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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

An odd intersection

From an auctioneers’ website:

lot details

lot no 305

description
A silver rectangular medallion, London 1977, applied with ‘WE FIX’D IT FOR JIM’ and ‘NATIONAL VALA 1977′, 4.2cm high, with a suspension loop, on a belcher link chain, the ring catch stamped ‘STER’

The National Viewers’ And Listeners’ Association (National VALA) was founded by Mary Whitehouse, CBE (1910-2001) in 1965.

Provenance: From the estate of Sir Jimmy Savile. OBE, KCSG, LLD (1926-2011)

It would be ridiculous to attempt to extract some moral from the existence of a medallion apparently issued by the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, 1970s campaigners against obscenity, particularly obscenity on the BBC, and the late Jimmy Savile, 1970s BBC DJ and TV host, now alleged (credibly alleged, despite the inevitable swarm of bandwagoneers) to have been a sexual predator with no regard for gender, age, vulnerability or consent. Any competent hack could whip up two think-pieces with mutually exclusive morals in one hour flat and bank his cheques from the Mail and the Guardian in the morning.

It was just an odd thing I found on the internet.

Just to add to the oddity, the auction was held in Saviles Hall. It is no longer possible to Google for the origin of that name.

The medallion went for £220, somewhat below the estimate. Wonder what it’s worth now?

Yes, I think I am avoiding talking about the Savile case. You can remedy that below. The case, as opposed to the medallion, throws up so many questions and points for discussion that I was hard put to keep the number of categories for this post under half a dozen. Please bear the laws of libel in mind if referring to living persons.

4 comments to An odd intersection

  • I said something to Brian about this case and he said, “you have to be very careful who you say that sort of thing to” and so I think I’ll be avoiding talking about it, too. It is one of a few subjects I avoid on Samizdata… but I have said too much. :)

  • Alisa

    I don’t get it, Rob: are people really reluctant to talk about it and why? I saw a brief explanation of the case on our TV here with some background about Savile, etc., but obviously not enough…

  • Yes, Rob, I was actually rather joking, insofar as one can joke about such things. Comment away, I say.

    I had in mind a few people who, confronted with the attempt to distinguish between assaulting legally under-age but physically ready-for-it-age girls (which is what Saville (I think) did, in among seducing others) and paedophilia, go mental. They think that by distinguishing between this and that bad behaviour, you are condoning some bad behaviour. Or, they kind of think that once a line (in this case a rather arbitrary legal age) is fixed, then the readiness to even discuss it equates to a desire to break it, or to condoning the behaviour of those who do.

    For me, the most distressing cases are the ones where young girls really did not want Saville doing what he did to them, but who dared not say so because they were hoping for showbiz careers. It must take a lot of courage to tell a showbiz-star/sexual-predator to get lost, if you are a struggling show bizzer yourself, hanging on by your finger nails to your hopes of some kind of career. Talk about a legal grey area.

    What happened to people of this sort who did tell Saville to lay off? Were they actually raped? In many cases, yes? Did no-sayers who successfully resisted Saville’s advances have their careers shafted? In a way, even nastier, I think.

    The really big question is if there turns out to have been a whole network of people like Saville within the BBC. That could really hurt the BBC, to say nothing of all the mere people it hurt.

  • Stephen Willmer

    I always rather assumed he was a bit that way inclined. I always rather assumed it was obvious.

    Wasn’t it?

    And if it was, does that help explain the hysteria? It’s a sort of inverse-Calibanic rage, seems to me.