So the police investigation into ‘an historical sex offence’ by Sir Cliff Richard ‘has increased significantly in size.’ Blimey. Not only is Sir Cliff guilty, he’s very guilty. And why? Because there is no smoke without fire. There’s also no evidence we know about that could justify these comments, but it’s there in the media so it must be true.

Sir Cliff now awaits his sentence, and that’s even before the investigation has concluded, never mind the fact that he has not even been interviewed yet. Sir Cliff himself says the allegations are ‘absurd’, but then he would, wouldn’t he? It’s not that he is innocent until being proved guilty in a court of law. There must be something in it.

That’s what happens to everyone who is accused of a crime these days. Some are found guilty, like Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter and Max Clifford, but others have their reputations besmirched and careers ruined by allegations that turn out to be rubbish. Matthew Kelly, Bill Roache and Jimmy Tarbuck had their clean washing washed in public and to some it will be forever dirty. The papers wouldn’t print something if there wasn’t some truth in it. Hmm.

Quite rightly, victims remain anonymous but I am at a loss to understand why those accused have their names printed on the front pages. By all means try those accused of impropriety, but let’s not parade them before a public which has heard none of the evidence. Sir Cliff’s situation was made even worse since the police colluded with the BBC to publicise the raid on his house to ensure maximum publicity. Why would that happen? It could only be, surely, to increase the interest in the case and make the suggestion that Sir Cliff had done something wrong. That is surely not the right way round? Could the police not simply have arrested him, interviewed him under caution and put any allegations to him? Even if nothing was to happen, there will be enough people who think, ‘I always thought he was a bit dodgy. They wouldn’t have arrested an innocent man.’ Oh, wouldn’t they now?

I am ambivalent about Sir Cliff as an artist, but as a human being, to see his reputation tarnished like this is sickening. If there is a suggestion of wrong-doing, then get on with it. But let’s not pronounce an innocent man guilty before the police have even spoken with him.