October 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm 2 comments

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am going to link two stories that are hitting the headlines in the UK today. They may not seem to have much in common but to me there is a thread that links them….

Every day for the last week has seen new revelations about Jimmy Savile. For those of you who don’t know the name, he was a famous UK disc jockey who died last year. He had been famous for decades, known for radio and television shows plus his tireless charitable efforts. He was lauded and admired. However, it appears there was a much seedier side to Savile; he was a sexual predator. Many women have come forward to talk about assaults from unwanted touching to rape. There are ongoing investigations, both by police and within the BBC where Savile worked for many decades.

Some have asked why this is happening now, the man is dead and what good does it do. Some women have said that they went to the police years ago but their claims weren’t taken forward. Many who worked within the BBC from the 60s to the 80s and even today have said that inappropriate behaviour was not uncommon. I read about these times being ‘different’, workplace/life cultures have moved on. As someone who has worked from the 70s until now, whether in part-time work while studying or as now, full-time, I know workplace and indeed life cultures have changed.

Before anyone thinks I am an apologist for this – sexual assaults are wrong. I cannot believe that anyone thinks that the decade provides any excuse for that kind of behaviour. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I watched Have I Got News For You this week and agreed to some extent with Ian Hislop – he said that if people were not aware they couldn’t put a stop to it – the media frenzy that the BBC, hospitals and charities should be hung out to dry over this was not right if those organisations were not aware. HOWEVER, from some reports I have seen there were witnesses to at least some of Savile’s assaults. My question to them – did you report it at the time? If you did then thank you. If you didn’t, why the hell not?  When we see something that is wrong we are supposed to do something about it aren’t we? I have little sympathy with the tears of witnesses many years on if they were silent at the time. Yes, Savile was famous and his reputation as a kind man, a tireless worker for charity would have made it exceedingly difficult to go up against. Difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

I then look at the Lance Armstrong story. To get the disclaimer in place early – Lance Armstrong denies all of the allegations contained in the US Anti-Doping Administration (USADA) report about a systematic and thoroughly organised programme of using performance enhancing drugs and other methods to increase performance. Added to the report we now see fellow riders and support staff coming out to talk about the rigorous processes Mr. Armstrong followed to ensure that he was better than the rest; this would appear to also involve not getting caught.

I accept Lance Armstrong has the right to deny the contents of the report and subsequent news coverage. I am though, personally tempted to stand up, point and say ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire’. It seems to me that enough people have come forward to at least partially substantiate the report. I will always be a believer in due process and that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Because of this I can only say I am tempted to do the liar, liar action.

However, again I say to all those people who are so eager to talk about the transgressions of Lance Armstrong now but said nothing before – wrong, wrong, wrong. I see no noble actions here, just a tawdry and sorry story about the limits people may go to to win and those who would be content to further this aim whilst it might fit their own ends.

My final point – what do we do when we see something wrong? Do we act or do we allow? I like to think I would act and I hope you all would to.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.


Entry filed under: Charity, Childhood, Children, Donating, Giving, Jimmy Savile, Lance Armstrong, Life, wheniwas8. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Power and Reason? Should I? Shouldn’t I?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. WitteringWitney  |  October 18, 2012 at 9:49 am


    To repeat the comment I made on the day you wrote this…….

    Allegations against those who are dead are, to my mind, unfair and pointless. It is very easy to allege something when the accuser knows damn well that the defendant is unable to respond. Digressing slightly, this view is why I also believe that personal attacks against members of the Royal Family are unfair as they are also in a position whereby they cannot respond either.

    It is not to say that cases of paedophilia did not – and do not – occur, but would it not be more civilized of us as a society if we put in place measures to stop such happenings in the future – instead of vilifying someone against whom charges are being brought and on which no jury will ever have the opportunity of passing judgement.

    This entire matter of what amounts to vilification against Savile is nothing more than mob vigilantism who have become judge, jury and executioner.

    Do not misunderstand, I am not defending Savile – he may well have done that which he is accused of – what I am saying is how can there be any sense of justice in this matter when the defendant is unable to defend himself.

    There is of course the feelings of his family members to be taken into account – they too will probably be vilified and scorned and I have to ask why? Based on what is in effect ‘heresay evidence?

    Just saying………

    • 2. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  October 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm


      Interestingly, your comment needed no moderation and was automatically approved as you had commented previously on this blog. I have no idea why your initial comment did not appear as I would never delete real comments, merely the spam that is a fact of life for all bloggers.

      In essence, I agree with you regarding media reporting on those who have died (although if a historian writes a biography is there not some potential but more acceptable parallel?). As I said in the post some would say he is dead and why rake up the past? However, one good thing that may come out of this would be if any lingering attitudes that would allow this kind of behaviour to flourish would be, once and for all, eliminated. Actions of this type are criminal and abhorrent regardless of the perpetrator but facilitation by silence is almost as bad. That was my main point for the entire post – when you witness abuse you report it; sexual abuse or abuse of the faith that millions place in you. I do feel for the Savile family; their memories are tarnished and it must be a sorrow for them on top of their sorrow at his death. I assume at this point they had no suspicions of the allegations…..

      As for stories on the Royal Family? I would not want to be a member and do feel for them when what is obviously complete drivel comes out in the press. I also abhor the fascination certain papers have with the dress-sense, weight, imagined misery of the female members of that family. However, I also think they have their own, albeit small, back doors into the media and I hope that allows them some semblance of balance.

      Take care,



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