Panorama and Jimmy Savile

The BBC’s Panorama has not long finished and it was an extraordinary programme about Jimmy Savile. It revelaed that then Tory minister Edwina Currie let Savile have access to Broadmoor because he helped break a strike in the hospital in the late 1980’s.

Let that sink in for a minute. A celebrity with no medial background headed up a task force to turn Broadmoor round, and Savile’s actions were to break a strike by nurses and she has the audacity to suggest this was ok, or that nobody knew anything dodgy about Savile at the time, something which is clearly utter bollocks.

Then there’s the suggestion that Margaret Thatcher, Prince Charles and all the other incredibly important people who he was friends and associates with were, somehow, duped by him. Surely Savile would need to be screened by MI5 at least to get close access to royalty not to mention half a dozen UK Prime Ministers? The idea nobody knew of dodgy stories about Savile is insane as there were stories about him flying around when I was a kid at school in the 70’s in Glasgow, not to mention I’d heard stories one night at a party in London with people who worked at the BBC in the late 80’s but Savile had too much power by this point so people were scared.

Which puts Currie’s assertion that if only someone had complained then she and the Tory government of the time would have acted. Well, the thing is, victims of abuse tend to find it hard to come forward, especially when their abuser is someone who has been parachuted into a position of power by a Tory minister in a Tory government led by a PM who seemed to be a personal friend of the man abusing them. How the hell could those vulnerable people complain when they were treated badly in the first place?

This programme raised a lot of questions and failed to answer them, When it did have people even remotely responsible for letting Savile carry on abusing people, it didn’t push it’s point when it really should have murdered people like Currie who is now going to have to throw some meat onto the bones of her very thin answers on the programme.

I’m not a Conspiracy Theorist. I’ve blogged about conspiracy theories in relation to 911 and JFK before, and generally I hold no time for them, but this is getting my Spidey Sense tingling that a number of people helped shunt Savile into positions of power, and either realised they’d fucked up and tried to skim over it as Currie is trying to do or just let him crack on with abusing people, a figure now numbering around 500 people we know of so far, and this doesn’t include those still too scared to come forward or because of the length of time Savile abused, those people who may now be dead.

There’s been other people reporting of how they knew, or heard stories about Savile. This was perhaps not mainstream for everyone, but it was enough for Louis Theroux to mention it to him during the filming of one of Theroux’s documentaries.

It’s unthinkable now with each increasing revelation that people in positions of power didn’t help cover up for Savile, or at least, turn a blind eye to his abuses. Had this Panorama been a proper documentary as opposed to essentially a summary of some new investigations we might have got more detail as to who those people were. Instead we got hints.

It’s right the BBC are being investigated, but it’s clear they were by no means the only institution which allowed Savile to abuse unquestioned, not to mention it wasn’t the only institution where people actively knew about what was going on. People in power covered up for Savile, and it’s now down to journalists to expose this, regardless of how powerful that person was be they dead or alive. It’s the least Savile’s victims can expect.


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