Tag Archives: free speech

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

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

Opt out of opting in or out

Robert Henderson

The government has refused to make an automatic filter for pornography a legal requirement for ISPs with those wishing to access it having to opt out of the filters. They have not done this out of any concern for freedom of expression but  because the government has

“…now decided that this type of “opt-in” system “can create a false sense of security” because it does not screen out all harmful content.

There were also fears it could have “over-blocked” useful websites giving children access to “helpful information on sexual health or sexual identity”. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9746421/David-Cameron-rejects-automatic-block-on-porn-to-protect-children.html). 

But,  as with so many political issues these days, having said no to  legislation the government attempts to achieve the same ends  with a mixture of non-statutory demands backed by threats of legislation if the ISPs do not do what the government wants , viz:

 “However, the Government’s consultation response yesterday said it would instead rely on the voluntary co-operation of internet companies to strengthen controls on pornography.

It will now urge the companies to “actively encourage parents, whether they are new or existing customers, to switch on parental controls”. All users should be asked whether they have got children and parents would be guided through a process of installing anti-pornography filters.

Ministers will also ask the big internet service providers to make sure the person setting up controls is over 18.

Companies could face legislation in future if the Government feels they are not making enough of an effort to shield children from adult material. (Ibid)

If implemented, those non-statutory requests to ISPs could result in a database containing the opt in details of users which would have much the same effect and dangers as one arising from a statutory  requirement on ISPs.  There is also  a good  chance that whatever the ISPs do it will become a legal requirement in the foreseeable future because the children’s lobby is a powerful one.

What are the dangers of having computer users opt in for pornography?  The same general reasons why opting in or out of anything  desired by the government is dangerous. Once someone has to opt in or out of something they become part of an identifiable group against whom both state and private agencies may act .  Take one of the most frequently advocated opting in or out issues,   that of organ donation. It might seem harmless at first glance,  but you can bet your life that the information will eventually  be used to disadvantage those who opted out, for example, by refusing them medical treatment which was available to those who opted in (this could include non-transplant treatment) or  through the  releasing of  the information to insurers who might decide to charge more to someone on the register because those not on it  were deemed  to have a stronger sense of self-preservation.

In the case of pornography there are also two specific dangers.  First, there is no objective test for what is or is not pornography. Anything might be classified as such on a state whim. Think back to when cameras had film to be developed and recall all the cases of parents being accused of child abuse because they had taken photos of their young children in the bath, on the beach and so on.   Second, those who opted in would be identifiable. That could easily lead to such information becoming part of a CRB  check  which could disqualify  the person involved  from a large and  growing number of jobs or  render a person liable to police investigation if it is deemed that looking at pornography is indicative of a propensity towards committing sexual crimes.  Parents who opted in could find themselves scrutinised by the social services. Those wishing to adopt or foster  would almost certainly be deemed unsuitable if they opted in. The information  could also be used to blackmail people or ruin their careers.

All of those things and more could happen even if a computer user never looked at pornography but   had simply opted in because the filters were excluding sites which no rational person could consider pornographic.   Anyone with experience of  computers where filters are in operation will know how random they can be in what they both exclude and allow through.  It is also worth remembering that the evidence that an opt in had been activated would probably be permanently held by ISPs or on some other database.  Someone might have opted in when they were twenty but not opted in since they were 25 and still find it counting against them when they were 50.

Beyond pornography,  the  it could also be the thin end of the wedge for other  subjects on the Web to be made subject to opting in or out.  The most likely candidate today would be any website deemed to be  carrying “hate crime” material (anything non-pc would qualify) or even simply deemed  right-wing  by the oh so  politically correct British establishment  might require opting in.  But anything political could qualify.  Let the web be filtered for one thing of which the state disapproves and nothing is beyond such surveillance.

Permitting state ordered filtering of material on the web would be another stage in the ever tightening constriction exercised by the British state through the increasingly frequent criminal prosecution of those deemed to be resisting the totalitarian ideology that is political correctness (think of the cases which are almost daily reported in the mainstream media of someone arrested for alleged  racial or  homophobic  “hate speech/writing”).  Such control of the Web  needs to be resisted now before it becomes the norm.

Gay Marriage, political correctness and Newspeak

Robert Henderson

The commonly made objections to Gay Marriage are  (a) marriage is traditionally between a man and a woman, a fact underpinned for  many opponents by religious beliefs that only a man and a woman can be  married,  (b)  claims that  expansion of the definition of marriage to include same sex relationships will  undermine the family  and  (c) such a novel status creates a legal anomaly whereby homosexual relationships  become in some areas privileged over  close non-sexual relationships between people of the same sex, for example, two elderly spinster sisters  living together.

The problem with these objections is that although they have a considerable moral traction to the supporters of marriage as being between a man and woman ,  they are not intellectually conclusive.  Supporters of gay marriage can point to the  differences in what counts as marriage in different times and places – everything from pristine monogamy to polygamy and polyandry.  Religious justifications for opposition will cut no ice with those of no religion or  those of a different religion or strand of a religion. In addition  civil partnerships  already create much the  same legal as situation as gay marriage would do.  Unless the opponents of gay marriage also oppose civil partnerships,  and many do not,  they do not have much of a case if they wish to base their argument on the damage to the institution of  marriage deriving from the formal  legal equality gay marriage would bring. (http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/relationships_e/relationships_living_together_marriage_and_civil_partnership_e/civil_partnerships_and_living_together___legal_differences.htm).

But opponents of gay marriage need not despair. There is an objection which is far more powerful and  fireproofed against finessing and abuse.   It can appeal to people of  widely differing views because it is not attached to any of the direct arguments for and against gay marriage. It is also beautifully simple: in a free society language should evolve naturally through common usage.  If governments are allowed to change the meaning of words by redefining them in law  we are  in the realm of 1984 and Newspeak .

The purpose of Newspeak was beautifully simple. It was to make whatever thoughts were deemed undesirable by the party impossible to formulate. This was done most radically by removing words from the vocabulary.  For example, negative words such as bad and  poor were not available in Newspeak. To say something was bad or poor the Newspeak user had to say ungood which could be heightened to plusungood or doubleplusungood.  It was still possible to signify that something was bad or poor in Newspeak, but it could only be done using words which were much less emotionally potent because they were both new and had echoes of the positive word good.  (Orwell wrote an appendix to 1984 which developed the idea of Newspeak considerably to show how dangerous control of language can be.).

Newspeak also altered the meaning of words by simply  redefining them. Most famously the Party Slogans in 1984 are:

War is peace

Freedom is slavery

Ignorance is strength

That is what the proponents of gay marriage are doing. In England  marriage  has always  meant one man and one woman.     To alter the word to mean any sexual combination is to deny  its usage in England from time immemorial. Moreover, whatever the variations on marriage or sexual cohabitation that have existed and may exist today in other parts of the world, one thing is certain: marriage has everywhere been a heterosexual relationship. A more radical change in the meaning of a word  it is difficult to imagine.

If  gay marriage does pass into law it will  become unreservedly  illegal for any corporation or individual offering a product or service to treat a homosexual marriage differently from  that between two heterosexuals.   It is also probable in the increasingly authoritarian imposition of political correctness generally that a refusal to recognise relationships between two people of the same sex as a marriage  will be treated as a hate crime.

A re-definition of marriage also  leads to other related words –  adultery, divorce, consummation (of marriage)  – being  of necessity redefined  so that behaviours and events which now only concern heterosexual relationships also concern relationships between those of the same gender.  In addition, it will mean the removal of the terms mother and father from  many laws and legal documents.

Granting the right of marriage to homosexuals is  taking away something from  heterosexuals  not simply giving something to homosexuals. That something is  the institution of marriage being their  sole possession, of being something special to them.  Nors would there be true equality between homosexual and heterosexual marriages because  there can be no possibility of children in the case of the former. It is true that some marriages between men and women are childless,  but the possibility is there  and in the overwhelming majority of cases  also the intent to have children.  In addition, gay marriage would raise other awkward questions such as the question of  the prohibition against  siblings  marrying. As there would be no question of children the banning of  sibling marriage – either two brothers or two sisters  marrying – would have little force on rational grounds .

The drive for gay marriage is part of the general  plan of the politically correct to force their ideas onto society as a whole.   This  requires people to  deny reality and accept that which is abnormal as  normal.  Objectively homosexuality is abnormal because most do not practice it.  Objectively, men and women fundamentally differ because their biology and biological functions  are  different .   Objectively discrimination generally is not an evil but a necessary part of existence,  for all animals including homo sapiens because to make a choice is to discriminate. Objectively  discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnicity exists universally  and to suggest that this is the result of  social conditioning arising in every society across the world stretches credulity  far beyond breaking point.

A fundamental tool in enforcing  such ideas is the redefining of words by the exercise of power.  The push for gay marriage is simply a symptom of   something much more sinister: an  attempt to change not only the outward appearance of society radically but to persuade people to  believe that the wholesale calling of black white involved in political correctness is reality itself or failing that to come to believe that  denying the maxims of the creed is dangerous.  It is the stuff of Year Zero, a mentality that can lead to any abomination. .

Leveson Inquiry – Leveson makes me (and possibly others) a non-person

Robert Henderson

The Leveson Inquiry report was published on 29th November. The  executive summary   is at  http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0779/0779.asp

The full Report is at http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0780/0780.asp

I have only been able to have a quick glance at the 2000 odd page document but I have found something very strange. I have become a non-person in Leveson World. There is a long list of those making submissions to the Inquiry . I made very substantial submissions to Leveson – my initial submission can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/ .

Leveson’s report contains a long list of the names of those who made submissions – see – http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0780/0780_iv.pdf  page 1839 volume IV.    My name is not in the list.

Not content with refusing to allow me to appear as a core participant or an ordinary witness,  Leveson has deliberately excluded any evidence  that I made  submissions.  It would be interesting to know if any other people who made submissions  have had their names omitted.

Such an omission  is most irregular. Where submissions are solicited by an official inquiry,  the submissions,  or at least a note of who has made submissions,  are routinely included in an appendix to the report.

Why is Leveson so determined not to have my submission to his Inquiry suppressed? Amongst other things   I provided him with

1. A  letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC when he was Daily Mirror editor admitting that he had received in formation from the police in circumstances which can only have been have been illegal.

2. Evidence that Morgan and his one-time Mirror chief crime reporter Jeff Edwards had committed perjury under oath before the Inquiry .

3. Evidence that the police conducted an “ investigation” in the Morgan letter   to the PCC without questioning Morgan or anyone else at the Mirror.

4. The abject failure of the PCC to address  my complaints of the most serious libels against me.

5. Huge evidence of press abuse of me.

Details of these issues and my  extended correspondence with the Inquiry can be found at:

The Leveson Inquiry report was published on 29th November. The  executive summary   is at  http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0779/0779.asp

The full Report is at http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0780/0780.asp

I have only been able to have a quick glance at the 2000 odd page document but I have found something very strange. I have become a non-person in Leveson World. There is a long list of those making submissions to the Inquiry . I made very substantial submissions to Leveson – my initial submission can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/ .

Leveson’s report contains a long list of the names of those who made submissions – see – http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0780/0780_iv.pdf  page 1839 volume IV.    My name is not in the list.

Not content with refusing to allow me to appear as a core participant or an ordinary witness,  Leveson has deliberately excluded any evidence  that I made  submissions.  It would be interesting to know if any other people who made submissions  have had their names omitted.

Such an omissions  is most irregular. Where submissions are solicited by an official inquiry,  the submissions,  or at least a note of who has made submissions,  are routinely included in an appendix to the report.

Why is Leveson so determined not to have my submission to his Inquiry suppressed? Amongst other things   I provided him with

1. A  letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC when he was Daily Mirror editor admitting that he had received in formation from the police in circumstances which can only have been have been illegal.

2. Evidence that Morgan and his one-time Mirror chief crime reporter Jeff Edwards had committed perjury under oath before the Inquiry .

3. Evidence that the police conducted an “ investigation” in the Morgan letter   to the PCC without questioning Morgan or anyone else at the Mirror.

4. The abject failure of the PCC to address  my complaints of the most serious libels against me.

5. Huge evidence of press abuse of me.

Details of these issues and my  extended correspondence with the Inquiry can be found at:

Tag Archives: Leveson Inquiry

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Leveson Inquiry – My Subject Access  request: the Inquiry withhold data

My Subject Access request to Leveson has resulted in virtually no material being released and an admission that they are withholding information on the grounds of legal privilege. I am challenging this with the Information Commissioner – details below. The course of my  request  can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/leveson-inquiry-data-protection-act-request-for-information/. In addition to my submission to the […]

Is there a deliberate attempt to sabotage the trial of Rebekah Brooks and co?

Robert Henderson At first glance it beggars belief  that Alison Levitt QC,  the principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ,  took the decision to prosecute the one time chief executive of News International and erstwhile editor of the News of the World (NoW) Rebekah Brooks  and others associated with her  beggars […]

Leveson Inquiry – Lord  Leveson prepares the way for the cancellation of part 2

Robert Henderson Leveson hints at an early end to the Inquiry On 2  May the London paper the Evening Standard let a rather large cat out of the bag. It reported that Lord Leveson,  in a ruling made very quietly on 1 May,  had  hinted strongly that he wanted to cut short his eponymous Inquiry. […]

Leveson Inquiry –    Politicians and the Press

Miss Kim Brudenell Solicitor to the Inquiry Leveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand, London WC1 2 May 2012 Cc All barristers employed by the Inquiry Dear  Ms Brudenell, Politicians and the Press I enclose three  examples of  collusion between politicians and the press.    All cases demonstrate the willingness of the British mainstream media to […]

Leveson Inquiry – Jeff Edwards and another prima facie case of perjury

Miss Kim Brudenell Solicitor to the Inquiry Leveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand, London WC1 25 March 2012 Dear Miss Brudenell, The evidence given by Jeff Edwards before the Inquiry on 17 March 2012 provides another prima facie instance of perjury. Mr Edwards was the reporter who wrote the hideously libellous story about me […]

Leveson Inquiry –  Harriet Harman has her deniability removed

Note: I attended a conference entitled Taking on the Media Barons on Saturday 17 March. Its subject was media abuse including the issues under consideration by the Leveson Inquiry.  Harriet Harman was the first speaker.  In the course of her talk she spoke enthusiastically about the fearless way the Leveson Inquiry was going about its work. The […]

Leveson Inquiry – Data Protection Act request for information

RE: Urgent – For Kim BrudenellFriday, 24 February, 2012 12:57 From: “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team”Add sender to ContactsTo: “‘robert henderson’”, “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team”Dear Mr Henderson Thank you for your email the contents of which are noted. I appreciate that you have long standing concerns regarding Mr Morgan. The Inquiry’s position was made clear in our emails […]

Leveson Inquiry – the killer question Robert Jay QC is not asking

The leading counsel to the Leveson Inquiry  Robert  Jay  QC and his fellow barristers are being surprisingly inept in their questioning when it comes to the question of the police illicitly supplying information to the press.  It is noticeable that although some very damaging revelations have come out during the course of the Inquiry, to […]

The Leveson Inquiry and the suppression of evidence

NB This article is also  on the Libertarian Alliance website http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/the-leveson-inquiry-and-the-suppression-of-evidence/  Robert Henderson The remit of the Leveson Inquiry into the British Press is clear: Module 1: The relationship between the press and the public and looks at phone-hacking and other potentially illegal behaviour. Module 2: The relationships between the press and police and the extent […]

Leveson Inquiry: sabotaging deniability

Robert Henderson To remove the defence of “I did not know”from those running the Inquiry, I have sent a fascimile copy of Morgan letter to the PCC to every barrister employed by the Inquiry via their chambers and to Leveson at the House of Lords —————————————– To:  Counsel to the Leveson Inquiry Robert Jay QC, […]

Leveson Inquiry –  Wanted- people who have had their evidence ignored

The Leveson Inquiry are refusing to use my evidence of press, PCC and police misdoing. They will not even take up the matter of Piers Morgan’s perjury before them despite the fact that I have given them a letter from Morgan to the PCC  in which he writes “ The   police  source of our article […]

The Leveson Inquiry – Robert Henderson’s evidence still being considered

Miss Kim Brudenell Solicitor to the Inquiry Leveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC1 14 February  2012 Dear Miss Brudenell, Confirming our telephone conversation of 14 February, you stated: 1. That my email to you of 27 January was received despite no acknowledgement being sent . 2.  That my various submissions to the […]

Leveson Inquiry: Robert Henderson’s application for core participant status

The Leveson Inquiry- Note on the Directions Hearing 25 1 2012 in Court 73 of the Royal Courts of Justice Robert Henderson I attended a directions hearing  for the decision on whether I would be designated  a Core Participant.  I shall not be Core Participant (unless I can somehow persuade Lord Leveson  otherwise), but I could […]

Leveson Inquiry – the response to Robert Henderson’s application to be a Core Participant

Leveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC1 22 12  2011 Dear Lord Leveson, Piers Morgan indubitably lied to the Inquiry (20 December) when he claimed that he had never illicitly received information from the police.   On 25 November I submitted a series of complaints backed by documentation to the Inquiry.  These were definitely […]

Referral of Piers Morgan’s perjury to the Leveson Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC1 22 12  2011 Dear Lord Leveson, Piers Morgan indubitably lied to the Inquiry (20 December) when he claimed that he had never illicitly received information from the police.   On 25 November I submitted a series of complaints backed by documentation to the Inquiry.  These were definitely […]

Piers Morgan lied to the Leveson Inquiry

Piers Morgan lied to the Leveson Inquiry  (20 12 2011) when he claimed he had never illicitly received  information from the police when Mirror editor.   I can say this categorically because he admitted doing so in a letter to the PCC in 1997 when he wrote “”The  police source of our article (whose identity we […]

The Leveson Inquiry: a shameless attempt to censor my evidence

RE: Submission to the Inquiry involving media abuse and the buying of police info Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 13:26 From: “Leveson Inquiry General Enquiries”View contact detailsTo: “robert henderson”Dear Mr Henderson, Thank you for your submission which has been received by the Inquiry Team.  You will appreciate that we have received a large amount of evidence […]

The Leveson Inquiry: the Blairs, the Mirror, the police and me

generalenquiries@levesoninquiry.org.uk 25 November 2011 Dear Lord Leveson, I submit examples of misbehaviour  by  the media and  the  PCC plus collusion between the police and the media .   In every case I was the person who was directly affected by the behaviour.   For each case I enclose supporting documents which strongly support my accusation. I wish […]

The BBC, Newsnight and Lord McAlpine: where were the libel lawyers?

Robert Henderson

The greatest ostensible oddity about the Newsnight programme involving ( at that stage  an  unnamed)  Lord  McAlpine  is the position of  the  BBC’s in-house libel lawyers.  The Corporation  has been remarkably coy about what legal advice they were given about the programme before it was broadcast. These questions urgently need to be answered by the BBC:

1. If the libel lawyers were not shown the programme in whole or part, who made the decision to withhold  the programme any part of the programme from them?

2. If the libel lawyers said  no to the broadcast as it was shown, who overrode their advice?

3. If the lawyers  did not say no, how did they  come to such a judgement?

To the best of my knowledge, not one BBC programme has asked or simply siad what the BBC libel lawyer (s) advised. That in itself looks suspicious.  For its own protection, the BBC needs to start publicly asking  and answering these questions.

Any libel lawyer will know that not naming someone cuts no ice where a broadcast or written communication provides  a reasonable chance of an individual  being identified from the details given in the broadcast or written communication.  Worse,  even identifying a small group to whom libellous  details might apply could provide solid grounds for a libel action. For example, suppose a  broadcaster or newspaper published a story alleging that two players in a football side had been bribed to throw a game without naming the two players.  Whether the story was true or not, the players who were not guilty of such behaviour could reasonably claim they had been defamed because the public might suspect any player in the side.

Had the programme simply said that a high-profile political figure was allegedly guilty they would probably  have been safe. By saying it was both a Tory politician and one prominent in the “Thatcher era” they made the identification much too easy.  (Whether that was a politically motivated decision is debatable, but it is difficult to imagine the BBC running a story which contained an equivalent accusation of, say, a high-profile Labour politician of the Blair era.” )

There is also a problem with the  idea that the furore  could have been avoided if  John Messham,   (the person,  who spoke on Newsnight of  being sexually assaulted by a high profile Tory politician),  had been shown a photo of McAlpine  by the Newsnight people before the programme was put together.  Mr  Messham has said since the programme was broadcast that,  having seen a photograph of McAlpine,  he was sure this was not the man who had assaulted him. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/lord-mcalpine-did-not-abuse-me-1427866). There is no reason to disbelieve this retraction because Lord McAlpine has mounted a most vigorous and convincing defence  against the accusations. Nonetheless  there are difficulties with the idea that such a positive identification could be made from a photograph.

The alleged assaults took place in the mid 1970s. I would defy anyone to be able to swear one way or another to the identity of a man from a photo 35-40 years on.  Moreover,  exactly what photo could Newsnight have shown him? A recent photo of McAlpine?  One taken from the 1970s? if the former,  identification could surely not be certain: if the latter, would 1970s photos of McAlpine be readily available,   and even if they were,  would they be good likenesses of the man?

This can of worms is far from being  fully opened.

How the rich and powerful get away with murder: a look behind the elite veil

Robert Henderson

The cataract of misbehaviour by those with power, wealth and influence flows ever more freely into the British media.  Presently  we have the  ever expanding Jimmy Savile paedophile revelations – especially with reference to the BBC – and the drug taking amongst cyclists headed by Lance Armstrong hogging the headlines.  Following the nationalisation of  Northern  Rock in 2007  there has been  the never ending story of  recklessness, greed, selfishness and outright criminality of  bankers and their close cousins in the finance industry.  For the past year the Leveson Inquiry has been  turning over the stones hiding the  immoral behaviour of those in the British press and the collusion between the press and the police, most notably in the supply of information  by the police to the press  (and doubtless  to broadcasters as well). The scandal of greed and in some cases outright criminality of British politicians, both elected and unelected, in filling their pockets  from the public purse for bogus expenses continues to this day with the revelation that some MPs are claiming expenses for London accommodation when they already have a property there and then renting out one of the  properties  to other MPs , a fact that they tried with the Speaker’s support to censor, while the one-time Labour minister Denis McShane  has been caught forging invoices from a non-existent organisation which he submitted to the taxpayer for payment.   To all that can be added a practice which effectively legalises corruption, namely, the allowing of politicians and public servants to take well paid sinecures or act as lobbyists for organisations which seek government contracts and other favours such as amending legislation to make it more favourable or dropping proposed legislation within two years of leaving office or public employment.

It might be thought that all of the serious scandals have been  brought to  public attention.   Not a bit of it.  Those with [power wealth and influence in Britain  routinely manage to escape the consequences of behaviour which if committed by the ordinary man or woman  would result in the loss of their job at best and criminal charges at worst.  Frequently not only are the consequences of immorality avoided by the powerful and influential, their behaviour is hidden from the public because they never make the mainstream media.  In addition,  they suppress stories which do not involve their own misbehaviour but  are embarrassing to them or  damaging to someone associated with them.

To take a few examples from this website of stories involving the powerful and influential which have never made it to the mainstream media.  There is the  attempted suicide of Tony Blair’s daughter in 2004,  the refusal of Lord Leveson to investigate  Piers Morgan’s admission in a letter to the PCC  of having received information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal and Gordon Brown’s illegal interference when prime minister with the bidding for a prime piece of  publicly owned  London land . These stories can be respectively  found at

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/the-blair-daughters-attempted-suicide-and-the-publics-right-to-know/

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/piers-morgan-perjury-the-police-the-leveson-inquiry-and-denis-macshane/

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/the-new-leader-of-the-greens-knows-how-to-keep-mum/ )

But the most dramatic story on the blog which has been suppressed by the mainstream media is Tony and Cherie Blair’s unsuccessful attempt to have me prosecuted during the 1997 General Election Campaign and their subsequent use of state power to harass me.  The details can be found  at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/.

But it is not only the media who are complicit with the powerful.  Politicians, those supposedly responsible for upholding the law – the police and the Crown Prosecution Service and judges –  and the various bodies and individuals employed to enforce codes of practice all engage in behaviour designed to prevent the powerful and influential being brought to book. Time and again members of the British elite have well documented  cases of  criminal behaviour referred to  police and they do result in prosecution.  Time and again misbehaviour, whether criminal or simply immoral, is referred to bodies such as the Standards and Privileges Committee . The cases of Adam Werrity (who falsely represented himself as a special advisor to the then defence minister  Liam Fox (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20159699) and the previously mentioned McShane (whose behaviour was deemed not to be criminal by the police despite his forging of invoices to gain thousands from the taxpayer) are good recent  examples of these types of behaviour and the refusal of the Metropolitan Police to investigate Peter Mandelson’s  false declaration on a mortgage application form a particularly blatant example from the past (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/laws-are-for-little-people-the-mandelson-mortgage-fraud-cover-up/).

The public rarely gets to see behind the scenes to see the mechanics of how things are fudged and covered up.  I can lift the veil a little from direct experience. In 2000 I spent more than an hour with the then Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Elizabeth Filkin.  The interview was recorded and a transcript is below.

I made a number of complaints to Filkin regarding the Blairs and  my MP Frank Dobson’s response to my request for  assistance after Blair had tried and failed to have me prosecuted.  (I also made a detailed submission to Filkin regarding Mandelson’s mortgage application).  Filkin was absolutely determined not to   get involved with the Blair and Dobson complaints and tried to prevent the meeting at the last minute as you will see from the telephone message above the transcript.  Nonetheless I did manage to work the subject of Blair into the interview  on the question of the Code of Conduct for MPs. In the end Filkin was reduced to saying in effect that she did not hold MPs to the standards of the Code of Conduct and the interview generally shows how impossible it is for someone without power, wealth or influence, in this case me, to get any action taken over elite misbehaviour.

Robert Henderson 5 11 2012

————————————————————————————————————————————

Telephone message left on Robert Henderson’s answerphone 2/5/2000 by Mrs Elizabeth Filkin, The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in Public Life.

EF: Good morning Mr Henderson. It’s Elizabeth Filkin. You may like to return this call. I am happy to meet you tomorrow as I have agreed, but I am not happy to discuss any of the matters that are in your letter of the 24 of the fourth which I have received today. Those are all matters that you have written to me about, that I have considered and I am not willing to take further. If you have got other matters to talk about you are welcome to come tomorrow, but if these are the only ones that are outstanding, I am afraid there is no point in meeting. Perhaps you will let me know.

Interview between Robert Henderson and Miss Elizabeth Filkin, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in Public Life on 3rd may 2000. The interview began at 11.01 and ended at 11.55 am. Mrs Filkin was aware that the recording was being made and agreed to it being made.

RH: I will send you a copy of the tape afterwards, obviously. Now, as we didn’t speak yesterday Mrs Filkin, I am a little bit in the dark about exactly what the problem was with discussing the other matters. I haven’t come along to break my word and say I am going to try and raise those matters, but if you can just clarify exactly why you won’t discuss the matters which I have already raised with you.  I…go on, sorry…

EF: Let me say immediately, I am happy to discuss anything, but I am not happy to re-open and waste your time with a discussion of whether I’ll look into the complaints that I have  already looked at in great detail from you and decided that they aren’t things that I can look at. And please be clear about it, I am not in any way saying that I am not sympathetic and I am not in any way saying that it might be that some of the these other matters ought to be looked into by other bodies. What I have said are that they are not matters I can look into. What I didn’t want to do is, obviously, to waste your time, so that’s why I informed you and that’s my position.

RH: Right. I presume that if I have got new evidence on these matters you wouldn’t say automatically you wouldn’t look at the evidence.

EF: No, of course not. If you have new evidence you should write to me and put that to me.

RH: Well, I will do that obviously.

EF: And, of course, as always I will happily look at it. But if, as numbers of your complaints did, they relate to peoples activities as ministers or prime ministers, they are not for me. I cannot look into those things. I have no mandate to look into those things.

RH: That is one of the matters I want to discuss with you this morning,  that is the question of the Code of Conduct of members, because I don’t want to waste your time anymore than you want to waste my time. Now, as I understand it, correct me if I’m wrong, but  the Code of Conduct for members comes within your remit, yes?

EF: That’s so.

RH: Right. Now you see this is where I have a big difficulty with you, and you know I have asked you the question over and over again, it’s on this particular one []and there are several parts of it, but on one particular one – it’s the “Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust etc.” All right? Now, could you give me some sort of guidance on what you think that particular part of the Code of Conduct would actually cover, I mean if it doesn’t cover going to the police and making allegations which they must have known were bogus, I can’t see what purpose it serves.

EF: I can’t tell you what the House, the people who made those decisions, what they meant by their Code of Conduct, should mean. All I can do is say to you is that I have a job which is if I get a complaint from…about a member of parliament’s conduct I have to look at it against that Code of Conduct and I have to make a judgement as to whether – the first thing I have to do is make a judgement as to whether what the person has done is in any way in relation to their [duties] as a member of Parliament. And then of course I have to make a judgement I believe that they have acted in good faith or not.

RH: Can I just butt in there because it does seem to me that – to be honest with you I don’t envy you having to try to sort the bones out of it because a lot of this is simply unrealistic and if was actually put in to operation the whole of the House would come to a dead halt. But at the same time you will see from my own point of view that I must press it, even though I may realise, as an ex-civil servant, that it is not the easiest thing…

EF: I totally understand that if as you say anybody has made bogus allegations about you or about anybody else that is awful and it’s very distressing.

RH: But, it is particularly dangerous when it is the Prime Minister and his wife.

EF: Well, I don’t want to get into individuals..

RH: Well, I…

EF: I am not going to get into individuals.

RH: These are the complaints I have…

EF: I am not going to get into talking about individuals. What I am saying to you …I fully understand that it is very distressing, and it happens to a lot of people in public life and it’s very distressing, but it seems to me that.. there isn’t something that I need to look into.

RH: But surely it would breach that particular …

EF: Just let me finish. Because if a person, whoever they are, makes an allegation to the police, it seems to me that the police then have, as the properly constituted authority, whose job it is to look into it the complaint and dismiss it if there is nothing there, which they do every day and therefore it is no task for me to re-enter that and if a person has raised an allegation about you and the police have looked into it, and [dismissed it], as far as I am concerned that’s the end of the matter. I am not going to double track other authorities or other bodies who have powers and activities to carry out these investigations.  So I am not going to get into that.

RH: Well, you see there is the non-legal point about this. You have got the man who is the prime minister – and I can’t avoid raising his particular name  or position  simply because he went to the police and he did so in his position as leader of the opposition and also in his position of prospective prime minister and he did that in the first week of the election campaign and he tried to get me put in prison. Now, the fact that he is also a barrister and his wife is a QC, seems to me to suggest that they should have been in the position to know – well you’ve read my letters to them – they should have been in a position to know that in fact my letters could not possibly have constituted any criminal offence  whatsoever. All right?

EF: That’s a matter for the police and I leave it to them.

RH: It comes into conduct as well, because it is obviously sinister if you have got a senior politician attempting – because he only went to the police after I had circulated my letters to the media – it’s very sinister just as behaviour to try to go to the police to get me prosecuted on charges he must have known were bogus in an attempt obviously to both discredit me and silence me is sinister. Now, there is also the fact that – I don’t think you have ever seen the original stories [RH produces Mirror and Daily Record stories] – but in fact two weeks after, or slightly less than two weeks after these were published – that was on the front page and that was the actual story. Now, I really do not believe the Mirror would have published a story like that without Blair’s say-so and every single journalist I have spoken to has fingered Alistair Campbell for it, all right? Now,  you have read the text of that because you have read “The  criminal acts of Tony and Cherie Blair. This also appeared on the same day in the Daily Herald, all right, sorry the Daily Record up in Scotland which is the Mirror’s sister paper. Now that again isn’t criminal behaviour as such unless you want to call it criminal libel which I would, but it again would come within the ambit of this “member shall at all times conduct themselves in the manner.”

EF: Mr Henderson, I fully appreciate your point of view. Don’t think that I don’t understand, I fully understand and I understand your distress. I have no issue with you about that. What I have said to you that I am not going to investigate this and I say it to you again, I am not going to investigate this – you can go talking about it if you want to – but I am not going to investigate again, you can go on talking about it if you want to – but I am not going to re-open any investigation, which has already been looked at by the police. That is not my job.

RH: I am not actually making a complaint about the police here, I am making a complaint about his [Blair’s]  general behaviour of attempting, as a senior politician, of attempting to stifle debate by going to the police, because,  as I say,  he only went  to the police  six weeks after my last letter to him. So he didn’t go there because he was frightened of what the letters were, he went there because he wanted to discredit me and,  when he couldn’t get the police to do his dirty work, or the CPS , he got those out into the public fold [in the Daily Herald] and the Mirror, which as I will show you in a letter in a moment which you haven’t seen before, actually admits that they never saw the letters before they published that story.

EF: That’s an issue for the [Press] Complaints Commission.

RH: Well, again you can’t divorce the story from Blair, because as I say to suppose the Mirror would have published [on their own initiative] that story at that time when Blair was enduring the six most important weeks of his life is plainly absurd. But I don’t want to get too sidetracked into that. I still cannot see for the life of me how Blair’s behaviour in going to the police and then putting that out – I don’t think anybody you know who was a disinterested third party would have much doubt that he was involved in that. Then, on top of  that, having moved the security services to open up a file on me and keep me under surveillance – they’re still doing it because I have got the evidence from the post coming through the door. All right? Now we are talking about three years afterwards and they are still doing it, and I  suspect that they are tapping my phone as well.  I can’t actually prove that because the modern means of phone tapping are so subtle that you just haven’t got a clue whether they are[tapping]  or not. But if they are opening my post three years afterwards, I have got to assume they are doing that and I have got to assume that they are also reading all my e-mail traffic Now, again, that is only something which is being done on Blair’s say-so. Blair could stop that tomorrow just by issuing an instruction, but he is not doing it. And again that would come, I would argue most strongly, within this “Members shall at all times…” etc.

EF: Well, I understand your point of view.

RH: But what I have never had from your letters is a detailed explanation of why you do not think that covers not just Blair’s [behaviour] but also all the others [of whom I have complained] . Don’t think  for a moment that I am only interested in Blair, I am also interested in all the other ones including…

EF: I am afraid you are not going to get a general explanation, because it’s not mine to give you. That’s the House of Commons’ responsibility.

RH: Yes, but you have to interpret it, don’t you?

EF: My job is to look at individual complaints and decide whether there is anything in there which I should properly investigate and if it befalls to investigate it and which as you know I did in relation to and I shall do so again if I believe it comes within my remit and I shall do it as vigorously as I did that in that case. So there is no issue as far as I am concerned I am not of the view that a member of the public or a member of the cabinet, or the leader of the Opposition, or the prime minister or anything else going to the police and making an allegation which may be totally untrue and regrettable is in itself something which I should look into because I believe…

RH: How does that not bring the house into disrepute?

EF: I don’t think it does. That is a job for the police to get involved in, and if they find the complaints are bogus the person concerned if they wish can have a [summons issued] But it isn’t for me to look into and I have to say to you again I am not going to look into that. I have to say to you again that I am not going to look into it. It isn’t something for me.

RH: What about the newspaper stories?

EF: The newspaper stories are not for me, You have not produced any evidence that any member of Parliament has been putting out newspaper stories improperly.

RH: What about evidence which I think I have already given you but I will refer to it again, of Blair making inflammatory statements about me to the police? He describes me as…

EF: That’s for the police. That’s not for me to investigate.

RH: Well, again that’s his misbehaviour rather than the actual complaint.

EF: Well, I…

RH: Sorry, go on. I am just going to get something to show you.

EF: I can’t, I can’t say strongly enough that I understand the distress you feel about this matter.

RH: But it’s not just distress, I am still in danger because he can at any time have me arrested on a trumped up charge or whatever.

EF: I’m not in any way trying to belittle that, in any way, but I am saying firmly to you that it is not a matter for me and I am not going to investigate it and I am not going to comment further on it to you.

RH: Well, here’s some new evidence which you said you would look at if I wanted. Now that’s something I’ve got using the Data Protection Act. That’s a log from the CPS. Have a look at the line – I have put a asterisk against [it] ” – agreed a line to take with Mr Henderson”. This was when I was querying what the Blair’s were doing making complaints. Now as an ex-civil servant I know what “agreed a line” means and I am sure that you know what “agreed a line means”. It means we will concoct a story, quite often an outright lie, to tell to the general public or whoever is making the enquiry. And I’ve got lots more like that. []  I haven’t come along here to flood you with paper today because that would be unproductive, but again just one or two other documents, the Mirror – they admit they have had no…

EF: That’s a matter for them. It isn’t a matter for me. It’s a matter for the Mirror or the …..

RH: OK what about the [CPS]? Would you comment on the CPS?

EF: That’s entirely a matter for the police. If you think the police have acted improperly, i.e. that they have concocted as you think a statement with anybody improperly then take it up with the police complaints authority. It is not a matter for me.

RH: Shall I tell you what the complaints authority say. I did of course make a complaint, as you might well imagine, about all of this – well what I would describe it as a straightforward perversion of the course of justice – and what happened was the head of the complaints department, Commander Quinn, said he would not record the complaint. I then made  a complaint to the PCA. They say unless he records the complaint they can’t proceed with it. So we are in a ridiculous Catch 22 situation whereby all the police have to do to get rid of a complaint is not record it.

EF: That isn’t a matter for me.

RH: No, I am merely answering your question. What I am saying to you here, is that I have made a whole series of complaints at various times – about six on specific matters including the Blairs’ attempt to pervert the course of justice – and on every single occasion I have had the same response. They will go through the motions. They are frightened enough to send down a Det. Superintendent to take a statement from me in my flat, from Scotland Yard this was. Now, if you know anything about the police you will realise that to get a Det. Superintendent out on anything is very difficult and to get him to come out in person to take a statement is virtually unknown. So they are worried enough. So they go through the motions, but they will go never ever give me an explanation of why they will not proceed, even though,  in the case of the Mirror,  I have given them a copy of the particular letter which I showed you [] which actually says  that they got the information from a serving police officer in circumstances which obviously could only have been illegal , but they still will not go and investigate it. Now I am not saying that goes directly against Blair other than to show that for me to go and make complaints to the police is pointless.  I do make them because it is on the record then. But effectively what happens is that whenever a complaint is made involving Blair or someone peripheral to the Blairs they won’t investigate it honestly. Sometimes it’s as corruptly done as Quinn did it, other times they get to the stage where they are worried enough to actually send people out to take statements, go through the motions then do nothing. All that happens is that you get something back from the CPS that says we are not proceeding for lack of evidence, which of course they will never actually elaborate on. So what I am saying to you is essentially unless I can get Blair out into -the Blair story out into the open, I am in danger, because I have got no protection, the police won’t protect me.

EF: I understand your position.

RH: I cannot even get a lawyer.

EF: This isn’t something I can take up.

RH: Well I would say that it…Ok, I will not belabour the point.

EF: I can understand your point of view, but it isn’t a matter that I can, I am, going to investigate. I am not going to investigate it.

RH: All right, as I say I am not going to belabour the point because there are other genuine matters I want to raise today as well.

EF: Fine, let’s move on shall we.

RH: I do think I still haven’t got an explanation of why – I know I keep coming back to this but is really the heart of the matter – why the sort of behaviour I have been describing this morning and also the behaviour of Dobson my MP as well [is not within your remit]… I mean that again is surely something which comes within the Code of Conduct. Actually there is another point isn’t there which actually puts [RH refers to Code of Conduct] right, ” members have general duty to act in the interests of the nation as a whole and a special duty to their constituents”. How has Dobson done that when he won’t actually investigate my complaint when I take the Mirror story to him?

EF: It isn’t my job to look into how a member of Parliament deals with Individual constituents.

RH: Well it says differently there. It says a special duty to his constituents.

EF: Yes, but that is not part of what I am required to do.

RH: Sorry, how would you interpret that statement then “a special duty to their constituents.

EF: This is a general, if you like, entreaty that they make to their own Code of Conduct to there members about the sorts of behaviour they would expect of an MP and those things are in writing in those terms. But the individual – how a member of parliament a decision on an individual case to pursue matters a constituent or not is up to the MP and I am sure you can understand that. Members of Parliament have whole range of different constituents, with a whole range of different views and a whole range views and a whole range of different things and they have to make judgements all the time about what they do or not pursue.

RH: I can accept your explanation [in as much as ] I am quite sure that is how MPs would like the system to work.

EF: All I can tell you is that my remit does not run to investigating these things.

RH: So,  effectively, your remit doesn’t run to the code of conduct for Members of Parliament?

EF: That is not true. I use the Code of Conduct against which I judge whether or not Members of Parliament have acted Parliament wished them to do. I ideally use it as my guide as though I …

RH: It does say special duty.

EF: … Is how members of Parliament have dealt with individual requests from individual constituents. I have to say that sadly to many members of the public daily because of course many members of the public come to my office with concerns about how their member of parliament has proceeded and that isn’t something I may look into.

RH: Well, again…. OK you use it as guide. Now, it doesn’t say a general duty in that particular part of the Code of Conduct, it actually says they have a special duty to their constituents. I mean, how would you honestly interpret that? I am still not clear how if you are using it as a guide…

EF: I am not happy with this conversation.

RH: Well…

EF: I am trying my best to answer your questions. What you are then doing is saying you disagree me. I understand you that you disagree with me and I respect your disagreement, but I don’t then have to say anything different.

RH: Well, I’m asking for clarification.

EF: I’m sorry, I have got nothing further to say on that. I have done my best to give you an answer.

RH: OK. Fair enough. I mean a non-answer is often more useful than an answer as such.

EF: I resent your calling my description…

RH: Well, I have asked you…

EF: of what the standards and privileges committee made clear to me which is that I do not investigate complaints about how an MP treats an individual constituent as a non-answer.

RH: No, no, I wasn’t saying that was a non-answer.

EF: It is a non-answer it is not a non-answer. It is an answer.

RH: No, no, I wasn’t saying it was a non-answer to that. It was my next question of how you would interpret the phrase “special duty to their constituents”.

EF: I interpret that as I already as I have already explained that members of Parliament do of course have a special duty to their constituents above other people in the country and that’s generally accepted.

RH: Right, so again – I am not going to belabour it if you don’t want to answer – but if they have got a special duty to their constituents that must mean they must act reasonably towards those constituents. I think that would be inherently implied. Would you disagree with that?

EF: I am not going to continue with this.

RH: No OK, if you don’t want to answer…

EF: It’s a waste of time.

RH: OK. I did preface my statement with the fact that I wasn’t going [further] if you do not want to answer the questions – I won’t be going to press it. Now, I have got quite a lot of stuff being passed to me by MPs at the moment, but  as you only came back to me yesterday with the statement that you weren’t willing to discuss the letters, sorry the complaints, I had already put in, as you will appreciate,  I did not have time to amass a great deal of [new] stuff.  However,  I will go over one or two things with one of them is [already] public. Now,  you have probably heard the story of Jack Straw’s brother William?

EF: Yes…

RH: OK. He was arrested or went to a police station and made a confession concerning some illegal sexual acts with his son, all right?. Punch has actually published the basic details of it. Now this is the second time that – and the scandal here is that, or possible scandal, is that in fact he , that is the brother, has not been charged with anything, all right, even though he’s made a confession of serious sexual misconduct with his fourteen year old son. That’s all in the story, it’s not just me [saying it] . I originally came across it on the internet and then about a week or so afterwards Punch published it. Now I have written twice to Jack Straw and if you have a quick look through there…..

EF: That is not for me.

RH: Well hold on, let me finish what I am going to say. I have written twice to Jack Straw asking him to clarify that particular story because what the story is suggesting is that he, Jack Straw, has interfered with the normal police process.  I don’t think you can possibly say [that] didn’t fall within your remit.

EF: I have got no evidence. You have given me no evidence of that anyone has interfered with anything….

RH: I have…I have, because there’s no denying that Jack Straw’s brother has been to the police, right? This is part of the story. They have got quotes from the police, they have quotes…

EF: I cannot…

RH: Just one second. They have got quotes from the police, they have got quotes from the press office all right? And there is absolutely enough for you to start thinking about it, because…

EF: I’m not interested.

RH: Well…

EF: I cannot be interested. The Code specifically forbids me, I cannot be interested in what is a newspaper article. I have to have evidence, and, I’m sorry, I have to have evidence – that is required by the code before I can take an interest in investigating a complaint.

RH: What about Ken Livingstone? You did that purely on newspaper cuttings.

EF: I did not.

RH: The person who wrote to you supplied newspaper reports. That’s where he got his information from.

EF: I know, but people have to provide other evidence then.

RH: What other evidence could he have provided?

EF: I’m sorry I’m not willing to discuss [the] case.

RH: I am not talking about here – I’m not asking you to disclose anything confidential, what I’m saying to you is that the evidence was the newspaper, right? Plus obviously [details] in the published accounts.

EF: Sure.

RH: With this again I can understand it, Mrs Filkin, in a way,  and also why you are not acting on this, but I put it to you not just with Jack Straw, but with the Mandelson thing, with Robinson – I mean Robinson has been accused of the most fantastic fraud which you have already got details of in that EuroBusiness article. He has taken no legal action. Now,  there does come a point where one has to ask, you know, what exact evidence does one have to produce;  I mean, there you have got the fact that Straw is not denying his brother went to the police, right? He doesn’t deny it?

EF: There is nothing improper with people going to the police.

RH: No no, what I’m saying is that he does not deny that his brother has been to the police and has made a confession.

EF: Well, what’s wrong with that? If that’s the truth why shouldn’t he go?

RH: Because you then have the question of perverting the course justice. You’ve got to ask why hasn’t he been charged.

EF: Well, there are a hundred reasons why people are not charged I have no evidence of an improper reason.

RH: I will put it in writing to you and you can have a look at it at your leisure. These are all massively important accusations of misbehaviour. There is not one [which is trivial],  even the one about Gordon Brown. That is a serious piece of misconduct if it’s true. But some of the ones I have given you, particularly the one concerning Blair obviously, but again with somebody like Straw [it is important because of their positions]. It’s the Home Secretary; we are not talking about Joe Soap in the street , we are talking about the man who actually has  responsibility for law enforcement in this country. Now, it does seem to me reasonable that if the brother of that man is taken in, or goes to the police whichever it was, and makes a confession of a serious crime and no prosecution occurs or he is not even charged, then that in itself is a matter of public concern.  I mean not just of concern to me but of public concern.

EF: Yes, but is not anything I can deal with .

RH: Well, again,  I am not going to belabour the point on the code of conduct because you have already made clear what your position is on that. The only things I would ask you to reflect on after I’ve gone are these:  (1) what a general member of the public would think after they had read the Code of Conduct and then compared it with the action you are or are not taking, and (2), how it would be dealt with under judicial review. I know that this is a very difficult constitutional position because it’s only a motion of the House of Commons, which has set it up rather than a statute. Right? That’s correct isn’t it, the Code of Conduct is merely a motion of the House of Commons?

EF: The Code of Conduct and my office is not open to judicial review.

RH: Right, well, when you say that’s not open to judicial review I cannot necessarily see how that can be so as it’s not a statute. Because, all right, I can argue the constitution position…

EF: Do try and pursue a judicial review case if you want to. All I can do is give you the information which I have just given you.

RH: You see if it is only a motion of the House…

EF: I can’t get into this. I’m not a constitutional lawyer I’m not going to make any comment on it. I have just taken advice on that and I understand that is the situation. But you are welcome to challenge it.

RH: Right. Backing up the sort of thing which goes on in terms of not pursuing the law when it happens to be someone in the position of political authority, we have also got that – [copy of NoW story dated passed to Filkin] again that’s Blair’s father-in-law. He was nabbed for defrauding the Benefits Agency, defrauding the Child Support Agency and housing benefit. He wasn’t prosecuted. He had £10,000 in a Swiss bank account and he was also working at the time, right?  Now, as ex-Inland Revenue person I can tell you that meets all the criteria for the DSS to prosecute. OK?

EF: That is not a matter for me. If you think the DSS is acting improperly should prosecute there is a perfectly good way of getting that [ ] and you should do that.

RH: Well again it’s behaviour which is suggests that there is some political interference here.

EF: I’ve got no evidence to suggest that. What you say is that you have evidence that the DSS has acted improperly and if they have you should take it to the Ombudsman.

RH: Right. Now, we’ve got Mr Sheldon who is the chairman of your particular committee you report to, right?  Now, suppose I make a complaint about Mr Sheldon not disclosing some of his interests on the Register. How – what is going to be the position – I won’t go into any great detail today – what is actually going to be the position Mrs Filkin if…

EF: Everyone in the House of Commons is treated by me exactly equally and any member of any committee, any senior politician – and I would have thought by now that you would be aware of that from my published reports – they are all treated exactly the same with absolutely no fear no favour …

RH: I couldn’t agree with that in the case of the Mandelson report which I know intimately, but anyway go on.

EF: All I can say is you haven’t read it.

RH: I have not only read it, but I’ve written a substantial article which I sent you.

EF: Yes, you obviously haven’t read my report, properly, and… but what I assure you – I would have thought that the evidence was there but you disagree with it – but if I have any complaint about anyone whoever they are, whatever their position, of course if there is evidence to support it, then I will look into it.

RH: Right, but what about Mr Sheldon’s own position on the committee?  He can scarcely sit as chairman.

EF: That’s a matter for the committee and it’s a matter for the House. It is not a matter for me. My reports are written totally independently, totally independently. They are presented to the committee and the Committee would have to always make the decision about any complaint about any member of that Committee about what that person would do and would not do the committee would have to deal with it. And I have no doubt that they would deal with that absolutely properly.

RH: What would you consider to be absolutely properly.

EF: That is for them not for me. They would deal with it absolutely properly. Where anyone has the slightest influence in any matter, whether they be friendly or know anybody or whatever, they always declare it and they withdraw if necessary. So, there isn’t an issue about that. They are scrupulous about it. I and I have no doubt they would be scrupulous about any complaint about any member [inaudible three or four words lost].

RH: Well I heard you on the radio saying that you weren’t happy about the fact that Mandelson did not make an apology to the house.

EF:. That’s not what I said.

RH: Well, that was my interpretation.

EF: Well, it might have been.

RH: Well, you were obviously cautious being a public servant, but, nonetheless…

EF: That’s not what I said.

RH: How would you interpret it?

EF: I would not interpret it at all, I certainly didn’t say that.

RH: Suppose for example an hypothesis;  suppose the Standards and Privileges committee allowed Mr Sheldon to sit as chairman whilst considering your report on him. Would you consider that to be a resigning matter?

EF: I have no comment to make on hypothetical situations.

RH: All right. Now, I will just ask you one or two questions about…

EF: But do let me be clear, if you have evidence of any member of Parliament not registering interests which they should have registered, would you kindly let me have it. I would be pleased to have it and I will investigate if that is the case.

RH: Now one thing – you appreciate that I haven’t got the details of exactly how you operate.

EF: I will gladly tell you.

RH: But suppose… this is purely technical what I am asking you now. There is nothing contentious at all. But, suppose for example someone set up a couple of companies, all right, and those companies shall we say have dealings with other companies of which the first person isn’t a director – he is a director of the first two companies but not the other companies. But shall we say his wife was a director of the other two companies. Would that count as a beneficial interest?

EF: It depends on whether she has a shareholding. If she has got a shareholding that’s more than 1% of that company, yes, but not otherwise. The rules are very interesting as you will have seen from [] There are some things which members are required to show a spouse – that’s the word that’s used – but most of the items they are required in fact to disclose either spouses or partners interests.

RH: I appreciate again that it is difficult thing to administer because it’s a question of how long is a piece of string – up to a point. OK. But  there wouldn’t be any question if a person was an actual director of a company and hadn’t registered it, that would be I presume be just a straight open and shut case?

EF: Well, if a person is remunerated director then they are required to register it.

RH: Right, but if they are not a remunerated director then they are not? I can see the possibilities of lots abuse there but still. Someone else gets paid, it’s as simple as that.

EF: That’s what the rules are about, about financial probity.

RH: What I’m saying to you is that… I think you used to have some dealings with the Revenue, you were head of their…

EF: I was their adjudicator.

RH: That means that …the easy way to get round that is if the MP is unremunerated then someone else gets the payment.

EF: Well, if there is evidence, of course if there’s evidence of jiggery pokery to get round the rules on a technicality, then that’s, I, of course I would look into it.

RH: Well, I mean, if for example say a relative was being paid and the MP wasn’t being paid and both of them are directors, would you consider that prima facie evidence of possible misdoing?

EF: Not necessarily, no. You would have to find out whether the person who was getting paid was doing the work which they might well might.

RH: Right. Then I presume you would be willing to put the usual Revenue test of whether in fact whether the remuneration was in fact commensurate with the work they were doing.

EF: Well, if there was a Revenue issue. I would put it to the Revenue to look into.

RH: I wasn’t meaning that there was tax avoidance or anything like that. What I am saying to you is that what the Revenue commonly does is…

EF: Don’t worry I do know about that.

RH OK. What I am saying to you…

EF: What I would do. I am not willing to talk about a hypothetical case for fear of being misinterpreted. But I don’t wish to…

RH: Well……

EF: No, be very careful. What I would do if you provide me with any evidence that the rules may have been broken – it must be what I [inaudible word] – then I will look into it and if the evidence appears to show that people are getting round the rules in some technical way of course that would be against the spirit of Code and I would look into that. But I don’t then make an assumption that any individual is necessarily doing anything wrong. I would only come to that conclusion on the facts.

RH: You see what I would worry about here is, I mean purely from your own point of view rather than mine, is that if an MP isn’t remunerated but someone close to them is  remunerated, it would seem to me that that’s a prima facie conflict of interest there, because  he may well argue that he is pure as the driven snow and all this sort of thing, but if somebody as close as his wife,  just to take one example,  is getting substantial remuneration from the same source, or maybe even not as a director, he doesn’t even have to be a director, I mean, it’s one of the oldest scams in the world to put your director’s wife…

EF: it is also perfectly possible that it can be a perfectly legitimate business arrangement if you have two people who happen to be married to one another and working for the same business, one of whom decides that they want to be remunerated for a job, someone else who may well be in a job may not wish to take pay for it. That is a perfectly proper arrangement. What one would have to look at in any individual case whether or not it was proper.

RH: I would agree in normal circumstances that you could have a perfectly proper arrangement, and I’m not suggesting that there is any financial irregularity or tax avoidance, this is not what I am suggesting. What I’m saying is that in the context of the MP being an MP is there not a conflict of interest there? I mean…

EF: Well there may be, if you produce evidence that there is I’ll have a look at it.

RH: No, sorry, I’m obviously not making myself clear.

EF: You are making yourself totally clear. I am absolutely clear about what you are saying.

RH: What I’m saying to you is that regardless of any other evidence isn’t the mere fact that an MP has his wife…

EF: No.

RH: Then effectively it’s a dead letter..

EF: No, it’s not a dead letter, of course it’s not. If there is a situation in which two people married to one another or partners are working for the same business, one is receiving remuneration and one is not, if there is any evidence that there is [inaudible] bring it to me I will look at it. If there isn’t any evidence then I won’t be able to look into it.

RH: Yes, well again without belabouring the code of conduct, I would have thought, actually, that where you have got that close link …if someone is actually working for that company it would be relevant].   I’m talking about the wife or whoever is the non-MP, is working for that company and being remunerated by that company. I would have thought, that you know, that was a conflict of interest or a possible conflict of interest which needed to be declared.  All right, you may say that it is not within the…

EF: There are many conflicts of interest which you can have that the rules that parliament has laid down do not require to be registered. There are – you will know from your Civil Service experience – as a civil servant one has to declare many possibilities of conflict of interests which aren’t required of MPs. What’s required of MPs is what’s in that Code of Conduct. Those rules are very much about who pays the MP. Not about other monies that a person may have coming into their family or that other members of that family may have. That’s not what they are about. Now, you may think that the rules are no good and therefore you should be putting that point.

“RH: Well, actually, I think they are admirable rules, but it is just unrealistic to expect politicians to be actually bound by them. It’s like Chesterton’s old saw…

EF: No, well, if you think MPs ought to declare what their partners or spouses [have], then you ought to be putting a case to he Standards and Privileges Committee or to Lord Neil. They are the people to make that to.

RH: Yes, well, I shall doubtless do that in time when I get round to it. It does seem to me that is so broadly drawn as I said when we started off, I can see the problem from your point of view you of trying to enforce it, but it would seem to me…

EF: it’s not my job to enforce it.

RH: OK, be guided by it or whichever way you want to put it. The thing is, if that comes within your remit or guidance or whatever you want to call it, nonetheless it is so broadly drawn, I mean, it would cover well, well I mean, an unending multitude of sins.

EF: Absolutely, and indeed this is why the House agreed it in those terms so that the Committee if it ever decided could look into a wide range of things. What I am saying to you is what I interpret to be the wishes of the House in terms of what I should look into myself. I can only tell you that as best I can.

RH: Yes, I mean if it’s not confidential, I mean, have you had apart from the stuff you sent me, have you had any other written sort of guidelines or anything like that?

EF: Written guidelines?

RH: Well, I’m sorry, I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. I mean have you had … maybe you sought some guidance from the committee, or something like that and they have given you guidance on how to interpret the Code of Conduct for example?

EF: Well, there are the odd occasions that you will know well. One of the complaints I had early [on] was about Mr Mandelson. When I read the Code of Conduct- and I had other complaints about him as you know from other people – when I read the Code of Conduct I was of the view that loans, concessionary loans between members, were not exempted from the Register. Many Members of Parliament, including Mr Mandelson believed they were and that was his reason for not having registered that loan. I said I can find no exemption in the rules. But I said to the committee you need to tell whether my interpretation is correct because I have been told by a lot of people and Mr Mandelson himself that I am wrong, that the House meant to exclude the registration of concessionary loans between members. The Committee said – and I read it carefully – members of the Committee said, Mr Mandelson’s quite right. We all think we don’t have to put that in. So I said, well please read the rules very carefully and they read the rules very carefully register and they said, Commissioner you’re right, they are not acceptable and so that is why they then followed my view on this on the matter. So there are a lots of situations in which I make an interpretation of what the rules say and then I say to the committee but you need to tell me if I’ve got that right or wrong. We have had a recent case as you well know in the press in which my reading indicated that..what Mr Livingstone’s situation is now in relation to speeches he was now making did require him to deposit [details in the register], that his circumstances had changed from when he was he just doing [inaudible] speeches and that he did now need to do so. That was a judgement and so I said to the committee that’s my reading of the rules and that’s my reading of Mr Livingstone’s situation. You have to tell me whether you think my interpretation is correct. And they looked at it and they were surprised about it, but they said you were quite correct. And, so there are lots of occasions on which I have to do the best I can and make an interpretation and the committee may not always agree with it. But that’s my job. I don’t it the other way round, I don’t say would before I look into this complaint I would you like to tell me what your view is. I don’t do it that way.

RH: I’m only asking these questions because I want to try to formulate any future complaints I may put in [to you] in a way which will be most accommodating to how you are working. Now,   have you as a matter of interest….you have been in office for just over a year is it?

EF: That’s right.

RH: Have you actually been sort of conducting your self on the same lines as your predecessor or have you made any great changes?

EF: In what way?

RH: Sorry, I am just asking generally,. I hadn’t nothing particularly in mind. I mean, have you changed your tack would you say from your predecessors in terms of how you decide to…

EF: I leave that to other people to decide. Lots of people say that it is the same, but it is entirely up to the people who observe it [to decide].

RH: Right, well, now I would just like to ask you one or two other things …not taking up the complaints again…..Now, you’ve read my letters to Blair? I judge Mrs Filkin that you’re probably the sort of person if someone sends you something, assuming its not horrendously long, you probably read it. Would I be right?

EF: You should judge that I read things however horrendously long.

RH: Yes, right, I rather took it that this would be the case.

EF: I don’t think I can do this job properly unless I attending to what the public decides to send me..

RH: But there are limits just in terms of time.

EF: I’m very bogged down at the moment. I have a large number of complaints, but I’m not treating them any differently. I am treating them just as assiduously.

RH: But having read the Blair letters – just your own personal opinion, I’m not even asking you necessarily in your capacity as…

EF: I’m sorry, I am not going to comment.

RH: Well, all I was going to ask you was well did you find any gross racist abuse?

EF: I’m not going to comment. It is not for me. We are going to have to draw to a close.

RH: I know, I fully appreciate that, I fully appreciate that. To be honest with you I have really covered most of the ground I wanted to.

EF: Well, I am glad to meet you and I hope that you will provide me with evidence about any of the complaints that you are concerned about and if you do I shall look into them.

RH: Could I just ask you before I go. There is one complaint you are still waiting for investigation by I think its The Board of Trade which is Robinson, that’s right isn’t it? Is there any movement on that at all?

EF: I have heard nothing further.

RH: These things can drag on for yonks so its not that surprising. Well look Mrs Filkin I appreciate you seeing me and we will see if we can progress it in the future.

EF: I’m sorry you have had such – obviously an unsatisfactory…..

RH:  To be honest I do this for two reasons, one is protect myself quite frankly, because I think you will appreciate that anybody who has been the subject of the attentions of the Prime Minister in the way I have been the subject of the attention of the Prime Minister, might have some slight cause for concern shall we say, all right? But the second thing is  it’s just the fact that this is corrupt politics as well. I don’t just mean Blair, I am talking about Robinson and co. I am talking about Mandelson also. So don’t think I am progressing complaints which are non-Blair related simply because I’m trying to get at Blair, because that isn’t my purpose at all.

EF: No. I understand that. Some of the matters you have raised with me are not in relation to this [The Blair Scandal]

RH: Well exactly.

EF: Don’t forget your recorders.

RH: The most valuable thing in the bag. Right, ok, we are ending the meeting now at 11.55.

Piers Morgan, perjury, the police, the Leveson Inquiry and Denis MacShane

Note: I attended an Orwell Prize meeting on 24 October at the Frontline Club in Paddington.   The erstwhile Labour Cabinet Minister Denis MacShane  was one of the speakers.  The subject was the misbehaviour of the police and their relations with the media.

When questions from the audience were called for I  told the meeting about Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC in which he admitted receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal and the subsequent failure of the police to question Morgan. I then asked MacShane whether he would take up the matter. Amazingly, you may think, the chair of the meeting Jean Seaton (the director of the Orwell Prize) intervened and said he did not have to answer because that was not what the meeting was about This was  a rather strange claim because  not only was it speaking to the subject of the meeting,  but MacShane during his talk particularly emphasised how it was necessary to  stop the police from colluding with the media by selling stories to them.

After the meeting I spoke with MacShane briefly and gave him a copy of the Morgan letter.  I followed up with the email below. Watch this space for further developments on the Piers Morgan front.  Robert Henderson

Update 2/11/2012 : The Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons  recommended  on 2 November that McShane be suspended for a year from the Commons after they found that McShane had ‘submitted 19 false invoices “plainly intended to deceive”’ and the  ‘The Chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee said it was the “gravest case” to come before MPs. ‘   (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/9651100/MPs-expenses-scandal-Denis-MacShane-to-be-suspended-as-an-MP-for-twelve-months.html). McShane’s  expenses  claims were referred to the police in 2010 who closed the investigation without  charges  being brought  in July 2012, although no  clear reason  was given for the absence of charges.  The Labour Party have disowned  him following the Standards and Privileges Committee’s report.

McShane loves to engage in moral posturing  of the politically correct kind, whilst at the same time behaving immorally. This is one of the classic traits of the psychopath which is given literary from in Emmerson’s  “The more he talked of his honour/The faster we counted our  spoons.”

Mr Denis MacShane MP (Rotherham)

House of Commons

London WC1

25 10 2012

Dear Mr MacShane,

I will amplify the details I gave last night during the Orwell Prize meeting at the Frontline Club and to you personally after the meeting about collusion between politicians, the police and the media.

I gave you of a copy of the letter sent by Piers Morgan to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) in October 1997. This was sent to me after I made a complaint to the PCC following a highly libellous story about me published by the Mirror on 25 March 1997 at the beginning of the General Election Campaign.

As you will have seen from Morgan’s letter, the Mirror story involved Tony and Cherie Blair. They tried and miserably failed to have me prosecuted for a crime which, as lawyers, they must have known I had not committed. The non-existent crime was a claim that I had breached the Malicious Communications Act in my letters to them. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) thought so little of the attempt to have me prosecuted that they rejected the case on the same day it was sent to them, an extraordinary thing when the pressure to proceed against me must have been immense because of the identity of the complainants. Nor was I at any time contacted by the police about the Blairs’ complaint.

The Mirror story (copy below) falsely accused me of being a dangerous racist who had bombarded the Blairs with hundreds of letters full of crude racist language. As you will see from Morgan’s letter he had never seen any such letters. There was the simplest of reasons for this: they were never written. Fuller details of this episode can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/.

After the publication of the Mirror story Piers Morgan refused to make any retraction or correction. I consequently made a complaint to the PCC. The PCC released a copy of his incriminating letter to them to me. This shows unambiguously that Morgan had received information in circumstances which can only have been illegal, viz: “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) ….” If the information had been passed legitimately, for example, in a press conference, there would be no need to refuse to name him. Neither was the information given to any other media outlet. Nor was the information of a nature which could have been given to the media legitimately.

I referred the letter with its admission to the police. It was sent from my local station to Scotland Yard. An “investigation” was supposedly carried out by Detective Chief Superintendent Jeff Curtis. It was a most remarkable “investigation” because when it was concluded Curtis admitted to me that no one at the Mirror – not Morgan, the reporter who wrote the story (Jeff Edwards) or anyone else – had been interviewed. For the full story see https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/the-failure-to-charge-piers-morgan-with-illicitly-receiving-information-from-the-police/

The PCC refused to adjudicate on my original complaint or my subsequent complaint about Morgan’s admission of having received information illicitly from the police. Mr MP Frank Dobson, who was member of Blair’s cabinet at the time, refused to take up the case. Eventually on 10 November 1999 Sir Richard Body MP put down this Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons :

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.

Until Blair left No 10 (a period of ten years) I was subject of continual harassment – my post opened ostentatiously, threats by phone, a hate campaign on social networking sites such as newsgroups inciting violence against me and for all I know my phone was tapped. I suspect this was either Special Branch or MI15, both of which I discovered through the use of the Data Protection Act (DPA), hold files on me, although the information held by them was almost entirely withheld in answer to my Subject Access Requests under the DPA.

This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record.

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702

Leveson Inquiry

I initially submitted to the Leveson Inquiry information about my mistreatment by the Mirror (and other media outlets), the PCC’s refusal to adjudicate on my complaints and the failure of the police to investigate Morgan’s admission that the Mirror had accepted information from the police illicitly. Leveson refused to call me as a witness or accept my information into evidence.

When Morgan gave evidence he perjured himself by claiming that he had never received information illicitly from the police (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/piers-morgan-lied-to-the-leveson-inquiry/). The writer of the Mirror story about me, the Mirror’s erstwhile chief crime reporter also committed perjury before the Inquiry, viz: ““Q75 I never asked police officers in any way to disclose things they were not allowed to do or tried to push them to give me information they were uncomfortable disclosing.” . As he was the one who claimed to have received the information about me he caught himself in a very stupid lie.

I madea further submissions to Leveson drawing their attention to Morgan’s and Edward’s perjury:

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/referral-of-piers-morgans-perjury-to-the-leveson-inquiry/

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/leveson-inquiry-jeff-edwards-and-another-prima-facie-case-of-perjury/

Leveson refused to act on these stone-certain cases of perjury to his Inquiry which took information under oath from both Morgan and Edwards.

Conclusions

My experience shows graphically how there is collusion between politicians, the police, the media and, in Leveson’s case, the judiciary to suppress and fail to act on information which will damage those with power, wealth or influence. You put yourself forward as someone who wishes to expose misbehaviour by such people, especially by the police and the media. You could not have a better story to use for that purpose than the one I have to tell. I hope you live up to your words and use it.

This is an especially good time to put the tale before the public because it looks as though Morgan is going to be pulled into the phone-hacking scandal. If he is, that will mean he also perjured himself before Leveson on that score.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————-

Daily Mirror 25 March 1997
‘PEST TARGETS BLAIRS’
Jeff Edwards Chief Crime Correspondent
Police called in over string of hate letters
Police are probing a string of race hate letters
to Tony and Cherie Blair.
The deluge of sinister messages sent to the couple
through the Labour Leader’s office at the House of
Commons began last year.
Insiders described them as “personal and
offensive”.
And they feared the letter writer could even
become a stalker.
The man behind the hate mail has been described
as 51-year-old Robert Henderson.
He sparked a huge row two years ago when he wrote
an article criticising black players in the England
Cricket Team for the Magazine Wisden’s [sic]
Cricket Monthly
GRAPHIC
The magazine was successfully sued for libel by
England fast bowler Devon Malcolm.
At first staff at Labour’s HQ in Walworth Road,
South East London, ignored the letters sent to the
Blairs.
But they decided to call in the police when the
TYPED messages became a rant against the couple and
started arriving at the rate of three or four a
week.
Insiders say the letters – with Henderson’s
signature and north London address – are full of
graphic racist filth implying Mr Blair would relax
immigration laws once he gets to No 10.
A Labour insider said last night: “The writer
said things like ‘why are you married to that
idiot? If he gets elected he’ll let in all the
blacks and Asians.’”
Detectives visited the Blairs at Labour HQ last
week.
They were shown dozens of letters which were
taken away for forensic tests.
The letters – posted in London – have also been
studied by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Police said sending such material could result in
an assault charge.
The insider added: “MPs often get threatening
mail which would go in the bin.
“But this is different. It has become a campaign,
a bombardment. The writer displays tendencies
associated with stalkers.
“This writer is unusually persistent. The tone of
the letters has become increasingly nasty.
“He uses sewer language. The letters are racially
insulting.
When the Mirror approached ex-public schoolboy
Henderson yesterday at his council flat, he refused
to discuss the letters.
Last night a Labour spokesman said: “Public
figures getting offensive material in the post are
advised to refer them to police.
“We now consider this man is not worth giving any
more publicity to.”
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.
The article was accompanied by a large photograph of me, printed after I had specifically withheld my permission for its use, and was flagged on the front page with the charming headline “COPS PROBE BLAIR PEST – EXCLUSIVE: Fears over race hate mail.”
The Mirror story contained these objectively provable libels: (1) the false accusation of sending ‘Race hate’ letters to Tony and Cherie Blair, (2) the false accusation that I sent dozens of letters to the Blairs, (3) the false accusation of assault, (4) The false accusation of sending letters containing ‘graphic racist filth’, (5) the false accusation of sending letters containing ‘racial insult’, (6) the false accusation of sending letters containing ‘sewer language’, (7) the false accusation that I have ‘tendencies associated with stalkers’, (8) the completely fabricated quote ‘If he [Blair] gets elected, he’ll let in all the blacks and Asians’ and (9) the false statement that I refused to comment on the letters when approached by the Mirror.
——————————————————–
FROM THE EDITOR

By fax (0171-353 8355) & by post
16 October 1997
Your ref: 970738
Christopher Hayes Esq
Press Complaints Commission
I Salisbury Square
London
EC4Y 8AE
Dear Mr Hayes
Mr Robert Henderson
I refer to Mr Henderson’s complaint as outlined in his letter of 23 September.
As you are aware, we have been in contact with Mr Henderson for some time due to his propensity to bombard individuals and this office with correspondence. [RH: Translation: Mr Henderson sent more than one letter because the Mirror refused to reply].
There are certain irrefutable facts that escape emphasis in Mr Henderson’s correspondence.
Far from ignoring any of his correspondence we have written to him on the 20 May, 22 July and 6 August. [RH: The letter of 20 May merely said he was not going to enter into correspondence. The other two letters were from his legal department in response to Subject Access Requests I made under the data Protection Act. These were legally required]. We have consistently made it clear that we have no intention of entering into any further correspondence with him.
Be that as it may I will address his concerns:-
In essence, the basic “sting” of the article, of which he complains, was that he had been sending numerous insulting letters, some with racist undertones, to Mr and Mrs Blair which had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.
Mr Henderson himself admits that he sent Mr and Mrs Blair at least thirteen letters. I have no way of directly knowing of the content of those letters because I have not had sight of them. However, clearly they sufficiently concerned Mr Blair’s office to be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service [RH: The CPS said as soon as they saw the letters that they were entirely legal] and I think the Commission is perfectly entitled to draw an adverse inference on the contents of those letters as a result of that referral.
I cannot accept Mr Henderson’s explanation for writing {o Cherie Blair. To do so was clearly designed to intimidate. In Mr Henderson’s draft article “Moral Simpletons Target Innocent Man” the bile that he shows on the second page of that article clearly illustrates his capacity to insult in his letters to Mr and Mrs Blair[RH: an absurd deduction. What I wrote to the Mirror says nothing about what I wrote to the Blairs] (to the extent that they be referredto the Crown Prosecution Service). I would also refer the Commission to Mr Henderson’s gratuitous reference to a “Blaireich”.
He also admits to expressing his disgust (we can only guess in what terms) of the decision of Mr and Mrs Blair not to send their son to a school whereby a white schoolboy was, apparently, murdered by five other boys (and that that murder was racially motivated). [RH: This was the Richard Everitt murder].
The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) [RH: thus the police informant behaved illegally by supplying the information] gave us the detail of the letters that we then published. Nothing that Mr Henderson writes has convinced me that the article was anything other than accurate.
Perhaps one can get a flavour of his correspondence with Mr and Mrs Blair by examining the final sentence of his draft article in which he states “It was a cargo of ancient male gonads”.
The Commission may be aware (I am attempting to get hold of the article) that the article of Mr Henderson’s that appeared in Wisden’s Cricket Monthly in 1995 gave rise to an extraordinary amount of controversy and resulted in Wisden paying substantial libel damages to the Cricketer, Devon Malcolm,[RH: Malcolm refused to sue me after I made it clear I would take the case to the floor of a court] whom the Commission will be aware is a coloured fast bowler for England. As I understand the matter, and Mr Henderson will correct me if I am wrong, the article implied that coloured players will not try as hard when playing for England as white players. [RH: The article put it forward as a possibility, no more].
I have discussed the legal position with the newspaper’s solicitor, Martin Cruddace [RH: Cruddace is a proven liar. He made a declaration to my Subject Access Request under the Data protection Action to the effect that the Mirror held no qualifying documents. Eventually after I had done some detective work, he had to admit that the Mirror had a small matter of 118 pages of documents relating to me], and he has assured me that the law has recently developed whereby words (be they written or spoken) can constitute assault [RH: No person in the UK has been convicted of such a crime. The definition of GBH has been extended to non-physical abuse such as abusive phone calls but it requires a psychiatric illness to be proved to be caused by the alleged abusive behaviour. Mere emotions such as fear do not qualify. The failure of the police to consider such a course and the CPS’ immediate definition of the case as “NO CRIME” shows that my letters were entirely lawful] if the pattern of those words is such as to make the recipient of them either anxious or ill. It has developed as a reaction to the former impotence of the law on stalking.
The law has therefore developed since the publication of the dictionary reference on which Mr Henderson relies.
I cannot accept that the taking of the photographs of Mr Henderson, given the clear public interest concerning the subject matter of The Mirror article, could possibly constitute harassment under the Code. [RH: It was a clear breach both because I had advised them of my eye trouble and because they took photographs having come over my threshold.]
I am most concerned not to waste any further time in dealing with Mr Henderson’s complaint but, naturally, if the Commission wishes me to address any further matters then I will endeavour to do so.
However, I hope that the above is sufficient to convince the Commission that the basic “sting” of the article is accurate and that Mr Henderson’s complaint ought to be dismissed.
Yours sincerely
Piers Morgan

Political speech and action in Britain: What is legally permitted ?

Robert Henderson

Free speech is a very simple concept: you either have it or a range of permitted opinion, the  scope of  which can be altered at any time (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/free-expression-or-permitted-opinion-that-is-the-choice/).  Sadly and dangerously, not only is free expression in Britain unavailable,  but  the range of permitted opinion is becoming ever narrower . This is a consequence of the  totalitarian ideology that is political correctness becoming   embedded ever deeper into the British power  structure through laws both criminal and civil and the  control of the mass media  by the politically correct. Great swathes of political opinion are deemed criminal or at least grounds for excluding their holder from not only mainstream politics but public debate.     It is no longer possible to engage in political activity without fear of prosecution, loss of employment (especially in publicly funded jobs) or  of being the subject of a media hate campaign.

British political parties can no longer be what they want to be

The most fundamental  denial  of democratic political action in a Parliamentary system  such as that of Britain  is to refuse a  party the right to recruit as it chooses.  It is the most fundamental  breach because,  if a party cannot recruit freely and stand whatever candidates it chooses in elections ,  it is barred from any chance of taking part in a government or having a significant voice in opposition  on its own terms.    By controlling party membership the policies of a  party are determined.  This is the position in modern Britain.

It is no longer possible for a party wishing to stand candidates in British elections to choose who shall be its members and candidates or determine what are  its fundamental beliefs. This was made clear by a court ruling of  Judge Paul Collins in  March 2010:

The British National party was plunged into chaos yesterday, weeks before the general election, when a court ordered it to remove central beliefs and policies about race from its constitution.

In a landmark injunction at the Central London county court, a judge found that the BNP’s membership policy remained discriminatory, even after a direct whites-only clause was removed last month.

The judge, Paul Collins, ordered the BNP to remove two clauses from its constitution as they were indirectly racist towards non-white would-be members.

The party also remains banned from signing up new recruits until it satisfies Collins it has changed the constitution, although it said last night that applications to join were being processed again.

In a further blow to the party’s election hopes, it was ordered to pay an estimated £60,000 in legal costs. The bill could rise to £100,000 when its own legal fees are included.

While one offending clause is largely an administrative matter – a requirement that all new members agree to a vetting visit from BNP officials, something the judge found could intimidate non-white applicants – the other spells out core beliefs.

This is a requirement for members to believe in the “continued creation, fostering, maintenance and existence” of an indigenous British race and action towards “stemming and reversing” migration.

The BNP last month voted to remove a direct bar on non-white members after a legal challenge from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The government equalities watchdog then challenged the revised constitution on the grounds that ethnic minority Britons could still not subscribe to the party’s beliefs without “denying themselves”.

Collins ruled in favour of the commission, ordering the BNP to remove the offending clauses by Monday afternoon or face potential legal penalties.

The EHRC head of legal enforcement, Susie Uppal, said: “Political parties, like any organisation, are obliged to respect the law and not discriminate against people who wish to become members.”

The BNP’s leader, Nick Griffin, said the decision “opens a very dangerous door. It’s a huge change to the unwritten constitution of Britain. The judgment has given a government-appointed, taxpayer-funded quango the rights to change the aims and objectives of political parties.” The costs award would “have some effect” on the BNP’s election campaigning, but it would not be significant, he added.

Griffin said he had already amended the constitution so the clauses were removed from membership criteria. He insisted, however, that the beliefs about immigration and race would remain, even if members did not have to officially sign up to them. “It won’t make any practical difference to us. But it’s hugely symbolic,” he said. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/12/bnp-racist-membership-rules-outlawed).

The judge’s ruling means that the BNP cannot in principle prevent those from ethnic minorities or the white “antiracist” political left  from joining the party with an intent to sabotage it. In addition, the policy of the party has been changed in the sense that its ostensible core values are no longer core values because their acceptance is no longer  required  of members.  Nor is it clear whether the BNP could legally refuse membership to anyone  because,  if it cannot insist that members must  support the  ‘”continued creation, fostering, maintenance and existence” of an indigenous British race and action towards “stemming and reversing” migration’,  prospective members could believe and advocate  anything with regard to race and immigration,  including demands for Sharia law and the abolition of immigration controls. Such a person  out to sabotage the  BNP could accept the rest of the party’s political platform , much of which is, ironically,  shared by the mainstream parties, to prevent membership being denied on any other  ideological ground.   More banally, the BNP could be forced to take people who would deliberately try to disrupt its administration.  There would also be greater opportunity for leftist agent provocateurs to join the party to engage in violence or crude racist language to reinforce the liberal elite’s portrayal of  the BNP as no more than a group of hooligans always on the verge of  criminality.

In the present political climate it is also probable  that any person  refused BNP membership who belonged to an ethnic minority or was native white Briton and came from an “antiracist” background,  would find the courts likely to support  any action they brought for damages against the BNP on the grounds that they had been discriminated against  because of their race, ethnicity or a refusal to accept the BNP “core beliefs”.  It is not inconceivable that if such suits were brought,  the EHCR (http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/) might climb on the  “anti-discrimination” bandwagon again and obtain  a further court order banning further recruitment or even making the collection of subscriptions from existing members illegal until  the refused applicants for membership  were accepted.  The reduction ad absurdum of Judge Collins’ ruling would be a court ordering the BNP to accept someone as a member who was patently not suitable to be a member.

The danger for any party which cannot decide its own membership by requiring members to adhere to the fundamental principles for which its stands  is that it could,, and most probably would,  quickly become a meaningless political shell.  In the case of the BNP suppose   numbers of  the political left and ethnic minorities large enough to swamp the existing BNP membership applied for membership.  If the BNP had no way of refusing them membership,  the party could soon be  captured over by the incomers who could overthrow the leadership and change the party’ policies utterly.

That is the way only the BNP is being treated at present , but any party could find themselves in the same predicament if their policies do not meet with the approval of those in power. At present the powerful  are disciples of political correctness,  but   politics can move very rapidly and no one can be certain that their politics will not become the target for criminalisation and marginalisation.  Moreover,  where an ideology is involved, the ideology can alter  so that what was acceptable within it  to a follower may well become unacceptable when it changes. A good example comes from modern liberalism.  Until around 1980 the liberal left approach to the consequences of  mass immigration to Britain was assimilation; in a year or two it switched to multiculturalism, a very different thing which has strong similarities, at least at the conceptual level,   to the idea of separate development in Apartheid South Africa.

The Electoral Commission

Successful court challenges by the ECHR are not the only legal obstacle to political parties deciding their own policies. There is the Electoral Commission to contend with.   A political  party which wishes to put up candidates in a  UK election has to register with the Commission.  That registration is not automatic and can be refused if the name or emblem is deemed  “obscene or offensive “ . (http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/107694/to-names-rp.pdf).  It is all too easy to see anything non-pc being refused by the Commission who would inevitably point to the many legal restrictions which already exists  on what may be said legally and use those as the basis for a refusal to register.

There are also some prohibited words in the Electoral Commission’s lexicon which could not be used at all or in certain formats which could curtail political expression  in the registration of parties, for example, English Party is forbidden under category 2 words (http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/107701/doc-prohibited-rp.pdf) .

The Returning Officer  (who supervises the administration of an election) can also refuse  a party label on a ballot paper if they deem it inappropriate.

In view of the political dominance of  the political correct and the expressed attitude of official bodies such as the ECHR  and the courts towards party membership and the values of a party which challenges political correctness, it is reasonable to assume  that any party which transgresses the politically correct limits would fail to be registered by the Electoral Commission  or pass the scrutiny of the Returning Officer, for example, parties called England for the English or the Anti-Immigration League.   It might even prove impossible for parties in the Celtic Fringe to run under banners such as The English in Scotland or Protect the English in Wales

Independent candidates

Independent candidates do not need to register with the Electoral Commission. However, this has the disadvantage for candidates of not being able to described themselves as anything other than Independent  on the ballot paper (http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/electoral_commission_pdf_file/0009/83169/UKPGE-Nomination-Forms-Final.pdf ).   To use any other label candidates  have to pretend to be a party and  register themselves as such with the Electoral Commission  with all that entails  in time, money (there is a £150 registration fee) and organisation .  It also leaves  them open to the same pc objections to labels as genuine parties. Indeed,  the censorship  of candidate descriptions  is likely to be  even more wide ranging than for individuals pretending to be a party than for  genuine parties , because the banning of an individual candidate would be far less likely to attract media attention or  result in  court action to challenge any ban because the refused candidate would be unlikely to have the wherewithal to challenge the refusal. .

The Electoral Commission also control what are known as third party campaigners . These are individual or corporate bodies (including registered political parties)  who can be campaigners in support of parties, individuals or policies without being candidates in an election.  (http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/105936/intro-campaigner-npc.pdf)

There are a considerable and growing number  of elections in the UK  – Westminster, local government, devolved assemblies, elected Mayors and  police commissioners .  Consequently, the Electoral Commission  has  the potential to exercise a very powerful influence on British politics through determining what parties are called.

Laws to silence opinion

In addition to the restrictions imposed on  candidates,  political speech, writing  and action (for anyone) is  heavily circumscribed by a depressingly large number  of laws which,  whether originally  intended to suppress  political views or not , are being used to censor views deemed to be non-political  with ever increasing frequency.   he  most likely to be applied  is  the 1986 Public Order Act sections 4 and 5 and the Communications Act 2003 section 127.

“Public Order Act 1986

Section 4 Fear or provocation of violence.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a)uses towards another person threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or

(b)distributes or displays to another person any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

with intent to cause that person to believe that immediate unlawful violence will be used against him or another by any person, or to provoke the immediate use of unlawful violence by that person or another, or whereby that person is likely to believe that such violence will be used or it is likely that such violence will be provoked.

(2)An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is distributed or displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling.

(3)A constable may arrest without warrant anyone he reasonably suspects is committing an offence under this section.

(4)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.

4 A Intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he—

(a)uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b)displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.

(2)An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the person who is harassed, alarmed or distressed is also inside that or another dwelling.

(3)It is a defence for the accused to prove—

(a)that he was inside a dwelling and had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation displayed, would be heard or seen by a person outside that or any other dwelling, or

(b)that his conduct was reasonable.

(4)A constable may arrest without warrant anyone he reasonably suspects is committing an offence under this section.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.]

5 Harassment, alarm or distress.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a)uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b)displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.

(2)An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling.

(3)It is a defence for the accused to prove—

(a)that he had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, or

(b)that he was inside a dwelling and had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation displayed, would be heard or seen by a person outside that or any other dwelling, or

(c)that his conduct was reasonable.

(4)A constable may arrest a person without warrant if—

(a)he engages in offensive conduct which [F2a] constable warns him to stop, and

(b)he engages in further offensive conduct immediately or shortly after the warning.

(5)In subsection (4) “offensive conduct” means conduct the constable reasonably suspects to constitute an offence under this section, and the conduct mentioned in paragraph (a) and the further conduct need not be of the same nature.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.6 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64/section/4

The  Communications Act 2003

Section 127 Improper use of public electronic communications network

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or

(b)causes any such message or matter to be so sent.

(2)A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, he—

(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that he knows to be false,

(b)causes such a message to be sent; or

(c)persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.

In addition these Acts  may be deployed :

Malicious Communications Act 1988 section 1 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/27/content  as amended by Section 43 Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2001/16/contents

Postal Services Act 2000 section 85 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/26/contents).

There may be other laws which are used to specifically hamper free expression which is deemed politically incorrect, ,  but those I have cited give the flavour of the current powers available to those with power in Britain to intimidate the public and  control public debate.  They all have one very dangerous thing in common:  the Acts  are so broadly drawn that they are an open invitation to those with power  to shut down dissent.  The idea that people can assign an objective value to words  such as menacing, threatening, abusive or insulting  is simply wrong. Even more to the point, if words or images may be deemed criminal because they are merely abusive or threatening,  anything contentious to the mind of another could be held to be criminal.

In addition to the considerable restrictions on free expression  already described,   there are  civil  laws  allowing actions for libel and slander,  court orders prohibiting the publication or public discussion of specific subjects (breach of which risks imprisonment for contempt of court), restrictions placed by the Official Secrets Act  (which applies whether or not a person has signed the Act) and criminal offences relating to  obscenity,  blasphemy and  libel (the last three are so rarely used they are practically obsolete,   but  they are live laws which could be utilised if no other law would do).

Nothing non-pc is safe

Where does all this leave us?   The problem is that no one can be sure what would be treated as criminal by the police and the prosecuting authority the Crown Prosecution Service.   A person could look at non-pc speech and writing which has not resulted in prosecution and words which  has been resulted in criminal charges and try to analyse what will be deemed officially beyond the Pale  but be none the wiser.  That is for two reasons: first, the boundaries of  what is deemed  criminal are constantly expanding especially with reference to “hate speech”  and, second,  there is no consistency  in the investigation and prosecution of similar statements.

A  few examples to demonstrate the difficulty in knowing what is likely to result in police action.    Negro was the polite word for a black person  for two centuries .  Gradually over the past half century it was superseded by black, African-American, Afro-Caribbean or even African as blacks asserted their identity. But negro continued to be used.  It was not  considered a racist term, although a bit old fashioned in much the same way that homosexual rather than gay now seems slightly anachronistic. In 2011 the Liverpool FC forward Luis Suarez   (white) repeatedly referred to the Man U fullback Patrice Evra (black) as a negro, (actually its Spanish equivalent negre). This resulted not in criminal charges but disciplinary action by the Football Association who fined and banned him for eight matches for racial abuse (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/8969738/Liverpools-Luis-Suarez-guilty-of-racially-abusing-Patrice-Evra-live.html).  Although there was no police action, the message the Suarez case sent to the public was negro is now a term of racial abuse which could result in action being taken against its user.  If another case comes to public notice I would be most surprised if at the least a  police investigation is not begun even if  no criminal charges are brought. That would be par for the course in these cases.  A  word is mysteriously deemed unacceptable, there is liberal media outrage and a little down the line the police act against someone who has used it. Frequently the police investigation does not result in charges but the publicity of the police involvement serves to intimidate the public.

The next word describing the race of a person which is likely to be ratcheted  up from polite term to criminal will probably be coloured. This is even more ludicrous than the outlawing of negro as a racial epithet. It is simply a description as innocuous as white.  That it was not considered anything more until recently  can be seen from the title of the American organisation for promoting black interests  the  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  Despite this history  the Scottish football pundit Alan Hansen  ran into trouble after  using it in 2011 and was forced to offer an abject apology to save his job. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/dec/22/alan-hansen-black-footballers-coloured)

Now let us move forward to a recent case which did result in criminal charges.  BNP member Michael Coleman has just been give an eight month suspended sentence with 240 hours of community service (unpaid work) for publishing racist articles on his blog:

“ The 46-year-old was reported to police after two blogs he wrote in response to last summer’s London riots appeared online.

In them, he said the riots were a perfect example of ‘the difference in personality, perceptions and values of people of the darker races and ourselves’.

And he accused Stoke-on-Trent City Council of ‘flooding this city with Muslims and blacks, a complete population replacement programme. Darkies in, whites out’.

Police were called by Labour city councillor Joy Garner, below, who had been asked to read the blogs by a member of the public. (http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/Stoke-Trent-BNP-leader-Michael-Coleman-guilty/story-16839343-detail/story.html).

Leave aside the word “darkies”  for the moment. Coleman’s message is a straightforward political protest against  the most profound act of treason which is the permitting of mass immigration. If he was convicted for that protest it is unambiguous censorship for political purposes.  The prosecution is sending the message to the public that complaints about  immigration and its consequences  is being criminalised.

If it is solely “darkies”  which has led to the conviction,  and the report does not suggest that it is,  then the-powers-that-be through the courts and prosecution authorities are controlling language in a manner reminiscent of the Soviet Union or Red China.  “Darkies” may again be an anachronistic term , but it was never considered racist as such when it was widely used. Often it was bestowed on someone black in the same way that a man called white would end up being called “Chalky”.

Even liberals are beginning to get uneasy about the way that day after day new cases as  threats of prosecution or actual prosecutions are applied to people in situations which appear ever more extreme. Take  Brendan  O’Neill of  the Daily Telegraph on Coleman.  He pays ritual pc obeisance to  the “horror” of Coleman’s views and the use of “darkies”, calls him a moron, but then writes

The councillor who kick-started the legal action against Coleman said something very interesting – he said the reason Coleman had to be punished and turned into a criminal for writing those blog posts is because the views they expressed are “not acceptable to the overwhelming majority of local people”. That is true; the vast majority of Britons find racist ideas and language disgusting. But are we really going to start threatening with imprisonment people who express opinions that the “overwhelming majority” consider to be unacceptable? Will that include radical political views, edgy social arguments, harebrained religious beliefs? The fact that in Britain in 2012 a man has been given a suspended jail sentence and 240 hours’ community service for saying something that is offensive to the “overwhelming majority” should give us all serious pause for thought, and make us ask what gives us the right to slam Putin’s Russia for likewise banging up punkish singers who, according to polls, also offended an “overwhelming majority” of Russians.” (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100183130/darkies-is-a-disgusting-word-but-people-shouldnt-be-given-suspended-jail-sentences-for-saying-it/).

Of course, the “vast majority of Britons” do not find what liberals now call racist ideas and language disgusting (effectively any preference for one racial, national or ethnic group over another) . Many might not feel comfortable with the word “darkies”, but the “vast majority of Britons ” will have varying degrees of sympathy with the idea that mass immigration has changed the country for the worse and is a form of colonisation.   But such expressed thoughts would now appear to be illegal. The case of Emma West  falls into this category.  Miss West was recorded on a camera phone  during a tram ride complaining  to a racially mixed group of passengers about the effects of mass immigration. There was a bit of effing and blinding but there was no gross racist abuse , just a complaint that her country had been utterly changed through mass immigration (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/emma-west-immigration-and-the-liberal-totalitarian-state).   She was arrested after the video was placed on YouTube, held against her will in a top security prison (the authorities claimed it was for her own protection even though Miss West  said she did not want to be protected) and is being subjected to an unconscionable delay before she is brought to trial – it is already 11 months since she was charged, the case has been adjourned three times and no new trial date set (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/emma-west-trial-delayed-for-the-third-time/).

One last case. The England and Chelsea footballer John Terry was charged with racially aggravated public order offences when he was alleged to have  called the black QPR defender Anton Ferdinand “a f**king black c**t” during a Premiership match between Chelsea and QPR in 2011.  Terry’s defence was that he had not called Ferdinand that but thought Ferdinand had accused him  of using the words and said  to him “I didn’t call you a  f**king black c**t”.

A court accepted this version and found him not guilty in July this year, but that was not the end of the matter. Once again the Football Association (FA) acted and effectively tried Terry on the same charges, found him guilty and  fined him heavily and banned him for four matches. ).  That of course is simply a sporting body  and not a court making the judgement, but it at best creates a public mood of fear of saying anything contentious which could possibly be construed as racist. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/chelsea/9568184/John-Terry-found-guilty-of-racially-abusing-QPRs-Anton-Ferdinand-in-FA-hearing-and-handed-four-match-ban.html). Moreover, it  was  a very sinister development because Terry was adjudged guilty by the FA regardless of the context of the words he uttered. The FA found that the uttering of words to deny having said them  with an intent to abuse  is an offence if the words are deemed racist.  Most dangerous. It could in principle mean that a writer of fiction could be held to be racist because he creates a racist character.  Improbable? Well, as luck would have it the author of the Harry Potter books, JK Rowling, has just run into trouble for doing precisely that.  In her first adult novel  The  casual vacancy  she has  a Sikh woman portrayed in unflattering fashion by a character  who is a racist. Sikhs in Britain are up in arms threatening to stop it being sold in India and possibly banned in Britain because it portrays a Sikh unfavourably (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9580177/First-Middle-England-now-Rowlings-novel-upsets-Sikhs-as-well.html).

There is a further problem with the increasing numbers of prosecutions being undertaken for alleged racially-aggravated offences. The prosecuting authorities and the courts do not operate an even-handed approach. The most outrageous example I have come across is the treatment by four Somali girls of a white woman Rhea Page. The Somalis viciously attacked Miss Page  -a video of  the attack can be found here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070562/Muslim-girl-gang-kicked-Rhea-Page-head-yelling-kill-white-slag-FREED.html#ixzz1flw8TY6p. Despite the fact that Somalis were screaming “white slag” and other racist terms at her,  the judge found the attack was not racially motivated and, amazingly, did not impose  prison sentences on the Somalis.

Despite the uncertainty and double standards , it is reasonable to think that the following would leave a party or individual open to criminal prosecution :

1. Any statement which claimed  that mass immigration was an unalloyed ill.

2. Any statement which claimed that the permitting of mass immigration is the most fundamental form of treason.

3. Any statement which claimed that mass immigration is a form of conquest by means other than force of arms.

4. Any statement which advocated the forced expulsion of immigrants.

5. Any statement which claimed that an ethnic or racial minority has cultural values and practices which are incompatible with British society.

6. Any statement which claimed that a racial or social minority commits more crime than the native British population.

7 . Any statement which claimed that a religion favoured by an ethnic minority  is  antipathetic to British society.

8. The use of the words black, brown or yellow  as an adjective where it is attached to a statement which is critical of a person.

9. Any statement claiming or suggesting that there are biological differences between races which mean that different races have innately different capacities.

Race is undoubtedly the prime driver of prosecutions for simply expressing opinions,  but  increasing  police attention is being given to statements about homosexuals (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1270364/Christian-preacher-hooligan-charge-saying-believes-homosexuality-sin.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2206108/Daniel-Thomas-Footballer-posted-homophobic-Tweet-Tom-Daley-charged.html)) and recently there have been swelling attempts to bring abuse of the disabled into the police investigation net.  Words judged to be insulting to women are, as far as I can discover,  as yet not the subject of police action, but give it time and surely they will be because any person with a public voice who makes comments which deviate from the pc line that women are just like men is likely to be shouted down by the liberal media and its cronies.

But it is not only overtly politically incorrect statements which have attracted the attention of the police and the courts. Once it is allowed that words deemed insulting or upsetting can be criminalised, nothing but nothing is beyond the reach of the law. In the political sphere this can stop criticism of a politician. Recently it was revealed that two MPs and two peers reported twitter abuse to the police (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/9558464/Two-MPs-and-two-peers-go-to-police-over-Twitter-abuse.html).  The revelation of these attempts by politicians  to have members of the public investigated by the police resulted in this  statement by Jeremy Browne, the junior Home Office minister: “The Government are not seeking to criminalise bad manners, unkind comments, or idiotic views.”

But he went on: “The Government are reforming measures to tackle antisocial behaviour, regardless of whether it occurs offline or online.

“To continue to support professionals to help and protect victims, we are introducing simpler and more effective powers that, where appropriate, agencies can use flexibly to deal with antisocial individuals who cause misery and distress to others.”

The Crown Prosecution Service is drawing up the first guidelines on social media abuse, following concerns that too many people were being prosecuted for making one-off offensive comments that were intended to be funny and not directed at specific individuals.

I think we can all see where that is goings, straight down the path to censorship of political complaint.  The  present  reality is any statement whether  spoken, written or  broadcast which is not anodyne and written in cautiously polite language  potentially puts its creator at risk of prosecution.

All of  these assaults on free expression are taking place when the politically correct have a stranglehold on British society through their control of  the state and the mass media. No political party which radically challenges the pc creed has any chance of being in government or any likelihood of gaining  a seat in the Commons.  Yet the strangling of contrary opinion is becoming ever fiercer.  Imagine what they would do if a political force which did unambiguously  oppose political correctness looked as though it might gain seats in the Commons.

No free expression, no democracy

In a true democracy there can be no restriction on speech because the full range of political opinions and policies must be available to be debated and implemented.   Equally importantly if is the ultimate guarantor of freedom. Authoritarian states can only survive if  free expression is crushed.  Make free expression an absolute  legal right and no dictatorship could be  established; bring free expression into a dictatorship   and it will dissolve the dictatorship.

John Milton famously and eloquently  identified the power of free debate  three and a half centuries ago: ‘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…’ [Milton – Areogapitica].

Anybody putting forward a case for censorship needs to explain why  they cannot let “truth and falsehood” contend .  I have never met anyone who could provide a meaningful reason.  Their arguments are always once removed from the issue of free expression: its denial is always justified in terms of the imagined hurt, whether to feelings or violence,  the disapproved of words will cause not on the grounds that the words are true or false.

The Leveller leader John Lilburne never ceased urging people  in his struggles with the Parliamentary leaders in the English civil war to resist tyranny with the words  “What they do to me today they may do to you tomorrow”. That is a maxim for all people of  any time who wish to remain free.

 

 

 

http://ics-www.leeds.ac.uk/papers/vp01.cfm?outfit=ks&folder=13&paper=130

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BNP ‘whites-only’ membership rules outlawed

 

Judge agrees with human rights watchdog that British National party’s rewritten criteria for joining are still racist

Peter Walker

The Guardian, Saturday 13 March 2010

Nick Griffin, the BNP leader. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

The British National party was plunged into chaos yesterday, weeks before the general election, when a court ordered it to remove central beliefs and policies about race from its constitution.

In a landmark injunction at the Central London county court, a judge found that the BNP’s membership policy remained discriminatory, even after a direct whites-only clause was removed last month.

The judge, Paul Collins, ordered the BNP to remove two clauses from its constitution as they were indirectly racist towards non-white would-be members.

The party also remains banned from signing up new recruits until it satisfies Collins it has changed the constitution, although it said last night that applications to join were being processed again.

In a further blow to the party’s election hopes, it was ordered to pay an estimated £60,000 in legal costs. The bill could rise to £100,000 when its own legal fees are included.

While one offending clause is largely an administrative matter – a requirement that all new members agree to a vetting visit from BNP officials, something the judge found could intimidate non-white applicants – the other spells out core beliefs.

This is a requirement for members to believe in the “continued creation, fostering, maintenance and existence” of an indigenous British race and action towards “stemming and reversing” migration.

The BNP last month voted to remove a direct bar on non-white members after a legal challenge from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The government equalities watchdog then challenged the revised constitution on the grounds that ethnic minority Britons could still not subscribe to the party’s beliefs without “denying themselves”.

Collins ruled in favour of the commission, ordering the BNP to remove the offending clauses by Monday afternoon or face potential legal penalties.

The EHRC head of legal enforcement, Susie Uppal, said: “Political parties, like any organisation, are obliged to respect the law and not discriminate against people who wish to become members.”

The BNP’s leader, Nick Griffin, said the decision “opens a very dangerous door. It’s a huge change to the unwritten constitution of Britain. The judgment has given a government-appointed, taxpayer-funded quango the rights to change the aims and objectives of political parties.” The costs award would “have some effect” on the BNP’s election campaigning, but it would not be significant, he added.

Griffin said he had already amended the constitution so the clauses were removed from membership criteria. He insisted, however, that the beliefs about immigration and race would remain, even if members did not have to officially sign up to them. “It won’t make any practical difference to us. But it’s hugely symbolic,” he said.

A spokesman for the anti-fascist campaign group Searchlight said: “This judgment is a personal humiliation for Nick Griffin. The BNP has been proven in court to be as racist and extremist as ever.”

The millionaire Asian businessman Mo Chaudry, who had said he would apply to join the party to “fight them from the inside”, welcomed the ruling. He said: “This was the only decision that could have been made today. There was no alternative.”

The decision follows weeks of wrangling over the legality of the far-right party’s membership criteria. After the EHRC challenge last year, BNP members voted at an extraordinary general meeting a month ago to scrap the whites-only clause. BNP critics argue the party has no genuine interest in recruiting non-white members and is doing the minimum to avoid legal action and court costs.

An internal BNP memo seen by the Guardian this week told members that the party had not “gone soft”. It continued: “We don’t expect any more than a handful of people of ethnic minority origin to apply to join the party nationally, and we will not let this deflect us from our political objectives of saving Britain and restoring the primacy of the indigenous British people.”

Anders Breivik and the problem of political trials

Robert Henderson

The  Norwegian court judgement that  the mass killer Anders Breivik is sane and can be held in prison rather than treated as a psychiatric patient in a secure hospital (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19365616) shows how difficult it is to hold a meaningful trial where a case is heavily politicised.

There can be little doubt that the Norwegian elite would have much  preferred Breivik to be declared insane because then his motives for committing the killings could have been swept under the carpet. They wanted this because his motives  challenged everything that the religiously  politically correct Norwegian elite hold most dear: multiculturalism, mass immigration and  the feminisation of Norwegian society as they attempt the transformation of Norwegian society  from one of peaceable homogeneity to a fractured heterogeneity and the creation of a new human being fit  to live in their imagined multicultural paradise in the  manner of Stalin working to breed the New Soviet Man.

Had it been left to the Norwegian elite Breivik would have vanished into a psychiatric limbo. But there were two problems with this. The Norwegian public have not been brainwashed to the extent that they have become so  devoid of all natural human emotion that they will treat someone who has killed so many people as the victim,  and an unwitting one at that if he had been judged insane.  They quite naturally wanted Breivic  tried and convicted as a criminal. So ironically did Breivik, although of course he does not view himself as a criminal.  It is noteworthy that the panel of judges – two professional and three lay members – all agreed Breivik was  sane (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19365616). Such unlikely  unanimity strongly  suggests that they were responding to Norwegian public opinion rather than acting on the psychiatric testimony.

The second difficulty for the Norwegian elite was the opportunity it would provide  for further public questioning of their politics if Breivik  had been found insane. He  would undoubtedly have appealed against the ruling of insanity.  That would have allowed him  to both deride the Norwegian justice system as being no justice at all because it was politically manipulated and Norwegian politicians for being unable to counter  his  justifications for his actions. An appeal against insanity would also have provided an opportunity to repeat and expand upon those  justifications.

That politics not  psychiatric  opinion drove  the court to a  judgement of sanity is shown by the prosecution’s desire to have Breivik declared insane and the court’s ignoring of court commissioned psychiatric opinion which found Breivik to be insane.   It is a  very odd situation  for the prosecution to be asking for a mass killer to be declared insane and not responsible for his actions and the defence to be insisting that the defendant is sane and responsible.   The norm  is for the defence to claim insanity and the prosecution to try to rebut the claim.

The behaviour of the Breivik prosecution  is doubly odd because it is very difficult to see how Breivik could have been plausibly thought to be criminally insane.  Breivik did not have voices in his head telling him to kill. He had well-developed ideas which provided his motive.  He spent a great deal of time in preparation for the crime and  produced a 1,500 page manifesto. In addition,  Breivik was fully aware of what he was doing and the terrible nature of his act.  Had he committed such a crime in England the question of his sanity  would have been determined  by the McNaghten Rules. These  rest on whether a person accused of a crime knew they were doing something wrong or were suffering a defect of reason through mental illness,  most commonly paranoia, which drove them to commit the crime in the belief that it was necessary to commit it , most probably because of a belief that they or someone else was in danger. Clearly Breivik  was aware of what he was doing and how it would be viewed by society. That leaves only the question of whether he was acting under a delusion. That test would fall because manifestly what he fears, the objective threats to his society from mass immigration, multiculturalism, political correctness and Islam, are concrete facts. How far they could be judged to be mortal threats is another matter, but no one could reasonably argue that, in particular, mass immigration and Islam are not real and substantial  threats to the nature of Norwegian society.

It is also worth bearing in mind that terrorists are not rarely if ever  treated as mad by Western courts. The fact that Breivik killed so many in brutal fashion does not mean he is insane, or at least no more disturbed than others who kill for political reasons.  The prosecution’s attempt to have Breivik ruled mad is most plausibly  explained by a simple desire to produce a situation where his political ideas and actions could be dismissed as the ravings of a madman leaving, at least in the Norwegian elite’s eyes, their ideology without meaningful challenge.

Court-appointed psychiatrists disagreed on Breivik’s sanity.  He was examined twice. Breivik cooperated with the first team but not the second. The first  team which examined him came up with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/you-must-be-mad-if-you-dont-believe-in-the-liberal-globalist-credo/) , but  the second found Breivik to be  sane. In England that might have resulted in each evaluation cancelling out the other,  but in the Norwegian justice system the presumption is that even if it is not certain that someone is insane,  they should be treated as such if there is any doubt about their sanity as judged by supposed psychiatric experts. During the trial the lead prosecutor Svein Holden said  ‘ the prosecution had not been convinced by the delusion the authors of the first report, Synne Sorheim and Torgeir Husby, advanced as their core evidence that for Breivik’s schizophrenia: that he believed he had a mandate which gave him the right to decide who should live and who should die.

But they [the two prosecutors Holden and Inga Bejer Engh) said that under Norwegian law, this was not enough.

“It is worse that a psychotic be sentenced to custody than a non-psychotic is sentenced to psychiatric care”.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/9347018/Anders-Behring-Breivik-should-be-declared-insane.html).

Apart from noting  the  chilling idea that it is reasonable to subject someone sane to psychiatric  treatment just in case,  it is clear that  Norwegian law has been cavalierly  overturned  in Breivik’s case.

The question of Breivik’s  sanity is not absolutely settled. The prosecution could appeal against the finding of sanity.  It would also be possible for Breivik to be declared insane during the course of his imprisonment.

Had the prosecution not insisted on pushing for an insanity ruling, the trial could have been conducted in a manner much closer to  that of a normal criminal case.  By doing so they shifted the focus from the killing and why Breivik committed the act to whether he was or was not sane.  That  gave credence to Breivik’s claim that the whole of the Norwegian power structure is a conspiracy to enforce the politically correct ideology at all costs.

No appeal

Breivik has said he will not appeal his conviction  because  he does not recognise the court as it is (in his view)  an illegitimate body which is a  tool of the politically correct elite who are his enemy. By appealing  against conviction he believes he would tacitly accept the court’s legitimacy.

I think Breivik has missed a trick here. If his appeal was based on his claim that the court was illegitimate his objection would dissolve and he would be left free to reiterate his complaints against the Norwegian elite.  It could be objected that the appeal itself would be made to a courts or courts which were appointed by the same class of  people who appointed the court which tried him and which were consequently also illegitimate.  However,  if his appeal failed, as it surely would, Breivik  could then move beyond the Norwegian courts to the European Court of Human Rights. Eventually he would run out of legal road,  but he could argue that in his appeals  he was not legitimising the courts but simply demonstrating the politicised nature of justice both in Norway and at a supranational level.

The unanswered questions

What has not been addressed by the Norwegian elite are Breivik’s complaints against them and their politics.  Where these touch on mass immigration and Islamicisation they are all too  real. Although there are elements of the ridiculous about Breivik’s writings, such as his obsession with uniforms and the Knights Templars,  his concern about the rapid turning of Norway from a homogeneous  into a  heterogeneous  society as a matter of policy is self-evidently reasonable and vitally important.  Norway has a small population of less than 5 million (http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/02/befolkning_en/).  If mass immigration of those who cannot or will not assimilate fully continues at the pace it is running at, it is quite possible that within a couple of generations native Norwegians will be outnumbered.  Imagine a situation where Muslims became the largest population group in Norway. Does anyone believe they would,  as a group , subscribe to Norwegian customs and morals or if they become the majority would not try to create and Islamic state?

What the Norwegian elite has been doing is engage in an orgy of self-congratulation about how civilised the country is to allow Breivik the full protection and access to the law and that this national tolerance has nullified Breivik’s message .  This has been eagerly echoed by the British media. Here is an example  of the political goo even conservative commentators have been ejecting:

Reading the reports, the first thing that strikes you is how pathetic Breivik sounds, like a teenage boy fantasising about being a soldier: describing shoot-em-up computer games as “training”, claiming that he used “Japanese warrior meditation techniques” to “de-emotionalise” himself, writing a 1,500-page “manifesto” describing his half-baked racist theories and his ludicrous self-identification with the Knights Templar. Breivik himself, with his idiotic beard and self-satisfied smile, looks less like the personification of evil and more like an irksome pub bore.

 But when you drag your attention away from him, you notice how clear-eyed, how sane, the Norwegian response has been.

In the aftermath of the attacks, Jens Stoltenberg, the Norwegian prime minister, told a gathering in his capital’s cathedral: “Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity.” He went on in an interview with this newspaper: “It was our democratic, open society that was under attack… it was quite logical to say that the answer was more of what was attacked. (Tom Chivers –  http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100177883/norway-gives-a-dignified-lesson-in-how-to-deal-with-horror/)

The truth is rather different. The justice Breivik has been given is in its way a show trial, not one as obvious as those of, say, Stalin, but one emanating from the cloyingly politically correct society which Norway has become.   Far from allowing Breivik to put his case publicly,  his access to the Norwegian public has been very limited.  He has spent most of his time since his arrest without contact with other prisoners. (According to reports, after his conviction  Breivik  is to be kept without  contact with other prisoners  for the time being).  He was denied any  opportunity to see news programmes  after he was arrested and this may be continuing. When the trial was finally held,  Breivik’s testimony and that of his witnesses were not broadcast, while the prosecution’s submissions and witnesses were put on air.  When Breivik has been allowed to speak in court he has been frequently interrupted and harassed by the presiding judge.  This happened again at his appearance during the  court judgement where he was declared sane and sentenced to 21 years with the strong possibility that he will never be released as the period of imprisonment  can be increased if a prisoner is deemed dangerous at the expiry of their  formal sentence.

Apart from Breivik’s treatment, it is reasonable to consider the general fairness of the Norwegian justice system.  The use of the jury is rare even in serious crimes and the readiness to put people in psychiatric unity just in case  places a serious question mark over whether anyone charged with a crime which challenges the Norwegian commitment to political correctness could expect a fair trial.  Latterday liberals have a mentality very similar to that of Marxists which allows them to persuade themselves that the end justifies the means and consequently  those who fall outside the parameters of whatever are the limits of political correctness at the time – like all ideologies it shifts its shape continuously – are not to be allowed any scope for challenging political correctness, indeed, cannot be allowed to do so because widespread challenge would bring the ideological house of cards down.

No country’s justice  is immune from  political taint

The problem of politics contaminating justice affects any country  at some level, no matter how good  its general record on providing untainted justice as far as that is practically possible – the prejudice of jurors, judges and magistrates cannot be legislated away and there is always the problem of the rich being able to buy access to the law when the poor cannot do so.

Political correctness is now a strong driver of the politicisation of justice  in much of the West.  A first rate example of   politicised justice In England is the trial and conviction of  Gary Dobson and David Norris (both white)   for the murder of Stephen Lawrence  (black) was driven not by a desire for justice based on strong evidence but an hysterical desire by the British liberal elite to see people not only convicted for his murder to but the people who were convicted  should be those labelled as racist whites  (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/stephen-lawrence-gary-dobson-david-norris-and-a-political-trial/).  Their  trial was obviously  illegitimate simply on the grounds of public prejudice against the defendants generated by a 17 year hate campaign orchestrated by the media, politicians and various interest groups – a campaign probably unique in English history –  but the new “evidence” presented was also risibly fallible, depending  as it did on highly questionable forensics which could not  legitimately have passed the English law beyond a  reasonable doubt test for criminal conviction.  In addition, police videos obtained secretly of Dobson and Norris (with others)  engaging in racist behaviour  and discussing the Lawrence killing but making no confession of responsibility or even saying anything which implied they were responsible, were played to the jury despite  defence objections that it was unreasonably prejudicial-  a well established principle in English law –  because it  reinforced the idea of the defendants (who were respectively aged 16 and 17 at the time of the murder in 1993)  as racists without  providing any meaningful evidence that they were responsible for the murder.

Despite the highly questionable convictions, Dobson and Norris’ attempt to have the convictions overturned have been stopped at the first hurdle with  their application to appeal – not an appeal note but merely an application to make an appeal  –  having been turned down in short order (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2192830/Stephen-Lawrence-killers-refused-leave-appeal-life-sentences-racist-murder.html#ixzz24SjMdeTO).  That is not the end of the matter because they can appeal against the refusal and there is also a theoretical eventual possibility of the Criminal Cases Review Commission considering the case. However, in the prevailing political climate in Britain it is not unreasonable to presume that any avenue of appeal , let alone the overturning of the convictions,  will be blocked regardless of the quality of  their grounds for appeal.

If national justice systems are intermittently  fallible because of political interference,  supra-national bodies such as the  Nuremburg  tribunal which tried Nazis  for war crimes,  the tribunals set up by the UN such as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda  (created in 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955) and  the International Criminal Court  are invariably contaminated by politics.  This is because the alleged crimes are political in nature and there is no possibility of any big fish brought before the tribunals or courts being found innocent because too much political capital has been invested in the prosecutions by powerful nations for someone like Milosevic to go free. A few lesser fry may be found not guilty because their acquittals, in terms of the public’s  perception,  are swallowed up by  the conviction of the important defendants and  such acquittals also have the beneficial effect for those running the  courts  of giving their proceedings generally a specious appearance of fairness.

There are also courts such as  the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU’s European Court of Justice (ECJ) which deal  with a mixture of what in England would be called criminal and civil cases, the vast majority being civil cases which involve the behaviour of national governments in making and applying laws which breach the treaties to which a country has signed up.  They are less obviously political in the sense that cases are not  brought for obvious  political reasons, but the manpower and conduct of  such courts is frequently open to question, for example, many judges in the  ECJ and ECHR  are drawn from countries, most notably those within the old Soviet bloc, which have no tradition of unpoliticised  justice.

The  fundamental question Breivik posed

The fundamental question which Breivik’s actions and motives pose is this: what non-violent means can be employed to prevent political elites in the West from turning their countries from natural homogenous nations into multicultural and multiracial messes when the elites make any serious non-violent opposition to such policies practically impossible?

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