A WOMAN said this in my hearing last night: “Well, of course, Rolf Harris painted for The Queen – she must have had it torn down as soon as she found out he was a paedophile!”
Can’t fault her logic, based on the beliefs of 90 per cent of good folk in this country.
The very best morals are commonly attributed to our head of state, even though even a brief look at history shows this has never been the case.
The woman’s thinking is rather similar, ironically, to how millions of us used to view the disgraced entertainer painting in front of our eyes on TV on a Saturday night.
His famous catchphrase “Can you see what it is yet?” was coined for the very reason that we couldn’t envisage what he was doing until almost the very last moment.
Almost all the material was there, literally in front of our eyes, but we couldn’t join the dots.
Just like the woman I quoted – although that’s no criticism of her.
You see, for us to believe that paedophiles such as Harris, convicted of 12 sex charges when he was sent to prison, and Jimmy Savile simply slipped into Buckingham Palace unnoticed is completely absurd.
Do you think you or I could walk up to the gates of Buckingham Palace without security being all over us?
This is the British state and our Monarch we are talking about here. Anyone granted such a private audience as Harris will have been subjected to the highest level of security checks.
That’s the way it works – otherwise the Royal Family’s personal safety could not be assured.
In the cases of Harris and Savile, their ‘little secret’ may have been lost on us but it would have been common knowledge among the security services.
In higher circles, their cards would have been well and truly marked.
So why weren’t they stamped ‘no access’ to our head of state?
The only possible reason, when you join the dots together and see the whole picture, is because they decided not to interfere in The Queen’s business.
They swear an oath of allegiance, let’s remember, to her and therefore if she was happy seeing Harris and Savile there is no higher authority to appeal to.
So we come to a further point – a very good one also – raised by the same woman.
“Why didn’t the victims of Harris and Savile come forward much earlier?”
The answer, of course, is that in some cases they did but because their complaints would have compromised the very highest folk in British society, they hit a brick wall.
They, too, had no higher authority to refer to – other than to pray the truth would one day come out.
And, yes, at least one of Harris’ victims DID tell Buckingham Palace.
It is publicly recorded that during 2005, the year that The Queen obligingly sat twice for Harris, a warning was sent directly to Royal staff, saying: “He (Harris) ruined my life. You need to know what kind of man you’ve let near the Queen.”
The notes, which remained anonymous, were handed to Scotland Yard’s Royal Protection Group, who certified their credibility and filed them as evidence.
Yet we are told they remained uninvestigated until Harris became an official suspect in 2012.
So to believe the very best of our monarch and her entourage, we must conclude that those who protect her are incompetent beyond belief.
Can you imagine Peter Sutcliffe, a friend of both Harris and Savile by the way, speaking with The Queen, someone writing to say he is the Yorkshire Ripper – and the warning being left on file until he was arrested seven years later?
Do you honestly believe we live in a Mickey Mouse state?
Oh and by the way – there is an answer, albeit suitably vague, to the woman’s initial point.
The question of what happened to Harris’ painting has received a public airing in the national media.
The portrait was initially hung in the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Slightly conflicting reports say this was for six months or until 2007.
It was then moved to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool where it was on display until 2012.
But where it is now, nobody seems to know.
The Palace say the painting, commissioned as an 80th birthday present, belongs to the BBC; the BBC say they don’t have it; a PR spokesman for Harris says they don’t know; and Harris himself has probably got other things on his mind.