I never believed Carl Beech’s allegations that he had suffered multiple depravities, including sexual abuse, at the hands of various very prominent members of the old conservative establishment. As a young journalist during the 1980s, I came into contact with many of the people named in Beech’s supposed evidence and on not a single occasion did one of them try to coerce me into sexual intercourse. That they would have done so, had they been inclined, is beyond doubt, as I was sexually irresistible back then. Further, I met Sir Edward Heath and at no time did he try to lock me in a room full of ‘mad’ wasps, nor did anyone ever attempt to empty a box of spiders over my shaking body.
Those were just some of the accusations made by Beech, along with the minor matter of these eminent people murdering three children in front of him. You read this stuff and begin to wonder at the intelligence levels within the police working on Operation Midland. Surely ten minutes of listening to Beech would have convinced even the dimmest officer that they were dealing with a vexatious mental case?
But this is the problem, I suppose. It is not so much that the police are thick, it is that they have had credulity imposed upon them for reasons of political correctness and are no longer allowed to apply that dated and tainted old thing, common sense. This was true of Operation Midland, just as it is true of the police approach to rape — the woman must be believed — and accusations of hate crime — if you think it was a hate crime, it was, and that’s the end of it.
This injunction was made perfectly explicit during the time Beech was making his ludicrous allegations. Desperate to find another lunatic who might corroborate Beech’s fantasies, the police informed possible callers that they would be believed (and ‘supported’). So any joker who turned up and claimed to have been buggered by the joint chiefs of staff while specially trained kestrels swooped down to slash at his naked body with their razor-sharp talons would, perforce, be believed. This institutionalising of immense stupidity within the police meant that a multitude of ageing and utterly innocent public servants were traduced, dragged into the nick to be cross-examined about these absurdities, the coppers turning up at dawn to their homes and carrying away the usual black sacks. Just as it means, in other cases, that innocent men accused of rape similarly have their lives destroyed.
One of the most credulous idiots, of course, was the Labour party’s deputy leader, Tom Watson. During the 18 months in which Beech was delivering himself of surreal fantasies to the old bill, and Operation Midland got under way, Beech was referred to only as ‘Nick’. After speaking to him, Watson said ‘I didn’t need to hear any more’. The suspicion is not so much that Watson is thick, more that he yearned for this improbable story to be true, with every fibre of his being — precisely the same as most of the rest of the new left-wing establishment. For Watson this was part of his war on the old order, on the previous, conservative establishment. He was at the forefront of the charge to bring these elderly men, who had committed no crime at all, to justice, just as he was at the forefront of the campaign against the press, to stop newspapers reporting things about celebrities which actually had happened. He raised questions about Lord (Leon) Brittan and a discredited sex allegation and Brittan went to his grave with a cloud of suspicion hanging over him.
The Carl Beech business, along with Operation Midland, to a degree Operation Yewtree and the enormous number of #MeToo allegations, as well as the politicisation of the police on issues such as rape and hate crime, were all part of a war conducted by the new liberal elite against the old conservative elite. The Beech allegations sprung out of the shocking revelations about Jimmy Savile’s serial offences. What followed was the peremptory rounding up of those old and largely forgotten small-cconservative light entertainment stars of the 1970s — Dave Lee Travis, Freddie Starr, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and so on. At about the same time, #MeToo began, with its litany of complaints against actors and executives. (It is worth mentioning here that despite the millions of column inches written about the three of them and their erasure from public life, there has still not been a single criminal conviction against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey or Woody Allen.)
It seems to me probable that rape was a little under-reported until the past decade or so, a consequence of women suspecting their allegations would not be taken seriously by the police. I suspect it is correct too that complaints against big, powerful and famous individuals, such as Jimmy Savile (and perhaps Cyril Smith) were not listened to with quite the necessary attentiveness by the old bill. It is probably also true that standards of sexual etiquette, on film sets and the like, were not always pristine. But in attempting — rightly — to address those issues, we have gone way too far in the other direction. It is once again an example of liberal overreach. And as a consequence we have made morons of our police force, insisted that they swallow whatever risible dross has been brought before them, insisted they shed their critical faculties and instead trot out fashionable shibboleths like ‘you will be believed and supported’ to whatever nut job or charlatan comes their way.
There was no sinister ring of paedophiles within the conservative establishment; not all allegations of rape are honest; and sometimes hate crimes exist only in the imagination of the supposed victim. The police should be reminded of these self-evident truths.
Fraser Nelson interviews Rod Liddle on his book, The Great Betrayal.