The Darkness in the darkness.
My late mother, like many women, was a very good judge of what you might call ‘creepy’ character in men. This was a sort of innate talent. It was probably enhanced by her position as a woman who, though relatively young, was from a world in which sexism, sexual violence, and jokes about rape were endemic in a way which is frankly unimaginable today. She never could stand Jimmy Saville, I recall, and I often wondered if she sensed something about him.
In ordinary terms, such an observation would be what you might term an anecdotal smear, since Mr Saville has of course gone to his judgement and very little can now be proven against him. To my mind, there is a very strong case to answer; over a dozen women, who have been named, have now come forward with consistent stories which fit with the recollections and regrets of other independent witnesses. If ‘Sir Jimmy’ were a one-off, history would record the terrible pain which surrounded those who had claimed to have encountered him at what they argue was his ordinary worst, but there would be no case for an Inquiry. Frankly, given that medicine and therapy are largely socialised in this country, there is very little that ‘we’ as a country need to do about the victims in themselves.
However, there are several levels to what the Saville business is revealing which ought to prompt any of Her Majesty’s subjects to ask whether any Inquiry is to be made. They don’t rest in Saville's wallowing in the values of the pop industry or the nineteen sixties; after all, John Peel married a 15 year old girl, Elvis Presley did much the same, and an average episode of Top of the Pops appears to have offered a chance to stare at full-spectrum perversion and predation. Yesterday’s values can be censured, but public money shouldn’t be spent on doing so.
Our concerns ought to rest in the fact that Saville was a regular guest of the Royal Family and at Chequers; that he can be credibly linked to the Haut de la Garonne scandal; that his career suggests that what can be termed the establishment of this country, from Westminster down, harbours or harboured a very well-networked and very dark network of paedophilia and human trafficking of all ages; that the cases of Hollie Grieg, Jason Swift, Kinkora and Jersey support that suggestion; and that this darkness is passed down from abuser to victim through the ages. Policemen involved in investigating this sort of thing have killed themselves, and journalists have been retired. Now, with Saville as a key to unlock things, it might be time for people like Esther Rantzen and John Hemming to consider redeeming themselves and to start asking questions and forming connections in public, with the privilege that parliament or their media position allow, about what was, is, and what should not be. Such an Inquiry could also, perhaps, seek evidence on what exactly Jimmy Saville’s connections if any with Peter Sutcliffe were.
That would be the most fitting testament to the victims of this darkness. The sickness, which manifested first in the Church that has now done most to control it, will otherwise go on, abusing and killing like some mill, and creating its own perpetrators across our institutions. We need to know and see who knew, who joined in, who turned their eyes, where in the worlds of ‘social work’, politics and business it went on—beyond all the rumours—and how it connected to the corruption of the authorities and of society in general. Otherwise, the darkness will just keep rolling on.