Child abuse imagery arrest raises questions about newspaper timing

Spot the difference: One of these has been harassed by a newspaper over alleged sympathy towards a child abuse group; the other has been arrested on suspicion of possessing images of such abuse. Can you tell which is which, or has the newspaper done a good job of muddling the issue?

Spot the difference: One of these has been harassed by a newspaper over alleged sympathy towards a child abuse group; the other has been arrested on suspicion of possessing images of such abuse. Can you tell which is which, or has the newspaper done a good job of muddling the issue?

Today’s (March 4) papers and Internet news sites will be full of the arrest of Patrick Rock, until recently an aide of David Cameron (and a former protege of Margaret Thatcher) on suspicion of possessing child abuse imagery.

The BBC News article is one of a deluge covering the story of the 62-year-old former deputy head of 10 Downing Street’s policy unit – who had been working on policies that are allegedly intended to make it harder to find images of child abuse on the Internet.

The arrest took place on February 13, a few hours after Mr Rock resigned his position with the government.

Nothing was mentioned in the press at the time – but isn’t it interesting that the Daily Mail started stirring up old allegations against Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey and Patricia Hewitt – about the Paedophile Information Exchange’s involvement with the National Council for Civil Liberties, while they were members – only days later?

While it is important to stress that Mr Rock has not been found guilty of any crime and must therefore be considered innocent until such time as this happens, it is appropriate to ask whether the Tory-supporting Mail used the old story about Labour’s deputy leader and her colleagues to divert attention away from the arrest – which is a far more serious issue.

Comedy genius Rowan Atkinson used to do a sketch in which he would ask a sidekick, “What is the secret of great comedy?”

As the sidekick started to respond, “I don’t know, what is the s-“, Atkinson would interrupt: “Timing.” The premature punchline used to get a big laugh.

In contrast, the Daily Mail‘s timing isn’t funny at all.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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14 thoughts on “Child abuse imagery arrest raises questions about newspaper timing

  1. Jean Casale

    Whenever I see an article that is in fact a rehashed ‘old’ story, I cannot help but wonder why is this story being brought up at this moment in time? Then shortly afterwards, another, even more seriously damning article appears in the media. It does not take rocket science to realise that the first story was put out to divert our attention from the second one.

  2. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    More on the suspicious timing with which the Daily Mail attacked Harriet Harman and two other front bench Labour MPs while at the same time Maggie’s and Cameron’s aide Patrick Rock was arrested for possessing indecent images of children. It looks to me very much like the Mail story is a diversion, though the link between individuals on the left to paedophile organisations has been one they’ve been honing for a long time. A year or so ago the American Republican and Canadian Conservative blogs were full of stories about paedophile abuse and support for paedophiles within Left-wing organisations, with a link to cases in Germany going back to the radicalism of the ’70s.
    As for Harriet Harman, the Tories have viewed her with particular venom for a very long time now. They despise her because of her strong feminist beliefs and rumoured ambition to be the first female leader of the Labour party. As this would mean that she could become the second female prime minister, and possibly more popular than Thatcher, this clearly isn’t going to be tolerated by the Tory faithful.

  3. Mike Sivier

    I’ve had to scrap a comment from a gentleman calling himself ‘Alan’, as he made allegations about named politicians without providing evidence to support them.

    Alan: If you can back up your claims, please send in another comment with the necessary references.

  4. Alan Bowker

    My name is Alan, although I can’t recall making any particular allegations of named politicians.

    I do, however, have absolutely no problem naming my police chief, Sir Stephen House, in accusing him and his force in being entirely complicit in child sex abuse by actively excusing and avoiding taking action against accused and perpetrators.

    Indeed, I’ve written to him directly saying so, have uncovered detail and data from his own police force confirming so, and have personal experience going back almost two full years where his police force, despite having ample corroborated evidence, refuse to even put the allegations to the perpetrator!

    The following link will take you to my letter to Sir Stephen together wit al the evidence he (or yourself) may need.
    As you see, I have no fear of making these accusations because I know they are true (police detectives have formally told me that) so I do so openly and directly upon the police force’s own website.

    Consider this, if you please, with females accusing of minor sexual assaults going back 30 or 40 years, with little or no supporting evidence, yet the CPS and Police seem oh-so-willing to accuse, prosecute and “out” these men at the drop of a hat..

  5. jaypot2012

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    The Daily Mail does this a lot – even if it has to make up stories (which it is noted for). How anyone can read such a rag like this, and the Sun, I can’t fathom out!

  6. NMac

    I wondered at the time these allegations against Harman were made by that atrocious rag the Daily Mail, whether anything would surface regarding senior Tories. In the event yet another unpleasant and dodgy “friend/colleague” of Cameron’s has emerged.

  7. Chris K

    David Icke was making the allegations against Harman, Dromney and Hewitt last year and he kept the stories of child abuse against Lord McAlpine on his site long after the BBC had apolgised to McAlpine. In fact he taunted McAlpine to take him to court.
    So I did find the appearance of the story in The Daily Mail rather dated and it looks like it was used to deflect away from the Patrick Rock arrest. So despite calling Icke a fruitcake and a conspiracy nut The Mail still steals his stories if they think they are useful to their agenda.

      1. Mike Sivier

        You’re entitled to your opinion but I don’t think everyone suspects her of any such behaviour. Your second point is more easily debateable.

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