Jimmy Savile: so much for the truth
THE verdict is in. Jimmy Savile was “a prolific, predatory sex offender” who used his fame to “hide in plain sight”. He molested and raped people aged 8 to 47 in hospitals, BBC studios, his van, a mental unit, a children’s home and a hospice between 1955 and 2009. What he did in morgues with the dead remains uncertain.
214 criminal offences recorded against his name
126 indecent acts
450 people say Savile abused them
He is accused of 34 rapes – 26 female; 8 male
Alison Levitt, QC, legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), says police could have nicked the revolting old pervert in 2009 had they been bothered to go for him.
The DPP, Keir Starmer, QC, added:
“I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for the shortcomings in the part played by the CPS in these cases. If this report and my apology are to serve their full purpose, then this must be seen as a watershed moment.”
The CPS can rule that a man must go to court for a tweet. If this is all about rule of law, then what level of scrutiny has been applied to the allegations against Savile? Not enough. How can it be. The accused is dead.
What about the police? Commander Peter Spindler offers:
“Savile’s offending footprint was vast, predatory and opportunistic. He cannot face justice today, but we hope this report gives some comfort to his hundreds of victims. They have been listened to and taken seriously.”
Commander Peter Spindler, then absolves the police, NHS, BBC and anyone else of blame by saying:
“Savile groomed the nation.”
This echoes the dire Esther Rantzen’s nonsense that “in some way we colluded with him as a child abuser”.
He’s dead. The dirty old bastard’s dead. You are investigating a corpse. All this energy is PR. Investigate the living. Turn your celebrity police eye to the horror in care homes. The CPS has changed. Sure. But they cannot prosecute a dead man.
Peter Watt, of the NSPCC, adds:
“The sheer scale of Savile’s abuse over six decades simply beggars belief. He is without doubt one of the most prolific sex offenders we have ever come across and every number represents a victim that will never get justice now he is dead. But with this report we can at least show his victims that they have been taken seriously and their suffering has been recognised.”
Taken seriously? No trial. No proof. No justice. We just know. We can even read his mind. Detective Superintendent David Gray, head of Scotland Yard’s paedophile unit offers:
“He has spent every minute of every waking day thinking about it and whenever an opportunity came along he’s taken that. He was programmed to act in that way. He only picked on the most vulnerable within those groups, I think he was clever enough to know the ones who were least likely to speak out against him.”
Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), adds:
“I want us to forget Jimmy Savile. He is not worthy of memory. But I want us to remember his many victims and the victims out there unable to come forward.”
What about the living? What about Charlene Downes? What about life today?
Chief Constable David Whatton from the Association of Chief Police Officers said:
“The case of Jimmy Savile reveals a terrible example of sustained abuse by a manipulative individual exploiting a position of power over the vulnerable. Allegations of abuse made long after the event are important – they are not ’historic’ for victims who may be living with consequences every day. The police service is committed to ensuring victims are supported and have access to justice. It is equally committed to pursuing offenders, many of whom, like Savile, will offend time and again unless stopped.
“The lessons of these disclosures reinforce the importance of the work the police service has done to increase our focus on supporting victims and survivors of sexual offences, whether they are children or adults. There remains more to do, to reduce reliance on victims and take a proactive approach to pursuing offenders. It takes great courage to report abuse. There are still victims and survivors out there who haven’t disclosed to anyone and we encourage them to use those helplines available or report to their local police force.”
Savile is not longer just a repellent man. He is the symbol of of an arcane corruption. We are invited to point fingers at the living who operated in those dark times, guess who knew about Savile and who aided him. We are invited to suspect everyone. Trust has gone. The nation is united in its mistrust of adults of a certain age. So bad is it that celebs feel impelled to go on the record to say they are not paedos. David Essex denied having ever met Savile. Alvin Stardust said he’d have smashed Savile’s face in.
Operation Yewtree will weed the perverts out. Only, Savile was not in a “ring” of paedos. He was one revolting old man who got away with it.
In the 1970s and 1980s, he was tragically turned into a saint by a society that looked to celebrities for moral and social guidance. And now, there is a risk that society will turn the very same individual into the personification of moral transgression. That would be no less a mistake than the previous ill-fated sacralisation of Savile as a national treasure.
Savile and Savile alone was responsible for whatever he did to others. Neither the BBC nor the NHS (in whose hospitals he is said to have abused people) should be held to account for the behaviour of an individual who degraded others. There is no bigger truth waiting to be discovered. Instead of stumbling into the past, it is far better to explore the present and look to the future as a way of confronting the problems of our time. These are problems that we can do something about.
Trouble is, you need to investigate and produce evidence. That’s hard work…