Historical celebrity child abuse in Britain
This year there have been a number of celebrity arrests in relation to sexual offences and or child abuse in the UK. The allegations are historical and came to light following a BBC investigation into the deceased celebrity Jimmy Savile.
In the days that followed the revelations the BBC was under attack for an alleged cover-up and and more. Heads rolled and each fresh arrest or accusation was more shocking than the last.
Jimmy Savile died on October 29, 2011 and in the eyes of most people in the UK he was a type of hero. An eccentric for sure but a good spirited guy. He had worked tirelessly over the years to raise funds for Stoke Mandeville Hospital and more. He had even worked as a hospital porter.
Revelations though were to cast doubt over his motives for these actions and show how he was allowed to abuse his power.
Operation Yewtree was begun by police in the UK and a shockingly high level of historical sexual and child abuse has been discovered. How could such a high level of abuse go unnoticed for so many years?
Recent revelations have shown that some of the abused had contacted the police in the past. Be it corruption or a lack of evidence, no perpetrator was ever brought to justice. As Jimmy Savile is dead he will never be brought to trial and so in the eyes of the law must remain innocent. The truth is though that with so many allegations made against him common sense tells you that he was an abuser.
The victims may not be able to see him convicted and sentenced but his "good" name has gone. He was Sir Jimmy Savile but these days is referred to as Savile. Other celebrity names have followed.
The late John Peel was the first celebrity to be mentioned after the scandal broke. His was a different case more of falling into the arms of an underage lover. Knowing she was underage means he did break the law.
Since then other celebrities arrested have included Dave Lee Travis, comedian Freddie Starr, Max Clifford PR guru and Gary Glitter.
The police are looking at hundreds of allegations including one against the late MP Cyril Smith. Operation Yewtree involves paedophilia, child abuse and those who have claimed that they were sexually abused as young adults. The police investigation has divided the allegations into sections. Some are related to the Jimmy Savile investigation but others are not.
It is important now that the victims have their cases heard and where possible justice is served. Some of Savile's victims were hospital patients at the time of the abuse. They were often vulnerable and unable to fight back. You have to wonder how many people turned a blind eye or deaf ear to the abuse. Was money involved? Those who did contact the police at the time were it seems dismissed. Again why?
What is becoming a problem in the UK following this scandal is a developing witch hunt. The men arrested so far have all been relatively old. The allegations against them date back many years. For some of them children were not involved. Having debated this I know it is an emotive subject. However if we lose all sense of responsibility we sink to the depths, along with the abusers.
One or two of the men charged with sexual abuse were young men when the incidents happened. It was the 60s, 70s or 80s. Some young women were easily swept up with the celebrity persona. Dare to even say that sexual abuse is not all as bad and you are attacked mercilessly. However if they are to be believed in some cases the abuse would probably not have been classed as abuse at that time. Choosing to adopt a one size fits all attitude to abuse belittles those who suffered serious abuse.
That does not mean the actions were not wrong but rather we need to get it right after so many mistakes.
Going from ignoring the plight of these women to a man hunt of vague suspects is not productive. The investigations need to be followed through and where appropriate court cases and sentences follow.
Already there has been one man wrongly accused who experienced a great deal of humiliation. An elderly man the accusations will have affected his loved ones too. He cleared his name and made sure that those who slandered his name paid.
Before any reader decides to get onto a high horse and be abusive think twice. Those arrested will have their day in court if there allegations to face. The authorities will not be able to hide this abuse away any more.
In the UK until a person is found guilty in a court of law they are innocent. If we throw away that premise it will be bad news for us all. Let justice run its course rather than trial by twitter or facebook.
- Max Clifford released on Bail - Where But The UK
- Jimmy Savile Panorama investigation - Where But The UK
A BBC Panorama investigation into the allegations