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Thursday, 19 July, 2001, 20:11 GMT 21:11 UK
Your comments on Jeffrey Archer: A Life of Lies
Your comments on Jeffrey Archer: A Life of Lies
Surely this affair just shows the sort of people we have involved in politics in this country. People were prepared to tolerate Archer despite, it seems, many of them knowing he was of bad character. It is not surprising so many people are disaffected by politics, and didn't vote at the general election. Our political system is so dishonest and corrupt that it is attracting the wrong sort of people into it. If more Jeffrey Archer's were exposed and punished, then perhaps we would have the right type of people coming into politics, and the public might feel like becoming more involved in the process.
I enjoyed the Panorama programme on Jeffrey Archer last night very much. The friends who took money and are now telling their story or selling their story made themselves look very bad, of course. I have always been amazed that Mr Archer got away with so much for such a long time. I think the most suitable punishment for him would be that when he gets out of prison he is completely ignored by everyone, including the press! I don't imagine he is a person who enjoys being ignored.
It's good to see that Archer has got his just desserts. However, the fact remains that many Tory politicians were prepared to endorse him despite knowing he was not of god character - this just shows what low standards the Tory party has, and how money is everything to them - no wonder so many of us hold politics and politicians in contempt.
Finally, Mary Archer should also have to be tried, although no doubt her establishment friends will try to save her from this.
Well done Michael Crick, keep exposing these people, there must be plenty left, particularly in the Tory Party.
With great interest I watched the fascinating Panorama Special on Jeffrey Archer. It is unbelievable that Jeffrey Archer managed to rise in the Tory party as high as he did. It is even more unbelievable that only now allegations about all kinds of fraudulent behaviour are being made. Why have people like Emma Nicholson not blown the whistle before if the allegations about fiddling with charity money are as serious as they seem to be?
I cannot wait for a book on the case to be published. Well done Mister Crick and Panorama.
As a Brit I found Michael Crick's report both interesting and informative. I think he is wrong in one respect and that is that we have not yet seen the last of Jeffrey Archer. Somehow this man will amaze us and bounce back - keep watching Mr Crick!
I could not help but notice a majority of comments on Archer were somewhat sympathetic towards him. I feel this sums up this country after the Thatcher years of people having a 'sod you attitude... as long as I'm ok. We used to care about things like standards and respectability but creeps like Archer are paraded about as some sort of icon who when he got found out was just really a little rascal who wouldn't harm a fly. Well I personally hope he has an awful time in HMP, but no doubt his money will talk and he will be able to buy favour.
Left-wing, class-motivated, hypocritical, petty-minded, politically correct mindless, pointless television. Too easy to see why Panorama is hived off to an obscure Sunday night slot. Long may it fester there with it's gloating arrogant journalists.
I have never felt such anger at a BBC programme as I did this week with Michael Crick's vindictive
tirade on Jeffrey Archer. Remember this programme was produced probably weeks before waiting and
hoping the case would go against Archer. I am not a supporter of Jeffrey Archer in any way and commend
the jury for the verdict but Crick went too far, surely the BBC programme makers could see this man carries
a hatred that should not have been aired. I am sure somebody else would have been more suitable.
To Jeffrey Archer I would say this: "You can't buy true friends and if you spend your life lying and cheating to get what you want, sooner or later you will get caught and have to pay for it.
I am only sorry that it wasn't sooner in your case".
To those who think he has done nothing wrong I would say, whatever happened to morals and integrity?
As Mr.Archer has allegedly accumulated so much wealth from the generosity of decent people, perhaps the British taxpayer would feel a lot happier if he was made to pay £300 per day towards his keep while he is in jail. It would still only be pocket money to him.
Will the raising of funds, by Jeffery Archer, for the Iraqi Kurds in the name of 'charity' now be investigated and his sending messengers to his off-shore banks to bring into the UK large sums of cash thereby evading income tax and how many others are doing it?
Firstly I would like to congratulate Michael Crick and the Panorama Programme team on a superb piece of journalism. What I find astonishing about the programme revelations is that it seems senior politicians knew of Mr Archer's activities and yet did nothing. Instead he was awarded a seat in the House of Lords by one Prime Minister and is allowed to run for Lord Mayor of London by another! Surely, this brings into question the political competence of ministers of the time. Of course, there were other well documented misjudgements both financial and political during that time.
So what are you saying Professor Marlowe - we need to get real? So do we excuse Archer because of the particular career path he has chosen and the world he inhabits? It isn't that we are surprised by the corruption of democracy, we just feel the need to comment on it. It is the media that can get censorious with its "flawed personality" - me? I just think that corrupt practices should be exposed. Sorry if that is naive and morally inept.
Why do so many people in this country like to be totally vicious and take pleasure in another's downfall. What about the accepting of money bribes? What about the rest of his family's feelings? What about the snooping by reporters? AND HOW LONG HAD THIS PROGRAME BEEN PREPARED?
I must admit that having seen the programme I was left with a sneaking admiration for the man and how he got what he wanted by fair means or foul. However I felt nothing but total contempt for the politicians who lauded him, even though they knew far more than the rest of us just what a crook archer was.
Prof. Stuart Marlow
This goes to show that one can never trust one's friends.
I must say however that if one mixes with scum they always let you down in the end. Poor Lord Archer is a fantasist - he has merely been living a life of sheer fiction - he needs help not hypocrisy - Remember Mandelson all you Labour voters! I only hope Archer writes a cracker of a novel exposing all those nauseating creatures such as Ted Francis who crawls out from a dirtier stone than Lord Archer could ever have inhabited.
Well done Michael Crick and the Panorama team for producing an excellent programme.
A new low for BBC reporting. Sorry but it's true.
Jeffrey Archer may be what you said he is but the way it was presented was vindictive and amateur.
I expected a report showing the facts of the case and how this tied in with his past. What I got was a load of sound bites and innuendo. There were facts there but they were lost in the pool of venom.
The standard of BBC reporting has deteriorated in the last 2 years especially but this was exceptional.
I will (as so often now) go to CNN (or even Sky) for an unbiased report.
It is even noticeable in normal news reports, before the trial's verdict he was Lord Archer, now he is just Archer.
Try to do better next time, if you have another report in the pipeline let me know as you may be able to redeem something.
Entertaining programme, YES (a bit like an edition of "I love 198x") - BUT I agree with the criticisms made of some of the slimy participants and the cheesy high heels and stockings imagery.
Sir Edward Du Cann's contribution frankly smacked of old school Tory class prejudice ("I decided he was not the sort of person... I didn't think he would fit...") rather than constructive criticism of Archer's integrity.
I was also disappointed that there was no further investigation into his "fundraising" for the Kurds.
I do wish the BBC had the courage to broadcast this Panorama programme in some form or other a few years ago (in the same way they've done in the past with Robert Maxwell and, to a certain degree, Terry Venables); and why couldn't those angry exchanges of Archer's have been transmitted at the time they were made too?
Much of the programme was later shown on Newsnight, where Matthew Parris eloquently attacked the hypocrisy of the tabloid press.
The trial says more about those that gorged themselves at his table that Archer himself. They now come out of the woodwork admitting that they knew all along that he was bent but they didn't protest at the time did they, they sin by their silence. If this is an indication of the moral cowardice of the establishment it leaves me cold.
I have to say I found yesterday's continuous profiles on the rise and fall
of Jeffrey Archer to be a little over the top. Yes he did commit perjury and I have no problem
with him being punished for that but the truth is that convicted rapists and drunk drivers get less than 4 years.
Apart from that most of the people interviewed on the programme were all people who seemed more envious and
spiteful than anything else especially the reporter Mr crick. More importantly, if we were to investigate all the
politicians, I doubt there is none without their own share of skeletons in the cupboard. Quite frankly what surprises me is how people can be so small minded and malicious, all queuing up to tell us how dishonest he was. May I also remind
Mr Crick that Ted Francis and the woman who sold her story to the news of the world did not do it in order to make right a wrong. They all did it for money.
Brilliant programme and congrats to Mr Crick for good journalism. What an arrogant, persistent liar of a so-called human being Archer is. He has lied, cheated and the rest to make his way in life. What a leach in society. Why did the Tory party forgive his so much - I wonder! No more LORD Archer. We don't need peers like him. Good riddance Jeffrey, I hope you serve your time well - he's got his comeuppance.
I have to say that I am minded to agree with some of the comments of the people who have been speaking against Michael Crick. What Jeffrey Archer has been convicted of, what he did was wrong; of that there is no doubt. His lying was indefensible.
However the gloating and sheer vindictiveness of Michael Crick's tone who seemed to take personal pleasure out of this betrayed the true nature of the man. That Archer has gone to jail is justice served. But that Crick seemed to take such pleasure in this took more than the shine off this programme. It is to the detriment of Panorama who provided the platform for this programme and ultimately the BBC who provided the money.
Isn't all this a symptom of the 'something for nothing' society? For all those who rightly, but joyously, decry him for perjury, I say, how many would go try to claim money through 'personal accident' claims? Trip and fall on a cracked pavement? Have 5 grand. Hounded by the press for doing something immoral but legal? Have 500 grand.
It's all the same, and it's all WRONG.
Very good programme which finally demonstrated what many have believed for years that not only is Mr Archer a crook but that the Conservative Party is the British equivalent of the Mafia. They can never be elected again after this.
Perjury is a serious offence. The Justice system still relies on people giving a truthful account to the court - without the deterrent of a jail sentence for lying under oath any trial is undermined. Archer did not commit perjury to protect himself; he brought the libel action against the Star, and committed perjury for vast financial gain.
Well done Panorama. Let's hope
some of the allegations aired on the programme
are investigated, in particular the
the claims about embezzling charities and
tax evasion. Any working class person that had allegations of that nature against them, could expect an early morning visit from the police and inland revenue. His status as a lord should also come under review.
Investigative and revealing the Panorama programme certainly was, and the highlighting by Crick of Archer's supreme arrogance in believing that he could get away with anything was commendable. How soft the programme was though on the Conservative Party itself. Surely the greatest arrogance has been of a party machine that believed, as it still does, that it has so much power as to be beyond accountability and reproach. Archer was fielded as a candidate for the Mayorship of London with the support of Thatcher, Major and Hague. What the Archer affair demonstrates, as with the cases of Aitken and Hamilton, is that the Conservative Party is one home where the most corrupt members of Britain's ruling class can live with blessing and support. Would that Crick and Panorama had the guts to get to the heart of the problem.
During the commentary of the 2001 election, concern was expressed at the low turn out. One of the contributory factors must surely be a public lack of confidence in some of those who put themselves forward for public office.
In this case the man's arrogance is almost beyond belief, and if action is not taken to strip this man of his peerage, public confidence will be further damaged.
In my view a well presented programme for which MC and the BBC should receive great credit.
How is it possible that it has taken this long to expose this guy? It makes you wonder if there are any more Archers in politics...
And of course he should be unpeered!
The comment that such exposes are all about wanting to put down someone who made it against the odds is exactly the sentiment that allowed Archer to pursue a political career with seeming impunity till the next lie or criminal activity was discovered. As for the criticism about his sentence, there are women with children who get custodial sentences for non payment of debt that will not be residing in an open prison. Jeffrey Archer may prove that the rich and powerful cannot always escape justice but he also serves to warn us that it certainly helps to be part of the established class holding power. He abused his power and used his money to escape criminal charges. Should we not cherish the likes of Mr Crick who uncover such behaviour and expose it?
Having just watched the Jeffrey Archer programme I was struck not only by the brazen audacity and arrogance of the man, but also by the obnoxious hypocrisy of the so called 'friends' who willingly took pay-offs to stifle the truth. They made me feel nauseous with their responses, made safe from their privileged positions, or self imposed exile. I'm sickened by these money driven, immoral low lifes, who couldn't hold a candle to the honesty and integrity of my own parents, for all their wealth. It seems little has changed in the 'classless society'
Fine example of people in high places getting off lightly. Archer should definitely loose his Peerage no matter what it takes. Good programme - well done MR C.
I have to disagree with Diana (Bristol) - this was NOT a lightweight programme - in our view this was Panorama at its best! Crick did a brilliant job giving a true picture of this deceitful manipulative little man who deserves all he has got. Off with your peerage MR Archer!!
Excellent programme, I am glad I didn't line his pockets buying any of his books. Surely he can not be allowed to keep his peerage! I hope if he doesn't learn a lesson from this others who may entertain behaving in such manner, do learn that lies catch up with you in the end.
The so called "friends" who lied and were paid handsomely for doing so now seem gleeful at the downfall of a profit source. Crick's vindictiveness tells us more about him than about Archer. Envy appears to be the motive in this witchhunt. Nobody is dead and the only losers are the gutter press. Let us have an investigation into the investigators and see who is without sin.
The more I read the comments on this site the more angry I get. All the comments of he "only lied".
Yes, he did only lie but for what ends? To fraudulently obtain £500,000. Would it be alright if it was your money and not the Star's?
Many honest, decent, hard working individuals will never have the life style he has had I hope he realises what he has lost.
His wife in my opinion should not face charges as it looks as if she has already served a life sentence living with this idiot.
Do we really want people like him in the House of Lords?
A good piece of reporting which shows this man in his true colours. It must be said that it also showed the press in their true colours. Photographers everywhere he went, reporters 'overhearing' private conversations, undercover stings and taped phone calls. Honest celebrities have to endure these tactics every bit has much as the dishonest ones.
I really enjoyed this great piece of investigative journalism on the peer who's life went horribly pear-shaped. I sincerely hope that Mister Crick can be persuaded to come and live in Belgium where this kind of reporting hasn't seen the light of day in ages. And be assured, we don't have a shortage arrogant political thugs.
At last the lying arrogant Archer has got his just deserts. A brilliant programme showing Archer for what he really is. As has been said on this forum previously they did not mention the Harrow school lies, nor his arrest in Canada for theft.
It was good to see that, at last, justice has been done. The programme went some way to restoring my faith in the idea that we are all equal before the law.
Michael Crick is envious!
No doubt M.C. is from the public school "old boys" club which is obviously upset that a man from working-class roots tried to get one up over their "kind".
This episode of Panorama was biased and vindictive. But the baiting of Jeffrey Archer just made me like the latter more.
It looks like "Mahster Crick" as several of the interviewees called him hit the nail on the head about Jeff, but then he has been pursuing him for years - he had a hunch about Archer and I can only congratulate him for coming up trumps with a fantastic insight. Jeff Archer has always subscribed to the LYING WILL GET YOU EVERYWHERE school of politics, what stood out was his audacity with our legal system, our political system and, er, the reproductive system.
He's no Joe Stalin, more the classic political player, and watch this space for the classic Howard Marks style "I'm a naughty boy now buy my book" autobiography after he gets out of Butlins in 18 months.
A footnote: Serendipity (the title of his novel immediately prior to his rumbling at the Old Bailey) Definition? "The gift of making fortunate discoveries by accident" - nuff said!
Incredibly lightweight programme which relied on 'former friends' for most of it's content, who in the past had also been quite happy to lie and cheat and be paid to do so.
Not worthy of the BBC.
How much did the corporation pay Mr Stacpoole, like every Judas he must have had his price?
This was an excellent programme and rightfully given the Panorama tag. But it must have taken weeks, if not months, to prepare. Was it really a speculative investment or did the BBC have more than a hunch that the man was 'going daan'?
To anyone who feels sorry for Jeffrey 'Alan Bastard' Archer: He was not locked up for sleeping around. He stole £500,000 by lying under oath. His fall from grace is in the public interest given his political ambitions.
He had it all and still had to stoop so low to get more, the worst crook you can have in society. The man Archer got what he deserved. The sad thing is he will only serve 2 years.
I find it unbelievable that Archer has only got 4 years when the four charges add up to 13 and will serve only 2 of that.
Once a rogue always a rogue.
I understand that Archer cannot or will not be stripped of his peerage. Why not? I believe that Lester Piggot was stripped of his knighthood for tax evasion, a much less serious offence.
Well done Mr Crick and Panorama - at last justice is done.
Michael Crick seemed hell bent on persecuting Archer, but what is the reason for this? So what Archer told lies and was unfaithful to his wife, who cares. I do not believe he deserves 4 years for trying to put one over on the GUTTER press. What about the real crimes of today and the light sentences they receive.
What never ceases to amaze me is some people's ability to think he is the wronged person. A few people are taking the moral high ground of how bad his friends are, what sort of a friend is Jeffrey Archer asking his friends to lie for him?
It says as much about the Tory party as Jeffrey Archer!
If you tell so many lies they must catch up with you sooner or later. Give Archer credit for lasting so long. Prison will be a breeze for him. He will by and large be secure as the big celeb who can give autographs and make the nights fly by with his many tales of the rich and powerful.
Four years - he'll be unlucky to serve three. He'll probably bang out a couple more of his turgid bestsellers and that will more than cover him if he has to repay the Star's money.
Great programme Mr Crick.
I suggest we all write to Buckingham Palace and ask for the removal of his peerage title so he becomes a mere "Mr" like the rest of us.
I know from personal experience that the justice system in this country leaves a lot to be desired and after watching an excellent programme am horrified at the number of spineless wimps in positions of power who are prepared to turn a blind eye. Why do people think that money and power equal respectability and honesty?
I was thrilled at the outcome of this jury, it's about time he was jailed for lying! Why would these women come forward and lie about something unless it was true! I listened to Archer at a dinner 2 year's ago and thought what a creep! The programme tonight was excellent and the verdict was good in British law! Lying is bad when you're a public servant or want to be one!
People living in London should now thank their lucky star's!
I think it is real sad that we in the UK kick people when they are down.
I have no doubts that the exposť is accurate but it is unbelievable that so called friends should rat the way we saw on TV.
Archer HAS been a rascal. But will prison really help him to reform?! Is he really a menace to society?
I like many other members of the public cannot believe he has fooled so many people at the centre of power for so long. It tells us all the quality of the individuals concerned! At least two former Prime Ministers are now made to look stupid at worst and dangerous risk takers with their own agendas given more importance than the institutions they serve and the people they govern! No wonder politics have a problems in attracting the right calibre of person!!!
Jeffrey Archer has lied all his life and his title should be taken away from him immediately
An excellent programme exposing the true Jeffrey Archer. I'm only sorry that Monica Coghlan didn't live to see him go to prison where he should have gone long ago!
Rather an extraordinary sequence of events but I am left with the question: Who (plural), especially those in a positions of authority, used their influence to ensure that Geoffrey Archer could get away with all his deceptions.
Tonight's vilification of Archer was an unpleasant spectacle. The timing of the broadcast was I am afraid cowardly, if understandable. I doubt it would have been broadcast if the verdict had gone the other way.
My impression was that certainly Archer has many faults which make him unsuitable for high office (which he would not have obtained) but he is not evil. Perhaps the best testament to that was the prostitute who was asked of her impression of him - ' nice, clean and good manners' she said. A simple opinion from the heart.
We all have faults. Mr Crick, had a vindictive tone to his reporting which was not in the best tradition of the BBC. 'Let he amongst you who is without sin, cast the first stone..'
Also, might we not respect why Mary stands by him, despite his failings of which she must be too well aware?
Archer has been a rascal and his past has finally caught up with him but something is seriously wrong with our justice system when this man is given four years yet only yesterday it was reported in the papers that a man driving his car and using his mobile phone lost control and killed a young girl only gets a £200 Fine for dangerous driving.
Excellent programme. It was good to see Panorama back in a "primetime" slot.
I am sorry you did not include his lies to get work as PE teacher at Dover College about 1963.
Wow! That is all I can say. This is the most informative and descriptive piece of reporting I have seen in a long time. Brilliant work, especially Mr. Crick. All the nitty gritty details exposed at last, excellent.
Well done BBC on a meticulous and hard hitting expose of a high class crook and con-artist.
As a humble tax-paying public servant, is it too much to hope that the Inland Revenue takes an interest
in the tens of thousands of pounds from un-declared offshore accounts?
How can the Tories expect to be re-elected after this cover up?
I have to say that the sentence of 4 years for Jeffrey Archer's crime is near ridiculous in view of the sentences passed for crimes of far greater horror.
My uncle was recently murdered in Brighton, his killer was sentenced for 6 years.
Forgive me if I question how one can possibly claim that the difference between these crimes is only 2 years?
Truly and utterly fantastic piece of reporting, an absolute masterpiece. Exposing the lies of Archer is done in stunning detail with this programme of deliverance, superb work Mr. Crick - truly awesome work.
Having always believed Archer to be a dishonest little ****, the highlight was the interview with Neil Hamilton about the Anglia shares affair. I laughed so much I fell off the sofa!
He may be dishonest, untrustworthy and not a very good husband, but for goodness sake, remember all of this ridiculous and vacuous anaylsis stems from the fact that he wasn't faithful to his 'fragrant' wife.
So what? Who cares?
It says more about the ridiculousness of tabloids, and those who wish to read about this inconsequential gibberish.
I think that the treatment of Archer is totally outrageous. Yesterday in the NE a previously convicted and banned drink driver received 6 months for knocking down and seriously injuring a lovely 6 year old girl. Can someone explain why Archer got 4 years for lying about secret affairs?
Why do the British love to hate success? They can't wait to pull anyone down who has "made it" against the odds.
A fantastically informative and beautifully put together documentary. Compelling watching, for the narrative if not the subject. Thank you! it was superb.
As for Mr Archer, well, just goes to show how much wool is pulled over the eyes of those in power... none so blind as those who won't see.
The best time to kick a man has always been when he is down. Archer's greatest errors of judgement seem to have been in his choice of "friends"!
Excellent programme - I eagerly await Michael Crick's new edition to the Archer biography.
One question though - did you really mean to use Sade's 'Your Love is King' rather than the more obvious 'Smooth Operator'?
I have been following the efforts of Mr Crick in recent years to expose Jeffrey Archer. Today Archer was forced to face the full force of the law. The breathtaking extent of Jeffrey Archer's deeds is only matched by the wonder that he was not fully exposed previously.
Excellent expose. Well done to mr. Crick. I wish more of the boys club could be so exposed as the cheats, liars and all round swindlers and hypocrites they really are.
Fantastic reporting, he has taken story telling to new heights!!. This was a top quality programme
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