Les MayIN September of last year the sociologist, Professor Frank Furedi, predicted that Operation Midland would soon collapse because it had become so discredited. It turns out that his prediction of its early demise was a bit premature, but on Monday it finally did.
Whilst some of the people subject to investigation are dead or have left others to comment on their behalf Harvey Proctor, who was the last person to be told he was no longer being investigated, was more forthright saying:
'I consider that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Patricia Gallan, Steve Rodhouse and Kenny McDonald should tender their resignations from the Metropolitan police service forthwith.'
He also called for his accuser, 'Nick', and the news website Exaro, which published or sold stories based on many of his claims, to be prosecuted, and said that MPs including Tom Watson, Zac Goldsmith and John Mann, who made public comments that pre-empted the end of the inquiry, should apologise on the floor of the House of Commons.
It is not difficult to understand Proctor's sense of outrage. At a news conference last August, Proctor was highly critical of the police over the way they had conducted their investigation, nor why he would call for Exaro to be prosecuted.
Commenting on Proctor's news conference 'Barrister Blogger' Matthew Scott wrote
'Either Exaro actually has stumbled across the story of the century, or it has been muckraking on a grand scale, exploiting a possibly vulnerable “witness” and exposing innocent people and their families to a grotesque and seemingly endless trial by internet. Mr Proctor may or may not be right that Leon Brittan was “driven to his death” by the campaign against him, but anyone relentlessly, anonymously and falsely accused of rape, paedophilia and child sex murder might well feel that death was a relatively easy option.'
When Proctor's home, a grace and favour house at Belvoir Castle, was raided in March 2015 the news was leaked to Exaro. As a result of this raid Proctor lost both his home and his job. That this 'tip off' came from the police themselves is suggested by both the wording used and the fact that in the quote below which appeared on 14 September 2015 Exaro had other information that could only have come from a police source.
'The following March, Exaro revealed that Operation Midland was raiding Proctor’s house, sparking much media coverage. We still held back from reporting that police were investigating allegations of murder by Proctor, who revealed that himself later.'
If there was some form of collusion between the police and Exaro this is can only fuel Proctor's sense of outrage at how he was treated because he is surely right that Exaro profited from publishing Nick's stories and the fallout from them.
One MP whose name was not mentioned by Proctor is Simon Danczuk. Named (and shamed) or not, Danczuk was up to his neck in promoting the idea of a 'high level' conspiracy protecting paedophiles. He told Exaro on 3 June 2014:
'As we have seen from the story that we told about Cyril Smith, there was a network at the highest level that was out to protect him at every turn.'
And on 27 November 2014 Exaro carried, 'I can assure everybody that Zac Goldsmith,Tom Watson and Simon Danczuk are very concerned to get to the real truth behind such a disturbing scandal that has remained hidden for decades.'
Now Simon is right in calling what he and Matthew Baker wrote about Cyril Smith 'a story'; as in 'fairy story' that is. These authors produce not a shred of evidence that there was any kind of network protecting Smith. This story is just a figment of their over active imagination designed to 'spice up' an otherwise pretty thin story about Smith spanking young men at Cambridge House in the 1960s. A story which had been published in Rochdale Alternative Paper (RAP) in 1979. Ask Danczuk to tell you how many men who claimed to have been abused by Smith he interviewed before writing the book and he refuses to tell you.
What is remarkable is that anyone is still prepared to take him seriously. Whilst running a headline of 'Humiliation of the Yard. After 16-month probe into claims of VIP abuse, police concede there's not a scrap of evidence', and a double page spread inside the paper Tuesday's Daily Mail quoted Danczuk as saying that 'a Westminster network should not be dismissed'.
As Barrister Blogger said in a recent column:
'Nick will continue to lead his life in obscurity, feted as a hero by some. His therapists will continue to “treat” other people with mental health problems. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe will continue to preside over the Metropolitan Police and, with Hogan-Howe’s apparent insouciance Kenny McDonald will continue as a senior police officer happily saying one thing while thinking something completely different. Mark Watts, the Editor of Exaro News will eventually come up with some slippery justification for his organisation’s discreditable behaviour over the past two years. The internet conspiracists will work themselves into another lather of hatred.'
And meanwhile Simon Danczuk will continue to promote himself as an expert on child abuse.