The news that Brian Harvey has been "carrying out his own investigation into child abuse" has, predictably and understandably, generated a lot of hilarity online. You can see why - a man who once pointed a finger of suspicion at a potato for attempted murder, and who has been behaving somewhat erratically since his career stalled in the early days of the Blair administration. It's full of yuck-yuck potential.
But it's worth remembering that both Stella Creasy and Simon Danczuk think that he's worth listening to - and neither are dupes:
Danczuk has led calls for an inquiry into allegations of abuse, and was put in touch with Harvey by his constituency E17 MP, Stella Creasy.By the nature of the their role, MPs are often besieged by - shall we say - overenthusiastic, overimaginative amateurs. If Danczuk is happy to encourage further contact from Harvey, he must think there's something there to be taken seriously.
Danczuk told BuzzFeed News: “It’s the first time I’ve met him. He came across to me as a really thoughtful person. The reason we were meeting up is to discuss some work he’s done around child sex abuse. He was sharing the information that he had gathered.
“He feels quite passionately about protecting children and really wants to make a contribution. We know that showbusiness is an industry that’s had a number of abusers within it.
“He’s providing a number of leads that I’m keen to follow up and that’s exactly what I’ll do. I’m pleased he’s done the work he’s done. We had a good chat. I’d be happy and keen to meet him again.”