How did they get away with it?

July 4th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

It seems incredible that both Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville both abused scores, if not hundreds, of young women and girls, and only decades later has it come to light.

It makes you wonder what were the circumstances that allowed them to get away with it for so long. Here’s my 2c on it:

  1. The times. Nowadays if a celebrity perved on you, more and more girls would kick them in the nuts (as they should) and Facebook or tweet what happened. Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, it was far harder to tell people
  2. Their charity work. They often preyed on girls while doing charity work. That probably played on their guilt, that they didn’t want to say anything in case it harmed the charity
  3. Would they be believed? They didn’t realise hundreds of other girls had had the same thing happen to them. Why say anything, if you’ll not be believed.
  4. The Police. The UK Police seemed to have a see no evil, hear no evil attitude in those days, when it comes to celebrities.
  5. Institutional cover ups. The BBC, the hospitals and others had all heard the rumours. Some were open secrets. Rather than act on the rumours, they preferred to just hope they weren’t true. They were wrong.

Could this happen in NZ today? I hope not.

One can only feel for the scores of victims who had to spend decades thinking that this had happened to them only.

UPDATE: National MP Maggie Barry has revealed that Rolf Harris groped her when she was interviewing him, when she was in her 20s. Again, so many victims.

Jimmy Savile

October 29th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve not blogged on this to date, as the media has been all over it. But the sheer scale of the revelations are worth commenting on.

Saville, or Sir James as he was a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory (Papal Knight).  He was also a member of Mensa.

A journalist tweeted that the UK Police has 10 officers investigating his alleged 400 cases of sexual abuse, and over 100 officers investigating journalists for listening to voicemail messages!

He is dead now, but the question is how he got away with it for so long. The Police interviewed him in 2007 oevr allegations, and in 2000 he talked about how some people claim he is a pedophile. A pity his denials did not get investigated. Likewise his defence of Gary Glitter in 2009 should have rung warning bells. He was first investigated back in 1958 it seems!

The BBC first heard of the rumours in 1973, and asked for a report on them. Nothing happened. And of course the BBC canned one of its own programmes in late 2011 that would have reported on the allegations.

There are half a dozen different investigations into Saville, the BBC and the health service (he has access to young patients and often abused them). I suspect in today’s Internet age, he would have been called out much sooner on.