The BBC has come under renewed scrutiny and criticism following details of its proposed compensation package for victims of longtime broadcasting personality and recently-exposed sex offender Jimmy Savile.
The £4 million package is to be shared between some 120 victims of Jimmy Savile, coming to less than £34,000 per victim for the suffering which they endured. This has sparked particular outrage as it is notably less than the figure paid out to the broadcaster’s executive board over a period of twelve months.
Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011 and was never brought to justice for his crimes, was said to have been enabled in his heinous activities by the BBC, to the point where his sexual assaults against minors were allowed to take place on BBC premises and with the knowledge of BBC staff. These incidents are currently the subject of an independent inquiry, headed by Dame Janet Smith.
The proposed figure has been described as miserly and reprehensible by many, as well as being tantamount to denial of involvement in the crimes. The state-funded organisation has downplayed any wrongdoing on its part, and continues to claim to be offering the fullest level of cooperation to the ongoing police investigation.
This is in stark contrast to the rewards being lavished on those who are likely to have facilitated Savile’s perverted appetites; the amount spent on the BBC’s executive board has risen from £2.6 million to £4.1 million from one year to the next. Numerous board members have been allowed to slip away with generous pension packages in tow, including former director general George Entwistle, who laid claim to a £1.1 million pension in the wake of the scandal.
These most recent sentiments of outrage come following years of criticism leveled against the BBC, which have unearthed corruption, wanton disregard for taxpayers’ money, and the constant, ominous uncertainty regarding the BBC’s connections to the government and its ability, or inability, to remain impartial and provide the service which is expected of them.
It has been widely acknowledged that several of Savile’s victims attempted to speak out about his abuses whilst he was still alive, but that the BBC was more interested in protecting their then-prize star, leading to a cover-up of the allegations.
This cover-up extended even beyond the death of Jimmy Savile, as was seen when a Newsnight broadcast detailing Savile’s abuses was withdrawn from airing without reason. Fears remain that the BBC continues to shelter paedophiles from justice, with two accomplices of Savile being unearthed by Dame Smith’s enquiry, leading to the arrest of an 80 year-old suspect in South London last week.
Frequently lambasted as a government propaganda tool, cancerous with greed and corruption, the BBC is now seen by many to be cultivating an altogether more malevolent persona; one which openly disregards the suffering of children at the hands of a sadistic child molestor, and saw fit to conceal the abuses until it was caught.
It is likely that for many, the BBC’s reputation will be fatally damaged by its support of Jimmy Savile, but one near-certainty is that the people whose taxes paid pervert Savile’s pay cheque for decades will now also have to bear the financial burden for his crimes.