Posted by: Witch Doctor | November 17, 2012

North Wales : Orwell and the three “Cs”


Creep occurs all the time.

Coincidences occur sometimes.

Conspiracies occur rarely.

Well, that’s The Witch Doctor’s view anyway.

My Black Cat begs to differ.

She thinks life is one huge conspiracy and she revels in it.

The problem arises because she views any old Intertwinglement as evidence of a conspiracy.

This is the sort of stuff she collects and proudly flings down at my feet.

Then I have to sort it out.


North Wales, particularly the children’s home Bryn Estyn is under scrutiny again following the lost then found Jillings Report followed by the Waterhouse Inquiry. One of the questions being asked is whether there was a cover-up that might even have involved a widespread paedophile ring that reached the highest places in the land.

The BBC is in a pickle and folk have resigned and others likely to be disciplined because Newsnight did not do their homework and alleged that an un-named, wealthy, high profile man was a paedophile.  Apparently this was based on the verbal evidence of one witness who later retracted after he saw photographs of the man. It is unbelievable that no-one involved in the preparation of the programme had not shown him photographs long before the programme was aired. The BBC were not sued but rather settled out of court. Tweeters, bloggers and other internet inhabitants may be sued but in the meantime they are being asked to come forward – presumably to settle out of court. They say Google may be asked to take down all links referring to the name of the wronged individual in relation to paedophilia.

It is relevant, and also beyond belief, that some of those in The Bureau of Investigative Journalism who were researching the information for the Newsnight programme didn’t do their homework either. A resignation has already taken place and the BBC has said that outfit will no longer be used to supply them with the spadework of investigative journalism.


The Media Standards Trust begat “Hacked Off,” the pressure group fronted by a prominent actor. They are keen that there is a degree of legislative control over the newsprint media and have communicated their views in a long document to the Leveson Inquiry.

One of the founder members of The Media Standards Trust is Sir David Bell. He resigned recently as its chair because he is involved in the Leveson Inquiry. The resignation was said to be in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

Sir David Bell also is a trustee of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Whether or not he was aware of the work being done to investigate the allegations of paedophilia associated with the Thatcher government is not known. However, The Witch Doctor’s comment for what it is worth, is that if she were a trustee of an outfit investigating something as contentious as naming a an alleged paedophile, she would make damned sure she knew that it was happening even if she didn’t have a view.

But then, The Witch Doctor is not a trustee of anything, so she wouldn’t really know what trustees are supposed to do.

The Media Standard Trust is one of the sponsors and helps administer The Orwell Prize, an annual British prize for political writing that encompasses books, journalism and more recently blogs.

The Orwell Press is something else. Richard Webster and his wife set it up as an extension of their business called The Orwell Bookshop.

Richard Webster was known as a British cultural historian with a particular interest in false allegations. He published some books from his own press. One was called called The Secret of Bryn Estyn. This book was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize.

Richard Webster died in 2011. Obituaries can be read in The Guardian and The Telegraph. He seems to have been held in very high regard.

Here is how The Guardian obituary interprets Richard Wesbster’s views on Bryn Estyn :

“In The Secret of Bryn Estyn (2005), Richard’s compelling account of the lengthy investigations into suspected abuse in care homes in north Wales, he argued that abuse scandals could be phenomena conjured from an atmosphere of public hysteria, fuelled by credulous journalists and ratified through inefficient police investigative techniques. The real secret of Bryn Estyn, he concluded, was that there was no secret at all; it was just an ordinary community home where staff did their best to look after difficult adolescents.”

So, there were a group of investigative journalists looking into child sexual abuse in North Wales and feeding the information to the BBC. Being investigators and journalists you would imagine that, well before the Newsnight programme, as well as confirming the photographic appearance of the man in question, that they would have scrutinised at least the following accounts in full:

The Waterhouse Inquiry

The reports by Nick Davies on child abuse over the past two decades

The book “The Secret of Bryn Estyn” by Richard Webster.

The conspiracy sites relating to child abuse in the UK

Reading all of these, including the conspiracy theories, may have given a balanced view of things. The Humankind ignores conspiracy theories at its peril. If the BBC, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and any lawyers involved had digested what was being said on the conspiracy sites, they would have known that it would not have been possible to hide behind anonymity and that the alleged person would sooner or later be identified on the Internet and so, by implication, even without naming, the Newsnight programme was at risk of being libellous.

And since Sir David Bell intertwingles with the Media Standards Trust, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and the Orwell prize he might have been aware of the Orwell prize short-listed book ‘The Secret of Bryn Estyn” and advised the researchers that there were various views and perhaps they should read this book carefully before committing themselves to any allegations that were bound to be contentious.

Maybe he did. Who knows…..

I suppose The Witch Doctor is lucky she has a Black Cat that dumps conspiracy theories like rats at her feet. They are difficult to ignore lying on the floor of The Spell pantry so she has to sort them out so she doesn’t trip over them.

So that’s what she does. She tries to sort them out – even if most are not Conspiracies at all and belong to the other two commoner “C”s – Coincidence, and the most common of them all – Creep.

redapple.jpg a red apple ……………………

The Witch Doctor – Link to a random page





© Dlundin |

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