I have been watching the ongoing reporting and investigations into Jimmy Saville with a large degree of disquiet.
This man was a household name, present in our living rooms for a number of years, via “Top of the Pops” “Clunk Click” and “Jim’ll Fix It” on a weekly basis. He was famous for all the charitable works and the public persona he presented showed no real hint of the revelations now gracing the newspapers and other media. He was and is an icon but that status
Assuming that the allegations, that are now coming to light about “Uncle Jimmy”, are true then there is no doubt that he was aided by his staff and those at the BBC. The weight of anecdotal evidence is growing daily. Only time will tell if the police determine if this turns into solid evidence.
I do have some understanding why the young girls did not come forward at the time and make complaints. It is for the same reason that any child does not complain about being abused by family members, parents or priests. There is always a sense of power or fear although that comes down to the same thing in the final analysis.
While I do understand the victims reluctance or reticence to speak out, I don’t understand the many people around Saville who stood by and DID NOTHING.
I watched the Exposure documentary on ITV and one person describes being dragged away from Saville after an alleged assault. She describes how the staff berated her for her bad mouth and told her that she would only be allowed back into the inner circle if she retracted what she had said about him. This in itself is the staff condoning what he, Saville, was doing.
Many people have now come forward and described the rumours that were going around the BBC. Rumours that had gone up to senior management. Yet nobody did anything, nobody warned Saville to back off, to stop doing whatever he was doing that was feeding the “rumours”.
All these people colluded with Saville and by their inaction provided him with a steady supply of victims. We as a society let the victims down because we created a an untouchable “star”, a celebrity that nobody wanted to cross in case it impacted the charitable works he was involved in.
One also has to question where the press has been in all of this. With all the rumours that were going around I am absolutely amazed that the press did not pick this up and run with it. After all they have run with less and hounded people with less to be ashamed about.
The disquiet I feel is that a “star”, someone who I sat and watched with my children in our living room, a person that we admired and respected is in fact somewhat tarnished.
I am also feeling sorrow for the charities that must be wondering what may have happened under the umbrella of their charity names, have they been tarnished by Savilles activities ? To a degree I also feel sorry for his remaining family members although I suspect that they may have had some idea of what “Uncle Jimmy” was like.
But most of all I feel very sorry for the victims that have had to live with the memory of his actions.