It’s Brendan! Again! Yes he’s back, that mischief-loving scamp from Living Libertarian Marxism or do I mean Zombie Catholic Theocracy. What is it this time? It’s that the reporting and commentary on Jimmy Savile is – wait for it – a witch-hunt.
Wut? The guy’s dead. How can it be a witch hunt when he’s dead?
With each passing day – hour, in fact – the Jimmy Savile scandal looks more and more like a modern-day version of the hysteria that gripped seventeenth-century Salem, when a small town in Massachusetts became convinced that it had witches in its midst. Since the first accusations of child abuse were made against the late BBC entertainer in an ITV documentary on 3 October, Britain’s chattering classes have become consumed by a witch-hunting mentality, with almost every respectable institution, from the BBC to the NHS to the child-protection industry, finding itself dragged into a vortex of Savile-related suspicion and rumour, accusation and counteraccusation.
But he’s dead. He’s gone. People in Salem became convinced that it had witches in its midst: living witches, currently active witches, witches that could get you at any moment. Not people who were already gone.
We also have hysterical, mob-like attacks on the alleged witches, as in Salem. Being dead, Savile can’t be dragged into a showtrial and hanged, as the witches of Salem were, but he can be subjected to a posthumous trial by media, in which every claim made about him is instantly taken as good coin.
At least he admits the logistical problem with his being dead, but only to sweep it away. I don’t know how careful and accurate the coverage is, but Brendan doesn’t really seem to be interested in that – he’s clearly much more interested in his usual “I’m not like them” pose and in hyperbolic castigation.
And in the most striking echo of Salem, the initial fingerpointing at Savile has descended into fingerpointing at others; at everyone; at those who knew about his abuse but said nothing, and those who didn’t know about it but should have; against the ‘complicit’, the ‘silent’, the ‘enablers’, the ‘accomplices’.
And? What about it? There are such people in the world; what’s with the scare-quotes?
The Savile story is really a vessel for the cultural elite’s perverted obsession with child abuse, and more importantly its belief that everyone is at it – that in every institution, ‘town, village and hamlet’, there are perverts and innocence despoilers, casually warping the next generation. In modern Britain, the figure of The Paedophile has become the means through which the misanthropes who rule over us express their profound fear and suspicion of adults in general, and also of communities and institutions – even of the institutions they hold dear, such is the self-destructive dynamic triggered by the unleashing of the Salem ethos. If Savile had never existed, the chattering classes would have had to invent him, so perfect an encapsulation is he of their degenerate view of the whole of adult society today.
Godalmighty. Is it funny or scary or both? It’s as if he’s describing himself, but somehow projecting it onto everyone else. One minute “the cultural elite” has a perverted obsession, but the next minute that elite is seeing perverts everywhere. Which is it?! Is it the elite that is perverted, or is it the elite that sees perverts under every rock? And who are these misanthropes who fear adults who rule over us? Who are these chattering classes with their “degenerate view”? He sounds scarily like a Nazi there.
It’s as if he’s a raving lunatic complaining about all these raving lunatics cluttering up the place.