Category Archives: Child sex abuse

Open Letter To Sarah Champion

Dear Sarah Champion,

Let me salute your dedication to the cause of equality for women and children. Bravo. You’ve done some excellent work. However, your use of the word ‘culture’ is deeply problematic and indicative of the kind of ignorance I see being displayed by the far-right, who seem to believe that culture is determined by skin colour. I realise that, as a Psychology undergraduate at Sheffield University, you were unlikely to have encountered the work of sociologist, Raymond Williams – especially his seminal book, Keywords. Let me enlighten you.

Culture is one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language

Williams, 1988: 87

The determinism behind your use of the word suggests to the gullible and the terminally bigoted that there is a unique culture of paedophilia among men of Pakistani origin. There isn’t. Did it ever occur to you that is the kind of language that plays into the hands of the far-right? I doubt it. You’ve written articles on this subject for The S*n, a paper that lied about the Hillsborough Disaster and has spent the past 40 years attacking the party of which you are purportedly a member. Today, you’ve given an interview to another Murdoch paper, The Times, which takes a similar line to your party. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you’re not really a person of the left and, given your complaints about the left in the Times, perhaps it’s time to reassess your political position? Just a thought.

Let’s return to the issue of paedophilia and culture. What’s interesting is how quick you were to claim that there is a culture of paedophilia, which is perhaps unique to Muslim men or men of Pakistani origin. What’s revealing about these statements is that they ignore the white male paedophile grooming gangs or lone offenders, whose ‘culture’ is never mentioned.  Take Jimmy Savile, for instance, whose depravity was frequently stated but whose ‘culture’ was never once mentioned. Let’s be clear here: Savile did not act alone. The VIP paedophile gang continues to operate in plain sight. Their ‘culture’ is never once referred to.

The far-right, to whom you have unwittingly handed a stick with which to beat your party, are also frequently in court charged with child sex offences. Again, their ‘culture’ isn’t once mentioned.  For your information, the Malatesta blog has regular updates on far-right sex offenders. I would suggest you at least take some time to look at it.

Channel 4’s Fact Check has also questioned your statement, which I shall quote here.

“Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”.

Britain has a problem with paedophiles of all backgrounds. The VIP paedophiles are most likely white – just like you.

Channel’s Fact Check concludes:

Self-evidently, sexual abuse of children and young people by groups of men – including Asian men – happens in the UK.

According to the best available data, Asian men make up 75 per cent of “Type 1” group abusers, who target children and young women because they are vulnerable.

But white men make up 100 per cent of recorded “Type 2” group abusers, who target children because of a longstanding paedophilic interest.

From the information available, we know that actual number of group abusers who are Asian is around three times higher than the number of group abusers who are white.

However, it’s worth remembering that child sexual abuse by lone offenders is more common than abuse by groups. What we don’t know is how many of those lone offenders are white or Asian. We should be wary of drawing too many conclusions.

May I draw your attention to the final paragraph?

In 2014, a grooming gang of white men in Sydenham, London were gaoled for child sex offences. They were all members of the local CofE church. There was no mention of their ‘culture’. Interestingly, the story was ignored by the national press but published in the local press. Even the far-right ignored it, but that’s no surprise: they don’t want to draw attention to their own sex offenders. Here’s a quote from the article.

Five members of a Sydenham paedophile ring who systematically abused boys from a church in the 1970s and 1980s have finally been jailed.

Four young members of St Bartholomew’s Church, aged between eight and 16, met their abusers after being introduced by choirmaster Tony Brockhurst.

Maybe the story was ignored because the victims were boys (there seems to be a blind spot where the abuse of boys is concerned – especially among the far-right).

A few weeks ago, I sent you a couple of links on Twitter to a couple of books by Pierre Bourdieu. One of those books was Language and Symbolic Power (2011). Did you get a chance to even look at the first page? I doubt it. Language isn’t uttered innocently. Ferdinand de Saussure, the ‘father’ of linguistics said that “language is a system of signs”. This tells us that the words we use open a window into our unconscious world.  Bourdieu claims:

“Utterances receive their value (and their sense) only in relation to a market, characterized by a particular price formation. The value of the utterance depends on the relation of power that is concretely established between the speaker’s linguistic competences, understood both as their capacity for production and as their capacity for appropriation and appreciation.”

Bourdieu (2011: 67)

Power is expressed through language. Indeed, as an MP, your use of words carry more weight than those of the pub bore. Why? Because you’re in a position of relative authority. That means you have a duty to choose your words carefully. It is obvious, that such a consideration is far from the front of your mind and may not even be located at the back of it.

So, paedophilia is not specific to one culture or another and it is not confined to skin colour or religion. Child sexual abuse is an abuse of power. Nothing more, nothing less. However, it is perfectly acceptable to claim there are paedophile subcultures, for these things do exist.

Finally, the role of the local police in the Rotherham scandal has rarely been questioned. When girls went to the police with their complaints, they weren’t taken seriously. You need to ask yourself some questions: is that because the police were colluding with the grooming gang, or was it the case that they don’t take the complaints of working class girls seriously? This is from The Guardian,

The agreed facts show, at best, an alarming level of police indifference in relation to these vulnerable children, several of whom had drug and alcohol problems and who were from broken homes.

One of the officers named in the trial, Kenneth Dawes, had a string of misconduct offences recorded against him. He is still on the force, although suspended pending further investigations following the allegations by two of the women in the trial. He denies any wrongdoing.

You’ll notice that I didn’t rely on The S*n or any of the Murdoch papers, nor did I make use of anything from The Express or The Daily Mail.

The Sheffield Star reported last December that police officers stood accused of sexually abusing children in Rotherham. I find it strange that you haven’t once mentioned that or their ‘culture’.

Stephen Watson disclosed this week that a number of police officers are the subject of probes by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into allegations that they abused children in Rotherham. The exact number has not been disclosed, but Chief Con Watson made the admission during a discussion about the child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham, which was laid bare in an independent report which found that 1,400 children were abused by men of largely Pakistani heritage while those in authority failed to act. Professor Alexis Jay’s damning report, published in 2014, found that police ‘treated victims with contempt’ and failed to investigate while Rotherham council failed to protect vulnerable children.

South Yorkshire Police have a history of criminal misdeeds from the Miners’ Strike to Hillsborough and now this. I suspect the reason the police haven’t been mentioned is because they’re white, and that doesn’t make for the kind of sensationalist headlines the gullible public and the far-right so desperately crave.

Have a think about those things, though I suspect I won’t be hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

 

The Cat

References

Bourdieu, P. (2011). Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge: Polity Press

Williams, Raymond (1988). Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society. London: Fontana

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Clarkson, Cameron, The BBC And The Great British Art Of Bullying

I’ve written about bullying before on this blog and once again, I find myself writing another blog on the subject.  Bullying in Britain is a national institution. The nation’s leaders and the captains of industry, many of whom were educated at Britain’s top public (independent) schools, learnt to bully others at an early age through the institutionalized regime of fagging. Yet the rest of us, in other words, those of us who didn’t go to an independent boarding school either become victims of their relentless bullying or internalize it. This internalization often finds its outward expression in the ridicule of people for the colour of their skin, their sex, their gender, their occupation, their disability or their social status. Whether we want to admit it or not, Britain is a nation of bullies.

When Jeremy Clarkson told the viewers of The One Show a couple of years ago that public sector workers “should be taken out and shot in front of their families”, he apologised but brushed it off as a “joke”. He is not the first person to do this: Bernard Manning and the other club comics of yesteryear, used a similar excuse: “I can laugh at myself, why can’t Pakis, nig-nogs and poofters do the same”? The issue here isn’t humour itself, but the racist and sexist discourses that are couched in humour, which has the effect of legitimizing such discourses. These jokes chime with the joke-teller’s inner world. For jokes and humour, unless I am very much mistaken, are not created in an ideological vacuum; they are affected by discourse, and the joke-teller is very much aware of this. Brushing off something as a “joke” convinces no one but the joke-teller.

Yesterday, David Cameron’s feeble, almost jokey, defence of Clarkson saw the latter being recast as a children’s entertainer (sic). Cameron claimed that he “was a great fan” of Clarkson and that his children would be “heartbroken” if he was taken off the air. “He’s one of my constituents”, Cameron added. Yes, and the rest of it. Others lined up behind Cameron to repeat the same spiel: Clarkson is a national treasure; a favourite with children. Laughable.

But what about free speech? What about it? The Clarkson incident wasn’t about free speech. Clarkson punched a producer because he couldn’t get what he wanted. In the vast majority of workplaces, it’s a sackable offence to use violence towards your work colleagues. When Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made prank calls to actor, Andrew Sachs, they were dismissed. No questions asked.  Yet, Clarkson is seemingly in a different league to other workers. He punches a producer and 300,000 people sign a petition (that was started by Guido Fawkes) to have him reinstated. If you or I punched a workmate, we’d be told to leave the premises immediately and we’d be threatened with prosecution. Not Clarkson. In the end, the BBC merely suspended him,  which effectively amounts to little more than a slap on the wrists.

The Cat thinks Clarkson should be sacked with immediate effect and Top Gear should be cancelled and replaced with a new show. Preferably one that isn’t hosted by bullies and their mates. By allowing Clarkson to return after a period of suspension, the BBC sends out a message that bullying and violence are the legitimate means to get people to do what you want. Indeed, the BBC’s record when it comes to dealing with pederasts in its own ranks is woefully inadequate. It is, after all, run by members of his class who attended the same kinds of educational institutions. I’m not holding my breath for change.

UPDATE 24/3/15 @ 1940

Well, Clarkson’s been given the boot and already Brendan O’Neill has penned a paean to the man. In characteristic style, O’Neill has claimed that Clarkson’s sacking was because of “the dogmatic liberal elite”… now prepare to suspend your disbelief because I’ll repeat that, Clarkson’s sacking was because of “the dogmatic liberal elite”. A question: is O’Neill for real? What’s this really about? Look, Clarkson punched his producer after verbally abusing him for 20 minutes.The producer, Oisin Tymon, was taken to a local A&E for treatment for a cut and swollen lip. There’s no “liberal elite” involved here… unless you’re talking about the BBC’s management and even then, you’re barking up the wrong tree. The only people who believe the BBC is [coughs] “left-wing” are Tories, Kippers and assorted far-right knuckledraggers. But then, they’re fantasists and drama queens, so they make up stuff all the time.

This is O’Neill’s [ahem] argument in a nutshell.

Their main interest is not in protecting a BBC producer’s face from Clarkson’s fists — it’s in protecting the public’s ears, and our allegedly putty-like brains, from Clarkson’s words, from his consensus-pricking, fast-car loving, two-fingered salute to modern liberal orthodoxies.

Say what?

So, Clarkson’s on his way out. His former co-presenter, Quentin Willson, is less than flattering about the Repton Reptile, saying he was “difficult to work with”.

“If you’ve got a global audience of 350 million people hanging on your every word, then that makes you detached from your sources. It’s so sad that this is his requiem, if you like.”

Yeah, I’m all choked up.

However, that’s not the end of the story. Apparently North Yorkshire Police may want a word with Clarkson. Stick that in your pipe, O’Neill.

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The LM Network and Operation Yewtree (or Won’t Someone Think of the Abusers?)

Since the government’s announcement last week that there was to be an over-arching inquiry into child sex abuse at the highest levels of British politics, it was only inevitable that the LM Network would be out in force to cry foul and muddy the waters a little. In the last few days, Frank Furedi and Claire Fox have been conducting a tour of national television and radio studios to offer their rather suspect take on the matter. Within the space of hours, Furedi and Fox have both attempted to claim that the latest call for inquiry will lead to a “fear of adults” and that parents will be too afraid to let their children play outdoors for fear of being kidnapped and/or molested. This is not the issue and they know it. The majority of the abused children did not come from stable homes, nor were they kidnapped while playing on the swings in the local park. Many were in care homes and others were students at boarding schools. This point has been consistently sidestepped by LM in order to advance the claim that ‘freedoms’ are being compromised or eroded. It’s a classic appeal to emotion.

On Monday, Furedi and Fox’s fellow LMer, Brendan O’Neill, was quick out of the traps with this piece of drivel.

For around 30 years now, Britain has been in the grip of a paedophile panic.

You know where this is going and predictably enough.

There has been no break from the paedophile panic over the past three decades. Even when certain forms of the panic are exposed as baseless, as completely hollow, the underlying urge behind the panic, the moralism that is its fuel, simply moves on to another terrain, adopting a new language and a new focus to keep the concern with evil child abusers alive.

O’Neill continues:

Yewtree has institutionalised the 30-year-long paedophile panic, elevating it from an ever-present but sometimes ill-formed thing into an actual institution, a key part of British political, social and moral life, a constant provider of yet more horror stories, claims and rumours about wicked behaviour. And when (if) Yewtree is wrapped up? It will be replaced by something else. There are already demands for an extensive ‘Hillsborough-style inquiry’ into the rumours of a paedo ring in Westminster, the paedo obsessives clearly already looking for their next outlet, the next moral terrain on which they might keep alive their panic and spread more fear about the demonic dangers surrounding children in every town, village and hamlet in Britain.

Nowhere in O’Neill’s article is there even a modicum of sympathy for the victims. It’s all about him and his libertarian friends and how the investigation/inquiry will limit their ‘freedom’. That reminds me, the comments thread is particularly vile. Take this comment from which I shall quote a portion.

Yes, Rolf Harris’s conviction and absurd six year sentence today is a travesty of justice: a show trial of man-hating ideology.

This is just a sample of what passes for libertarian-style analysis. Demands for justice for the murdered and the abused children are dismissed as part of some “man-hating ideology”. It’s at times like this that some right-wing libertarians reveal, not only the limits of their thinking, but their real thoughts about women and children, who they believe exist solely for the pleasure of men.

In February, The Grand Furedi contributed this article to Spiked. He complains that Operation Yewtree is “more propaganda than policing”. He rationalizes Yewtree thus:

Operation Yewtree was different: it was not designed to solve reported crimes. Its principal aim, rather, is to construct crimes through soliciting allegations of sexual abuse committed decades and decades ago.

Children were killed and many more have been scarred for life, but all Furedi and his gang can do is complain that any attempt to get justice for the victims (a word he rejects) is an affront to his notion of ‘liberty’.

Here’s The Grand Furedi on Monday’s edition of Newsnight. Count the number of times he refers to children’s homes.

Not once. Cristina Odone, who often makes little sense, actually talks more sense than Furedi!

The LM network has always had questionable ideas on pederasty.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the LM Network wants no restrictions on Internet pornography. This includes child pornography.

What LM and their libertarian friends conveniently ignore is the impact that their ‘freedom’ will have on the freedoms of others. Theirs is nothing less than a rationalization of selfishness. The right of children to be free from exploitation and abuse is of little or no interest to them.

 

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Britain’s libel laws and You Know Who

He’s innocent. He was nowhere near Wrexham, save for a flying visit to a Wimpy Bar with a Conservative Party Agent. He doesn’t know Steven Messham and no doubt he’s never met Dr Julian Lewis, the Tory party’s fixer and dirty tricks specialist either. Furthermore, You Know Who has  never set foot in Dolphin Square and has never worked as treasurer for the Conservative Party. That last part was true but I’m worried that I’ve got it wrong and I’ll get threatened with a libel suit for claiming that You Know Who was party treasurer when he was, in fact, the party’s teaboy and bog cleaner.

In fact, You Know Who is the man who never was. It was his dead cousin who is the guilty party and we can’t ask him questions but rest assured, if he were still alive, he would probably threaten us with libel suits too. Why? People with lots of money and power can shut people up – even if they are speaking the truth or being satirical. Ask any number of whistle-blowers and satirists and they’ll tell you the same thing: free speech in Britain is a myth. UK libel laws are possibly the most exacting in the world, but as is the case with many things in Britain, only the rich have access to defamation suits. Those of us on meagre incomes cannot even afford to defend ourselves in a libel suit, let alone sue someone who defames us. We just have to put up with it. This is one of the things that makes Britain such a brutal and unjust country.

McAlpine doesn’t need the money but he’s quite happily taken £185,000 from the BBC for not naming him. He lives in Italy, where he is out of reach from HM Revenues and Customs and thus pays no tax in this country. He operates a blacklist of construction workers whom he (and others) believe are Bolsheviks and his construction sites are some of the most dangerous in Europe. Yes sir, this is a man who believes in freedom and justice but only on his terms. But I don’t suppose the blacklist has anything to do with milord. He’s probably never seen it and will probably sue anyone who dares to contradict him.

Seriously, if McAlpine was that concerned about his good name, then why haven’t his solicitors served a writ on the Cheshire Constabulary for showing a photograph to Steven Messham when they knew it to be wrong? And what about David Icke, who’s been making allegations against McAlpine for the better part of 20 years? Then there’s Scallywag, whose 4 page article named You Know Who along with several others. No writ there.

Simon Kelner writing in The Independent says,

… Kevin Clash, who was the voice of Elmo in Sesame Street, was falsely accused of having an affair with an underage boy. Again, a similar Twitter storm, but Clash has not threatened any legal action against anyone who shared the incorrect story on Twitter. This is because, in America, the burden in libel cases falls on the claimant to prove the defendant knew the information was false, or likely to be false, or at least was not acting in good faith.

In Britain, the defendant must demonstrate that the accusation is true, nothing less. This is a huge difference, which many have argued has led to an imbalance in Britain in favour of the rich and powerful, who have used our libel laws to suppress information and thus restrict freedom of speech. The British system is overly protective of reputation, they say.

The only reputations that are protected in this country are those of the powerful, whose reputations are often questionable at the best of times.

Such is McAlpine’s arrogance that he thinks he can sue every Twitter user who tweeted or retweeted allegations about him. When this was announced the usual suspects in the Tory press began to cheer and egg him on.  The same people started working overtime to produce smear stories about Tom Watson and Messham. These are the same people who lied about Leveson and demanded an end to the enquiry. At any rate, if McAlpine wanted to sue every Twitter user (there must be thousands), it would take years, possibly decades. Does he really have that many years left in him? His solicitor told people that they should come forward, confess one’s sins and settle to avoid a lengthy and expensive court case. Is McAlpine now the 21st century equivalent to Chaucer’s Pardoner? If so, it is an odd role in which to cast one’s self.

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Message from Leah McGrath Goodman

Last week I signed a petition to press The States of Jersey to restore Leah McGrath Goodman’s visa. I got this update this morning from Change.org. The petition now has close to 3,000 signatures and she looks close to getting her wish.

Some new news — from Leah McGrath Goodman:

Thanks so much for your continued support. As we close in on 3,000 signatures, it looks like I may be closer to having my visa restored in the UK.

Right now, the heightened awareness of how abuse victims have been hurt in England has made it easier for the sponsor of this petition, Trevor Pitman, to engage in positive communications on my behalf with the UK’s immigration authorities. (Thank you, Trevor!) With any luck, I may have the green-light to continue my research by the end of the year.

This is only if the UK authorities follow through on their assurances, however. We are hopeful, but the hard work is not yet done and each step has proven expensive…both in terms of time, emotional resources and funding.

Please continue to spread the word. Awareness is key, so long as there are editorials like the one featured in last Friday’s Financial Times letting fly with such statements as: “Fraud, robbery, mugging, burglary – even rape and murder – may sometimes eventually be forgiven. But no such indulgence is available to child abusers. This was not always so.”

This very strange piece — which might have better run under the title “In Defense of Paedophiles” — comes from Sir Max Hastings, an otherwise respected British author, historian and journalist. Not sure what the point of comparing child abuse to burglary is — other than fouling oneself as a sort of paedophile apologist — but Hastings does not let it drop there.

“The public obsession with paedophilia now obliges art galleries and auctioneers to exercise extreme care in marketing images of children,” he says. “Many honourable and admirable people who work with the young must exercise elaborate care to avoid casual physical contact with their charges.”

Uh, isn’t taking elaborate care around children supposed to be a good thing?

While these are the kinds of ignorant sputterings I have long grown used to hearing from, ahem, “paedocrats,” it is disappointing to hear them from a fellow journalist — a beknighted one at that — who should really know better.

(Just an aside: You also have to ask yourself what motivated Hastings to write this editorial. To make a fuss over such high-class problems as the way in which auctioneers are suffering when the protection of children is in question seems to be in the worst of taste.)

The editorial must be read in full to be believed, but Hastings does reassure us that “child abuse is not a national plague” and we should instead focus on tut-tutting the “spasms of hysteria.”

Unlike Hastings, I do not believe getting to the bottom of the matter is, as he says, akin to an “archaeological dig.” Or that “Roman excavations are more fruitful.” I believe as long as there is a push to not ask questions or dig deeper there are plenty of reasons to continue to do so. With patience and compassion, there are ways to heal, but they cannot be approached from a place of denial or ignorance. Let us hope that the national discourse can be allowed to move forward, from a place of truth.

Thank you for your continued support. It has made all the difference!
Leah

The Cat has found the Max Hastings article, which appeared in the Financial Times. Here is a quote,

Whatever happened in north Wales care homes 40 years ago, it will be almost impossible to establish the truth at this distance of time, and it is a waste of taxpayers’ money to try to do so. While every reasonable precaution must be taken to prevent men from sexually abusing children, such crimes must be kept in the context of other evils in the world.

But this is hard to achieve in modern Britain. The late Daily Mail editor Sir David English observed 20 years ago that paedophilia had become, in the eyes of the public informed by the media, the only unpardonable crime. Fraud, robbery, mugging, burglary – even rape and murder – may sometimes eventually be forgiven. But no such indulgence is available to child abusers.

This was not always so. In the era when I was at boarding school, and for many decades before, everybody sniggered about the fact that some schoolmasters – and schoolmistresses – sexually exploited pupils. Cynics said: why else would they take the job? In the Church, and especially the Catholic Church, it is now plain that such malpractices have been widespread. What is remarkable is that many victims have gone on to lead apparently normal lives, though of course some do not.

The public obsession with paedophilia now obliges art galleries and auctioneers to exercise extreme care in marketing images of children. Many honourable and admirable people who work with the young must exercise elaborate care to avoid casual physical contact with their charges. Most children have lost the sort of freedom we knew at their age, roaming London streets and country lanes alone, unsupervised – and without fear.

It’s that third paragraph. What’s he trying to say? That such practices are acceptable in certain contexts? He isn’t clear.

UPDATE 28/1/13 @ 1810

I received an email last Thursday from Change.org, which informed me that Ms McGrath Goodman was being granted a 2 year visa.  Good news but one suspects the shredders in the States of Jersey have been working overtime in the last year or so.

Here’s the text of the email.

A Message from Leah McGrath Goodman:

At last, I have received my UK visa — a visa that will last me two full years!

And you, my wonderful friends, are the reason for this amazing victory.

I want to confide that at the final moment, the visa was held up by the UK Border Agency in New York, but Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley John Hemming put in a parliamentary question to Immigration Minister Damian Green about the delay and, presto, my visa arrived a few days later. (The magic of ministerial questioning.)

I also want to acknowledge the efforts of Jersey Immigration, which did a fantastic job of working with us once we were all able to fully communicate. (One of them actually contacted us late on a Sunday night to make sure all was in order.) In the final analysis, they had to overcome a struggle too.

I will be writing much more in the days to come, but for now I just want to say I am so grateful.

Let’s show the world that the power of numbers (with a little help from social media) can bring justice to those in need. This is a new era and the Internet can accomplish much — especially for those on a small island.

As I continue my work, I will be writing about what I find in my travels atleahmcgrathgoodman.com. Hope to see you there.

While you’re at it, please also check out the blog of Trevor Pitman, the courageous man who launched this petition and a member of Jersey’s Parliament. He can be found at:http://thebaldtruthjersey.blogspot.com

We’re also on Twitter guys! But we don’t want to deluge you.

Next month, Jersey legislators will be voting on whether a Committee of Inquiry will be allowed to do a comprehensive vetting of the island’s handling of its decades of child abuse. Will the committee be permitted to do a real investigation? This is an important time for eyes to remain on the island.

This is only the beginning, so please keep in touch. Remember, without your witnessing these events as they unfolded — and, now, as they continue to unfold — little would have changed. A thousand thanks to you.

We did it — !

Leah McGrath Goodman

P.S. Your excellent notes of support have been passed on to the victims’ advocacy group in Jersey, so those who still suffer every day know that people care for them. Because of your comments, they will not feel so alone.

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Savile and Thatcher

I’d always known that Jimmy Savile was sympathetic to the Tories but in this video from 1976, we see that he was best pals with the Auld Witch before she became Prime Minister.

Edited to add: Savile and his “love” for Thatcher. 26/12/17@ 1424

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Jimmy SaVILE, patriarchy and cultural relativism

The news that Jimmy Savile had sexually abused teenage girls for the better part of 40 years, has shocked and disgusted many people who held him in great esteem because of his charidee work. Personally speaking, I wasn’t shocked and I always thought that his charity work was a convenient and clever cover for his creepiness; a means of diverting media attention from his predatory behaviour. Indeed,  I’d always thought there was something creepy about him: the shell suits, the jewellery, the bizarre turns of phrase all pointed to something rather disturbing that lay just beneath the surface. Louis Theroux’s encounter with him in 2002 was certainly illuminating for the fact that Savile tried to deny all knowledge of his ugly sexual predation and unwittingly  revealed his true self.

Here’s When Louis Met Jimmy.

Savile comes across as intimidating and arrogant as well as deliberately obtuse. One line that stands out is, “You’ll find out how tricky I am”. But the most telling admission comes at 14.46 when Theroux asks him about being a wrestler,  he replies, “I’m feared in every girl’s school in Britain”. This line is probably the most revelatory of the entire programme; it’s coughed up like a cat that coughs up a fur ball. When I heard him say that, my suspicions seemed to be confirmed but what a weird thing to say – even in jest.

But what I am certainly intrigued by is the silence of the EDL and the BNP about this scandal. Jack Straw hasn’t said anything either. Why should I mention the EDL, the BNP and Straw in the same breath? Surely there’s no connection between them? Ah, but there is. Rochdale.

Straw was quoted in the Telegraph as saying,

“It is true to say … that overall if you go into the sex offenders wings of prisons there are proportionally more white offenders than Asian offenders or black and we have got to deal with that separately.

“But it is also correct that in terms of group grooming there is an ethnic dimension which typically is of Asian men on white girls.

“And that is an issue which has to be faced and addressed within the Asian community about what’s going on there.

“That kind of leads to a sense of denial by them that all this is going on.

“These are small communities so people will have a rough idea that people are abusing white girls in this way.

“That has to be dealt with there as well as obviously with much more effective police and social services action.”

The far-right hold similar views to this. Racializing the Rochdale incident, in my view, was Jack Straw’s biggest mistake (he’s made plenty of others). His thesis that grooming gangs are a unique feature of Muslim culture has been comprehensively blown out of the water by the Savile Scandal. The thing that Straw cannot or will not come to grips with is the Patriarchy. I will return to this later.

The British Resistance, a far-right site, which I will not link to for obvious reasons, spins this as another piece of anti-Semitism dressed up as anti-Zionism,

It is also my experience, that birds of a feather tend to flock together and that is why there should be a public enquiry into this affair and also into other individuals both alive and dead who were known associates of him.

Interesting, for me at least, is the number of Jewish “celebrities” whose names I have found linked to Jimmy Savile.  Truth is not many people in the general public at large knew of Savile’s love for Israel, his grasp of the Yiddish language and the large numbers of Jewish friends that he made over his long life.

He was a rabid Zionist who disapproved of Israel sharing any land with the Palestinian people and an active supporter of the Leeds Kosher School Meals service and the Vilna Synagogue and a regular at the Leed’s In Time Club where the local Jewish community would go.

So pro Zionist was Savile that he described himself as “the most Jewish Catholic you will ever meet” and given that the entertainments business is dominated by Jews, that statement would most certainly have helped his career and leant weight towards the suppression of the truth about his paedophile tendencies being exposed.

I did in my research read that Savile was in fact Jewish but could not verify this piece of information.

It’s the last paragraph that gets me. He “did” his “research” but his information could not be verified. Pretty sloppy, if you ask me. The rest of this paragraph repeats, the by now, familiar lines that fash trot out at each and every opportunity. The usual stuff about the media and all the rest.  But linking Savile to Zionism and Jews generally is pretty desperate stuff. One thing that we can be sure of, however, is that he was close to the Conservative Party and Thatcher.

Casuals United, which is closely associated with the EDL attempts to deflect attention away from its own penchant for underage girls and boys. Here is a broken link: http://casualsunited.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/we-think-the-jimmy-saville-affair-is-the-tip-of-a-massive-iceberg-edl-evf-mfe/

We think the Jimmy Saville affair is the tip of a massive iceberg #edl #evf #mfe

7102012

Check out this site about Pedophiles in the Labour Party. Saville had friends in high places including the Thatchers and the Blairs

They offer a link to another site which claims to “expose” paedophiles in the Labour Party. But it is largely a smear job. The fact that they refuse to even mention their members who have been charged with possessing child pornography tells us a lot about the EDL and those who support them.

There is a mindset among many men that thinks it is perfectly natural for them to sexually harass women in the workplace and rub themselves up against women on public transport and no, this is not a natural way for men to behave. “What’s the matter, love? You a lesbian or somefink”? This demonstrates both a lack of respect for women and a lack of control over themselves. Sexual incontinence seems to be an accepted practise in some male circles. Then there’s the banter and the sexually explicit gestures, which when challenged, provoke the classic, “It’s just a joke, love”.

The BBC is a patriarchal institution that is run by men and is dominated by men. It would seem that there has been a cover-up going on for many years. I would also suggest that there was a culture of this sort of thing in the BBC.  In the coming months I expect more women to come forward with the sorts of stories that the BBC tried to sweep under its carpet or wave it away with a curt, “Get over it”.

Let’s be blunt: this culture has nothing at all to do with sexual attraction or masculinity, it’s about power. The men who run the BBC have often gone to single sex public schools, so their attitude to women tends to contain knowledge of the Other. They see women as exotic creatures, foreigners or objects, not as people.

Savile used his power and influence to deceive others for 40 years. He bought the silence of the press through his charitable works.  Paedophilia and the grooming of young girls for the sexual pleasure of men is not unique to Muslims, it transcends ethnic and religious boundaries – whether or not the far right or Jack Straw care to admit this. But the EDL and BNP are deeply patriarchal institutions, in which gross masculinity is celebrated. Straw’s playing to the gallery of racists cranks was deeply misguided.

The patriarchy damages women and men.

UPDATE: 12/10/10@ 1830

Changed title to better reflect content

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