Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The New Puritanism

There has been something unpleasant happening in this country for a long time. Part of the problem is political correctness, which has oozed into our national life in a quite unpleasant way, but it has been allowed to happen because people haven't stood up and said enough is enough. We live in a culture where the worst crime you can commit is to cause offence.

There has been a fuss in the media the last couple of days because the BBC played a childrens TV show called Tweenies that featured a character based on Jimmy Savile. I have every sympathy for victims of paedophiles, indeed for any victim of a sex crime, but yesterday I heard a professional victim advocating all TV and radio recordings featuring Savile be destroyed. His premise was that programmes such as the Tweenies episode could upset victims of sexual abuse. He was abused and now runs a support group for victims.

I would argue that the man running the support group has reminded many more victims what happened to them by spending hours on the media attacking the BBC, many more people heard him than saw the Tweenies. So, by his logic, there should be no media coverage of sex crimes at all, just in case it upsets a victim.

As for destroying recordings of TV and radio shows including people later found guilty of sex offences where do we draw the line? We could wipe from the record whole chunks of our popular culture. Actors, footballers, singers and a great many people in other high profile jobs have been found guilty of sex offences. Do we, in the great tradition of Stalin, expunge the lot and pretend they never actually existed? Of course not, we would also lose examples of the work of the decent, talented many as well.

1 comment:

Richard Thomas said...

I am absolutely dumbstruck in my admiration for the press campaign against the BBC for accidentally, maybe thoughtlessly showing this programme. It is clear that the printed media are so free from error and misjudgement that they can stand up as paragons of every virtue. How comforting.

There is however one question that I would like to see answered. If Jimmy Saville's appalling behaviour was so well known why was none of it ever exposed by these fearless guardians of morality?