Monday, 1 October 2012

Jimmy Saville, Gay Marriage, Ed Balls and Keith Vaz MP – well, blow me down!

Some days, the world seems to tilt on its axis before you’ve had time to make it through your first cup of tea. This morning’s paper was full of reports which – should they prove to be true – would seem to make a nonsense of so many of the beliefs that underpin our national life.

First, despite our enlightened politico-media elite constantly assuring us that voters are “cool” with the idea of legalising gay marriage – in a laid-back, metrosexual, “yeah whatever”, “mine’s a frappucchino”, chillaxed sort of way – MPs from all the main parties say that their postbags are positively stuffed with letters from constituents opposed to any such move – 45% of Tory MPs said it was the number one issue with those who wrote to them, falling to 30% for Lib Dems and 23% for Labour MPs. On average, 1 in 25 constituents who wrote to their elected representative considered legalised same-sex marriage a priority.

That’s astonishing! 

Surely when 36.1% of the electorate voted Conservative in 2010, gay marriage was right at the top of their list of concerns. I know I was thinking of little else. Of course our leaders know what’s best for us, so I’m really hoping that David Cameron does what he’s done on every other issue where voters have made their wishes clear – ignore them completely and plough on regardless with policies designed to appeal to Guardian readers who wouldn't vote Tory even if it meant having to give up their holiday homes in Tuscany: I’m sure the 4% of voters to whom the gay marriage issue actually matters will more than make up for the mass defections the Tories will suffer at the polls in 2015.

No sooner had I recovered from this shock than I read that Esther Rantzen seems to be lending credence to the paedophilia allegations to be levied against The Nation’s Favourite Disk Jockey, Jimmy Saville (well, not the current favourite, obviously, because he’s dead) by ITV in a documentary due to be broadcast on Wednesday night. Apparently, five women have come forward with tales of sexual abuse at the hands of a man whom we had all assumed to be a model of normality and probity: that’s made the founder of ChildLine feel a bit guilty: “We all blocked our ears to the gossip. There was gossip, there were rumours.” 

Personally, I can’t believe a man capable of treating a 14-year old girl as sensitively as “Sir” Jimmy does in the following clip (go to 3’30”) could ever be suspected of sexually abusing minors:

How’s about that then?

But some tea actually went down the wrong way when I read that Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls had repeatedly refused to apologise for the last Labour government’s record on the economy while being interviewed on Today : “I don’t think for a second that it was Labour public spending which caused the global financial crisis.” (Maybe not – but it was undoubtedly what made it utterly impossible for this country to weather the global financial crisis, leaving us in debt to the tune of £1 trillion.)

I really must listen to the interview – when I’ve recovered from all these shocks – because, up ‘til now, there has been no one more ready to shoulder the blame for their part in ensuring that our children face a lifetime of debt than Ed Balls. Enough with the sackcloth and ashes, fatso!

As for the news that – according to the Telegraph – a “Scotland Yard inquiry said funds believed to have been ‘of a suspicious nature’ were paid into current and savings accounts in the name of or linked to Keith Vaz, a minister in the previous Labour government”, well, I don’t believe a word of it. Parliament investigated the almost £500,000 allegedly deposited in the MP’s accounts between 1997 and 2001, and cleared him of any wrong-doing – and if parliament was satisfied, then we should all be. Naked racism, that’s all it is. After all, if Keith Vaz isn’t as straight as a dye, who can we trust?

I may have to give the papers a miss for the rest of the week. I’m not sure I can take any more.


  1. Like you, I am still reeling from the shock of hearing that there might have been something not quite right about leering, tactile, mother-fixated Jim'll fiddle with it. Thank goodness the clip you feature also includes footage of wholesome, not at all dodgy family entertainer Cliff to reassure us that there is still goodness in the world.

  2. If there was an institution called "The Hall of Creeps" there are three candidates here qualifying for immediate induction.But as far as Saville is concerned live and let live [no, that's wrong] mortuis nil etc. I shall be saddened if his tasteful mini-mausoleum [complete with typos] is desecrated.I take it is not to hard to spot. I wonder if his chums Gary Glitter and Jonathon King appeared on TOTP with him? Is Cliff "Bachelor Boy" Richards still with us or has he gone off to join Jimmy and the Duchess?

  3. Sir Clifford is still with us, and, as far as I know, still living with his constant companion, a former Roman Catholic priest with whom - he assures us (and I for one believe him) - he does not make the beast with two backs (or, come to think of it, should that be the beast with one back? Hmm.)

    Personally, I don't care about Cliff's possible leanings, because - while he isn't everyone's cup of tea - he doesn't exude the air of menacing creepiness that Saville always did, that sense of there being something exceptionally nasty in the woodshed. Or caravan. Or BBC dressing room. Or, it transpires, anywhere, really.

  4. I was thinking about Saville again. If they take away his title and gong posthumously what happens to his bijou mausoleum and the various inscriptions [literally cast in stone]? Do they emend it along with the current typos, rewrite the whole thing or destroy it and plough salt into the ground [Cartago delenda est]? I would like to see the documentary on Saville, but I don't think I could take watching more footage of him.

  5. Man in a Bad Mood3 October 2012 at 22:29

    To answer your question, SDG, there's a space on an empty plinth for statuary at Trafalgar Square. Maybe it should be reserved for the utterly discredited, one week at time, and the destroyed.

    Line up in no particular order. Arthur Koestler, Abbie Hoffman, Saul Alinsky, The Beat Poets, Tariq Ali, Salman Rushdie, Regis Debray, Every England manager since Alf, Che Guacamole, The Touching Marble Savile Memorial, Alastair Campbell, The Best of Trad Jazz, Keith Vas-Differens, Jon Snow, The Flying Bastardo Brothers, Laurie Penney, Martin Amis....

    Fill in the gaps.

  6. Interesting list, Man in a Bad Mood.I had to look up Alinsky and Penney so I am now wiser. Thanks. Many candidates come to mind, too numerous to mention.

  7. I see from this morning's newspapers that SDG's words about desecration of Savile memorials have proved sadly prophetic. I am sure he will join me in expressing the hope that should there be more such attacks, perhaps aimed at the mausoleum rather than a plaque as in this case, they will be condemned in the most forthright terms by our Blogmeister

    1. I am distressed to hear that both the Glasgow statue of Sir Jimmy Savile - tastefully situated next to a children's swimming pool - has had to be removed (mind you, judging from the photographs, it was possibly - and fittingly - the worst piece of statuary I have ever seen), as has a plaque at the tireless worker for charity's former Scarborough home (some vandal spray-painted "paedophile" and "rapist" on it). After all, isn't a man innocent until the BBC, the Press and numerous police forces around the country have twigged that the game's up and they'd better be seen to be doing something about the wicked old bastard, having utterly failed to do anything whatsoever to protect his victims when it would actually have made a difference?

  8. This falls some way short of the emphatic tone of disapprobation that I had expected. Which of our national landmarks is now safe? Where will it end?

    I, for one, hope that the rage of the mob is not visited upon the monument to the King of Pop, so tastefully sculpted and on a fitting plinth outside the Fulham football stadium.