How many of us can say where we were and what we did 30 years ago?

I’M a bit apprehensive about this week’s column! The last time I wrote about Sir Cliff Richard or ‘Cliffgate’, as I dubbed it – South Yorkshire police force’s handling of sex abuse allegations dating back to 1985 – my article attracted numerous letters to this paper’s Letters page and, at the time of writing, 28 five-star votes and 25 (a record?) readers’ vitriolic comments: both for and against Sir Cliff.
News this time round concerns the sale of the property belonging to Sir Cliff which was the scene of one of the most controversial police raids in recent times. Confirmed by his close friend Cilla Black, she has also expressed concerns about his welfare:
“Cliff told me he’s just put the flat on the market. It’s the saddest thing for him but he had to do it. He said he never wants to live there again. It’s awful. Cliff is not all right, not at all. He doesn’t want to go back there because he’s worried this is still hanging over him. When the police raided, it was an invasion of his privacy. He will never, ever go back there again. I don’t blame him.”
More ‘allegations’ (strongly denied by Sir Cliff) reportedly surfaced following this highly-publicised police raid. Sadly, there’ll always be individuals who seize the opportunity of making money by simply making accusations which, 30 years on, nobody can categorically prove or disprove.
How many of us can truthfully say where we were and what we did 30 years ago? Wow, I can hardly remember what I was doing last week!
Now, if we’re talking about real abuse, what about another piece of recent news. Namely, that child protection chief, Sue Berelowitz, criticised for failing to speak out about widespread sexual abuse by British Pakistani gangs, quit her job with a six-figure payoff only to be immediately rehired on almost £1,000 a day.
This is not so much to do with child protection as with the patently abusive, cynical manner in which the public sector almost routinely ‘enhances’ people’s pensions by offering them fat ‘redundancy’ cheques prior to retirement, then retains them in some way or other subsequently.
Or, as one tabloid headline unintentionally (but genuinely!) put it recently: ‘Private sector when it comes to pay rises, pubic sector for pensions…’

Nora Johnson’s thrillers Landscape of Lies, Retribution, Soul Stealer, The De Clerambault Code ( available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore.
Profits to Cudeca.

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    • Janice

      12 June 2015 • 14:51

      Sir Cliff Richard’s been publicly humiliated yet still no charges brought or hard evidence presented – to date just a police raid filmed by the BBC on the spurious grounds of ‘public interest’.

      The media witch hunt surrounding him has been dreadful. Who wouldn’t feel equally devastated if that happened to any of us particularly if we were innocent? Really, until charged, an individual’s name should never be made public.

      I’m no great supporter of Cliff’s but the way he’s been treated has been disgraceful and undeniably shabby. Where’s the justice in all this?

    • Roy Peters

      14 June 2015 • 23:15

      To me it is nothing more than an opportunity for evil people to get compensation. Why have they waited 40 odd years to come forward? No-one has an answer!
      I feel deeply sorry for Sir Cliff, he does not deserve this. Those in the Police and the BBC who allowed this to go public should lose their jobs and be prosecuted.
      I cannot forget the sadness on the face of Sir Cliff when he landed in England a few days ago. The poor man must be going through hell.


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