Perhaps we should be renaming the BBC; instead of the friendly ’Aunty Beeb’ conjuring up a safe pair of trustworthy womanly hands, would ‘Uncle Beeb’ with all the connotations of the furtive, fiddling Uncle, whose lap you avoid sitting on, be more suitable? It would appear that the BBC is solely responsible for every recently discovered act of Paedophilia in existence. Procurer-General. Funded by the taxpayer to lure into sin by criminal acts every last innocent child of the nation, via a techicoloured Pied Piper.
Do I think that illegal acts may have taken place on their premises? Almost certainly! It would be decidedly odd if, the BBC having taken to throwing their stuffy image out of the window in order to regain the audience they were losing to the Pirate broadcasters, didn’t discover that in addition to welcoming this brave new uninhibited world of disc jockeys and long haired rock stars, they had also inherited the new sexual mores of the time – sex, with whomever, whenever. Broadcasters were stuffing cocaine up their noses, puffing on cannabis at every opportunity, why would they start demanding birth certificates from the willing girls who mobbed them? No, I am not excusing them, just wondering why anybody would imagine they should have been so careful not to cross one legal line when we knew they were crossing so many others?
They will now, of course, the BBC I mean. There is no defence against a tort of negligence if you have been warned of the risk – so I confidently expect the BBC lawyers to insist that cctv cameras are installed in every dressing room, toilet doors removed, birth certificates supplied at the door before entry, CRB checks carried out on anybody who needs to be in the building when children are present, random drug tests on all and sundry, quite possibly breathalysers on every floor – had you ever noticed how all paedophiles waft either ‘foul’ or ‘stale’ breath over their victims? - and for sure sacrificial heads will roll as proof that they are terribly, desperately, heart rendingly, sorry they didn’t do all this before.
Does that solve the problem? Not a bit of it, for I respectfully suggest that there is a perversion far more sinister and damaging at large inside Beeb headquarters. One that Jimmy Savile is usefully drawing all the attention away from. Let us step back from the world of ‘there must be veracity in all these claims, so many have come forward now’ and ‘is the BBC a fit and proper organisation to hold a broadcasting licence’ – and go back to basics. That Newsnight programme, the ‘pulling’ of which has set this hare running.
We find a BBC producer hunched over his computer – in a dingy basement at the BBC or in his home, we know not. His name is Meirion Jones. He hadn’t had a decent story for some months, but now Jimmy Savile had died, and he had an idea…he tapped some words into Google; what were they? Well, we know it wasn’t Jimmy Savile, and we know it wasn’t Karin Ward – we know that because Karin Ward was writing under the pseudonym of ‘decrepitoldbag’ and had never mentioned Jimmy Savile’s name in her on-line literary efforts. No, you see Meirion had met Jimmy Savile, in the company of someone he knew well, and my guess is that he either tapped in the name of the place where he had met him or the name of the person who introduced him.
Bingo! He came upon Karin Ward’s fantasy autobiography. And Lo! and behold, she referred to ‘JS” in the context of sexual abuse and Duncroft, the genre she had been writing in for some time. Could he be that lucky, could she be referring to Jimmy Savile? He fired off an e-mail to her. What did it say? Perhaps ‘it will be our little secret, you can talk to me in confidence’ or ‘we will take this at your pace, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do’…I don’t know but I have fired off a FOI request to find out this morning. We shall see.
That e-mail ended up on the computer of a girl who could not be more vulnerable, the very definition of vulnerable. Frightened – she had cancer. Alone – she had little contact with most of her family. Confused – she was in the midst of psychotherapy, trying to exorcise the demons of childhood abuse from her mind. Indeed, the jumble of her life story and that of other ‘victims’ she had met along the way were all running together in her head and emerging as that story on a fantasy web site that Meirion Jones had chanced upon. What little self confidence she had oozing away by the hour as her hair fell out in clumps. The ravages of a lifetime of abuse floating before her eyes as she contemplated the end of her days – Today? Tomorrow? Who knows when you are having chemotherapy, you dwell in the company of people who look reasonably hale and hearty at 12 o’clock, stone dead at 6pm – tell me about it, I’ve just been there and I know how it messes with your head.
Had she been trying to repair severed relations with her scattered family? I don’t know, but it would be unsurprising in the state of mind she must have been in. Had she been successful? I don’t know, but how soothing must the interest in her by this important person, a BBC producer no less, have been to her shattered ego. What sympathy and solace did he offer her when she phoned him back? How important it was that her voice be heard? ‘Closure’, that ghastly American term, offered on a plate; a chance to strike back at her tormentors, it must have seemed like a jug of water to a man crawling from the desert – step this way little girl, everything you have dreamt of….
Was it? What was Meirion offering her? The chance to see justice and her alleged abuser behind bars? Hardly, Savile was stone cold dead – and those Google terms had never occurred to Meirion whilst he was alive, or if they did, he had not acted upon them. The opportunity to prevent other victims being hurt? Hardly – Savile was stone cold dead. Perhaps Meiron had been overtaken by a fit of conscience at reading of her terrible life and wished to help her in some other way? A good Samaritan to this terrifyingly frail and vulnerable girl? No, what Meiron was offering her was the chance to bare her shattered soul, expose her balding head to the world at large and star in a few minutes of prime time television – the main attraction in his next ‘great story that any journalist would want’. She wasn’t a ‘great story’ Merion, late night entertainment to a salacious audience – she was a walking train wreck who should, deserved to be, protected from predators like you.
Predators? That popular term in the paedophilia thesaurus? Yeah, predator – for you see I can only slip the very slimmest of fag papers between you and Jimmy Savile when it comes to preying on the vulnerable. The fag paper that says what he allegedly did was against the law – but morally, ethically, I can discern nothing between you. You were both in powerful positions, you both should have known better, you both took advantage of her circumstances. You didn’t tell her that it was your aunt who had kept her locked up all those years, in fact you didn’t tell anyone until another Duncroft resident produced a photograph of you and your Mother and your Aunt standing outside Duncroft – then you made the admission that would have had everyone screaming ‘conflict of interest’. At least I can just about say that Savile might have been driven by testosterone forces beyond his control, not much of an excuse, he should have controlled them – but what can I say about you? That you were driven by the desire for your next big story, your career? Or was it even bitterness at the rift between you and your Aunt?
I haven’t been that angry since that despicable character Robert Green was dragging that poor Down’s Syndrome girl round the country to be the star exhibit, gloated over as every detail of her genitalia was discussed by those who have a prurient interest in poring over such things. I can’t even get a fag paper between you and Robert Green, other than your own wise counsel which prevented you going after this story whilst Savile was alive. You too wanted to parade the victim - look at this folks, pay attention, never mind flicking through the Radio Times, and here’s a picture of the dirty old sod wot ‘ad her, gave ‘im a wank in the back of his Roller she did, disgusting innit! A ‘great story that any journalist would want’ – is that so? Not exactly the usual Newsnight fare is it?
I know journalists that wouldn’t have touched that story with a barge pole, would have realised that exposure could do nothing for Karin. Old school types, mind you. The sort that might have found that story and flicked past it on their more callous days, muttering ’poor girl’ to themselves. Or might have got in touch to check that she was receiving help, or offer support, or friendship or any manner of things other than exposure for the sake of their careers. Even ones that might have thought the Savile story was important, and would have concealed her face, disguised her voice, still let her voice be heard, if they really thought there was no other way to bring out the story. Ah, but that wouldn’t have been such ‘great TV’ would it?
So, to be sure, I want to see heads roll at the BBC. Not trustees, or the Director-General, token sacrificial lambs. I’ll start with the despicably dishonest Meirion Jones. On a pike. Outside BBC headquarters. Then I’ll have the scalp of each and every person involved in that half baked Newsnight programme, aye, cameraman, sound man, the lot. Each and every one of them could have stood up and said ‘ this will do nothing for this girl, she is vulnerable, protect her, don’t exploit her’. They didn’t. Too frightened for their careers. Isn’t that what they said about those who knew of Savile’s activities? Does it make any difference that she appeared to be willing, enjoying it even? Isn’t that what they said about Savile’s victims?
When I’ve finished stringing them up – I want the man responsible for overseeing them all. The man who hires them, trains them, who should realise that ethics and morals have long taken a back seat in favour of titillation and juicy ‘scoops’ – that’s not what we pay our licence fee for.
Victims voices should be heard. In private, by trained people who know how to help those tormented by past demons. Anybody who comes into contact with them should move heaven and earth to help them get that help. They are NOT, absolutely not, fodder for a flagging career, or filler between the stairlift ads and the entreaties to sue the council when you fall down a pothole.
If the BBC can’t sort that one out, they are wasting their time ensuring that they don’t get sued again when a rock star demands a blow job in his dressing room from the nearest handy underage groupie.
Would somebody care to explain why both the BBC and ITV are still trawling for new prime time ‘exhibits’ on the web page of an organisation dedicated to those who have been abused? And why such an organisation is letting them?
Perhaps Leveson will report soon and tell us when we can expect to have a ‘news’ organisation for our money….