How far will the Jimmy Savile fallout go?

Jimmy Savile, former friend of the Prince of Wales and Margaret Thatcher, is now confirmed as being one of the most prolific paedophiles of all time with an estimated 500 children being abused by him over a period spanning decades. In addition, he was apparently a necrophiliac, abusing the bodies of recently deceased patients in Leeds General Infirmary, where he volunteered. This case raises so many questions that need answering it’s unbelievable:

[li]Seeing as everybody and their mother “knew” Savile was a paedophile from the 1970s onwards (see this suppressed interview with John Lydon from 1978, for instance), how was he ever allowed to get close to the Royal Family or top politicians like Thatcher by MI5 and Special Branch?[/li][li]How was Savile allowed to infiltrate so many institutions? He was virtually running Broadmoor Secure Mental Hospital at one point! The government of the day dismissed the board supervising the hospital and put Savile in charge. His influence virtually allowed him to dictate the management team of the hospital. Now, it’s been revealed that Savile was giving guided tours of the hospital to other convicted paedophiles (i.e. Rolf Harris) which included watching female prisoners dress for bed and shower. He held a similar grip on Leeds General Infirmary, too.[/li][li]Why was a dossier presenting evidence of paedophile activity amongst celebrities and politicians, including Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith MP, both now confirmed prolific paedophiles, ignored by the Home Secretary in the 1980s? The dossier is now apparently “lost” (coughbullshitcough).[/li][li]Why was the Elm Guest House never properly investigated, and what exactly were the links between it and Savile? Persistent rumours have suggested it was used as a paedophilic brothel by politicians, celebrities, judges and even MI5 officers.[/li][li]What was the connection with the Haut de la Garenne care home, which we now know was at the centre of a child abuse ring? Why was the initial investigation into what happened there, which found evidence of human bone and teeth fragments from up to 65 children, so quickly discredited? Again, persistent rumours have put this place at the centre of a paedophile ring that included prominent politicians (including one former Prime Minister)![/li][/ul]

What exactly was going on in Britain in the 1970s and 80s?

Shit like this is why I just shake my head at those “It was so much better in the past” advocates. Better at being covered up, sure. Better at the head-in-the-sand approach to crime.

Yikes. I am out of the UK right now (and not in australia either) and hadn’t heard Rolf Harris had been found guilty. Obviously the scale of what Saville did was far worse, but it’s another cherished celeb that turns out to have had an appalling past. It’s really starting to feel like all celebrities over 60 are pedos.

Sorry I have no meaningful opinion to express, just venting…

Right up until the 1980s there was still a lot of respect for institutions and professions. It was assumed that people approved by respected institutions were of good character. There was an implicit notion of ‘in loco parentum’, that adults were assumed to be responsible in that they would act in the same way as parents if they were not present.

Sadly that was not always the case, and they were often the hiding place for manipulative and cruel characters who knew how the politics of these organisations worked and used them to exploit others.

Schools hid child abusers as did churches, doctors, dentists, the police has racists, the army abused recruits. Then there was Catholic church…Each have had their scandals, now we find it is the hospitals and the BBC.

The Savile case was quite remarkable. This guy had such a high profile. A zany BBC DJ personality famous for his hugely popular kids TV shows and his work for charity. A celebrity entertainer who was always on TV and knew how to use his fame to bring attention to noble causes.

The BBC and a number of hospitals seem to be been completely taken in.

But were they? 500 powerless, voiceless victims subject to his abuse over decades! These august organisations completely fooled and by a pervert dressed as a joker?

If defies belief that there was not more to this than meets to eye.

Savile had connections. Very friendly with certain elements of the police and some politicians who knew what was going on. In the hospitals, some of the staff knew and reported incidents and were ignored. So, too at the BBC.

These organisations failed the people they were supposed to protect. Instead they protected themselves and covered up any allegations. They allowed people like Savile free rein and access to the vulnerable.

Why? That is the big question.

Perhaps, if they were aware of only a local incident, they made a judgement in his favour on the basis his good works outweighed an indiscretion or two?

In the case of Broadmoor, it looks as if he was appointed by a politician to intervene in an workplace dispute with the labour unions, thus giving him a great deal of power over peoples jobs and careers.

Maybe he found fellowship with others who used their position to exploit others. There seem to be connections with other brewing scandals.

In the UK we have had a lot of these scandals over the past couple of decades. Each time we ask the same questions and face a great deal of stonewalling and protectionist behaviour.

However…we need these institutions to work. They are there for a good reason. They deliver education, care for the sick, they enforce the law, protect the nation, deal with social problems : all the essential services of a civil society.

While I am sure there will be a lot of handwringing and new policies will be developed, codes of conduct and so on, persecuting these institutions will just scare away the good people they need to function effectively.

The UK tends to respond to this sort of thing by having ‘Public inquiries’ which produce reports and recommendations which are usually adopted by the government of the day to enact some new law. The more dramatic the case, usually the worse the laws and the effects are visited upon the lowest members of staff who are held accountable and are prosecuted. It is never the poor leadership of the institutions concerned. It is always a case of ‘the President did not know’, as they cover their backsides.

This results in a great loss of confidence in many of our most important institutions. This has a noticeable affect. Child protection concerns are an important factor in the almost total absence of male teachers in early education. Social work (once a favourite choice of young graduates) now has a great shortage of professionals because of the unhealthy blame culture and poor leadership. Some people now make it their business to complain often an loudly, even if they have little cause.
In the UK everything tends to get quite inflamed by an febrile press. But the press themselves sit accused of serious shortcomings given the recent phone hacking scandal.

I don’t doubt that other countries have to deal with the same problems, maybe they handle it better?

Anyone whose last name ended in “vile” should have been suspected much earlier.

This could be bigger than Fast and Furious and Benghazi rolled up into one. Stay tuned.

The short answer is that institutional corruption was the norm, not the exception. What’s changed is that we have become better - though far from perfect - at requiring transparency and accountability from institutions.

Savile was a master at manipulating corrupt institutions - he knew how to force himself into a position of influence and he knew how to use that influence to ally with, reward, punish or shut out others with influence so that he could get what he wanted. For example, at Broadmoor he exposed the corrupt practice of the prison officers union (e.g. retired staff in paid-for accommodation) but then used that as leverage to demand his own “perks”. Nobody blinked at this. The government of the day quite understood that evidence of corruption was not to be exposed for the public good, but to be used equally corruptly as blackmail.

Management, unions, government - all were institutionally locked into a game of power politics that had little reference to public standards or the law. Corruption was expected and understood as part of the game.

This whole thing makes me wonder if “Tie me kangaroo down” is a euphemism.

Or, worse, it isn’t.

Could it have anything to do with Britain’s draconian libel laws? People are less eager to speak up if they know it would lead to them being sued to oblivion, and papers are less likely to print allegations for the same reason.

Or just simply that the ever-self-applauding free Press will stand by sucking it’s thumb for 40 years but spring into decisive action when offenders are dead or nearly so, and there’s money to be made in brave Outrage ?
Your News, Fighting For You ! (* But you have to wait a little* ).

Or maybe it’s the British contempt for their own press that allows monsters to reign freely without fear of exposure.

The Benny Hill Show.

Did anyone look at it askance? I’m American, and I always just looked at it as “Oh, those wacky Brits.” But it was often kind of a creepy show, wasn’t it? I mean, I’m not at all a puritan sort, but I can’t see a show like that airing today. And it’s not like we have less sex on TV today, we just don’t have that kind.

English libel laws are not particularly harsh.

As for the cases, do note that in both cases claimed had been made ages ago and covered up. Neither man had the influence they once did.

Moreover, people are less willing to aid in cover up and buy off.

How would that work exactly ?

And note that our great press-owners have been the monsters mostly. Northcliffe, Rothermere, Beaverbrook, Maxwell, Murdoch, Black, Desmond etc. were as nasty a bunch as you’d ever find outside a low drinking den along the Ratcliffe Highway; whilst The Independent is owned by Alexander Yevgenievich Lebedev, exKGB and present Oligarch.
Mostly though, the British Press’s function is to persuade the masses to vote Conservative.

Are there no LW papers?

There’s the Guardian, but that’s very Establishment ( socially concerned, but still capital-orientated — as opposed to its earlier fellow-traveller [ to the communist side, and then its internationalist left period up to the '90s; both only partially true ] reputation ). Will endorse New Labour.

The Mirror, Maxwell’s old stomping-ground, is more for Old Labour, but produced for thickies just as much as the Express or the Sun on the Conservative side. And just as much as they or the execrable Mail, concentrates on Soap stars and Footballer’s Wives. The Independent is vaguely neutral.
Some of the Scottish papers are more ‘socialist’, but again, not so much it hurts.

Newspapers also exist to persuade people to buy more and more stuff.

Im going to show my anti BBC bias here. The BBC are probably the biggest culprit in this. It was they who dealt with him on a daily basis. It was they who could have quietly shown him the door without the risk of a mutli-million pound libel suit. Plenty of people at the BBC knew and were warned of Savile’s proclivities. This was made worse by the BBC’s monopoly on Radio and near monopoly on tv. Imagine your a fairly minor employee at BBC Radio. How far would you go in destroying your own career by taking these allegations further? When the Beeb has 95% of the market your kinda screwed in your future employment pospects.

I disagree that the Independent is vaguely neutral. Its as left wing as The Guardian. Perhaps it is less committed to old Labour types and leans more towards the pre coalition Lib Dems. Rarely does it believe in any other policies than those of a Leftist bent.

Well, earlier I came across this:
Press bosses want profit, trust in British media to keep falling
from Feb 2013:
More than 70 percent of adult Britons do not trust journalists’ reports, according to a recent poll. Investigative journalist Tony Gosling blames the lack of trust in “superrich” media bosses who put turnover before reliability.

The IPSOS MORI poll published February 16, involved 1,018 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The survey found only 21 percent of Britons said they trusted journalists and seven more percent of respondents said they were unsure. However, 69 percent of people said that they trust news presenters.

*The ownership, Rupert Murdoch and people like this - the Barclay twins who own the telegraph empire, are pushing their own line and hiring and firing journalists very easily.

***The BBC is losing its credibility slowly since the 1990s because of the way it’s been being managed – not by fault of the journalists. For example at the moment, we’ve got the chairman of the BBC – Chris Patton. He’s a former senior conservative cabinet minister. He’s coming from a very specific point of view. I don’t really think you should have people of that political persuasion or any ex-senior politicians running the ***BBC.

And the result has been things like the Savile scandal has come out but no one has actually been sacked for that…the staff has been moved around instead. This is the trouble. It’s like shifting the deck chairs of the Titanic at the senior management level. There needs to be some new blood, younger blood, in some of these senior management jobs.
This absolves journalists a little too easily: back in the 40s and 50s even, there were crusading editors — and profit entered a little way — who went after criminal gangs like the Messina Brothers and the Krays. I am not a Londoner and know no criminals, but for 20 years I’ve known of the Adams Family of Islington: I’ve met a London journalist who hadn’t.

The last time they were rounded up 200 cops were waiting. They are not nice.*
Incuriosity can be ideal for one’s daily interaction with neighbours, but it’s not a rallying watchword for a newspaper.

As for the Independent, I find it too boring to look at; but it was founded as with no allegiances.

  • From that Wiki:
    *The gang is allegedly heavily involved in drug trafficking and extortion as well as the hijacking of gold bullion shipments and security fraud. They have been linked to 25 gangland murders, using Afro-Caribbean muscle as additional manpower to murder informants and rival criminals. In addition to developing alleged connections to Metropolitan Police officials, they were also stated to have had a British Conservative MP in their pocket at one point. * [ As was alleged of the Krays also: cons like cons. ]

In February 2010 a 38-year-old man, claiming to be Terry Adams’ nephew, was convicted in a case known as the jigsaw murder: the trial revealed that he had disposed four bodies for the Adamses, which sentenced him to at least 36 years in prison.

Tommy Adams’ wife, Androulla, paid his £1M criminal assets embargo in cash just two days before the CPS deadline.

  • …Patsy — has participated in individual criminal activities. Most notably he is suspected of the 1991 murder attempt on Frankie Fraser; also, according to one account, he assaulted Fraser’s son David Fraser with a knife, cutting off part of his ear during a drug deal.*

Astoundingly it was M15, not the Press who brought them down.

The main effect is likely the continuing change in attitudes both to this sort of offence, and to institutions.

Its not just the institutions that failed so abysmally, but also those where were charged with the responsibility of investigation.

Right now the IPCC is under massive questions of credibility, this is not new but it has effectively been given a huge motivation to be much more thorough in its investigations - for many communities it has been seen as toothless at best and at worst colluding with the establishment in not carrying out thorough investigations - in effect just acting as a form of judicial window dressing.

You can look at lots of things during the 1970’s besides the Benny Hill show, things such as cartoon magazines such as ‘Funny Half Hour’. These were allegedly adult entertainment but really they were aimed squarely at schoolboys. The cartoons were full of naughty schoolgirls and hints of underage sex, and yet it was pretty widespread.

You can look at organisations such as Peadohile Information Exchange, (PIE) You have to wonder why it took so long to outlaw, and you also have to wonder why those who were members were not systematically investigated. A few were convicted of publication of indecent material and promotion of indecent material, however it was many years before any of them were convicted of direct child abuse charges. Even today there is the smell of a cover up.

It all shows just how pervasive the use of sex at any age but more specifically of child abuse has been in British society during the 60’s 70’s and how far into respected national bodies this reached.

I think the Savile fallout was fairly muted at first, perhaps a one off, one single pervert, and also lots of folk simply didn’t want to believe it - we are now getting to a situation where we realise that Savile and his ilk were not isolated cases, there had to be direct collusion, tacit support, or lots of deliberate turning away from what now seems obvious.

We are slowly realising that there is much more to it, and that inaction is not an option.

Much of the Benny Hill output (esp of his latter career) was pure titillation. And I may say well needed titillation. Apart from the chasing after females part Benny Hill was no different in this to countless other shows from the past and present. Channel 4’s red triangle; Eurotrash, presented by those two poncey continentals; the adult version of Tiswas(the name of which I forget); the Game of Thrones etc.

The 1970’s was a weird decade for civil liberties. It was not quite clear at that time what was acceptable and what was not. A moderately successfull effort was made by PIE activists to add paedophilia to the gay cause.

Even as late as the 1980’s Bill Wyman could date the 13yr old Mandy Smith. Smith claims she was 14 when they started having sex. What I do find strange about these historic sex prosecutions is that they have not included rock stars(apart from one case of outright paedophillia). In the main they have been in the TV industry. I refuse to believe only Jimmy Tarbuck and Rolf Harris types received blow jobs off uder age girls in the back of cabs. I suspect fifty year old women feel less disgusted at themselves for blowing off Jimmy Page at the age of 14 than they do about blowing off Jimmy Tarbuck.