Over the last six weeks, the revelations that long-term BBC personality and ‘house-hold name’, Sir Jimmy Savile, was in fact a long-term child abuser have gripped and horrified the British public.
The vast majority of the British public knew Jimmy Savile as an eccentric, yet highly regarded, former TV children’s show presenter and charity fundraiser. Savile’s career began in the 1958 as a DJ for Radio Luxembourg. In 1968 he joined BBC Radio 1, where he presented Savile’s Travels. From 1969 to 1973 he fronted Speakeasy, a discussion programme for teenagers. In 1964, he began presenting the first edition of the BBC music chart television programme Top of the Pops. Savile also hosted other BBC television programs, the most notable of which was children’s show Jim’ll Fix It, which he presented from 1975 to 1994. Because of the nature of the programs he hosted and his high-profile charity work, throughout his career, Savile was surrounded by children of different ages.
Mark Williams-Thomas is the detective-turned-reporter who first publicly exposed Jimmy Savile as a prolific sex offender in early Oct 2012 on the ITV program ‘Exposure’. William-Thomas, who is currently making a second program that will further investigate Savile’s abuses, recently stated that the evidence he has gathered suggests that Savile engineered his entire career so that he could molest youngsters:
“In the previous programme it was unclear what came first,” he said. “But I can very clearly tell you now that he created his television series as a vehicle for his offending.
“I believe he engineered his programmes within the BBC and Radio Luxembourg in order to gain access to children.
“The classic examples are Top of the Pops, Saville’s Travels, Jim’ll Fix It – all of them gave him access to young children. That’s why there were so many victims.”
In the weeks since the Exposure program was aired, dozens of individuals who claim they were abused in some way by Savile have come forward. Police have stated that Saville may have sexually abused up to 300 children over his 40 year career. The abuse took place at children’s home patronized by Savile and others, on outside broadcasts, at hospitals etc. etc. In addition, many of the abused children (now adults) have claimed that they were molested and assaulted by Saville and others BBC celebrities on BBC premises. Former and current BBC presenters and employees have stated that during Savile’s heyday at the BBC, many people at the corporation were aware of Saville’s molestation of children but that it was rationalised away as ‘Jimmy just being Jimmy’. Another BBC star, 70’s singer ‘Gary Glitter’ was convicted in the UK 1997 for downloading child pornography, and in Vietnam in March 2006 for “obscene acts” with two girls aged 11 and 12 and jailed. Glitter returned to London in August 2008 after his release from prison. In 2009 Savile defended Glitter by saying: “If you said to that copper, what’s Gary Glitter done wrong? Well nothing really. He’s just sat at home watching dodgy films.”
Savile’s star status combined with his universally lauded charity fundraising (he raised £40 million over the years) made him “untouchable” in his own words. It also gave him full access to the hospitals, children’s homes and other institutions that benefitted from his fundraising work. For example, Savile had his own bedroom at Stoke Mandeville hospital and the freedom of Leeds General Infirmary. The evidence to date suggests that Saville was using this open access to hospitals to prey on mentally and physically disabled children. Several doctors have also been implicated. Last month, a disabled woman, Caroline Moore, said that in 1971, when she was 13, Savile had forcibly “shoved his tongue down [her] throat” while she was sitting in her wheelchair following an operation. Another woman, June Thornton, described witnessing a serious sexual assault on another patient she believed to be brain damaged.
Some of the worst abuse took place in a network of children’s home in Wales where up to 650 children in 40 homes were sexually, physically and emotionally abused over 20 years. Savile was a regular visitor at at least one such home, Bryn Estyn, along with several other ‘high profile’ individuals, including two former members of the Conservative party. Keith Gregory was just 11-years-old when he was placed in Bryn Estyn. The horror he witnessed inside the care home included gang rape, strip searches and vicious canings. Children would be taken from their beds at night and driven to hotels where they would be raped, or gang raped, by adult men, and then returned to their beds sobbing. “One particular night that I always recall is when I was basically raped, tied down and abused by nine different men.” one victim said. Other victims of the children’s homes have named former ex-Tory MP Sir Peter Morrison – Margaret Thatcher’s Parliamentary Private Secretary – and at least one other top conservative politician, as being involved in the abuse. Keith Gregory has stated that he knows of at least 12 people who were abused at Bryn Estyn who committed suicide as a result.
A government investigation (the Waterhouse inquiry) into the physical and sexual abuse of children in care homes in Clwyd and Gwynedd, North Wales, including the Bryn Estyn children’s home at Wrexham, between 1974 an 1990 was conducted and published in 2000. The report made recommendations to improve the functioning of the homes, but all of the names of individuals accused of abuse were kept secret.
Savile has also been linked to the appalling abuse of children at the Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey in the UK Channel Islands. Children there were raped and tortured in the most horrible ways. ‘Dungeons’ on the premises containing bones have been discovered. Children were regularly treated to ‘boat trips’ were rich and influential people would rape them. Savile tried to sue the Sun newspaper when they linked him to abuse there but he was later forced to admit he had been a visitor when a picture of him at the home surrounded by children was published.
The Haut de la Garenne home was the subject of a police investigation started in 2007 but Graham Power, then the chief officer, but was suspended after he complained of political interference. In 2011, Leah McGrath Goodman, an American journalist, claimed that she was banned from re-entering either the United Kingdom or the Island and Bailiwick of Jersey for a period of two years, while in the middle of undertaking research on the abuse allegations.
Savile also managed to get his own set of keys to Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital. He also had a bedroom and was on friendly terms with inmate Peter Sutcliffe, a serial killer dubbed ‘the Yorkshire Ripper’ who was convicted of murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others between 1975 and 1980. During the investigation that eventually led to Sutcliffe’s arrest in 1981, police had not only questioned Savile as a suspect because he had been mentioned by Sutcliffe in an interview, but had taken a cast of his teeth to compare to bite marks on the victims’ bodies. Two of Sutcliffe’s victims, coincidentally, was found a few hundred yards from Savile’s home.
Throughout his reign of terror, Savile was viewed as something of a national treasure by all. He was awarded an ‘OBE’ and eventually knighted by the Queen. Savile was also an unlikely member of the Athenaeum Club, in London, a flop house for famous Empire builders and toffy-nosed idiots of all persuasions. When Savile’s name was suggested by former Archbishop of Westminster Basil Hume. One current member recently stated:
“A lot of us took the view that Savile would not be a natural habitué of a club that has counted Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Palmerston and Lord Curzon as members, but the fact is we had no choice,”
Peter Rippon is the Newsnight program editor and, in theory, had the final say on whether or not the program went ahead. On his BBC blog on 2nd Oct. Rippon explained that he decided to cancel the program because of lack of evidence. This was despite the fact that he had previously been keen on airing the Newsnight investigation, which had gathered information on abuse by Savile from women who had lived at Duncroft girls school in the 1970s.
But between 25 November and 30 November 2011 Rippon suddenly changed his mind and demanded that reporters on the investigation prove that the Crown Prosecution Service chose not to charge Savile in 2007 because he was too old a hurdle the Newsnight team thought was unachievable. Newsnight reporter Liz MacKean believed that Rippon was feeling under pressure from his bosses, writing in an email to a friend on 30 November that: “PR [Peter Rippon] says if the bosses aren’t happy … [he] can’t go to the wall on this one.” But Rippon says that he had always dropped the film for “editorial reasons”. McKean has also stated that Rippon played down Savile’s abuses because they “weren’t the worst kind of sexual offences.”
On Oct 22nd “the BBC” issued a “correction” to Rippon’s claims that more or less demolished his argument that there was a lack of evidence. Since then, Entwistle and others have stated that the program SHOULD have gone ahead. There are two important points here. 1) If Rippon made the decision to cancel the program based on what amounts to a lie that he propagated, then he should be investigated for connections to pedophile networks because the only conclusion is that he wanted to protect someone with connections to Savile. 2) If Rippon was told, directly or indirectly, to cancel the program then he must be compelled to reveal who it was and that person or persons need to be investigated for pedophile network connections associated with Savile.
The fact of the matter is that hundreds, if not thousands of people in the UK have known or suspected for decades that Jimmy Savile was a pedophile. In light of the evidence recently revealed about the shocking extent of Savile’s predations and the evidence for connections to other notable individuals, it is not plausible that the Newsnight program assembled for airing in December 2011 did not uncover more than enough evidence to present a strong ‘public interest’ case against Savile. Yet the program was cancelled in favor of two tribute programs. Savile worked for many years at the BBC, where he flagrantly abused dozens of children. This puts the BBC, or individuals within the corporation, at the heart of what appears to be a cover-up.
In response to the scandal, On Sunday Oct 28th, the BBC commissioned and then rushed out an investigative report into the allegations both against itself and Savile. The program was made by Angus Stickler, a former BBC journalist now based at the not-for-profit Bureau of Investigative Journalism, who offered it to Newsnight. It was broadcast on Friday, Nov 2. A major part of the program was the allegation by a former resident at Welsh children’s home Bryn Estyn – Steven Messham – that he had been raped by a ‘leading politician from the Thatcher years’ and said the top Tory told him he’d be killed if he told police. The program did not name the man, but certain individuals on Twitter were less than circumspect about the man’s identity. Interestingly, these individuals were the Guardian columnist George Monbiot who tweeted: “I looked up Lord McAlpine on t’internet. It says the strangest things” and wife of the House of Commons Speaker, Sally Bercow who tweeted: “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*.”
As it turned out, Lord McAlpine, who was deputy chairman of the Conservative party under Thatcher from 1979-83 had been misidentified by Messham as his abuser, because police had shown him a picture of the man he knew to be his abuser but incorrectly identified him as Lord McAlpine. It seems that the lasting result of the rushed Newsnight program will be that anyone who in the future accuses high-level public figures of pedophilia run the risk of being hung out to dry as mistaken, or deluded. Was it intended that way? Will scrutiny of the BBC’s ‘culture problem in 70’s and 80’s eclipse or serve as a suitable distraction to any real investigation into the statement by Labour MP, Tom Watson, to the House of Commons that a “powerful paedophile network” may have had links to a former prime minister, No 10 and parliament?
In all of this, it should be remembered that the BBC is a public institution funded by taxpayer money. The BBC is, therefore, ultimately a government controlled corporation. This fact was brought into clear focus in the run up to the 2003 Iraq invasion when Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell decided to respond to massive public protest against the invasion by ‘sexing up’ the case for war by falsely claiming that Iraq could hit the UK with WMDs in 45 minutes. The BBC played a key role in the battle to expose Blair’s lies over Iraq’s ‘WMDs’, and it, and others, paid a heavy price for doing so.
‘Suiciding’ David Kelly
In May 2003, BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan had an unimpeachable source that had told him that the Blair government’s claims about Iraq were provable lies. Gilligan said as much on May 29th 2003 on BBC radio 4’s Today program. Gilligan also stated that Blair’s spin doctor and psychopath in chief Alastair Campbell (officially ‘Director of Communications) was the one who inserted the “45 minute” claim. Campbell was furious and demanded that the BBC and Gilligan retract the allegations. The BBC refused and stood by Gilligan and the authenticity and reliability of his source, but refused to name the source for his own protection.
The following day, May 30th 2003, the Ministry of Defence claimed that one of its officials had come forward, admitting to having discussed the matter of Iraq’s weapons with Gilligan on May 22nd. Six weeks later the MOD, on orders of the Blair government outed Dr. David Kelly, a British expert on biological warfare, employed by the British Ministry of Defence, and former a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, as the source. On July 15th Kelly was called before the parliamentary foreign affairs select committee to be grilled on the issue. Two days later Kelly’s body was found dead in a wooded area near his home.
Rather than order a coroners report, the Blair government set up the nominally ‘public’ Hutton Inquiry, led by James Brian Edward Hutton, or ‘Baron Hutton’, into the circumstances surrounding Kelly’s death. Hutton is the former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland where he used trials of accused IRA members and inquires into British army murders of innocent Catholics to perfect the art of the whitewash. He was a natural choice for the job.
Despite the fact that Dr. Kelly had shown no sign of depression or wanting to kill himself and that neither the cut on his wrist nor the small amount of painkillers he had ingested could have killed him, Hutton’s report, published in Jan. 2004, concluded that Kelly had taken his own life and that the BBC and Gilligan were at fault.
On 15 October 2007, a Freedom of Information request revealed that the knife that Kelly supposedly used to cut his wrists, the bottle of water he is assumed to have drunk from while taking the pills and the blister packs of pills themselves were all devoid of any fingerprints. Hutton also ignored the fact that Kelly was found with electrode pads on his chest.
During the initial inquiry before Kelly’s murder, a Foreign Office official David Broucher reported a conversation with Kelly at a Geneva meeting in February 2003. Broucher related that Kelly said he had assured his Iraqi sources that there would be no war if they co-operated, and that a war would put him in an “ambiguous” moral position. Broucher had asked Kelly what would happen if Iraq were invaded, and Kelly had replied, “I will probably be found dead in the woods.”
Hutton’s whitewash also included the stipulation that evidence related to the death, including the post-mortem report and photographs of the body, should remain classified for 70 years.
Here’s Tony Blair, shortly after Kelly’s murder, being asked an uncomfortable question (note his response):
The scandal over the ‘sexed up’ Iraq dossier and the murder of Dr. David Kelly made it clear to the psychopathic warmongers in the Blair government that, if they were to be able to continue to lie to the public about their imperial agenda, something had to be done about the BBC. When the whitewashed Hutton report was published, it exonerated the Blair government of any deception or ‘sexing’ up of the Iraq dossier and condemned Gilligan’s original accusation as “unfounded” and the BBC’s editorial and management processes as “defective”. This was, in essence, the strong message.
Within a few days of the publication of the Hutton report, Gilligan, Director General, Greg Dyke and Chairman Gavyn Davies were left with no option but to resign. Groups of staff staged walk-outs at BBC broadcasting house in London and many other BBC offices around the country. Staff also took out a full page advertisement in the Telegraph that read (in part) “Greg Dyke stood for brave, independent and rigorous BBC journalism that was fearless in its search for the truth. We are resolute that the BBC should not step back from its determination to investigate the facts in pursuit of the truth.”
Prior to the David Kelly affair, the BBC still maintained some scope to diverge from the official government line on major issues. With Dyke’s departure however, the BBC soon became little more than a government mouthpiece, and in the 8 years since then, has consolidated it position as the UK’s premier media outlet for government propaganda and lies. Dyke’s replacement in 2004 was Mark Thompson, a dyed in the wool ‘Israel firster’ who seems to have spread his malignant ideology throughout the corporation. Thompson was still in charge at the BBC when the ‘Savile the pedophile’ Newsnight program was panned. Fortunately for Thompson, he has managed to avoid too many uncomfortable questions over the Savile scandal, (like why he didn’t act when he was alerted to it twice this year) by fleeing the country to start a new job as Chief Executive of the NY Times Company.
Pedophilia and child abuse is today, and apparently has been for many years, a widespread and serious problem in our technologically advanced yet morally decrepit Western society. More than any other social marker, the way in which the weak and innocent are treated defines the character of a civilization or people. The sad fact is that there is evidence to suggest that what is publicly known about the sexual and emotional abuse of children by the ‘elite’ of our world is very far from the full story. If the full story were known, it would so horrify the normal people of this world that society could not recover without a fresh start, preceded by a full-scale revolution. So we have a choice; we can continue to ignore the evidence that our world seems to be controlled by individuals of such a depraved and inhuman nature that they cannot really be described as human at all, and await the inevitable result of entrusting our lives and those of our children to such animals; or we can wake up to the reality we have allowed these ‘elite’ to create for us, rail against it, and in doing so, begin to live and shape a new reality, a new world, based on truly human values.