Can anybody tell me why we need an enquiry into the Jimmy Saville affair?
Do we need an enquiry because forty years ago it was an accepted part of life that people in positions of authority abused that authority?
I left school in ’74 and entered the workplace, a slightly naive 16 year old.
It wasn’t long before a (married) friend of my Dad’s was offering me a lift home and then stopping in a lay-by hoping for a snog and a grope.
At least he had the decency to take ‘no’ for an answer.
Then there was the chap I worked with who was well over twice my age (also married), in fact he would have been about as old as my Dad, so nearly forty years older than me, making improper suggestions including going to stay at his house whilst his missus was away.
And so it went on, culminating in my boss at the time pinning me up against the pipework when we were alone in the building and saying -got to admit this is one hell of a smooth chat up line, there again he was Welsh, (married and slightly more than twice my age)- “I’ve wanted to fuck you since the day I first saw you.”
When I politely declined he made my life a misery until the point where I could stand it no longer and left. Obviously if I would have accepted this charming offer I would have enjoyed a shining career, or maybe not.
And bear in mind I wouldn’t class myself as, to use one of Dad’s favourite phrases, “a raving beauty”.
It certainly wasn’t unusual for such behaviour in the workplace, and lets face it people with power do use that power to get what they want, always have done and probably to a certain extent always will.
And there will always be those who go along with it for their own ends.
Ever heard of the casting couch? How about wealthy older men with their trophy wives? Rock stars and groupies? Premier League footballers “roasting” sessions? These girls are willing participants, pursuing their own agendas.
So at the BBC in the late sixties through to the eighties the morals of the employees were a bit loose.
And you can say that the girls Jim was fixing it for were underage, but as I recall in my early teens we all wanted to look and be taken for older than we were. We lied about our ages to get into ‘X’ films, discos, the pub. Having watched my daughter and her friends go through exactly the same processes I don’t think anything has changed much there. We didn’t want to go out with boys our own age cos they were so immature. We wanted to go out with men and be treated like women. Some girls probably knew that to be treated like a woman you had to be willing to behave like a woman, and some would not.
So why do we need an enquiry into it?
You may as well have an enquiry into servants seduced by their employers in Victorian and Edwardian times.
It was what happened at the time.
Hopefully it would not be tolerated today, by colleagues, by “victims”, by all the people who knew about this open secret, because now we all know about child abuse, grooming, paedophillia, sexual abuse, harrassment, bigotry and discrimination. We all know and should not be too shy to say when something isn’t right. We know there are people we can talk to and to complain to should the need arise.
Perhaps the inquiry should be looking into whether the behaviour prevalent amongst its presenters forty years ago is still prevalent now. That would be something.
If it was then perhaps there could be some discussion of how to prevent it.
I’ll give you the advice we gave to SezJez.
Don’t put yourself in situations you can’t easily get out off, e.g. don’t let yourself end up in a bedroom with a boy at a party unless you want to get laid.
Don’t lose control, i.e. don’t get so drunk, off your face, that you don’t know what is happening to you.
Most importantly REMEMBER NO MATTER HOW NICE THEY SEEM ALL MEN WANT TO DO IS GET INSIDE YOUR KNICKERS.
Unfortunately not many teenagers heed such warnings.
So perhaps instead of spending money on a pointless inquiry that will conclude that sex was a central part of the BBC a reasonably long time ago the money would be better spent educating youngsters to have a bit more self respect and realistic expectations.
That could be achieved by having some old codger dress up as Jimmy Saville and stick his tongue down their throats.
Certainly be enough to put aanybody off I would have thought.