Tag Archives: Jimmy Savile

Lord McAlpine is a taxdodger

Much of the mainstream press is awash with very public horror at the thought that the government might legislate regulation on the national press if that’s what Lord Leveson recommends.

Last week, Lord McAlpine’s lawyers met with the Metropolitan Police to begin what Scotland Yard calls a “scoping exercise” to discover if the police can treat the tweeting and retweeting of the allegations that McAlpine abused children as a criminal offence. I saw no mainstream press expressing horror that this might lead to legal curbs on a free press. Scotland Yard said:

“We have not received an allegation of crime at this time, however, we can confirm we will be meeting with interested parties to start the process of scoping whether any offence has taken place. It is far too early to say whether any criminal investigation will follow.”

Lawyers for McAlpine said they had identified up to 10,000 allegedly defamatory tweets about the former Tory party treasurer.

They announced plans to sue Twitter users and broadcasters, including the BBC and ITV, for libel following the inaccurate Newsnight report into child sex abuse on 2 November.

You might ask – as Tom Pride does – why a man who opts to live in Italy rather than pay his taxes in the UK, is getting this kind of special treatment from the Metropolitan Police. Let him call upon the Italian police to investigate Twitter, since he chooses to live there.

Lord LevesonTomorrow, Lord Leveson will publish his recommendations from the Leveson enquiry.
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Justice denied is justice denied

Charlie Beckett writes: George Entwistle is gone but how to rebuild confidence in the BBC? and disturbingly proposes:

The NHS and schools have seen structural revolutions – why not the BBC? It is time for this tired old fortress to be opened up.

Is this crisis going to be the Tory excuse to destroy the BBC as they destroyed the NHS in England?

Steven Messham apologised: Newsnight apologised: George Entwhistle resigned. But who actually set the story going?

According to the Guardian, it was Iain Overton:

As the wine flowed at the Oxford Union, the stage was set for what would soon become a broadcasting disaster. The motion before the undergraduates had been “British politics is in the pocket of the media”, and, in the exhilarated post-debate atmosphere, one dinner-jacketed journalistic insider who had come from London to speak could no longer contain his piece of political gossip.

Iain Overton, head of the small non-profit Bureau of Investigative Journalism, said the next evening’s Newsnight was going to expose a top Tory as an abuser of teenage boys at a north Wales care home. According to one of those present, Michael Crick, former Newsnight journalist and now the Channel 4 News political editor, asked: “Do you mean McAlpine?” “Well, you said it,” Overton replied.

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Filed under Children, In The Media, Poverty

Pseudonymity on the Internet

For those that need the warning, further down this blog I discuss child abuse.

I’ve been thinking about names and Internet privacy since Jeremy Duns asked the internet:

The answer to me is obvious: yes, they are. My personal unfavourite is the Herald, which bans all pseudonymous commenters: the New Statesman, which is just a complete muddle, is probably the next worse. Facebook is problematic, and Google Plus is a cosmic screwup all of its own. Part of that reason is that most computer systems do not handle names very well: see Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names.

Jeremy Duns has, fairly enough, got valid reasons to detest people who use multiple pseudonyms on the Internet, aka sockpuppets, which the Urban Dictionary defines as:

An account made on an internet message board, by a person who already has an account, for the purpose of posting more-or-less anonymously.

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Filed under Blog Housekeeping, Children, Disability, Feng Shui Kitten Fixes Stuff, In The Media, LGBT Equality, Women

How did Jimmy Savile get away with it?

People have been asking, how did Jimmy Savile get away with rape and sexual abuse, hundreds of victims, for so long?

Rape culture.

This cartoon in the Daily Mail today shows how Savile did it.

His victims knew no one would believe them, they’d be laughed at and told they were liars.

How’s about that, then? They were right.

Rape Culture, or how Jimmy Savile got away with it.

The cartoon depicts two police officers outside the BBC, interviewing a homeless woman, with the clear implication that she is lying about having been raped by Jimmy Savile. “Mac on… The victims of Jimmy Savile filing compensation claims worth millions”.

(From the actual facts, which clearly didn’t worry “Mac” when he saw a chance to make a rape joke, there are so many victims, and so many institutions which were clearly negligent, that the total cost of all of the compensation claims will very likely be millions. It took the Daily Mail to leap from that to “So they’re lying in order to get the money”.)

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Patriarchal confluence

As the Met Police gear up to investigate Jimmy Savile’s serial rapes when he was working at the BBC, and how he was allowed to continue as a presenter of shows with a teenage audience despite many at the BBC knowing that he was a predator, Deborah Orr writes: Jimmy Savile, serial predator / rapist of underage girls

To the people who say that understanding why Savile got away with his crimes is useless because he is dead; to the people why say it’s a BBC problem, not a societal problem, I beg this: Look at the crimes that were committed by one man under cover of a dangerously misogynistic permissiveness, and wake up to the fact that this is exactly what all those tedious feminists mean when they talk of “rape culture”. I beg this: wake up and look at the damage these attitudes did, as the whole of a nation watched. Wake up and see that these attitudes are by no means entirely of the past, not yet.

No. No, they are not.

Last week, the Everyday Sexism Project received a message from a student about to start her first year studying physics at Imperial College, London.

The message included a forwarded email, which she said had been sent by the Physics Society to all first year physics students. It read “Freshers’ Lunch…This will be mainly a chance for you to scope out who’s in your department and stake your claim early on the 1 in 5 girls.”
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This is rape culture

Louis Theroux asked Jimmy Saville in 2000 [full transcript here]

“So why do you say in interviews that you hate children, when I’ve seen you with kids, and you clearly enjoy their company and you have a good rapport with them?”

Jimmy Savile: “Wrong.” (Takes cigar out of mouth – yes, he’s smoking in an enclosed car, windows shut) “Obviously I don’t hate ’em. That’s number one.”

“Yes. So why would you say that, then?”

“Because we live in a very funny world. And it’s easier for me, as a single man, to say “I don’t like children” because that puts a lot of salacious tabloid people off the hunt.”

“You’re basically saying that tabloids go – pursue this whole ‘is he isn’t he a paedophile’ line.”

Jimmy Savile: “Yes. How do they know if I am or not? How does anyone know if I am, or not? I know I’m not.” *pause* “Ho, ho, ho.”

From another perspective, nearly thirty years before that conversation with Theroux, a BBC producer named Wilfred De’Ath was doing Teen Scene in 1964 and wanted Savile, presenter of Top of the Pops, to appear on it. De’Ath says:

“He had a shocking reputation for young woman – it was generally known he was into young girls”.
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