Many years ago an abused child, during a police interview, named Lord McAlpine as one of his abusers - how he came to believe that one of his abusers was indeed Lord McAlpine is unclear.
But, whatever hapened in the subsequent investigation and prosecutions Lord McAlpine was never charged with anything so there was no public record of him being named, and the abused child was left thinking that his abuser was indeed Lord McAlpine, and that the Lord had 'got away with it'.
After decades of rumours circulating the issue came to a head on the back of the Jimmy Savile abuse publicity when the rumour of Lord McAlpine having been accused was televised.
At this point the Lord finally stepped in, he simply communicated with his accuser who immediately withdrew his accusation - it being reported in the media that the actual abuser was not Lord McAlpine, but a relative of his.
So after decades of doubt, stress, worry and rumour this specific issue appears to have sorted out in a matter of hours... unfortunately in private so there is no public record to answer the questions that this mis-identification kicks up.
There are still questions about who it was who was mistaken for Lord McAlpine, what happened to them and why the abused individual was never informed of this 'mistaken identity' etc.
I would hope that having not bothered to resolve the issue long, long ago Lord McAlpine will be doing *nothing* that is likely to discourage abused inividuals to come forwards, be listened to and to receive justice in future.
Social media did a great service to the public in this instance - in future people should resolve such issues rapidly, not leave them to fester for decades. However, I suspect many prominent people would much rather such issues would not be resolved until they are dead - as per Jimmy Savile - these people will be pushing for more regulation and control of both the mainstream media and of social media - they must be resisted for all of our sakes.