Talk:Derek McCulloch

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John Simpson and jigsaw identification[edit]

There is a story in today's Sun which makes interesting reading.[1] Before anyone suggests smashing up Derek McCulloch's headstone, let's look at the facts:

  • John Simpson does not name the person involved, although his description leaves little doubt about who he is referring to. This material was in Simpson's autobiography published in 1999, and is not by any means new.
  • Simpson has no first hand knowledge. He repeats an anecdote that he was told about the person at the time of writing his obituary.

Do I hear the sound of a barrel being scraped here?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:30, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

The word on the net is that Simpson's informant was Kathleen Garsgadden. It looks as though more on this story is likely to come out soon. Wikipedia's attitude must be ruled by WP:RS, as far as possible. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 11:24, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

also a daily mail article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2218932/BBC-covered-second-national-treasure-child-abuser-known-Uncle-Dick-claims-John-Simpson.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.10.127.156 (talk) 14:34, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

The trail appears to start at politicalscrapbook.net, before the Sun, Mail and other media sources picked it up. It is a bit odd that John Simpson does not name the person while providing clear hints as to who it might be, but this leaves Wikipedia with an original research issue (Articles may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not clearly advanced by the sources themselves.)--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:42, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh no the usual pedophile apologists have moved on from Savile and onto this page. "Scraping the barrel eh?" The user IanMac already has a warning on his talkpage saying he keeps trying to downplay any acts of pedophilia by wanting sources or trying to take the line none of it's been proven etc. Doing it here as well, I see. This apologist would be more at home in Arabia where sexual offences require a minimum of seven witnesses or do they just want to sound off about how this sort of thing "never happened". Either way they seem to have an agenda, which question any claims that sex abuse happened. Not helpful at all in my book. 109.150.227.102 (talk) 20:43, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
The Sun was indeed scraping the barrel to scream "Exclusive" over something that had been published in 1999 and was a straight rip-off of a piece in the blogs a few days earlier. As for McCulloch, only time will tell if more substantial evidence emerges.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 20:51, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Semi-protected[edit]

I've semi-protected the page to prevent vandalism and the repeated insertion of unsubstantiated claims. Obviously if anything emerges in reliable sources editors should feel free to add that to the article or request it be added here on the talk page. I've set the protection up for a week initially, but it can be extended if required. Hiding T 15:26, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

I removed some tabloidy speculation before I noticed the subject was long dead. Even so, we cannot use tabloid speculation to improve our articles; it is the equivalent of writing on toilet walls using excrement. Please do not restore anything here or to the article that is not based on proper sources. --John (talk) 20:45, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
The person allegedly involved died in 1967, and his family have denied the claims. This is why it is all so bizarre, because what John Simpson said in a book in 1999 is not exactly hot off the press. The real problem is not denigrating the memory of McCulloch or upsetting his family on the basis of rumour and speculation.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 20:54, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

More sources naming Derek McCulloch as subject of paedophile allegations[edit]

John Simpson was writing the obituary of a BBC presenter in 1967, and uncovered allegations of child abuse against that presenter. He investigated further and was ready to publish a report, but upon showing the story to his editor was rebuked and told to publish a glowing obituary. The identity of the presenter was fairly thinly veiled and was quickly uncovered by many people when the section of the book was discovered in the wake of the Savile scandal. Sky News and the International Business Times have both named Derek McCulloch as the subject of the allegations, and the IBC further contacted the BBC and reported that "The organisation has confirmed that it’ll now also investigate the accusations about Derek McCulloch as part of the existing Savile review." I believe this is both notable and reliably sourced (IBT and Sky News) and should be included here, preferably under a 'Controversy' heading.


http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/395372/20121017/deerek-mccolloch-uncle-mac-dick-john-simpson.htm http://news.sky.com/story/999435/new-victim-claims-savile-abused-her-at-15 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.31.202.174 (talk) 21:47, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

New articles perhaps, but they are still only using the memoirs of John Simpson (using the 'Uncle Dick' pseudonym) from over a decade ago. So no greater clarity in the reports that McCulloch was involved, apart from the denial by his family in the Sky report. Philip Cross (talk) 23:02, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
"The organisation has confirmed that it’ll now also investigate the accusations about Derek McCulloch as part of the existing Savile review." http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/uk-videos-news/1468/was-bbc-children-s-radio-entertainer-a-paedophile-.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.31.202.174 (talk) 23:17, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
"they are still only using the memoirs of John Simpson (using the 'Uncle Dick' pseudonym) from over a decade ago" Is John Simpson's published book not a reliable source? What does it matter that it was published over a decade ago? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.31.202.174 (talk) 23:21, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Philip Cross, because the IB Times source does not confirm that the BBC has any special insight into the "Uncle Dick" pseudonym. Allegations cannot be made against a pseudonym.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:03, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
The last IBC article specifically states that McCulloch will be investigated as part of the Savile inquiry. Not a pseudonym, the man himself. That is notable and reliably sourced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.38.117.20 (talk) 09:25, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
This is not explicitly stated in the source, which says "IBTimes UK contacted the BBC and asked if McCulloch's activities were under investigation as part of two investigations into sex abuse at the BBC unveiled by current director general George Entwistle. A spokesman said: "The information will be shared with the BBC investigations unit and the police and we will look into these allegations as part of the Jimmy Savile review. Simpson's agency Kruger Cowne said: "He [Simpson] is in Afghanistan. He is not prepared to comment." Apart from John Simpson, nobody knows who "Uncle Dick" may or may not be. This leads to a WP:BLP issue for McCulloch's living relatives.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 09:43, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
No. You're looking at the first IBC source The last states "The organisation has confirmed that it’ll now also investigate the accusations about Derek McCulloch as part of the existing Savile review." http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/uk-videos-news/1468/was-bbc-children-s-radio-entertainer-a-paedophile-.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.38.117.20 (talk) 10:13, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
That source is misleading, because it does not tally with the first source in which a BBC spokesperson gave a rather bland reply. Also, The IB Times and Sky News are the only sources to name McCulloch directly. Other sources (Times, BBC etc) have not mentioned this at all.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 10:40, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
It's original research on your part to claim that the source is misleading. The IBT is clearly a reliable source and they quite clearly state that McCulloch will be investigated by the BBC as part of the Savile inquiry. Frankly it's ridiculous to think that they now wouldn't, but we also have a reliable source stating that, and this should be added to this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.38.117.20 (talk) 12:34, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Sky News and IB Times were the only mainstream sources to cover this. To put it bluntly, this was a one day wonder tabloid story with daft sourcing which risks undue weight if it is mentioned in the article.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:33, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
The claim is also made in an article by Andrew O'Hagan for the London Review of Books [2]. He also quotes McCullogh's obituary in the Times, which said ‘Children of all ages were always comfortable in his unseen company ... There was something of Larry the Lamb in him, and Larry could get away with murder.' While this does not make a direct allegation of sexual abuse, this is a second, more contemporary, source which appears to allege impropriety. Given that the claims about McCullough are now in wide circulation, albeit that most go back ultimately to a single source, it is artificial to pretend that they do not exist or are unworthy of inclusion. The fact that they may distress McCullough's family is not enough reason not to refer to the allegations. It is not being proposed to state them as fact, only to acknowledge that they exist. To do otherwise seems to be an attempt by the McCullough family not to challenge the allegations, but to suppress them.
The London Review of Books is a good source. I would say add it but couch it in terms that make it clear these are at the moment allegations. I think it is also fair now to use the IB Times source to state that the Beeb are investigating them, and do we have a source stating that the family reject them? Hiding T 18:14, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
As a point of accuracy the LRB article's information on McCulloch is not just based upon Simpson's autobiography, but also on O'Hagan's own research. "Of the three men named to me as I talked to people about the BBC in those days, Uncle Mac is the one who stirs the strongest emotions." Though his sources wish to remain anonymous. "Many people I spoke to wished to make that clear, but – feeling the Chorus watching from above – they asked for anonymity." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.34.194.122 (talk) 18:27, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Basically what Andrew O'Hagan does in the London Review of Books is to rehash what John Simpson said, so it is not really adding anything new. I went off the idea of treating Simpson's account as reliable when the full version makes clear that he is painting a satirical picture of an embittered old lady on the gin who may have had a falling out with McCulloch at some stage. The same problem has occurred at Wilfred Brambell, because parts of the media are using the current Savile controversy to rehash old allegations against him.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:36, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
No, O'Hagan does more than rehash Simpson, he notes he has spoken to sources himself and is given the names of three men, and he names two in the article, McCulloch and Lionel Gamlin. It is adding something new. It even goes further than Simpson because it names McCulloch. This is a reliable source that can be used as a foundation to add material to the article. These allegations exist, are documented in a reliable source and keeping them from the article now is turning into something counter to WP:COI, we have to act in the best interests of the encyclopedia. We have a reliable source which satisfies our policies. Hiding T 10:14, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I would support the inclusion of this material in the article in general terms, but not in the detail proposed by Hiding. Something along the lines of:

"In 2012, author Andrew O'Hagan reported that there had long been rumours that McCulloch, together with colleague Lionel Gamlin, had sexually abused children who had met him at Broadcasting House, and that McCulloch was the person referred to as "Uncle Dick" in John Simpson's 1999 book Strange Places, Questionable People.[1][2] O'Hagan claimed that the BBC turned "a blind eye to what was being said about McCulloch".[1][2] A BBC spokesman had earlier announced the Corporation would "look into these allegations as part of the Jimmy Savile review."[3] McCulloch's family have described the allegations as "complete rubbish".[4]

We now have a short article on Lionel Gamlin. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:09, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm not a great fan of this material, because without the current Jimmy Savile controversy it would be regarded as very old and speculative. User:Dream-seeker74 has a WP:COI if he is McCulloch's grandson, but he makes a valid point about Simpson's account being worded in a way which leads to doubts about how seriously it is meant to be taken.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 10:23, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Sure, but it has been reported in reliable secondary and tertiary sources, and the BBC have indicated that it will be investigated as part of the Janet Smith review, so it is worthy of mention - but without going into unnecessary and more speculative detail. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:42, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Ghmyrtle's version works for me. Hiding T 13:02, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I am on record as saying in multiple places:

Articles which make "allegations" make bad encyclopedia articles, especially when any sort of POV can be attached thereto. I suggest that articles subject to WP:BLP in any manner which make allegations be strongly constrained.

I retain that belief - where a single source is used for allegations and rumours in any biography, I find it unacceptable. The Simpson book is a "single source" and is based substantially on speculation, and a newspaper quoting it does not become a valid secondary source. Collect (talk) 12:19, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

The information can be included, in my opinion. The subject is dead, so the WP:BLP guidelines cited above do not apply in this case. The only questions are 1) are the sources used to support the information reliable? Unless anyone wants to dispute that, I assert the answer is yes. I certainly haven't seen any suggestion otherwise. And 2) does the information in the article accurately reflect the sources? This is a matter that editors should agree upon, but shouldn't be too hard to resolve. You're merely repeating what's written in news articles - describe allegations as allegations and investigations as investigations. Because that is what they are. We need not worry about defamation or libel: allegations against dead men rarely wind up in court. --Batard0 (talk) 15:42, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

McCulloch's grandson objects. makes a valid point re. reliability of source[edit]

User: Dream-seeker74 deleted the material about the recent allegations. When I reverted this, he replied claiming to be McCulloch's grandson and that the recent claims have caused his family considerable distress. Normally one would dismiss his objections under WP:NOTCENSORED, but he also raised a second valid point, that in Simpson's own account, "Aunt Gwyneth" is described as an "ancient and gin-soaked" lady. As DreamWorker points out, the possibility of alcolholism-related malice may raise issues about her reliability as a source. For this reason, I have not reverted his latest edits for the time being, however I would throw this issue open to the discussion board as to how to proceed. 195.92.109.20 (talk) 12:45, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

User: Dream-seeker74 is correct, the passage concerned in Simpson's book can be read online here, starting at page 80. Simpson twice describes his source as gin-sodden, which raises the issue of whether Simpson believed that drunken malice was involved, or whether she should be considered to be a reliable source. Interestingly, The Sun, which set off the current controversy, failed to mention that Simpson described his source as gin-sodden. After allowing a week for this to settle down, there do seem to be issues with WP:RECENTISM and WP:RS. Without the Jimmy Savile controversy, this brief anecdote in a 1999 book would not meet Wikipedia's standards of notability or verifiabilty.
Incidentally, the part about Derek McCulloch having a commemorative plaque in Broadstairs was removed in the same edit. The reason for removing this appears to be that the plaque refers to a different Uncle Mac, who was called J.H.Somerton.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 13:09, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Minor point: Notability is irrelevant, as it only relates to aricle topics, not article content. See WP:NNC. However, with regard to verifiability, you are correct.195.92.109.20 (talk) 14:21, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Nevertheless, the International Business Times has reported that Derek Mcculloch will be investigated as part of the Savile inquiry. This is both notable and verifiable as IBT is a reliable source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.39.51.191 (talk) 15:01, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Most mainstream media sources have had their doubts about this, perhaps because John Simpson goes to some lengths to distance himself from the unnamed "source". Like the other users above, I believe that little of value is added to the article by including this unless a lot more evidence emerges.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:22, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
What source do you have for this claim that "most mainstream media sources have their doubts about this". I'm guessing none at all ie it is your personal analysis. We do not require several sources in order for content to be added, we only require one. I am going to be putting this back in. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.39.51.191 (talk) 16:57, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Sky News and IB Times were the only mainstream sources to cover this. To put it bluntly, this was a one day wonder tabloid story with daft sourcing which risks undue weight if it is mentioned in the article.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:33, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I rewrote that section to make clear who the source was (permanent link). If you read O'Hagan, he doesn't actually say that he got the same information from another source, so Simpson's source remains the only one, though I think it's fair to assume that Simpson would not have published this unless there were other rumours too. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:14, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Wow that episode is clearly UNDUE - by the time you put in all of context of the "Uncle Dick" is believed to be "uncle mac" who was identified by a lady who was later thought to be X" to get to the point that police might be investigating. that is just wrong. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:22, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Any chance of compromising, rather than reverting from one extreme to the other? See my suggestion in the thread above. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:27, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The version you added to the page didn't seem quite accurate regarding O'Hagan, which is why I added the details. Did you make a suggestion after that, or did you mean your previous edit? SlimVirgin (talk) 16:32, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
(e/c) There is WP:NODEADLINE. We can wait till there is something more substantial than third hand comments about who a pseudonym referred to potentially being investigated. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:35, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
There's no doubt who is being referred to, and this has been widely reported, so it would look odd to leave it out. But it's important to include the details so that we see who said what. O'Hagan did not have a second source, or at least that's my reading of his article. (Is it just me, or is this page taking ages to load?) SlimVirgin (talk) 16:40, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
My suggestion was:

"In 2012, author Andrew O'Hagan reported that there had long been rumours that McCulloch, together with colleague Lionel Gamlin, had sexually abused children who had met him at Broadcasting House, and that McCulloch was the person referred to as "Uncle Dick" in John Simpson's 1999 book Strange Places, Questionable People.[1][2] O'Hagan claimed that the BBC turned "a blind eye to what was being said about McCulloch".[1][2] A BBC spokesman had earlier announced the Corporation would "look into these allegations as part of the Jimmy Savile review."[5] McCulloch's family have described the allegations as "complete rubbish".[4]

There may be tweaks necessary. I think the version of events set out by SlimVirgin goes into unnecessary detail, but clearly the allegations are now in the public domain, reported in good reliable sources, and there is absolutely no valid reason to ignore them completely. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:38, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi, O'Hagan doesn't actually say those things if you read the article closely. That is why I added the details. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:42, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm happy for the wording to be tweaked, but giving too much detail lends the issue too much weight. I'm having the same page loading problems - raised it at WP:VP/T. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:48, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The detail matters because Simpson is the sole source, based on a discussion in 1967. O'Hagan was not able to get confirmation that anyone else had heard Simpson's source say those things. I really think it's important to make all that clear. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:52, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Well I tried to cover who said what in this edit, [3] it's a little briefer but it doesn't have the time-line clarity Slim's version has. I thought, based on O'Hagan's article, that he had got off the record sources about McCulloch, based on his statement "Of the three men named to me as I talked to people about the BBC in those days, Uncle Mac is the one who stirs the strongest emotions." My reading of that statement is that McCulloch was named to O'Hagan, rather than O'Hagan prompting discussion of McCulloch. Hiding T 17:19, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
But then he immediately talks about Simpson being told off. I read it the same way as you the first time, but then I went back and read it again very carefully (when trying to summarize it), and I couldn't find anywhere that O'Hagan offers extra information, except that he couldn't find anyone to confirm that Simpson's source had ever said the same thing to them. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:47, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I dont see how all those details about allegations and how they came to light are important or can be put into appropriate context without being UNDUE. If we have a reliable source, something along the lines "Police and the BBC opened cases to look into allegations sexual abuse related to McCulloch as part of their investigations during the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal in 2012." would be sufficient for what is currently known.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 17:30, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
But it doesnt even look like that has happened yet. We just have an off hand comment from the BBC that "we will look into that and let the police know". so all we have are some very tenuous allegations. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 17:45, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The IBTimes source quotes a BBC spokesman stating "...we will look into these allegations as part of the Jimmy Savile review" which I read as equating to your need for something along the lines of the BBC having a "look into allegations sexual abuse related to McCulloch as part of their investigations during the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal in 2012." Hiding T 17:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

that was the comment that seemed like a very offhand "yeah, yeah, your concern is noted now go away". I would have prefered a more definitive "Yes, those charges are being looked into as part of our ongoing reviews being conducted by X." but I suppose we can assume good faith that the BBC is infact (going to) investigating them. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 18:17, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Can you not see that your edit makes it worse -- makes the allegation appear stronger? I added the detail to show that (as things stand) it is based on one conversation in 1967, with only Simpson left to report on it. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:57, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I dont think we should have it at all until there is something more solid. But we should not have two full pararagraphs delvining into the details which makes Wikipedia look like we are assting in the investigation. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:05, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
If the claims are so bad we can indicate that in a more concise way: In 2012, the BBC indicated that as part of the investigation into the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse allegations they would be looking into third hand, forty year old claims that McCulloch had also sexually assaulted children while he worked for the BBC. But if we really need to go to those efforts to place in context how poor the allegations are, we should not really be including them at all, now should we. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:13, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Another attempt at a halfway house:

In 2012, reports in the media relating to the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal referred to McCulloch. A book written in 1999 by BBC journalist John Simpson, Strange Places, Questionable People, had referred to an "Uncle Dick" at the BBC who had sexually assaulted children, and who appeared to fit the profile of McCulloch.[6] Author Andrew O'Hagan wrote that there had long been rumours that McCulloch, together with colleague Lionel Gamlin, had sexually abused children about McCulloch's activities while working at the BBC.[1] The BBC said that they would "look into these allegations as part of the Jimmy Savile review."[7] McCulloch's family have described the allegations as "complete rubbish".

Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:15, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Ghmyrtle, I think you are misreading O'Hagan. Would you mind reading it again? It is written both very carefully and very unclearly. If you do a search for McCulloch's name, then read those sentences and the ones directly before and after it, you'll see that O'Hagan isn't really saying anything new, except for the point I included (that he couldn't find anyone else who had heard Simpson's source say this).SlimVirgin (talk) 22:21, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Fair point. I've struck out part of my suggested text and changed the words. Is that better? It mentions McCulloch, without making specific allegations. Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:30, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I think the only rumours that he's mentioning were Simpson's book; that's the only thing he refers to. I know that on first reading it looks more solid, but a closer read suggests that it's entirely based on Simpson. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:35, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Also, your version leaves out that O'Hagan couldn't find anyone else that Simpson's source ever said this to, including the people who worked with her. That's an important point. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:37, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I think it works much better at present, i.e., Red Pen of Doom's version. I do not agree that Ghmyrtle's version would be an improvement. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 22:38, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
In a way I don't think it matters that Simpson's book may be unreliable - it is what provides the basis for the allegations (in reliable sources) that McCulloch was involved. It may be that people are putting 2 and 2 together to make 5, but it makes no sense to refer to the allegations without some explanation of where they come from. The explanation may be flawed but it is in the public domain. My suggested wording makes reference to Simpson's book, but doesn't imply that it should necessarily be given serious credence. Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:46, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Side by side suggestions[edit]

Please judge by accuracy, not length. We need some length to explain exactly what has been said, so that it doesn't appear to be more than it is. Red Pen makes it sound more solid that it is, and Gmyrtle's version misreads O'Hagan, in my view, and leaves out that O'Hagan could not find anyone other than Simpson that Simpson's source made this claim to. (I'm not implying that Simpson is mistaken; I'm just saying it's important to make that clear.) SlimVirgin (talk) 22:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

SV

McCulloch's name was raised in October 2012 in connection with the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal. The media reported that a book by BBC journalist John Simpson, Strange Places, Questionable People (1999), referred to an "Uncle Dick" at the BBC who had sexually assaulted children after they had won competitions to meet him.[8] Simpson's called his source "Auntie Gladys," but she was named by others as Kathleen Garscadden (1897–1991), presenter of the Scottish Children's Hour.[9] She reportedly told Simpson, in the 1960s when he was writing "Uncle Dick's" obituary, that the Director-General's office had brushed off any parents who complained.[8]

Reporters identified "Uncle Dick" as McCulloch; Simpson himself did not comment on the reports.[10] Andrew O'Hagan, writing in the London Review of Books about McCulloch and similar allegations against another BBC presenter, Lionel Gamlin (1903–1967), said that many of the people who had worked with Garscadden were dead. Those still alive told O'Hagan that they had not heard her make those allegations against McCulloch.[9] A spokesman said the BBC would investigate the claims as part of its Jimmy Savile review.[10] McCulloch's family described the allegations as "complete rubbish."[11]

Gmyrtle

In 2012, reports in the media relating to the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal referred to McCulloch. A book written in 1999 by BBC journalist John Simpson, Strange Places, Questionable People, had referred to an "Uncle Dick" at the BBC who had sexually assaulted children, and who appeared to fit the profile of McCulloch.[12] Author Andrew O'Hagan wrote that there had long been rumours about McCulloch's activities while working at the BBC.[1] The BBC said that they would "look into these allegations as part of the Jimmy Savile review."[13] McCulloch's family have described the allegations as "complete rubbish".

Red Pen

In 2012, the BBC indicated that as part of the investigation into the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse allegations they would be looking into claims that McCulloch had also sexually assaulted children while he worked for the BBC.[14]

Making it shorter makes things worse. It fails to point out that the John Simpson source is unsatisfactory. Accusing a person of child abuse is too serious to be left to an amusing anecdote in a book, as Simpson apparently does. He does not even have the guts to name the man directly, so why is he being treated with such respect?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 23:19, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Just for clarification, my wording about Uncle Dick "appearing to fit the profile" of McCulloch comes neither from Simpson nor O'Hagan (overtly at least), but it is said in the IBT report: "News veteran John Simpson has claimed that the BBC gagged him when he tried to expose the behaviour of an unnamed children's radio presenter who fits the profile of corporation legend Derek McCulloch." Are we saying that IBT is not a WP:RS? Ghmyrtle (talk) 23:25, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
IBT is a reliable source, but has no special insight. Simpson is clearly allowing a finger of suspicion to be pointed at McCulloch, but does not have the courage of his convictions.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 23:30, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
No, but his book is the seed of what is being said now, and that fact needs to be reported. It is not giving Simpson's book credibility to note that the media allegations are - rightly or wrongly - rooted in what he wrote. Ghmyrtle (talk) 23:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
(responding to your first post in this section) I think it's clear, as a subtext, that there were rumours about McCulloch, or Simpson wouldn't have written what he did, or wouldn't have made the person's identity so obvious. Very odd that no one picked up on it at the time he published it. However, Simpson doesn't actually say there were other rumours, and we have to go by what he said. So as things stand, there is just his one named source from 1967, and she is not around to confirm anything. But we do need to say something in the article; we can't leave it out entirely, and in my view we are better with the more detailed version, because that makes clear that this is a single-sourced issue (to date). SlimVirgin (talk) 23:31, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Given the reliable sources covering this are limited as they currently are [[4]], and focused so entirely on noncommittal positioning of vague allegations, I completely disagree there is any evidence that we must cover it at all. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 23:48, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
SV's version goes into quite unnecessary detail. TRPOD's version is too terse and lacks any explanation. Goldilocks had it right. Ghmyrtle (talk) 23:54, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
  1. ^ a b c d e f O'Hagan, Andrew (27 October 2012). "Light Entertainment". London Review of Books. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Cahalan, Paul; Jonathan Owen (28 October 2012). "Bitter infighting sweeps the BBC". The Independent. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal: Was BBC's Larry the Lamb Derek McCulloch a Paedophile?". IB Times. 17 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference Sky was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ "Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal: Was BBC's Larry the Lamb Derek McCulloch a Paedophile?". IB Times. 17 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal: Was BBC's Larry the Lamb Derek McCulloch a Paedophile?". IB Times. 17 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal: Was BBC's Larry the Lamb Derek McCulloch a Paedophile?". IB Times. 17 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Simpson, John. Strange Places, Questionable People, Pan Macmillan, 1999, pp. 80–81.
  9. ^ a b O'Hagan, Andrew (27 October 2012). "Light Entertainment". London Review of Books. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal: Was BBC's Larry the Lamb Derek McCulloch a Paedophile?". IB Times. 17 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "New 'Victim' Claims Savile Abused Her At 15". Sky News. 27 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal: Was BBC's Larry the Lamb Derek McCulloch a Paedophile?". IB Times. 17 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal: Was BBC's Larry the Lamb Derek McCulloch a Paedophile?". IB Times. 17 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal: Was BBC's Larry the Lamb Derek McCulloch a Paedophile?". IB Times. 17 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. 

Inclusion of basic statement[edit]

Although clearly no consensus has been reached over the specific statement to be included, I am concerned that the editor who made this edit seems to be saying that no mention of the allegations should be made at all, despite the fact that they have been mentioned in reliable sources and acknowledged by the BBC who have said that they will be investigated. Most editors who have contributed so far agree that some reference should be made in the article. It is not up to us as editors to consider whether the claims are valid or not, but they should be reported as existing. I'll revert the last reversion, to get the discussion going again here. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:55, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

I added Ghmyrtle's version because it is WP:UNDUE to mention this without clarifying how the sourcing came about in Simpson's book. Also, the WP:BDP issue with McCulloch's family needs to be considered. As the saying goes, Zero information is preferred to misleading or false information.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 09:43, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
there are still only a bare handful of sites reporting on this and one of them is the Sun. And we still have nothing more than a 10 year old book making secondhand allegations against a psuedonmym. If there was something more concrete, there would be more sites covering it by now. This is just taboloidism until there is something we can actually report.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:44, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Agree because it is Leonard Rossiter's turn today. The attempts to add the Sun's claims to his article have been reverted for similar reasons. Until the current hue and cry dies down, it is going to be difficult to enforce policies such as WP:UNDUE and WP:V.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:08, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
As long as we have editors going round blatantly censoring highly pertinent and totally verifiable information on the wishy-washy grounds of not risking upsetting people who might have fond memories of certain dead people, yes. Victor Yus (talk) 17:54, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
At this point in the investigations there is no evidence to differentiate the claims being made in England as being more similar to the Catholic Church investigations of wide spread child abuse or the rampant claims of Satanic ritual abuse or claims that Bath Salts were creating brain eating zombies that were all the fad in the US. The request of the family members has nothing to do with it. Wikipedia being an encyclopedia based on actual facts and not a tabloid mouthpiece has EVERYTHING to do with it. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 19:06, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
What you keep removing are actual facts. The fact that these allegations have been made is undisputable, and it is this information that you consistently censor (no-one is saying that the allegations are true). By setting an impossibly high bar for negative information and a far lower one for positive information, we end up with ridiculously whitewashed articles such as this one. While for living people, other considerations mean that this is to some extent inevitable, when dealing with the non-living we should have no scruples about reporting all of what the sources have to say on the subject, pleasant or unpleasant. Victor Yus (talk) 20:03, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Bullshit. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It should have a high bar for ALL content. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:23, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Page saving problem[edit]

It looks like the {{WikiProject Military history}} template was causing extremely slow save times for this talk page (more than 30 seconds). I've removed it for now. Kaldari (talk) 00:00, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

That's much better, thank you. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:03, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

RfC: Should the article refer to the recent allegations?[edit]

The result of the RfC is to retain coverage of the fact of allegations having been made. Specifically, the Independent, IBT, and Sky News constitute a reliable source for the existence of allegations, but the dictates of WP:UNDUE limit the scope of acceptable material to who made the claim, where, how, etc, and only the barest description of the actual allegation - enough general information about what was alleged that a reader should have an appreciation of the context (in relation to other contemporaneous scandals) and gravity of the allegation. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 12:07, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

The RfC opened nearly two weeks ago, and there have been no new comments since November 14, so I hope no one will mind if I archive it, then post a request on WP:AN/RFC for an uninvolved editor to sum up consensus (request posted here).

Twelve people responded:

  • Supporting inclusion of the allegations (in order of their comments) were: Nomoskedasticity, Ghmyrtle, Batard0, The Gnome, Enderandpeter, Dreambeaver, and Major Bloodnok.
  • Opposing inclusion were: The Red Pen of Doom, IanMacm, Collect, SlimVirgin, and Hiding. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:28, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the article refer to the recent allegations about sexual abuse? This is one of the versions of the text that has been repeatedly reverted. The subject died in 1967, so BLP does not apply, but a user who says he is a relative has complained in edit summaries. [5]

The claims have been reported in the London Review of Books, [6] The Independent, [7] the International Business Times, [8] and by Sky News. [9] SlimVirgin (talk) 00:04, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

(Please make clear for the closer whether you support or oppose inclusion.)
  • Given the rabid obsession with the sex abuse claims, if there were actually anything of substance at this time there would be more press stories than these [10] and we would have more to say than "allegations were made about someone in a book 10 years ago that an pseudonym is believed by someone who wasnt even born at the time the events are alleged to have happened." We are wikipedia, the encyclopedia, NOT Tabloidopedia. We can wait until the reliable sources actually have something to say. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 02:06, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
  • The guidelines for reporting allegations should be broadly the same regardless of whether the person is alive or dead. WP:V and WP:UNDUE do not go out of the window when a person dies. The claims against McCulloch have clear issues in this area, as they are limited to a few sources, with John Simpson's book having particularly serious RS problems. This is not about covering up The Truth™, but about ensuring that basic Wikipedia guidelines are followed. My position is to exclude the McCulloch allegations unless more evidence emerges.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:24, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
That's quite nonsensical - the fact that the allegations have been made is as verifiable as anyone could possibly wish. We don't present them as true allegations, but we present the true information we have about the allegations, which are clearly something many readers are going to expect to read about when coming to Wikipedia to read about the totality of what reliable sources have reported about this person. To exclude this information would be an absurd whitewash, and quite against the spirit of both V and UNDUE and the rest of NPOV. Victor Yus (talk) 10:07, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Also worth noting that the TheRedPenOfDoom is incorrect when he alleges that there is only a single primary source. The allegations were confirmed by O'Hagan using several other sources from the BBC. "Of the three men named to me as I talked to people about the BBC in those days, Uncle Mac is the one who stirs the strongest emotions." The allegations have been reported by a multitude of reliable sources, using a multitude of primary sources. TheRedPenOfDoom and ianmacm are aggressively attempting to censor information here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.38.120.139 (talk) 10:22, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
There were lots and lots of "verifiable allegations" about Satanic ritual abuse in the US as well, and the allegations were almost entirely hogwash. Wikipedia readers deserve better than being fed inappropriate content. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:19, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
If you disagree with Wikipedia's policies you should petition to have them changed. Until then this encyclopedia will be edited according to the existing rules. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.38.120.139 (talk) 14:38, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I DO agree with wikipedia policies. WP:V and WP:UNDUE and WP:NOT all support articles NOT covering content based on a few vague allegations initiated in the tabloid press. Having a reliable source is the MINIMAL level for content, but it is not a guarantee that it SHOULD / MUST be included.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:50, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
We seem to have reached a classic impasse here. One of the things that I had hoped for is that other people would have come forward and made similar claims against McCulloch, as happened after the ITV1 documentary about Jimmy Savile. This has not happened, possibly because it was all a long time ago (the 1930s-1950s). "Auntie Gladys" also claimed that the BBC had responded to letters complaining about "Uncle Dick's" behaviour, which may be present somewhere in the BBC archive. At the moment, there is too much hearsay, which leads to a range of issues with Wikipedia policy and admissibility as evidence.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:59, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Lies and more lies. The allegations were initiated by John Simpson, not the tabloid press. They have been corroborated by multiple sources by O'Hagan, and published in multiple reliable sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.38.120.139 (talk) 16:00, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
John Simpson's account would not last five minutes in court, it is his recollection some years later of a telephone conversation with an anonymous "gin-sodden lady".--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:15, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
And Wikipedia is not a court of law so it makes no difference whether an account is beyond all reasonable doubt. It merely has to be published in a reliable source. We have at least five reliable sources publishing the allegations. Being a journalist you could safely assume that John Simpson would have taken notes of the interview, and would have written his autobiography in references to these notes. Furthermore the allegations made by McCulloch's grandson that Kathleen Garscadden was an alcoholic do not seem to be supported by the facts, the lady lived to be 94.
IP, you are absolutely wrong. "I have a source" is the first, but not ONLY hurdle for content. as long as you continue to completely ignore other wikipedia content policies your opinion is not going to be regarded as having any value. (and please sign your posts) -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 19:39, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I retain my position that Articles which make "allegations" make bad encyclopedia articles, especially when any sort of POV can be attached thereto. I suggest that articles subject to WP:BLP in any manner which make allegations be strongly constrained. In the case at hand, I suggest the allegations (rumours) constitute a "contentious claim" for any biography at all, and that since they trace back to a "single source" that they are weakly sourced. Further that the article has definite implications for living people. Collect (talk) 16:55, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion -- the sources are fine (strange to see the Independent and the LRB described as tabloids...). Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:13, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
This Sun "exclusive" from 17 October 2012 is causing the problem, and is likely to set off RD2 edits.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:49, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
What do you mean "is causing the problem"? The only problem I see is that various editors keep removing reliably sourced material without the least attempt at justification. Victor Yus (talk) 18:13, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
The Sun's attempt to portray John Simpson's hearsay account from 1999 as an "exclusive" is not a reliable source. The rest is not very reliable either. Would you trust any of this material to withstand a libel action, assuming that McCulloch was still alive?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:21, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I really don't know, but that isn't a question we need to ask. Reliable sources (not only the Sun) are reporting this; we should do so too, as Wikipedia regularly does with reported allegations (even with living subjects). Readers - not you or I - can make up their own mind as to how credible the allegations might be, given the information we know. Victor Yus (talk) 19:28, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion, with rewording based on the report in The Independent. That newspaper is clearly a reliable source, and says: "In an article for the London Review of Books, author Andrew O'Hagan claims BBC broadcaster Lionel Gamlin, who produced children's programmes and presented Top of the Form, regularly had sex with young boys in a secret Fitzrovia hideaway during the 1950s.... Children's Hour presenter Derek McCulloch – known to children as "Uncle Mac" – is accused of similar abuse and regularly taking children "to the gents to interfere with them". O'Hagan says parents' complaints were waved away as fiction by the office of the director general whose letters said: "The nation wouldn't understand such an accusation against a much-loved figure."" It makes no claims as to whether or not the allegations are true, and nor should we as editors - what is important is that a reliable source is stating that the allegations exist. I suggest that we do not use the IBT or Sky News as sources in this case, as both rely heavily on The Sun, which is clearly not a reliable source - Sky News also says that "..McCulloch's Wikipedia page has been blocked for editing..." which is completely untrue. We should not base the decision on inclusion on an editor's claim that their relatives are upset by the allegations - McCulloch died 45 years ago and WP:NOTCENSORED applies. There is no good reason not to include a reference to the fact that allegations against McCulloch are in the public domain. They are notable by virtue of the fact that they have been widely publicised in the context of the Savile scandal; McCulloch himself is a notable person; the allegations relate to the culture existing at the BBC in the past which itself is subject to an important investigation, as well as to McCulloch (and Gamlin) specifically; and have been acknowledged by the BBC as allegations deserving investigation. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:00, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
PS: Incidentally, the same issues over article content are discussed at Talk:Lionel Gamlin and editors may wish to comment there. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:06, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
can you explain to me what credentials novelist Andrew O'Hagan's (who was born after McCulloch' died) has for identifying and verifying 40+ year old claims of sexual abuse that his opinion is one that we should be caring about? -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:14, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
It is not up to us to have any views whatsoever about O'Hagan's "credentials". The fact that The Independent thinks him to be worthy of being reported is enough. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:31, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
It wasn't O'Hagan who first wrote those things about McCulloch, it was Simpson in his book. This is a case of The Independent reporting Andrew O'Hagan reporting John Simpson reporting a conversation with Kathleen Garscadden in 1967. The "me too" sources speak to the notability of the claims, but don't change the fact that there's a single purported source and that she is dead. As for the O'Hagan article, you and I are reading that differently. You see him referring to other rumours about McCulloch. I see him referring to the same rumour (the Simpson/Garscadden rumour).

I was inclined to support inclusion of this, and I'm still weakly inclined to (though haven't decided yet). I'm concerned that more newspapers aren't reporting it. The Times, Guardian, Telegraph and Observer haven't mentioned it, despite having the wherewithal to find out whether there were rumours over and above the Simpson/Garscadden one. So that is making me hesitate. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:40, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

The Guardian did report Simpson's allegations. They did not name McCulloch but there can be little doubt they knew who Uncle Dick referred to.[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.38.120.139 (talk) 12:50, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
But of course these charges are so serious and deserving of coverage that we must throw out WP:OR as hampering our ability to dive into the slime coverage. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 13:07, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
And of course we have several sources that tell us that McCulloch is clearly the subject of the allegations so there is no need for [WP:OR]]. O'Hagan: " He calls him ‘Uncle Dick’. In 1998, and still today, Simpson felt he shouldn’t name McCulloch directly: but it is now clear that Uncle Dick is Uncle Mac." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.38.120.139 (talk) 14:05, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Parts of the media have used the fact that Derek McCulloch, Wilfred Brambell and Leonard Rossiter are dead to make allegations that could easily have set off unwinnable libel actions if they were still alive. This should be a cause for concern, and on balance I still think that the root of the sourcing for the McCulloch allegations - the Simpson book - is too weak.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:13, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
We rely on secondary and tertiary sources, which are what someone, reporting someone, reporting someone else, essentially are. Perhaps one of the reasons the newspapers haven't reported anything is that McCulloch is a very obscure and forgotten figure, at least to anyone under 60 or so. Another is the fact that, to a newspaper, The Sun is a competitor that has already covered the story. Another is that now, clearly, inquiries are ongoing into these claims and others. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:24, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
re: "Another is the fact that, to a newspaper, The Sun is a competitor that has already covered the story. " as anybody who has watched the papers knows that this is the most facile reasoning ever and if true the stories about Savile in newspapers would not be numbering in 10s of thousands in the past month. re "Another is that now, clearly, inquiries are ongoing into these claims and others. " while it may well be true that investigations are occurring, (that is also true regarding Savile and that has not quenched one iota the coverage of those incidents) but we dont have really any coverage that there are investigations ongoing, just the passing comment from the BBC that the will add him to the list. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:19, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
The point I was trying to make, perhaps not very well, is that there may well be many reasons why other newspapers have not published the story, and we can't assume it's because they think it is untrue. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:24, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
1) they think its untrue 2) they think its unworthy of reporting on 3) they think it may be true but feel they need better and stronger evidence. all are far more likely than " oh the Sun ran it so we cant" and all are reasons why Wikipedia shouldnt run it either. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 13:25, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
If guessing the reasons that some sources haven't published a story isn't WP:OR then I don't know what is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.38.120.139 (talk) 14:08, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
WP:OR is not allowed for content within an article. But editors are most certainly allowed to use personal analysis to determine what properly sourced content should be allowed within the article, which content would be expressing UNDUE prominence to fringe or non notable claims etc. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:49, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
You're offering your own personal analysis to decide why some editor has not run a particular story. What are your credentials for offering this analysis? Are you a journalist? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.38.120.139 (talk) 15:32, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
My credentials are that I am a Wikipedia editor. We make determinations about the quality and reliability and representativeness of sourcing all the time with every edit we make. And I think that we need to include these allegations about sexual impropriety at Dalek because of course we have a source [11] and any type of sexual allegation with a source belongs in an article. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:56, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
  • [comment copied from above by SV] The information can be included, in my opinion. The subject is dead, so the WP:BLP guidelines cited above do not apply in this case. The only questions are 1) are the sources used to support the information reliable? Unless anyone wants to dispute that, I assert the answer is yes. I certainly haven't seen any suggestion otherwise. And 2) does the information in the article accurately reflect the sources? This is a matter that editors should agree upon, but shouldn't be too hard to resolve. You're merely repeating what's written in news articles - describe allegations as allegations and investigations as investigations. Because that is what they are. We need not worry about defamation or libel: allegations against dead men rarely wind up in court. --Batard0 (talk) 15:42, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Just noting here that I copied Batard's post from the old RfC above in case he posted it there without having seen this one. I've left a note on his talk page to make sure he doesn't mind. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:35, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
While the subject of the article may be dead so that BLP does not directly apply to him, allegations of child molestation DO STILL have impact on the living members of the family and ARE covered under BLP. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 18:27, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
"It's OK, he's dead and can't sue us for libel" is arguably the least of the problems here. Simpson's 1999 book account and its reliability (or lack of it) is the main issue.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:03, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
First, thanks for moving my comment to its proper place. I inadvertently posted it in the wrong section. Second, concern about the effect of allegations on living relatives under WP:BDP doesn't apply here; the subject is not recently dead, nor is there doubt about his death. He's dead, and he's been dead for some time. Any assertion that these allegations have "implications" for his relatives is a tenuous one at best. What implications? Were his relatives implicated in these allegations? There's zero suggestion to the effect that, for example, a living relative condoned or supported or was implicated otherwise in his alleged activities, which if it were the case would be a proper invocation of WP:BDP. The embarrassment that a relative may feel about the legacy of this man doesn't give rise to any WP:BLP issues, in my opinion. Now, as to the reliability of Simpson's 1999 book, that's neither here nor there because it isn't being relied upon directly as a source. News stories from reliable sources (Sky News and the like) are being relied upon. It's not up to us to judge the indirect reliability of a book when we have direct sources the reliability of which nobody has seriously challenged. The purpose of the reliable sources policy is to make sure we base articles on sources that have editorial oversight and don't publish innuendo willy-nilly. If Sky News and other outlets have judged these allegations worthy of publication, in other words, and we consider them reliable sources with strong editorial oversight, we shouldn't hesitate to repeat them ourselves, obviously keeping in mind due weight in the article. --Batard0 (talk) 19:41, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
@ " Any assertion that these allegations have "implications" for his relatives is a tenuous one at best. What implications? Were his relatives implicated in these allegations?" it is precisely the tenousness of THIS allegation that brings concern that guilt by association is FREELY flowing in the recent sexual abuse scandals as it did previously in the US in similar situations Satanic ritual abuse. So YES BLP does really apply. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 19:53, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Support inclusion just to put in a !vote, although it should be clear from previous discussion (anyone closing this should take care not to double-count this). I'm not sure I follow the above argument. You say this allegation of abuse is tenuous, but it's repeated in reliable sources; to the extent that those sources say it is tenuous, so should we in the article. All we're doing is reflecting what's reported in these reliable sources. A separate judgment of the strength of the allegations is unnecessary. In any case, there is not the slightest indication that any living person is guilty by association; does the mere fact that these accusations of sexual abuse have been leveled color his entire family as guilty more than 40 years after his death? That, I suggest, is highly doubtful. --Batard0 (talk) 04:14, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I'm not arguing that the existence of reliable sources always trumps WP:BLP concerns; that's not the case. I'm arguing that there are no convincing WP:BLP concerns, and thus we can reflect what's been reported in reliable sources in the article, without of course giving the accusations undue weight. --Batard0 (talk) 05:50, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
to anyone who made the claim that false accusations by association are not a concern, they should revisit their position in light of false accusations that the BBC is now having to walk itself back from. Wikipedia should NOT place itself in the same situation and needs to hold high thresholds for coverage of allegations. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 23:34, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose inclusion. Initially I supported including the claims so long as we made clear they were based on a single source, but I've grown uneasy given that several good British newspapers have not even mentioned them, and my unease has increased with the events of the last few days. It seems that a mentality has developed (elsewhere, not on WP) whereby allegations that should have been investigated properly, and weren't, may now be mentioned freely to make up for the earlier failures. But this is to swing from one extreme to the other. So I oppose inclusion until other reliable sources (not "me too" sources) develop this further. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:08, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Leaning to oppose too, per Slim and RedPenofDoom. Like Slim I've been waiting for another paper to pick this story up, and there's been nothing as yet. If the BBC are investigating this then they will have to report and that will give us a definitive source to cite. Until then I would be happy if Wikipedia did not include the material. Hiding T 18:01, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion - The current wording in the Derek McCulloch#Posthumous allegations section is suitable given the current coverage of these allegations. They could very well turn out to completely false, and I agree that concentration of news coverage is a good measure by which to determine the significance of these claims. It does mean something that the only sources talking about this so far are those that have been mentioned here. But as there are indeed some reliable secondary sources that talk about these allegations, we should mention them, as long as the current edit's neutrality is maintained. The important thing is to simply name these allegations and their sources and not give any opinion on WP's behalf as far as the veracity of the claims.
I also side with removing the "undue" template, because undue weight is not being given to the accusations. They are claims (however untrue they may turn out to be) that reliable sources (namely The Independent and IBT) have reported. Now, I recognize this claim has been wrapped up in the whole Jimmy Savile witch hunt, an event that has clearly borne false accusations, and this accusation appears to come from a sole person. All of this rightly causes editors to hesitate to include this information. Still, we should wait for one of these news sources to comment more on their coverage rather than immediately assume that this situation definitely mirrors that of Lord McAlpine. Ender and Peter 19:00, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Somewhat support There seem to be a few sources and I think we can agree that they are reliable. Because of the timing of this situation I don't think we should be in a rush to include so much detail on it yet. I would support cutting it down to a single and brief sentence, maybe an "it was reported that...", for the time being. This is many years after the actions and we don't need to be in a race to get the information in here, especially if the BBC is reporting it. The fact that this is being investigated should be notable. Dreambeaver(talk) 23:34, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Inclusion The O'Hagan article seems pretty clear in it's allegation. Certainly we wouldn't want to indicate that WP believes these to be true, at least not until the BBC report or something else gives some credence to it. It seems nonsensical to leave these allegations out, especially since they are from reliable sources. I would change the wording of the section in the article though; quite why the Simpson story is the "in" I don't see. The O'Hagan stuff is more solid and should be at the top of that section. Ben (Major Bloodnok) (talk) 07:30, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


RfC[edit]

Ought the rumours about the person be included in this biography? Two years ago, an RfC found the inclusion of the allegations to be acceptable. 14:29, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

discussion[edit]

Wikipedia practice concerning anonymous rumours about people have changed on the past two years, and I suggest it is time to revisit the position taken here at that point. I note that the rumours made in the 1999 book appear to be no longer of current interest, IMO. The BBC review from 2012 has apparently found nothing at all to support the rumours, and 2 years is sufficient time for this to remain on Wikipedia . Collect (talk) 14:29, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

This was brought up by the media during the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal. The evidence always looked thin, and the passage of two years has not altered this position.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:43, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
The RfC calls them "rumors". If they are just "rumors" then they don't deserve inclusion. What reliable sources do we have to support such claims or "rumors"? Meatsgains (talk) 16:36, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Meatsgains that it they are just "rumors" that they should be left out. Fraulein451 (talk) 15:51, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
User:Collect says "The BBC review from 2012 has apparently found nothing at all to support the rumours". Where is the source for that? According to the Dame Janet Smith Review here: "While the Review is nearing the end of its work, it continues to conduct interviews and to receive relevant evidence. The Review expects that its Report will be finalised before the end of the year. When a publication date is known, a further update will be provided." So, we can't assume anything at this stage about what the review may conclude about the allegations. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:10, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
In a period of over two years, nothing has been educed to support the allegations whatsoever. No reliable secondary sources have produced stories about McCulloch in that time. The page you cite states Dame Janet has decided that her Report should not be delivered until after the conclusion of the trial of Dave Lee Travis. Which pretty much says that specific trial is to be referenced in the report as the reason for any delay. That trial, curiously enough, had naught to do with McCulloch at all. [12] specifies what the review is covering: Savile and Hall. The review was not released pending the trial of Travis. Note McCulloch is not in any of the material from Dame Janet Smith in any of these pages. [13] Nor did the reviewers solicit any information other than that related to Savile and Hall. The main purpose of the Review is to investigate the allegations made against Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall and to take any steps that may be needed to prevent inappropriate sexual conduct in future.. Thus using the review as a reason to further delay what is called for by Wikipedia policy makes no sense at all. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:25, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
There has been ample time for other people to come forward with similar stories about McCulloch's behaviour, but no-one has. It is similar to the situation with Benjamin Britten, where despite a large amount of hot air, no-one has ever been able to prove that he did anything illegal with a child. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:50, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
"There has been ample time for other people to come forward with similar stories about McCulloch's behaviour, but no-one has." But, we don't yet know that. People were invited to send evidence - about Savile, Hall, and other people who may or may not include McCulloch - to the inquiry, which has not yet reported. The Inquiry is not restricted solely to Savile and Hall - it covers "the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked there." "The main purpose of the Review is to investigate the allegations made against Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall " - but not the only purpose. The fact that no-one else has made public allegations about McCulloch does not necessarily mean that further allegations will not emerge. Not everyone goes straight to the press with allegations. We don't know, and won't know until the report is published, whether the original allegations, or any other allegations, have any substance to them. What we do know is that allegations were made. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:22, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
I was talking about the media as a whole rather than the Dame Janet Smith Review. Apart from the thinly sourced anecdote in a book by John Simpson published years before The Sun dragged it up in 2012 to cause a controversy, there is no evidence that McCulloch was a child abuser. This needs to be taken in context with WP:WEIGHT and the objections of McCulloch's family to dragging his name into the mud when he cannot answer back.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:33, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree. My objection was only to the assumption that no substantive allegations had been made (other than the original ones), when we simply don't know whether that is the case or not. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:48, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

At this point, 4 oppose inclusion of rumours, and one is in favour of including the rumours of child molestation. No one disputes that accusations of child molestation are a "contentious claim" with regard to any biography, and that the rumours do affect people both living and deceased. Collect (talk) 21:04, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree. If the Smith report mentions anything, we should consider it again then. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:13, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose inclusion of weak, unsubstantiated rumors. I was invited here by Legobot. Ghmyrtle, there are an unlimited number of things that we don't know, but what we don't know should have no effect on our Wikipedia editing. If reliable sources discuss the allegations in the future, we can revisit the matter then. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:23, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
That's what I said. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:11, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - unsubstantiated rumors have no place in BLPs. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:16, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Even when they've been dead for 47 years....?? Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:31, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

If the rumours have been widely reported in reputable sources, they should be included as part of the media's reaction to this figure. If they have not, they should be excluded. Willhesucceed (talk) 11:33, 27 October 2014 (UTC)