Jimmy Savile: not quite vile enough?

The spectacle of Maria Miller, the newly appointed Culture Secretary, clambering onto the capacious Jimmy Savile bandwagon to give us the benefit of her immense wisdom has been super-sick-making in a story that’s already quite vomitorial enough.

She is quoted as saying “Following… the revelations that have emerged… very real concerns are being raised about public trust and confidence in the BBC.”

How very helpful. Without her contribution, we would never have worked that out for ourselves: we ought be grateful to her for bringing such penetrating insight to bear.

But wait a minute. Can you detect a certain whiff of rodent? The Tories have been making a practice of missing the big targets when they were offered: just think Murdoch – how wide of the mark were they on that? And they have freely availed themselves of countless other opportunities to insert foot in mouth. Railways. Andrew Mitchell. Energy tariffs. Too many to recall.

So Jimmy Savile, may he rot in hell, has given them a golden opportunity (and they’re going to use it) safely to sermonise. It’s got everything: the moral high ground; the finger-wagging; the chance to bludgeon the hapless BBC. Other members of the Cabinet must be green with envy that it’s landed in Maria’s lap, if that’s not too florid a metaphor in this context.

But hang on: she’s not alone. Members of the Commons Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport lost no time in feasting on the soon-to-be corpse of the unfortunate George Entwistle in a gratuitous display of sneering and oneupmanship that smacks of a release of pent-up frustration: it must be very cathartic for them to have some other poor bugger to focus on, after all these years of their own parliamentary, nose-in-trough hanky-panky.

It’s playground bullying and it’s getting more prevalent. More and more, the Tories seem to be playing the role of the Senior Common Room bullies – look at them: Osborne, Gove, Hunt, May and the Cameron himself. Nasty.

But not as nasty as Jimmy Savile (note emphasis on ‘vile’). Well no, of course not. But, as Maria Miller demonstrates, you can always turn a vile horror into a golden opportunity, as long as you’re Tory enough.

No comments: