I’ve chosen my headline very carefully. Read it and most will, with a moment’s thought, know exactly why I did so. It makes uncomfortable reading on so many levels.
I have no personal interest in the case – unless you count the fact that all my Gt Grandparents are buried in the same cemetery in Scarborough – and, like many, am heartily sick of his image plastered all over the media. There are few things more pitiful than to see the British Media wringing its hands in a display of soul-searching and self-mortification which you know is even less than skin-deep. “Why didn’t we..?” “Why didn’t they…?” etc Alongside this there is the distinct stomach-turning whiff of voyeurism common to all such reporting.
The point is that NO ONE did – for whatever reason, act on rumours or evidence and now the man is dead and there can be no trial, the media can let rip with a feeding frenzy worthy of a pack of the fittest sharks. Names of others still living are being hinted at darkly and, if evidence can be found, no doubt they will be brought to trial. In this sense, his death has helped. He might have escaped justice but the tearing into his life and activities by a suddenly liberated media must have others equally guilty, mortified with fear.
One area in particular fills me with disgust and loathing and that is the possible activities in the hospitals Saville was associated with. As a mother of a former Great Ormond Street patient, in and out of the place for nearly 18 years, that really hurts. We had to endure many visits of the “great and the good” to cot and bed side and most of the time I was there right beside my son because we had advance warning.But on one occasion, in the evening, after going to find something to eat, I returned to my baby’s cot to find a printed postcard from a famous jockey on the coverlet with a hand written signature. The nurse said he had visited my very sick baby as part of one of his regular informal visits and wasnt I lucky? My reply was unprintable. This was years ago, but I still remember the creeping sense of horror when I realised that a strange man had access, unsupervised, to my child without my knowledge.
Michael Jackson and George Michael also visited while we were in patients on other occasions. Now GOSH has different policies and requires parental permission now for visits by celebrities. Fame and probity are not automatic bedfellows!
I dislike and detest the way the media are behaving, but on this occasion, it might actually be a force for good. If they take the lid off on-going behaviour among the living and expose weaknesses in hospital protocols, then Saville might have done his very last “Fix It” – despite himself.