Lord Carlile is amazingly unobservant. An excellent article in today’s Observer by Jay Rayner gives details of the establishment cover-up of Janner’s long continued child rapes. The silence of the Vaz draws most attention. But let us think about Alex Carlile.
Rayner states “The establishment, in the shape of his fellow MPs, men such as Labour’s Keith Vaz, Tory David Ashby and the then Lib Dem MP now Lord Carlile, closed ranks.” In the 1991 House of Commons debate deploring accusations against Janner, Carlile played a prominent part, describing Janner as a man of “integrity” and “determination”. Carlile should have known Janner fairly well. They were both MPs, both QCs, both members of Friends of Israel, both patrons of UK lawyers for Israel. The appear still to both be patrons of the Friends of Israel Educational Foundation. They were regulars on the same parliamentary committees dealing with legal affairs. They were both to leave the Commons at the same time and both to join the Lords only slightly apart.
Still, Carlile’s stalwart defence of his friend is understandable. You can’t expect him to have picked up on Janner’s secret life. Nor that of Cyril Smith. Carlile shared a small Commons office with Cyril Smith for many years. Oh dear. He really isn’t good at noticing things, is he?
Carlile’s mistress and eventual wife was a senior legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Cosy world, Westminster, it it not?
Carlile went on to be a stunningly illiberal “Independent” Reviewer of anti-terror legislation, where he demonstrated his independence by agreeing to absolutely everything the security services told him. 42 day detention with no charge? No problem. In fact there was no period of detention without charge posited so extreme that Carlile did not support it. Secret courts hearing intelligence evidence the defence were not allowed to see? Fine by Carlile. Control orders? Great. He is a fantastic bastion, protecting the public, is Carlile.
Even better, of course, at protecting his associates.