Isn’t it is amazing how everyone is now running around saying what they did or did not know about the alleged abuse of over 300 victims by Jimmy Savile, all with suspicions and everyone covering their backs as to why nothing was done about it?
The problem with institutions, be it the BBC, the Catholic church and other such entities, is that there is a hierarchy of authority. The problem with that is that those at the top do not know, or do not want to know, what is going on lower down and those lower down either feel that it is not their business to interfere, or regrettably in many cases, simply turn a blind eye.
We ask: why did the victims not come forward sooner?
How could we have possibly expected young vulnerable children, who were probably not aware of each other’s abuse to have come forward?
The problem with the BBC, as with the Catholic church, is that the reaction is to close ranks and protect the institution and not the individual.
We have heard a lot as to what is to happen to the BBC and its reputation but not enough as to what help is to be given to the people who may have suffered abuse. There has been no satisfactory explanation as to why the Newsnight investigation into the abuse by Mr Savile was shelved last year. Former BBC director-general Mark Thompson has repeatedly said that he had no personal knowledge.
Mr Savile is also alleged to have carried out abuse at a number of institutions, such as the high security psychiatric hospital, Broadmoor, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary. Is it the case that his popularity and fundraising took precedent over protecting the vulnerable? I ask this merely as a question.
As if all of this was not extraordinary enough, the comments of the former BBC governor for Wales, Sir Roger Jones, confirms that he had suspicions about Mr Savile as long as 10 years ago. What did he do about it? Well he had no evidence, so he did nothing to protect children at the BBC but took measures to ensure that Mr Savile did not become involved with Children in Need.
How absolutely extraordinary that no one person took responsibility to put the vulnerable first. Everybody is now hides behind a lack of evidence.
Quite frankly, I am not concerned about the reputation of the BBC or other such institutions; I am concerned as to how the vulnerable are to be protected. Whose responsibility is it? It is your’s and mine.
The Big Society will not work, institutions will not able to protect the vulnerable until individuals become responsible for what goes on around them.
In the end, we all turn a blind eye.
* Mary Kaye is president of Birmingham Law Society