Saturday, August 17, 2019


Did Cliff Richard Lie In Response To Sex Abuse Allegations?

1. Introduction: The first two 'statements' that Cliff Richard released in response to the claims

Cliff Richard was born in India, in October 1940, as Harry Webb. His family moved to England later that decade. In his late-teenage years, Harry Webb became a rock n' roll singer, and before long his name changed to Cliff Richard. With his backing band, the Drifters (aka The Shadows), Cliff had a big hit with 'Move It', released August 1958...

...By August 2014, Cliff Richard had reportedly sold 250 million records worldwide. He had multiple homes around the world, including in Barbados, Portugal and England. It was his house in Sunningdale, England that made the news in a major way that month, as it was searched in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation. This article from the Telegraph website provides some detail, along with the statement that Cliff Richard issued in response to the (then) single claim that had been made against him:

Sir Cliff Richard's statement in full

Posted at 2.24pm on August 14th 2014 by Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent

Sir Cliff Richard issued a statement within an hour of the news that his home in Berkshire was being searched by police over alleged historic abuse

Here is Sir Cliff Richard's statement in full after police started searching his Berkshire home:

For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online.

The allegations are completely false. Up to now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them oxygen.

However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice, except it would appear to the press.

I am not presently in the UK but it goes without saying that I will cooperate fully should the police wish to speak to me.

Beyond stating that today's allegation is completely false it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation has concluded.

The police investigation of Cliff Richard proceeded through into the next year. Six months after the initial revelations, the public were given to understand that there was more to come. Here are excerpts from a newspaper article, written by Anil Dawar, that was published under the heading 'New sex claims are just absurd says angry Cliff':

AN investigation into historic sex abuse claims against Sir Cliff Richard has "increased significantly in size" since it began and now involves "more than one allegation", South Yorkshire's chief constable has disclosed.

David Crompton revealed the scale of his force's inquiry into the veteran pop star to MPs on the Home Affairs Committee.

He said the operation was of an "expanding nature".

In a short letter published by committee chairman Keith Vaz yesterday, Mr Crompton said South Yorkshire Police updated the singer's team on their work every fortnight.

Mr Crompton added: "This is an investigation which has increased significantly in size since its inception. Sir Cliff Richard's lawyers are aware that there is more than one allegation...

Mr Crompton and his force have come under fierce criticism for their handling of a raid on the 74-year-old's £3.5 million Berkshire home last August...

The... raid was in response to allegations of a sexual assault against a boy in Sheffield in 1985. It is not known what subsequent allegations have been made.

Sir Cliff has not been arrested or charged in relation to any of the claims.

Here [as published on February 25th 2015, by GOJAM on theneedleblog] is the response to the expansion of police investigations that Cliff Richard released:

Cliff Richard : Full Statement

I have no idea where these absurd and untrue allegations come from. The police have not disclosed details to me. I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail. I have cooperated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to do so. Beyond stating that the allegations are completely false, it would not be appropriate for me to say anything further until the investigation has concluded, which I hope will be very soon. In the meantime, I would, again, like to thank everyone for supporting me through this unbelievably difficult period.

Summary

Cliff Richard issued two statements - in August 2014 and February 2015 - in reaction to heavily-publicised claims of 'historic sex abuse' made against him. The second of these two statements is comprised of just six sentences / 101 words. The third sentence is the one of the six that will be considered in this enquiry. It reads:

'..I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail...'


2. Documentations of assaults: Did the boy, Harry Webb, assault his younger sister, Donella?

In 1964, a book by a man named Bob Ferrier was published, entitled 'The Wonderful World of Cliff Richard'. Chapter Three of the book, titled 'Mum' (pages 28-33) features extended quotations from Cliff Richard's mother, Mrs. Dorothy Webb. This paragraph can be found on page 30:

"Of course I think fortunately for me all children were treated alike, I would never spoil one above the other and I think my children would tell you that I never show any difference. I always brought Cliff up to be a gentleman, and his father did too. The result is he is very fond of his sisters and we've never known him to strike them ever, even as child, a little boy. The whole family is very close, very close indeed. I find it difficult to get my girls to go away on a holiday from home, they just won't go, they just won't leave me. I think there is a closeness with the lot of us. When Cliff is away from home but in this country, he phones nearly every night. When he is abroad, he writes very often, sends cards to all of us, to all his relatives and friends. Of course when he was young, he did all the things and was perfectly normal, up to all the mischief in gangs, raiding fruit trees and things like that."

Mrs Dorothy Webb stated that because she and her husband brought up Harry - the future Cliff - "to be a gentleman", he was, as a result "very fond of his sisters". She further asserts: "..we've never known him to strike them ever, even as a child, a little boy..." Clearly, if we take these words spoken by Cliff Richard's mother (probably in 1963) at face value, they support the statement made by her son in February 2015, when he was responding to sex abuse allegations - 'I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail.' 

While some might be inclined to unquestioningly accept the testimony of Cliff Richard's mother, especially those with a pro-Cliff Richard bias, it is surely the case that even the most zealous Cliff Richard supporter would have difficulty maintaining their faith in her assurances were they to read these words attributed to Cliff Richard, himself, published in the 1977 book 'Which One's Cliff?':

'Family Ties

IF YOU'VE GOT to be the only boy among three girls, make sure you're the eldest! I have three sisters - Donna (or Donella, to be precise), Jacqueline, and Joan - and as it was, I could lord it over them a bit. It would have been murderous if I'd been the youngest.

Actually my father, who I'll tell you more about in a minute, had drummed it into me never to raise my hand to a woman. There was a perfectly logical way round that! When Donna, my junior by just two years, used to drive me mad, I'd roll up a newspaper and wallop her with that. When mother came home and asked why Donna was crying, I'd say I didn't know, I'd never laid a hand on her!...'

This account by Cliff Richard, himself, tells us that sometimes, when his parents left him alone with his sisters, Donella would drive him mad. He would react to this by assaulting her, hitting her hard with a rolled up newspaper. Seemingly, this subdued Donella, making her cry. The rolled up newspaper attack-weapon was a means to enable Harry Webb to honestly or quasi-truthfully tell his mother, when she came home that, although Donna/Donella was crying, he had "never laid a hand on her".

Somewhat enigmatically, there is a third account from a family member that seems to be both at odds with the account of Mrs. Dorothy Webb and with the later account by Cliff Richard, previously cited. This quote that follows comes from Olive Gregory - an on-line source (famechain.com) identifies Olive as Dorothy Webb's sister, who died in 1995. Her comments on the Harry Webb / Cliff Richard childhood were published in 2008, in the book 'Cliff Richard The Bachelor Boy' by Steve Turner:

"When I used to stay, I would sleep in the spare room. I was in the army at the time they moved there and I can remember Cliff in his little grey trousers. He also wore a little waistcoat and a jersey. I used to feel sorry for the little devil because Donna, who was a sickly child, used to deliberately try to get him into trouble. Because he was such a tough little guy he would get walloped by his mother. She just used to belt him but he hadn't done a thing to Donna and I knew it..."

Summary

It is noted that the viewpoint of Aunt Olive tends to contradict the characterisation of Harry / Cliff put across by his mother / her sister, Dorothy in Chapter 3 of the Bob Ferrier book. Dorothy Webb never mentions a thing in the whole chapter of any times when her son was behaving badly or otherwise in such a way that she "walloped" him. Yet, both mother and aunt portray, for the most part, the boy Harry as gentlemanly and doing little wrong...

..However, his mother did, curiously, see fit to reveal that: "Of course when he was young, he did all the things and was perfectly normal, up to all the mischief in gangs, raiding fruit trees and things like that". And, Aunt Olive did refer to him as having been a "little devil" ("I used to feel sorry for the little devil.."), an identification Cliff Richard makes of himself in the book 'Which One's Cliff?', when referring to his failure to pass the eleven-plus exam... He was surprised to fail the test, because he was, according to his own retrospective viewpoint - '..a cocky little devil of ten'.  

Whatever the accounts left to us by Cliff Richard's mother and aunt may tell us (or conceal from us) about the conflict or non-conflict between the boy Harry Webb and his younger sister, Donella (aka Donna), we must prioritise in the context of this enquiry the account attributed to Cliff Richard, himself, first published in 1977. 


3. Documentation of assaults: Did Harry Webb assault others?

In his popular autobiography, 'Which One's Cliff?', Cliff Richard not only refers to conflict he was involved with taking place within the bounds of his close-knit family; but. also, conflict he was involved with at school. It is documented that, contrary to his experience with his younger sisters, when it came to other boys at the first primary school he attended, in England, Harry (Cliff) was not able to '.lord it over them a bit...': 

'It had taken a couple of years and a good few nosebleeds to get used to school in England, anyway. At the start it was a nightmare. My first primary school was in Carshalton and all I can remember learning was how to defend myself. I suppose my skin was a bit swarthy after years in a hot climate and I was a target for endless taunts. 'Indibum' and then 'Red Indibum' followed me round every inch of the playground. Mum tried to help. 'It just shows how stupid these people are', she said. 'They don't even know where Red Indians really come from'. Although I felt I was one up on general knowledge, I guess the sympathy didn't help much. But I must say I became a terrific fighter. I wasn't brave and used to get away as often as not, but when I was cornered I gave as good as I got. My worst playground enemy was a kid who wore an old mac and looked like Batman, and whose chief pastime was to practice his wrestling holds on me. One day I couldn't stand it anymore and I remember grinding his wrist hard into the tarmac. It was horrific really and I think I did him a good deal of damage...' 

Cliff Richard portrays himself, looking back more than 25 years later, as having learnt, as a boy, to become 'a terrific fighter'. When cornered, he states: 'I gave as good as I got'. Finally, in this excerpt, he refers to his 'worst playground enemy', who used to practice wrestling holds on him, and the time when he couldn't put up with this boy's antagonistic, aggressive behaviour towards him any longer. This dramatic quote explicitly describes a serious, retaliatory assault made by Harry Webb on another boy: '..One day I couldn't stand it anymore and I remember grinding his wrist hard into the tarmac. It was horrific really and I think I did him a good deal of damage...' 
 
Accounts from three of his secondary school friends, quoted in 'Cliff Richard The Bachelor Boy' by Steve Turner strongly suggest that, later, during his teenage years, Harry Webb was not averse to assaulting others:

Pete Bush

"He was an absolute madman on the rugby pitch. He would go for you and his whole intention was to get you. He was terribly aggressive. He would go in really hard. No one wanted to get tackled by Harry Webb, as we knew him in those days. He certainly didn't mind getting dirty. I can never remember him having days off school for being ill. I think that was the difference with his family. He couldn't get away with things like that, whereas the rest of us could. He always turned up and that helped toughen him up even more. He certainly wasn't taunted at senior school because people there judged on merit rather than colour or creed. If you were good at sport, you stood out."     

John Vince

"He was a good fighter. When people would wrestle me he would come in and rescue me. He could throw the javelin well and nearly speared me one day. He was also good at throwing the discus."

Brian Cooke

"He was pretty good at football and rugby when he was at school. Also, a lot of people don't realise that he was undoubtedly the best scrapper in the school. You didn't play around with him. You wouldn't have gone round picking on him. He was very mild-mannered but there was this other side that you wouldn't want to see. I think that he'd had to look after himself when he arrived in England and this had toughened him up. After the first year of secondary school I can't remember anyone taunting him."

Summary

The anecdotal evidence provided by Pete Bush regarding the secondary schooldays of Cliff Richard - as Harry Webb - apparently reveals that he assaulted multiple other boys on the rugby pitch, without any concern for the damage he might have been causing to them by doing so. Brian Cooke, meanwhile, reveals: "..a lot of people don't realise that he was undoubtedly the best scrapper in the school. You didn't play around with him. You wouldn't have gone around picking on him. He was very mild-mannered, but there was this other side that you wouldn't want to see..."

Cliff Richard, himself, admitted in his 1977 autobiography to having ground the wrist of another boy '..hard into the tarmac..' adding, in a (seemingly unconcerned) matter-of-fact line '..It was horrific really and I think I did him a good deal of damage...' 

Taking into consideration what Pete Bush, Brian Cooke, John Vince and Cliff Richard, himself, have recalled about the schoolboy aggression and even violence engaged in by the boy, Harry Webb - the boy who would become Cliff Richard, I have to wonder how any credibility whatsoever can be attached to the February 2015 assertion, made by Cliff Richard in the first eight words of the third sentence of his statement responding to the sex abuse allegations he was then facing:

'...I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail...'


4. Mean Streak: The violent side to Cliff Richard

I have, so far, cited strong anecdotal evidence that the growing Harry Webb expressed a ruthless, violent side in his behaviour with others, both when he was provoked in some way and when a team player "on the rugby pitch". Although I've come across no similar anecdotal evidence of actual assaults having been committed by the adult Cliff Richard, there is no shortage of evidence strongly indicating that his violent side has been there during his adulthood, whether or not it has ever been physically expressed during these decades.

The first example here supporting this potential insight into Cliff Richard's split personality comes from a tabloid magazine article, published circa-1991 or 1992:

'..This drive for perfection makes Cliff appear cold. You feel that at some point in his career he chose fame and a long term career over personal relationships. As a result he gets attacked for everything from being "too likeable" to more intimate matters. It is a relief to know that while he follows his beliefs to turn the other cheek, inside he boils.

"I have a temper, inside I fume. I bite my lip, metaphorically sit on my hands. Sometimes when I go home I wish I could have killed that guy, rotheramed him", he says, head butting the air. "I wish I'd sworn because they might know how I felt. It would be a personal failure to hit or swear, it is more important not to do so... but in a Christian sense I have lost because I thought it."...'

Quite famously, Cliff Richard played the part of the character Heathcliff on stage. This dramatic personality originated in the classic novel 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte (first published in 1847). The musical 'Heathcliff', with Cliff Richard in the lead role, opened on 16th October 1996 at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham.

Interviewed by Saturday magazine around that time, Cliff Richard had this to say:

"The sense of freedom playing Heathcliff is overwhelming. That chance to be someone else apart from myself and all that entails is wonderful. All my life, when I go on stage, I have to be Cliff. My fans expect me to behave in a certain way, and I've never been able to deviate from that - always Mister Nice Guy, always sugar and spice.

I've been very controlled and regulated. I don't lose my temper, I don't scream and shout, and I don't have tantrums. Of course there are times when I feel incredibly angry and I want to hit someone, but I don't let it bubble over. I sit on my hands and stay cool on the outside, even though I'm boiling mad inside. There are moments when I wish I could lash out physically, but I put it behind me.

But playing Heathcliff gives me the freedom and license to do all of that. On stage, I beat up my wife, almost kill my brother, and I love it. The liberty to be demented, arrogant, possessive and all the other traits that go with being Heathcliff, to step outside of myself and become Mr Nasty is quite thrilling. And I can hear the audience gasp when I do it, which makes it even more exciting."

Here is another excerpt from 'Which One's Cliff?', which appears to demonstrate that Cliff Richard's brutal form of engagement with sport continued through into adulthood, rather than having been merely a personality trait that he somehow or other grew out of, having been (allegedly) "..an absolute madman on the rugby pitch" during his Harry Webb schooldays.

'..I remember one of my managers telling me that Badminton was a feeble game. It gave me great pleasure to grind him into the dust. He didn't realise how strenuous and how plain enjoyable it is knocking the daylight out of a bunch of feathers. I took it quite seriously for a time and my Dad and I made a formidable doubles team...'

Summary

I have quoted from an early-1990s tabloid magazine article (it looks to be Sunday Mirror Magazine), in which Cliff Richard is revealed, through his own admission, to have sometimes had murderous feelings towards men who upset him:

'.."Sometimes when I go home I wish I could have killed that guy, rotheramed him", he says, headbutting the air...'

Obviously, this is compelling anecdotal evidence that Cliff Richard, as an adult, has "sometimes" felt the desire to badly assault, or kill another man; but, we cannot assume from this particular confession (or other, similar ones), that Cliff Richard has actually carried out any assault, as an adult.

In the later Saturday magazine article, Cliff Richard rhapsodises about being able to play a character on stage who is extremely different to his "Mister Nice Guy" Cliff persona:

"..playing Heathcliff gives me the freedom and license to.. beat up my wife, almost kill my brother, and I love it. The liberty to be demented, arrogant, possessive and all the other traits that go with being Heathcliff..."

There is no sign from what Cliff Richard has said about this "Mr Nasty" role, that he thinks there is any contradiction between his avowed Christian faith and his acting the part of Heathcliff on stage... and, even when he finds it exhilarating ("overwhelming", "wonderful", "thrilling", "exciting") to be acting in this role, the perverse excitement he experiences is seemingly no problem at all for him, as a Christian. 

Finally, back to the 'Which One's Cliff?' book excerpt on badminton... it might be worth noting that when Cliff Richard tells us, of his manager: 'It gave me great pleasure to grind him into the dust...' - although we might want to casually dismiss this comment as just an exaggerated expression, rather than implying any degree of real, underlying sadism, it does connect rather well with the statement he makes elsewhere in the same book, admitting to having ground another boy's wrist hard into the tarmac.


5. Conclusion

In February 2015, Cliff Richard released a public statement in response to the police investigation of multiple claims of  'sex abuse' by him that had been reported to them. Here is that statement broken down into separated sentences. I am underlining the one sentence, which is of most concern to me here...

Cliff Richard Statement

I have no idea where these absurd and untrue allegations come from.

The police have not disclosed details to me.

I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail.

I have cooperated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to do so.

Beyond stating that the allegations are completely false, it would not be appropriate for me to say anything further until the investigation has concluded, which I hope will be very soon.

In the meantime, I would again, like to thank everyone for supporting me through this unbelievably difficult period.

First of all, taking the other content of the statement (sentences 1,2,4-6) into consideration... Cliff Richard tells us that he has 'no idea' where the allegations 'come from' and that 'the police have not disclosed details to me'. This might be an exaggeration of his own ignorance, taking into account that South Yorkshire Police reportedly '..updated the singer's team on their work every fortnight..' ...Cliff Richard states that he is cooperating 'fully with the police, and will.. continue to do so'. This promise turned out to be false, as he ended up suing South Yorkshire Police for a lot of money. Perhaps, Cliff Richard just has a different concept of what cooperating means to the understanding that most of the rest of us have? ...He states that he 'would.. like to thank everyone for supporting me', craftily implying by the phrasing he uses that 'everyone' was supporting him, when this was and is very far from the case ...He closes the statement by referring to an 'unbelievably difficult period' that he has been through. The word 'unbelievably' effectively is telling us that we won't be able to believe how difficult the time he has been through has been, yet that doesn't appear to have been so, at all, for those who have supported him - they seem to very much believe that he has been through an extremely 'difficult period'.    

Returning to the one of the six sentences that is the main subject of this enquiry:

I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail.

I have shown here, in Part 2, anecdotal evidence from Cliff Richard, himself - a form of admission, published in a book, which he fully authorised, that Cliff Richard, when he was a boy (then called Harry Webb), assaulted his sister, Donella (aka Donna):

'When Donna.. used to drive me mad, I'd roll up a newspaper and wallop her with that. When mother came home and asked why Donna was crying, I'd say I didn't know, I'd never laid a hand on her!'

I have also shown here, in Part 3, anecdotal evidence from Cliff Richard, himself - published in the same authorised autobiography, that Cliff Richard, as a schoolboy '..became a terrific fighter..' and that he, on at least one occasion carried out a serious retaliatory assault on another boy:

'..One day I couldn't stand it anymore and I remember grinding his wrist hard into the tarmac. It was horrific really and I think I did him a good deal of damage...'

In conclusion, I think most who have carefully read this entire feature will acknowledge that the statement that Cliff Richard released in February 2015, in response to 'historic sex abuse allegations' made against him, is very unlikely to be completely truthful. It can hardly be considered credible that he has really 'never.. assaulted anyone' in his life, when we take into account the evidence I have presented here, including the 1977 admissions from Cliff Richard, himself, that he HAD ASSAULTED OTHER PEOPLE.

Pete Bush


'He was an absolute madman on the rugby pitch. He would go for you and his whole intention was to get you'

Brian Cooke

'..He was undoubtedly the best scrapper in the school... He was very mild-mannered but there was this other side that you wouldn't want to see'

Cliff Richard

'..I remember grinding his wrist hard into the tarmac. It was horrific really and I think I did him a good deal of damage...'

Cliff Richard

'..I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail...'

Monday, May 27, 2019


David Bowie's Father Had Dealings With Cliff Richard Fan Club

Recently, I've found information in two Cliff Richard Fan Club magazines, from 1961, detailing cooperation between the fan club and Dr.Barnardo's children's homes.. cooperation that involved David Bowie's father. Mr. Haywood Jones, father of David Jones - David Bowie of the future - was, at that time public relations officer for the charity.

The first information that I have access to is from the fourth Cliff Richard fan club magazine of 1961, and is largely comprised of a letter sent by David Bowie's father to the club, referring in part to a visit he made to their headquarters, in connection with money they had raised. There is also some explanatory commentary from Jan Vane, the club's founder and president:

CLIFF RICHARD FAN CLUB 1961 #4

A Letter from Dr. Barnardo's Homes

You may be wondering what we are doing with the £80 we collected to buy ponies for Dr. Barnardo's Homes. Well Mr. Haywood Jones, their public relations officer, came down to see me about it just recently and we have just received this letter: -

Dear Miss Vane,

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your club last week and was interested to see what a hive of industry it is. I am sure the members of the fan club who have subscribed so generously for the ponies will be wondering what on earth we are doing about it. I really must apologise for the delay which is entirely my fault. Unfortunately, just at the moment when I was going to start looking for a pony it became necessary to move two ponies which were at one of our other homes and these are being sent to Homes that have been asking for them. You will remember that I explained all this to you and you agreed that the fund could be used for moving the ponies from Canterbury to their new homes - Jane to Kelvedon and Silver to Crawley. This will not cost very much and we shall be left with enough money to buy a pony for another home. So, as a result, the fan club is helping three of our homes instead of one!

As most of the homes are away camping at the moment it is a little difficult to decide which should have the Cliff Richard Fan Club pony but I hope to be able to let you know very soon.

Will you please thank the very generous Fan Club members who have sent in the money, and convey to them my sincere apologies for the delay.

Your sincerely;
Haywood S. Jones

I hope this will satisfy your curiosity as it is only natural you're wondering what has become of the money. As soon as we know something definite it will be printed in the magazine.

The next, 5th, issue of the fan club magazine was designated a '21st Birthday Edition', meaning that it was commemorating Cliff Richard's 21st birthday, in October 1961. This contains an update on the Dr. Barnardo's / pony situation, in the form of an article, and, on the back cover, two illustrative photos.

Because I have only a poor quality scan of  the article, some - though not much - of the text is currently missing or uncertain:

CLIFF RICHARD FAN CLUB 1961 #5

The Day 'CLIFF' was Taken (?) to the Children of Dr. Barnardo's Homes

We have at last bought a pony for one of Dr. Barnardo's Homes. As most of you know the money to buy it was raised by you, our members, through raffles and voluntary contributions. After several trips to stables to find a suitable pony, and a visit to the home it was going to, the 8 year old Dapple pony was bought. A Mr. --- P---ley of the --- Gale Memorial Stables found the pony for me as he knew the type we would require. The pony was to be delivered to the home, at Kelvedon, Essex, on Tuesday Sept. 12th (?). I was invited out there to see it arrive and present it on behalf of all of you. When I arrived there was great excitement among the children. 'Mother' was busy tidying up the 'tots' ready for the arrival of 'CLIFF', although the pony already had a name the children had decided that it would have to be re-christened 'CLIFF'. Everybody was busy doing something or other, even the other animals had to be brushed ready for the new arrival. The children's ages range from babies to teenagers, boys and girls. The other pets they have are: one rather old pony called 'Crackers', a donkey, a goat, a Pyrenean mountain dog, a spaniel, dozens of rabbits (white), about eight budgies, ten (?) golden pigs, two kittens and two gold-fish. (I think that's all, unless there's any more rabbits since I was last there) The great moment arrived and there stood all the tots waving to 'CLIFF' as he was driven up the drive in a horsebox. The pony, donkey and Alpine dog were also on the ----- to look over their new friend. As you can see from the pictures on the back of the cover 'CLIFF' will have plenty of friends at his new home. That's me in the first pic, wearing all white, the older girls there are the ones that'll ride the pony, as he's too big for the tots. (pic.2)

All the children wish to thank you for their new friend. I wish you could have all seen their little faces when 'CLIFF' trotted out of the horse-box, that was reward enough.

FOOTNOTE. We had hoped to buy two ponies but this one alone cost £-- (£-- was collected and the club put the £-) so if you should hear of one that's unwanted or isn't too dear please let me know.

Connections between David Bowie and Cliff Richard, which could be described as indirect, direct of just in some way possibly worth noting continued through the 1960's and the 1970's. Here is a timeline summary for anyone that might find this of interest for whatever reason: 

January 1947

'David Robert Jones was born at 40 Stansfield Road, Brixton, at 9 a.m. on January 8, 1947, the third child of Margaret Mary Burns, the second of Haywood Stenton Jones..' [Bowie The Pitt Report by Kenneth Pitt = BTPR]

1961

David Bowie's father, as public relations officer of Dr. Barnardo's deals with the application of a financial gift from the Cliff Richard Fan Club, visiting their headquarters and communicating by letter with them.

Late-1962

Drummer, Dave Hadfield, who had played with Harry Webb (Cliff Richard) several years earlier, joins The Kon-rads - the band includes (the future) David Bowie.

March 1967

David Bowie goes to see Aladdin at the London Palladium, starring Cliff Richard. He is in the company of his manager, Kenneth Pitt, and cousins of Mr. Pitt. [BTPR]

July 1969

David Bowie's manager, Ken Pitt, makes contact with an old friend, Tito Burns, in connection with David Bowie's career. Tito Burns had been an early manager of Cliff Richard (around 1959-1960). [BTPR]

July 1969

David Bowie takes part in the Malta Song Festival, in which Cliff Richard's primary musical mentor of the 1960's - Norrie Paramor - has a prominent role. [BTPR]

February 1970

David Bowie and Cliff Richard are both attendees, photographed together at the Disc Awards, held at Café Royal, Piccadilly, London.

Circa-1973

Cliff Richard makes condemnatory remarks about David Bowie in at least one press interview...

"What is this Bowie man/woman image on the stage doing to young people? He upsets me as a man. There's a great responsibility all of us singers have to the ten year olds and some of us aren't living up to it"

[Quoted in Steve Turner Cliff Richard: The Biography]

"Here's a genuine married man dressing up as a woman. The impact is not on people like myself, or those in my age group but on youngsters who will be tomorrow's people. What will those ten and eleven year olds think of someone who's a man dressing up as a woman at a pop show?.. He upsets me as a man"

[Quote in image from unidentified Bowie biography or article tweeted by Lee Rourke (2016)]

November 1979

A substantial Cliff Richard article, insightfully written by Susan Hill, is published. While interviewed by Ms. Hill, Cliff Richard has, once more, brought up the subject of David Bowie...

'..We talk about cult figures in rock, and Cliff mounts what seems like a hobby horse that should have been put out to grass years ago.

"I really like David Bowie. That album, 'Ziggy Stardust', I thought was great, but I can't believe it didn't have a bad effect on the kids. I mean, he was purveying homosexuality, that's what it was all about. That sort of image and power is very dangerous."

I demur, saying I feel he overestimates the potency of that particular Bowie persona and that, in any case, "Ziggy" was a "concerned" album, very political, not merely flippantly sexual. I mention "Five Years". Cliff didn't remember that one..'  

[Melody Maker, November 3rd 1979]

Friday, April 05, 2019


Let's Call It W-F

When considering the name 'Wi-Fi' and why I found it so insulting to my intelligence, I was reminded of something one of the members of Crass - I think it was Penny Rimbaud - once said about the anti-nuclear movement in America. As I recall it, he said that although he was in sympathy with their aims, he disliked the way that they referred to nuclear weapons as 'Nukes', which he thought was a word that, by its use trivialised the seriousness of the destructive threat they were claiming to be opposed to.

The name 'Wi-Fi' is horrible. The reason for this, I surmised is because it sounds like the name of a character from children's TV, or an element of some other ostensibly benevolent entertainment that would be enjoyed by children. The use of this word - 'Wi-Fi' - to describe something that is responsible for inflicting toxic radiation upon millions of people, including children, babies and unborn children [*], has, by design or circumstance less clear, influenced the mass public in an infantilising way.

It suits the Wireless Industry that every time anyone refers to a key facet of their vastly wide-reaching and profitable technological business interests, a part of the speaker, writer or thinker's mind is regressing to an infantile state. When the person thinking the word 'Wi-Fi' was once a child, it is likely that a powerful adult, who could do things that were beyond their abilities and understanding, would switch on a television set for them to watch a children's TV programme, or furnish them with a similarly benign entertainment. Now, as adults, they partially regress to that passive, grateful, unquestioning state before the predations of the Wireless Industry and their ghastly 'Wi-Fi', believing it - to some extent through the subconscious influence of the infantile name - to be as perfectly harmless as the audio-visual fare they were provided with as children.

Basic research on 'Wi-Fi', as well as comparable children's TV show character names and more follows here:

Wi-Fi

'..The name Wi-Fi; commercially used at least as early as August 1999, was coined by the brand-consulting firm Interbrand...' (Wikipedia)

'Interbrand, a division of Omnicom, is a brand consultancy, specializing in areas such as brand strategy, brand analytics, brand valuation, corporate design, digital brand management, packaging design, and naming. Interbrand has 24 offices in 17 countries...' (Wikipedia)

'Wi-Fi doesn't stand for anything.

It is not an acronym. There is no meaning.

Wi-Fi and the ying yang style logo were invented by Interbrand. We (the founding members of the Wi-Fi Alliance) hired Interbrand to come up with the name and logo that we could use for our interoperability seal and marketing efforts. We needed something that was a little catchier than "IEEE 802.116 Direct Sequence". Interbrand created "Prozac", "Compaq", "oneworld", "Imation" and many other brand names that you have heard of..

...some of my colleagues in the group were afraid. They didn't understand branding or marketing. They could not imagine using the name "Wi-Fi" without having some sort of literal explanation. So we compromised and agreed to include the tag line "The Standard for Wireless Fidelity" along with the name. This was a mistake... we chose the name Wi-Fi from a list of 10 names that Interbrand proposed...' (Phil Belanger / boingboing.net)

Kiki etc.

'Hector's House.. is a children's television series using hand puppets.. it was a French production.. revoiced for a British audience.. first broadcast in 1965.. In the United Kingdom, it was first shown on the 9 September 1968 and the series of 78 episodes continued as a repeat until 12 September 1975 for its 5-minute-long screenings on BBC1 at 5:40 p.m. before the News...

The main characters, affable Hector the Dog and cute Zsazsa the Cat, live in a house and beautiful garden. Kiki the Frog, dressed in a pink smock, is a constant and at times an intrusive visitor, through her hole in the wall...' (Wikipedia)

Tinky Winky etc.

'Teletubbies is a British pre-school children's television series.. The programme focuses on four multi-coloured creatures known as "Teletubbies", named after the television screens implanted in their abdomens. Recognised throughout popular culture for the uniquely shaped antenna protruding from the head of each character, the Teletubbies communicate through gibberish and were designed to bear resemblance to toddlers.

Particularly notable for its high production values, the series rapidly became a commercial success in Britain and abroad.. By October 2000, the franchise generated over £1 billion in merchandise sales...

Main characters

Tinky Winky... Dipsey... Laa-Laa... Po...' (Wikipedia)

Do-Re-Mi

'Do-Re-Mi is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. Within the story, it is used by Maria to teach the notes of the major musical scale to the Von Trapp children who learn to sing for the first time, even though their father disallowed frivolity after their mother's death. Each syllable of the musical solfège system appears in the song's lyrics, sung on a pitch it names...

In the stage version, Maria sings this song in the living room of Captain von Trapp's house, shortly after she introduces herself to the children.. In the film, Maria and the children sing this song over a montage as they wander and frolic over Salzburg...' (Wikipedia)

Wi-Fi

'Wi-Fi is technology (let's call it W-F) for radio wireless local area networking of devices based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. Wi-Fi (let's call it W-F) is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Devices that can use Wi-Fi technologies (let's call it W-F) include desktops and laptops, video game consoles, smartphones (sheephones? baaaphones?) and tablets, smart TV's (sheep TV's? baaa TV's?), digital audio players, cars and modern printers. Wi-Fi compatible devices (let's call it W-F) can connect to the internet via a WLAN and a wireless access point. Such an access point or hotspot has a range of about 20 metres.. indoors and a greater range outdoors. Hotspot coverage can be as small as a single room with walls that block radio waves, or as large as many square kilometres achieved by using multiple overlapping access points...' (Wikipedia)

[*] For evidence of the harm done to people and all other living entities by W-F electromagnetic fields, see Martin Blank, Ph D - OVERPOWERED : What Science Tells Us about the Dangers of Cell Phones and Other WiFi-Age Devices... of particular relevance being:

Chapter 4.... EMF DAMAGES DNA

Chapter 5.... EMF AND CANCER

Chapter 6.... OTHER HEALTH EFFECTS OF EMF

Chapter 7.... THE NONHUMAN IMPACT OF EMF.. (Birds, Bees, Plants, Environment)

Chapter 13.... CHILDREN AND THE ELECTROHYPERSENSITIVE 

Saturday, February 23, 2019


TONY BLAIR : FETTES FAG


Part Fourteen | 2014-2018


Ex-Tony Blair Adviser Is New Boss At UK Spy-Hive GCHQ

By Kelly Fiveash / 15.04.2014

GCHQ's eavesdropping concrete doughnut in Cheltenham is getting a new boss from autumn this year, the government confirmed today.

Robert Hannigan is set to replace Sir Ian Lobban, who has been in the post for nearly six years...

The new man was appointed by Foreign Secretary William Hague with the blessing of Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg...

...Gloucestershire-born Hannigan.. previously had the ear of one-time Labour PM Tony Blair, whom he advised on Northern Ireland's peace process.

He later headed up Blighty's national security strategy in 2007 under Blair, and appears on the steering group for the Cabinet Office's 2008 review of the government's handling of personal data... At the time, Hannigan was Head of Security, Intelligence and Resilience, at the Cabinet Office...

theregister.co.uk


Pressure Mounts On Tony Blair To Answer Questions Over Minister Child Sex Abuse Cover-Up Claims

By Tom Pettifor / 29.04.2014

Pressure mounted on Tony Blair tonight to answer questions over the Mirror's revelations that a child sex abuse probe was axed after a minister in his government was named as a suspect.

MPs joined forces with a victim of abuse to call on the former Prime Minister to reveal if he knew about the alleged cover up of any allegations against the politician.

The demands followed our story that an ex-social services boss told the police in 1998 the Blair minister made evening visits to a children's home in Lambeth, south London, run by paedophile Michael John Carroll in the 1980s.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said yesterday that he would not comment...

Experienced detective Clive Driscoll was removed from the investigation into abuse in Lambeth children's homes and given other duties in 1998 after he named the Blair minister as a suspect..

The Mirror


Kincora Scandal : I Will Reveal The Secrets, Says Ex-Army Officer Colin Wallace

By Liam Clarke / 17.07.2014

A former Army captain says he is prepared to tell an official inquiry how attempts to expose child abuse at the Kincora Boys' Home were blocked by MI5.

Colin Wallace, a psychological warfare expert who served in the Army during the Troubles, says he and a number of other retired officers would be prepared to give evidence.

It follows calls for the east Belfast home to be included in a Government inquiry into child sex abuse. In 1981 three senior care staff at the home were jailed for abusing 11 boys.

Mr Wallace feels the inquiry could be the last chance to find out the truth of what happened at Kincora.

He said: "David Cameron has said no stone will be left unturned in uncovering child sex abuse rings in the 1970s and 1980s.

Well, I can tell him there was a lot of information on Kincora, but people who know about it are dying and files may be destroyed..."

Mr Wallace stated: "When I was working with military intelligence the Army did want to expose Kincora but MI5 didn't. That led me to the conclusion that MI5 had some extra interest..."

Since leaving the Army he said he had been told that boys from Kincora were being taken to Brighton to be abused.

While in the Army he believed well-connected paedophiles were using the home, including Sir Knox Cunningham, who was parliamentary private secretary to former PM Harold Macmillan.

The abuse allegations in the home centred around a secretive loyalist paramilitary organisation known as Tara.. largely made up of Orange Order members...

In 1973 Capt Wallace prepared a briefing paper for journalists which set out allegations about Tara and its role in homosexual activity in Kincora and named Sir Knox...

Belfast Telegraph


Probe Into Historic Sex Abuse At Fettes College

By Alistair Grant / 13.03.2016

Fettes College - which boasts former Prime Minister Tony Blair among its famous alumni - is understood to be at the centre of decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct by former staff.

The claims make it just the latest of Scotland's most prestigious schools to be implicated in a historic abuse scandal.

Merchiston Castle.. in the south west of the Capital, has seen two former members of staff charged with sexual offences committed in the 1960s.  

Meanwhile, a former physics teacher at Gordonstoun school in Moray has appeared in court accused of crimes dating back to the 1980s.

It is understood the allegations at Fettes relate to incidents that stretch back to the mid-1980s.

It was reported over the weekend that names passed to police are believed to include some individuals linked to the so-called "Magic Circle" scandal of the early 1990s...

...The school was unavailable for comment at time of going to press. However, a spokesman was reported in a Sunday newspaper to say: "Police have carried out investigations into allegations of non-recent abuse. Fettes College have co-operated fully with their inquiries."...

Edinburgh Evening News


Four Students Expelled From Tony Blair's Old Private School After Drink And Drugs Party

By Thomas Brown / 31.05.2016

...The 15-year-olds were expelled from £33,000-a-year Fettes College in Edinburgh following the off-campus alcohol and cannabis binge.

It is understood they also rubbed a legal high called Snooze into their gums.

The secret party was discovered when one of the teens fell and burst his nose as he got off a busy bus in the city centre.

Last night a source said chiefs are furious that another drugs scandal has hit the school where former PM Tony Blair was a pupil.

The source said "The four boys involved had been taking the drugs at the weekend and were in town when one of them fell getting off a bus.

He was so out of it he was struggling to walk.

When he fell he broke his nose and needed to be treated for it.

When they got back to the college school staff realised they had all been drinking and taking drugs.

Some of them had also been using fake ID"...

The source added "The headmaster went mental and expelled the four boys for breaking the rules.

Another group who had also been taking the bevvy and drugs have been 'gated'...

There is a real culture at Fettes of kids drinking and using drugs - they all have money and have lots of time on their hands, especially at the weekends...

Most of the boys involved are rugby players and have represented the school at various events and play rugby for well established teams.

When this news broke the school were keen to try and keep it hushed up as the last thing they want is another drugs scandal.

Since the boys have been expelled it's the talk of the school.

The school management will be gutted that the press have got a hold of it"...

The Sun


Take It From A Whistleblower : Chilcot's Jigsaw Puzzle Is Missing A Few Pieces

By Katherine Gun / 08.07.2016 

Following the damning Chilcot report, much will be said about the decision to go to war in Iraq. But one thing will be missing: the information I leaked in the run-up to the war. It won't get an airing because I was never questioned or asked to participate in the Chilcot inquiry.

Back in early 2013, Tony Blair was keen to secure UN backing for a resolution that would authorise the use of force against Iraq. I was a linguist and analyst at GCHQ when, on 31 Jan 2003, I along with dozens of others in GCHQ, received an email from a senior official at the National Security Agency. It said the agency was "mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN security council (UNSC) members", and that it wanted "the whole gamut of information that could give US policy makers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises."

In other words, the US planned to use intercepted communications of the security council delegates.. principally directed at the six swing nations.. Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria, Guinea and Pakistan...

I was furious when I read that email and leaked it. Soon afterwards, when the Observer ran a front-page story: "US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war", I confessed to the leak and was arrested...

I believed that on receiving the email, UK parliamentary members might question the urgency and motives of the war hawks, and demand further deliberations and scrutiny...

Chilcot's report does not apportion blame. But it does provide ample evidence of what many of us knew all along: this was an illegal war, that military intervention was by no means a last resort, that all avenues were not exhausted and that Iraq posed no immediate threat to the UK. Furthermore, the post-invasion plan for Iraq looked like it had been scribbled on the back of a beer mat. Blair was warned by the intelligence services that the threat levels to the UK would increase, that Iraqi weapons would fall into the hands of al-Qaida. The consequences of his lack of concern about these things can be felt to this day...

The Guardian


Two Top Public Schools Attended By Prince Charles And Tony Blair Are Investigated As Part Of A Major Inquiry Into Child Abuse

By Graham Grant and Eleanor Harding / 01.02.2017

...Gordonstoun, the alma mater of the heir to the throne, and Fettes College - where the former Labour Prime Minister was a pupil - both feature in the statutory probe.

Other private schools under investigation include Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, Loretto School in Musselburgh and Morrison's Academy in Crieff.

The boarding schools are being probed as part of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry into more than 60 residential care establishments which have been identified as sites of alleged child abuse or neglect...

More than 100 locations where abuse is said to have taken place have been pinpointed by the inquiry, which was set up by the Scottish Government and launched in October 2015.

A forthcoming publicity drive will see posters in bus shelters and advertising abroad to encourage more victims to come forward...

Daily Mail


Portraits Of Shame : The Paedophile Paintings Which Disgrace Scotland's Elite Private Schools

By Vicky Allan / 09.07.2017

STAFF, pupils and parents at Scotland's most prestigious private schools are starting to look with a mixture of horror and dismay at the portraits which line the walls of some of the most expensive teaching establishments in the country... as some are the paintings of teachers who used their high-powered and high-salaried positions to sexually abuse the children under their control.

At top Edinburgh private school, Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools, a portrait of a former headteacher has just been removed from the walls after it was revealed that its subject, Norman Baker, had been convicted in 1945 of indecent acts against young boys and sent to prison for two years.

Meanwhile, a plaque dedicated to another headmaster, whose reputation has been plagued by stories of abuse, remains hanging at the famed Edinburgh public school, Fettes College, despite angered complaints from parents...

...Several times in the past few decades requests have been made for the removal of a plaque which hangs in the chapel of the Edinburgh private school Fettes College, which is dedicated to the former headmaster Anthony Chenevix-Trench. Though no abuse stories have yet emerged regarding Chenevix-Trench's time at Fettes, there are many from his previous positions at Bradfield and Shrewsbury, and it is now widely believed his approach to flogging is what lay behind him being forced to leave Eton.. prior to coming to Fettes. Former pupils claim he masturbated while beating them...

..Alex Renton, author of Stiff Upper Lip: Secrets, Crimes And The Schooling Of A Ruling Class, said:

"At Fettes many people, staff, parents and children, know the reputation of the man whose portrait hangs in pride of place in their front hall. Chenevix-Trench was a vicious sadist and sexual abuser who would be locked up if he was alive today - he might well have been then.

The establishment knew all about him: he had abused children and his position as headmaster at four of the country's most famous schools. My research shows that in 1970 the Fettes governors were warned by their equivalents at Eton - who had effectively sacked him - not to give him the headmastership. But Fettes ignored the advice, just as the governors today have ignored the pleas of Chenevix-Trench's victims to stop celebrating him..

The school is a charity. Its job is the care of children. It is under investigation over historic child abuse by both Scottish police and the independent inquiry: yet it persists in celebrating this vicious child abuser on its walls. What does that say to children there now?"

Scottish Herald


Tony Blair In Wonderland

By Kenneth Surin / 30.08.2017

Tony Blair is clearly a piece of work. Incidentally, I've known about him for decades before he became well-known.

Blair went to Fettes, the Scottish equivalent of the elite private school Eton...

A good friend of mine during my undergrad days in the late 60s/early 70s had the misfortune (his term) to attend Fettes the same time as Blair.

My Old Fettesian undergraduate friend, like me a future university teacher, moved in very different circles from Blair at Fettes.. who at that time had seeming thespian aspirations and gloried in the nickname "Emma".

My friend was unable to tell me how this nickname came to be bestowed on the future prime minister...

counterpunch.org


Posh Edinburgh School Pupil Expelled After Turning Up At Chapel Service On Ecstacy Bender

By Record Reporter / 19.09.2017

...The 16-year-old was rushed to hospital from the prestigious Fettes College in Edinburgh after his behaviour aroused suspicion during the service.

He recovered after being released and reported to police after more of the class A drug was understood to have been found in his room.

In a statement, headmaster Geoffrey Stanford said: "The use of a class A substance has shocked both pupils and staff. We are, however, in no way complacent and know this is a national issue. It is one which we treat very seriously."

The school, which counts former Prime Minister Tony Blair among its past pupils, was revealed as the most expensive independent school in Scotland last month...

Daily Record


By Paul Joseph Watson / 04.01.2018

Tony Blair is a sociopath who led my country into the most disastrous war in recent history.

A war that led to a ruined country, a destabilized continent, around 1 million dead and the rise of ISIS.

Why on earth is anyone still listening to him?

@PrisonPlanet


Top Edinburgh School Removes Ex-Head's Portrait Amid Sex Abuse Inquiry

By Shan Ross / 25.03.2018

A leading private school has removed a portrait of one of its former headmasters from its Great Hall, ahead of a major inquiry into historical sexual abuse claims against him.

Fettes College in Edinburgh have taken the action as the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry looks into allegations against Anthony Chenevix-Trench following allegations he would beat pupils for his own sexual gratification.

The school. whose alumni include former Prime Minister Tony Blair, has also carried out its own internal investigation over the claims.

Chenevix-Trench was appointed to his post at Fettes in 1971 and remained until his death in 1979, aged 60.

David Blackie, 71, who claims to have endured brutal sadism from Chenevix-Trench, campaigned for the school to remove the portrait.

A statement released by Fettes' governors said: "We have no information to suggest that any crime was committed by Mr Chenevix-Trench while at Fettes.

However, as we have reported to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, his specific judgment in handling two specific matters did not measure up to the excellent pastoral care we pride ourselves on at Fettes today."

The Scotsman  


Tony Blair's Former School, Fettes College In Edinburgh, Removes Tributes To Abusers

By Marcello Mega / 26.03.2018

One of the UK's best-known independent schools has started to distance itself from two of the most celebrated figures in its history as it braces for revelations from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Fettes College in Edinburgh, which counts Tony Blair among its old boys, has removed from the chapel a plaque to Ronald Selby Wright, its most famous former chaplain, once described by the school's historian as the former prime minister's spiritual mentor.

The school has also removed a portrait in the great hall and a plaque in the chapel commemorating former headmaster Anthony Chenevix-Trench...

The Times


Tony Blair Confirms Receiving Millions In Donation From Saudi

06.09.2018

Tony Blair's relationship with Saudi Arabia has come under scrutiny following the revelation that the non-government organisation set up under his name has received millions of pounds from Riyadh.

Accounts published yesterday by the Tony Blair Institute confirmed earlier reports that Blair had received donations of up to $12 million from the Kingdom.

The Saudi donation, according to the Financial Times, comes from an organisation called Media Investment Limited (MIL), which is a subsidiary of Saudi Research and Marketing Group, registered in Guernsey...

Following the revelations, questions were raised over some of the Institute's decisions, including Blair himself, who supported UK intervention in Syria; a policy that would have primarily benefited the Saudi-backed opposition groups.

Blair's Institute also wrote flattering articles about Bin Salman during the crown prince's visit to the UK.. "Britain should learn from Saudi Arabia and how it has demonstrated a clear commitment to tackling the politicisation of Islam to inform policymaking," one article read...

middleeastmonitor.com