Oh my god, it’s all over the TV and radio – that image of the man with the mad hair, the big glasses and the ever present giant cigar.
Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, OBE, KCSG was an English disc jockey, television presenter and media personality who passed away at the age of 84- this is how he is described on Wikipedia.
No doubt the description and the extra information that is generated about him on that site will expand and change quite substantially as the next few months unravel.
The investigations into the case will continue and no doubt the level of revelations will increase exponentially. This is a truly shocking case and it seems unbelievable that so many victims and witnesses stayed silent allowing this behaviour to continue over and over, drawing more and more innocent victims into his net.
Now that “Jim Will Fix It” is dead many victims and witnesses are prepared to divulge the most sordid of information about him.
Why could people not have opened their mouths earlier is an obvious question to ask? How many victims would have been saved from the most horrible, sordid, predatory experiences if this was the case?
The truth is people are and were frightened – would they be believed, would they be supported, would they be crushed for “speaking out” without sufficient proof, would they find themselves in trouble, would it be better to just stay silent? Even better .. I don’t want to get involved!
Some of the “silent many” were innocent and vulnerable victims. Others were senior media figures, his friends and his peers who lived through this period and in many cases according to reports actually witnessed some of the incidents.
Many innocent people paid a huge price for this silence in the case of Jimmy Saville. We are seeing so many other instances of people paying a huge price for silence in some many other areas. We help them to get away with their behaviour, we help them to be untouchable. The vulnerable must feel safe enough to talk and everyone else who knows better must be compelled to.
We need to look carefully at our legal systems, our values, our structures and figure out who we are really protecting ..