The Canary Attempts Inept Edward Heath “Paedophile Information Exchange” Smear

From a certain Tom Coburg, at the left-wing website The Canary:

What is not generally known is that the government possessed a file on Heath’s interest in PIE [the Paedophile Informantion Exchange]. The file forms part of the notorious 114 ‘missing’ files on child sex abuse. That list can now be seen in full and provides an insight into the range of alleged child sex abuse cases the authorities were aware of.

Heath’s entry on the list is number 77. The metadata (heading) for the file shows his interest in PIE and that the file is “presumed destroyed”:

…Heath reportedly attended several PIE meetings at Westminster, though the precise nature of his interest in that organisation is unknown.

Is Coburg a complete idiot, or does he just think his readers are? This is all so stupid that’s tempting to dismiss it as unworthy of attention (much like this comparable item from a far-left source), but given the Canary‘s prominence as an alleged source of information (apparently it’s a “top-100 UK news website”) there ought to be some corrective.

The list is an annex to the 2014 Wanless-Whittam review, which was tasked with reviewing how the Home Office had handled allegations of child sex abuse during the 1970s to 1990s, and which published its findings in 2014. On the 114 “missing” files, the review found (square brackets in original):

Based on titles alone, 18 are files started specifically in relation to an individual Parliamentary Question [2 year retention], and 67 are files about a specific piece of correspondence, almost always written by an MP on behalf of a constituent [2 year retention]… But destruction after 2 years for all such files was the practice so, in that sense, they are not missing.

These files are marked “PQ/MC” in the list, meaning “Parliamentary Question” or “Minister’s Case”. Others are categorised in terms such as “Policy” or “Research”. The Heath item is a Minister’s Case file, and it is “presumed destroyed” because that would have been in line with retention practices.

There is absolutely no reason to suppose that the document would have exposed Heath as being involved with or showing sympathy for PIE, much less that it was destroyed to prevent this becoming known. Instead, the item would have been a piece of routine correspondence relating to Heath’s duties as a Member of Parliament, apparently in 1985. The date is significant: PIE was abolished in that year, following some high-profile trials of members for sex offences, and so the subject would have been current.

Several other MPs (and the Archbishop of York) are also listed as having written something about PIE, and numerous MPs as having authored documents that relate to child sex abuse more generally. It is beyond witless to interpret this as demonstrative of “the range of alleged child sex abuse cases the authorities were aware of”, and implicitly as a suspect list.

But what of the claim that Heath “reportedly attended several PIE meetings at Westminster”? There is just one third-hand source for this: a journalist named Don Hale, who says that a dossier on VIP child sex abuse was given to him by the Labour MP Barbara Castle in the 1980s, but that it was seized by police before he could make use of it. Hale first recalled its existence in July 2014, when he said that it named the late politicians Keith Joseph and Rhodes Boyson. He added Leon Brittan’s name shortly after Brittan’s death in January 2015, and then Heath in August 2015, just after the police probe into Heath was announced.

This is the most tenuous hearsay: someone supposedly provided Castle with “minutes” of the meetings, but these are not now available for verification. Moreover, she does not appear to have mentioned her supposed “dossier” anywhere and there is nothing in her archive or in records held by her former special adviser Jack Straw (who says he has no recollection of her mentioning it to him, contrary to a claim made by Hale). We only have Hale’s word that it ever existed, and his manner of disclosure has been opportunistic. Hale’s stories appeared during a climate in which any unsubstantiated claim about “VIP abuse” would generate headlines in tabloids and broadsheets. Further, PIE activists are still living, and they would have no reason to deny Heath’s involvement – yet Tom O’Carroll mocked the claim on his blog.

And when exactly were there “PIE meetings at Westminster”? Surely, with all the negative coverage of PIE in the 1980s, such meetings would have received some attention, even without the attendance of a former Prime Minister? This claim has perhaps grown from a boast by a former chairman of PIE who worked as an electrical contractor inside the Home Office – he was apparently given an office but very few duties, and as such was able to devote most of his working day, and the office resources at his disposal, to discreetly running the group. Another source for the rumour may have been PIE’s notorious affiliation with the National Council for Civil Liberties in the 1970s, given that NCCL leaders later became Labour Party MPs.

Wiltshire Police has just spent £1.5 million trawling for allegations against Heath, and the Summary Closure Report into its “Operation Conifer” (discussed here) includes the intrusive detail that “two witnesses, who have not disclosed abuse, provided evidence that he was sexually active with consenting adults during parts of his life.” Had there been any association with PIE, we can be very sure that Chief Constable Mike Veale would have made it central to his justification for the investigation. Yet PIE is not mentioned anywhere.

48 Responses

  1. Regarding Hale’s claim of a ‘dossier’, there was this exchange from a couple of years ago:

    Q: “Did you write a biography of Barbara Castle? Can you confirm if she give a dossier on child abuse to Don Hale, a Bury editor?”

    A: “Yes I did, but I never came across any evidence of that dossier.”

    [A journalist is similarly challenged regarding the veracity of Hale’s ‘recollections’ and raises a laugh with his reply:

    “All checkable facts check out. And Mr Hale is a respected journalist who is not obviously mad or malign.”

    Can only be a matter of time before Hale pens a story claiming that the non-existent ‘dossier’ was stolen by the Yorkshire Ripper – perhaps to protect his friend Jimmy Savile! An absolute fraud of a man. ]

  2. Hale is now tweeting about himself in the third person, it appears.

  3. Could someone with an active Twitter account search Hale’s tweets with the word ‘sailing’ and the phrase ‘sailing trips’ please?

    • @ tdf There appears to be only one tweet.

      Don Hale OBE‏ @perryscope21 1 Feb 2015

      Replying to @SurelySmMistake
      @SurelySmMistake @StuartSyvret @ciabaudo A note about Ted Heath’s Jersey sailing trips for boys was in Magpie magazine ringed by Mrs Castle.

    • No account needed to search, TDF – you never did get the hang of Twitter, did you?!?
      Anyway, you’ll enjoy this: Roydes Boyston’s paedo paper-round (©Don Hale):

      • On Anna Raccoon (RIP)’s old blog, in the comments section, I asked Tom O’Carroll about this mysterious note about Ted Heath’s sailing trips for boys that Hale claims to recall and he found the notion preposterous. Of course, many would not put credence on anything O’Carroll has to say but I see no particular reason for him to tell porkies about this matter.

        Bandini, yes it seems that Hale has rather a lot to say about dead politicians who are not around to defend themselves (or in Castle’s case, to vouchsafe his claims).

      • Mark Watts has published his text message conversation with Roddam Twiss.

        A link to the Amazon entry for ‘Playland -secrets of a forgotten scandal’:

      • “Around this time, an old friend of mine Roddam, stepped in and offered to help. He obtained three of the latest synthesizers for us. I use the word ‘obtained’ carefully because Roddam could best be described as a rather colourful and eccentric character who had a remarkable skill of ‘obtaining’ things…… Anyway it was best not to ask any questions, so we didn’t. I remember being incredibly excited one day when we recorded some home demos with our new synths. It was completely inspiring…”

        Whatever Twiss may or may not have done must surely pale in comparison to the PURE EVIL of placing “synths” within reach of Kajagoogoo in the 1980s… may he never find peace!

      • Lol. I must admit I quite liked Limahl’s solo “Never Ending Story” single

      • Meanwhile, journalist Sonia Poulton has announced on Twitter that her next film ‘Paedophiles in Parliament’ is well into production.

      • In completely unrelated news, Darren Laverty has been listening to James (the band).

      • Aha, so the long-promised/threatened programme about the McCann case has finally seen the light of day – glory be!

        There is no way I’m ever going to ‘find the time’ to wade through it – simply too ‘busy’! – but I did leap forward randomly to check out the quality (of the recording, not its content) and was astonished to hear the inference being made that David Cameron’s resignation had something to do with emails sent to “his office” by our intrepid reporter. Blimey!

        What should be done, TDF, about disreputable individuals using virtual begging-bowls to take advantage of the mentally challenged? Although it rankles I suppose that at the end of the day it’s a case of a fool and his money. Anyway I see that Poulton is now also at it too. Ho ho ho!

      • Poulton, in her defence, did whistleblow as regards what she saw as frivolous spending within the ill-fated “The Peoples’ Voice” media channel.

        As for what should be done in general regarding online begging bowls, I don’t have much to say other than ‘caveat emptor.’ It’s unlikely, I’d guess, that many of these begging bowls are fraudulent in the legal sense. The begging bowl supplicant would have the defense presumably that they genuinely believed the allegations they were making and wished to bring matters to public attention. Dishonesty would be difficult to prove. Maybe Eric has a view on it, I think he has expertise in fraud investigations?

      • Aye, TDF, though those who had published (and later deleted) information that proved their stated pretext for panhandling was absolutely false might have to seek recourse in a claim of suffering from some disease of the mind or summat. And let’s face it, who could argue with that?!?

      • Bandini, can you be a bit more specific? I’m genuinely not clear on what you’re talking about.

      • Love those guitars.

      • TDF, you provided a link to a sort-of-journo scrounging for cash in order to continue inflicting her groundbreaking rubbish upon the world & then you mentioned someone (though Christ knows why) who has also used the seemingly unregulated wonders of crowdscrounging sites to seek ‘financing’ – in the latter case, and as I’ve mentioned previously here/elsewhere, whilst making totally bogus claims to justify the ‘spare a dime’ schtick.

        That in the past the two aforementioned have had ‘heated disagreements’ with one another – which they will no doubt manage to maintain festering for the next decade or so – just makes me laugh. The best of bad luck to both of ’em.

        Anyway, ’tis good to see you posting non-U2 videos for once! Perhaps you are preparing yourself for the terrible day when Anul Alun’s plot to implicate The Singing Brickie in a(nother) mad paedo-plot means your cherished discs must be chucked in the bin?!?

        Right-o, enough of that. I’m home alone as ‘er indoors is, er, outdoors, so I’m having a Moody Bluesathon and it would now be wise to retreat from the keyboard…

        “Blasting, billowing, bursting forth
        With the power of ten billion butterfly sneezes…”

        Indeed! Here we go, higher & higher!

      • Yes Alun is trying to rope the crooning brickie into his ‘investigations’ on the basis that Bono attended Clement Freud’s funeral. I’ve heard of six degrees of separation but this is ridiculous.

        Many years ago I myself attended a funeral at which The Edge was also present. Guess I’ll end up under the microscope myself.

      • ^Bandini, that is brilliant.

        So is this:

        “In a parked car
        In a crowded street
        You see your love
        Made complete
        Thread is ripping
        The knot is slipping
        Love is blindness

        Love is clockworks
        And cold steel
        Fingers too numb to feel
        Squeeze the handle
        Blow out the candle
        Love is blindness”

      • We now have an allegation that Winston Churchill was physically abused and may have been sex abused as a young boy. The source cannot readily be dismissed as a conspiraloon, he being Michael Dobbs, novelist.

      • “Many years ago I myself attended a funeral at which The Edge was also present. Guess I’ll end up under the microscope myself.”

        Indeed you will, TDF, after this startling confession. Guilt gnawing away at you, is it?!? Does the word ‘Portugal’ or perhaps ‘Algarve’ ring any bells? Maybe you’ve been on holiday there or know someone who once considered it? Deny it if you can!!!

        Of course The Edge will have refused to remove his stinking benny-hat despite the occasion. Now far be it from me to make vicious slurs based on absolutely no evidence but let’s just say that you wouldn’t need to borrow a pair of Gregory Peck’s scissors to understand his reluctance…

        And his ‘distinctive’ guitar tone & that single riff – staple of over four decades of ‘hypnotic’ music making – wouldn’t work quite so well if he’d tune his instrument to nature’s 432Hz instead of that evil 440Hz that the Nazis cooked up with the Jews & Satanic Freemasons, would it?!?
        But you’ll know all this already, damn yer bloodshot eyes!

      • For the benefit of those not following ‘developments’, Bandini is referring to the episode when the conspiraloons (some of whom have paying gigs in the media, though how much of what they churn out they believe, I will leave for others to adjudge) briefly attempted to link Clement Freud to the disappearance of Madeline McCann on the rather slim pretext that apparently Freud sometimes used to holiday in the Algarve.

  4. Don Hale seems to have very close links to The Mirror, as does Mark Watts. The Mirror was behind the “11 out 10 back” tale, told by Linda Corby who, on 9/3/2014, posted on her Twitter feed: “Jersey: Children loaned to rich paedophile yachtsmen via @wordpressdotcom Police and Political
    Friends told me this” … no mention of having SEEN it or the later embellishment that not only did Ted Heath take kids on board, but that he was accompanied on that trip in 72/73 by none other than Jimmy Savile and a Jersey Senator, plus A.N. Other. N.B. Heath never visited Jersey in any of his yachts and he didn’t visit the island as Prime Minister, so this is pure fabrication.

    The Mirror also started the rumour that Heath was a close friend of Savile. They met, briefly, when Heath visited Leeds as PM and then again in ‘75 when Heath’s constituent composed a piece of music and asked him to conduct, via Jim’ll Fix It.

    The Mirror also reported on Heath’s links to P.I.E. … the next name on the list of those who asked questions about P.I.E. was the Archbishop of Canterbury, but that entry was conveniently left out. is Hale implying that he, too, was a paedophile?

    Moving on, the Mirror ‘exclusively’ revealed in another article, which again featured Linda Corby, that Heath had spent six months in a secret flat in Jersey in the early 70s ….. when he was Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition? Seriously? You only have to wade through dear old Ted’s contributions in Hansard to realise that this is total fiction.

    And then we have the Barbara Cartland dossier – that she did not mention in her diaries or her autobiography and, strangely, her biographers have failed to mention. The only person who can testify to their existence is
    Don Hale, who claims that they were snatched from his fingers by Special Branch at the request of Cyril Smith. It should be noted that whilst dear Babs made some barbed comments regarding Ted’s interest in interior design at Chequers she was otherwise quite complimentary about him, as one socialist to another.

    Either Don Hale was desperate to sell more copies of his book about steam engines, or he is engaged in the sinister world of disinformation and muck-spreading for socialist gain, because there is no factual basis or evidence for any of his claims.

    No need to worry, because everything that Linda, Don and their little coterie of character assassins have ever produced has been carefully archived.

    Has anyone ever thought that this would make a wonderful movie?

    • “..or he is engaged in the sinister world of disinformation and muck-spreading for socialist gain, because there is no factual basis or evidence for any of his claims.”

      If the ‘qui bono’ question is asked, then I would have thought the right wing benefit much more from any attempt to smear Heath than ‘socialists’.

      The assertion that I have seen on various internet forums and social media that Heath was somehow being blackmailed by nefarious powers to support the EU (or Common Market) seems to me ludicrous. Heath was a true Europhile. There would have been no need for anyone to blackmail him into support for the ‘European project’.

  5. Worth also pointing out that Hale’s naming of Joseph and Boyson only came after Anthony Gilberthorpe had named them in a sensational red top story about underage rent boys. As the alleged events would have implicated Gilberthorpe himself and other living people in criminal acts he was questioned by the police who, however, took no further action. Private Eye soon exposed AG’s history of peddling fake news. He was last heard of palming a Trump story off on the press. A summary of his unusual career here Boyson and Joseph were controversial right wingers but I’ve never heard a breath of scandal about them before or since.

    • ^ “Boyson and Joseph were controversial right wingers but I’ve never heard a breath of scandal about them before or since.”

      Neither have I, although Boyson’s enthusiasm for corporal punishment in schools would be seen as un-PC in the current era.

    • “Anthony Gilberthorpe, a 54-year-old former Tory activist, antiques dealer and Big Issue seller from Gloucestershire, claims his “photographic memory” …”

      The claim of possessing a ‘photographic memory’ is the seasoned liar’s calling-card.

      • “The claim of possessing a ‘photographic memory’ is the seasoned liar’s calling-card.”


        Google “alan barrett event elephant” for a similar type in Ireland.

      • Or read the comments section of certain blogs – Pinnochio hio hio!

      • “Or read the comments section of certain blogs – Pinnochio hio hio!”

        I beg your pardon?

      • I’d offer you a link to a very recent example, TDF, but after the clean-up operation necessitated by uncivic fly-tippers emptying their sacks all over the place, spreading virulent weeds which in turn required some vigorous pruning, it’d have to be a Wayback one.

        (It wasn’t a reference to yourself: resist the mist!)

      • Ask Gilberthorpe’s former tenants in his antique market what they think of the man & you are likely to get a punch in the nose for dredging up unwanted memories.

        Pity the Plod didn’t take his false claims of being a rent-boy pimp seriously and charge the ghastly fool.

        Barbara Castle was a family friend who my mother spent many a day with. To think she would have associated with a cheap gutter tabloid hack like Don Hale is quite laughable. Hale is a lying opportunist who demeans the memory of a great Labour Party activist who never indulged in sleazy gossip and would have never had anything to do with passing on information she did not know was true. I doubt he ever met her in his life even in passing.

        # I have been asking Hale for some years to respond and explain how he interviewed, as he claims, a man who had been dead for 2 years. Sadly for Hale he screwed up his timing on that one. It needs greater exposure.

  6. Moor Larkin explains better than I could how Don Hale was able to write-up comments and interviews with a man who had been dead for 2 years.

    • Cracking comments too, Eric: ‘Barbara Cartland’ – ho ho ho!

      • Ooops, slip of the keyboard … Mind you, Barbara Cartland giving Don Hale a dossier is more credible than Barbara Castle!

      • I wish my mum had know Barbara Cartland.

      • Castle was an intelligent woman who earned the respect of MPs from all parties.
        While she was no wilting flower in a political sense, when I first heard Hale’s claim about a ‘dossier’ my B/S radar lit up.
        Castle was capable of going on the attack but the notion she would hand a dossier of allegations to a tabloid writer is not just bizarre it’s makes no sense. If she had any allegations to make she would make them- but not after first getting conclusive proof- in Parliament where she was legally protected.
        A dossier of the sort of claims Hale insinuates could see the author hauled into a libel court quick smart not just by one person but many.
        If she had such a dossier- which I do not believe ever existed, she would hand it to police which would also protect her.
        Don Hale has spent far too long on tabloids and makes claims he thinks tabloid readers will believe.

      • @eric

        “Don Hale has spent far too long on tabloids and makes claims the tabloid readers will believe.”

        I think Hale is a liar. And I also think that James Reeves is a liar.

  7. And respect to BH.

  8. To note that O’Carroll has published a submission he has made to the IICSA.

    It is noteworthy that while dismissive of the notion of a widespread ‘VIP’ abuse conspiracy, he recalls wondering at the time why certain well-connected members of the Executive Committee of the PIE were not sent for trial:

  9. To think she would have associated with a cheap gutter tabloid hack like Don Hale is quite laughable. As the alleged events would have implicated Gilberthorpe himself and other living people in criminal acts he was questioned by the police who, however, took no further action. Many years ago I myself attended a funeral at which The Edge was also present. Guess I’ll end up under the microscope myself. Retaining Walls

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