Have the police overstepped the mark with their so-called investigation of Cliff Richard?
Cliff Richard in 1962.
Cliff Richard is the latest and arguably the biggest star to come under the scrutiny of Operation Yewtree.
How much longer are we going to put up with this outrage?
If you are not au fait with the genesis of this witch-hunt, you can find some background here. After the death of Jimmy Savile, rather than going out chasing real sexual predators, or armed criminals - who might just shoot back - Britain’s increasingly politically correct police launched Operation Yewtree, ostensibly to investigate allegations of historical sexual abuse against Savile and other celebrities. Following the feminist rape narrative that most victims of sexual abuse never report the crimes and that many others do not do so for weeks, months, years or even decades - when there is of course no physical evidence - they arrested a large number of celebrities on allegations from mainly anonymous women and a few men.
With no real evidence, they then worked on the appealing but fallacious principle of corroboration by volume. We do not know for certain how many allegations were made against Rolf Harris, Max Clifford or any of the others, but many such allegations are demonstrably false (which is no comfort to Harris because the jury convicted him anyway). When all the clearly unsustainable allegations (by fantasists, chancers and publicity-seekers) have been removed or quietly forgotten, the CPS can take the best five, ten or however many and present these to a jury as evidence of a pattern of offending. The celebrity is then in the odious position of proving he did not commit the offences concerned. Every single one of them.
Then in the prosecution’s closing speech, the jury will be reminded that all the accusers - victims of this terrible, serial abuser - have come forward showing great courage to point the finger at this powerful man who has haunted them for all their adult lives. Their stories are all remarkably similar, and they have the ring of truth. Anne Whyte QC used this wilfully dishonest argument in her closing speech at the William Roache trial:
“Well, members of the jury, someone is lying. Five complainants have made sexual allegations against William Roache. He is emphatic that it just did not happen...He is lying or literally all of them are.”
The implication here is how can all five women be lying? After all, even the Qur’an requires only four witnesses. Is the word of a woman worth so much less than that of a man?
The reality is somewhat different, it is not necessary for all the women to be lying. For example, one of the accusers of Bill Cosby has suffered from delusions all her life; she thought she was talking to aliens; another time she thought she was pregnant because she was in a hospital, when in fact she had been committed to a booby hatch. The mainstream media cannot be unaware of this, but this woman is still being promoted as a Cosby accuser (read victim). There are many other reasons women accuse men of sexual offences falsely and gratuitously, and Mr Roache was a sitting duck. Fortunately, in spite of the passage of decades he was able to adduce enough evidence to discredit their allegations. So was Gary Glitter, but that didn’t save him from being convicted!
So where are we with Cliff Richard? Last September, South Yorkshire Police raided his home while he was out of the country. They did so after receiving an allegation from a man that the star had indecently assaulted him in 1985!
The police carried out this raid in the full glare of publicity, tipping off the BBC, which followed it by helicopter. This was unethical and almost certainly illegal, it was both a fishing expedition and a trawling exercise. The fishing part is that an allegation of historical indecent assault gives the police no right whatsoever to enter a private dwelling and seize computer equipment or anything else, but they do this routinely nowadays simply because they can, and because, well, they might get lucky and find some images of underage boys on his hard drive.
The trawling part is similar to that carried out in the sweeps they have made of children’s homes and related institutions over a period of many years. Normally they do this by letter or by cold-calling on former residents, but here they were trawling the world. They were saying in effect that hey, look, the BBC is following us, we’re on the trail of this paedophile, this serial abuser of the young, we believe this victim, and we will believe you too. Come forward and tell us your story. This appears to be what has happened. We don’t and won’t know probably for some time the substance of these allegations, but as Cliff Richard is widely (and erroneously) believed to be homosexual, and as this first accuser is male, we can expect most or all of the fantasists and liars who have accused him to be male as well. Will they get away with it? Hopefully not.
As an antidote to this madness, we need to do several things. First and foremost there must be a statute of limitations for all historical cases except murder, and stronger requirements for taking any sexual abuse case to court, particularly rape. Rape is a crime that always leaves physical evidence; unless there are exceptional circumstances - eg underage or incapacitated victims - any woman (or man) who delays making an allegation of rape should be shown the door by the station sergeant. All demonstrably false allegations should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, not every time a defendant is acquitted or the CPS decides not to proceed for whatever reason, but when a woman like Pamela Muir or most shockingly Rhiannon Brooker accuses a man falsely of rape, that individual deserves and should get prison PDQ. We have to remove all compensation for victims of sexual assault except the reasonable criminal injuries compensation payout. An alleged victim who wishes to pursue an alleged assailant in the civil courts should not do so on Legal Aid. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, except where the accuser is underage (at the time of the trial), all anonymity should be removed from sexual assault and abuse cases. A victim in a case of attempted murder or serious non-sexual assault is not afforded anonymity, nor are witnesses in murder trials, and serious though it is, rape is not as heinous as murder, however much certain devious people would have us believe it is.
So where does all this leave Cliff Richard? One thing of which we can be certain is that his loyal and largely female fans will rally round him. But it could be amusing if he is indeed prosecuted and it turns out that like Ken Livingstone who was once rumoured to be homosexual he has a fistful of unacknowledged offspring who come forward to testify in defence of their Dad.
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