3 July 2014
We're all to blame….
Once again, when Rolf Harris is found guilty, we witness all sorts of public hand wringing on the part of the media and the great and the good. 'How can this have happened?' is the most common refrain, as if the speaker didn't know or was somehow detached from the events and their history.
I seem to remember that Esther Rantzen made similar comments when the truth about Savile became public knowledge and now we hear that the late Geoffrey Dickens handed some sort of dossier about paedophilia within Parliament to Leon Britten back in the 1980s and, guess what, nothing happened.
And why does nothing happen? Because everyone sits back and waits for someone else to do something. And why does that happen? Because everyone is complicit in the silence. Because people are either scared or don't care, until the facts come out and then there is universal condemnation of the wrong-doer and the associated public hand-wringing.
And its all about what is and what is not acceptable in any given society at any given time. One celebrity name that seems to have escaped attention thus far is that of John Peel and, although I haven't read the book, it was mentioned last week on BBC Radio 4 that Peel admitted to having sex with under-age girls. And he probably did it because, at that time, it was OK, it was the done thing, it was one of the perks of the business. But it was abuse, of power, of position and it was against the law, but everyone else was doing it so why not join in?
And the same standards apply today, its just that the way we interpret them has changed. Can you imagine a CD with an 11 year old girl, topless, on the front cover. Blind Faith got away with it in 1969 but they wouldn't get away with it today.
But there is plenty of abuse going on today in all parts of our society and much of it is sanctioned by our society, because our society just doesn't care. Or at least it doesn't until someone else makes the effort.
Posted by niall connolly at 12:57