Sunday, October 14, 2012

Savile's shame!

With the number of accusations relating to abuse increasing by the day, with the BBC mired in internal enquiries and the Nation shocked at such horror occurring under its nose,  the stories associated with Jimmy Savile  look set to continue for some while yet. Disgusting, unforgivable and something from which a whole series of lessons should be learned.

Savile , without doubt, was a complex character. He had worked in a coal mine, was caught in an underground explosion and suffered injuries to his back. Later he would become a wrestler, take part in the Tour of Britain cycle races, manage a dance hall and participate in endless Marathons. He'll best be remembered , I suppose , for his TV programmes, but even these were operating in parallel with his charity fundraising activities, his  providing assistance in various health establishments and with promotional campaigns.  Remember the "Clunk, Click" seat belt films on television?.  But all of this was accompanied, it would seem, by a more shady background of activity involving the physical abuse of vulnerable people he came in contact with.

His once extensive celebrity reputation is already tarnished beyond any retrieval, whatever future details might report. His family has taken the very brave decision, in my view, to have his gravestone removed at the cemetery in Scarborough and other references to his involvement or residence at various places have similarly been taken down. There is a call to withdraw his knighthood and to wind down the various charitable enterprises with which his name was directly associated., all of which, again, are eminently sensible in my view. The reportage coming forward leaves it very unlikely this dreadful episode is in any way wrong or defensible. What should, therefore, happen from here?  Enquiries will continue and a final picture determined at some point. Whilst the dignity of those who suffered should be recognized and protected,  I feel strangely uneasy about there being a succession of compensation cases, as I suspect there are many for whom such a prospect is either remote, impossible or just too painful to contemplate. That he should be vilified by us all is not without doubt, that he should be "rejected" by the Nation and his carefully stage-managed reputation set aside is something I feel far reaching moves be made on. Obscurity is too good an indictment!

As a Yorkshireman myself, the fact that he was one of Yorkshire's sons, born in Leeds, and laid to rest in Scarborough, I suspect will not go down well with many. Yorkshire can be a bit like that, but it begs the question of whether an almost Old Testament type interpretation , and corresponding "sentence" or action should  be considered. I guess the Scarborough Local Authority will be exercised by the thought of future indiscriminate actions by a repulsed minority occurring at the cemetery they administer. The family has already moved strongly on this very point , but perhaps further action might be necessary and his remains moved elsewhere to an entirely private location.  Despatched to the wilderness and expunged from history, although doubtless a Wikipedia entry will remain!!    

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An enjoyable, topical read!

Whilst I've not had much opportunity to keep this Blog up to date in recent months I'm resolved into making the effort to getting it up and running again! With discussions ongoing about the possible route Scotland should seek to follow in the future being in the news I have, a little mischievously, given details below about a book I would recommend people reading.  It's a novel, not a text on the opposing arguments surrounding independence or the need to maintain the Union. It's actually a thriller, set four years after Scotland gains independence amidst the country suffering from growing unemployment and civil unrest. I won't reveal more and spoil the experience of a good read.

It's an absorbing page-turner of a book that provides some very intriguing observations associated with the implications of independence. It's fun too to put various current" personalities" in the role of certain characters in the book, which I would urge everyone to read. Michael Shea was the Queen's Press Secretary for ten years, a position which obviously provided him with a unique opportunity to see national matters at close hand.  Read and enjoy!