The Jimmy Savile Affair

The justice system in the UK and abroad

The Jimmy Savile Affair

Postby Paul » 28 Oct 2012, 22:55

I think we should have a thread on this. It has after all dominated the news in the UK for 2 or 3 weeks now. Apart from the horror of the subject matter, there are I believe far wider implications.

It's a tricky subject, if tricky is the right word. I do not at all wish to trivialise any of it. Although I do believe it's not needed on this particular forum I will insert the caveat that nothing I say is designed to excuse (obviously) or mitigate the actions of Jimmy Savile, or others, if the abuse of children, sick people or other vulnerable people has occurred.

Right from the beginning I began to feel uneasy about the swiftness with which guilt seemed to be 'proven', not only against Savile but also against nameless (as yet) others, including the BBC. This is not to say that allegations and accusations should not be pursued, but a trial by media or popular opinion is surely a dangerous thing for everyone? We have a centuries old legal process in the UK which is surely paramount in maintaining our civilisation, such as it now is.

Anyway, the thing which really set me thinking even more was the discovery this week of some articles by a blogger with whom I was already somewhat familiar.

Ms Anna Racoon, a retired English lady, now resident in the South of France, has this last week wrote five articles on this subject. They are at the least extremely interesting and well written, in my opinion. More so, they are in fact explosive, if what she says is correct. On balance I believe what she has written and broadly agree with her conclusions. To date there has been no mention of her or her articles in the MSM, itself a curiousity.

Ms Racoon was herself a resident of the Duncroft School for Girls in 1965 and 1966, a school which has featured in this affair in that it has been claimed Savile was a visitor to the place. Some of the females that first came forth with allegations of abuse were also residents of this school and within the same time frame as Ms Racoon.

Withour further ado, it would be best if people here read the articles on her blog and formed their own conclusions. The real interest lies in article 4, but it is best to read articles 1 - 3 first as they are a backdrop to what follows and legitimise her experience of this affair.

There is more I would like to say about all this but will wait until members here have read the articles and maybe made some comments.

http://www.annaraccoon.com/politics/pas ... -part-one/
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Re: The Jimmy Savile Affair

Postby Elliott » 29 Oct 2012, 02:52

That's a fascinating read, Paul.

The real question here is, if these 300 people claiming that Savile abused them are actually lying, how many can hope to fool professional police interviewers? We would have to be talking about severe hubris among hundreds of people.

My hunch is that there are many people, among these 300, who are lying because they thought it would be "fun" to get in on the media circus. They will now find themselves being interviewed at great length by police, and most of them will be uncovered as liars, or exaggerators.

Here's one example of a story that is clearly being blown out of all proportion. A 19 year-old girl was "molested" by Savile and left with "mental scars" by an "ordeal" during which she "shrieked" while "struggling to escape" the "laughing pervert" who was "assaulting" her. Watch the video and judge whether the Sun is exaggerating what happened.

Here's another example. If you look past the images in the video, which are purposely chosen (and even edited) to provoke a certain response, it appears to me that what we're listening to is an older man and a teenaged girl horsing around together harmlessly, and making each other laugh. Yet this is precisely the kind of thing that the public are now seizing upon as evidence of Savile's cruelty:


One other point to make is this. It is being claimed that Savile's "victims" (I use the inverted commas out of respect for the rule of law, not out of glibness) could not rely on the newspapers to report what he had done to them. Why go to the newspapers? Why not go to the police? It is also being claimed that the police were contacted by a small number of people throughout the decades (4 or 5 people, I believe) but they felt there was insufficient evidence to proceed. So, if that is all true, we can assume that "the establishment" wasn't up for investigating Savile. Okay, though that still doesn't mean that their silence was malign. But aside from that, we've had the Internet for nearly 20 years - why was there never a website created by one of these people? Why did the allegations never amass safely and anonymously using the Internet? Why is it only coming out now? I find the claim that "it's because he's dead now" slightly suspect. I think we are being encouraged to believe that Savile had a Svengali-like grip on not only the media and the police, but also every single one of his victims. That seems highly unlikely to me.

But, it also strikes me as unlikely that all of these 300-odd people are lying.

I suspect that BBC Television Centre in the 60s and 70s probably was a hotbed of music-related stars having sexual relations with female fans, some of whom would be underage.

Teenagers do things they later regret. I know I did - and I wasn't even "active" until the age of 17. Had I been more gutsy at 13/14, I would certainly have tried to get into situations where I could be seduced by certain adult women I was attracted to. Had I been a girl, again, I would certainly have done the same. It's not unusual (to coin a phrase) to hear about men who lost their virginity at 13/14 to the woman who lived next door etc.

But, of course, it is different when it's an older man and a young girl, because the power relationship is much more defined then.

Ideally, we expect grown men, when presented with a chance for sexual relations with an attractive underage girl, to be responsible and resist the temptation. That's the ideal. But I am not in the slightest bit surprised that, often, the man does not resist. Men are predators, and they are primed for sex with young, fit, fertile females - especially if there is some conquest involved since that also appeals directly to the male psyche.

It is only in the last 50 years - less than that, really - that we have come to view grown men "preying" on underage girls as shocking or even something to be surprised about. I personally think it is immoral for men to have sexual relations with underage girls, since in most cases the girl probably over-estimates how ready she is for these things and will come to regret it later. But it is still the case that, 30 years ago, such things were usually calmly written off with the phrase "dirty old man", except in extreme cases where force really had been exerted or the girl really was traumatised.

But generally speaking, I don't think it is something that is automatically, every single time, a dreadful thing. It shouldn't happen, and it's right that we expect men to be responsible and resist so as to avoid causing psychological harm to the girl. But it does happen, and has always happened, and will always happen, and in a great many cases the girl will grow up, feel pretty good that she lost her virginity to a famous rock star, and keep it to herself. This is why, despite the undoubted illegal activities of the Rolling Stones and god knows how many other rock groups, fans and groupies have not been burying them in rape allegations for the last 50 years. Iggy Pop, for example, is known to have had sex with at least one 13 year-old girl. Does anyone seriously think there haven't been many more, even for that one single rock star?

John Peel has also been dragged into this. Now, I never really liked John Peel. He struck me as a bland sort of guy who just liked whatever vinyl happened to pass into his possession. However, he never struck me as "evil", "immoral", "amoral", "cruel" or any of the other words we tend to associate with the activities he admitted to (but which nobody cared less about until the last few weeks, even though he admitted to them 23 years ago). Apparently he accepted fellatio from underage girls, as young as 13. He's been dead for 8 years - where are all the complaints? Where are the traumatised victims? Where are the mental scars and the psychological torment and the emotional wreckage? Astoundingly enough, it doesn't seem to exist.

I realise that some of what I've said above may seem very glib. This post should explain why, starting from "Finally, you say". It briefly describes a relationship I witnessed when I was 17, with a huge age discrepancy between the two (who were both male). I realise that's not the same as a male celebrity exploiting young girls, but I think it illustrates that things are not as straightforward as we like them to be. 15 year-olds, 14 year-olds, and maybe even 13 year-olds, can be very savvy indeed - even more savvy than the adults they get involved with. But, again, I acknowledge that a middle-class girl from a twee family suddenly finding herself in a BBC dressing room with her idol is a fairly special case, and that the power Savile had over such girls was exceptional.

Nothing I have written above refers to the allegations about Savile preying on patients in hospital. These allegations are horrendous - a woman recovering from brain surgery, a woman recovering from back surgery who could not move. If they are true, they are absolutely disgusting.

As for whether these things really happened... I think that Jimmy Savile was probably a sad, lonely, emotionally-stunted man who could not "connect" with adult women, but was surrounded (or surrounded himself) with teenaged girls with whom the psychological relationship was much more straightforward: he was in charge, they were in awe, there would be minimal involvement and he would get sex without the emotional entanglements. I think that, as a result of that, he became a bit of a weirdo, a bit creepy, the kind of guy (which we're supposed to believe was everywhere prior to feminism) who fondles secretaries and has "wandering hands" whenever he can get away with it. A pervert, in short. But a monster?

Only time will tell.

But I do wonder if this is all being blown out of proportion, and for bad reasons. The right-wing elements of the press are clearly relishing this opportunity to attack the BBC. The child abuse / "paedos are everywhere" activists are clearly relishing the power it gives them. Politicians of all stripes are relishing the chance to attack a BBC whose independence they have always resented (conservatives more than socialists). Scaremongering journalists, both outside the BBC and within it, are clearly having the time of their careers. All of these groups want their pound of flesh. I worry that evidence against Savile will eventually be found/fabricated that, while not enough to indict him legally, will destroy his reputation publicly, whether or not he deserves that.
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Re: The Jimmy Savile Affair

Postby Gavin » 29 Oct 2012, 09:02

I think you both make some sound points here and make them well. It is of course tempting to enjoy the BBC being in a sticky position, as I did myself a little bit here, but we must always be suspicious of reports, in our victim culture, because people are often keen to jump on bandwagons either for attention or money or for both. So I hope the claimants are duly cross-examined.

There is also the right to be deemed innocence until proven guilty, as you say. We do not want a witch-hunt culture against men where they can hardly talk to girls and not become teachers or anything because of aspersions being cast.

It also becomes more difficult when an under-age girl is, to all appearances, both physically and mentally "of age". Some girls are like this - very savvy, and physically developed.

It is obviously completely normal for men to be attracted to young women, perhaps especially those who have not developed a hard exterior and are still open-hearted and fun loving - since these things seem to disappear pretty soon. This is pure genetics. But these things are out of order: coercion (implicit or explicit) and, well, a man being attracted to a child! That's pedophilia. As, needless to say, you would agree, a man should not be attracted to a child and want the child to perform sexual favours for him. That's perverted. Also I say "coercion with threats" because I thought about it and decided that coercion is fairly standard - the man will "try it on" and that's to be expected - "Oh, go on - one kiss" and so on. If it's jokey, that's far better. But when there are threats that's different, and Savile was in a relatively powerful position.

I agree guys, anyway, a witch hunt is out of order even though Savile did appear to be very creepy and such claims fit in. Let's hope the police investigate this properly. The focus can then get back onto the institutional left bias at the BBC.
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Re: The Jimmy Savile Affair

Postby Elliott » 29 Oct 2012, 16:59

About two weeks after this scandal erupted, I realised that my view of Savile was that "of course" he was creepy. Everyone was saying it, and I found myself agreeing. The implication is that, though we never said it, we all secretly thought that he was a weirdo, and probably a pervert, probably a paedophile.

But then I tried to remember if it really had always been like that. I tried to remember what my view of Savile had been just a month before the scandal broke. Did I really think of him as a creep? The trouble was that I simply couldn't remember how I used to think of him. Any previous perception of him had been completely "taped over" by the new perception of him as a predatory paedophile, within the space of a fortnight.

My point is that we can be led by the media, and simple crowd instinct, to go along with something simply because it has become presumed. It is very important to be skeptical and I let my guard down when this thing broke. Everyone is now saying that he was a creep, and a monster, etc. but we don't know that. We don't know anything at all yet. Of course in retrospect it all seems so obvious and straightforward - look at his hairstyle, look at his clothes, look at his mannerisms - but this is how innocent women ended up getting burned as witches.
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Re: The Jimmy Savile Affair

Postby Gavin » 29 Oct 2012, 17:55

Yes, indeed. We don't know he was a paedophile and his oddity doesn't prove that. I suppose we just think that such strangeness is a necessary but not sufficient condition of being a paedophile. Maybe it isn't. I don't know much about paedophiles - maybe some of them, like serial killers such as Ted Bundy, are not outwardly strange in the least.

I think you are right to call caution, anyway. We don't want all of life's eccentrics locking up. They are often the most interesting people. I suppose the combination of Savile being so odd and being so tactile with children was just a bit disturbing back then. I remember thinking that was a bit strange - but it had not occurred to me that he might actually be a paedophile.

The questions here seem to be i) Was he, actually? and ii) Did some people at the BBC have good reason to suppose that he was and choose to look the other way rather than "accidentally open his dressing room door" once or twice, for example.

I think you are also right to point out that in these cases, as in witch hunts, the accusation is enough. In rape or child abuse cases, just the allegation is enough to ruin people's careers, reputations, friendships and lives. So, all factors need looking at, and are usually looked at, I think. The credibility of the witnesses, other factors about the accused, all of the evidence. If they're found to be innocent then they need to be treated as such. Hard to ever establish the truth though years after events - perhaps especially if the accused is deceased.

Though I would never have given him a knighthood in the first place, I must admit that everybody seems to be moving a bit quickly to take Savile's name off everything when guilt has not yet been proven. I suppose the guilt cannot be proven -only, perhaps, "beyond reasonable doubt", once detailed interrogation of multiple witnesses has occurred. I can't see them saying "Oh, we were mistaken" now, though, as trial by media and public consciousness has already occurred and Savile is not around to defend himself.

It isn't sympathising with paedophiles to take a view in defence of Savile's right to fair trial - indeed I think paedophilia is one of the sickest crimes known to man and I have no sympathy with the paedophile who does not seek help for his problem - this is just a matter of weighing up evidence.
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Re: The Jimmy Savile Affair

Postby Rachel » 30 Oct 2012, 04:26

Elliott wrote:About two weeks after this scandal erupted, I realised that my view of Savile was that "of course" he was creepy. Everyone was saying it, and I found myself agreeing...

But then I tried to remember if it really had always been like that. I tried to remember what my view of Savile had been just a month before the scandal broke. Did I really think of him as a creep? The trouble was that I simply couldn't remember how I used to think of him. Any previous perception of him had been completely "taped over" by the new perception of him as a predatory paedophile, within the space of a fortnight.

My point is that we can be led by the media, and simple crowd instinct, to go along with something simply because it has become presumed. It is very important to be skeptical and I let my guard down when this thing broke. Everyone is now saying that he was a creep, and a monster, etc. but we don't know that. We don't know anything at all yet. Of course in retrospect it all seems so obvious and straightforward - look at his hairstyle, look at his clothes, look at his mannerisms - but this is how innocent women ended up getting burned as witches.


So true, it shows how much the media effects us without us knowing and even can change or wipeout personal memories.

I never ever would have guessed he was a Paedophile. I thought he was just eccentric not creepy.

There was one Fixit that I watched as a child where a boy asked for "Jim to fix it for me to get really really dirty because my Mum never lets me play in the mud."
The boy came on the show looking very nervous. There was a big mud bath prepared in the studio.
Savile insisted on literallly rolling the boy into the mud so that he fell into the mud in rather a cruel way, or so I thought. I can't remember if the audience laughed or not. At the end he said to the boy "Do you want to get dirty again?" the boy said no. That was the only time I felt something a bit creepy and cruel about Savile but that was it.
I bet they won't repeat that again.
I wonder if we will ever see repeats of Jim'll Fixit" again on TV.

Generally I saw him as an eccentric odd philanthropist DJ from the old generation. That how he was portrayed before this came out.
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Re: The Jimmy Savile Affair

Postby Paul » 31 Oct 2012, 00:54

A couple of corrections:

Ms Raccoon is spelt with a double C, not a single as I first typed.

My words "I do believe it's not needed" should have read "I don't believe it's needed". Poor English which would have earned me a whack over the head with some heavy textbooks, back in the good old days at school!

Ms Raccoon's blog has now expanded to six articles, with more suggestions of falsehoods in the varied accounts of abuse.

Many of the comments below her posts are very good but there are too many to relate (or remember) them here. She is supported by more than one other lady who were ex-pupils of the school in question. There are also some very good comments by professionals in the fields of care and of the media and by people who were young in the 1960s and can relate how things were back then.

One good post is by a person who has spent 30 years in the music industry. He makes the observation that almost all stars who achieve enormous fame when young then seem to remain permanently childish. I don't know if this is exactly true but it is a comment worth considering. It isn't something I had thought of before.

Elliott, you make a very good point about the John Peel allegations and ask why there aren't lots of traumatised victims from this. You are also absolutely correct that anyone can be carried along with popular opionion and endless media coverage, particularly when the subject is emotive. I am quite disappointed with myself for going along with some of it, though I still maintain that I was uneasy with the 'guilt' being bandied about from the beginning without any proof being presented. Already, even the Police have now said, days ago, that Savile is probably the worst serial paedophile we have had in the UK. That is damning and yet unproven in a court of law. Being cynical you can say that at least it has saved them the trouble and expense of a trial. Very worrying I think.

It is also a little strange that almost co-accused with Savile are his employers, the BBC and yet Savile also did work for ITV and various commercial radio stations. To date, they have not been accused of a 'cover-up' in the way the BBC have. Or in fact at all.

I'm not entirely sure as to the exact mechanisms that are in play. A few thoughts are:

Someone, somewhere, may be using this to discredit if not destroy the BBC. Whilst we all may like to see the BBC taken down a peg or two (not least Ms Raccoon), this is not the way to do it, if lies and wild accusations are the methods.

It has been noted that this is Murdoch's revenge for the phone-hacking scandal, of which the BBC were scathing. That is a conspiracy too far for me, but it seems likely that Murdoch is at least rubbing his hands in glee at the plight of the Beeb. I am mindful however that the man is a billionaire and has great power. If the BBC are destroyed (though I doubt they will be), his organisation stands to gain much in the void created.

The whole affair is a precursor and a driving force for some bad legislation to come into force. I fear this is more likely than other scenarios.

There is also the (conspiracist) point of view that this affair is kocking other news stories off the front pages, particularly the other abuse cases that now seem relegated to lesser status. I mean of course the Muslim abuses of dozens (hundreds?) of young girls in lots and lots of British towns and cities. There is no doubt however that there was a conspiracy of silence by the Police and Social Services, for over a decade, in these cases, a situation that almost beggars belief.

Related to the above is how the story now centres on white males. You can bet your life that no accusations have as yet been emvisioned against black entertainers. Nobody wants to mention that, be it Asian gangs or black Afro-Caribbean 'gangsta' rapper types.

I was quite alarmed to read that the initial exposure of phone-hacking was evidence that the press hacked the phone of one Elliott Stagg (look him up, sorry), but when this was reported, nobody seemed interested. It was only when it came to light that the telephone of Milly Dowler (murdered schoolgirl) had been hacked that the media took notice. It is maybe natural that more sympathy should lie with a murdered girl than a man wrongly accused of murder (of a young woman), but it still isn't healthy that his case was ignored.

Gavin - I agree that child abuse may be the most sickening of crimes, but I don't believe it is the paramount crime. That is still surely the crime of Murder. Child abuse may run it a close second but, callous though it may seem, victims of abuse are still left alive and have some chance of recovery. Murder victims have no such chances. Joint second with crimes of abuse are offences where murder is the intention, such as foiled terrorist offences or acts of terrorism where, miraculously, nobody is killed.
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Re: The Jimmy Savile Affair

Postby Gavin » 03 Mar 2013, 01:35

Dalrymple has an article about this in the new Spring edition of The Salisbury Review - Children of the Damned. He refers to Savile as "James Savile" again and as a vulgarian. He also mentions the mob hysteria and the way that parents these days often veer between over-indulging their children or neglecting them (or indeed neglecting them via over-indulgence). He makes so many good points in this article I can't repeat them all here.

Also in this issue the editor Myles Harris writes a great opening piece, damning of the self-serving bureaucrats who have corrupted the NHS.

These are the only two articles I have read so far - there are about another thirty. £10 per year for the electronic edition, in multiple formats.
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Re: The Jimmy Savile Affair

Postby Nathan » 01 May 2013, 20:10

I can't imagine anybody being so surprised about Jimmy Savile except for the scale of it and the scale of the cover-up but I am surprised about Bill Roache, though I only know him as his character and even then in old age, not as the person he was in the 1960s.

I'm in two minds about this, really. If he really has committed a crime, then no doubt, bring it to justice. But though they must have reason to charge him, how could anything be proven after so long? Also, considering the nature of the offence, Bill Roache must have been a big star in the 1960s, the age of free love, and like many of his co-showbiz personalities presumably had girls throwing themselves at him on a regular basis and adding a couple of years to their age if need be - would he even remember one incident from 46 years ago, given that he is on record with having slept with 1,000 women?

If he is found guilty, other than an enforced retirement and a major black mark against the public memory of him, what constructive purpose would any legal punishment serve given that this was supposedly a pair of isolated incidents many decades ago and given his advanced age now when he can hardly be said to pose a threat?

I just hope that his is the last of the sex abuse cases of long-lasting, respected, "establishment" TV personalities to come to light. After people like John Peel and Rolf Harris having allegations made against them it would be so disillusioning if in a few weeks' time we were hearing about people like David Attenborough or Michael Palin in the same context.
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