Coffee House

Is the Jimmy Savile report really just an ‘expensive whitewash’?

25 February 2016

3:28 PM

25 February 2016

3:28 PM

The Dame Janet Smith report into Jimmy Savile has already been labelled an ‘expensive whitewash’ by a lawyer representing 168 victims, just hours after it was published. The review found that BBC staff knew of complaints and allegations about the entertainer but that little was done to pursue them because of a culture of fear at the corporation. One of the most shocking parts of the report, aside from the details of Savile’s own predatory actions, is tucked away in the review’s summary. Dame Janet Smith writes that:

‘It is clear that a number of BBC staff had heard rumours, stories or jokes about Savile to the effect that, in some way, his sexual conduct was inappropriate.’

The review goes on to say that some passed off these rumours as ‘amusing’ but did little about them. The report also says that reporting the rumours didn’t even occur to those who heard them:

‘No one to whom we spoke thought that he or she ought to report such a rumour to a person in authority.’

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Whilst it was clear that rumours about Jimmy Savile were not unusual at the BBC, it seems that the problem – as far as the Dame Janet Smith review appears to suggest – was in such rumours being reported to the upper echelons of the corporation’s management. The review says that some staff ‘assumed that BBC management must be aware of Savile’s reputation and did not think it was for them to do anything about it’.

But, what’s more, the report goes on to say that those higher up at the BBC were unlikely to have heard about rumours to the extent that those lower down in the corporation would have done, purely because of who they socialised with. The report says:

‘More senior people would not necessarily know about rumours; as one would expect, more senior people do not seem to have had the same exposure to gossip and rumour as those in less senior positions. The BBC is a hierarchical organisation and, as a general rule, I think people tended to socialise with colleagues on their own level in the hierarchy.’

Leaning on a ‘general rule’ in a report numbering hundreds of pages seems like a leap. And is it really credible to suggest that rumours about Savile would have been contained because of the hierarchical structure of the BBC?

Liz Dux, from Slater and Gordon, says:

‘All the Savile and Hall victims have ever wanted from this report is truth and accountability. Despite millions having been spent on the inquiry, my clients will feel let down that the truth has still not been unearthed and many will feel it is nothing more than an expensive whitewash’.

On the basis of reading through parts of the report, it’s difficult to disagree with her assessment.


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Show comments
  • evad666

    Very strange the findings were made public at the same time the Rotherham Court case ended.
    It smacked of distraction from the excesses of Muslim gangs raping young Sikh and white girls.
    Yes the left overlooks or more accurately ignores the rape of Sikh children 200 at the last count.

  • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

    I heard Tony Blackburn on Radio 4 this morning talking about his certainty that he was never interviewed about an accusation in 1971 that he had seduced a fifteen year old girl, in spite of the fact that there is a memo in the archive written by Bill Cotton that he had been spoken to about it. I found Blackburn completely convincing when he said he had never had any dealings with the girl of the sort alleged and that he had never been at any meeting on the subject with BBC management in 1971.

    Firstly, Blackburn was utterly convincing, and posited that Cotton may have spoken unofficially with Blackburn’s agent, but not him. Secondly, the dead girl’s diary also alleges se x ual relationships with Rock Hudson and Frank Sinatra. I find this fascinating. Rock Hudson was a ho mo se xual and what are the chances that Sinatra was having s e x with 15 year old English girls?

    Apologies for having had to introduce spaces into words which the Spectator’s STUPID profanity filter refuses to have published.

  • MikeF

    It beggars belief that the BBC’s senior management did not know what was happening in the case of Jimmy Savile. But either way they were at fault. If they knew they were criminally complicit. If they did not they were criminally negligent.

  • Mr B J Mann

    Does the report address the fact that I heard raised on a Radio 4 ethics documentary about a totally unrelated issue just before the Savile scandal blew up:

    Apparently half of patients coming round after an operation experience such lifelike hallucinations that they can’t distinguish them from reality.

    And in half of those cases the hallucinations, which the patients will be convinced are real, will be of a s-xual nature.

    So if a quarter of aĺl the persons the in/famous TV and radio star Savile wheeled out of post-op recovery were having s-xual hallucinations:

    Who would be highly likely to star in them?

    So how many (thousands, tens of thousands…… of false) rumours would be expected?!?!?!?!!!!!

  • http://english-pensioner.blogspot.co.uk/ english_pensioner

    I simply don’t believe that senior management didn’t know what was happening. I was in a reasonably senior position where I worked and was aware of all the gossip, fortunately nothing like was happening at the BBC. And I also believe that I would have been told if there was anything that I should have known, if only because those under me would wish to pass the buck to someone more senior.

  • Roger Hudson

    If it’s a whitewash it’s not washing or whitening very well.
    As for the Blackburn ‘diversion’ I think the BBC is trying to be clever, sacking the only ‘old guard’ radio 1 DJ left, the fact he is definitely a heterosexual is also very telling ( a ‘better’ target for the BBC’s point of view).

  • Radford_NG

    A crucial item is being missed here:the notorious case of *Victoria Gillick* v West Norfolk and Wishbech Area Health Authority and the DHSS.(Which see.)

    • Radford_NG

      In 1985 it was legally established that he was entitled to do what he did (more or less).

      • Radford_NG

        Mrs Gillick Brought a complaint that the Health Authority was providing contraceptives to under age girls without the parents’ knowledge without the parents knowledge (but in accordance with DHSS policy).

        • Radford_NG

          In 1985 The House of Lords Found against her,although many people pointed out it was a criminal offence to engage in this kind of thing.

          • Radford_NG

            Mrs Gillick was greatly made mockery of by all the Ruling Caste..

            • Radford_NG

              Can we not argue that this judgement has not had an effect upon subsequent events? (I came across an article,which was not trying to make a point,which stated that this case has effects upon subsequent law….and which i have lost track of:but was published in `History Today`.

              • Radford_NG

                This item is posted to avoid the weird censorship around here.

                • telemachus

                  Radford
                  Your post has little relevance but I admire your persistence

  • grimm

    A priest who worked with Savile on religious programs has been outed as a someone who should have spoken up.

  • disqus_MJ9D5cisn5

    So who has been sacked, reprimanded thrown out on their ear, driven from the organisation as a result of the vile, decades long abuse of children that took place

    The whistleblowers that brought it into the open and Tony Blackburn, who it would appear did nothing and who the BBC themselves claim was found not to have anything to answer for, after an investigation, an investigtion which Blackburn denies ever happened

    But not one single BBC boss, not one person in charge while these decades of abuse took place will face any punishment at all – laughable

  • Paul Robson

    Lix Dux and her alleged victims want money, lots of it, with as few questions asked as possible. The money from Saville has run out (spent on lawyers) so they want the BBC to pay for it.

    Offer them truth and accountability, with the provision that they can’t then make any compo claims and see how keen they are.

  • derek bevan

    Yes,its a Red Herring,Jimmy was impotent,and NOT a molester.

  • Joe Long

    ‘It is clear that a number of BBC staff had heard rumours, stories or jokes about Savile to the effect that, in some way, his sexual conduct was inappropriate.’

    That is hardly evidence for a whitewash

    117 “witnesses” heard rumours, surely this is just hearsay

    It just gets more and more bizarre

    How many of the allegations against Savile have been subject to rigorous scrutiny. because it just appears to have been accepted on the nod?

    Savile it is confidently asserted raped a 10 year old boy – how do we know that there is any substance in this?

    When the plods investigated the Leon Brittain, Lord Bramall, Harvey Proctor etc the allegations fell apart, although of course the brutes would never admit it. Kenny MacDonald said that Nick’s lurid tales were “credible and true” – they were demented and insane.

    Undoubtedly it must be the case that Savile offered rich pickings to fantasists and compo hunters

    In Rotherham bringing forward an allegation often resulted in the most extreme threats being made

    In the case of Savile it appears a matter of a lawyer’s rubber stamp

  • Wessex Man

    Yes.

  • Frank

    Absurd, I have worked in an extremely hierarchical organisation and the senior ranks always knew all the gossip because they understood that if you didn’t, you were not connecting with the staff and its morale. To say that the BBC somehow didn’t fit this pattern is simply laughable. These are just television or radio workers, they are not semi-gods who lived in a different universe!

    • JJD

      One of Smith’s key criticisms of the BBC was precisely this: that there was far too little communication between departments and between levels of management. She makes this precise point: the higher levels of management were *not* connecting with staff.

      • Frank

        That suggests that no senior management were bonking any junior staff, that none of the senior staff had their meals in the same canteen, that no senior managers passed the time of day with junior staff whilst on location, that the HR department was absolutely rubbish, that no senior staff ever bought drugs from junior staff, etc, etc, etc.
        I am sorry, I just do not believe that the senior staff were so insulated that they had no idea – apart from anything else, all these scandals were going on for decades ie when the senior staff will have seen this behaviour as they were making their own way up the promotion ladder.

        • JJD

          She spoke at length about an unhealthy culture of deference. Even where there was some form of interaction between hierarchical levels, people did not feel free to voice concerns in an upward direction.

          I’m satisfied, personally, that Smith knows a lot more about the culture and organizational structure of the BBC, having looked into it carefully for three years, than you do, who apparently have no direct experience of the institution at all.

          • McRobbie

            I have experience of the BBC. Its managed by arrogant self serving jobsworths who disregard policies and procedures as they wish. I’m satisfied that Smith knows the facts but is restricted from publishing her views.

            • Andrew Cole

              I agree except you have left 4 words off the end…………”because of the law.”

              She has to state what she can backup not what she thinks, you think and the rest of the UK think.

            • JJD

              Restricted by whom?

              She is restricted by a basic principle of justice, which states that you cannot publicly accuse people of things without sufficient evidence to substantiate your claims. Smith obviously did not feel the evidence, overall, was substantial enough to prove corporate responsibility. I strongly feel that she far better placed to make that judgement than anyone posting here.

            • Ooh!MePurse!

              I have experience of clouds. They are managed by evil, self serving killjoys who disregard our enjoyment of the sun and sometimes deluge us with snow.

          • Andrew Cole

            i think the problem here is that you see sense and know that she probably think exactly the same as all these posters who are demanding she state ‘Senior Managers knew’.

            The only difference between the argument everybody is having here is not understanding that you cannot say things without proof or at minimum substantial backup.

            • JJD

              That’s how I see it too, Andrew. As she said, she simply was not entitled to make that inference on the basis of available evidence.

              • Andrew Cole

                The problem is she is a judge and the people here want Al Murray.

                • Frank

                  No, I just think it beyond astonishing that she did not question the relevant senior staff – imagine if the Nuremburg Trials had only tried the private soldiers – would that have been satisfactory?

                • Andrew Cole

                  No it wouldn’t but she was not in there to find out names of guilty people. She was there to investigate the overall culture of what was, is and could happen in the BBC. It is down to other people to investigate individuals and follow the ‘paper trail’ which will eventually catch people. I think many of the guilty will die before they are outed but I hope that as certain people die others will then feel confident to speak out and that will catch many more that are still in there.

        • Baron

          You’re wasting your time, Frank, this apologists is either brainless, or has no experience of how organisations tick, most likely a mixture of the two.

          • McRobbie

            Or maybe on the payroll of the BBC human remains staff etc ?

            • Ooh!MePurse!

              Your evidence for that? Or is speculation enough?

          • Ooh!MePurse!

            He is far from brainless. He thinks that investigations should be conducted by the head rather than the heart.

          • telemachus

            And you used to be such a kind chap

            • SunnyD

              ah, so you hanker for the good old days
              As you deny your racism and islamo apologist posts
              silly billy

        • Hugh

          And that no one lower in the heirachy was promoted to senior management in the decades during which Savillle was abusing.

          • Andrew Cole

            The truth will eventually out. It may take some time but some will come forward and name names. Others will die but leave letters of regret. Eventually heads will fall.

          • P_S_W

            That does seem more than a little absurd…

        • Andrew Cole

          And I think you are right. She just cannot say that because she does not have the evidence to back her statement up. She cannot say something she is pretty sure of without being able to back it up.

          “knowing that in any other company the senior management would know” is not good enough back up to say for sure that a behemoth like the BBC is the same.

        • disqus_MJ9D5cisn5

          The suggestion that junior or middle management types knew what was going on, but didnt tell any senior management types, plus the total segregation of senior management from the underlings below adding to the inability of the top bods to know what was what – is nonsense

          At the BBC most of the senior management graduated from in house junior and middle management roles, meaning they themselves were at one time these junior and middle management types that did know or had heard the rumours

        • Ooh!MePurse!

          But where is the cold, hard evidence? Your argument is utterly illogical.

          • Frank

            Since the esteemed judge doesn’t appear to have questioned any of the relevant senior staff, there is no evidence of anything other than a half-baked attempt at a whitewash.

        • Roger Hudson

          But canteens were segregated, most people would be amazed at how class ridden the BBC was, probably still is.

          • Frank

            Hardly more segregated than the armed forces and yet senior officers seem quite capable of knowing what is happening in the lower ranks – and Saville was THE talent, so arguably everybody was talking about his little ways.

      • The Masked Marvel

        BS. The Jim’ll Fixit director once caught Savile interfering with a young girl in his dressing room and when he tried to report it the senior management laughed him away. They knew, but did not care. Savile had his caravan in the car park for his activities, FFS.

        • JJD

          I’m sorry, but Smith has examined the evidence carefully, applying her not inconsiderable intellectual powers to it for three years.

          When you’ve matched that, come back to me.

          • The Masked Marvel

            And that intellect has yielded a result which will allow the BBC to escape. Policies already in place, employee training to avoid future instances all set, etc. Nothing will happen to anyone currently working there, or recently departed. The inquiry was as much about protecting the BBC from serious damage as it was an exercise in calming down critics.

            • JJD

              By using the word “escape”, you already have the BBC tried and hung. Unfortunately – for you – there is no clear evidence that the BBC is as complicit, as a corporation, as you would evidently like it to be. It *might* be, but there is not enough evidence to sustain the charge. Too bad, eh? You were looking forward to more schadenfreude than you got, and you feel short-changed. That’s how it looks to me, anyway.

              • The Masked Marvel

                A corporation cannot be complicit. People can be, though. When I say “the BBC” I use it as a collective term. You seem to be talking at cross-purposes to yourself, though. Are you agreeing with me that nothing will happen, thus robbing me of the opportunity to feel more schadenfreude, or am I wrong, and the BBC (staff) will get their comeuppance, and thus giving me a chance for more schadenfreude?

    • Ooh!MePurse!

      But without hard evidence your experience is just your experience. I’m no apologist for the BBC but the argument developing on this thread is illogical and unreasonable. You are condoning mob rule by anecdote.

      • pobjoy

        I’m no apologist for the BBC

        You figging are. The dude is just saying that we don’t believe this carp for a moment. That ‘we’ includes you, unless you’ve just arrived from Mars.

        You’re a hazard to the public.

        • Ooh!MePurse!

          Oh dear.

          • pobjoy

            Confirmed.

      • Frank

        Don’t be absurd, I am merely saying that I do not believe that nobody in senior management had heard the slightest rumour about Saville’s revolting habits.

  • JJD

    I have, as everyone does, great sympathy for the victims of these terrible acts.

    But the only value of this review value lies in its commitment to objective facts and the full range of available evidence – *not* in meeting the wishes of abuse survivors, however seriously those wishes must be taken.

    Saying it’s a whitewash when things don’t quite go as you want is not logical. The victims are in no position to evaluate whether or not senior BBC management turned a blind eye to their abuse. Neither is Tim Goodenough. The person best placed to evaluate that is none other than Janet Smith, and there is no prima facie reason to doubt the validity of her conclusions.

    • Hugh

      Unless Janet Smith is a mind reader, there’s equally no reason to put any faith in the validity of her conclusions. They seem to depend pretty much entirely on giving credence to senior managements’ denial of having heard the rumours. Many people will find that unlikely.

      • JJD

        No, they don’t depend on that. They depend on the fact that the inference from rumours at junior level to knowledge at senior level is not a valid one. She doesn’t have to *prove* they did not know. Her report simply establishes that we can’t be certain they *did* know.

        The presumption of innocence also works for BBC bosses, whether people like it or not.

        • Baron

          You at BBC now, or are you applying for a job with the monstrosity, JJD?

          • JJD

            No, I just don’t have any time for Joe Public in this kind of mood. As soon as the word “paedophile” is mentioned, he starts baying for blood without stopping to consult either evidence or logic.

            And I get the impression there is a certain knee-jerk, anti-establishment instinct behind a lot of the negative comments about Smith. Any stick, it appears, is good enough to beat “the establishment” with.

        • Hugh

          “They depend on the fact that the inference from rumours at junior level to knowledge at senior level is not a valid one”

          I’m reasonably certain that determining whether an inference is valid or not doesn’t constitute a “fact”. It’s a judgement, and a poor one.

          “Her report simply establishes that we can’t be certain they *did* know. The presumption of innocence also works for BBC bosses”

          You seem to be confusing a report with a trial; if the object was simply to determine if there was a signed confession from management saying they knew Saville was a nonce, I could have saved them a few million quid and a couple of years by answering that at the outset.

          Which is, of course, the entire point: this was always going to be the result, and it was the result desired by the management. That is why it so plainly is a whitewash.

          • Andrew Cole

            So if she had said “Senior could well and quite likely did know about it but I have no evidence that they did” would that have satisifed you?

            It would have had people talking as if she had said it was proven.

            • P_S_W

              Yes, because that’s most likely true and should then have led to further investigations.

              • Andrew Cole

                That would make her look ridiculous and the inquire not credible. You can’t state I think, probably, maybe in terms of what might have happened. That just means people start asking what is true and what isn’t and leads to others taking all the ifs buts and maybes as fact and reporting them as fact.

                How do you know further investigations are not being undertaken? This was an inquiry into the culture of the BBC. It was not an investigation into who did what and when.

                You are confusing the issue. Operation Yew Tree is the one investigating who did what and when and who knows who they are investigating at the moment but this inquiry was not about people and names. It was about culture and structure within the BBC and how and why things like happened in the Savile case could happen or are happening or could happen.

            • Hugh

              If she did want to be scrupulous in avoiding conclusions where there was no certainty, she could have left it at saying that senior management all denied having heard the rumours, but that they were widespread in the organisation. Those are the facts.

              As it is she has people talking as if the report has proved the BBC’s management acted properly – on the basis that managers in heirachical organisations don’t hear the ruours of those below. She knows this from her extensive experience in the broadcasting and business worlds. No, my mistake; she’s been a barrister and a judge her entire life.

              • Andrew Cole

                Well I see it differently. I see it as her saying she could not look higher up the chain because there was no evidence available and in suggesting that my mind thinks she is suggesting that she thinks it goes to the top but she cannot say that it does.

                • Hugh

                  That would appear a mighty strange interpretation of a paragraph that ends as follows: “Some also assumed that BBC management must be aware of Savile’s reputation. However, more senior people would not necessarily know about rumours; as one would expect, more senior people do not seem to have had the same exposure to gossip and rumour as those in less senior positions. The BBC is a hierarchical organisation and, as a general rule, I think people tended to socialise with colleagues at their own level of the hierarchy”

                • Andrew Cole

                  the use of “not necessarily”, “as one would expect”, “not seem to have”, “as a general rule” seem quite obvious to me to be inferences that she is saying any other organisation would have known. She is stating that this organisation ‘apparently’ is different to every other organisation.

          • JJD

            Validity is a formal property of logical inferences. It may be attributed to those inferences that are logically valid as a matter of “fact”. Whether it is correctly attributed in a given case does not impact upon the question of whether or not it actually (factually) pertains to the inference. I say, in this case, it doesn’t.

            The second point is fair. And indeed, even in a trial, absolute certainty is not required, only certainty beyond reasonable doubt. However, there are some similarities between what she was being asked to do, and a criminal trial. That, I suppose, is why they asked a judge to do it. She had to take a view of all the evidence, and arrive at a conclusion as to the complicity (at least via negligence) of BBC management, based solely on that evidence. Like in a trial, she had to stay within the bounds of what the evidence actually permitted her to conclude. Some will say she was too cautious – of course they will. But I weigh that against the fact that they do not have before their eyes the whole range of facts and testimonies that Smith had. Ultimately, she is better placed to judge than you or I, or anyone posting here.

            • Hugh

              Right ho.

              “And indeed, even in a trial, absolute certainty is not required, only certainty beyond reasonable doubt.”

              And in a civil trial (which this is much closer to, since we were not investigating criminal culpability but rather something closer to establishing liability due to negligence) it’s not even reasonable doubt is it? Judges also deal with civil trials don’t they? And there it’s the balance of probabilities.

              So even if we conceded that “Like in a trial, she had to stay within the bounds of what the evidence actually permitted her to conclude” it seems Dame Janet thinks it probable no senior management over decades heard the rumours everyone else did. She bases this almost entirely – as the post correctly notes – on the fact senior and junior staff don’t talk.

              Your last part again underlines the whole purpose of the excercise: “Some will say she was too cautious…[but]…Ultimately, she is better placed to judge than you or I, or anyone posting here.”

              This is the line I think we can expect to hear repeated frequently by the BBC in coming weeks. It is nonsense. The whole system of appeals recognises that judges get it wrong. The purpose of the report is to show her working and how she arrived at her conclusions. People are perfectly entitled to look at it and conclude she got it wrong.

              • JJD

                She obviously didn’t feel entitled to conclude they heard the rumours, on the basis of the evidence, evidence to which she had full access, and you don’t. More than half the people she interviewed – and she interviewed very many – actually testified that they never heard these rumours at all.

                You are entitled to do call her conclusions into question, of course you are. I’d question your reasoning in doing so, but not your right to do so. All I’d say is that it is sensible to do so from the position of acknowledging Smith as the person objectively best-placed to judge.

                • Hugh

                  “All I’d say is that it is sensible to do so from the position of
                  acknowledging Smith as the person objectively best-placed to judge”

                  She lays out the evidence she’s relied on, and she’s written her report to explain her judgement. Beyond that, any claim that we should be predisposed to accept her findings is really just a posh way of saying “mother knows best”. We’ve largely lost that culture of deference in this country, and the world is better for it.

                  “You are entitled to do call her conclusions into question, of course you are. I’d question your reasoning in doing so…”

                  I wish you would. My reasoning is that such allegations were widespread enough that a documentary maker on prime time TV felt able to put them to Savile; subsequent reports (broadcast even I think on BBC radio) put them to him as well; that there were jokes all around the BBC it seems; that the abuse, rumours and Savile’s career continued over decades; that over that time is seems likely at least some lower staff exposed to the rumours made their way into senior management; that the appropriate standard of proof to look at is not one beyond reasonable doubt, but likelihood; and that if they didn’t know, the evidence strongly suggests some fairly basic inquiries about someone who worked with and around children would have given pretty clear notice of the need for further investigation.

                  Against that we have the fact that senior management say they hadn’t heard about it (they would, wouldn’t they?); and that “as a general rule” the top brass don’t fraternise with the plebs.

                  Smith seems willing to stretch her commitment to restricting herself to the evidence to the point where she can state “more senior people would not necessarily know about rumours…[on the basis that people socialise with others in their own heirachy]”. That’s despite the fact that section could stand, and would be more factual, without this observation. At the same time, though, she doesn’t feel able to rouse herself to suggest that not doing cursory enquiries about the character of one of your biggest stars might suggest a degree of negligence.

                  We also have this, which I think is quite priceless: ” I must stress that this group of witnesses [those “very many” she interviewed] were not selected as representative of a cross-section of BBC people. They were self-selected.”

                  Self selected.

                  So, no, on balance I don’t think it is all that sensible to proceed from the position that the handsomely paid judge appointed by the organisation to conduct an inquiry into whether its own management were culpable is best placed, objectively.

      • Andrew Cole

        No she is not giving credence to senior managements’ denial of having heard the rumours. She cannot say things that she cannot prove or at least have enough evidence to suggest that something could be true.

        Unless someone finds in writing something that shows that a senior manager or DG did know about it or people that told senior management come forward then the only way that anyone could ever say that senior management knew is moving along the tree implicating each layer bit by bit and them in turn taking those above with them.

        You are asking her to provide nudge nudge wink wink Sun style reporting. She has to base her report on evidence and just because at this point in time she cannot implicate senior management at this time does not mean that this is all done and dusted. That is the end of her inquiry however that does not mean that the investigation is over.

        I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more about this as more and more BBC and ex BBC are implicated as people start to out each other.

        • McRobbie

          Doubt it..the BBC bosses have given the message to underlings to keep stum by sacking Blackburn..they can do whatever they want including disregarding employment law..at worst it just costs them some of our license tax money.

        • Hugh

          “She cannot say things that she cannot prove or at least have enough evidence to suggest that something could be true”

          She can say, however, with certainty that senior management’s denials are not improbably because people socialise with their own grade “as a general rule”. Rigorous evidential stuff, that.

          “Unless someone finds in writing…”

          As I said elsewhere, if that was the object, I could have saved them a lot of time and money.

          It’s worth reflecting that the difficulty in proving senior management knowledge to attribute culpability in other areas – corporate manslaughter and financial regulation – is well recognised. The astonishingly slight probability of being able to find cast-iron proof senior management knew and ignored risks meant cases invariably failed. In both cases, the law has been changed to make it easier – and fairer – to secure convictions or attach liability.

          Given Dame Smith wasn’t conducting a criminal trial or even a civil one (where it’s not beyond reasonable doubt, but the balance of probabilities), I don’t think I am asking her to indulge in Sun style reporting; rather I’m asking her to simply state what seems obvious to many others: that given the widespread rumours and the period over which they were rife it’s likely that senior management knew and if they didn’t they bloody should have.

          • Andrew Cole

            If it seems obvious to others than there is no need for her to say it is there.

            We already know what the truth is likely to be, she does too but there is a world of difference between the man on the street suggesting it and an official enquiry making assumptions.

            I am not disagreeing with your assertion that managers did know or if they didn’t they should have. I wholeheartedly agree but you and I saying that is a world of difference from her being able to say it.

            Her report would have been seen as a waste of time and full of assumptions and rumours with no factual evidence to back things up. She could have done that the day she was asked and just printed up what she thought is probable.

            • Hugh

              “If it seems obvious to others then there is no need for her to say it is there.”

              That plainly doesn’t make any sense, does it?

              Actually the opening statement comes perilously close to saying the second part, to be fair.

              “I wholeheartedly agree but you and I saying that is a world of difference from her being able to say it.”

              No, it really isn’t. As I’ve said already; it’s not a criminal trial. It was actually open for her to say that it’s very hard to believe that senior managment didn’t know given how widespread the rumours were – which the report provided the evidence of. And, sorry to labour the point, but she has actually just printed what she thought was probable: she thinks it probable that senior management were insulated from the rumours because they didn’t associate with junior staff. That’s not evidence; that’s conjecture.

              • Andrew Cole

                She has said exactly what you have suggested earlier in the paragraph that you included on your other post. She has phrased it in a way that protects the report from being accused of being a rag tag of assumptions. If you or I wrote what she has said we would do it in a much more sarcastic way but the paragraph you included on your other post is saying to me “Of course the management didn’t know, wink wink”.

                She has written her report. It is up to other to dechiper it and interpret it. It is not a criminal report but she cannot put in it stuff she just thinks probably happened. It would then not be credible.

    • Baron

      You, JJD, should have been around when Adolf’s murderous bunch was judged at Nuremberg, you could have argued the same, have sympathy with the victims, insist their wishes to be taken seriously, but also there’s no evidence any of them knew about gas chambers and stuff.

      Well, how about one of the senior ranks at the BBC going to talk to one of the dozens of rumoured victims at least once in the 30 plus years the great peado had been at it? Impossible, difficult, too much bother for them?

      Smith didn’t find any evidence because she didn’t want to find any.

      • JJD

        There *was* evidence they knew about gas chambers.

        Again, that difference: evidence vs surmise.

        You don’t seem to have taken that on board at all.

        • Baron

          There was not one scrap paper linking any of the top Nazis to gas chambers, JJD, not one. One of the charges against them was they must have known, and if they didn’t they should have found out, it was under their watch, the result of the culture they created.

          Similar rationale should apply here. The top of the BBC either knew, or should have known, it was their duty to be in the know, it was on their watch, the result of the culture (of celebrity, fear) they created.

          Whitewash from the first to the last word, and a waste of money.

          • JJD

            There doesn’t have to be paper. Written evidence is only one kind of evidence. First-hand testimony was key in securing convictions for the top Nazis. This shouldn’t need spelling out.

      • McRobbie

        They did apparently talk to an alleged abuser and indeed held a memo reported interview of the one off allegation that was not proven. They’ve just sacked him. Amazing how no interview took place with a full time and palpable offender …or at least “no evidence” was provided of such an interview.

  • Duckworth Keats

    Whitewash? It may not name names but the collective condemnation of the BBC and its obvious culture of turning blind eyes to the misdeeds of the ‘talent’ is damning.

    • Ralph

      It is not just turning a blind eye but actually facilitating abuse by a least putting pressure on those who complained and probably a lot worse.

    • JJD

      I thought Smith outlined that clearly. There were 5 occasions, involving 5 people who had enough knowledge to have acted decisively, and failed to do so. But none of them belonged to the highest level of management.

  • Mr Grumpy

    I decline to be shocked at people failing to pass on rumours. What should shock us is the inaction of those who knew they were more than rumours – people whom the review has, so it seems, signally failed to identify.

  • Franky

    Not only was abuse at the BBC ignored, it seems that there was a culture there that found it amusing and often condoned it.

    Sadly, these same people have also been responsible for a lot of the television that British society has been watching.

  • @PhilKean1

    .
    Calling “victims” of MILD sexual assault “survivors” is an insult to the victims of the Holocaust and other survivors of genocide & torture.
    .

    • Hugh

      Saville is meant to have raped some of his victems isn’t he? That’s not terribly mild.

      • @PhilKean1

        .
        I have come to lose respect for western definitions of “rape” –

        – especially as defined by Britain’s Liberal-left political class, who have turned “rape” into something that is determined by technical definitions.

        Compare Britain’s technical “rape” against –

        [1] – Female Arab rape victims who, as we speak, are blamed for their own forced rapes and stoned to death.

        [2] – Terrorists who make fathers rape their daughters, and sons rape their mothers, before killing them.

        [3] – The terrorists and other criminals who gang-rape women to death.

        That is why I find it in bad taste TV News Channels calling women who’ve had nothing more than a hand on their knickers, as I saw with 2 separate women today – “survivors”.
        .

  • mrclaypole

    Blackburn went and gave evidence in person. He was not obliged to do so and many others did not- for example the late Terry Wogan. He was asked if he recalled an investigation. Saying yes would not have been prejudicial so why would he lie.

    The report is saying middle managers failed to blow the whistle and has no concrete proof any of them knew of irregular behaviour with children. Can you imagine in 1971 going to one of the senior people and saying ‘ your biggest star is a nonce’. Yes that would have gone down well.

    Smith has answered the questions she was asked, and they have scapegoated someone who they thought the public would fixate on but that stategy already seems to have backfired. Never in the corporations history has it looked weaker.

  • Michael H Kenyon

    Good distraction from Rotherham (Tony Blackburn, likewise).

    • Joe Long

      Indeed, but the herd can’t and won’t see it

  • FF42

    I recall reading papers of the time, particularly tabloids, pushing the image of Jimmy Savile as a national treasure. But it seems as they were writing this, journalists knew that Savile wasn’t safe near young people. Everyone knew that Savile’s supposedly good works were a lie, but no-one thought of challenging him.

    The BBC have a particularly shameful role that they seem nowhere near to recognising. We are talking about a setup that was corrupt from head to toe, not simply about a few procedural errors. Truth be told however, there were plenty others that were complicit too.

    • grimm

      The tabloids do love their “national treasures”. Look at the free pass they gave to “larger than life” Cyril Smith even after his activities had been exposed by a local paper in his constituency.

  • The Masked Marvel

    It wasn’t meant to be a whitewash, full stop, so much as it was meant to remove any possible blame from anyone currently working at the BBC, and to deflect attacks from “enemies on the right waiting to pounce” over it. While the investigation was going on, and for a long time after, the mantra was “It was a different time”. Lessons learned, new policies put into place, line drawn under it, time to move on.

    • Andrew Cole

      it was meant to remove any possible blame from anyone currently working at the BBC

      So why was it mentioned that there are still people working within the BBC that are yet to outed? The BBC have given massive publicity to this inquiry and hearing showing the whole of the press conference where some idiot news presenter normally says ‘we’ll leave it there’ and move onto something else.

      I suspect that Tony Hall doesn’t care who gets the chop and just want all the poison out. The publicity this inquiry got has made it quite clear for people within the BBC (current or former) to come forward with their information so that they can clear them out.

      Do you really think Sir Tony Hall will risk his name coming through the mud in a few years time? I think they are all on the back foot and know this has to be ended and they need to be seen kicking their own into the hands of the courts.

      • The Masked Marvel

        Nobody still at the BBC is under any scrutiny, are they? Operation Yew Tree went after retired pensioners, not current staff.
        You are mistaken in believing that Hall thinks there’s a risk. This inquiry was all about mitigating that. The BBC made a good show of introspection and confession, yes. All part of the game. They don’t actually do anything to fix the problems but are very, very good at putting on a display of activity. Part of the inquiry, remember, was to see that the BBC have since put in the proper rules and training to ensure future abuses are kept quiet this sort of thing can’t happen again. It’s the same with bullying, displaying their bias in social media, faking phone-in competitions, and being biased on immigration. Promises and theatrical displays, but no real change at all. And the people in charge know it.

        • Andrew Cole

          Do you have your hands on the files of Operation Yew Tree? How deo you know they aren’t investigating and building cases on many more?

          They can’t just get a witness or victim stating something and immediately hand it to the Sun to out them.

          For all we know there could be thousands of cases being built against current or former BBC employees.

          • The Masked Marvel

            No, but word about these things gets out. The BBC sure did rush to cover Robbie Williams, though, didn’t they?

            • Andrew Cole

              Maybe they are learning then. They have made themselves look complete idiots over the several cases that fell down and maybe they are making sure that rather than jump in as soon as they have a case against one that they make sure that they get anyone linked too.

              I don’t think anyone could say they aren’t doing anything now. Have they announced that Operation Yew Tree is finished and the files closed?

              • The Masked Marvel

                Correction, I meant Cliff Richard. Operation Yew Tree is going after oldies, not anyone still working at the BBC. It has spread out to include investigating politicians and other public figures. Current BBC staff can rest easy.

                • Andrew Cole

                  They can rest easy until they are caught. These people are not going to go down on their own. One of these oldies is going take down everyone else with him / her.

                  What you have to understand however is the older ones will have a long history of either continually offending or there are many years of the rumour mill where it has been passed on.

                  The younger ones it will catch up with them.

                  It will only take a couple of people to reel off the names when they have been caught and the web will spread.

                  What would be better is for some of those that dared not say anything to now say something so that the investigation can get into who was not taking action.

                  Yew Tree will be investigating loads and like I said in another post I bet they have thousands of investigations at varying stages of progress against many people. they aren’t waiting for them to die. I bet there are some younger ones although I would guess that more recent culture would mean that younger people would not think Ah Savile is doing it so I can. There might be a few but then the younger one will not have those years of built up establishment invincibility there to think they can get away with it either.

                  I don’t have too much of a problem with the actual “stars and fans” aspect of this. It is the “stars and under the age” part of it as well as the forceful nature of what has gone on.

                  Celebrities and fans and late night parties has gone on for ages. If its consensual that isn’t a problem and if it is legal then so be it but Stars being seen on more than one occasion taking young children on their own, always with no other adult to dressing rooms or anywhere else should raise suspicion and I think these people need to take a long hard look at themselves and question whether their conscience can take the strain of silence any longer. They should all come out and tell it like it is:

                  We saw it, we knew or suspected it was happening, we told x and he didn’t do anything about it, we didn’t say anything because we were told that we would lose our jobs or be ruined or that they already know. y was still doing it until all this broke and he got scared.Name names, clear their conscience a little.

                  Lets see the BBC hang these people out to dry and restore some trust at least in the modern version of the BBC to not protect people that are in on this.

                  I’m not on about the BBCs view on politics or anything else as each channel has their own ‘unbiased’ way of portraying the facts. Just on issues like this I think from within they should be making sure that they make every effort to clean these people out and hand the info directly to the police rather than anything internal.

                • The Masked Marvel

                  Nobody at the BBC now will be punished. New rules and training and policies already in place to prevent it. Line drawn under it, move along, nothing to see here any longer.

                • Andrew Cole

                  we shall see. They might sacrifice a few to keep the referendum off the top of the news if polls start to drift.

                • The Masked Marvel

                  Aha, they’ve found a sacrificial lamb in Tony Blackburn. It looks like he is not a target of OpYT, and was not criticised in the Smith report. Very cynical business at the BBC if he’s not guilty, but par for the course. Ask Meirion Jones, Liz MacKean, and Peter Rippon.

                • Andrew Cole

                  She hasn’t looked for a guilty party there. He denied something happened that the evidence she has backs up as having happened. She has kept his anonymity. It was the BBC sacking him that disclosed his identity.

                  She is quite right to state that this person or that person gave evidence contrary to the other evidence she had at hand.

                  If you want to criticise Blackburn being a sacrificial lamb then you have to point the figure at the BBC and not the report. If they had not done what they did or leaked the name etc We would be wondering if it was Mike Read, DLT etc.

                • The Masked Marvel

                  I am pointing the finger at the BBC. Police enquiries accepted his evidence, and the complaint was withdrawn. People at the BBC have known about this and thought he was a known abuser for 45 years, and sacked him now only because Dame Smith didn’t accept his evidence recently? No, sorry, doesn’t wash. Why wasn’t he sacked at the time, then? Allowing a known abuser to roam the hallowed halls of the BBC for another year or so just to protect the confidentiality of the report before publication is very cynical, even for the BBC.
                  They needed to put someone in a cage to hang out in front of the city gates, and they found him.

                • Andrew Cole

                  So wait for the fallout then. Blackburn could do exactly what I have said will happen if he takes the BBC on then whilst the police investigate these memos they could well find other things that the inquiry couldn’t.

  • rationality

    Well they didnt want to link it to the Westminster VIP ring that Savile was alleged to provide children for so yes it most definitely was a whitewash. If there wasnt an invasion going on using Soviet style subversion techniques I would be spending more time on this disgusting episode. It just show what a sick society we really live in.

  • Vukefalus

    I have travelled the world extensively and have lived and worked in a number of institutionally corrupt countries. I have long argued that the UK could be held up as an enlightened, transparent and fundamentally honest country but this belief had now substantially changed. It started with the lies and deceit of the Blair/Brown years, then the lies of our bankers and watchdogs and continued immediately with the Cameron/Clegg era of mendacity. Now we have the institutions of government traduced by Cameron in his zeal to keep us in an equally corrupt EU and this disgusting abrogation of responsibility by the august BBC. Who will be the Hercules to clean the Augean stables? Boris? I fear not.

  • McRobbie

    Of course senior management knew. This rubbish about the hierarchical structure in the BBC resulting in gossip not reaching the “heights of management” disregards the length of time this abuse was carried out and the fact that within the BBC promotions to senior positions occurred on the basis of patronage usually to staff who had been employed in the BBC for many years. Don’t tell me that the gossip didn’t reach the top boys…as the top boys would have taken it with them through the ranks !!! Its a whitewash and the BBC scam continues. I think the telling statement in the report is “no evidence” was provided that fat cats knew what was going on..the fat cats would be committing career suicide if they admitted they knew…and if anyone whistle blew they would have a “Blackburn” done to them !!!! Why do I think the Blackburn action was both a warning to the staff plebs and an attempt to offer an alternative headline of interest for us plebs.

    • post_x_it

      Blackburn was just a sitting duck, being one of the last remaining male celebrities from that era who haven’t been fingered yet. How flimsy the evidence must be if even Yewtree didn’t bother with him!

      • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

        The key to the suspicion that the girl’s accusation was fantasy is that in her diary, she also relates having s e x with Rock Hudson, now known as a life long h o m o s e x u a l.

    • FF42

      I think Tony Blackburn has legitimate complaint against Dame Smith, who held up the allegations made against him (under a redacted but identifiable name) as an example of the BBC failing to investigate abuse claims, but then went onto say she had no opinion on whether the allegations were valid. So where does that leave Tony Blackburn?

      On the other hand she does effectively accuse Mr Blackburn of not telling the truth to her investigation:

      In our interview, A7 [Blackburn] denied that he was ever made aware that a complaint had been made against him and also denied that he was ever interviewed by Mr Cotton and/or Mr Preston [Balckburn’s bosses at the time, now dead]. He said that this was not a lapse of memory on his part; the interview had not taken place. It was pointed out to him that, if indeed there had been no interview, it was strange that Mr Preston should have written this memorandum and should have recorded his concern about the disparity between the account given by A7 at the interview and that given earlier by his agent. A7 could offer no explanation for this and said that he was “mystified”. Later, through his solicitor, A7 accepted that I might well prefer the documentary evidence to his recollection on these issues. I do prefer that evidence and think that A7 was interviewed and denied the allegation.

      If I were making an HR decision, I think it would be difficult to ignore that.

      • McRobbie

        Isn’t it enlightening that a vague allegation against Blackburn was apparently the subject of a recorded interview at a senior level and yet, despite far worse incidents and complaints no such interview was recorded taking place involving savile. Strange…I prefer to believe the BBC’s filing system is selective, ref no evidence senior management were aware.

        • FF42

          Dame Smith explains there was no apparent record of a meeting between Blackburn and his boss about the allegations:

          the BBC papers do not contain a note of A7’s interview by Mr Cotton and Mr Preston and, as the rest of the file appears to be intact, I infer that no note was taken.

          The memorandum about the alleged meeting was from Blackburn’s boss to the BBC’s solicitor.

          The allegations made against Blackburn were specific, not vague. Dame Smith doesn’t have an opinion on whether they are true. In that respect, I think Tony Blackburn has been put into an impossible situation:

          I have not attempted to make any judgment about the allegation involving A7 and Claire McAlpine. The question does not fall within my Terms of Reference. My legitimate interest in this matter relates only to what can be inferred about the BBC’s culture and practices from the way in which the matter was investigated by the BBC.

          According to Dame Smith, the BBC Head of Light Entertainment of the time was copied into the correspondence about Blackburn. Sir Bill Cotton went onto be Managing Director of BBC Television. Senior management was aware.

      • Malcolm Knott

        But would you have sacked him without first giving him the opportunity to comment?

        • FF42

          The critical allegation is that Tony Blackburn lied to the BBC’s most important Enquiry ever about something that was central to that enquiry. I would give him the opportunity to explain why he might not have lied. I am not party to those discussions. It is quite possible the BBC HR did him give this opportunity. It would be incompetent of them not to. This stuff has to be done by by the book.

          I am not defending the BBC in general, who I suspect has a lot more to answer for than Tony Blackburn. Equally you don’t mess around in these situations. If someone tells lies of that nature in court they get a two year prison sentence.

          • Malcolm Knott

            I take your point. The reason I asked the question was, TB says no one asked him to comment or explain. He simply learned that he had been sacked. If he’s right, HR haven’t ticked any boxes. Or perhaps someone (Tony Hall?) took the decision without consulting HR. Either way, the BBC could be in for even more self-inflicted trouble.

            But I don’t know if he was an employee or an independent contractor and that could make all the difference.

    • JJD

      You know nothing about the matter. Janet Smith has just spent the past 3 years looking into it in great detail, and with perfect logic, concluded that the presence of rumours at lower levels of the BBC cannot be counted as “evidence” for knowledge of abuse at the higher levels.

      Of course, those at the top *might* have known. But, thankfully, judges in this country are trained to proceed on evidence, and not on surmise.

      • Baron

        And the earth is really flat, you believe, JJD?

        • JJD

          We have evidence the earth is round.

          Al you have in this case is rumour, conjecture, surmise – not evidence.

          • GnosticBrian

            And there was I thinking that Michael Bentine, when at the BBC, had shown the Earth to be square.

          • Baron

            In this case we have no evidence because Janet Smith didn’t want to find any evidence, JJD.

            Are you telling me there’s no scrap of evidence the top knew? I seem to recall Louis Theroux asking him directly, his evasive answer. Why wasn’t that followed up then?

            • JJD

              You really are feeding on “scraps”, there.

            • Hugh

              Come on, we know that as a general rule senior management don’t watch the same TV shows as their more junior colleagues.

        • GnosticBrian

          JJD is simply trying to demonstrate that they have all necessary attributes to be a Senior BBC Wallah.

      • McRobbie

        I can read. The facts are there for all to see…if you want to look and appraise. The “top” are paid vast sums to know and it is INCONCEIVABLE that they would not be aware….no surmise needed just simple common sense. I can only repeat the fat cats in charge are from the very foundations of the BBC set up, they would have seen it all on their way up the ladder and they would know when to shut up. She was a lawyer and had to be able to comment on the written or spoken evidence, but remember this is not a criminal court, although it should be…..I’m not constrained by the BBC remit to her, and I can comment based on common sense. The senior management knew.

        • Andrew Cole

          I think she probably thinks that they all know however she cannot say that due to the evidence she has been able to attain.

          She isn’t a Sun journalist that makes up what they want to. She is a judge employed to report on findings not opinion.

          For her to say anything about the ‘fat cats’ knowing she would need many accounts from those that have information to show they did know.

          If she has evidence from someone lower down that told x person, then she needs to interview x person to see what they did about it. If x person told y person then she needs to interview y person. If y person then says I told Z person and he ignored it then she can start to say that people at the top knew about it.

          The problem is that anyone along that chain could be dead or deny things. Its a can of worms that is very hard to sort out in terms of the past but it will be interesting to see how many vile people are outed from now on.

          In my eyes any person whether presenter or otherwise that knew what had gone on and ignored it should be up in front of the cameras at minimum to explain why.

          All this focus on Savile will just draw attention away from the organisation as a whole and on to 1 dead person being a bad apple. They need to conclude on Savile and get interviewing 50 years of staff members at broadcasting house and elsewhere. I suspect starting with Savile and Stuart Hall might lead to knowledge of others that shared similar habits and develop a tree of who knew what, where about whom and lead to many many bad apples being outed.

          • Malcolm Knott

            The problem is, lawyers are trained to weigh evidence, not to ferret it out remorselessly which is what was required here.

        • JJD

          You obviously can’t tell the difference between speculation//surmise and evidence.

          Present me with *evidence* that they knew, please. Where, when, how.That is what is required to substantiate your case, not a generalized appeal to common sense.

      • In2minds

        “judges in this country are trained to proceed on evidence, and not on surmise” –

        And we saw that in the Andrew Mitchell case? I think not!

        • JJD

          I’d agree, actually, that the judge was too cautious there; but he did proceed on the evidence, and remained within the bounds of the evidence as he interpreted it. It’s just that I interpreted it differently, although accept he had seen more evidence than I, and is objectively speaking better placed to judge.

          • In2minds

            I don’t think the judging of Mitchell was reckless simply wrong. Also you place great faith in that judges are – “trained to proceed on evidence”. Well on the evidence we have to be wrong on the ‘joint enterprise’ concept for 30 years looks the training is useless.

            • JJD

              Joint enterprise is different. That is about a correct or incorrect understanding of a legal principle, not the evidence on the basis of which a conviction is secured.

              • In2minds

                We can now see the understanding of joint enterprise was incorrect and for a considerable time. Using this as a litmus test the public are not going to be confident about our legal system.

                Also we should remind ourselves the quality of evidence as collected by the police varies a lot, the Paul Gambaccini will serve as an example. The entire process needs an overhaul.

        • Gilbert White

          Not applicable to black judges who beat children pevert the course and so on?

      • Roger Hudson

        So senior managers never went to radio 1 events, too busy up in the ivory tower.

        • JJD

          They were at least in part responsible for the overall culture of deference and detachment which marked the BBC, and especially the attitude to “the Talent” which Smith highlights as a particular problem in light entertainment & radio 1. I’m not for letting them off the hook, neither does Smith do that.

    • Andrew Cole

      She didn’t say she didn’t have an opinion in terms of ‘not having an opinion’. She is a judge that has been assigned to investigate within a parameter and whatever her opinion on Blackburn it is not for her to say within these parameters, especially as there has been no police charge on the matter and no court action. If she were to cast an opinion on it with this publicity due to the inquiry should she put forward an opinion now for it to be perceived she has already decided one way or the other.

      For all anyone know it could be dismissed straight away or proceed to court action her providing her opinion with the profile of this inquiry would not be the best idea.

      In my opinion it isn’t a whitewash. More a case of having to stay within legal parameters and be careful not to end up with lots of civil action because of defamatory suggestions within a report.

      I think she has said all she can say without crossing any lines.

      I also suspect at the beginning the BBC old schoolers pushed the Savile aspect hoping it would take the eye away from the culture within. They may well still be trying to do that to some degree with some very quiet ‘it would be in your best interests to find somewhere else to work’.

      The problem for the BBC is that now this is all out in the open and with the knowledge that there were so many people who worked with these high profile people and must have known or heard about what was going on that we could end up with thousands of people being investigated.

      Don’t take the wrong meaning from my words here but lots of people in the world have some quirks (vast majority being harmless to others) that others know about and its a case of ‘thats just the way he is’. It seems from this situation that this was looked on as some quirk and passed off with a casual ‘Thats how he is’ when this isn’t someone who likes a few too many sherries or tells a few sexist jokes or seems like he is on LSD all the time spouting wierd nonsense. This is some serious stuff that is not harmless and whist I understand that some people were in fear for their jobs that is not an excuse at all even if they thought they might lose their jobs. If not in the 70s where I can quite believe the authorities might have brushed it off they did not have to stay silent until 2013.

    • In2minds

      Over time large organisations can fall prey to what we see afflict the BBC. The police, NHS, civil service and many others have gone this way.

    • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

      EVERYBODY KNEW. I can easily remember watching Savile on Top of the Pops in about 1967 and my mother sneering at the leering behaviour of Savile as he more or less molested a girl of about 14 whom he was embracing on camera on TV. He was goggling at her, hanging his tongue out and looking for all the world like he would lick her like a dog as soon as the camera went off him. I distinctly remember my mother remarking that he was a disgusting lecher. I think she was well alert to the signs as in later life she told me she had suffered horrible advances from men when she was fourteen and worked in a factory in the mid 1930s. WE ALL KNEW that the pop world was rife with exploitation of teen aged ‘groupies’, many of whom were certainly under aged. Top of the pops featured numerous very attractive looking girls as audience / dancers and mostly they appear to be about fifteen. The camera rarely left the girls for long and the disc jockeys were always surrounded by the prettiest of them during their short pieces to camera. Often they had arms draped over their shoulders. The show evinced a very flirty atmosphere.

    • Malcolm Knott

      Some senior people at the BBC must have achieved promotion during the 30 odd years this stuff was going on. Presumably they were then able to erase from their memories all the rumours they had heard when they were still using the junior canteen.

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