The Remarkably Unobservant Baron Carlile 242

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.

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242 thoughts on “The Remarkably Unobservant Baron Carlile

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  • Monteverdi

    Curiously as can be seen Lord Janner is named as paid Director of this Company and only resigned his position on the 10th April 2015 . As I am lead to believe [ but stand to be corrected ] a Director either can resign ,be removed by ordinary resolution of the shareholders or by Court Order .
    So did he go down with dementia the next day the 11th April 2015 ?

  • John Spencer-Davis


    If someone holds a lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs for Lord Janner, they could have resigned on his behalf on that date. He need not have been involved at all.

    Kind regards,


  • craig Post author

    As I understand it either he would have had to have signed a power of attorney while still in possession of his faculties, or it would have had to be granted by a court? If he did sign, interesting to know when he was still competent to do that.

  • John Spencer-Davis


    Yes, a lasting power of attorney must be entered into when the person still has mental capacity. However, you can still have mental capacity after you have been diagnosed with dementia. It is very common for people to obtain lasting powers of attorney for health and welfare and for property and financial affairs shortly after diagnosis. It takes about 14-16 weeks after an application to the Office of the Public Guardian.

    If someone has lost mental capacity and has not granted a power of attorney, an application can be made to the Court of Protection for a deputyship, giving the same powers to a deputy appointed by the court but without the consent of the donor. It’s a more complicated process with more safeguards and can take up to 6 months.

    Kind regards,


  • John Spencer-Davis

    I’m not sure. I do not think that is publicly available information, but I am not certain of that.


  • craig Post author

    Sounds like a job for John Goss. Or any other volunteer? I mean to find out, not act for Lord Janner!

  • nevermind

    Should Carlile be asked to give evidence in a civil case, now mooted to happen? Would his close proximity to two known paedophile rapists not make this a dead cert?

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I have just submitted an application to discover who the attorneys or deputies are, if any.

    Kind regards,


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Is the aim of your post to criticise Lord Carlile for the way he did his job as the reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation or to criticise him for defending Lord Janner against his accusers and not having had the wit to spot what it is alleged Lord Janner was up to?

    If it is the former, then I suggest that the second element is irrelevant and that you have “done a Mary”, ie you have added an irrelevant ‘ad hominem)item to the charge sheet so as to damn the man even more thoroughly.

    If it is the latter, then the first element is irrelevant in the same way.


    As to Lord Carlile’s lack of observation powers, you are being rather harsh and not a little silly. This is because you imply – I read your words – that Carlile should have known what was going in because “they were both MPs, both QCs, both members of Friends of Israel, both patrons of UK lawyers for Israel. They 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.”.

    I suggest that this argument is weak. It would only have validity if you were to assume that Lord Janner did some of his alleged buggering in Lord Carlile’s presence when they were prepareing a brief together in chambers or, perhaps, together in the offices of the Friends of Israel Educational Foundation. Or, perhaps you believe that Lord Janner might have casually informed Lord Carlile, while they were having dinner or a drink together “Oh, by the way, Alec, I had great fun buggering a poretty little boy yesterday evening”.

    Not very likely, I would submit.

    Lord Carlile may well be a king-size shit but you should not attempt to aggravate the charge sheet against him by accusing him of not knowing things he was not likely to be in a position to know.

  • craig Post author

    It seems personally rational to criticise someone on two equally serious counts.

    You ignore the fact he actually defended Janner, vigorously. If as you say he was in no position to know, then he was wrong to do that. You also ignore his alleged failure to notice Cyril Smith’s predelictions despite sharing an office.

  • Les Cunningham

    I was under the impression that directors are paid to take important strategic decisions for a company, and also that dementia tends to develop gradually. If Jenner is now unfit to stand trial, he surely must not have been completely compos mentis for some time, and I am surprised that he was not eased out of his directorship earlier.

    Is this a very rare case of Sudden Onset Dementia, brought on by the stress of facing a trial? Or was his directorship merely a sinecure?

  • Monteverdi

    Whilst it may indeed be somebody exercising Power of Attorney over his resignation as a Director of above mentioned Company , I wonder why his daughter Myra Louise Janner chose to resign her Directorship the previous day the 9th April 2015 . Perhaps purely innocent reasons , but as this case unravels perhaps not .

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Les Cunningham
    19/04/2015 7:39 pm

    West Heath Road Seasons Ltd is a tiny company. I suspect that it is some kind of management company for the block of flats at which Lord Janner apparently resided. I wouldn’t read too much into the matter. A titchy company like that would probably carry Lord Janner without worrying too much about his mental capacity.

    Kind regards,


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Two quick responses.

    1/. “You also ignore his alleged failure to notice Cyril Smith’s predelictions despite sharing an office.”

    I did not respond to this because it is even more ludicrous than what you said about Carlile not noticing Janner.

    Do you think Smith brought boys into their shared office in the HoC? Or that he kept Carlile briefed on his activities? How does sharing an office in the HoC enable one to know someone else’s secret life?

    2/. “You ignore the fact he actually defended Janner, vigorously. If as you say he was in no position to know, then he was wrong to do that.”

    As did many others, Craig – including people who had nothing in common with Janner.

    But my point is this: you are saying that if Carlile did not know that Janner was innocent, he should have remained quiet, neither vigorously defending him nor attacking him. But to say that is to discount friendship. Surely the huma,$nb, natural reaction of someone would be to defend a friend in the absence of proof of guilt, rather than pursing one’s lips judiciously and murmuring “oh, I won’t defend hum because I DON’T KNOW???”?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    You are in fact slagging off someone for acting as any friend would/should.

  • RobG

    Whilst it is good for ‘democracy’ that posters here have pointed out the obvious flaws in the Janner case, the fact that he wasn’t prosecuted is a total travesty of justice.

    How long do you think that you vermin can get away with this?

    Do you understand what ‘child sex abuse’ is? We’re talking about the rape of children here. We’re talking about extreme violence; and we’re talking about murder.

    The government agents who come on blogs like this to defend it will all be put up against a wall and shot, because they are total scum.

    Total scum, old boy (cue the usual suspects).

  • Republicofscotland

    You are in fact slagging off someone for acting as any friend would/should.


    One wonders how you would know how friends act,when it’s patently obvious,you have none,or so it would appear.

    Unless some brave soul in here wants to openly admit to being your friend?

    Any takers?

  • craig Post author

    A moment ago they weren’t friends, just acquaintances, so Carlile couldn’t be expected to know about Janner. Now Carlile had a duty to defend his friend. Which is it?

    Perhaps you are too grand ever o have shared an office. I did for much of my career, and in all of those cases, where they lasted over years as did Janner and Cyril Smith, you end up knowing a very great deal about each others’ personal lives.

  • RobG

    This was unprecedented:: as well as dropping the case against Janner, the Crown Prosecution Service actually named the charges against him, as follows…

    12. With that explanation of functions in mind, the CPS has reached the following conclusions in relation to the evidential test, as a result of the investigations and reviews undertaken in this case.

    In relation to the allegations investigated in Operation Enamel, the CPS considers that the evidential test was passed on the basis that the evidence is sufficient to have warranted charging and prosecuting Lord Janner in relation to the particular charges listed below; these relate to nine individuals:
    14 indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988
    2 indecent assaults between 1984 and 1988
    4 counts of buggery of a male under 16 between 1972 and 1987
    2 counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988.

    Perhaps unbiased observers will understand the total contempt I have for the vermin who come on comment threads like this to try and defend these scum.

    I am sick of these vermin.

    I want to take my country back from them.

  • John Goss

    I’ve been out today Wakeboarding on Chasewater or rather doing the photography. God it was so cold and dull with two minutes of sunshine in an hour and a half with a stiff breeze blowing across the water on my trigger hand. Anyway I noticed Craig’s message about searching the Power of Attorney register. John Spencer-Davis has kindly volunteered but before noticing this I downloaded the .pdf forms and guidelines.

    Lord Janner’s date of birth is publicly-known but I see all kinds of problems unless you hit it lucky. My understanding is that everything has to be a match. I presume from this if the exact address given for Lord Janner (and I presume he has more than one) it will not pull up a result.

    My guess is that if anyone has power of attorney for Janner, and that almost goes without saying, it will likely be one or more of his children.

    “In 1955 Janner married Myra Sheink, who was originally from Australia, and the niece of Sir Israel Brodie, the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. The couple had three children; two daughters and a son.[33][34] Sheink died in 1996.[5]

    Lord Janner’s younger daughter is an ordained Rabbi. Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner was appointed National Movement Rabbi for The Movement for Reform Judaism in 2011.[35][33][34] She is married to a brother of the Israeli writer Amos Oz.[36] Marion Janner, his other daughter, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to mental health in 2010.[37] Daniel, his son, is a barrister and QC.[38]

    In 2009, Janner was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Its advancing severity means that he now requires round-the-clock care for his dementia.[27][1]” (Source: Wikipedia)

    I should be surprised if Lasting Power of Attorney (or Joint) was granted it was not done directly after the diagnosis, for obvious reasons.

  • ben

    March 2012 – 3 years after his alleged dementia diagnosis he was off to Gibraltar to receive the Freedom of the City.

    Freedom of the City to a great friend
    From speech by
    Mayor of Gibraltar
    I bid you welcome to this ceremonial granting of the Freedom of this gracious and unique city, the City of Gibraltar. I bid an even warmer welcome to one special person – SHALOM, Lord Janner, welcome friend of Gibraltar.

    I have been strongly advised by his friends not to get too close to him. Interested in magic at the ripe age of 12 and a long-standing member of the Magic Circle and the International Brotherhood of Magicians one can but wonder what he might make disappear! A prolific writer and expert on matters of public speaking, I stand in awe of addressing you in front of the author of “Janner’s Speechmaker.”

    Perhaps because we are a small and vulnerable community, for centuries living under the menacing clouds of those who would wish us ill – we constantly draw veritable political heavyweights to our shores; democrats of integrity who consistently and freely offer us their friendship and take on our defence – today we honour one such friend, Baron Janner of Braunstone. In the wise words of Sirach: ” Faithful friends are beyond price: no amount can balance their worth,” indeed, as Proverbs tells us, “some friends are more loyal than brothers.”

    Perhaps because at the ripe age of 18 he experienced at first hand the obscene consequences of the Holocaust; working in the War Crimes Investigation Unit near Bergen-Belsen; Greville Janner’s life has been dedicated to the abolition of racial prejudice and hatred; and towards ensuring that the memory and lesson of the Holocaust is neither obscured nor lost. Indeed, his father was on Hitler’s death list had Britain succumbed to the Nazi threat. Once President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews; Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress and the Jewish Leadership Council; Founder and President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council; Chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Mass Graves Committee – these years of selfless service says it all.

    His best testimony lies in his book: “ONE HAND ALONE CANNOT CLAP” – a heartfelt message that led to the co-founding of the COEXISTENCE TRUST, together with Prince Hassan of Jordan, to combat prejudice against Jews and against Moslems. I for one would like to believe that it is the great lesson this community teaches others, a lesson in religious and racial tolerance, a lesson in communal harmony, that most attracted Lord Janner to our shores and made him our friend.

    As a fellow barrister and politician, he was already well acquainted with Sir Joshua Hassan, our then Chief Minister, when he was instrumental in setting up in Gibraltar the very first Conference of the Commonwealth Jewish Council. As its President, he was extremely keen that Gibraltar receive international prominence as hosts of this first Conference. Among the many dignitaries that came to Gibraltar, was Sir Zelman Cowan, former Governor General of Australia. In 2002, still under his presidency, our Jewish community were given the prestigious Council’s Communal Award – bringing high-level publicity for Gibraltar at an international level – awarded as it was in the presence of the likes of Lady Margaret Thatcher and other dignitaries.

    A Member of Parliament from 1970 to 1997, he represented Leicester North West and later Leicester West, holding the seat for Labour. Throughout this time he was assiduous in following and supporting Gibraltar’s interest in the myriad workings of the Mother of Parliaments; a loyal friend that could be counted on to raise judicious points and timely Questions on our behalf, whenever and wherever it became necessary. Both his maiden speeches, in 1970 in the Commons and in 1997 in that other place, both were about Gibraltar, the latter one defending our right to self-determination. Having first visited Gibraltar in 1938 as a boy of 10, throughout a lifetime, he has maintained his interest in things Gibraltarian through regular visits to our shores, zealously nurturing his many friendships with the local community, dare I mention Momy!

    It was during one of his many visits to the Rock in 1997 that he learned of his elevation to the Upper House. Appropriately, it was here that he celebrated this honour with his family and friends, though sadly his wife, Myra Sheink, had recently passed away. In fact, if you look him up in Wikipedia, you will find not simply a portrait of Lord Janner, but no less than the Gibraltar flag as the background ! His three children and six grandchildren have difficult steps to follow.

    Such is the measure of this man; the man that adopted Gibraltar and became its friend and defender, and whom today we adopt and make him one of our own. Lord Greville Janner, Baron Janner of Braunstone, HABAYIT SHELANU ZEH HABAYIT SHEL’CHA – our home is your home.


  • craig Post author


    What will be really interesting is if there is not one. If he is still managing his own affairs, or was till recently.

  • Martin Jackson

    The Sunday Times today reported that earlier this month he personally wrote and siged letter to house of lords to extend his leave of absence.

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