at 72 hopefully we will not be burdened for much longer
Operation Hydrant: an Inquisition for the 21st century
Police trawling for child-abuse cases is an affront to justice.
Since the Jimmy Savile scandal exploded into public consciousness in October 2012, the number of celebrities suspected of child abuse has grown almost exponentially. This is not surprising given officialdom’s obsession with unmasking celebrity paedophiles. Indeed, a dedicated national police team was assembled last summer, under the name Operation Hydrant, to investigate the link between child sex abuse and ‘prominent public figures’. Last week, Operation Hydrant officers revealed that they are investigating 1,400 suspects, including 261 high-profile figures. And that is just the beginning. Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on child abuse, insisted that by the time Operation Hydrant gets into its stride, it will have ‘discovered’ hundreds of thousands of hitherto unknown victims of child sex abuse.
It seems that the number of reports of child sexual abuse is likely to continue increasing into the indefinite future. That’s because the Operation Hydrant style of policing – which relies on inviting the public to come forward and report child abusers – creates a constantly rising number of abuse allegations. As Bailey said, ‘what we are seeing is an absolutely unprecedented increase in the number of reports [being made]’. Moral crusaders linked to Operation Hydrant and the child-protection industry insist that the sheer scale of the accusations made against public figures and others shows that child abuse is becoming a pandemic. ‘The scale and scope of sexual abuse of children committed in the past can often seem overwhelming’, noted Gabrielle Shaw, the chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood.
It seems, then, that there is an expectation that more and more people will be investigated as potential child-abuse suspects. And little wonder. The imperative of an investigation like Operation Hydrant is actively to search for allegations. The traditional role of the police – to solve crimes brought to the police’s attention – has been transformed. This new inquisitorial form of policing is oriented towards the discovery of crimes not yet reported. So by regularly calling for people to come forth as victims of abuse, the police are indulging in a form of crime construction. Moreover, they have sought to inflate the number of victims by using the attention generated by the naming of particular celebrity suspects to appeal for more of their victims to come forward. Such publicity, therefore, encourages more and more denunciations of the suspect.
In the case of inquisitorial policing, the solving of a crime is a relatively minor issue. Inquisitorial policing is all about getting evidence against the targets of an accusation. And what is important is not the quality, but the quantity of evidence – the greater the number of denunciations of a suspect, the greater the likelihood of a successful conviction. Increasing the number of denunciations, therefore, is integral to inquisitorial policing because corroborative statements provide the evidence used to charge and convict the accused.
The dramatic reorientation of policing, from solving reported crimes to searching for ones that have not been reported, is rarely noted. Yet large trawling operations, such as Operation Hydrant, are an exercise in crime construction. It is likely, of course, that such operations may from time to time uncover genuine cases of horrific criminal behaviour. But they will do so at a very high cost to the system of justice.
Trawling for victims and searching for retrospective allegations represent a disturbing development in criminal justice. Instead of solving crime, trawling attempts to uncover a crime’s existence in order to reinforce and strengthen evidence against a particular target. A trawling operation is not a response to an allegation of abuse voluntarily made by an individual. It is an invitation to people to reinterpret their experience of the past as an experience of victimisation. And it is an invitation that is likely to encourage many to interpret past events through the prism of abuse.
‘I’m so depressed. I’m just going to go to sleep now and hope I never wake up’: Gary Speed’s widow reveals new letter showing the Wales manager battled depression from age of 17 until he took his own life
- Louise Speed, 48, found letter he sent her when they were dating as teenagers
- Aged 17, the welshman said he was depressed and implied had suicidal thoughts
- Finding the letter was ‘a lightbulb moment’ for Louise in realising Gary’s struggle
Gary Speed’s widow has found a letter suggesting the troubled football icon struggled with mental health problems since he was a teenager.
Louise Speed, 48, said ‘nobody had seen it coming’ when she found the father-of-two hanged in their Cheshire garage in 2011.
Now, she has revealed she stumbled on a handwritten note he sent her when he was 17 playing for Leeds United where he speaks of ‘wanting to never wake up’.
Gary Speed with wife Louise at a 2011 event in Manchester
Gary Speed playing for Leeds United. He played for their youth team from 1984-1998 before graduating to their first team, where he played until 1996
In the letter, the Welshman wrote: ‘I’m so depressed. I’m just going to go to sleep now and hope I never wake up. I love you so much.’
Gary, aged 18, in a Leeds United team picture
Gary had written the letter to Louise when the pair were dating as teenagers after meeting at Hawarden High School in north Wales.
She has no recollection of receiving the letter, but said it that confirms the ex-Welsh manager was battling with depression from a young age.
She said: ‘Seeing that was a lightbulb moment for me. It answers an awful lot about why he did what he did. It’s not something a normal 17-year-old would write, is it? Or not a well one. It seems to say it all really, when you consider how he ended his life.
‘If he had a mental illness then he probably had it from an early age.
‘Maybe Gary’s problems were a time-bomb waiting to explode.’
Recalling the hours before Gary took his own life, Louise said it had been a ‘normal day’.
The couple’s sons, Ed, 14, and Tom, 13, had played football.
Gary, then-42, had recorded an episode of BBC’s Football Focus and was in ‘high spirits’ and went to a party at a friend’s house.
She adds: ‘There’s never a day goes by that the memory of it doesn’t take my breath away. That scene was like a horror film. I wish there was an operation which could take your memory out and obliterate it from my mind.
Gary’s letter to Louise
I don’t really know what to say. I have been thinking about finishing at Leeds, I’ve also been thinking of other things which I won’t say. I’m so depressed. I’m just going to go to sleep now and hope I never wake up. I love you so much, I will always love you. I don’t know what else to say except you might see me sooner than you think, or otherwise. You never leave my mind, nothing else seems to matter anymore, I love you more than you can imagine.
‘It’s something I will find hard to forgive Gary for. We were the ones who had to pick up the pieces and what he’d done was grotesque.
‘Everyone asks why he did it but I have no answers. That’s why I’ll never have any closure.
‘The letter has made me realise dark thoughts were there from a young age.
‘Very dark thoughts which he wasn’t able to talk about. Maybe something had happened early on which he had kept to himself.’
His widow found the note while helping Gary’s journalist friend John Richardson write new book Gary Speed Unspoken: The Family’s Untold Story, which is on sale from Thursday.
Gary Speed with his wife Loiuise shortly before his death in 2011
Pictured: A 14-year-old Gary Speed as a junior footballer in Manchester
Gary Speed, making his debut for Sheffield United in Wolverhampton in 2001
Gary Speed said he was ‘depressed’ and ‘never wanted to wake up’, in a letter he wrote aged 17
The former Wales manager was one of four men who went on to take their own lives after being coached by convicted paedophile Barry Bennell.
Although Gary was questioned by police and made no allegations against Bennell, Louise told the Mirror he ‘may have been masking things’ and ‘was obviously struggling from 17’.
In a documentary aired in February, another of Bennell’s victims said he is ‘99.9 per cent certain’ the ex-Everton star suffered the same abuse as he did.
A fan holds up a ‘There’s only one Gary Speed’ shirt in tribute to the late footballer
He played for Crewe’s youth team at the same time Bennell was in charge, but told police he hadn’t suffered any abuse.
Speaking of the late midfielder, Louise said: ‘There was so much love out there for him and that’s why the impact it has left is almost indescribable. It rips apart a large part of you which you can never replace because what happened was unnatural.
‘Sometimes when I see homeless guys on the street I think, “What is it that keeps them going?” They have nothing. Gary had everything.
How much can cost a coverup of child sexual abuse and who pays the bill? Robert Green, a victim of the satanists himself was imprisoned twice but isn’t afraid to give his view.
Big Brother is Watching You… and now it gets really scary
I HAVE just read the most disturbing news item I have come across in a long time.
I am beyond shocked… I am frightened for my children and my grandchildren
I cough and allow my mind to drift to a peaceful place sitting in the summer sunshine on the north side of the Isle of Jura watching the sea wash white horses on the rocks below me.
Less than 300 yards to the south of where I am sitting is the isolated cottage known as Barnhill… this was the rented home of writer George Orwell, who lived there intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1950. Orwell completed his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four while living there.
It was a place I visited often during my two years living and working as a newspaper editor in the wilds of Argyll, in western Scotland, some 28 years ago.
Barnhill always held a fascination for me, because Nineteen Eighty-Four had remained my favourite novel since I was first mesmerised by Orwell’s vision of a future dystopian world as a raw 14-year-old. And I loved to imagine the views he must have taken in while writing that classic of English literature.
First published in 1948, yet set 36 years later, Nineteen Eighty-Four tells the story of Winston Smith is a member of the Outer Party.
Winston works in the Records Department in the Ministry of Truth, rewriting and distorting history, under the dictator Big Brother.
But Winston is determined to remain human under inhuman circumstances and begins a diary. Yet telescreens are placed everywhere — in his home, in his cubicle at work, in the cafeteria where he eats, even in the bathroom stalls. His every move is watched. No place is safe.
One day, while at the mandatory Two Minutes Hate, Winston catches the eye of an Inner Party Member, O’Brien, whom he believes to be an ally. He also catches the eye of a dark-haired girl named Julia from the Fiction Department.
A few days later Julia secretly hands him a note that reads: “I love you.” Winston takes pains to meet her, and when they finally do, Julia draws up a plan whereby they can be alone.
Once alone in the countryside, Winston and Julia make love and begin their allegiance against the Party and Big Brother. They fall in love, and, while they know that they will someday be caught, they believe that the love and loyalty they feel for each other can never be taken from them.
Eventually, Winston and Julia confess to O’Brien, whom they believe to be a member of the Brotherhood (an underground organization aimed at bringing down the Party), their hatred of the Party.
O’Brien welcomes them into the Brotherhood with an array of questions and arranges for Winston to be given a copy of “the book,” the underground’s treasonous volume written by their leader, Emmanuel Goldstein.
Winston gets the book and takes it to the secure room where he reads it with Julia napping by his side. The two are disturbed by a noise behind a painting in the room and discover a telescreen. They are quickly dragged away and separated.
Winston finds himself deep inside the Ministry of Love, a prison with no windows, where he sits for days alone. Finally, O’Brien comes. Initially Winston believes that O’Brien has also been caught, but he soon realizes that O’Brien is there to torture him and break his spirit.
O’Brien spends the next few months torturing Winston in order to change his way of thinking — to employ the concept of doublethink, or the ability to simultaneously hold two opposing ideas in one’s mind and believe in them both.
Finally, O’Brien takes Winston to Room 101, the most dreaded room of all in the Ministry of Love, the place where prisoners meet their greatest fear. Winston’s greatest fear is rats. O’Brien places over Winston’s head a mask made of wire mesh and threatens to open the door to release rats on Winston’s face.
When Winston screams, “Do it to Julia!” he relinquishes his last vestige of humanity.
Winston is a changed man. He sits in the Chestnut Tree Café, watching the telescreens and agonizing over the results of daily battles on the front lines. He has seen Julia again. She, too, is changed, seeming older and less attractive. She admits that she also betrayed him. In the end, there is no doubt, Winston loves Big Brother.
Today, the year 1984 has long passed, but Orwell’s futuristic vision of hell on Earth remains.
Big Brother is now everywhere
Mainstream newspapers and TV channels feed us daily propaganda – the “facts” the Establishment wish us to believe
CCTV cameras are on every street corner and inside every store – yet we never know who is monitoring them
Number Plate Recognition cameras are installed at almost every filling station and car park
Sat Nav satellites pick-up every move of our car, van or truck
Cookies and spyware follow every finger click we make on our PC or tablet
Police DNA and fingerprint databases have more than 30% of adults logged on their files
MSN, Messenger text messages and private phone calls are harvested by government snoopers at GCHQ
Our employment, financial and residential history is catalogued in the finest detail by so-called credit reference agencies such as Equifax and Experian
Our lives are no longer secret… Big Brother knows all of us.
Which brings me back to beginning…
I stare again at the news item and in something which can only be described as Nineteen Eighty-Four meets Black Mirror the headline reads: Implanting Microchips for Convenience.
The article explains how plans are already being rolled out to implant a tiny microchip in people’s hand which could eventually replace the need for credit cards, car keys and much more.
And this dystopian world is almost upon us right now.
Micro-chipping is almost routine at the Swedish start-up hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and start-up members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.
The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.
“The biggest benefit I think is convenience,” said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter.
As a demonstration, he unlocks a door by merely waving near it.
“It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys,” he explains.
The technology in itself is not new.
Such chips are used as virtual collar plates for pets. Companies use them to track deliveries. It’s just never been used to tag employees on a broad scale before.
Epicenter and a handful of other companies are the first to make chip implants broadly available.
While biologically safe, the data generated by the chips can show how often an employee comes to work or what they buy. Unlike company swipe cards or smartphones, which can generate the same data, a person cannot easily separate themselves from the chip.
“Of course, putting things into your body is quite a big step to do and it was even for me at first,” said Mr Mesterton, remembering how he initially had had doubts.
“But then on the other hand, I mean, people have been implanting things into their body, like pacemakers and stuff to control your heart,” he said. “That’s a way, way more serious thing than having a small chip that can actually communicate with devices.”
Epicenter, which is home to more than 100 companies and some 2,000 workers, began implanting workers in January 2015. Now, about 150 workers have them.
A company based in Belgium also offers its employees such implants.
And last year a company in Wisconsin has become the first in the USA to roll out microchip implants for all its employees.
The initiative, which is optional for employees at snack stall supplier Three Square Market (32M), implants radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips in staff members’ hands in between their thumb and forefinger.
Once tagged with the implant 32M says its employees will be able to perform a range of common office tasks with an effortless wave of their hand.
“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals,” says 32M CEO, Todd Westby.
The chips make use of near-field communication (NFC), and are similar to ones already in use in things like contactless credit cards, mobile payment systems, and animal tag implants.
“It will happen to everybody,” says Noelle Chesley, 49, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
“But not this year, maybe not my generation, but certainly that of my kids.”
But Gene Munster, an analyst at Loup Ventures, thinks embedded chips in human bodies is 50 years away.
“The idea of being chipped has too “much negative connotation today,” he says, but by 2067 “we will have been desensitized by the social stigma.”
So the next time your child has to stand in-line for an eye recognition device to pay for their school dinner, or the next time you use your finger print to log into your iPhone, remember the Isle of Jura and George Orwell’s words of warning.
Big Brother is watching you.
You can speak out but you are speaki g to people whose job it is to keep tge lid on it…childline a filter to stop kids of vips getting heard
— HOLLIEGREIGJUSTICE? (@HOLLIEGREIGJUST) February 16, 2019
February 16, 2019 at 04:39AM
— David #purplesummer 14/6/19 (@DavidLeanLeano) February 16, 2019
February 16, 2019 at 04:38AM