HIS headstone has been removed and is destined to be land fill, and his knighthood looks like going the same way.
Disgrace has struck Jimmy Savile's reputation like a bolt of lightning, and the detritus will burn for a while yet.
Among the things to be lost in the fire will hopefully be the notion that what allegedly happened with Savile was some historical horror, that this sort of thing rarely occurs in these modern times. It isn't, and it does. Indeed, with internet porn and its degradation of women now only ever a click away, the age of the creep, far from being on its way out, might be entering a new phase.
Depending on where you stand on the optimist/pessimist spectrum, the period since ITV broadcast the allegations against Savile has seen a much-needed redressing of the balance between victims and victimiser; or is a depressing sign that when it comes to equality, Britain, in common with other countries, is still living in the bleak ages.
It is difficult not to side with the latter view. Women denied justice and their say while Savile was alive had to air their stories on a television programme. That programme was not the first to tackle Savile; a Newsnight investigation had previously been undertaken, but the report was shelved for "editorial reasons". Subsequent events now make that decision look like a journalistic error of judgment on a monumental scale, and the BBC must explain itself. According to time-honoured tradition, BBC management should set out who knew what and when. If the reasons for shelving the investigation were credible, let them be known. Otherwise, the suspicion will linger that the BBC bottled it because it had several fawning programmes about Savile due to air over Christmas.
Since the story broke the BBC hasn't known which animal to imitate: deer in the headlights, headless chicken, ostrich with its head in the sand, or the three wise monkeys. You could fill a zoo with the poses struck. It was only on Wednesday the corporation began to get a grip when Lord Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust, announced there would be an inquiry headed by an outsider. This would replace the "comprehensive examination" promised by George Entwistle, the new director general, on Monday. The inquiry will begin, says Lord Patten, once the police, who have opened an investigation into the allegations, give the green light.
Potentially, such an inquiry opens the BBC up to huge embarrassment, not to mention future legal claims, but it has to be done. As Lord Patten said, the Savile allegations have become a "cesspit". If the BBC does not drain it there will be a stench over the corporation for years to come.
Joining the BBC in the courtroom if not in the dock of public opinion are newspapers. One of the reasons advanced for the conspiracy of silence about Savile was that he was, in the parlance of today, too big a name to fail. Harm my reputation, he was said to have told the tabloids, and you'll cost lots of charities a mountain of money.
The "too big a name to fail" argument doesn't stack up. That Savile was involved with charities should have made him a bigger target for newspapers.
Did they really lay off him so as not to hit charities in the bank accounts, or was it more the case that Savile had friends in high places and stopped stories that way? We will probably never know. But the notion that stories were spiked to protect charity cash simply does not pass the smell test.
Elsewhere in the media, the response to the Savile scandal has been mixed. In one camp are those who said they had heard the rumours, but for reasons of their own – they weren't in a position to take action, they had no evidence and so on – they chose not to say anything. Even more bizarre is the notion that saying nothing was just a product of the times, as if child abuse was a quaint notion alongside getting up to switch the telly over and power cuts. One can understand people being unable to comprehend that such things as child abuse can happen. The human mind, for self-preservation reasons, shrinks from evil. People were, and to some extent still are, naive about abuse. That's what abusers rely upon.
Amid the many turns this story is now taking, it has been heartening to see not just victims of Savile come forward, but people, women especially, speak of their own experiences of harassment in general. Liz Kershaw, the DJ, says she was groped while at Radio 1 in the 1980s. Judy Finnigan, the television presenter, has spoken out about a newsroom boor given to impromptu stripshows. She did not speak out at the time because she feared being labelled "a prig and idiot".
Not all the developments have been heartening, however. Amid the symphony of comment about Savile, there is one quiet but troubling note being struck – that this sort of abuse could not happen now, that young women today are more likely to complain about workplace harassment or inappropriate behaviour, be it a smutty remark or worse. One commentator even said young women were more likely to lamp a creep than tolerate them.
We cannot know this for certain, because it is in the nature of harassment that it is only exposed once victims raise their voices. Even then, it is a gamble. In the workplace, anyone choosing to make a formal complaint has to weigh up how it will affect their career, what others will say and whether they can cope with the stress of what could be a long, drawn-out process of investigation. It takes courage to take that gamble, but it is one all victims of harassment, male and female, should be encouraged to take. Otherwise the age of the creep goes on.
The fear, unspoken by too many, is that it could get worse. The internet has opened up a whole new front in sexual exploitation, the scale of which we have not even begun to comprehend or assess. Porn continues its ever sickening voyage into the mainstream.
It is terrifying, and its effects will be even more widespread if, like those who turned away from the Savile claims, we hope naively that it will go away. Creeps and their creepy crawly ways flourish in the murk. It's time to switch the light on.
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