The current scandal in Britain is about how
a dead paedophiliac appears to have been protected and event abetted in his
crimes by his employer. The trouble is that the employer in question was the
second most revered institution (after the monarchy) in the country, the BBC.
The nature of the complaint against the BBC is not clear, except that it failed
to follow up and transmit “Newsnight’s” posthumous exposé of Jimmy Savile’s
assaults on under-aged girls and boys, which were actually facilitated by the
BBC and in some cases took place on BBC premises.
it a cover-up? Did the BBC top brass know Savile was a paedophile?
Of course they did. Not only was it common
knowledge here (just as it was common knowledge that Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks
were pond life), but Louis Theroux had raised the question with Savile himself
on a TV programme that was
transmitted, and the scarecrow look-alike, cigar-chomping DJ made it clear that
he would see anyone who alleged this in court with a great big action for
BBC paid this repulsive clown so much that he could not only afford a white
Rolls Royce, but also the very best libel lawyers.
airwaves and newspapers are full of the Savile story, but few have noticed what
made it possible for this under-educated, not obviously intelligent,
ill-spoken, probably smelly creep to gain access to schools for disturbed
children, children’s hospitals and wards, and even Broadmoor, Britain’s secure
hospital for the mentally-ill. Yes, Savile raised a good deal of money for
several charities. But what made this possible? He was, apparently, as talent-free as he was free of
answer is that he was a product of our Celebrity Culture. This celebrates
people for no reason except that they have become well known. Paris Hilton, Katie
Price and Kim Karsdashian’s names spring immediately to mind as examples of
celebrity syndrome. They’re all female, but there are plenty of males besides the
late Jimmy – though most of them have some vestigial claim upon our attention,
such as being able to play football well. And, of course, none of them has
criminal sexual tastes. But Jimmy’s fame was drawn from the same poisoned well.
some cases, such as “Jim’ll Fix It,” his TV programmes actually gave him access
to his victims. Again, why did the BBC give him these programmes? The only
possible answer is: because he was famous.
we as a society stop celebrating those of us who have little or nothing to
offer to the rest of us, those who can contribute nothing to civilization but
an ability to kick a ball, or a large and imposing bust or wardrobe, we’ll
continue to connive in the exploitation of the vulnerable.
we apply the thumbscrews to BBC manager and executives to force them to tell us
exactly when they knew Savile was having his wicked way with kids, we are
ignoring the underlying evil of celebrity-chic. In the meantime a few religious
maniacs are worried about grown-up men and women getting married to other
grown-up men and women (who just happen to be of the same gender).
and a candidate is running for the Presidency of the US, who believes that god
lives on a planet called Kolob and that Jesus visited America not all that long
ago. Would Romney, I wonder, be mounting his challenge to the sanity of the
American electorate if we were not all obsessed by empty celebrity?