Monday, October 15, 2012

Saville Row

Jimmy SavilleThe worst thing for me about the whole Jimmy Saville debacle isn’t the frenzied media circus that has suddenly vomited into being.

It isn’t the appallingly lazy round of jokes that, in one way or another, make pedestrian reference to any one of his ridiculous catch-phrases.

It isn’t the disapprovingly pious TV shows that show clips of Jimmy Saville from years ago when he made slyly inappropriate gags and comments to camera which the presenters of today then shake their heads and sigh censoriously about.

It’s the simple fact that, during my childhood, a time when I had no idea that such horrible things could happen, all this was allowed to happen. It was known. Known by adults from all professions and walks of life. Known by many. Suspected by many more. And no one did anything. No one did anything at the time when it would have made a difference. When it could have saved someone. It was covered up. It was brushed under the carpet because Jimmy did so much good work for charity and was a massive personality.

It was tolerated. It was, if not morally then certainly by the inaction of society, approved of. It was somehow the norm. It was the era of the lecherous uncle. The dodgy pervert at the end of the street. Mr Flasher who lived alone in the bungalow at the end of the road who’d get you if you were naughty.

And people wilfully turned a blind eye.

Well all those blind eyes as good as signed a huge permission slip for Mr Saville to do whatever the hell he liked, with who he liked and for as long as he liked.

The worst thing is all the time and money and energy currently being spent on someone who is dead and completely beyond our condemnation. All those head shakes and tuts and sneers. All those “I always felt there was something unsavoury about him” epiphanies that only serve to glorify the TV presenter spouting the sentiment. All those newspaper headlines from newspapers that chose not to run with the story back when he was alive and here on this planet and could have been brought to justice. All that violence directed at smashing a lump of inanimate, unfeeling, uncaring gravestone to make a point that Mr Saville will never get.

All this energy would be better spent being channelled into helping not just Jimmy’s victims but also the victims of all those Jimmys that are at large and still active right now. All those kids being abused outside our own little spheres of existence that we pass by in the street and keep ourselves wilfully in ignorance of when we walk to work or to the shops. It would be better spent identifying and stopping all those Jimmy Saville’s that are alive and well in every town and every city in this country of ours; better spent smashing the paedophile rings that flourish beneath the dark shadows of our middle class “not nice to talk about” ignorance rather than a dead bastard's gravestone.

A grave and a gravestone can’t hurt anybody.

You need to stop these people before they get put into the ground. Or just don’t bother.

28 comments:

EmmaK said...

I know, I still can't get my head around it. I like to look back at 'the good old days' with nostalgia but there's a lot to be said for the modern era with more transparency and exposure via internet etc.

Steve said...

Emma: there's a lot about the modern world that is still fucked up but, my God, at least we are moving in the right direction where this type of thing is concerned.

libby said...

Steve, I agree with you.....nobody did or said anything because of the money he generated I guess...shameful.

Kelloggs Ville said...

Tonight I'm repeating my 'safe space' training. To help me help my guides, brownies etc, help me recognise and report and help me follow the rules to keep children protected. How were scouts left lone with him. Rules are much stricter now and leaders very aware of those rules. The sad fact is this sickening practise will never be stopped but we can only make it harder and harder for anyone with intent not to get the opportunity or be immediately reported. Power to the children, right on.

Steve said...

Libby: back in those days money and fame stayed the hand of the righteous... shameful.

Kelloggs Ville: sadly true. All we can do is restrict and deny the opportunity. And we do that by talking and bringing it all into the open. Not brushing under the carpet for 30 years.

joebloggs said...

Steve, all those media "personalities" that shake their head and say "I always knew there was something dodgy about him" should take a long hard look at themselves and ask if they felt that way, then why didn't they do something about it then instead of turning a blind eye and letting it be some other poor vulnerable kids problem.
I guess as always if there is money involved then morality goes out the window.
When we learn that if we give power/fame to individuals then they will at some time exploit their position to the harm of others....its just a sickening shame that the victims are children without a voice, and that this still happens today.
GOOD RIDANCE!!!!

Steve said...

Joe: my sentiments exactly. But Saville is long gone. It's the abusers left behind that we need to be working to say good riddance too. Saville is nothing more than a lesson of what a society should never do.

Gorilla Bananas said...

So what it boils down to is that you're not in favour of digging him up and feeding him to the badgers. I might have agreed with you if I weren't so curious about whether the badgers would eat him.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: haven't the badgers got enough problems with Brian May loving them without trying to poison them with putrid nuggets of a half decomposed Jimmy Saville?

Simpsonslover said...

I couldn't agree more. Sure, he did what he did. He has totally wrecked who knows how many innocent young lives (now having to live with those memories). And countless others turned a blind eye. But he's dead and buried and off Scott-free. Beyond high time to turn attention to the living perpetrators and enablers.

There's a similar-ish case in Aust. here at the moment: the actor who played the father in a long-running tv sitcom was allegedly - and it sucks that you even have to add that word "just in case" of ramifications before a full case is heard to try the accused - molesting his on-screen daughter, while enablers allowed it and told the girl and others to keep quiet (makes my stomach churn now as my adolescence is littered with memories of this show being on... and enjoyed... in our home growing up).

English Rider said...

We haven't heard much of this over hear, as he wasn't a U.S. celebrity.
We have, however had some huge coverage of Penn State University. I don't want to quote names or details and get it wrong but assistant football coach molesting young boys for years, covered up and allowed to continue by head coach and administration. Lots of money at stake. Not only has original pedophile gone to jail for almost a century, "revered" Head Coach's statue has been removed and all championship wins dating back to when this all began have been negated. There's more,firings and resignations etc. but this has opened so many discussions about stepping up and taking responsibility, I think the outcome was as just as possible, after the fact.

the fly in the web said...

The attention turned on Savile means attention turned away from those who enabled him...and no doubt others...to carry on their activities.

I want to know how a DJ...even one who made money for charities...had an official appointment at Broadmoor...I want to know who appointed him and I want the relevant papers brought to light.

Apart from that I think the silence of the onlookers comes down to class....the children attacked and misused weren't of their class...so weren't worth sticking their necks out to protect.


Likewise

Steve said...

Simpsonslover: that's what gets to me the most. The colleagues and co-workers who turned a blind eye. Who turned away and walked away and kept quiet. How the hell do they sleep at night?

English Rider: stepping up and taking responsibility - those are the necesseties to sorting out issues like this and to ensure it doesn't help again. But people's first reaction is always to turn away and hide.

The fly in the web: indeed. I daresay the cover up is still continuing even as, at the other end, the strands are starting to unravel under the sharper spotlight of the 21st century.

Owen said...

"You need to stop these people before they get put into the ground."

Totally agree with you, they need to be stopped, the way a body stops after falling from the twentieth floor, and then put them in the ground. Too many utter barbarians all around us...

Nota Bene said...

I thought I had something to add...until I got to the very last line.....

Alex Walsh said...

IMHO, it's as bad as all the (celeb) apologists for Roman Polanski. FFS, the man drugged and anally raped a child but somehow celebs think he's misunderstood? It really is one rule for celebs and one for normal people.

Steve said...

Owen: anything that adds functionality to a highrise can only be a good thing.

Nota Bene: it's very rare that I say it all.

Alex: one rule for all and all for one rule!

Anonymous said...

It's everywherre and the law needs to be changed. Prosecution needs hard evidence which means somewhere someone has been abused. What child can do that? As much as I am appalled by Savilles activities I would like to see more effort in catching those in your community portraying themselves as upright citizens when they are anything but!

Fran said...

I think the 'Sir' needs removing. Just so the message is clear.

Steve said...

Anonymous: I think you mean 'our' community but yes, I take your point.

Fran: I'd like to see him expunged from popular cultural history full stop.

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

It does seem unbelievable that nothing was done to stop him but I do think we are now much more aware of the predatory, manipulating actions of paedophiles. I had some training on the subject as part of role as a School Governor, and discovered just how clever these people can be, hiding their ways beneath a veil of normality and how they go to extraordinary lengths over their lifetime to be in the company of children, often in a trusted position.

Steve said...

Trish: you make a valid point. But he still escaped the net and only a true miracle can bring him back to face the music in the eyes of his victims. The fact that there are many more like him still at large is what scares me the most.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Too right Steve. I have also blogged on my myriad of feelings re the Savile saga (only one L, sadly)

Steve said...

Laura: then, with your permission, I shall come aboard and take a look-see.

Dicky Carter said...

It shouldn't have been a surprise, but it was. How did he get away with it for so long? You hope that this couldn't happen now but...

Steve said...

Dicky: that "but" is damned scary...

Hannah Denski said...

So well said! It is brain stopping that some real people (perhaps with families of their own) allowed this to go on! Can't stop shaking head in disbelief... and then again should not be surprised... Hx



Steve said...

Hannah: it's a sad indictment of the world we have created.