Sunday, 14 October 2012

Savile row grows apace

More and more women have come forward to make a claim that they were molested, or worse, by Jimmy Savile some 30 or 40 years ago.

Jimmy Savile received a Papal Knighthood from Pope John Paul II in 1990, a poorly advised award if ever there was.
Regardless of these claims against him, a Papal award should not go to lightweight TV celebs just as MBEs should never be awarded to tea ladies or traffic wardens.

An anonymous comment prompted me to re-visit my earlier post, Jimmy Savile is innocent, because this blog (commentators and self) were accused of being unCatholic in the views expressed.
I removed the comment because it was somewhat abusive; I have allowed some anonymous comments but, from now on I will only maintain comments from named individuals.

My position has not changed. Despite a rather appalling level of accusations against the man I am bound, as a Catholic, to keep an open mind.

As a citizen I am bound to believe in innocence until guilt is proven.

Of course, the sheer volume of women coming forward makes this stance a hard one to maintain but we have seen cases in the past where trumped up charges have resulted in people being found unjustly guilty; and we do have the example of an innocent man being tried, found guilty and crucified have we not?

And, no, I am not saying these accusations are trumped up. And, yes, if these gross acts did, in fact happen, then my sympathies go out to those who may have been abused.

It's just that I abhor trial by media where the front headlines of The Sun newspaper can condemn out of hand.

And I dislike the cant and hypocrisy of those in show business who are now throwing up their hands in horror that such things could have happened.
If ever the phrase "whited sepulchres" could be used in today's climate, it would apply to BBC and ITV celebrities who are now running flat out to distance themselves from  Sir Jimmy Savile.

And, if you should wish to comment, please do not do so anonymously. And, yes, the headline is intentional.


  1. Jimmy Savile wasn't my cup of tea but I think he was somewhat more than a lightweight celebrity. His voluntary work seemed to imply a deeper commitment to good works than is frequently seen with celebrities content simply to "front" charities. I have also seen it suggested that he gave away over ninety percent of his wealth. It will be interesting to see if similar accusations start to emerge about individuals with far fewer good deeds to their record.

  2. I also think this is different than a case such as Fr Maciel's. He repeatedly faced accusations throughout his life, and it was only after he died that people realized how the structure of the Legion of Christ allowed him to commit his crimes. That was also the first time people were willing to actually look at the extent of the crimes by him and other Legion members. Plus, the Sun wasn't after him...
    Prudence and justice go together,and I think that if Savile is guilty, then we will see physical evidence of sorts. I think the preponderance of evidence against him already presented makes it likely that this will happen.
    Another thought: pretending he's alive for a moment, I think it'd be a just trial if only testimony was provided as evidence against him, and upon cross-examination, the testimony stood up. It's also fair because he can hunt for the evidence that would rebut their testimony, and at least in the US, prosecutors are required to turn over exculpatory evidence.

  3. The reason why tealadies get the MBE is because John Major removed the lowest rung from the honours system, the British Empire Medal, with the result that those who previously got the MBE now get the OBE and so on up the chain. My grandfather, who was awarded the MBE on retirement from the diplomatic service in 1957 (he was British consul in Philadelphia) was enraged when Harold Wilson handed it to the Beatles in 1965, and things have gone steadily downhill since then (think that well-known philanthropist "Sir" Mick Jagger).

    The whole system needs a drastic overhaul, starting with the abolition of the Order of the British Empire, started by George V as a 'democratic' honours system and which is now a joke.

  4. John couldn't they restore the British Empire Medal? I agree, rockers and other entertainers really don't deserve anything above the medal. Now, I think those athletes who then do a tremendous amount for sport and for country afterwards deserve their knighthood (I am thinking of McGeechan, Woodward, and others who have gone on to coach their home nation, the Lions, or worked with the IOC). But, simply doing well at the Olympics shouldn't come with an appointment as KCBE.
    A cursory Google search shows that the medal was revived for the Diamond Jubilee year, interestingly enough.