When Sir Jimmy Savile passed away two days before his 85th birthday in late October 2011, few begrudged the tributes and column inches afforded to the passing of this eccentric who had been at the forefront of the Entertainment Industry in the UK for 50 years. Jimmy Savile had “earned his stripes” by effectively overcoming a lowly start in life to pioneer the art of the “disc jockey” in an era of live “Dance Bands” in Ballrooms. Of course, JS was a self-publicisist par excellence (another word for this may be ‘bullshitter’) but there is no doubt that whether by good fortune or apparent ingenuity, he was at the forefront of both the “Pop Boom” in the UK (that began in earnest a few years into JS’ ballroom career) and in the burgeoning world of “Music Television” (then in it’s infancy). However, just 11 months after his death Sir Jimmy Savile was being labelled a “monster” and a “predatory paedophile” by the self-same mainstream media who had courted him throughout his 30-odd years “at the top”, and also through an eccentric and prolonged old age, a u-turn that was marked even by the infamously contradictory UK press. How could this be – surely the evidence for this about-turn had to be absolute and damning? Curiously not.
Rumours, of course, had dogged Sir Jimmy Savile throughout the last years of his life. After all, here was an old man who had never married, who’s timing and connections had placed him at the centre of industry that catered almost exclusively for the young. Always eccentric, he took the eccentricities to ridiculous levels in his crotchety old age but had dedicated his apparent solitary existence to raising millions for charity – a very real accomplishment that, regardless of the motives, actually created revenue and publicity for real hospitals, real schools and real hospices. Organisations that are, in fact, all suffering due the posthumous vilification of JS.
The point of this article is to examine what exactly this supposedly damning evidence is, why it has been consumed and accepted so avidly by the mainstream media and drip-fed to consumers who weren’t around and simply have no understanding and perspective on the 60s, 70s & 80s. We now live in what I’ll term a “post-pop” era; “youth tv” is an established format that currently dictates those shows are directed entirely at “post-pop” youths, where tattoos and skinny jeans rule, music goes “bleep” and “crash” and where the presenters of such television and radio are a reflection of their audience – metrosexual, anodyne, faux-ironic and inoffensively unaware of anything apart from the own “scene”. 50 years ago, things were different – in both the progressive American world of colour TV and in the stuffy black & white UK – entertainment shows were presented by authoritative established figures. When Top Of The Pops was born at the dawn of 1964, the presenters chosen were those who had established themselves in the burgeoning world of rock & roll radio and television. Pete Murray, David Jacobs, Alan Freeman and Jimmy Savile were all roughly the same age, were established and knowledgeable and their credentials were more or less equal. That they were all around 40 years old at the time has to be viewed in context – just because it would now equate to the likes of Jeremy Vine sat gurning on E4 instead of sticking to high-end quiz shows does not mean the people behind the likes of TOTP were establishing some kind of sinister “dirty old man” league to cherry pick “children” nor was this environment created to serve any such appetites – if they were we would have seen widespread accusations long before Savile finished his protracted old age. Slowly, the older DJ’s were replaced with younger DJ’s – though curiously even in their early 30’s the likes of Tony Blackburn, Ed Stewart and Dave Lee Travis all looked middle-aged!
Throughout the summer of 2012, rumours were abound that accusations had been made against the deceased DJ and that these were being “investigated” – not by the police, but by a couple of journalists and a “child abuse” expert and that – interestingly – these “findings” would be shown, not at a police station, but on a heavily-publicised prime-team ITV “documentary”. When this was aired on October 3rd I had at that no knowledge of the background of the show and it’s star turns (*I refer the inintiated to the following articles written by someone with much more knowledge in this area than me:
What I saw on Mark Williams-Thomas’ “Exposure” on Sir Jimmy Savile seemed to me to be basically a few “maybe I saw” uncorroborated allegation of possible misbehaviour of JS with teenage (post-puberty) girls (included one made by a convicted fraudster – more about him a bit later), unprovable conjecture based on out of context distorted footage and facts (the “holding Colleen Nolan on Top Of The Pops” being the most blatantly ridiculous, but we must not under-estimate her appetite for self-publicity or of double-standards) and allegations made by Karin Ward that Jimmy Savile had abused his celebrity status to infiltrate Duncroft School for Girls – again for DETAILED FACTS on this, I refer you to the Anna Raccoon articles above.
At that stage I did not feel the case against Jimmy Savile was either particularly convincing, either in the “evidence” put forward by Mark Williams-Thomas nor in the fact that we were being told to believe that this one man – a man who, lest we forget, had spent at least 15 years fading away in ill health and the previous 30 years constantly lampooned in all areas of the industry he was involved and who himself had lazily adopted the exaggerated persona bestowed upon him by various mainstream impressionists. Hardly the dominating “Godfather” who aggressively controlled both the BBC and the ferocious tabloid press. To be asked to believe that was the case was to suspend disbelief a bit too much for anyone with a degree of knowledge in the era we are speaking of – an era were ‘underage sex’ was neither secret nor really taboo (step forward a number of ‘rock legends’, all of which can be ‘googled’ easily and none of whom have had police investigations or media embargoes thrust upon them), nor that such (we were told) rampant abuse would have gone completely unreported. My own belief after seeing “Exposure” was, basically, that the whole thing was crap. When “investigations” have to resort to recounts by shifty fraudsters, “shocking” footage of Jimmy Savile hosting a show with the already disgraced Gary Glitter (Glitter was on umpteen shows, umpteen Top Of The Pops and was arguably the UK’s no.1 pop star in 1973 – hardly “shocking” unless you simply have no knowledge of the 70s & 80s whatsoever), dragging Esther “Bleeding Heart” Rantzen out to set herself up for a fall and second-hand clips of TOTP stolen from youtube. Add to this subsequent “shockers” such as one (grown) woman who allegedly had her bottom piched by JS on TOTP in 1976 and it subsequently “ruined her life” and broke up her marriage (which would implicate half the worlds male population and most women who have been on Hen NIghts of similar “abuse”) or the quotes from an autobiography published only 39 years ago. We also had the normally sensible Paul Gambaccini relating the rumours of JS’ alleged indiscretions and repeating the old rumour of JS as a necrophiliac as fact when it in was nothing of the sort – and again, something entirely without evidence. The motive in that particular instance was apparently revenge on his former colleages for mercilessly ribbing his homosexuality back then – but as I don’t know this for sure I will stop short of doing what he did and stating rumour as fact.
The fallout of this shoddy show shocked me more than any revelations ever could. I expected a degree of “news” – certainly from the gutter press who thrive on this stuff, but nevertheless let us not forget their own reverence and wholesale support of Jimmy Savile prior to this contrived piece of lowest-common-denominator television. The point at which I really smelt a rat was when the Director General of the BBC, George Entwistle, meekly announced that the BBC would launching an “independent enquiry” into the allegations against JS but also apologising for what were mere (and dubious) allegations. This told me that, no matter how flawed the accounts of this abuse were – that neither Clunk Click nor Jim’ll Fix It were recorded as Television Centre, that the accuser was born in 1958 yet was claiming to be – and widely reported as being – 14 in 1974, that is was very ‘convenient’ that the ‘incident’ she recounted involved an already-disgraced media demon (Glitter) as well as another (Freddie Starr) – and that whilst both men did appear on Clunk Click in 1974 they DID NOT appear on the same edition. Curiouser and curiouser. We also had Top Of The Pops implicated, though this was met with sheer bafflement by anyone with knowledge of Television Centre dressing rooms and TOTP age restrictions and studio policy – to suggest JS used that show to snare underage girls in the dressing rooms is also to implicate EVERYONE else being aware of this – from the producers to the make-up girls to Pan’s People to the other DJ’s and even the acts – is this being seriously suggested?
The floodgates had crashed open with aplomb. Given that Jimmy Savile had presented Top Of The Pops surrounded by young people for 20 years, had been ‘fixing it’ for kids for 20 years and had never hidden his appreciation for the female form there was no shortage there of ‘potential’ for claims of ‘that’ nature… factor in his involvement in charities for children and his work in hospitals, stories (good word that) of “abuse” came thick and fast – all unstantiated, all both unproven and unprovable and all ‘rewardable’ with compensation. Oops, I mentioned “compensation” – is that cold cynicism or mere realism? Hardly irrelevant though is it? When the world seems to have accepted each and every ‘allegation’ as fact despite the fact that it would take a ‘Through The Looking Glass’ suspension of disbelief to imagine one man committed hundreds of acts of abuse and not one was reported at the time. NOT ONE. Sure, Mr Williams-Thomas likes to hold a lot of sway on the fact that the Duncroft mob reported alleged 30-odd-year-old abuse allegation in 2007 and this wasn’t publicised – but it wasn’t deemed to have sufficient evidence or plausibility for the CPS to pursue – and their thirst for high-profile cases of abuse against celebrities cannot be disputed!
Within days, the mainstream media were promoting the dead JS as “paedophile”, the BBC themselves were quoting him as being “potentially the most infamous paedophile in history”. Their own hastily-made Panorama made as an answer to ITV’s “Exposure” was just as shoddy – no investigation into anything other than journalistic spats, repeating the same nonsense, trying to court favour by inviting the Duncroft Fantasist back to tell more stories. Had the world gone mad? Even now, almost three months later, I have yet to see one even half-credible case against Savile, NOT ONE. His own family have had to break rank and condemn – though in their shoes I think I would, this level of condemnation in such a savage society as this, I’d be fear of my life at the hands of baying mobs if I were them. A Sky News churnalist infiltrated collectors music forums on the trail of JS radio footage – and sneeringly referred to those suspicious of his motives as “Savile Protectors”. Mark WIlliams-Thomas himself seems to exist in a netherworld were people are either “abused” or “abusers”, and potentially either – a quick scan of his Twitter feed reveals he pretty much a walking talking Daily Mail, endlessly tweeting untold stories of abuse as well as feeding his obsession with JS, and completely ignoring any dissenting voices or opinions but feeding his adoring – and quite often illiterate – followers with tales of ‘grave concern’. My ‘grave concern’ when reading Williams-Thomas’ Twitter feed is that here is a dysfunctional man with an obsession with ‘abuse’ who is preying on the weak and abusing his position and influence to promote his own agenda – curiously this similar to how he is attempting to portray the late Jimmy Savile! His absolute reluctance to accept the reservations and criticisms of others is alarming to say the least – very unhealthy. Why on earth he is given the platforms he gets to promote his flawed agenda, not to mention the lack of challenges, is another sinister part of this whole circus.
The Metropolitan Police were quick to announce their investigation into “Savile and others” called Operation Yewtree. Savile and “other” what? Other DJ’s? Other TV presenters? Other Elderly Men? Other Men? No, the inference there is basically Savile & Other Sordid Perverts. Contrary to popular belief, “Operation Yewtree” is not (and never has been) an investigation into alleged offences by “Jimmy Savile”. What “The Savile Police” are doing in naming a dead man as a “predatory paedophile” and inviting complaints (the official name is trawling) from anyone who may have had an association with any of his friends or colleagues to come forward. Not a single one of these so-called ‘victims’ is even alleged to be a “Savile Victim”.
We saw them arrest Gary Glitter and Freddie Starr – though strangely not in the same week – for the imaginary Clunk Click orgy, Dave Lee Travis – another TOTP presenter & Radio 1 DJ – despite saying on record he wanted to clear his name with police – was arrested in a dawn raid which involved six police vehicles and an army of press who had obviously been tipped off – coincidentally on the same day BBC4 were due to repeat his Top Of The Pops of 20/10/1977. He has now joined Jimmy Savile in being banned (or “postponed” in BBC press-speak) from having his harmless Top Of The Pops shows repeated. His crime? Allegedly touching an adult woman’s breasts. In 1977. Coincidentally, she went to work for Sky News – funny that. Strangely enough, next up was one of Mark Williams-Thomas’ “star witnesses” – someone had apparantly recognised Wilfred De’ath on Exposure – and recognised him as the man who had abused her in 1965. Since then we have seen Max Clifford & Ted Beston dragged into the mellee, as well as officially ‘unnamed’ and much loved celebrity who Mark Williams-Thomas took it upon to name on his Twitter feed. Ted Beston was JS’s radio producer in the 70s – the Williams-Thomas angle is that Savile created “vehicles for abuse” with his radio and tv shows, so his mates at the Met will be keen to establish that for him. Saint Mark himself has been perpetuating the myth that Beston and Savile “Savile Travelled” the UK in search of ‘fresh meat’ – no wonder his mate from Sky News was seeking recording of these shows back in October! I imagine few people are sad about poor Max Clifford given his P.R. involvement in previous cases of highly suspect “historic abuse” but in my opinion his arrest makes this whole operation more sinister – he had been openly critical of the motives surrounding Operation Yewtree – his arrest also bring about his silence, and – significantly – an air of many others running scared. Savile’s former colleague, the whiter-than-white Tony Blackburn, has apparently dropped all 1970’s charts from his weekly Pick Of The Pops chart rundowns! Is the next arrest to be “The 1970s” as a decade, as suggested by Private Eye a few issues back? If all it takes is someone asserting that somewhere in the mists of time the had their body brushed against, then the question “who’s next?” can be answered “anyone”. I’ll make a bold statement here though – I’d say that anyone who’s legacy is making enough for the US-based multi-nationals will not be targeted, however well known their historic transgressions are. The UK media are, after all, ultimately controlled by their main advertisers (as are the “independent” television companies they hold shares in) and they will not wish to see their revenue chopped by having their cash cows disgraced – so whilst we may well see more dead UK celebrities having their reputations ripped to shreds, more elderly presenters and dj’s past their sell-by destroyed by media in old age and more two-bit entertainers sacrificed at the ITV altar they will be of “little worth” in terms of legacy.
There is a Hidden Agenda at work here. The “Exposed” programmes on JS were tawdry affairs – badly edited and unconvincing. The main evidence it presented falls at the first hurdle in terms of scrutiny – so why was it accepted so quickly and so ‘completely’? Why did the BBC make a basic admission of the inadmissable almost straight away, and why – despite the publishing on the subsequent “Pollard Report” – are they still maintaining the “no doubt Savile abused people” line when there has been no evidence of any such thing? I can see why Mark Williams-Thomas does what he does – he’s making a living by perpetuating peoples fears and thus has no duty – and seemingly no interest – in boosting his credibility to anyone savvy enough to see through his dubious stance. I can see, given their history, why the tabloids are enjoying the chance to both beat the BBC around the proverbial head and act out their fantasies of being able to make shocking statements about a dead man – but cannot see why the whole UK press refused to cover or promote Anna Raccoon’s articles that the Duncroft allegations – aka everything the first “Exposed” was based on – were false and why and how that was. I can’t see why there is so much hostility towards a relatively recent period in time – there has to be an agenda. The question is what that is – I haven’t worked it out. Is it anti-BBC? Is it anti-male? (see the recent entries at http://stevemoxon.blogspot.co.uk ) Is it the desperation of a press who feel their days are numbered? I’m not sure – but when fundamental questions are not asked, never mind answered I feel we are straying too far into the Orwellian Nightmare – but in using a figure as risible as Jimmy Savile, and a “cause” as unpeachable (and unprovable) as “child abuse” it is happening without enough protest.