach of the code is significant and there is substantial public interest in the Board giving formal consideration to the complaint, from are presentative  group affected by the alleged breach, or c) from a third party seeking to ensure accuracy of published information.

Third party complaints also raise the problem of subjectivity by the Regulator, whose board members, being human, are likely to favour complaints which fit with their political sympathies whilst discriminating against those of which they disapprove.

In short, the proposed regulatory regime is, apart from being the thin end of the wedge for state control of the press, dishonest in intent, constitutionally unsound and administratively impractical .

During the course of the meeting I  raised  (1)  the failure of  Leveson to use the letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC in which he admitted receiving  information from the police in circumstances which  could only have been illegal  and (2) Morgan’s subsequent perjury  when giving evidence before Leveson under oath. I offered these as  examples  of the failure of Leveson to pursue cast iron evidence of serious media misbehaviour.    Harry Cole expressed an interest and asked for a copy of the letter which I subsequently supplied.

After the meeting I spoke with John Whittingdale  about Leveson  and he was very loth indeed to discuss the matter. I eventually persuaded him to  take a copy of the Morgan letter from me, although it was with the look of a man picking up a live grenade with the pin pulled out. When he had read the letter  he  said, believe or not, that he did not think it worth pursuing because it was 15 years old. I pointed out that crimes were frequently pursued after such a time, for example, the Savile investigations ,  while some of the phone hacking accusations were over ten years old.  I also pointed out that the only reason my complaints were not investigated at the time  was the police  failure  to meaningfully investigate.   Mr Whittingdale left taking a copy of the Morgan letter with him.

Robert Henderson 2 March 2013

Curing media abuse – A statutory right to reply is needed

Robert Henderson

A statutory right of reply (RoR) is the thing of media nightmares. That alone tells you it is the best remedy for the general public. But the media is looking a gift horse in the mouth because an RoR would provide the strongest bulwark against any government desire to regulate the media. If there is a truly effective means of rapid redress available to everyone, including incidentally politicians, the prime argument for outside regulation is removed.

An RoR is also the perfect practical solution to the problem of media abuse because it is a self-regulating mechanism, able to develop organically and requiring no great bureaucracy to administer it or vast amounts of money to fuel it.

The only expenditure would be that incurred where an individual challenged the denial of an RoR by a newspaper or broadcaster. That cost could be kept to a minimum in two ways. First, by making libel the only reason for refusing an RoR and then only for that part of a proposed reply which was libellous. Second, by empowering Small Claims Courts to decide whether a claimed libel exists and, if the court does not agree that it does, to order the newspaper or broadcaster to publish the disputed reply. To keep things simple, there should be no appeal against the Small Claims Court’s decision.

The other mechanism which would provide redress with little cost would be to extend the powers of the Small Claims Courts to hear complaints against the media for libel and slander and other torts such as trespass. These two measures would ensure that money did not prove a barrier or determinant of ultimate legal success.

How would it work?

I would restrict the right to individuals because corporate bodies should be able to look after themselves through normal legal action.

The qualification for a right to reply would be simple and objective: the media outlet has printed or broadcast material about an individual. Hence, no prior legal decision, other than on possible libel, would be needed before an RoR was enforced.

What should the RoR entail in terms of opportunity? In the case of newspapers I would give a respondent 300 words as an automatic right and another 500 words for every 1000 words published about him or her over 1500 words. The respondent’s reply should be printed on the same page as the story to which they are responding. If the newspaper responds to a reply then the person responded to would get another RoR.

Broadcasting is more problematical, but at the least a written reply by the person criticised could be read out on air. Where the person has the confidence to speak for themselves, they should be allowed to broadcast their reply.

Practical fears

The objections to an RoR are heavy in the imagination but in all probability slight in practice. It is a case for suck-it-and see.

The media will say that it is completely impractical, that their papers and broadcasts would be full of nothing but replies. In fact, we can say with a very high degree of probability that they would not be.

The general experience of the introduction of any new opportunities for the public at large to act upon is that there is an initial burst of activity which soon settles down to a hard core of those willing to make the effort. If by any chance the introduction of a right to reply proved the odd sociological man out and the media was overwhelmed, the system could be reviewed .

A narrow RoR would be worthless

The media will doubtless throw up their hands in horror at the idea of a RoR which is anything other than a narrow one based on correcting inaccuracy. There are two solid reasons why it should not be limited to inaccuracy. The first is that there is often no easy way of proving the truth or otherwise of ostensible “facts” nor any clear distinction between what constitutes accuracy and inaccuracy or a certain definition of what is an objective fact. For example, what is the objective truth of this statement: “Harold was killed by an arrow through his eye at the battle of Hastings” in 1066? We can be more or less certain that the battle took place in 1066, assuming that we do not have a general scepticism about that which we have not personally witnessed, but the nature of Harold’s death is much more uncertain and problematical. If the RoR were restricted to inaccuracy, the media would assuredly use the lack of objective truth and falsity to undermine the RoR by arguing interminably.

The second objection concerns opinion. This is often more damaging than inaccuracy and there is no clear distinction between fact and opinion. Suppose I write of an actress that “she is a whore”. That is a statement of fact which in principle could be tested objectively, that is, does she take money or other material rewards for providing sexual favours? But what if I write “she has the morals of a whore”? Is that fact or opinion? If it is to be treated as fact how could it be tested? Again, the opportunities for argument are limitless.

The effect on the media

The effect of an RoR and small claims court libel access would be profound. Faced with an immediate published response to any inaccuracy or abusive opinion and the possibility of having to submit themselves to public examination in a small claims court, journalists and broadcasters would cease to be cavalier in what they write. An analogy would be with the recording of conversations where everyone in the conversation knows they are being recorded. Where that occurs people generally cease to lie about what was said and are careful about what they say.

The present remedies

Compare an regime such as I have proposed with the present supposed remedies for those criticised or represented by the media. These are both cumbersome and the success of a complaint is dependent upon the judgement of others. In the case of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), the judgement is made by people drawn from the media or from those associated in some way with the media, and the organisation is funded by the press. Unsurprisingly, a non-celebrity complainant to the PCC rarely succeeds – in its entire history the PCC has never found for a complainant where to do so would be to tacitly accept that a serious libel had been committed.

But to complain that the PCC is no remedy is to miss a larger point. No matter how formally honest the PCC or any other media regulating body was, it could no more serve the public generally than the legal profession can serve the general public in actions for libel where there is no legal aid. The question is one of practicality.

The numbers of complaints actually considered formally by the PCC and the Broadcasting authorities is minute, running into a few hundred a year – most complaints never get to a full hearing or investigation. If the public began to use these bodies enthusiastically they would be overwhelmed. Short of the Government devoting a large segment of the national budget to funding vast public bodies capable of dealing with tens of thousands of complaints a year, the redress for the public will remain notional and the existence of bodies such as the PCC worse than useless. I say worse than useless because their existence gives a spurious appearance of media misbehaviour being subject to sanctions.

All that adds up to a further powerful argument for an effective RoR. Those within the media who oppose such a thing should consider whether it a lesser evil (from their point of view) than the likely eventual alternative of state-control, either openly or through quasi-independent bodies.

I will leave you with this thought. At present the relationship between someone in the media and anyone they choose to criticise is analogous to someone who binds a man and then punches him. It is not a contest, but an act of cowardice. It is essentially what anyone in the media does when they attack someone outside the media in the certain knowledge that the person will be denied an uncensored opportunity to reply.

 

Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from the police, his perjury and Operation Elveden part II

To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

(Tel: 0208  )

29 January 2013

CC Gerald Howarth MP

Keir Starmer (DPP)

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

Dear DC Rooke,

As we have not been able speak as yet I will try to expedite matters by ensuring that you have the basic details and by describing what I would like to happen.

The crimes committed

The evidence I have supplied leaves  Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards  with no wriggle room. There is the letter from  Morgan to the PCC admitting that he received information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal;  Edwards as the writer of the Mirror article must have been the recipient of the information and both Morgan and Edwards objectively committed perjury by denying receiving information from the police illegally whilst under oath before the Leveson Inquiry. Det Supt Curtis is condemned by his wilful refusal to interview Morgan, Edwards or anyone else at the Mirror after my initial complaint.  (I have him on tape promising to interview Morgan et al during my initial meeting with him).

The political dimension

The complaints I have submitted to Elveden are part of a larger scandal which has deep political ramifications. The general scope of these can be seen from  the Early Day Motion put down on my behalf by Sir Richard Body on 10 November 1999:

CONDUCT OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR SEDGEFIELD 10:11:99

Sir Richard Body

That this House regrets that the Right honourable Member for Sedgefield [Tony Blair] attempted to persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring criminal charges against Robert Henderson, concerning the Right honourable Member’s complaints to the police of an offence against the person, malicious letters and racial insult arising from letters Robert Henderson had written to the Right honourable Member complaining about various instances of publicly-reported racism involving the Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaints of the Right honourable Member and the Right honourable Member failed to take any civil action against Robert Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon Robert Henderson, notwithstanding that Robert Henderson had been officially cleared of any illegal action.

This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record – see  http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702

I bring this to your attention because it was the political dimension which prevented me from  getting any redress for complaints I made to the police  following the publication of the Mirror story. My experience from 1997 to 2007 when Blair retired was of being in  a Kafkaesque world in which,  despite being subjected to harassment which ranged from death threats and an internet campaign which incited violence against me by posting my address on social media sites  to regular interference with my post, I was unable to get the police to investigate meaningfully any of the complaints which arose from the Mirror’s involvement and the  harassment which followed.  You have a classic example in the failure of Jeff Curtis to investigate the Mirror despite having Morgan’s letter admitting to receiving police information.

That my complaints caused  considerable concern to the police because of their political nature can be seen from the number of senior officers who got involved in complaints of crimes,  most of which  would normally be investigated by a Det Sergeant or a Detective Inspector at most.   At various times I dealt with the following:

Det Chief Supt Tony Dawson – The Met’s Internal Investigations Command

Dept Supt Jeff Curtis

Chief Supt John Yates

Chief Supt Eric Brown

Supt Cliff Hughes

Supt Alex Fish

Chief Inspector Julia Wortley

Chief Inspector Ian West

Det Chief Inspector Stephen Kershaw

Despite their involvement no one was ever  charged, unsurprising as no complaint was meaningfully investigated.  I also met with the same obstruction from the CPS.

Documents passed to Holborn police

The documents I  passed to PC G James 423EK and PC L Scully 471EK  from Holborn police station were:

1.Piers Morgan’s Letter to the PCC date 16 October 1997  in which he admits receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.

2. A copy of the Daily Mirror  story about me dated 25 March 1997 which produced the complaint to the PCC  which caused  Morgan to write the letter in which he admitted receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.

3. Copies of the then director of Presswise Mike Jempson’s correspondence on my behalf with the PCC relating to the Mirror story dated 23 December 1997, 9 January 1998, 20 January 1998, 18 February 1998, 2 March 1998.

4. My evidence to the Leveson Inquiry of  Morgan ’s perjury dated 23 December 2011

5. My evidence to  the Leveson Inquiry of Edwards’ perjury dated 25 March 2012

6. My original submission to the Leveson Inquiry dated 25 November  2011

7. Sir Richard Body’s Early Day Motion 10th November 1999 which dealt with the general context of the events surrounding the Mirror story  with the role of the Blairs at its heart.

8. A copy of my Wisden Cricket Article Is it in the Blood? (from the July 1995 edition). It was my gross mistreatment by the mainstream British media after the publication of the article that led me ultimately to write to the Blairs asking for their assistance after all other available avenues of redress had failed me .

9. A copy of my final letter to  Det Supt Curtis dated 2 December 1999, Det Supt A Bamber’s reply to that letter 13 December 1999 and the PCA’s letter dated November 1999  refusing  to investigate further

10. A letter addressed to the new head of Operation Elveden Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh dated 21 January 2013.  A copy of this is below.

I attach copies of 1,4,5,6 and my final letter to Jeff Curtis (see 9)  in digital form.

What I would like to happen

The first step would be for the two of us to have a long talk about this. Because of the political ramifications I would also  like to meet DAC Steve Kavanagh .

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————————————

Flag this messageOPERATION ELVEDENMonday, 25 February, 2013 11:10

From: “Paulette.Rooke@met.police.uk” <paulette.rooke@met.police.uk>View contact detailsTo: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Mr Henderson

I write out of courtesy just to let you know that I am still looking into your recent correspondence with this office.

I hope that you will receive a reply in the next couple of weeks.

Yours sincerely

Paulette Rooke

DC PAULETTE ROOKE

JUBILEE HOUSE PUTNEY, 230-232 PUTNEY BRIDGE RD, London SW15 2PD

Internal  58526  External  020 8785 8526

Mobile 07771 553043 (office hours)

————————————————————————————————————————————–

To

DC Paulette Rooke

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

CC

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Gerald Howarth MP

Keir Starmer (DPP)

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

26 February 2013

Dear DC Rooke,

Thank you for your email of 25 February. It is now a month since I passed  my complaints  to Operation Eleveden.  I really do think an early meeting between you,  me and a senior officer from Operation Elveden (preferably Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh)  would be fruitful.

I have provided Operation Eleveden with conclusive evidence of  Piers Morgan and  Jeff Edwards’  receipt of information illegally from the police and of their perjury before Leveson.     Consequently, most of the investigatory work needed to bring charges has been completed.  Apart from the admin involved in  getting the cases to court, all that remains to be done is to interview Morgan and Edwards and to inspect the Mirror’s  records and  Morgan and Edwards’ private papers to see if information relating to payments for the information exist.  I really cannot see what obstacle there is to proceeding with an investigation.

Morgan will not be able to deny the offence because to do so would put him in the absurd position of saying he had not written the letter, that he had no knowledge of it being sent and that the whole thing was done by someone else.  That would be ridiculous if it was just a letter sent without any outside stimulation, but this letter is sent in response to a letter from the PCC.  Morgan would have to argue that a correspondence initiated by  the PCC had proceeded without his knowledge even though the Mirror side was made in his name.

Even without the letter it would be clear that the police had illegally  passed information to the Mirror.  Information in the story could only have come from the police. In addition  Jeff Edwards’ story contains this:   ‘A Scotland Yard  source  said: “By sending letters in a very unpleasant tone the writer has committed an assault. ’ Special Branch, who organise protection for MPs have been informed of the situation”.   Just for the record my letters were deemed entirely legal by the CPS within hours of their receipt.  It was a try-on by the Blairs.

I have spoken to Edwards once. That  was on the morning of the publication of the Mirror story. When he discovered who he was speaking to he panicked immediately.  I think there is a good chance that when confronted with the evidence of Morgan’s letter  he will simply come clean.  I have never spoken to Morgan,  but I would draw your attention to the fact that he has behaved recklessly and dishonestly in the past, most notably in his fabrication of a photos of soldiers  when Mirror editor , something which caused his sacking. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/may/14/pressandpublishing.iraqandthemedia). Reckless people tend to be careless and impulsive. Always a plus when an investigation is under way.

My complaint against Det Supt Jeff Curtis is also straightforward. The fact that he did  not interview anyone at the Mirror despite having Morgan’s letter to the PCC can be verified by checking the Met’s case notes.

If the Mirror received  information from the police illegally in my case, it is not unreasonable to suspect that this was a widespread  practice within the Mirror group. Investigate my complaints and you will almost certainly find evidence of other instances.  There is also the advantage for the Met in investigating the Mirror because it shows they are not merely concentrating on the Murdoch papers.

I would greatly welcome a meeting in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from the police, his perjury and Operation Elveden

Robert Henderson

On Monday 21 January I went to New Scotland Yard (NSY) with the intention of providing evidence to Operation Elveden  of Piers Morgan  and Jeff Edwards’ receipt of information illegally from the police and their perjury before the  Leveson Inquiry when they lied under oath.

I was unable to gain entry. Those on the entrance were insistent  that I would have to make an  appointment.  (I cannot help  but wonder what would have happened if I had turned up without an appointment to give, for example, evidence about a murder or terrorist plot: would it have been  “Sorry sir, we can’t see you without an appointment”?)  I  rang from outside the NSY   to try and arrange an immediate  appointment only to be told by the Met’s central switchboard that  no one was available to make the appointment. I left my details and a civilian worker phoned me later in the day and made an appointment for the local police  to visit me at 11.00 am on 22 January.  He gave me the case  reference CAD 3124/2/Jan.

Two uniformed PCs turned up from Holborn police station (I gave them the  details, but as they admitted themselves, the case was more than a little out of their normal range of work.   (That was precisely why I had gone directly to the NSY rather than ringing to make an appointment. I knew if I tried to make an appointment I would in all probability be  directed  to my local police station.  Some people may think it is a very curious thing that Operation Elveden does not have a direct phone line or public email address for those wishing to give information to use ).  In the circumstances I could do no more than run through the details  and pass on to the two PCs  the following documents:

1.Piers Morgan’s Letter to the PCC date 16 October 1997  in which he admits receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.  (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/piers-morgan-lied-to-the-leveson-inquiry/)

2. A copy of the Daily Mirror  story about me dated 25 March 1997 which produced the complaint to the PCC  which caused  Morgan to write the letter in which he admitted receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.  (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/the-failure-to-charge-piers-morgan-with-illicitly-receiving-information-from-the-police/)

3. Copies of the then director of Presswise Mike Jempson’s correspondence on my behalf with the PCC relating to the Mirror story dated 23 December 1997, 9 January 1998, 20 January 1998, 18 February 1998, 2 March 1998.

4. My evidence to the Leveson Inquiry of  Morgan ’s perjury dated 23 December 2011 (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/referral-of-piers-morgans-perjury-to-the-leveson-inquiry/).

5. My evidence to  the Leveson Inquiry of Edwards’ perjury dated 25 March 2012 (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/leveson-inquiry-jeff-edwards-and-another-prima-facie-case-of-perjury/).

6. My original submission to the Leveson Inquiry dated 25 November  2011 (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/)

7. Sir Richard Body’s Early Day Motion 10th November 1999 which dealt with the general context of the events surrounding the Mirror story  with the role of the Blairs at its heart. (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/)

8. A copy of my Wisden Cricket Article Is it in the Blood? (from the July 1995 edition). It was my gross mistreatment by the mainstream British media after the publication of the article that led me ultimately to write to the Blairs asking for their assistance after all other available avenues of redress had failed me (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/is-it-in-the-blood-and-the-hypocrisy-of-the-media/).

9. A letter addressed to the new head of Operation Elveden Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh dated 21 January 2013.  A copy of this is below.

On the 23 January 2013 I received an email advising me that the information I had given had been forwarded to Operation Elveden and a message was left on my answerphone   asking me to contact Operation Elveden on Friday 25 January.

That the two PCs found the matter somewhat daunting is  unsurprising as  it has a very heavy political loading  because of the involvement  Tony and Cherie Blair who had attempted to have me prosecuted during the first week of the 1997 General Election campaign under the Malicious Communications Act. So weak was this complaint that,  despite the Blairs’ celebrity and Labour’s  almost certain  win in the election which would make Blair Prime Minister, the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaint with a  firm NO CRIME on the same day it was submitted to them by the police for guidance.

I have restricted my complaints to Operation Elveden strictly to that which is within their remit.  However, these examples of criminality and misbehaviour by those with power or influence are only a small part of the overall story of the Blair Scandal.   My experience from 1997 to 2007 when Blair retired was of being in  a Kafkaesque world in which,  despite being subjected to harassment which ranged from death threats and an internet campaign which attempted incite violence against me to regular interference with my post, the police did not solve any of the crimes which I referred to them. This was scarcely surprising as they ignored the evidence I provided, no matter how strong it was.  The most blatant example of this behaviour was the failure of Det Supt Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard  to question Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards of the Mirror about receiving information illegally from the police even though they had the  letter from Morgan admitting he had received information from the police.  The Crown Prosecution Service and the Police Complaints Authority  backed up the failure of the police to investigate meaningfully or sufficiently by refusing any complaints of police inactivity which I referred to them.

The complicity of the elite went  far beyond crime. The mainstream media engaged in a conspiracy of silence after the publication of the Mirror story, neither allowing me a public voice nor even following up the Mirror story ;  The PCC repeatedly failed me; my MP Frank Dobson refused to help in any way, as did  institutions such as  Liberty  and the Index on Censorship. If I went to lawyers they would blanche as soon as they found the Blairs were involved and refused to act for me.

If I manage to get Operation Elveden to prosecute Blair and Edwards, it may be possible to bring the larger story to the mainstream media.    Let us hope so because one thing I can vouch for from long personal experience is that where people  with power and influence are involved the laws which govern us fall rapidly into abeyance.

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To

Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh

Operation Eleveden

Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard

8/10 The Broadway

London  SW1H OBG

(Tel: 0207 230 1212)

21 January 2013

CC Gerald Howarth MP

mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

Dear Mr Kavanagh,

I submit conclusive evidence that (1) the editor of a national newspaper  received information from the  police illicitly and (2) when questioned under oath at the Leveson Inquiry committed perjury by denying that he had ever received information illicitly from the police .

Piers Morgan

The editor in question is Piers Morgan when he edited the Daily Mirror.  The evidence of his receipt of information is beautifully simple: he admitted this in a letter to the PCC dated  16 October 1997 in which  he wrote “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect”.  If the information had been given legitimately there would be no reason for protecting the source.   Nor, because no charges were laid or investigation made, could there have been a legitimate reason  for releasing  the  information. A copy  of the letter is enclosed.

The  letter was sent to me after I complained to the PCC about a dramatically libellous article Morgan published about me on 25 March 1997  (copy enclosed).  The illicit information related to complaints made about me by Tony and Cherie Blair to Belgravia Police  in March 1997. I had written to them seeking their help and,  when they refused, I circulated copies of my letters and  the replies I received to the mainstream media at the beginning of the 1997 election campaign. The Blairs did not go to the police when I sent the letters, only after I circulated them to the media.  The  complaints  had so little substance  that they were dismissed by the CPS with the ruling “NO CRIME” within a few hours of them  being submitted to them for guidance by Belgravia Police.

The odds must be heavily on the  Mirror having paid for the information because it is difficult to see what other motive  a police officer would have for  releasing such information.  However, by accepting information illicitly from the police, whether or not money was paid, offences relating to Misconduct in a Public Office and  the Official  Secrets Act were committed, both by the police officer and Mirror employees including Morgan.  If money was paid by the Mirror to the police officer,  further offences arise under  the laws relating to corruption.

The evidence of Morgan’s  perjury before the Leveson Inquiry is contained in the copy of my submission to the Inquiry informing them of the perjury dated 22 December 2011 which I enclose.

I ask you to investigate both Morgan’s receipt of illicit information from the police and his perjury before Leveson.

Jeff Edwards

In addition to Morgan’s perjury, the Mirror reporter who wrote the story about me, their then  Chief Crime Reporter Jeff Edwards, also committed perjury before the Leveson Inquiry by denying ever receiving information illicitly from the police.   The details are included in the copy of my submission to the Inquiry informing them of the perjury dated  25 March 2012 which  I enclose .

As Edwards was the reporter who wrote the story to which Morgan referred in his letter to the PCC, he must have been the person to whom the police officer referred to in Morgan’s letter gave the illicit information. .

I ask you to investigate Edwards for his receipt of illicit information from the police and his perjury before Leveson.

The original police failure to meaningfully  investigate my complaint

In 1997 I made a complaint about the illicit supply of information about me by the police to the Mirror. The case was handled by Detective Superintendent Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard .  No meaningful investigation was undertaken because, as Det Supt Curtis eventually admitted to me during a phone call, the  “investigation” was ended without anyone at the Mirror being  interviewed; not Morgan, Edwards or anyone else.   I enclose my final letter to  Det Supt Curtis dated 2 December 1999, Det Supt A Bamber’s reply to that letter 13 December 1999 and the PCA’s letter dated November 1999  refusing  to investigate further. This again is self-evidently absurd because of the  failure to question Morgan and Edwards.

I ask you to investigate Ian Curtis for perverting the course of justice by failing to investigate conclusive and incontrovertible evidence of  a serious crime.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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