Monday, 15 October 2012

Is the Savile cover up a surprise?

Frankly, the answer to the cover up of the Jimmy Savile paedophile proclivity for many years is no surprise at all. I have seen there are so many examples of exactly the same profile of behaviour in all our abuse case at Abney Garsden McDonald for the last 20 years in that we have specialised in abuse work for victims. The question is why, and what are the repeated patterns of behaviour?

According to reports, the Metropolitan Police, under the very capable hands of Peter Stringer are following up to 340 individual lines of enquiry from up to 60 individuals through 14 police area forces. The alleged falsely accused will jump on the bandwagon, and shout "Well if it was really true, why didn't they come forward at the time?" There are multiple reasons for silence in a victim, which are shame, humiliation, threats, lack of appropriate trusting adult, and finally the natural human reaction to lock away in the memory of the brain, any unpleasant or traumatic experience, in order to protect the conscious mind. We all do it, it is natural.

I looked at this quick timeline done by the BBC on Savile, which misses out some reported  stories, but refers to -
  1. A woman who was 14 in the 1960's made a complaint to Lancashire police
  2. There are allegations as to his volunteer work at Stoke Mandeville hospital as a porter - Caroline Moore then 13 says Savile "rammed his tongue down her throat"
  3. There are allegations surrounding his work at Leeds hospital. Another patient, June Thornton who was immobile due to spinal surgery at the time saw him molest a patient who was disabled in the same ward.
  4. A 12 year old girl from a children's home in Leeds says Savile abused her.
  5. The ITV programme revealed his abuse of girls whilst visiting a Duncroft home for girls in Surrey.
  6. A girl alleges that  Saville assaulted her in Worthing in 1980. Although reported to Surrey police, the victim did not want to proceed with her allegation
  7. A woman alleged assault in the 1980's in Scarborough
  8. Saville, it turns out was investigated as part of the Haut de la Garenne Jersey investigation.
  9. The Department of Health are looking into why they appointed Savile as the Chairman of a task force into the management of Broadmoor, where there now appear to be allegations.
There are so many examples of employees of the BBC and others hearing or witnessing Savile molesting young women that with the benefit of hindsight, we wonder why on earth he was not investigated and prosecuted years ago.

One also must question his motives for doing so much good work for charity. One cannot be completely mean. I have personal knowledge of the benevolence of the man albeit hearsay. I can only repeat the words of one of the first wise Police investgating officers into child abuse in care institutions. At the time a lot of survivor groups were making allegations of corruption right to the top of government. It smacked of paranoia. They were calling on the police to investigate a conspiracy. When I asked Terry Oates about it, he said "Peter, if you like golf, you join a golf club. If you like kids you become a residential care worker. All the kids you need are there ready. What do you need paedophile rings for?" He was of course right.

So why did those who heard the rumours not believe them?
  1. Jimmy Savile was a celebrity. No one wanted to burst his bubble. He did so much good work for charity. How could such a good man be guilty of such horrors.
  2. It is the same argument as Catholic Priests. Just as Jimmy was worshipped by his fans and was a God like figure who did good things like play pop music, and be happy, and do work for charity, so were priests God like characters. They were closer to the Lord, indeed they were agents of the Lord. So how could such a person do such things. It was unthinkable to even contemplate such rumours. Far easier to continue to believe the hero worship thing than ruin the belief.
  3. So why did the BBC not do anything about it and conduct an investgation. They are now doing two enquiries. Simple. They all believed the same good stories and dismissed the bad. It was an easier option. So many complaints were made, and there is so much evidence that people like Esther Ranzen feel very guilty, and no wonder.
  4. The fall from grace and the harm it would cause to the charitable arm of the Savile empire took on an importance which appeared to be greater than the rights of the victims - unfortunately. Such sacrificial lambs should obviously have taken on a greater importance.
  5. Savile, like all paedophiles had power, which he abused. As a celebrity, he had more power than most, which he used to his advantage. After all, how does a paedophile gain the trust of young people? Not by being weird or unpleasant, but by being fun, relaxed, and nice. This is how he won over his victims. He had extra power though - fame. What an advantage.
So were the BBC negligent in ignoring complaints, and turning a blind eye? Of course they were. There is such a thing as constructive knowledge. This means that if you should realise something and shut your mind to the obvious then the law can fix you with the knowledge it deems that you should have. So the BBC had the knowledge and did not react appropriately, hence the negligence. If there had been an investigation when the first complaint arose then countless children no doubt would have been spare - enough said

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