The BBC can’t fix it like this

23 October 2012

12:11 AM

23 October 2012

12:11 AM

The BBC management cannot have it both ways. They cannot simultaneously insist that the decision to drop the Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile was made by the editor of the programme, Peter Rippon, and Peter Rippon alone without pressure from above – and then announce that Peter Rippon’s blog which explained why he had made that decision was inaccurate and misleading. This is the first point upon which the DG, George Entwistle, should be questioned when he comes before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee. The second is his puzzling lack of interest when told Newsnight would be investigating Savile – at a time when his Christmas schedules were chock full of Savile tribute programmes.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • William Reid Boyd

    Can’t really follow your first point (or only sort of) Rod, but your second of course is spot on. It’s simply beyond credibility that Entwistle wasn’t curious about the Newsnight investigation.

    Pauline Neville-Jones is self-evidently a sensible soul, but when she says the problem was one of neglect rather than collusion I think she’s not facing up to the on-the face-of-it much more plausible hypothesis that in fact there was collusion, that there was a cover-up, and that should be the starting point for investigation.

  • Wilhelm

    The BBC’s ” famous investigative journalism.”

    BBC Producer ” Are you a child molester ? ”

    Jimmy Saville ” No.”

    BBC Producer ” case closed.”

  • Timbo46

    Why must we have a
    taxpayer-funded and non-accountable quango like the BBC? It is
    elitist, self regarding and self-indulgent, arrogant and overpaid. If
    Sky TV and ITV can operate without the need for a compulsory tax on
    people with television sets, let’s have a level playing field. We
    certainly don’t need — certainly don’t want — an institutionally
    left-wing and Oxbridge-dominated statist monolith that masquerades as
    a champion representative of Britain. It isn’t. Let it make itself
    subject to the same public scrutiny as the others — and be forced to
    learn its place.

    • a license payer

      hear, hear, hear

    • Charles Hardin

      Technically not paid for by taxes. Nobody forces you to have a TV.

  • Wilhelm

    John Simpson has come out in the newspapers that the BBC covered up another child molester. He referred to him as ” Uncle Dick ” worked at the BBC as a radio childrens presenter from the 1920s to the 1960s dying in 1967. From these clues we can conclude it was ” Uncle Mac ” Derek McCulloch .

    Yet Simpson didn’t have the courage to name him outright. What a coward. He wrote a glowing obituary to him instead, the parallels with Saville are very similar. BBC staff saving their own neck.

  • Wilhelm

    If Paul Gambaccini knew all this about Jimmy Saville and it was an open secret at the BBC, why did he not report it to the police ?

    In America there is a law, if you see a crime taking place it is mandatory to tell law enforcement, if not then you’re complicit in the crime. The BBC staff is guilty of a cover up.

    • Baron

      Wilhelm, some may have reported it to the police, the police would have then contacted the top of the BBC, and it wouldn’t shock Baron at all to discover, it was the top BBC people who put pressure on the police to drop it.

      The role of the police, the CPS in al this is as shaky as that of the BBC.

      Why has nobody in a supervisory authority to whom the abuse was communicated talked to the girls, ever? Could it be because they were all afraid of stopping the stream of charity money the perv was raising, and couldn’t care less about the fate of the few vulnerable girls the society pretended to be taking care of?

      • Shutup

        The 70’s was a different time. I bet you could investigate half the worlds rock/pop bands, even today and your girls and guy’s, would be willing to do anything to get close to their idols – its part of human nature. The 14yr old girl interviewed by Panorama, knew it was wrong to provide a “sexual favour”, to JS, in return for entry to TP’s, but she went along with it – she knew right from wrong. I knew 14yr, old girls at school, like most of us and there were always a small group who were quite ok with disappearing behind the bike sheds with older boys and where referred to as slagg’s by other girls. Most of the victims are after compensation, and most of the BBC journalists are looking to bash management more for personal gain/point scoring. You need to weigh up the overall good JS did with the overall bad that becomes proven. As a member of the public, you journalist lot need to be careful you don’t destroy the BBC about a story you journalist did not bother with for years, but are now all swooning round like vultures feeding on fresh content to go on, and on, and on about. My family was raped by the Vikings…..let’s go after the dames !!!

    • Eddie

      Indeed – and moreover why did not the nurses and doctors and other staff at hospitals and children’s homes and charities report their knowledge of Savile molesting children there?
      These people are alive and turned a blind eye to such abuse; they should all at the very least be questions – and probably arrested and charged.
      If you know a murder has taken place and do not report it you can indeed be charged with murder in the UK.
      I am sure there are charges that can be brought for such cover-ups and blind-eye-turning – and personally I’d like them to be brought against all those whose misplaced multiculturalism allow child abuse to happen in ethnic and religious ‘communities’ – ie what has happened in this country for decades with teachers, council staff, social workers etc turning a blind eye to forced marriages of 13 year old girls, child abuse in Asian and African households, and socalled honour killings (many have happened and the killers walk free).

  • Wilhelm

    Paul Gambaccini was on BBC radio 5 this morning being interviewed by that supercilious egotistical obnoxious little creep Nicky Campbell.

    Gambaccini casually threw in that it was a well known fact that Jimmy Saville was a necrophiliac, it stopped Campbell dead in his tracks, first time ever he was lost for words. ”Saville was a hospital porter and he liked taking dead bodies to the mortuary.”

  • Wilhelm


  • Baron

    a charade of this sort, a public dancing around the truth, is only possible in contemporary Britain, in Britain of greater moral certitude some of us still remember, many would have walked already, voluntarily. Today, all those, who suck the teat of the public pursue, just hold on and on to their overpaid jobs, 24 carat pensions, (in Russia under the bolsheviks, one of the committee members would have stood up, pulled a gun, and fired a couple of shots between his eyes. Trotsky was good at it).

    Baron could be more easily persuaded to believe Farther Christmas dwells at the North pole than that Boaden just said to Endwhistle ‘listen, we’re doing an investigation on Sir Jimmy’s, it may disrupt your Christmas scheduling abit’.

    The guy’s a toast.

    • Eddie

      The truth is worth repeating: ‘Today, all those, who suck the teat of the public pursue, just hold on and on to their overpaid jobs, 24 carat pensions,’ and I can add that they are usually unsackable from those jobs no matter how utterly useless and incompetent they are (for evidence, look at all the leather-elbow-patched lazy plodding mediocrities of academics at our universities, all the various executive officers working for our councils, all the health service staff who are also almost unsackable yet earn starting salaries – for nurses – that are the equivalent of the national average salary, and who can earn £50k a year).
      I would support a pay cut for all public service workers of 30%. If they want those pensions and job security, then why should they earn more than those in the private sector who earn (in most cases) less than them?
      Time to cut off the flab, hack out the dead wood, and if they complain, so what? These chumps wouldn’t stand a chance of getting ANY job in the private sector on an equivalent salary – so they’d have no choice but to accept. And so what if there were strikes – they wouldn’t have the support of the general public I am sure and would fizzle out.

  • seacole not dole

    was it not the NCCL under Patricia Hewitt that set the leftist metropolitan mindset (lowering the age of consent), which has always been dominant at the BBC and most probably allowed it to turn into the cess pit it was..

    • William Reid Boyd

      No, it wasn’t.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Wasn’t the problem the fact that the girls and boys were ‘the wrong kind of victims’ for the BBC?

  • MikeF

    I don’t see that Rod’s first point has any particular strength – Rippon was presumably acting within his remit as editor. There is no proof that he was pressured from above though if any such proof emerges (and I am not saying he wasn’t pressured just that there is currently no proof that he was) whoever took the decision to exert that perssure should be sacked. But Entwistle’s supposed indifference to the nature of the Newsnight investigation is barely credible – simply asking what the investigation was actually about would not constitute interference with editorial indpendence. Entwistle has so far looked and sounded utterly inadequate – unless he improves dramatically he might be out of a job.

    • Baron

      MikeF, you expect to find a smoking gun then, do you? Come on, get real, it ain’t how it’s done, both Boaden and everyone else in the monstrosity of the BBC command structure was fully aware what the Newsnight investigation would do if it ran. It wasn’t just a bit of inconvenience with the Christmas scheduling, it went far far beyond it to something we are getting a taste of now. Those guilty of covering up for the knighted pervert aren’t stupid merely immoral, calculating, and tenacious.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Aye, Boaden that Blair lovin’ Warmist promotin’ Sharia understandin’ Europhile.
        Abused largely working class white youth are way way down the list of her kind’s priorities.

      • MikeF

        Baron – in fact no I wouldn’t expect there to be any ‘evidence’ such as an email. But without such evidence there can only be presumption and that isn’t evidence. My feeling is that if someone in the know comes to believe that their job depends on their spilling the beans on this then they will do so and it might happen.

  • Daniel Maris

    Hmmm…that doesn’t quite follow. Field Commander A may task General B with capture of Hill C. How B takes C may be a matter entirely for him. Doesn’t mean B can’t be criticised or relieved of command by A if B makes a hash of it. Equally there are times when the Bs of this world have been made the scapegoats for the failures of the As.

    • Baron

      Daniel, why have you left out Captain D, and puddle E, and warbler F…?

  • WetherspoonThree

    Those running shorts that Jimmy Savile was very fond of wearing ought to have been a warning that something was wrong. In fact shorts worn by any male over the age of say twenty-five is a bit suspicious. That why ‘Ron Hills’ were invented, to remove any doubt on the matter.

  • Eddie

    The BBC lied. End of.
    But of course, the BBC being a state institution, the nearest thing to Soviet Russia we have ever known in Britain – a sort of Kafka-esque colony of robots ruled from a quasi-politbureau from above – neither the institutions nor its staff can admit it.
    Not until they are forced by evidence to fess up!
    I imagine the BBC as some sort of nutter who has been arrested for murder on one of those TV detective shows. How to get the suspect to confess? Will it be the Agatha Cristie way? The Cracker way? The Frost way?
    But the sense of inevitability is there: the suspect WILL confess eventually because there is now no way out: the BBC lied, its producers lied, its executives lied at the highest level LIKE THEY ALWAYS DO – (and as they did to me when one of their writers/producers stole from a script I sent them to write their own very similar and broadcast play) – except this time, they couldn’t just brush it all under the big BBC carpet hoping no-one would notice; this time is different.
    I look forward to a full confession. It’s only a shame thumb screws and the rack are illegal really. Will George Birtwistle try to defend himself and his staff, and then, when someone points out the contradiction Rod has, nod his head, smile wryly, and say – comme un wrong ‘un exposed by Poirot – ‘if only we hadn’t written it all down in emails, then we could have go away with it!’
    Or will his go for the Scooby Do approach and blame ‘those pesky kids’? That would continue the Savile paedo theme rather neatly, perhaps?

    • Eddie

      Oh GAWD – George BIRTwistle! Fucking hell! Some strange chimera monster I just created from two DG goldtop tits!
      Entwistle, dear boy. Entwistle! Like in the Who. Or maybe, in a couple of years, the ‘who?’

  • CityBlue

    BBC conjugations – I am inaccurate and misleading, you are economical with the truth, he is a bare-faced liar.

  • WoodstockWastrel

    Its not looing good for the high command at the BBC. The ‘ten second conversation’ sounds like baloney and its unlikely George Entwistle can wriggle off the hook.

  • Tron

    It was when Peter Rippon said that Newsnight had no evidence, “Just the women” that will hang the BBC.
    At the end of Panorama the BBC said their main concern was for the victims but last year they were dismissed as “Just the women.”

    • Eddie

      Maybe they meant the women as opposed to the children? Or perhaps you are projecting your own opinions onto a neutral phrase – ie ‘just the women’ meaning ‘just those who allege wrongdoing’ and no other solid evidence.
      Also, lot of feminists are using the whole Savile thing as a stick to beat all men with (and many of these odd angry wimmin think all men are rapists anyway), and so we get tales of groping from women and stories about how (shock horror!) a man actually tried to come onto them at the BBC in 1973! We are in fact in serious danger of infantilising women here – an irony the feminasties never acknowledge.
      There is a big difference between some DJ sleb trying to take advantage of young lovelies and groupies (legal behaviour) – and a paedo groping 12 year olds in hospital beds…

      • Baron

        you continue to flog a dead horse, my blogging friend, get rid of the feminist obsession, see the cover up for what it was.

        • Eddie

          Baron – I am not obsessed with feminists; I am saying that the professional feminists are conflating issues and using the Savile affair disgustingly to try and emotionally blackmail people into agreeing with them that all men are bastards and rapist, the BBC is sexist, and there should be more women on TV and radio.
          These issues muddy the waters. It is they who should shut up – not I. Do you see?
          Moreoever, Rod was making EXACTLY the same point as I made on Newsnight last night: Rippon’s statment was innocent and matter of fact – he was just stating that they only had allegations, not hard evidence, but of course the feminists want to brand him for saying ‘just the women’. These idiots should be ignored.
          I am not saying there was not a cover-up – but I think Rippon is being scapegoated by others who were guilty, and I think feminists using and abusing the serious issue of child abuse to try and get quotas for female faces on TV is vile and disgusting.
          Try reading my posts more carefully next time Baron – otherwise you just reveal your own obsessions and fail to address any point I or the poster I responded to make.