Savilgate is everywhere and it keeps cropping up in the most unlikely places.

Yesterday mild mannered TV presenter and a man not renowned for controversy Phillip Schofield was interviewing the PM on This Morning and handed him an internet-sourced list of suspected paedophiles that he claimed to have found in “three minutes” during a “cursory glance at the internet” for details of the scandal relating to abuse at the children’s home in north Wales during the 1970s and 1980s.

The names were possibly of several politicians that are all over the internet, Cameron took the piece of paper and blanked the question. Later on Downing Street denounced it as  “trial by Twitter” and a “silly stunt”  and a shocked Prime Minister complained  of a “witch hunt” against gay people.

Was Phillip Schofield right to hand the list to David Cameron? Some of these people are still alive and there has been no trial by jury.

Is the internet right to list  all these names?

Are people fed up with failed enquiries and feel that the establishment can get away with, literary, murder?

Is This Morning the correct place for a debate like this? Is this really a witch hunt against gay people as David Cameron claims? Will there be cover up? Can you just stick names up on the internet of people without proof? Is trial by internet wrong or the only option people feel they have because of the lack of official action?

Is this not something for the Courts to sort out?

When the names are all over the internet why is Schofield taking the flak? What do you think? (don’t mention any of the names!)

5 COMMENTS

  1. People should know the TRUE extent of abuse of power at the top. The Internet is the last refuge of people sick to death with official cover ups

  2. There seems to be a growing feeling amongst the population that the “establishment” may be getting away with murder, and not the usual “they’re in authority so they must be bad” crap either. Hillsborough, Saville, North Wales and no doubt others all point to the fact that to get justice against “the establsihment” takes years at best and is beset by cover up, blind eye turning and what appears to be a network of conspiracy along the way. I’m not sure of Schofields motives, but his actions are keeping the issue in the forefront of the minds of many. It also exposed Camerons ignorance and bigotry towards gay people- there is no link at all between paedophilia and homosexuality, except in the minds of bigots and the ignorant

  3. A lot of questions within your piece…

    Was Phillip Schofield right to hand the list to David Cameron? – No, though I think he did so with the best intention – Schofield is either feeling and trying to reflect the public mood, and or was expressing his own concerns, either way it didn’t work. Cameron (at his point) responded appropriately in the knowledge that an investigation is already underway.
    The down side of this might be that should any of the alleged ever face the Courts then a decent barrister will use the exposure prior to arrest/investigation to tarnish the ability of a jury to be impartial and without prior knowledge and or opinion. This could make the jury selection process difficult, and in any case of this magnitude you don’t want issues within the Court before the case has even begun.

    Is the internet right to list all these names? – I think the inclusion of the word ‘place’ might have assisted… Is the internet right place to list all these names? Clearly not, though as the internet has developed we, its contributors and users have realised that it is not possible to control its content whether we desire to or not. The publication of names for whatever alleged offence is potentially dangerous and potentially harmful to any subsequent Police/law enforcement investigation.

    Is This Morning the correct place for a debate like this? – I would suggest yes, though to call it a debate would be a bit generous; the show reflects current topical issues and as such it was correct for the subject to be raised – it was just done I such a ham fisted manner.

    Is this really a witch hunt against gay people as David Cameron claims? – I found this particularly concerning, the perceived link between paedophilia and homosexuality…not sure what Cameron was trying to say but he clearly failed. The concern is that certain elements of the community will now link same sex relationships with child abuse and target people accordingly, or as has previously happened paedietricians will be wrongly targeted (GP Yvette Cloete at Royal Gwent Hospital in2000)
    Will there be cover up? – Define cover up; there is already a full criminal investigation regarding Savile (Op Yewtree) with a number of people already arrested and on Police bail – more arrests have been hinted at. Other previous investigation are being revisited (Nth Wales) and links to Operation Ore and no doubt Operation Landslide are being unearthed. The problem arises that not every name, every suspect with be convicted, and of those that are the sentence will not meet to the public’s satisfaction which is currently at “hang em high” level such are the emotions that cases like these invoke. As soon as one suspect is acquitted people will cry “cover up” – when in reality it might be that the evidence was poor, or the witness was equally though understandably poor; the same will happen when some of the sentences imposed are not perceived to “fit the crime” – the public want lengthy jail terms. In reality that is unlikely to happen (for a number of reasons I won’t go into now) and as such again the shout will be of a cover-up.

    Can you just stick names up on the internet of people without proof? – Sadly, yes you can.

    Is trial by internet wrong or the only option people feel they have because of the lack of official action? – The disclosure of alleged suspects on any public forum is wrong, however it is often the first option people resort to – as for lack of official action; well that clearly is not the case, and the subsequent Court hearings, Judicial Reviews, Serious Case Reviews with demonstrate that.

    Is this not something for the Courts to sort out? – Yes, however for the Court to complete its function it requires evidence, that evidence is best obtained by Police, CEOP and actions like Schofield’s may prejudice this.

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