Resignation of George Entwistle

Salem Witch Trial

Salem Witch Trial

And now Nineteen persons having been hang’d, and one prest to death, and Eight more condemned, in all Twenty and Eight, of which above a third part were Members of some of the Churches of N. England, and more than half of them of a good Conversation in general, and not one clear’d; about Fifty having confest themselves to be Witches, of which not one Executed; above an Hundred and Fifty in Prison, and Two Hundred more acccused; the Special Commision of Oyer and Terminer comes to a period,… — Robert Calef

When I put an end to the Court there ware at least fifty persons in prision in great misery by reason of the extream cold and their poverty, most of them having only spectre evidence against them and their mittimusses being defective, I caused some of them to be lettout upon bayle and put the Judges upon consideration of a way to reliefe others and to prevent them from perishing in prision, upon which some of them were convinced and acknowledged that their former proceedings were too violent and not grounded upon a right foundation … The stop put to the first method of proceedings hath dissipated the blak cloud that threatened this Province with destruccion;… — Governor William Phips, 21 February 1693

After seeing a picture in the past hour of the individual concerned, this is not the person I identified by photograph presented to me by the police in the early 1990s, who told me the man in the photograph was Lord McAlpine. — Steven Messham

Last night George Entwistle resigned as Director General of the BBC.

When George Entwistle appeared before a House of Commons Culture Select Committee, the day following a Panorama programme investigating the failings of Newsnight re Jimmy Savile, his testimony beggared belief.

He had heard in passing from one of his executives at a party that the flagship news programme Newsnight was investigating one it his flagship stars Jimmy Savile (now diseased), to whom BBC planned a major tribute, and he asked no further questions!

Newsnight for whatever reason, shelved its investigation into Jimmy Savile. There can be many reasons for doing so, the evidence does not stack up, superseded by more important news stories. So far the BBC has yet to come up with a plausible explanation.

Panorama then decided to investigate Newsnight. The programme was shoddy, allegations treated as fact, less than plausible witnesses, hearsay.

Last week Private Eye had a detailed look at the BBC, which cast even more doubt.

Newsnight, determined to play catch up and restore its damaged reputation, had what was claimed to be an expose. They went back to the 1970s, widespread abuse of children in children’s homes in North Wales, a cover up. An investigation into the abuse, the report was destroyed and never saw the light of day. This was followed by an Inquiry, which in reality was a cover-up. Police turned a blind eye and failed to follow up complainants.

In advance of the programme, names were going to be named. The programme proved to be something of a damp squib in terms of naming names, but it did highlight the abuse and subsequent cover-ups.

On the programme was one of the child abuse victims, who was prepared to speak on the record in front of cameras. He said the abuse not only took place within the homes, but that the children were leased out. That he was repeatedly raped, that a senior figure from the Thatcher era was involved.

At no time was anyone named. It was The Guardian on Friday that outed Lord Alpine as the named abuser, by using the clever guise of mistaken identity.

The victim has subsequently withdrawn the allegation.

This though raises many questions. Why was the victim shown a photo by the police and told it was McAlpine? Did the police have their suspicions? If the victim identified the person in the photo as the person who abused him, why was this not investigated by the police? Why was this victim not allowed to raise this at the Inquiry?

At least that appeared to be the case. But subsequent reports, it was the child abuse victim who handed photos to the police of boys being raped. Photos that were then ordered to be destroyed. Much later was the victim showed a photo which was not of McAlpine, thus withdrawal of statement, humble apologies. This being much worse than previous scenario.

But what has been overlooked, there were two witnesses on the programme. One who chose to remain anonymous. His voice only, was on the programme.

Yesterday morning George Entwistle appeared before John Humphrys on the Today programme. His position as Director General of the BBC became untenable following his performance. He knew nothing about the Newsnight programme, he knew nothing about the report in The Guardian. Did he know what day it was?

That evening, the inevitable, he resigned.

From my own experience in broadcasting, the BBC is bloated and arrogant. Too many layers of management, too much done by committee. As I learnt, a senior person will not talk to a junior person, they do so through intermediates, up and down the management chain, Chinese whispers.

Listen to Feedback on BBC Radio 4. Legitimate criticisms is dismissed by programme makers and station controllers.

Radio4 has lost many good programmes.

Cost cutting has decimated news coverage. News is too often trivia, because it is cheap. So-called experts on programmes are not.

Al Jazeera, Russia Today, Democracy Now are offering far superior news coverage.

Newsnight has been attacked for using The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. They are forced to do so by budget cutting and edicts on outsourcing.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism are being slurred. Is this part of a hidden agenda? They have been reporting on drone strikes in Pakistan.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism was established because of the failure or lack of investigative journalism in the corporate-controlled mainstream media. They ask questions that are not being asked.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has exposed the extent of Tory Party funding from financial sector, fiddling of MPs election expenses, high pay on public sector, fraud and scams within EU Structural Funds.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has worked with the Financial Times, Al Jazeera, not just the BBC.

It is worth repeating. Newsnight did not name Lord McAlpine, The Guardian a week later did. Newsnight said a senior Tory of the Thatcher era. Newsnight did not, as shoddy reporting is claiming, imply it was Lord McAlpine. They did not say, a senior Tory of the Thatcher era who just happened to be Party Treasurer. That the finger was pointed at Lord McAlpine was because of information that was already circulating, not because of Newsnight.

The name of McAlpine was circulating long before Newsnight did not name him.

Shoddy reporting by BBC News subsequent to resignation of George Entwistle: Newsnight did not name McAlpine. Newsnight did not imply McAlpine.

Why did the police show the abuse victim a photo and say it was McAlpine? Did they have suspicions? When the victim said yes that was his abuser, why no investigation?

We need a Judicial inquiry, not a mishmash of overlapping ad hoc inquiries.

The truth may never be known: passage of time, witnesses dead, too frightened, lacking in credibility.

What we do know is abuse took place, there was a cover-up.

The resignation of George Entwistle, who clearly was not up to the job, is obscuring the real issue, abuse at children’s homes in North Wales, was there a paedophile ring operating involving powerful men? There clearly were powerful men involved as it was they who orchestrated a cover-up.

BBC is now caught up in a witch hunt. For many weeks we have seen a Jimmy Savile witch hunt, mass hysteria orchestrated by the gutter press (who as a bonus can destroy the BBC).

In the 1950s we had the Senator Joseph McCarthy Reds Under the Beds witch hunts. Before that in Massachusetts the Salem Witch Trials.

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4 Responses to “Resignation of George Entwistle”

  1. keithpp Says:

    Unbelievable. George Entwistle is to receive a £450,000 payoff!

  2. keithpp Says:

    Mail on Sunday carry out a hatchet job on child abuse victim who appeared on Newsnight. They refer to criminal investigations (of which he was acquitted), that his testimony not at all accurate.

    How many people can accurately remember their childhood, time in childhood appears much longer than it actually was. Victims of trauma tend to blot out what they experienced.

    Not surprising then his discrepancies in his account. If everything was perfect, that would be more cause for suspicion.

    When it was shown he had wrongly identified McAlpine (based on police telling him photo was McAlpine), he was very quick to give his sincere apologies.

    The impression given by the shoddy Mail on Sunday article is that no abuse took place. People were charged, found guilty, sentenced.

    What is interesting (and restores ones faith in fellow human beings), is that apart from a handful of trolls, those commenting on the article are all supportive of the victim.

    This is why abuse victims are reluctant to come forward. If they do they are victimised.

    And to repeat yet again: Newsnight did not name McAlpine, Newsnight did not imply McAlpine.

    Will we see the Editor-in-Chief take responsibility for this shoddy journalism in Mail on Sunday and resign?

  3. keithpp Says:

    Interviewed today on BBC Radio 4 lunch time news World at One (wato) the acting Director General of BBC came across as an arrogant imbecile, not fit for purpose. He showed arrogant contempt for listeners and license fee payers.

    He demonstrated that he is not fit for the job and must go, as must Lord Patten and the BBC Trust who appointed him.

    He was illustrative of all that is wrong with the BBC.

    He said he was going to personally apologise to Lord McAlpine. Why? What for?

    To repeat ad nauseum: Newsnight did not name McAlpine, Newsnight did not imply McAlpine.

    The £450,000 payoff to the departing Director General who was clearly not up to the job is an obscenity and is why Lord Patten and the BBC Trust must go. As David Cameron has said: the £450,000 payoff is hard to justify. George Entwistle is being paid nearly half a million pounds for failure.

  4. keithpp Says:

    Amazing incompetence by BBC Trust and Lord Patten (chairman of Trust).

    George Entwistle was entitled to 6 months salary if he resigned, 12 months salary if fired!

    Not much of an incentive for him to do a good job.

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