Where now for Exaro?

Is Exaro News on its last legs? The online news company faces a number of difficulties.

The fundamental difficulty may be financial.

Exaro has been largely funded by the entrepreneur and hedge-fund manager Jerome Booth. In 2013 Dr Booth was named the 425th richest person in Britain in the Sunday Times rich list (at £189M his wealth was slightly greater than Rolling Stone Keith Richards). Sadly (according to the rich list), he has been losing money recently – £73M last year – reducing his wealth to a mere £112M, and relegating him to a disappointing 847th= in the 2015 list (in the same period, for what it is worth, Richards has increased his wealth to £210M). As we shall see, Dr Booth’s involvement with Exaro does not seem to have eased his cash flow problems.

It all started in 2011 when he was approached by the journalist Mark Watts, and PR man Tim Pendry. Their objective was to set up a news gathering organisation that would, as Exaro’s mission statement now puts it, “hold power to account.”

Mr Watts is a seasoned journalist. There is a potted biography on the Exaro website:

He has a strong track-record of breaking agenda-setting, investigative stories while working as a reporter on several national newspapers, including The Sunday Times, The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Telegraph, and Sunday Express. He also worked on World in Action and an array of other television current-affairs programmes.”

It is an impressive list, and it doesn’t even mention his short spell presenting a programme for the Iranian backed station Press TV, which, coincidentally, was produced by his Exaro colleague Fiona O’Clearigh.

Mr Pendry is the “TP” in the PR firm TPPR. According to its website:

TPPR specialises in online reputation management and strategic advisory services. Our skills and experience are in issues campaigning and defence against politically or commercially motivated defamation and innuendo. We operate as an independent flank of support alongside legal counsel.”

On the same website Mr Pendry describes himself as a:

political and campaigns activist who oversees international issues management and research and intelligence operations.”

One of TPPR’s more interesting clients was Asma Al-Assad, wife of the blood-soaked dictator Bashir, for whom the company:

organised a media visit to the Presidential Palace and [did] some advisory work of a fairly standard type.”

Those of us not used to representing dictators’ spouses can only speculate what a “fairly standard type of advisory work” would have involved for Mrs Assad. It was some time ago and Mr Pendry draws a veil of “client confidentiality” over exactly what he did. I suppose he means the normal sort of thing that one would do for any dictator’s wife: putting as much distance as possible between her and the death squads, secret police and torture chambers that her husband used to stay in power.

Mrs Assad with her Dictator Husband
Mrs Assad with her Dictator Husband

Despite having the benefit of Mr Pendry’s expertise, Mrs Assad has had her fair share of “politically motivated defamation and innuendo” to deal with, but her reputation has also suffered from her own PR blunders, although these were no doubt incurred after she stopped taking Mr Pendry’s advice.

Her purchases of a chocolate fondue set, a pair of £3,795 16cm high-heeled Christine Louboutin shoes, and various pieces of gem-encrusted jewellery while her country descended into civil war in 2011, for example, would surely have been something that, had he been asked, Mr Pendry would have advised her against; at the very least he would have told her to be more discreet..

Anyway, back to Exaro and its mission of holding power to account in Britain, if not in Syria.

At the time of its 2011 launch, Exaro’s Editor in Chief, Mark Watts (he is also a director, as are both Pendry and Booth), seemed to anticipate it being a rather different organisation from the one it has become.

Good journalism is about publishing insightful, useful and reliable information. It can have commercial value in addition to social value in terms of improving public awareness and debate. It does not come cheap; good journalism requires serious resources.”

Speaking in June 2012 the aim appeared to be to concentrate on financial news:

‘We see the audience as two categories. General broadsheet readers who might tend to be more interested in real news as opposed to the celebrity tittle-tattle. And then separately, the business world and the City professional.

‘It’s very much aimed at them because there’s a big question over whether the general consumer is willing to pay for the product of news or information. That’s quite tough in an environment where there’s so much free content available.

‘When it comes to the business world and city professional, this is a world which is quite used to paying and expects to pay for decent information.

‘The overarching ethos of the site is to be holding power to account and government in the very broadest sense of that word. And to be doing so in a way that we think is of particular interest to the business world.”

Income for the site was to be by subscription (the site was, for a time, behind a pay wall) and Mr Watts anticipated that it would be “about 3 years for the subscription level to break even.” Asked how many subscriptions would be needed for Exaro to be viable, Mr Watts said:

‘Not an enormous number because one of the key things is getting corporate subs rather than individuals.”

A year later in 2013 Mr Watts announced a slight change of course. Exaro was going to collate and edit publicly available financial information, from sources such as the London, Belfast and Edinburgh Gazettes, “repurpose” it, and sell the information to a few rich companies. One could almost call its then target market “the rich and powerful”:

The editorial aspect is important. The data interrogation techniques are very specific and journalists are also able to present things in a meaningful way. There is a sense of having to distil it, and make sense of the data.”

According to TheMediaBriefing.com, writing in June 2013, Exaro’s idea was to charge subscription fees of around £6,000 to “a small but significant user base potentially generating hundreds of thousands of pounds of revenue.”

The “repurposed data” was to consist to a large extent of reports of company bankruptcies filed in the Gazettes, venerable and worthy publications with strong claims, along with the Keynsham Weekly News, to be amongst the world’s dullest newspapers. They are official Government publications and though boring they serve the necessary purpose of publicising official and legal notices. It’s hardly Bernstein and Woodward stuff, but no doubt there are interesting stories to be dug out of its unforgiving columns of bankruptcies, receiverships and probate announcements. Exaro’s plan, it seems, was to repackage it and sell it to a more impatient readership.

Two months after announcing its plan to charge rich people for these sexed up bankruptcy reports, it dismantled its pay wall for ordinary readers altogether.

From August 2013 all of its ordinary content became free to view. Exaro announced that the few subscribers who had coughed up for its ordinary news service were to be refunded. Instead, Exaro was going to:

focus on add-on data services as its main generator of revenue.”

This seems to have been a reference to its plan to sell “repurposed” data from the official Gazettes.

The price was a fairly breathtaking £5,400 per annum (including VAT), although there was (and I think there remains) a strangely unenticing offer that lets you pay a considerably higher monthly rate for a three month trial subscription. For this money Exaro promised to supply an:

in-depth and detailed overview of UK insolvencies, including the industry sector for the company and the details for the insolvency practitioners, where available.”

The subscribers who took this up were promised a daily email with a spreadsheet attachment listing companies that had gone bust, together with various other details. Quite what use they were expected to make of such data escapes me, but no doubt there was one. I suppose if you are the finance director of a successful corporation with money to spare, reading about the collapse of your rivals may be quite enjoyable. Even so, to my mind it takes considerable imagination to make the insolvency section of the London Gazette even more more boring than it already is, but putting its contents onto a daily series of spreadsheets probably succeeds.

The “bespoke” insolvency index offer is still theoretically available according to the Exaro website, though only if you search for it. It is no longer even mentioned on the home page. This suggests that it isn’t a very popular service. Even influential corporate account holders, it seems, can think of better ways to spend £5,400.

As a business model it doesn’t seem to have worked very well. Far from showing any signs of breaking even by 2014, as the original business plan had envisaged, the latest available accounts (up to February 2014) show that Exaro had net liabilities – debt – of £2,403,594, an increase of about £800,000 from the already fairly hefty £1,600,000 it owed in 2013.

Every penny of that was owed to the generous Dr Booth, who (as at February 2014) had lent the company £2,295,292, together with interest of £113,410. The loan is legally repayable on March 16th 2016. Dr Booth is not a philanthropist, or at least not where Exaro is concerned. As Watts explained:

he is someone who has invested in the business and is hoping at the end of the day to get a return on it.”

Presumably it was because selling financial data to the rich wasn’t working very well, that Exaro completely changed direction.

Out went the financial news, in came the VIP paedophiles and murderers. It was a change of tone and content almost as dramatic as if the London Gazette had replaced its probate announcements with extreme pornography.

To be fair, Exaro has not quite abandoned its financial stories, although I would be surprised if anyone much reads them. Two unremarkable stories about trends in the “Exaro Insolvency Index” appeared in April and July of this year, and on September 18th it published a piece about Westland Helicopters being accused of bribery in relation to its business in Italy and India.

But that’s it.

Otherwise, in recent months the company has relied almost exclusively on accounts of VIP paedophilia and murder.

This is not the place to go over all the various sensational stories that the site has run in the last 18 months. I don’t pretend to be anything other than very sceptical about most of them, but nobody can deny that the allegations are so serious that they have to be seriously investigated.

It suffices to say that most of them rely heavily on 3 sources:

  1. Nick” who has made allegations against Harvey Proctor, Ted Heath, Jimmy Savile and innumerable other politicians and military men. The gist of his allegations, which relate to the late 1970s and early 1980s, is that he was part of a group of boys who were passed around and used for sex at parties held in Dolphin Square and other smart London addresses. Nick claims to have witnessed two murders and to know of a third. Although this detail was withheld by Exaro, it was revealed by Harvey Proctor that Nick’s allegations against him include a claim that he was tied down and saved from castration only by the intervention of Heath.
  1. Darren” who has alleged that he was abused both at Dolphin Square by politicians and at other places by Peter Righton. Although there are several contenders for the title, probably his most startling accusation is that while working at Thornham Magna, a Suffolk country estate, he was made to assist in the murder of an adult called “Andrew” with Downs syndrome. According to Darren, Andrew was tied to two cars which were then slowly driven apart. He also says that he helped to dig graves on the estate, into one of which Andrew’s body was put.
  1. Esther Baker, who (unlike “Nick” and “Darren”) has waived her right to anonymity, claims that she was raped on Cannock Chase by a Liberal Democrat politician, and also sexually abused in Dolphin Square. She believes that a dead Labour minister, a “Lord” and a Judge abused her. Like Darren she claims that at Dolphin Square she was abused in a “medical room.” She says it was equipped with a “medical chair with shackles.”

No doubt all this stuff attracted readers, but readers do not, in themselves, produce money. As Exaro says, “good journalism requires serious resources.”

Many of the VIP paedophile stories were published jointly with the Daily Mirror or Sunday People. Exaro has also co-operated with the Russian propaganda station RT.com (Mr Watts has been interviewed twice by its star presenter George Galloway), and with the Australian documentary programme 60 Minutes. We don’t know the financial arrangements that were made in any of these cases, but at least as far as 60 Minutes is concerned, it seems that Exaro received money.

Although both Esther Baker and “Darren” co-operated with 60 Minutes, they were not paid for their contributions, and nor, according to Darren, were they even told that Exaro was being paid by the Australians.

Since this emerged Darren has denounced Exaro.

On 26th September he tweeted:

apparently Exaro got paid for the Australian today programme and didn’t tell me or other survivors”

His criticism is not that he wanted money for his story, indeed he has been very clear that he has never received or requested any money for it; it is that Exaro made money out of him without telling him.

It does not stop there.

As a result of his exposure by Exaro, he says, he has been “ridiculed nationwide.” One of his allegations is that Exaro suggested that he join Twitter. They “said it would be good for me and get more exposure for my case.” He took up the suggestion (if that is what it was) last May, tweeting under a pseudonym.

Given his legal right to anonymity, and the fact that he wishes to remain anonymous, it would have been odd for Exaro to advise him to take steps that would be likely to lead to him being more easily identified. “Darren” is not his real name but it is in the nature of things that personal details often leak out when people use social media. Locations can be tweeted, sometimes deliberately, sometimes accidentally, and sometimes even automatically. Even if a person shelters behind a pseudonym and is cautious not to reveal any personal details, those with whom he interacts may be less careful. Anyone interested in discovering the identity of an anonymous tweeter is likely to scour his and his followers’ tweets for clues as to his real identity.

Whatever the reason, in Darren’s case he was identified and, according to him, he has been visited at home by journalists, in the evening, when his children were in bed. The Telegraph, which found him, then published a story under the headline

Questions mount over ‘troubled’ key witness in VIP abuse murder inquiry.”

Although the Telegraph reported his assertion that his allegations were true, the story also included various unflattering details about Darren’s past which had not, until then, been in the public domain. No wonder he was upset.

It would be difficult to blame the Telegraph, for which I have written, for exposing Darren to public scrutiny. The Telegraph did not reveal his name and, thanks to Exaro, Darren’s character and past history had become a legitimate matter of public interest. Without Exaro’s sensational stories the Telegraph would never have troubled to track down and interview him, or to reveal his past.

And there have been other consequences.

Darren has now withdrawn his co-operation from the Suffolk police.

According to Exaro, he did so after they reported concerns about his baby son to Social Services. Exaro referred to a detective from Suffolk Constabulary who:

… told him that they made the referral because survivors of child sexual abuse are more likely to be paedophiles themselves.

A police source corroborated Darren’s claim, saying that the officer told him ‘statistics show that a large number of survivors of abuse do go on to be abusers.’”

Exaro quoted Darren as saying that the police referral was “a betrayal of trust,” and implied (without actually saying) that he had withdrawn his co-operation from the police inquiry as a result of this referral.

(It should be made clear, by the way, that despite the police referral, Suffolk Social Services have said that there were no grounds even to investigate Darren over the welfare of his son. A “social worker known to Exaro” also found that there “absolutely no grounds for concern.”)

Graham Wilmer, co-founder of the sexual abuse survivors’ organisation The Lantern Project, has, according to Exaro, been “providing support” to Darren. He described the policeman’s words as “inexcusable … [and] dangerous because it will deter victims from coming forward.

The Telegraph reported one important point that was not included in the Exaro report:

Police sources have suggested the referral to social services was made over growing concerns that Darren’s postings on the social networking site Twitter were increasingly alarming.”

In other words, according to the Telegraph, the referral to social services was linked to Darren’s twitter account, an account he had set up because Exaro asked him to do so.

This is quite a serious matter. Darren is, on the face of things, a fairly vulnerable individual. He is – and there seems very little doubt about this – the survivor of some sort of childhood sexual abuse. By his own account on top of that, he has been the witness to a peculiarly grisly murder. Anyone dealing with him ought to be aware of the possibility that he is a young man with some degree of mental fragility.

It might be thought that to expose such a person to public scrutiny without an absolutely over-riding public interest was unwise. To suggest that he take to social media to “get more exposure” for his case, if that is indeed what happened, could be considered distinctly irresponsible.

Exaro might suggest that publicising his case through social media will help expose and catch the criminals responsible for his abuse and the murder he witnessed.

In fact the contrary is true. Quite apart from the damage that may have been done to Darren himself, the more he discusses his case with others on social media, the less compelling his testimony is likely to be should it ever come before a jury.

And the result of giving Darren’s case “more exposure” has been that Darren has been ridiculed, his account has been ridiculed, he has had to deal with the threat of Social Services removing his child, and he has withdrawn co-operation with the police.

Whether his account is true or false, from Darren’s point of view this seems a pretty disastrous outcome. It also seems disastrous from the point of view of anyone hoping to see his allegations properly and fully investigated.

Similar questions also need to be asked about Exaro’s treatment of “Nick.” He, it will be recalled, is the man who has alleged that he was raped by Harvey Proctor amongst others, and that he witnessed other boys being murdered. He too has had his cover all but blown, this time by the Daily Mail. Although Operation Midland apparently continues, there is speculation that it will soon be quietly, or perhaps not so quietly, wound up. No longer do the police describe Nick’s account as “credible and true.” Now, we are told, it is merely “credible.”

The consequences of all this could not be starker for Exaro.

First it tried being boring. Although it achieved that objective, it lost money.

Then it tried being sensational. It may have made some money (though I very much doubt whether it has made enough to satisfy the now considerably poorer Dr Booth), but it has done so by staking its reputation on the accounts of three potentially vulnerable witnesses.

I have been critical of Exaro in the past. Last month I 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.”

Should Operation Midland now be concluded without any charges being laid then it is difficult to see how Exaro could survive.

Restoring its reputation after such a debacle would be too much for the PR skills even of a former adviser to Mrs Assad.

Author: Matthew

I have been a barrister for over 25 years, specialising in crime. You may also have come across some of my articles I have written on legal issues for The Times, Standpoint, Daily Telegraph or Criminal Law & Justice Weekly

25 thoughts on “Where now for Exaro?”

  1. Strange coincidences:

    “Needleblog up until this point seemed to be mostly interested in writing about the EU and the financial crisis and such-like global matters. Since October 2012, the blog has become almost exclusively concerned with Child Abuse. I’m not sure at one point it began to carry a Donation tab for NAPAC, but it would seem that the blog’s prior interests would hardly have seemed relevant to an organisation about adults making historical claims about the past. Gojam used to post at The Daily Telegraph as a commentator but has not done so since. He had been fairly prolific there, in the past.”

        1. You tell me! It’s just an odd coincidence if you too have moved from finance to historical abuse. I’m not suggesting anything sinister. Moor’s paragraph could have been written about Exaro, with just a few changes.

          1. It is simple. I was interested in the financial crisis and then I became interested in the CSA issue. Not really very “odd” is it?

            Now Matthew let me ask you a question. As you are so close to Moor Larkin (Savile apologist) and allow a link up to a blog that attempts to portray Savile as innocent – do you maintain that Jimmy Savile was not a child abuser like so many of your commentators do ?

          2. Are you seriously suggesting I shouldn’t allow a link to a blog that portrays Savile as innocent? On what possible grounds? I have links to all sorts of weird and peculiar sites, including, I think, one to a (hoax) site purporting to sell leather made of human skin. People will have to make up their own minds.

            No, I do not think Savile was innocent, but I do think it is perfectly legitimate to debate the issue. I believe Anna Raccoon, in particular, has cast doubt about some of the allegations. And they are, of course, allegations that have never been tested in court.

          3. Has anyone else been a victim of gojam’s tactics as I was ?. Such as him accusing me of being “closely associated” with a known abuser (no idea who he means but I’m quite used to being labelled an “apologist”), demanding I respond but then deliberately refusing to publish my responses while calling me a coward for not responding. Such is the strange power some bloggers believe they wield.

  2. If the allegations made by “Nick” and “Darren” turn out to be false – and they look increasingly spurious – I hope they are prosecuted and feel the full force of the law. These wicked accusations have done immense harm:-

    1) They have defamed innocent men.

    2) They have brought British political parties into disrepute.

    3) By suggesting people at the highest level are steeped in corruption they they have aided political and religious extremists who want to destroy our democratic system of government.

    What we are seeing is the Rasputin Effect. Stories about the mad monk damaged the reputation on the Tsar Nicholas II beyond repair. Something similar is happening now in Britain but – unlike Rasputin – I suspect these modern stories are bogus. I hope the people who are peddling these dirty fantasies will soon pay for what they have done.

  3. You started off by saying that the online news company, exaro, faces a number of difficulties, but gave only one,financial?

    Then you went on to say that, ‘in recent months the company has relied almost exclusively on accounts of VIP paedophilia, and murder, which rely heavily on 3 sources’. That statement is totally wrong. Other witnesses gave evidence, before the three you mentioned.

    Detective Hogan-Howe described those, ‘other’, witnesses as being, ‘not,’necessarily’ victims’.

    Now coming from a very straight speaking Yorkshireman, I think that most journalists were either baffled, by the statement, or did not notice it?

  4. P.S. I would imagine that you are either a victim, or not a victim, to be described as not ‘’necessarily’a victim, by a senior Detective, is something straight out of an Oscar Wilde Play?

  5. Always wondered if the ‘two hatted’ ‘Insolvency index’ was inspired by Watts’s fascination with Benjie ‘the bin man’ Pell, about whom he wrote a largely cut and paste biography https://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Fleet-Street-Sewer-Rat/dp/1903906156

    Firms pay for collated salvage dumps while Exaro sniff out the story brass in the muck, crowd funded by the clients

    But actually the journalists already with Exaro in 2012 such as David Hencke of the Guardian had always combined speculative financial corruption with sexual scandals – c/f the Greer story and walk-on role of Ben Fellows and the intended ‘paedo-sting’ in concert with the cash-for questions sting.

    And of course Pell played a role in that extended politico-legal saga stretching back over thirty years to date.

    While Exaro appears to seized the ground left by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism after
    the ill-fated McAlpine libel, I would suspect they were always running along similar lines – or is it ‘memes’?

  6. Matthew, you state, “…but nobody can deny that the allegations are so serious that they have to be seriously investigated,” but is that really the case?

    If I were to run into your office screaming that the Prime Minister had the Queen tied to a tree and was about to perform some hideous act on her, I would be making an allegation of an incredibly serious matter. But I’m not sure that the situation would warrant your rushing outside to investigate.

    Surely, the seriousness of the allegations does not in itself determine the need for investigation. Perhaps, even, serious allegations should require a serious amount of evidence before anyone lifts a finger.

    Is mandatory reporting not based on much the same thinking – these crimes are so hideous that even if we have the slightest inkling that something is wrong, we must put wheels in motion?

  7. Am I alone in finding Gojam’s question redolent of McCarthyism?

    Why should anybody be held to account as to belief or disbelief re Savile allegations given that none were tested in a criminal court.
    It’s perfectly possible and proper to be sceptical of claims without believing one way or another – which is how the police should approach uncorroborated accusations in the first instance.

    Would appear that Gojam’s intent was gratuitous smear. Why?

  8. It was Gojam (Jonathan Sawyer) who worked with Elm “guest list” scribbler, Chris Fay. When Fay’s criminal conviction was pointed out, Sawyer flatly denied that it referred to ‘his’ Fay.
    It was only when the evidence left him no other choice that he reluctantly & belatedly accepted that, yes, it really was the case that Fay had been involved in laundering the proceeds of a sophisticated fraud.

    But! Poor puzzled Fay had been a “fool”, he hadn’t known what he was doing…

    My first contact with Sawyer was when I pointed out to him that Mary Moss – whose name adorns those fantastical “documents” – appeared to be less than a believer herself, at least so far as Fay goes. He was a liar, out to settle scores… Sawyer grumbled that it might not have been the ‘real’ Moss, unwilling, as ever, to listen to anything even approaching the truth.
    Of course, it WAS the real Mary Moss, and she has continued to lambast Fay & is adamant that SHE never saw any of those photographs that have been spun into varying tales over the years, even making their disgraceful way into Parliament via the atrocious Zac Goldsmith.

    (I should emphasise that I in no way consider Moss – or any of her ‘alters’ – a source of reliable information either, although she gives good copy: her emails with Tom Watson in which he tries to flog one of her paintings is priceless!)

    When I later became concerned that another character in the gestation of the “documents”, Clive Godden, was almost certainly a fraud himself, I brought it to the attention of Exaro’s Hencke. I also did my best to place the evidence (or lack of!) before those who had, I felt, been hoodwinked.
    It was an uphill battle. The impossible-to-kill smears, gossip & rumour had already been unleashed, and who might we find behind them? Why, Sawyer again, working this time with Godden!

    (Godden appeared with Moss & Fay at the inquest into Kasir’s death, and also in the press reports at the time. Fay has continued to promulgate the crap cooked up by his pal, and only a few days ago Moss, in a tweet, mentioned him as being one of the ‘sources’ for NAYPIC’s establishment-threatening dossier, getting his name wrong at the same time as – once again – laying into Fay. If this paragraph seems to make no sense, it is because THEY are nonsensical.)

    I had no luck, deaf ears all around.
    However, in April of THIS year, Sawyer did, finally, ‘explain’ that the whole Elm-strand generated by his top-source, Godden, had been “complete crap” all along! When questioned as to the lateness in bringing this to people’s attention – people who he had been working with in spreading the ‘information’ & even set up a site solely to keep the myth alive – he nonchalantly replied:

    “It seemed unnecessary before.”

    (Click my moniker to read more about this. I continue to await him to back-up his claims to me, but as I know them to be lies I guess I’m doomed to just keep reminding him!)

    No apology has been made to the people wrongly smeared, and those smears will continue ’til doomsday, such is the power of a lie unleashed.
    I dispute totally Saywer’s feeble attempt at rewriting history, although I do accept that as he ‘revealed’, Exaro (via Mark Conrad) confirmed they were aware of the false nature of the claims. Of course they were – but neither Sawyer nor they made the slightest attempt to set the record straight; the myth needed to grow to a self-sustaining size.

    More re-writing is being attempted by Exaro as they flail & rail pathetically against tonight’s Panorama: their absurd complaint that it will be wrongly alleged a vulnerable witness had words placed in his mouth by the Express (Fay, Baloney & Fielding) in their ‘female MP tale’ – later to be further glammed-up by Baloney & Fay as the ‘perniciously pungent pudenda’ shiver-inducer – was ‘revealed’ as being false by themselves! And they specifically stated that the vulnerable witness had had words put in his mouth!

    But! These will-say-anything-for-cash frauds have an incredible shelf-life, and Exaro needed us to believe in the SAME people responsible for the story they had already shot down (Fay, and Fielding with his “saucy Minister video”-tale).

    Ah! The video tale! Or the two of them, as there are competing versions. The first version, which Exaro cling to, was cooked up by ‘campaigners’ working at & with Needleblog, and with ‘documents’ provided by Fay (and maybe Godden!).
    The second version? Thanks to Tim Tate’s revitalised journalistic career (an unresolved tale involving a supposed snuff-film which started life at – where else? – the Needleblog) Sawyer’s new best pal was able to flatly contradict the first & offer us another take on things (unsurprisingly, also unresolved).

    What team work!

    The horrendous, vicious piece of work who was entrusted to act as a go-between for yet another ‘vulnerable witness’ (“Darren”) in dealings including with the police, ‘Discovery77′, was also involved with Sawyer, a chief pusher of those blasted sheets of paper. Although they rather predictably now profess not to get on with one another, it has not always been the case:

    “Despite terrible doubts in the beginning, I can now say that they are now utterly allayed, and have been allayed by speaking directly with these people and exchanging ideas and certain confidences. It is of my opinion now, that the Needle team are to be trusted totally and categorically.”

    Aye, keep inflating that giant balloon of crap, eh?

    Given that this poison has a half-life of a thousand-years, I’d like to see the lot of ’em all sealed in concrete & dumped in the North Sea. The minds that lay behind it all revel in the following grade of filth, a delightfully named series ‘Naming the living – Part 1 to infinity’:
    They disgust me.

    P.S. I had planned on tackling Savile, but have no energy left. Moor Larkin’s blog is a fantastic piece of work, and even were it not it wouldn’t be responsible for one percent of one percent of the bile puked out of the above link. And of course Savile was ‘guilty’ – we are all ‘guilty’ of something or other. The question is: ‘of what?’, and the only way to establish that is by examining individual claims individually, something the media has failed to do. Hence, the noble bloggers unrewarding hard work; I salute them.

    P.P.S. God, a quick read before hitting send & I realise I’ve missed out so much more, all involving the same chancers – what a rag-bag of degenerates they are.

    1. I would remind you of the police statement today, re Panorama.

      ‘There are still lines of inquiry to pursue which are ‘not in the public domain’, and we will not reach a judgement until that work is completed’.

      Some names on the EGH list are correct, they are ‘unknown people’, who ‘only I’, know are paedophiles.How is that possible? These people are connected with this.

    2. I was visited by the police earlier this year a few days after leaving a comment on the Needle website. Luckily I was able to show them the comment on my computer, [which was not published on the Needle] did not match the comment that had been reported to the police. It had been changed. A number of words had been added to my comment. I have heard since that there have been others who have been arrested for leaving comments on that website and have spent many months on bail while their computers were examined before being returned and no charges brought against them. They also have said that their comments had been changed. I no longer comment on blogs unless they have shown themselves to be trustworthy which is a very sad state of affairs as it shuts down sensible debate. Gojam screams about censorship and free speech but it’s bloggers like him who are far worse than any shadowy government agency who are blamed by conspiraloons like him for clamping down on free speech on the Internet. The Needle has published many lies on his website and has never retracted or apologised, deleting the articles and comments instead. A horrible man who I know has liberal democrat links and has been supporting muck spreading journalists and abusive social media bullies, some of whom have been convicted of Harrassment and threatening behaviour.

  9. The Panorama program was a disaster for Exaro – a total demolition job. I have seldom seen a more pathetic and unconvincing load of ‘victims’ making accusations in my life. Is this the best they can do?

    Exaro’s editor in chief, Mark Watts, refused to appear in the program. However he turned up on Radio 4’s “The Media Show” where he lambasted Panorama for being ‘brazenly biased’. But despite all his bluster Watts failed to make a convincing case. He’ll have to better than this if he wants to persuade.

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