BBC warned it could face a full public inquiry, as Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal rumbles on, Child Abuse and the British Public
November 5, 2012 Comments Off on BBC warned it could face a full public inquiry, as Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal rumbles on, Child Abuse and the British Public
BBC warned it could face a full public inquiry, as Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal rumbles on
Monday 5 November 2012
THE BBC could face a full public inquiry into the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal if its own investigations fail to “get to the bottom” of the accusations, Culture Secretary Maria Miller has warned.
The BBC has launched an inquiry into the culture and practices at the corporation in the era of the late TV and radio presenter’s alleged sexual abuse. It is also investigating the decision-making process that saw a Newsnight investigation into the Jim’ll Fix It star’s activities shelved.
Speaking about the double investigation, Mrs Miller said: “The real challenge for the BBC is to make sure that the outcome of these reviews really gets to the bottom of these accusations.
“If the investigations are considered not to suffice because of issues around transparency, process or other such things, then a public inquiry remains an option.”….
Andrew O’Hagan writes about child abuse and the British public
London Review of Books Vol. 34 No. 21 · 8 November 2012 pages 5-8 | 7344 words
On 23 May 1949, Lionel Gamlin, producer of the Light Programme’s Hello Children, wrote to Enid Blyton to ask whether she would be willing to be interviewed about the best holiday she could remember. ‘Dear Mr Gamlin,’ Blyton wrote the next day. ‘Thank you for your nice letter. It all sounds very interesting but I ought to warn you of something you obviously don’t know, but which has been well known in the literary and publishing world for some time – I and my stories are completely banned by the BBC as far as children are concerned.’….
In the issue of Lilliput magazine for May 1943 Gamlin wrote an essay called ‘Why I Hate Boys’, which is signed ‘A School-Master’. It was a developing theme, boys, children, whatever, and in 1946 Methuen published a book written by Gamlin and Anthony Gilbert called Don’t Be Afreud! A Short Guide to Youth Control (The Book of the Weak). The book is just about as funny as it wants to be, with author photographs (‘aged 7 and 8 approx’) and a caption: ‘The authors on their way to the Psychoanalyst’. Gamlin, in common with later youthquakers such as Jimmy Savile, never liked children, never had any, never wanted any, and on the whole couldn’t bear them, except on occasion to fuck. And, again like Savile, Gamlin managed all this quite brilliantly, hiding in plain sight as a youth presenter full of good sport but who didn’t really care for youth and all its pieties. This was in the days before ‘victims’ – days that our present media and their audiences find unimaginable – but it gives context and background to the idea of an eccentric presenter as a teasing anti-hero within the Corporation. Auntie was essentially being joshed by a child abuser posing as a child abuser. ‘Before we examine the second stage of the malignant disease of Youth with a capital Y (sometimes conveniently glossed over by the mystic term “adolescence”),’….
A friend of Gamlin’s remembers going to see him in a flat in All Souls Place in the 1950s, just round the corner from Broadcasting House. A man from Light Entertainment used the flat during the working week and Gamlin often stayed there with young boys. It was clear to the friend that both men were renting the boys, and that the boys were young: ‘They were boys with the kind of good looks that would seem very lewd in a woman.’ He also remembers going for a coffee with one of the boys from the flat. ‘The boy was nice,’ he said, ‘very young. He thought he might get a job or something of that sort. And it was clear the men were using him for sex. Broadcasting House was well stocked with men interested in sleeping with young boys. It was a milieu back then. And people who sought to be sexual predators knew that. It wasn’t spoken about.’….
Day by day over the past month details have emerged about the shelving of the Newsnight investigation into Savile. Girls from Duncroft children’s home had given evidence: some of them were 14 when Savile began coercing them into giving him blow-jobs. They felt it would be ‘an honour’ to be in the company of someone so famous. He promised them visits to the BBC studios….
The Newsnight programme was well sourced and strong, but it clashed – in the old-fashioned, scheduling sense – with two tributes to Savile the BBC had planned. The investigations will continue, but the bigger story is missing from all the discussions around Savile, the bigger story being the milieu that existed not only at the BBC but in the light entertainment firmament.