Savile and the cult of the expose

The exposure of Jimmy Savile as a paedophile at the heart of the Establishment is one of those very British things. Using celebrity, ‘charitable’ activity, the honours system and catholicism to mask his low life intentions for half a century, Savile played a reprehensible game against young people preying on the vulnerable and perverting the aspirations of the aspiring. He twisted a healthy national concern for the young into its opposite. His exposure reveals interesting things about the British Establishment. As always these are contradictory. Firstly, there is a genuine intention to get to the truth of the matter, to leave no stone unturned and eventually respect the voices of his victims. No expense will be spared in the process. Secondly, there is the lingering possibility that the pulling of the Newsnight expose may have been more than an editorial mistake. Who will fall on their sword if so? More interestingly the third element of this situation shows how the media frenzy and calls for justice and investigation into the pain caused by one man and possibly accomplices, soaks up great energy at a time when the systemic abuse of young people through poverty, unemployment and a new cultural violence towards them is at its highest ever. Savile occupied one of those curiously British interfaces where so called do gooders actually seriously abuse public services for their own gain. There are many privateers who do this at a gargantuan scale each day. Savile’s come uppance should not blind us to the structural predicament young people now face and the vandalism against our public services. No charity, TV programme, or celebrity can fix that.

Please subscribe to Receive the Worker Newsletter

We Leave The EU In

Meta