Twitter is enduring a multi-orgasm this morning; positively trembling at the knees. An army of Observer reading foot soldiers have taken to the airwaves to protest at the apparent ‘news’ that the BBC ‘turned a blind eye as 1,000 were abused by Savile on its premises’. This startling sentence has been repeated by every major media outlet.
Unless you had read the papers very, very carefully, you would be forgiven for thinking that the conclusion to Dame Janet Smith’s long inquiry into the culture and practices at the BBC had been published, or at least authoritatively leaked in advance to the media.
Not a bit of it! Read more closely.
‘The BBC turned away as Jimmy Savile sexually abused hundreds of children in studios and changing rooms, an independent inquiry is expected to conclude next month.’ ‘A source close to the investigation told The Observer newspaper’.
That would be a source soooo close to the investigation that they are unaware that Dame Janet is still conducting interviews this very week.
So not that close then? For an interesting example of just how far Dame Janet might be from concluding her exhaustive inquiry, I give you this plaintive wail from the Grand Poobah of child protection, the Lord High Executioner of Police force’s reputations, Tweeter extraordinaire, knee-jerk co-ordinator, and Chewing Gumshoe – Mark Williams-Thomas.
As it happens, some genuinely important witnesses have confirmed to me this morning that they have yet to be interviewed; people that Dame Janet most certainly does want to hear from – so I am happy to conclude – that she hans’t concluded at all!
Which poses the question – who would have fed that story to the media? Not Dame Janet’s trusted solicitor, Victoria Walker from Reed Smith’s, who is co-ordinating the inquiry, that is for sure. Can we find a clue further into the original story? Who has been asked to comment? Who else do we know that the journalist spoke to?
Not the BBC, they refused to comment.
Another source said ‘Many hundreds and potentially up to 1,000 people were victims of Savile when he was representing the corporation’. Only potentially eh?
Then we learn that ‘Smith’s review has been in contact with more than 1,000 witnesses and victims, including the 138 who are pursuing civil claims for compensation’. Not surprising that ‘more than a 1000 witnesses’ have been interviewed – Dame Janet has sent letters to every member of BBC staff past and present…witnesses, not victims.
Liz Dux, Slater & Gordon’s solicitor du jour for vulnerable victims, helpfully weighs in with a reference to civil damages of £50,000 for ‘rape’ just in case anybody reading the article is under the impression that her clients might have been victims of anything less serious, like a hand on the bum – wouldn’t do to have anybody thinking that in the week that other BBC employees were in court, would it?
A quick Google gives me the figures of 286 episodes of Jim’llFixIt and around 200 for Top of the Pops – were the figure of 1,000 victims which the ‘BBC turned a blind eye to’ in any way accurate, then you would be talking about two vulnerable young people having been sexually abused in front of cameramen, lighting engineers, secretaries, sound guys, other artists – for there is no such entity as ‘the BBC’ in this sense – there are only ordinary men and women who happen to work for the BBC, men and women with children themselves, with mortgages, and Ford Corsairs, and part time roles as school governors, parents to care for, even Christmas carol concerts to arrange – just ordinary people.
How do they feel, waking up this morning, to find they have all been lumped in together as the evil ‘BBC’ that should be burned at the stake for ‘ignoring’ the plaintive wails of vulnerable victims as they were heinously abused week in, week out? It’s all very well bandying Mark Thompson and George Entwhistle’s name around as ‘proof’ that Savile was protected ‘from up on high’ – but it wouldn’t have been Thompson or Entwhistle that were standing on those sets where young people were allegedly being ‘blatantly abused in plain view’ but Joe Ordinary, and Mrs Ordinary.
Do you really want me to believe that hundreds of perfectly ordinary people, average people with average morals, kept quiet year after year, out of fear of one eccentric disc jockey? That an organisation I am frequently told is full of left-wing near communists is so in awe of the monarchy that the rumour (which is all it was for years) that this disc jockey was friends with some of the monarchy is sufficient to have them over-look child abuse in front of their very eyes?
No! This newspaper campaign is being conducted for a reason, and that reason has as much to do with child protection as the Saatchi’s marriage had to do with the Grillo sisters allegedly fraudulent behaviour. Stories are being fed to the media for a reason. I would suggest that the reason is contained within the following quote:
Dux, head of abuse cases at Slater & Gordon, said: “What I hope doesn’t happen is that the BBC goes into some sort of navel-gazing period. Rather than look internally, look at how they are behaving and accept some corporate responsibility, which is not what they have done so far.
Shall we paraphrase that? Liz Dux doesn’t want the BBC looking too closely into what may or may not have gone wrong; let us not conduct a thorough investigation; let us look at what they are doing now; just take the victims/my clients allegations as being 100% accurate and start compensating them now…
Why would pressure be being applied through the compliant media now, this week-end? What is occurring behind the scenes that makes it imperative to get someone to start paying out these ‘alleged victims’ now?
I do know the answer; the media know the answer, every last one of them – they have known for the past month, but have chosen not to tell you.
Tantalising isn’t it?
But I am off for my radiotherapy now, and I’m still waiting for the phone call that will give me permission to break my silence.
My taxi won’t wait. Sorry!
Post Updated – direct from the Dame Janet Smith Review…..
Update – 20th January 2014
The Review has noted recent media comment about the supposed findings in its Report. It is the Review’s practice not to comment on media coverage. However, it is necessary to state that the information reported does not come from the Review and that it is speculative and unreliable.
While the Review fully understands the wish to know what happened at the BBC during the Savile years, the Review is not prepared to give any indication of its findings in advance of the publication of its Report.
Stick that in your pipe Observer…..!
Edited to add: Would you care to help me rebuild my Twitter feed? I am now on https://twitter.com/AnnaRaccoon1
Since I can’t currently figure out the RSS feed, or set up an e-mail subscription, it’s probably the best way to know when I post!