Friday, February 19, 2016
British TV personality says he's been cleared of latest sex assault allegations - but claims his life has been ruined
Another case showing why the identity of an accused person should not be made known unless and until they are convicted of an offence
Mr Leslie, whose life was all but destroyed by two similar allegations in 2003 and 2004, for which he was never convicted, is now campaigning for anonymity for those accused until they are convicted.
He said: 'This has been thrown out, but it might still be difficult for me to pick up the pieces and resume my career, but my accuser will retain her anonymity. It's a tragedy for me,' reports Marcello Mega for the Sunday Mirror.
Mr Leslie added: 'While I am glad to be cleared I have served a hefty punishment for a that never was. The damage to my parents and to me is incalculable.'
The former This Morning presenter described his accuser as a friend and explained how it was her who asked if she could go home with him.
Mr Leslie, who once dated Catherine Zeta-Jones, said he had spent his last few pounds on a bottle of champagne for them both, and she had paid for their taxi home, where they had sexual contact, he admits.
In a detailed account he gave to his solicitors, he said that they fooled around, she kissed him softly, and she even remarked on how comfy his bed was after the awards night at Usher Hall on November 19.
Mr Leslie, who first thought she was out of his league, says they even embraced and kissed as she left, she put her number in his phone and he said he hoped he would see her again.
When he was told to go home when he arrived at work the next day, because of 'a complaint', he assumed he may have made a bad joke that offended someone at the office.
He then explained how he was later dragged out of bed by police officers, put in handcuffs and taken to the police station, where he as held for ten hours.
The former presenter said his mother had been 'in pieces' throughout the whole ordeal, and the first thing he did when he was told the charges were dropped was to drive to his parents' their home and tell them it was over.
Mr Leslie says that he has been told to pick his possessions up from the police station tomorrow and that he expects to receive official paperwork later this week.
His solicitor Mark Harrower had spoken to the taxi driver who took them home, he said, and he had testified to the fact that she seemed compos mentis.
Another taxi diver, who picked her up in the morning, also told him that she did not seem at all distressed.
But he believes he was stupid to let his guard down after being rocked by similar allegations in the 2005 that wrecked the TV career in which he once earned £350,000 a year as the presenter of This Morning.
Mr Leslie, who made his name presenting Blue Peter, was 'outed' as the alleged rapist of Ulrika Jonsson in 2003, but was never charged.
The next year, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old, but walked free from Southwark Crown Court, London, after the Crown Prosecution dropped the case.
But five years later he faced fresh accusations of rape. This time his accuser claimed to have been attacked in 1995 when she was in her early 20s. In the end, the case never reached court.
By this time, a sex tape of him and former girlfriend Abi Titmuss having a threesome had emerged, as well as photographs of him taking cocaine.
Although he was never convicted of any of the sexual offences, the allegations effectively ended his TV career, and he had had to start again on radio in Edinburgh, where he lived a more modest lifestlye.
He now lives in a three-bedroom bungalow, as opposed to the sprawling £5.5million luxury home in London he once owned, and his disk jockey job didn't pull in nearly the same ratings.
However, his contract was not renewed in December following the allegations, and there is now now guarantee it will be offered again.
He added: 'It took me so long to get another chance, and it was going well. I wouldn't have thrown it away lightly and I'm devastated that I let my guard down on what was a really happy occasion.'
Police Scotland have not formally admitted that this current probe is over, and a recent statement says they 'continue to investigate' the report. But Mr Leslie expects an announcement to be made officially by the end of the week.
Bad diversity versus good diversity
Diversity again is a hot-button issue. For instance, the Harvard Business Review opened 2016 with an essay about diversity programs and policies in industries from Silicon Valley to Hollywood, noting that “mission statements and recruiting materials touting companies' commitment to diversity are ubiquitous.” Similarly, Anna Holmes wrote in the New York Times Magazine in October about “the recent ubiquity of the word” and how its meaning has been confused by “overuse, imprecision, inertia and self-serving intentions.”
I have been struck by one aspect of the discussion: the commonly accepted premise that the relevant end is some measure of inclusion for particular groups in particular areas, like a cartel's allocation of market shares, to the near-exclusion of whether the process expands society's well-being or increases its balkanization. That is a crucial omission, given that diversity can provide either an excuse for a cage fight among groups for special treatment or an opportunity for mutual benefits.
That premise is revealed by the zero-sum nature of so much diversity rhetoric, in which gains for one group are presumed to necessarily come at others' expense, justifying imposing harm on them as a necessary and acceptable part of the process.
Unfortunately, the disparate treatment typically called for would reinforce rather than reduce divisions between groups. And the further fraying of social relations would undermine the most productive mechanism that exists for jointly advancing the interests of our diverse population: mutually beneficial voluntary market arrangements.
Free markets, founded on respect for individuals' rights to themselves and their property, enable diversity to provide shared gains, facilitating cooperation among different people, while coerced diversity relies on imposing harm on others, crowding out cooperation. Given how often the argument for diversity requirements is based on some past violation of some group's rights, one would think this distinction would be stressed rather than overlooked.
Individuals' diverse tastes, backgrounds, cultures, experiences, circumstances, etc., produce differences in the subjective values that people place on goods and services. Market exchange allows all to benefit from those differences because it provides benefits that exceed costs for both parties. Thus when property rights are respected, divergent values lead to exchanges that increase the well-being of all involved, with no one's choices overridden by force.
In contrast, the special treatment inherent in coercively imposed diversity raises the payoffs for manipulating the inherently arbitrary system, rather than being honest and trustworthy, which forms the foundation of mutually productive voluntary market arrangements (e.g., Elizabeth Warren's claimed Native American heritage at Harvard).
Different ideas and customs are important sources of innovation as well. Asking, “Could what that person, group, or organization is doing work better for me in my circumstances than what I am doing now?” triggers communication, evaluation, application, imitation, and modification that turn diversity into benefits for others. That is why trade hubs have always been centers of entrepreneurship and advancement, and cities have been incubators for vast innovation. But those highly creative and productive interactions often wither when relationships are imposed rather than voluntary.
Free markets also produce mutual benefits from our constantly changing world. Our diversities in uncountable dimensions lead some to learn new useful information before others. When such discoverers act on that information in markets – for example, by buying more of a good discovered to have greater value – they communicate changed relative scarcities more quickly and accurately than otherwise. Better information means fewer mistakes, benefitting all. But the increased separatism and distrust produced by imposed diversity reduces openness to peaceful relationships and incentives to seek out and communicate such information.
Addressing diversity by imposing special treatment for some at others' expense generates divisiveness and conflict rather than cooperation and mutual benefits. Americans should remember British Rabbi Jonathan Sachs' maxim that “it is through exchange that difference becomes a blessing, not a curse,” and focus on advancing voluntary arrangements, in which our differences allow us to better serve each other's peaceful ends.
Dishonest refugee advocates in Australia inflict harm on those they purport to help
Self harm and false allegations are all part of the deadly game certain ‘do-gooders’ are playing
Refugee advocates are partly responsible for the distress of asylum seekers, expressed variably from self harm to alleged rape claims. Their misplaced advocacy powered by an inebriated moral superiority combine with the dashed migration expectations of asylum seekers to create uncertainty and alarm. Detention itself is merely the wrapping paper.
As they are to people smugglers, asylum seekers are a mere tool for the white and wealthy, post religious Left. While smugglers are compensated in dollars, the compassionistas receive premium fuel in their quest for authenticity, a jolt to hollowed out identities. Caring outwardly about asylum seekers makes them feel good about themselves.
Recent reports in the Australian that banning family members from travelling with self harmers for treatment immediately caused a dramatic reduction in the acts suggest there had been considerable incentive for hurting oneself in the past.
The latest round of ‘I’m an Asylum Seeker, Get Me Out of Here’ will leave taxpayers with a bill of a million dollars, thanks to the human rights lawyers’ speculative tilt in the High Court to keep a Bangladeshi child and mother on Australian soil. It was the climax of renewed optimism among refugee advocates since the arrival of the new PM, hoping to exploit any cognitive dissonance he might feel. Fairfax ran a front page piece recently about self harm on Manus and Nauru, among a spike of reports about the topic. Last year Transfield changed its name for PR purposes despite lawfully executing their government contract after sustained pressure from refugee advocates, a consolation victory for opponents who refuse to accept that they have lost the debate in the public, democratic sphere.
There were multiple doctors such as paediatrician Dr David Isaacs cheekily asking to be prosecuted for speaking out about conditions in Nauru. Last year psychiatrist Dr Peter Young was the key contributor to the Human Rights Commission report fronted by Gillian Triggs. All had expressed their opposition to the policy of detention well before they’d actually visited any asylum seekers. Their views on the traumatic effects of detention relied entirely on association and wouldn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.
It does not compute that a set of people who have been resilient through conflict zones under threat of their lives and able to travel halfway across the world by land, air and sea decompensate when a ringed, pool fence is placed around them, in spite of all their basic needs being met. The community leader, former Liberal Party candidate and Vietnamese refugee Dai Le speaks of her time as a child in a refugee camp as unremarkable: ‘We just played. We didn’t know it was bad.’
The most decrepid refugee camps around the world, places that make the centres in Manus or Nauru look like the Hilton, exhibit none of the systemic issues surrounding self harm or alleged rape that appear to erupt in the local centres, be it on the mainland or offshore.
Similar mental health problems existed among asylum seekers when the policy of temporary protection visas existed, where comparable levels of uncertainty and dashed expectations surrounding a migration outcome were present.
An interesting angle is garnered from detention workers. I have treated a multitude and they usually present through worker’s compensation after being attacked by detainees. They all say there was no self harm when asylum seekers received permanent visas during Rudd’s initial ascent to power, regardless of processing time. Christmas Island was referred to then as a ‘transit hotel’.
Most workers suffer a cognitive dissonance, having begun the job to help asylum seekers but slowly realising there was little that could be done to solve a problem around an unmet desire, one in which incredible investments of money and risk had been made. The most affected workers are those that identify with the asylum seekers, particularly those able to speak Farsi, Tamil or Arabic. They paint a clear psychological environment in detention of failed expectations and ensuing rage and resentment, further exacerbated by the shadow of fractured politics and a refugee advocacy industry baying for government blood. Despite their good intentions, the result is the spilled blood of asylum seekers.
Self harm in detention centres has overlaps with the contagion effect that can occur in high school playgrounds or online forums, exacerbating the distress already apparent. There is also a kind of detention centre status anxiety, as asylum seekers compare their situations with those around them, becoming anxious and suspicious when claims of those around them are accelerated. Self harm can be attempts at suicide, a way to relieve frustration or malingering, where it is feigned for some secondary reward. Studies have found that malingering is most common in correctional centres. The studies do not involve children, but kids are almost certainly reflecting the distress and behaviour of the adults around them.
There is no question that asylum seekers are in great distress and have few outlets to communicate it. Self harm is often rage turned on to the self. It can be unconscious. Furthermore, there can be little argument that indefinite limbo can only be harmful and serves nobody. But in detention centres we have created an artefactual space where acting out behaviours like self harm or false allegations of rape have had incentives and rewards. Even now there is the possibility of transfer to the Australian mainland for treatment and the mobilisation of aggressive refugee advocacy, who are able to justify any kind of chicanery to prevent the lawful return of detainees because they are convinced of their righteousness.
It is all the more galling when the calamitous effects of unmitigated compassion are beginning to emerge through Merkel’s policies in Europe, initiatives she is clearly regretting and looking to unwind, lest they threaten her tenure on government. It is interesting that Tony Abbott was roundly condemned when he hinted at Merkel’s excesses, yet history is showing him to be prescient.
For all the railing by refugee advocates and politically motivated doctors about detention being like prison or torture, they fail to realise that its residents could cope with Alcatraz if they knew permanent residency was imminent. Despite the Prime Minister insisting on remaining ‘resolute’ in the protection of our borders, the totemic nature of the issue means they will simply not let go.
Australia: His eminence George Pell is the victim of a vicious witch hunt
CARDINAL George Pell is the victim of one of the most vicious witch hunts to disgrace this country. It is shameful. Disgusting. Frightening. People pretending to be moral have competed with each other to slime Pell as the defender of paedophiles, if not a paedophile himself.
There is no mercy and no attention to the facts. There is just the joy of hatred. Check the snarling glee on the face of comedian Tim Minchin as he sang a hymn of hatred to Pell on Channel 10's The Project on Tuesday.
"Scum," he called Pell, who is too ill to fly from Rome to give evidence (for the third time) to our royal commission into child sex abuse.
"Coward," he jeered, vilifying Pell for more than four minutes of prime-time television, falsely portraying him as a defender - even a friend - of paedophile priests.
(Note to Project host Waleed Aly: would you have screened four minutes of unbridled hatred for a Muslim cleric?)
Meanwhile, the ABC promoted a crowd-funding effort by Project presenters to raise the money to send former victims to Rome to "confront" the cardinal with "face-to-face contact".
To stoke up hatred of Pell, it also published a mocked-up picture of the cardinal driving a car of huge rock-spiders, code for paedophiles.
ABC News also falsely claimed "the commission has heard from child abuse victim David Ridsdale that Cardinal Pell tried to bribe him to keep quiet" about his abuse by his uncle - when Ridsdale in fact told the commission, "I never have said that he bribed me".
And many media outlets sternly reported Pell wouldn't "face the victims" in person at the royal commission, without adding he'd faced victims repeatedly.
Pell has met victims privately and twice given evidence with victims present - to the royal commission and a Victorian inquiry into child sex abuse.
Indeed, in 1996 he became the first senior person here, in church or in government, to confront the horror of sexual abuse of children.
Only three months after becoming archbishop of Melbourne, he created the Melbourne Response to help victims. No bishop of any other church had done anything like it.
Yet no insult of this man has been enough in a campaign of public denigration, even dehumanisation.
Channel 9's 60 Minutes interviewed an English abuse victim who'd never met Pell and seemed uninformed on crucial details yet still felt free to defame him as "a dangerous individual" and "almost sociopathic" with a "catalogue of denigrating people".
But this is the mob at its most vile: each person feeling licensed by the brutality of the rest to be brutal, too.
If "everybody else" hates someone, then that person must deserve hating. You can surrender your own judgment and conscience and give in to the pure pleasure of unbridled hatred, disguised as moral righteousness.
Viciousness dressed as morality: is there anything sweeter to the stupid, the resentful and the bully? Ask the "godly" who murdered the "witches" of Salem. Ask the jihadists who now behead "infidels". Pell's accusers are not violent but flirt with that same pitiless sanctimony.
"Die Pell," urged a headline on The Age's Facebook page and many of those now demanding he fly here don't seem to mind if he does.
The Sydney Morning Herald published snide items urging Pell to get on a plane, despite being told by cardiologists that Pell's medical advisers were right - it could kill the 74-year-old, given his heart problems.
No mercy in The Age, though. "Unwilling to trust his God," sneered one headline.
Former NSW Labor premier Kristina Keneally even taunted: "Jesus said there is no greater love than to lay down your life for another."
Nor did anyone seem to care that Pell will give exactly the same evidence from Rome he would give if he flew here. He is not fleeing justice like, say, Julian Assange, the hero of this same Left.
No, the mob is just hungry for a scapegoat and wants Pell close enough to humiliate.
It's the primitive moral calculus of the tribalist: that an injustice to one side can be made good with an injustice to the other.
It's enough that Pell is now our most senior member of the Catholic Church, which once betrayed so many children.
But what makes him an even better target for the Left is that's he's a conservative who has defended traditional marriage, attacked global warming alarmism and correctly seen the green faith as a competitor to his own.
He'll do, they cry.
How Pell has, as a human being, survived their onslaught astonishes me. Worst of all, he was falsely accused of having himself abused a boy when a young priest, although an inquiry that later looked into this highly dubious claim found no proof of any such thing.
It's continued. A former child victim of one Ballarat priest claimed in the royal commission that in 1969 Pell heard him pleading for help but did nothing - only for Pell to later produce his passport, showing he'd been in Rome that year.
But people such as Minchin still claim the young Pell must have known his then Ballarat housemate and fellow priest, Gerald Ridsdale, was abusing children - an allegation Pell denies. Yet none question the word of another young priest who shared a house with Ridsdale, Paul Bongiorno, a Leftist and now ABC commentator, who says he had no idea, either. "Ridsdale never came to the presbytery in Warrnambool and said, `Guess how many boys I've raped today?'," Bongiorno said. "They hide it."
And they hid it from Pell, who has repeatedly denied on oath protecting paedophiles or keeping crimes hidden.
Neither of the two inquiries so far has yet found proof that he's lying. Even Gerald Ridsdale, the worst of the paedophile priests, failed to incriminate Pell in the royal commission last year.
His evidence, suggesting Pell knew nothing, seemed to anger the royal commission. Justice Peter McClellan even warned Ridsdale the commission could find out who visited him in jail before he'd given evidence, which seemed to suggest McClellan had expected more damning stuff from Ridsdale and suspected he'd been nobbled.
In fact, the royal commission has throughout seemed only too ready to doubt Pell's word whenever his recollection conflicted with his accusers'.
It has also asked Pell to give evidence three times - more than any other witness - in what is now becoming a punishment by process.
Pell knows his church betrayed many children and protected the priests who preyed on them. He knows he could have handled the scandal better, but nothing I've seen so far shows he protected paedophiles.
If that changes, I will damn him then, but right now there is proof of only this: a witch hunt to destroy an innocent man for the sins of others.
Shame on every coward who joins this vicious mob. You claim you stand for good, yet you show such gloating evil.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.