So I nervously checked my blog archive to see if I'd ever mentioned Jimmy Savile and apparently I did on one occasion just over seven years ago. I didn't praise him or anything. Just used one of his dopey catchphrases.
One thing that has resonated with me about this posthumous exposure of Savile is that the girls he is accused of having assaulted are now women of around my age. And he would have been around the same age as some of the creeps who seemed to believe it was acceptable to grope and grab at me and my friends and cousins when we were in our early and mid-teens.
In the sixties and seventies there were far too many adult men taking liberties with young girls for there was not the same revulsion for that kind of behaviour as there is now. We girls warned each other about the 'perverts'. We could understand why they'd fancy us but it was incomprehensible to us why they dreamed that we might find them attractive. It was easy enough to fend off those fellows with the greasy comb-overs and the tweed flat caps but God knows what might have happened if we'd ever met anyone charismatic.
Times have changed a little. I don't think there can be many male teachers left that would get away with 'pinging' a girl's bra strap as happened at my sister's school. Nowadays that guy would be out of a job real quick.
The thing is, Jimmy Savile must be one of thousands if not tens of thousands, of famous people who have used their fame, their power and their influence to take advantage of and assault young men and women below the age of consent. It is common knowledge that musicians such as Jimmy Page and Bill Wyman went out with girls in their early teens. Even the late and greatly admired John Peel had liaisons with girls in their teens. He admitted himself to having married a 15 year old when he worked in the United States. I remember reading this about Peel many years ago and thinking that Julie Burchill was a bitter bitch but maybe she had a point.
So what's my point? I'm really not that shocked about these revelations about Savile. Like many others I always knew there was something. But I didn't think that it would be as ordinary as being attracted to very young women. What is shocking is that he did it in plain view and he got away with it. Seems a shame it's all coming out now that he's dead.