One of the things we have repeatedly heard about the paedophilia allegations against former British Prime Minister Ted Heath in the past few weeks is that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. There should be no witch hunt. He’s dead, leave him alone. So on and so forth.
There’s merit to some of this thinking. Merit that extends to the fact that seven police forces have received information and allegations about Heath and they are obliged to investigate such things.
But those attempting to clear the former PM’s name before such investigations have concluded are just as bad as those who would convict without evidence. Because on the one hand, yes, it is less than ideal for the family and friends of Mr Heath to be dragged through the anguish of having to watch a very public argument over his sexuality and indeed with whom he did or didn’t have sex. But for those who have historically made the allegations, this cannot be the greatest time in their lives either – even if they aren’t genuine (and for the avoidance of doubt, for whom I will have no sympathy if they are proved to be liars).
Today we see another interview in the Sun with the former brothel madam who claims to have helped Heath arrange to have sex with 21 to 30 year olds. She says Heath wasn’t a paedophile, but that he was “shy” and “gay” and that the police forces would find it difficult to incriminate him in anything else.
Well perhaps. And perhaps that’s because she would be one of the key witnesses or interviewees that the police rely upon. And again, – no judgments here – but I’m not exactly inclined to believe a brothel madam when she claims that all of her… assets… over the past few decades have been totally above board, with passports, birth certificates, and irrefutable proofs of ages.
In fact, Madam Ling Ling is publicly noted to have been convicted of training “runaway children as call girls” and, as the Mail reports, “The court was told that one 15-year-old had sex with five men at once and lost count of the number of times she sold herself for sex while under Forde’s control.”
This doesn’t sound like the most credible source, especially given that Ms. Ling Ling’s story appears to have been altered several times in the past few weeks.
Her latest interview, for which one can imagine she was handsomely rewarded, claims that a 74-year-old Ted Heath would visit her establishment for sex with “slim, dark foreign men in their twenties”, paying £500 a time.
This isn’t to say that Mr. Heath therefore definitely had sex with underage boys. In fact, one would argue that at this point in time there is no smoking gun. That’s what police investigations are for.
But the entire establishment media appears to be going into bat for Heath now, with little or no more knowledge than you or I have of the situation at the time. In the space of a few weeks, we have gone from a situation where the media was calling for Mr Heath to be outed as a paedophile, to the media now demanding that we all shut up about it.
He was shy. He was gay… no, wait, he was asexual, according to other testimonies. It just won’t do.
And probably the only way to get anywhere with all this information flying around is to shut up about it and let the police do their jobs.
But since most of those who find it politically expedient to brush these things under the carpet won’t do that – it falls on the fair minded amongst us to weigh up the evidence we’re given. Clearly, and fairly. Because the court of public opinion has been opened for session on this issue. And demanding our silences and fealty now is farcical.
We all want to know whether a former British Prime Minister was engaged in nefarious sexual activity, no matter how perverse and voyeuristic that sounds. It is part of our national conscience now, and worse than that, the establishment media has turned this into a reality TV style public trial which they now seem suddenly keen to row back from. It’s not going to happen.