In the pre-Internet age, stories about massive government conspiracies, large scale Satanic abuse, and scurrilous rumours about the rich, powerful and famous, were difficult to transmit, but they did get around. A classic case was that of Dr Bodkin Adams who was accused of being a Harold Shipman precursor. The rumours about him were first published in France, beyond the reach of Britain's libel laws. When the case came to court, one of the facts proved was that the elderly Mrs Morrell, who had suffered a stroke, and had been given a year at most to live, had survived for two and a half years under the care of the man who had supposedly murdered her.
The Internet and especially social media has been a great leveller, now there are no gatekeepers anymore. "Paedophiles In Parliament" is a classic illustration of the reason we need them.
There is a lot in this documentary, and it would time-consuming to cover it all, but much of it is innuendo. It is suggested that everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Prince Charles to then Home Secretary Theresa May were covering up for paedophiles. Two people to have their names dragged through the mud are Prime Minister Edward Heath and Home Secretary Leon Brittan. Heath was targeted simply because he had never married and was assumed (erroneously) to be homosexual. If Poulton had done some proper research, she would have realised Heath was openly accused in January 1984 of engaging in obscene acts with children. The man who made this allegation was a serial rapist named Kevin O'Dowd, during his trial. His allegation was backed up with fake photographs. In 2007, O'Dowd found himself on trial for rape again. On his conviction he was given a life sentence, which was quashed two years later by the Court Of Appeal for purely technical reasons and with great reluctance.
Leon Brittan was targeted for other reasons. As well as torturing, raping and murdering boys, he was accused of raping a woman four decades after the event. That is not mentioned here.
Poulton speaks to Robert Green whom she presents as a credible researcher. In fact, in spite of being extremely plausible, Green is a notorious troublemaker who has been imprisoned twice in Scotland for spreading scurrilous and proven lies about ordinary people in the Hollie Greig hoax.
She takes fantasist Esther Baker seriously, backed up by innuendo against the man Baker accused, then MP John Hemming. Unsurprisingly, Mr Hemming tells a different tale, and he has contemporaneous documents to back up his version.
She also covers the allegation made by Ben Fellows against veteran politician Ken Clarke with the innuendo that the acquittal of the former proves the guilt of the latter. Surely, she cannot be unaware that Fellows is a serial fantasist who has accused all manner of people in the entertainment industry of sexual abuse, including women.
Are there paedophiles in Parliament? Possibly. Were there? In support of this proposition, she brings in the case of Sir Peter Hayman, and the Paedophile Information Exchange. At the time, there was much tabloid outrage that P.I.E. was not banned, something that may have contributed to the lies spread about Leon Brittan. Even female politicians came under attack for allegedly supporting it. And what happened? Its members came out into the open, overstepped the mark, some ended up behind bars, and the organisation collapsed. In other words, the Government of the day wisely gave them enough rope, and they duly hanged themselves. And, it may be that Sir Peter Hayman played a part in this.
Do we really need to discuss Jimmy Savile? He is said to have sexually abused hundreds of children in plain sight. How did he get away with it? The simplest answer is that the crimes of which he has been convicted in the court of public opinion never happened, but convincing Sonia Poulton of that would be the equivalent of converting the Pope to atheism.