Ian O'Riordan: 'Carl Beech scandal shows the human frailty in corridors of power'
We live in the era of pendulum politics.
The general mood seems to swing from one absolutist extreme to the other, with no time or interest in the middle ground.
A stark and disturbing example of how that pendulum can swing wildly emerged this week with the news that Carl Beech, the man who ruined the lives of numerous politicians, was nothing but a fantasist.
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Beech had claimed to have been the victim of a top secret, highly organised and extremely murderous paedophile gang known as 'The Group' in Westminster.
His lurid allegations, which involved kids being strangled as an example to other victims, smeared the likes of former prime minister Ted Heath and other senior former Tories. In Leon Brittan's case, the former politician spent his last days on his death bed worried that he would be forever known as a homicidal paedophile.
Beech, then known as 'Nick', received a warm welcome from Labour politicians such as current deputy leader Tom Watson, who used Parliamentary privilege to name names. This was despite the fact that independent sources such as Private Eye magazine had been saying for years that the tales were obviously bogus to anyone who cared to check the facts.
So why did Beech deceive UK cops into launching a multimillion pound investigation, Operation Midland? The answer sees to be as simple as it is depressing - human nature and personal failings.
The cops were rightly excoriated for ignoring all the claims against the monstrous Jimmy Savile.
Stung by the criticism, senior officials decided 'never again' and chose to buy the nonsense that Beech was selling.
Now this deranged loser, who also happens to be a convicted paedophile himself, has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice and fraud.
Has Watson apologised for his role in this scandal and for inflicting such terrible slurs on the innocent victims, both living and dead?
Not at all.
In fact, he even has the chutzpah to claim that he has been the victim of a great and grievous betrayal.
It's a degree of hubris known only to politicians.
So from believing nobody, to believing everybody, the pendulum continues to swing.