Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Little Brittan

"The miners in the dock, all the way back in 1984 and 1985, routinely made reference to the proclivities of the Home Secretary of the day, Leon Brittan. Those proclivities were common knowledge from Fife and the Lothians, to County Durham and the southern part of Northumberland, to South Yorkshire, to South Wales, among other places. Nothing was carried in the papers or included in the court reports, but the pit villages never needed Twitter in order to circumvent that kind of censorship."

Some of us have been trying to tell you for years. There are perfectly good grounds on which to criticise Tom Watson. But this is not one of them, which is why I do not.

Once you are dead, then you are an historical figure. No historical figure is automatically regarded as "innocent" simply for the want of a criminal conviction in life. Carl Beech was the last person to accuse either Leon Brittan or Greville Janner. But he was very far from the first. Let there be no whitewash here.

The Hard Rights of both main parties, and the Cyril Smith wing that is dominant in economic policy terms within the Liberal Democrats, are so shot through with the sexual abuse of children that they are more or less defined by it. And like illegal drug use, sexual behaviour is never purely "private". Both of them open up the participants to blackmail.

Moreover, the intellectual contortions necessary to justify them in the minds of those participants have vast philosophical and political consequences, taking those minds from a broadly Conservative or Labour position to an explicitly Thatcherite or Blairite one.


  1. It doesn’t mean someone is innocent but dead people cannot reasonably be found guilty without an opportunity to defend themselves, in free Anglosphere countries with the presumption of innocence. Only tyrannies put corpses on trial.

    1. This is about history, not law. The subjects are dead. They have become history.