Monday, 12 November 2012

Thought For The Day: Peter Wilby

Child abuse is a reality and, in the past, the full extent of it was often swept under the carpet. The guilty still at liberty far outnumber the innocent behind bars. In nearly all the instances I list above, children were abused, sometimes in large numbers. They suffered terrible trauma, and the effects were often lifelong. To point out that journalists – along with politicians and professionals such as social workers – strayed into wild fantasies is not to defend or trivialise abuse. Nor does questioning some convictions denote "support" for paedophilia, any more than questioning the Birmingham Six convictions denoted "support" for IRA bombers.

The great media analyst Peter Wilby, writing for The Guardian.

You may wish to compare and contrast it with this Independent piece by Owen Jones - again, someone who really should know better, much better - which reads like an exercise in hysterical, sanctimonious, point-missing and point-scoring.
And it is as silly as it is grotesque to suggest that merely pointing out that Steve Messham has withdrawn his allegation against Lord McAlpine is somehow to condone or enable the sexual abuse of children.
Let us pray to the great god Pan that Owen doesn't let his new-found fame, fame, fatal fame turn him into another Johann Hari.
We need him. 

PS Mail Online has managed to turn this sorry tale into 12 BBC-bashing articles today. Ironically, without the "news" about Newsnight and BBC News this seems to be quite a slow news day.

Update: 'Is Tom Watson in danger of fuelling a paedophile panic?' Nelson Jones, New Statesman.
Answer: Yes.

Update 2: "Days after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, they have been withdrawn - the claimant recanting his story..." The Independent.
No comment from Owen on this, yet. 


  1. Moreover, the Mail On Sunday performed a total hatchet job on the care home witness:

    1. Of course, The Mail clearly has another agenda, and, like so much they do, that article is pretty shitty.
      But SM made one serious allegation he later withdrew and admitted was untrue.
      Which of the MoS's claims are untrue?

  2. Owen Jones is really starting to fucking annoy me.
    Think I might unfollow him on Twitter.
    He'll be devastated, I know, but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

    1. He's pretty solid, except when he goes into public liberal hand-wringing exercises like this.
      See also Judge Jones delivering his verdict on Assange...