How far will the Jimmy Savile fallout go?

What person has not thought ‘*What we need is a DJ to sort the country out ?’

And who better than a Tory MP to piously deplore expenses fiddling in the lower classes ?


A bit too flippant. Im old enough to remember Savile regularly described as being self made, rich and successful. Whether this was all part of his own “marketing” I have no idea, but it was the public perception of the man. He could also bring in millions of pounds worth of charity money and unbelievable amounts of publicity. Publicity and charity which places such as Stoke Mandeville Hospital benefitted from. And we all fell for it.

Who has not thought “what we need is a DJ to sort the country out?” Plenty of celebs have been put in positions of trust, much of them having very little expertise. Even at this moment Russell Brand is seriously touted by some people as a legitimate opinion for us to take heed of. Floella fuckin Benjamin is sitting in the House of Lords.

Kinda, but in view of my earlier comments regarding our disdain for journalists, note the bucketing decline in circulation for all newspapers:

List of newspapers in the United Kingdom by circulation
Even looking at the first graph, the most popular paper, the Sun is down by nearly a million since 2010; the Times is down to 384,000, and the Independent to 66,000.

Bear in mind that many of these go to institutions, such as libraries etc.; and lot are given away free to boost circulation, and they mostly have special deals for subscribers — and you can see they are on a hiding. Cutting down trees for disposable ephemera detailing deranged opinions is no longer optimal.
Note also my private belief that the Daily Mail pays Google to feature them in results, accounting for it’s inexplicable popularity in America, since I am sure sick of it turning up in every search.

They inherited from their Liberal forebears an enormous capacity for slipperiness combined with legendary ineptitude. When they entered the present coalition they managed not to secure any of the three major cabinet positions ( Chancellor, Home, Foreign ) which seems…

Their leader did become Deputy Prime Minister which conveys no power whatsoever.
( A recent office, this has much less prestige than vice-president; and the incumbent does not have the political will or savvy of Mr, Biden, who after all, as I have mentioned before, single-handedly created 60 new federal Death Penalties in his [del]1893[/del] 1993 Act. Prolly won’t quote Biden’s “If you want to protect yourself, get a double barrel shotgun.” any time soon as a soundbite either. )
Basically it’s for the leftish inclined who can’t stomach Labour. However they didn’t expect them to go along with the Tories fairly ludicrous austerity program to the point of being forelock tugging public school fags.

They were nearly wiped out in the Euro elections being replaced by the possibly short-lived UKIP. The only one left was a lady, which some pointed out meant they were fully in compliance with total gender-equality requirements. Them being the sort of people to whom that sort of thing is important.

If it’s ‘Etc.’, then no-one in parliament can walk out without furtive glances behind expecting to get their collars felt at any moment — fortunately Tory scandals are mainly sexual ( although not underage ), whereas Labour scandals are mainly financial, so one knows what’s coming.

I spent my life pretending Jimmy Savile didn’t exist.

Well, the Hamiltons are back in business with Neil being UKIP Deputy Chairman; perhaps a future government may include them both as joint prime minister to restore dignity to the house of Westminster…

Disk Jockey. Like a shock-jock, but without the keen incisive mind.

Well, that’s been happening in most 1st-World countries, I understand – not because of any decline in newspapers’ prestige or credibility, but because of competing digital media, and other economic factors (rising cost of newsprint, etc.).

Most of them simply spouted a stream trivia and nonsense about pop music.

BBC radio DJs came from a time when the BBC monopoly on the radio waves was threatened by ships broadcasting from outside UK territorial waters. Laws were passed to put them out of business and the BBC copied the formula of these new radio stations like Radio Caroline. It launched a national pop radio channel BBC Radio 1 and hired a lot of the guys who were spinning the discs. That is how they got into the BBC. Eventually they got in front of the cameras and presented the very few pop music TV programs.

They were BBC ‘personality presenters’. Savile created a wacky flamboyant hippie clown persona that kids found quite engaging. The BBC regarded them as ‘talent’ that could command the loyalty of huge radio audiences and TV shows. They brought all the posturing and payola of the music business with them and their material was largely puerile drivel. A couple of the others accused of the similar indiscretions were from the same background. Dave Lee Travis (aquitted) and the American Paul Gambaccini.

They were not ‘shock jocks’ of the Howard Stern variety. The UK has a few of those. I think they tend to be shouty tabloid journalists types on the big radio stations. Loud mouths who want to tell the world their verdict on the popular issues of the day. Shock jocks are ten a penny in the UK. Just climb into the back a London taxi and you will get a performance from one whether you like it or not.

How on Earth did that pass me by? What happened?

Mistrust has something to do with it. Even in America, there’s less love for journalists.

…most newspapers are still very much in free fall. At the American Enterprise Institute’s Carpe Diem blog, Mark J. Perry finds that print ad revenues are now the lowest they’ve been since 1950, when the Newspaper Association of America began tracking industry data. Again, that’s 1950, when the U.S. population was less than half its current size and the economy was about one-seventh as big. Revenues are down more than 50 percent in just the past five years alone.

“The dramatic decline in newspaper ad revenues since 2000 has to be one of the most significant and profound Schumpeterian gales of creative destruction in the last decade, maybe in a generation,” Perry writes.

Slate — April

Americans’ faith in each of three major news media platforms – television news, newspapers, and news on the Internet – is at or tied with record lows in Gallup’s long-standing confidence in institutions trend. This continues a decades-long decline in the share of Americans saying they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers or TV news, while trust in Internet news remains low since the one prior measure in 1999.

Gallup Poll — June
Newspapers’ decline not due to the rise of the internet, says professor

*No, writes Gentzkow, the popularity of papers had already significantly diminished between 1980 and 1995, well before the internet age.

And, he finds, sales of papers have dropped at roughly the same rate ever since. He concludes: “People have not stopped reading newspapers because of the internet.”*

Guardian — June

One thing that might make a difference would ceasing pontification ( which one can get free elsewhere ) from on high, and forging a new vision of participatory citizens’ democracy, energizing the masses and giving them a stake in producing and controlling the news: giving equal weight to readers’ opinions and desires, with the journalists simply as monitors to add up the competing viewpoints.

The Comments sections of American newspapers online already show what ordinary people are capable of.

Maybe some of it. But Amnesty International are now calling for Kincora Children’s Home to be included in the remit of any inquiry into child abuse. Rumours that the purported abuse at that home was orchestrated by MI5 in an attempt to blackmail Northern Irish politicians have been around for ages. Indeed, Red Ken is on record as having brought the subject of the home up in Parliament:

I’m assuming this isn’t actually a serious question and you actually know that

a: He is dead.
b: You cannot libel the dead.

I meant when he was alive. Obviously.

Everyone know who he was (and what he was doing), but libel laws prevented them from naming him.

Find myself in agreement with Keith Vaz today - which is a first, think he was right to question the appointment of Lady Butler-Sloss to head the enquiry. Conflict of interest seems obvious - 81 years enmeshed in the British establishment.


But isn’t that kind of my point? People were prepared to tolerate - even connive at - child abuse simply because it gave them extortion material. Rather than exposing the crime, which seems to us the obvious and only response, they were quite content to allow it to continue so long as they could use it to their advantage. It is quite horrific enough that paedophiles in powerful positions used that power to facilitate abuse. The idea that, across Westminster, Whitehall and the Security Services, this was effectively tolerated - even encouraged - for the sake of “the greater good” is, if anything, more appalling. Children were knowingly thrown to the wolves by the Establishment because it suited people’s purpose to do so.

I’m no fan of England’s libel laws, but it is not as simple as that. As I argued above, libel laws may stop the average man in the street from publishing rumours, but they have considerably less effect on the press. During the same time that Savile was apparently shielded by libel laws, the papers ran multiple exposes of powerful/wealthy/influential figures for all manner of wrongdoing. They have and had the money and lawyers to fight a case - and the investigative resources to get the evidence. Sometimes they got sued and won. Sometimes they got sued and lost - it never came close to putting them out of business. If editors and journalists genuinely did know what he was doing, and didn’t at least try to publicise it, claiming they were scared of a lawsuit doesn’t cut it.

Not only did they not even try to expose him, but they were quite happy to connive with him in the creation of his public image. This 1983 Sun interview explicitly credits him with a “Mr Clean” reputation. That goes beyond “not wanting to risk a lawsuit” and into something quite different.

Whose brother happened to be Attorney General at the time all this was supposedly happening, and intervened to stop Geoffrey Dickens MP from outing a diplomat as a paedophile in Parliament :dubious:

If an ordinary citizen makes his or her accusations on record in a newspaper interview, can they - not the newspaper, but the accuser - be sued for libel?

I’m not a lawyer, but I believe the answer is yes: here’s an exampleof a medical company suing a doctor for comments he made in an interview.

The “injured” party may prefer to sue the paper rather than the accuser, based on careful bathymetry of their respective pockets, but that’s a choice.

Don’t underestimate Government Enquiries, in Britain they are expected to take three years to set up and three months to reach an inconclusion — in the hope that everyone will have forgotten the affair by then — but they always find out what the government wants them to find out and may make recommendations.
In 1840 the Commons spent months on an expensive Enquiry as to why the number of London Coffee Houses had risen from 12 in 1815 to 1700 in 1840. At the end they concluded the fact a cup of coffee had gone down from 6d to 1d was a factor.