Statement on Harvey Proctor

Sean Gabb

My longest meeting with Harvey Proctor was on the last Friday in March 1982. For reasons to do with one of my dissertations, I had withdrawn to my bed in the late afternoon. At 6pm, one of the porters knocked on my door. I opened it in my pyjamas and stood blinking at him and Harvey Proctor MP.

I should explain that Mr Proctor and I both attended York University, though at different times, and that he was always most generous with his time when it came to invitations from the University of York Conservative Association. On this occasion, the Social Secretary had invited him and neglected either to tell anyone else on the committee, or to remember it herself. Mr Proctor arrived, with a speech prepared and in anticipation of a long and jolly dinner afterwards, and I was the only committee member who hadn’t gone off on a pub crawl. This was before our modern age of mobile telephones. Mr Proctor had travelled all the way from London, and had no chance to give his speech.

Embarrassing – but taken with very good humour. What I most vividly remember of the rest of the evening was that Mr Proctor was wearing the same perfume as our Social Secretary, and could do a passable impersonation – perhaps not entirely deliberate – of Larry Grayson.

I can’t say that I knew him well. He was always on the authoritarian wing of the Party, and I was not. But I liked him, and, after university, would sometimes go and see him give a speech in the East End of London. I was sorry to read about his troubles with the law, and believed that a distinguished career had been unfairly cut short.

I turn to the current allegations against him – paedophile rape and murder, and membership of a semi-satanic cult that included Edward Heath. Though, as said, I never knew him well, I find it impossible to believe a word of these allegations. Mr Proctor had – and possibly still has – a taste for rent boys over the age of sixteen, and for flagellation. These relationships have always been consensual. But, while I knew, in the 1980s, of the allegations lately confirmed against Leon Brittan and Peter Morrison and Edward Heath et al, I never heard so much as a whisper that Mr Proctor was engaged in any non-consensual activity. Again, though I never knew him well, what I did know of him never suggested the faintest suspicion of the present lurid claims.

I have nothing to tell the police in Mr Proctor’s support. But, for what little it may be worth, I will express my firm conviction that the claims against him are false and malicious, and that the officers concerned should be disciplined for a shocking abuse of power. I wish him well, and commend the courage he has shown.

For the record, I also doubt the more shocking allegations made against Edward Heath and Leon Brittan. It is now a rebuttable presumption that every Member of Parliament has a taste for bribes or prostitutes or both. But I shall need better evidence than I have yet seen to believe that any of them has a taste for sacrificial murder. After a month in Slovakia, I came back here last night to a strong feeling that I had been recommitted to a vast open-air lunatic asylum.

8 thoughts on “Statement on Harvey Proctor

  1. Another side-effect of the paedo witch-hunt being stretched to the extremity of its credibility is the possibility that guilty ‘celebrities’ and MPs will get off the hook precisely because they will be seen as innocent victims of malicious accusations on the back of a stream of others.

    In the same way you believe Proctor is innocent without substantiation, my conviction is that Heath and Brittan were guilty. I have read too much — long, long before the stories made it to the national press — to be able to get the niggling thoughts out of my mind.

  2. I have absolutely no idea of Proctor’s guilt or innocence and cannot comment on that. But a body was found – there was a young boy murdered whose partial bones were recovered and then the case was ignored for decades. I’m referring to 8-year-old Vishal Mehrotra. For this reason, I would like the police to continue to dig into this case and find out *who is* guilty. Attempts to short-circuit this process by a statement by Proctor to the media are not quite right. It seems undeniable that some Establishment figures have been allowed to get away with some kinds of abuse for decades. I draw distinctions between boys over and under the legal age of consent, boys over and under the biological of puberty, and boys who are willing and experienced rent boys even if too young to give legal consent and those who are forced into it. These are all slightly different categories of offence. For example, consensual sex with a 15 year old, well after puberty but deemed incapable of legal consent, is not the same thing as forcible rape of an 8 year old, although both would be illegal. It’s unfortunate that most coverage of these cases confuses all these things. Hysteria and false accusations are a risk in this, but so is the risk that Establishment figures will be let off yet again. Sean’s comments indicate that Harvey Proctor is probably not guilty — and we should be thinking in terms of guilt beyond all reasonable doubt — but there are Establishment figures who are guilty of such things, and they must be brought to book. I suspect in the end, it will all be pinned on people who are now dead. Edward Heath qualifies in that respect, as he is no longer alive.

    • I agree in principle with David. Assuming he consorted only with rent boys of whatever age – I haven’t followed the reports in any detail – Leon Brittan is in a different category from Cyril Smith and certain other persons who were able to use the inmates of state institutions as sex slaves. Assuming he is telling the truth, which I think he is, Harvey Proctor is clean.

      And I will repeat that I shall need to see more evidence than I so far have to believe that Edward Heath threw dead boys off his yacht.

      I agree with HP that this is turning into an anti-homosexual witch hunt. They steamrollered through their gay marriage agenda, and have got laws to stop direct criticism. The police and various other interest groups are now mounting a huge flank attack on “paedophilia.” This is not to say that very under age boys and girls weren’t raped by certain persons. But I do think a core of truth has been wrapped in an outer shell of lies.

      We need a more objective investigation than is ever likely to be made.

      • I agree with HP that this is turning into an anti-homosexual witch hunt.

        Where is the evidence for that? The accused are disproportionately “gay”, but might have something to do with the fact that gays commit such crimes at higher rates and will collaborate on them. P.I.E. was dominated by gays, not straights. Proctor is copying the anti-racists who claim that the police “target” youths of colour simply because of racism. When the police stop putting pressure on the most criminally inclined groups, who suffers worst?

  3. There is no evidence that the murder of Vishal Mehrotra had the slightest connection with any of the paedo-nonsense beyond being yet another bullshit accusation.

  4. The accusations are hard to believe, but Proctor is wrong to say that this is a “homosexual witch-hunt”. It’s nothing of the kind. He’s trying to play the persecuted minority card. The reverse is true: minorities in the UK have been able to get away with abuse precisely because they are minorities and protected by PC. Rotherham is one (and, we shall see, relatively small) example and the abuse under Margaret Hodge’s regime in Islington is another. As for Greville Janner: the accusations in his case are highly plausible and his status as a stale pale male was a big factor in his escaping prosecution for so long.

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