In October, a conspiracy podcast called The Richie Allen Show (“in association with davidicke.com” and apparently “Europe’s most listened to [Verified] Independent News Radio Show”) announced its latest guest:
The show’s podcasts are uploaded to YouTube, with distinctive thumbnails that announce the guest and carry his or her image. The above collage shows a sample of Allen’s other guests: there’s Erich von Däniken, who argues that the cultural productions of ancient civilizations were in fact created by aliens; the anti-vaccine activist (and scientific fraud) Andrew Wakefield; Sabine McNeill, who promoted the the “Hoaxted” panic about a supposed baby-eating paedophile cult operating out of a church and school in Hampstead (a hoax that included exploiting two actual children into repeating outlandish and sexually explicit allegations); the self-proclaimed reincarnation of Jesus David Shayler; and the general purpose conspiracy theorists Michael Shrimpton, Christopher Monckton, and Tony Gosling – plus of course David Icke himself. Thus Mansfield – perhaps the UK’s most prominent campaigning barrister – finds himself listed among notorious conspiracy theorists ranging from the risible to the sinister.
Mansfield (and, oddly, his romantic partner Yvette Greenway) were invited onto the show to discuss the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which has lurched from crisis to crisis due to its excessively broad brief and other practical problems. Mansfield argued that the inquiry has been mismanaged due to the way “the Establishment” goes about things (a “conditioned response”), but in response to Allen raising the spectre of “a deep state cover-up” he also concurred that that there are “forces” who “want to kick it into the long grass”.
This allowed Allen to introduce the “dark forces” formulation:
You talked about “darker forces”, though maybe you didn’t use the word, I’m not going to misquote you at all…
Allen then went on cite David Icke’s view that these forces are more powerful than Theresa May, although he also stressed that his show is editorially independent from Icke and that he didn’t want to get into the subject of Icke’s various views (he didn’t go into details, but this would include the claim that the world has been controlled for centuries by a bloodline of intergalactic shape-shifting lizards, who operate through certain families such as the “Rothschild Zionists”).
Mansfield agreed with the general point about powerful forces, referring to the scandal of police infiltration into activist groups through the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the resulting Pitchford Inquiry. He also referred to his role as Mohamed Al Fayed’s representative at the Princess Diana inquest in 2007-2008, noting the claim by Diana’s butler, Paul Burrell, that the Queen had warned him about “dark forces” at work. Although he didn’t mention it on the show, Mansfield believes that there was a plot to “scare” Diana that went wrong, resulting in her accidental death.
Thus Mansfield’s concrete claims about “forces” at work in fact referred to other matters altogether, and he did not introduce any information that is not already in the public domain. His account of how these “forces” supposedly regard the IICSA is purely speculative, and in the interview he did not identify any specific development in the IICSA’s history where we need to invoke “forces” as an explanation.
The interview was also an opportunity for Mansfield and his partner to raise awareness of the issue of suicide – in 2015 Mansfield suffered a bereavement due to suicide, and later in the interview he spoke movingly on the subject and about a charity he has set up.
Perhaps Mansfield makes himself available for interviews as a matter of principle; however, it seems to me that this particular media appearance was ill-advised. It puts him among some very rum company, and the way that his appearance is advertised (“Michael Mansfield on the real reasons the child abuse inquiry is being ‘run into the ground'”) is sensationalising and conspiracy-mongering. Mansfield’s involvement helps to mainstream Icke and his poison, even at one degree of separation, while it diminishes a reputation Mansfield has built up over decades for challenging police maleficence.
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