I can't help feeling that during the last few weeks we have witnessed an expert closing down of a potentially embarrassing news story. If you aren't British or you've been on Mars for the past few months you'll have missed the exposé of the British TV personality of yore Jimmy Savile as a paedophile, and the subsequent witch hunt for other contemporary celebrities in a supposed elite paedophile ring. A few celebs from the 1960s and '70s have been interviewed by the police, and the tabloids have been full of gossip as you'd expect.
Then came a different exposé on the BBC Newsnight programme, with abuse victims who were former inmates of a notorious childrens home dropping strong hints of a paedophile ring among senior politicians of the era. A Labour MP (who I was at university with and regard from that experience as not someone I'd trust) dropped more hints that he was about to name names, and if you were prepared to surf Twitter you could compile a list of those names very quickly.
Unfortunately for the accusers one of the names was vehement in his declarations of innocence, and being very rich indeed he reached for his lawyers and started to sue. Story closed.
I find myself to be rather uncomfortable with this outcome. Witch hunts are never appealing and anything which fuels the obsession that paedophiles lurk behind every lamp post can not be a good thing. However there are witnesses in this case, real abuse victims. Not irresponsible Twitter users, real orphan children who were abused regularly by rich and powerful people. And their story has been closed down. Any of their abusers who are still alive have got away with it.
The trouble is, go down this road too far and you're straying into the world of Establishment plots and conspiracy theories, of grassy knolls and the Strategic Steam Reserve. But something within me rebels at the thought that the only two politicians who have been revealed are conveniently dead and any other names that came from the victims seem to have been forgotten.
You can't help wondering whether the embarrassment in the corridors of power would have been too much had the story been properly investigated. But If I had those thoughts I'd be sitting with those who believe we're ruled by the lizard people, and that'd be too much to stomach, wouldn't it.