Jim’ll Fix It

Doesn’t this sound profusely grotesque now?

Ignorance is bliss, or so they say, but not at the sacrifice of 200 victims of Jimmy Savile and the BBC’s ‘paedophile ring’. Six decades worth of ignorance has come to the forefront of society in just over 3 weeks.  How can something so prolific, so blood-curdlingly disturbing, be kept for so long?

For those who have watched the Panorama special on Jimmy Savile, Karen Ward’s case will be familiar. Ward, interviewed by Newsnight last year, described the sexual abuse that she endured at the hands of Savile, as well as witnessing renowned paedophile, Gary Glitter, partaking in similar acts with other girls. Ward, a student at Duncroft Approved School for Girls encountered Savile at her school, whereby she states that he took girls out of the school and abused them in his car. Ward herself was abused by Savile, he offered her the opportunity to be on his TV show in return for oral sex and molested her. In the BBC itself Ward visited Savile’s dressing room, teeming with teenage girls, and witnessed Gary Glitter having sex with one of them.

Savile’s exploits however were not merely confined to young females, he also used his status to molest young boys. An interviewee described how he, at the age of 9, was included on one of Savile’s shows with his fellow boy scouts whereby Savile presented the scouts with a shared badge for their efforts. However, after the show, Savile approached the 9 year old boy and asked him if he would like a badge of his own. Savile took the young boy into a small dressing room and began touching him, with the boys own hands forced onto Savile’s groin.

As seen in the media, the BBC is not the only institution coming under fire for permitting Savile to navigate so easily around young people. The NHS is also under fire. Broadmoor Hospital, a high security psychiatric hospital, also gave Savile access to the young and vulnerable. One female patient described how Savile put his hands between her legs, without looking at her or acknowledging her, as if this was an expected and usual occurrence.

From looking at these three cases alone out of a possible 200 arising throughout six decades of abuse; it is evident that Savile was a manipulative, repugnant and malicious paedophile. The way in which he navigated the BBC studios, Duncroft school and Broadmoor Hospital exemplifies the fact that not only do he victimise the young, but also the vulnerable- being those described as ’emotionally disturbed’ and mentally unstable. What is even more copiously infuriating is the way in which Savile portrayed his own antics to his colleague’s and other celebrities including the ‘Have I Got News For You’ panellists.

In the video above Savile replies to Ian Hislop’s question “What did you do in the caravan?” with “Anyone I can lay my hands on”. In hindsight this reply is incredibly poignant, Savile’s dismissive and instinctive reply seems obvious looking back. The roars of laughter from the audience are an echoing emblem of the ignorance in which we were once bathed in regarding Savile’s paedophilic nature, which shows a striking contrast with the most recent series of ‘Have I Got News For You’ where Savile’s picture incited unease amongst the audience. This purely highlights what a revelation this has been to the public, but in some respects how ignorant people were beforehand, and how easily victims of Savile had previously been dismissed because of Saville’s ‘celebrity status’.

What we need to prevent is the glorification of celebrities, or anyone, to god-like proportions, whereby the testimony of other’s is disregarded. Although this has been revealed now, the damages to these victims lives is unrepairable, not only have they been abused and manipulated by Savile, but they have also been failed by society and made to feel that no one would believe their word against Savile’s. It is evident that many victims attempted to report Savile but no further action was taken.  Society should support and encourage victims of any form of abuse to speak out, if not for their own well-being but to prevent the further harm of others, and in Savile’s case to gain justice before it is too late. Coinciding this, authoritative institutions should also act effectively in response to any such claim in this case the BBC, the NHS and the Crown Prosecution Service.

We need to fix this.

To Sever for Years

Allegedly there is a severance between people and politics in this country: but is there really?

Perhaps politics has become disengaged from us? Admittedly we as a nation have changed significantly since the 1950s when political engagement was at a high, however, has politics itself evolved alongside us? I don’t think so.

In an article written by the Chairman of the U.K Youth Citizenship Commission, Jon Tonge, he attempts to claim that youth disengagement is due to a lack of understanding of the term ‘good citizen’ leading to a separation of the ‘good civic participant’ and the ‘active political contributor’.  Maybe that is because these ideal do not exist? Surely creating a generation of ‘good citizens’ would derail the need for different political parties altogether, as by being a ‘good citizen’ everyone would have the same ideals?

These terms mean nothing to me. A ‘good civic participant’ arouses an image of homo-idyllic-duplicates, in which becoming an ‘active political contributor’ merely gives politics more power. If everyone adhered to these ideals, then there would be no disengagement from politics, but a lack of individualism and priority only to the masses; with everyone voting and participating politically this gives those at the top more power, removing the need for parties as surely the ‘good citizens’ would all advocate the same policies.

But realistically this is not ideal for ‘us’. Who wants to become a homo-idyllic-duplicate? Not me. What must be strived for within politics is the enhancement of individualism: making politics important for the individual, making it personal rather than addressing people as a ‘target group’.

But do all politicians want the masses to engage?

In some respects this could have a negative influence on party popularity, for instance, many of those labelled as ‘disengaged’ from politics are also ‘disadvantaged’ and therefore are hardly likely to vote Conservative and become increasingly deprived. Therefore, why is it such a surprise that political disengagement is at an all-time high when the party in power does not desire increased participation?

Rather than focusing on ‘disengagement’ solely, firstly all the ‘dis-‘ needs to removed from society; ‘DISadvantaged’ should not be a term used to describe anyone living within the U.K, a first world country. At the very least people should not be DIScriminated for being DISadvantaged. How can the ‘disadvantaged’ be criticised for ‘disengagement’ when they have no trust, and no reason to trust the political sphere?

Clearly disengagement with politics is ripe, however this is not wholly due to the current idea that ‘people don’t care any more’  or that ‘people don’t understand’ it’s because politics no longer understands the people.  Arguably, the right to vote also entails the right not to vote and the right not to politically participate and therefore political disengagement, rather than being inactive, may be an active stance against the current political climate.

If this continues to derail then politics and the people may sever for years to come.

Apparently the Drugs Do Work

This retaliation to my previous post ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ has stuck at the forefront of my mind for weeks now. So many questions with no answers: what do you mean they work? how do they work? what are they working for? what is their purpose?

It’s incredulous when people casually mention drugs, in such an off hand manner: ‘Oh hey, I take drugs’ they might as well be saying. What’s even worse is that this type of conversation doesn’t shock the majority of people any more. In a group of 8 people who hadn’t previously met beforehand (it was at a group interview) when one mentioned getting high and how he was looking forward to getting high again all but two of us joined in this conversation. Urging him onwards he also divulged an occasion when he went to work “off his head on ‘e'” only two of us were shocked by this. How do I know that? We were the only ones not to divulge any of our own experiences with drugs (I’ve never had any). That’s 75% of the group openly admitting to taking drugs, why is this so common and so acceptable?

It appears that acceptability is derived from numbers. Drug use has a domino effect, someone you know suddenly starts taking them, all of a sudden people even closer to you are falling under the pressure or sense of experimentation, one waver and you’re taken under by the drugs- some stand resolutely against this force, but the numbers are dwindling after every conquest. It’s not all down to pressure, there are many reasons why people start taking drugs and continue to: the most irritating of all is the ‘you’re-just-a-posh-cunt-and-think-you’re-cool’ situation. By doing drugs you’re basically saying that being yourself isn’t good enough, your life isn’t good enough, you use drugs as a means of escape: but no one wants to admit that. People look down upon self harming because it’s viewed as depressive, whereas drug abuse is associated with ‘having a good time’ and partying, I know that people would be more shocked if I self harmed than if I started popping pills: but they’re both as equally destructive.

The point of this is not to make people listen, I already know they aren’t. Apparently ‘the drugs do work’, or so I’ve been told.

The Greed Society

Nothing is sincere anymore. Everyone and everything has an ulterior motive. Even something that’s meant to be sincere, selfless and giving is motivated by greed.

Fundraising is something that comes under this umbrella of  goodness, selflessness and sincerity, but unfortunately this umbrella is permeated by droplets of human greed, saturating it’s surface until something, even as good as charity, becomes a point of selfishness. Everything is subdued by want of profit or some other form of self attainment and I ask myself ‘does selflessness even exist?’ Is every action derived from human greed? Surely if we analyse every action or decision we have made every single one adheres to an aspect of greed and self attainment.

What becomes even more apparent is the correlation between concepts that are generally conceived as selfless and those that are acknowledged as selfish, for example; fundraising and banking. Through personal experience it is evident that paid fundraisers have just as many, if not more, pound signs in their eyes than bankers. To some extent the methods of paid fundraisers are incredibly more concerning than those of bankers. A whole business hiding behind the charade of being for charity: employees breaking laws to try and get more donations to aid their bonus, forcing elderly people to stand at their doorsteps when it is obvious that they are physically unable to, and exploiting the generosity of the vulnerable- it all seems pretty unethical to me.

Fundraising should be about encouraging people to give, not forcing them. It should not be about greed and trying to exceed your targets to procure YOUR bonus, it should be about that feeling you get when you realise how many people’s lives you are aiding by procuring donations.

That feeling of overwhelming happiness that you get when you know you’ve done something ‘right’ should always be enough to do anything- but is even this just another form of self attainment?

And we come back to the same debate, is anything selfless? Can we ever escape the binding characteristics of our human nature and demonstrate true selflessness?