An Audience With Jimmy Savile

_56361179_013246729-1Here is a picture of Jimmy Savile holding his OBE as he receives his Knighthood from the Queen. Apparently, so the Daily Mail would have us believe, after inveigling himself into Charles’s life as a mentor and adviser, Savile was granted unprecedented access across all the royal palaces upstairs and downstairs.

Imagine that? The DJ was not just at ease with the Queen’s family, but every bit at home with her servants, too. Please see below, a picture of Jimmy Saville wearing the badge of his knighthood and receiving an honorary degree from the University of Bedfordshire.

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‘He was in and out of Buckingham Palace,’ recalls a footman. ‘He would often ask if there was any gossip about the royals, and when you look back, maybe he was building up information which would be useful to him if he ever needed leverage. Lots of people were taken in by his fame, which he used to get people to open up to him. I never heard tales of any sexual abuse, but it was perfectly normal to see him with an arm round the young housemaids and other female servants.

‘We were all taken in by him, and thinking back on it now is frightening.’

Indeed it is. This week an uncomfortable spotlight has been shone on those royal links Savile so assiduously cultivated, thanks to the devastating new play, An Audience With Jimmy Savile, in which the broadcaster is chillingly brought to life by the impressionist Alistair McGowan. Here is what ‘The Telegraph’ has to say about the play,

‘The casting of impressionist Alistair McGowan as Savile had seemed foolhardy, reinforcing the old comic persona of the eccentric charity worker draped in jingle-jangle jewellery and chomping on a cigar. Initially it looked as if McGowan would stay close to the surface, but slowly he teases out a riveting, revolting performance that is by far the best thing of the evening.’

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing a disturbing pattern developing here. Knighthoods, CBEs, OBEs, honorary degrees and all for folk who have had to be near senile, dying or six feet under before anyone thought to inquire, in any measure of detail, into what exactly they had been doing to the nation’s children over the years. The CSA Inquiry will be commencing when exactly?

‘An Audience With Jimmy Saville’ is playing at the Park Theatre, if you can get tickets I suggest you go & see it.

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Until 11 July. Tickets: 020 7870 6876; parktheatre.co.uk

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Not Fit For Purpose?

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‘Investigators found the council had a “deep-rooted” culture of cover-ups and silencing whistleblowers’

– Louise Casey, the director-general for troubled families

The bad news is that Rotherham Council, having been made subject to several reports, is no longer considered fit for purpose. The good news is that Eric Pickles has declared that there will be elections in 2016….so the town can have a fresh start. That’s right, after sixteen years of ignored child abuse and neglected children, the town gets to discard those council members responsible and start again.

In effect, Mr Pickles makes it sound as if the town is being given a reboot with all the glitches and redundant packages erased. Which sounds great if you discount all the victims, who will be in their twenties and thirties by now, and may possibly be raising their own children. Damaged children who never got the protection, care, or emotional support they should have, struggling to raise their own children successfully.We don’t do that to physically disabled adults, if they have children they at least get a helper funded by the council to enable them to cope with life, and their child or children on a weekly basis.

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Adults emotionally disabled, by a council who chose to ignore their sexual exploitation get zilch. Whilst they were children concerns about them were dealt with by ‘professionals’ who appeared to show all the emotional empathy of an Auschwitz prison guard observing his charges enter the gas chamber.The Home Secretary, Theresa May, blamed the failure of the authorities in Rotherham on “institutionalised political correctness“. 

But many of the men involved in sexually abusing and exploiting these girls were well known to the police. A local Rotherham youth group got just that suspicious and reported their suspicions to the police. Free of charge the police were given information which they could then have investigated but they chose not to. How much safer the streets of Rotherham would have been if the police had collaborated with social services, in tackling what had become a corrosive problem, within the community they had been paid to serve.

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Never mind Mr Pickles has effectively said, the old cabinet has resigned, and the new cabinet which the public will elect will be so much better. Inspite of austerity and the adverse impact that has had on social services and policing we are supposed to believe that. Think about it, the Jimmy Saville debacle, the revelations about Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square. The exposure of Cyril Smith, Dave Lee Travis, Max Clifford and Peter Hame, the CSA Inquiry and now this. The pattern overall is the same, trusted, ostensibly respectable pillars of the community exploiting and destroying the most vulnerable and for the most part getting away with it. And in all of these cases the powers that be letting them get away with it. Am I the only lowly member of the general public to wonder precisely who the great and the good are standing up to be counted for, because it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s us.

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