Vague ramblings

Jimmy Savile: A decade on trial

Posted in Irritants, Life by Ian Cundell on 23 October, 2012

The more I think about it, the more I am coming to the conclusion that a documentary made in 1982, as part of the the TV series Police, is one of the most important episodes of television in history.

The episode, of course, dealt with the way Thames Valley Police handled a complaint of rape. It shocked the nation and led to fundamental changes to the way rape victims are treated.

But I now think it did something of much wider significance: it put a gun to the head of the 1970s and cocked it. Three weeks ago, ITV finally – finally – pulled the trigger.

Maybe you can romanticise the 60s and even the 80s, but the 70s? Don’t make me laugh. It was the apotheosis of the groupie culture. The band, eying the girls and choosing the ones they want (and a couple of spares for the roadies). I don’t imagine many birth certificates were checked.

Anywhere that the nascent youth culture found expression was happy hunting ground for the sexually voracious and you see it reflected in the TV and films of the time. And it wasn’t even in the foreground: it was the background scenery, the setting. The environment. It sat alongside casual racism and class consciousness, unremarked and in plain sight.

And it was a perfect hunting ground for a cunning and ruthless sexual deviant and predator.

Step forward Jimmy Savile. He was in hog’s heaven. Was no-one puzzled that someone 20 years older than the rest of his cohort was hanging around kids? Of course not – they weren’t looking and too busy having their own fun. Women – and girls – were just one of the perks, passed around like a joint. Why did no-one go to the authorities? No-one – no one single person – would have listened.

Police and A Complaint of Rape changed that. Nothing in the 70s was new. It had just reached extremes of the grotesque and when the light was let it it became obvious.

But in around 1992 – so a decade after Police – I did jury service and, in one of my cases, the prosecuting counsel – the prosecuting counsel – cautioned the jury that experience has shown that women can and occasionaly do lie about allegations of sexual assault. The 1970s did not go quietly.

So, personally, I think it is time to pump another couple of rounds into its head.

Just to make sure.

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] the facts as they have emerged point to a much wider cultural problem through much of the 1960s and, especially the 1970s. Does anybody seriously think that the culture at the ITV companies, at the huge advertising […]

  2. […] and those who have heard of the 1970s.  It is almost two years since I outlined my theory that a documentary about the police started the destruction of 1970s culture. It has been a long slow process – for reasons best known to himself, Noel Edmonds thought, […]

Do feel free to chip in...but be courteous when doing so. Ta.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: