As the Jimmy Savile revelations enter their third week, it’s very easy to get carried away by the stories in the media. However, nothing we have either read or heard, so far at least, has been anything more than heresay or allegation; there hasn’t been any concrete proof of the accusations made against him. Of course, it is impossible to gain physical evidence from his victims after such a long time but had Savile still been breathing today, it is doubtful the media would have been so eager to fill their headlines with the ever emerging claims.
What I find most surprising are the stories from ex-presenters, retired police officers, producers, PR men, nurses, and others who are all now coming forward to say they knew (or suspected) what was going on, but did nothing about it. If the allegations against Savile are true, then surely the people who kept quiet are just as culpable as the man himself. To claim to have seen a ‘crime’ and not reported it – especially when committed against a child – is not a boast worth making.
There are those who claim Savile was untouchable because he held huge power, but that is unlikely. He was, in reality, just a popular presenter who was extremely good at self promotion. Other ‘powerful’ TV personalities have been exposed, without hesitation, after a lesser suspicion of wrongdoing.
It does seem inconceivable that what has been described as a ‘cesspit’ of allegations has been allowed to flourish for forty years. If Savile is guilty, and a cover up was sanctioned, the order to protect him must have come from a level of power of which we can only speculate.
There are those who claim he was used as a conduit in the supply of children to celebrities, and officials in the highest level of government. If true, it is conceivable that while he was alive, he was protected from investigation because he carried too many secrets; now he is dead, his secrets have died with him.
Predatory paedophiles can work alone or in groups. Often they will collect and share physical evidence of their activities e.g. photos, clothing etc. Such keepsakes are used as reminders of their success. It seems, therefore, surprising that no such physical evidence has been discovered in Savile’s possessions after his death.
I feel very uncomfortable about the whole Savile story but I am uncertain whether it is because the allegations are true or because we are trying to convict a dead man, using the media as a courtroom, and based only on conjecture, heresay and allegation.
I do, however, sense that once the smokescreen of accusation starts to clear, we could be digging over the reputations of even more dead bodies.