A 56 page report from West Yorkshire Police about their part in the Jimmy Savile case, released yesterday (Friday 10th May), gave no apology for any failings.
Despite being warned from elsewhere of investigations against him, investigations that were scuppered from higher up, the force continued to use Savile’s celebrity for campaigns. Officers met regularly with him at his flat, on our time and money, in cosy conflabs known as “The Friday Morning Club”.
But this post won’t discuss the possibility of cover-up, nor will I snarl at the police.
Instead, I ask you to consider what the tabloids would have made of such an evasive report if it had been put out by the BBC. The sound money is that they would be foaming at the mouth. There may be critique of the police, I haven’t read all the papers cover to cover. But it is clearly far milder in tone and less prolific in space accorded.
If the BBC had protected Cyril Smith by removing files we would never hear the last of it. In the event, it was MI5, so we barely hear the first.
For all the BBC’s faults, the sordid realms of the press seemed more interested in an opportunity to attack their differently funded “rival” than any kind of justice.
Tabloids like to oggle and drool over child abuse generally, as the lurid coverage of various individual cases demonstrates. They were also caught spying on at least one murdered child and her family.
In relation to Operation Yewtree, the coverage of alleged crimes is in proportion not to the horror of the alleged crime, but to the celebrity of the person investigated. Hardly any mention of Operation Fernbridge either. Less celebs. Establishment figures maybe, but shhh…..
The obsession with the celebrity angle is quite possibly a distraction from other murkier aspects of the overall issue. That doesn’t matter though. Selling papers matters.
Tabloid exploitation of child abuse is demonstrable. It is commercial and political.
Who speaks out against it in public life? Politicians, faith leaders, the charity sector? No one.
Why? Perhaps they haven’t seen the wood for the trees, or maybe they would fear repercussions from the same tabloids. That’s how bullies work.
Bullies only back down when stood up to. Why is our national life over dominated by these despicable vultures?