Well what do you make of all the sickening revelations concerning some of this country’s most famous and, dare I say it, loved celebrities? The list of shame continues to grow. Beginning with the creep Saville, the police arrest sheet now reads like a Who’s Who from 70’s popular tv – Gary Glitter, Freddie Starr, Rolf Harris, Dave Lee Travis, Jim Davidson, Bill Roache and his Corrie Steet mate Micheal le Vell (aka Ken Barlow and Kevin Webster) and that other couple of pervs from the Dr Who backroom production team. This week’s wretched additions to the list were Jimmy Tarbuck and the despicable Stuart Hall. Once upon a time these reprobates could count on some nifty footwork from PR specialists to keep their names out of the media but wouldn’t you know it the guru of hiding bad news, Max Clifford, has himself been charged with just the11 counts of indecent assaults on young girls. You might guess I’m full of contempt for these dirty old degenerates and you’d be right.
Now ordinarily I’d be the first to shout out in defence of civil liberties and I’d be ranting on about the important presumption of innocence over guilt. But having watched Stuart Hall deliver the pained, silver-tongued performance of a lifetime on the steps of Preston Crown Court describing the claims against him as ‘pernicious, callous, cruel, and above all spurious‘ then just a few weeks later watch his lawyer stand on the very same steps and confirm that Hall had now admitted to a catalogue of indecent assaults on girls, the youngest of whom was just 9, I find it impossible to believe these old goats’ shocked denials and their shameless protestations of innocence. And I believe many people think exactly the same as me and let’s be honest the topic of conversation now is discussing who’s going to be next to be outed. It’s the new Salem witch-hunt.
There are two aspects of this whole sex scandal thing which I find quite disturbing (apart from the hurt that must have been caused of course). The first is the fact that that these men have got away it for so long. But on thinking about it I guess we’re talking about quite wealthy men, working in a glamorous industry surrounded by adoring fans many of whom were young, naive and sometimes vulnerable, capable of offering access to the inner sanctums and promising introductions and screen opportunities in return for some grubby pleasure. It seems that many young women and boys were put off complaining not only because they felt they had become compliant in being seduced into ‘allowing’ things to happen, but also because these men were well-connected, even honoured, stars. Half of them were on nodding terms wth Royalty for heavens sake. Who would believe sordid accusations against them? And if allegations were made there was always the ability to buy off discretion especially with a notoriously disinterested police force and, failing that, good old Max Clifford. For these dirty old men it must have seemed like the ultimate perverts’ club; easy pickings with impunity.
The second worrying aspect is the extent to which the location for a lot of this nastiness was kindly provided by Aunty Beeb. The sordid description of what went on in the dressing rooms of the TOTP studios with leader of the paedo pack Saville and his predatory showbiz chums was pretty sickenning. But that’s nothing compared to the facilities afforded to Stuart Hall to allow him to indulge his sexual sordidness. Want a private room to enjoy your afternoon’s pleasure Stuart and a camera to film it all too? No problem my old fruit, take the office right next door to the senior manager at BBC North West’s headquarters in Manchester. Now call me an old killjoy but I think if the mellifluous Stuart Hall was banging away with some desperate wannabe score girl after plying her with cheap champagne, in the next room with just a partition wall between us, I’d like to think I might notice and do something about it. Especially since it appears to have been common knowledge amongst the staff that Hall was at it most afternoons. This wasn’t a one-off thing. Doesn’t it seem strange to you that tiers and tiers of management within the most respected and admired broadcasting organisation in the world failed to notice anything untoward happening under their very noses in over 30 years? It’s not unlikely, it’s just not plausible. They must have known what Saville and Hall et al were up to and they made a management decision to ignore it. Now that makes them culpable in my eyes too; not evil like their dirty, grubby, amoral star performers but grossly incompetent and completely lacking in integrity. There are Premiership footballers with more moral fibre than some senior people in the BBC.
Disgusted of Teddington (aka pp)