Thursday, January 24, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes......

I've deliberately avoided, up to now, mentioning dire issues in the news during last year relating to the late Jimmy Savile (Sir James Savile would you believe?) He was a Yorkshireman and he let the side down very, very badly. Under cover of "good works" (which he did spear-head at times) and popular TV shows he was up to some really nasty works of abuse and paedophilia. The BBC's tardy investigation into his crimes has also uncovered some similarly criminal activity perpetrated by others. Just this week I've seen the name of British TV sports commentator and games presenter Stuart Hall OBE (yep - OBE - Order of the British Empire) involved.

From Wikipedia

On 5 December 2012, Hall was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault and charged with three counts of indecent assault against three different girls, (a 9-year-old, a 13-year-old and one aged "between 16 and 17") between 1974 and 1984. He was bailed to appear at Preston Magistrates Court on 7 January 2013, when he pleaded not guilty He was bailed until 16 April to appear at Preston Crown Court, on condition that he lived at his home address and that he had no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 17. On 22 January 2013, Hall was charged with one count of rape and 14 additional counts of indecent assault between 1967 and 1986.
I remember Stuart Hall from a TV game show "It's A Knock-Out", also recall that there were a few snide remarks about him going the rounds back then, though whether due to knowledge of his doings outside of TV shows, or whether because he was a bit of a hammy show-off I don't know.

Anyway, in the process of trying to remind myself what Stuart Hall looked like long ago I came across a blog called Classy Gents with a post dated 31 January 2012 about Stuart Hall, sincerely praising his "classiness".

A snippet:

His voice is really quite something; warm, refined, and luxurious, it harks back to a bygone era of television, when the BBC required it’s own unique intonation. Quite why this Classy Gent has been relegated to providing merely the occasional update on 5 Live’s football coverage is beyond us. In his younger days, such was the respect in which he was held that he is perhaps the only commentator never to have played the game professionally, who has appeared on the bench for a European cup final.....................So, in celebration of his long career and the hope that we may get to hear from him more prominently in the years to come, we give you Stuart Hall – our Classy Gent of the Day.

What makes late discovery of such egregious activity even worse is the fact that both the above-named had been honoured! Savile was knighted, Hall accorded Order of the British Empire. How did two such well-known individuals, recognisable by almost everyone in the UK during the 1970s and 80s, not only escape discovery of their wrong doing, but manage to get themselves honoured as well? Somebody, somewhere, must have known what was going on.


Vanilla Rose said...

Well, Hall remains innocent until proved guilty. But Savile pretty much admitted an interest in under-age girls in his autobiography, and got away with it.

mike said...

Pedophilia has a wide array of socioeconomic perpetrators, both male and female, and is always so shocking when the perpetrator is of prominence and-or power. I think we would all be twirled, if we knew the actual statistics, but such assaults were rarely reported in decades past, and are under-reported now.

I mentioned in one of your prior postings that male sexual assault on a child is always socially taboo, while female sexual assault on a male child has strange connotations and is usually fodder for late-night TV's assumed the male child enjoyed it and it's a right of passage.

Here in Corpus Christi, there is typically one pedophilia report in the news per month. A Corpus Christi resident is typically arrested for child pornography about every two months or so.

As your post today would indicate, this isn't just an American seems common throughout the world. I was astonished when I saw PBS' Frontline, "The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan" ( in an Islamic culture! I read an article several months ago about the destruction sponsored by the UN (war on drugs) of poppy fields in the Mideast...the farmers with loans due to the Taliban have their children stolen as collateral and the child usually ends-up in the sex industry.

Once again, I have to say that there is simply something inherently rotten in our human genetic DNA. We are culpable to many atrocities.

mike (again) said...

Thinking about this some more...there have been a number of movies exploiting child sex, too:

"Pretty Baby", "Lolita", "American Beauty", "Hounddog", and "Towelhead", to name several. In all fairness, "American Beauty" is one of my favorite films (

Also, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is currently on trial for underage sex.

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~ Yes, it's only fair to say that Hall is not yet convicted, but that long list of accusations does seem ominous.

Twilight said...

mike ~~ Indeed - it works both ways and predator females can be equally obnoxious when involved with under-age males.

Certainly not just an American thing.
It has been a perversion of human desire throughout history, and around the world, I understand.

I too believe that there's something rotten at our human core, something that is capable of overcoming the better parts of our humanity in some circumstances. That doesn't let us off the hook though. We've had many teachers through the centuries trying to educate us to keep the better parts of ourselves uppermost, and the vast majority of us do aim for that - to some extent.

I blame (if blame is the right word)- perhaps "put it down to" is better - the position of our planet Earth in the solar system (and perhaps even the position of our solar system in the wider universe).

Re 2nd comment re movies: Well, all human life is there, so the rotten core is bound to be on show sometimes - much of the time these days, in fact.

I've seen only Lolita and American Beauty from your list.
Kevin Spacey can do no wrong (lol) - but now I'll have to watch Am.Beauty again because I see that Alison Janney (of West Wing fame - CJ Cregg ) was in it before I knew of her.

Twilight said...

Another thought occurs: Pondering on American Beauty's storyline:
there's a big, big difference between an older guy falling in love (or thinking he has fallen in love) with one too-young female, and a guy who acts like a predator abusing any number young girls at every opportunity just for the sexual thrill of it.

Still not quite right, of course, and unwise, cruel to wife and family if the guy is married, but something quite different from the paedophile and predator.

mike (again) said...

Re your last comment: Kevin Spacey's character fell in lust with the 16 year old girl partially as homage to his mid-life crisis.

No, it isn't quite the same as a predator, but it will carry the same punishment should the individual be arrested and go to court! I doubt that the victim's mother and father would see this as "lesser" than a predator, either.

Twilight said...

mike - I can't remember the detail of American Beauty, it's a while since I saw it, so you're probably correct - lust and mid-life crisis, and the parents of the teenager would be outraged, even though their little darlin' had contributed to events.

16 these days is, I often think, equivalent to early twenties in my day!

Ben said...

It's pretty clear that Savile managed to get away with it because of his connections in very high places...including downing street and royalty.

He was probably part of a paedophile ring and might have been acting as procurer for members of the elites whose names will never be revealed.

When you think about some of the things he was able to do over his 50 year career, the number of cases against him that were quashed without investigation and the access he was given (such as being given the keys to Broadmoor high security mental hospital), it's clear that he was protected at a very high level.

Twilight said...

Ben ~~ Hi there! It would seem that's the only logical explanation.
We'd no doubt be horrified and sickened if we knew even half of what's really going on in many protected spheres.