This is my reply to an article in the Guardian (October 2012) in relation to the Jimmy Savile scandal that has shocked Britain.
BBC TV Centre
Large powerful institutions like the BBC, police and government seem to have had enormous difficulty in nailing Jimmy Savile. Although paedophilia has been against the law for decades, and certainly for Jimmy Saviles life, the detection processes in the 60’s and 70’s and possibly even the 80’s were not strong within our society. The paedophilia squads in todays police forces are much more sophisticated than they were many years ago. Did they particularily exist in the 60’s and 70’s?
I’m sure there would have been plenty of good police working hard to apprehend paedophiles but without an efficient system for them to take their findings to there was not a a great deal they were going to achieve. (the following sentence is an addition to my Guardian reply) On the other side however it does seem many people had over the years reported Savile to no avail.
Paedophiles are one of the most manipulative criminals in our society, they are adept at misdirection and slight of hand. From what I gather stage 1 for them is manipulating the people around the underage girls and boys, putting a great deal of time into this, being the friend the nice trustworthy person. Stage 2 the act, would after stage 1 be the easy part.
- Stoke Mandeville Hospital where Jimmy Savile was a volunteer
A culture of victims feeling they are able to come forward and be believed is essential, this is what has been missing in our societies and still is. Authorities and individuals, cold as this is, won’t act without proof and as we have seen in the Savile case you need to have all the aces lined up when you are taking on a paedophile. You need teamwork, individuals can’t beat them alone, in fact you may be taking on a ring.
It does however bother me even after what I have said, as to the extent of Saviles ability to escape prosecution given the enormous number of incidents.
It’s becoming more apparent that many people were aware and for personal gain (careers, people waiting in the wings for their job in TV) were possibly looking the other way. Sure everyone will have a viewpoint now that it is out in the open and sure we will have a degree of people covering their past actions from the BBC, the police and government and the many other institutions Savile weasled and embedded himself in.
- BBC TV made Savile one of the most popular celebrities in the UK.
The main thing to remember here is that Savile really didn’t manage this on his own. Whether he managed to manipulate the minor people in his deception (work colleagues, hospital employees etc), major institutions (BBC, police, government) or had direct help and was part of an organised ring is the bigger story here.
How the UK Government handles this inquiry will be watched closely.
If the Savile affair is not dealt with carefully and honestly this will be an an indicator for victims of paedophilia that this business will go on as usual. Their lives will continue to be sacrificed so that working, middle and upper class people structures are not disturbed and the wobbly status quo is preserved.
The world and many parents watch this one with eyes wide open.