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The British Broadcasting Corporation

Auntie Didn't Fix It

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For many years BBC celebrity Jimmy Saville abused children and young people on the Corporation's premises and elsewhere. But the state-sponsored media monster, often referred to reasuuringly as Auntie, did little to stop it.

Even in 2016 when judge Janet Smith reported on her enquiry into the scandal, she had to say that she had been "told that an atmosphere of fear still exists today in the BBC" deterring staff from making complaints. This fear seemed to have arisen from a belief that complaining would damage career prospects.

The BBC presenter, who at one time presented a show called Jim'll Fix It, had raped eight people and abused a total of 72 while working for the Corporation.

The Smith report said that he had got away with this for many years because of "serious failings" by the BBC.

Another report published at the same time said that BBC presenter Stuart Hall had abused 21 people while working for Auntie.

The Saville case brought out the connections between the Corporation and the British feudal establishment. The BBC is a leading supporter of the British monarchy, which is closely tied to the Church of England.

A priest of that Anglican state church, Colin Semper, was at one time Head of Religious Programmes for BBC Radio. He helped Saville write a book called God'll Fix It. But Semper had good reason to suspect Saville, according to the enquiry report. It revealed that Anglican cleric Semper thought "that Savile had casual sex with a lot of girls, some of whom might have been underage". But he did not report that because he thought it not serious enough or was already known to BBC managers.

The director-general of the BBC, Tony Hall, is not ashamed to use the feudal title of "Lord" and is an unelected legislator-for-life. In his response to the report he admitted that his corporation was "too hierarchical, too self-interested, too siloed."

But there may have been more to it than that. As with the Catholic Church and the Church of England the BBC is an institution that considers itself to be exceptionally worthy. The truth is that all have harboured sex abusers.

The BBC scandal brings to mind Ann Butler-Sloss. This former Court of Appeal judge and now a legislator-for-life, in 2014 withdrew as head of an inquiry into child sex abuse. This followed an allegation that in a previous review "she wanted to exclude some of his allegations in a bid to protect the Church of England" according to BBC News, because she "cared very much about the Church".

Those who care "care very much about" the BBC also may not have wanted the world to know how dangerous their Auntie can be.

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