In the build-up to this year’s FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Hull City, I happened to watch a television programme that left me troubled.
It was a retrospective of Cup Final Day editions of World of Sport, a Saturday afternoon ITV1 sports show I used to watch as a boy in the late 1970s.
This programme was replete with interviews and news footage, and my disquiet was caused by the fact that many of those it featured were famous pop stars,
television presenters,disc jockeys and politicians, who are now accused, jailed or dead (child) sex offenders.
The death of Jimmy Savile, and the resulting revelation that he was, according to the NSPCC,
WHOM CAN WE TRUST? “one of the most, if not the most, prolific sex offender that the NSPCC has ever come across”,
has led to a number of arrests, prison sentences and major enquiries into historic sexual abuses.
The Savile scandal has also led to a great deal of soul searching over the way our society values and cares for its children.
The National Crime Agency’s Cyber Crime Unit has estimated that“50,000 people in the UK have been involved in sharing child abuse images online,
WHOM CAN WE TRUST? [and that] in the past 20 years the number of images available has soared to tens of millions”.
One shocking aspect ofthis scandal is theway it has encompassed those institutions that form the pillars of our modern society.
Savile worked for the BBC over several decades, and allegedly perpetrated many of his ghastly acts on its premises,
as well as on National Health Service property. Both institutions are carrying out investigations into these accusations.
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