We are all to blame for Jimmy Savile

We are all to blame for Jimmy Savile

Originally posted by Peter Inson at 09:26, October 22 2012

Whether it’s a pop idol trashing an aircraft, a member of the royal family who keeps his driving license when others would lose theirs, an MP fiddling expenses, a footballer who is allowed to drive still despite speeding at double the limit, celebrities expect more for themselves. Many of us envy them the adulation they receive, their confidence, their strutting and posturing, and popular television encourages us to struggle to join them.

When, fifteen years ago some of my students admitted paying £100 for branded trainers, I pointed out that Tiger Woods was paid $6m a year to wear them and asked why they were prepared shell out so much, they could only say that somehow, something of Tiger Woods stood with them. It’s voodoo, black magic.

When I challenged a BBC producer over a celebrity chef handling a boar and then a hive of bees, in ways that made both jobs seem dangerously simple to anyone without training and experience in these matters I was told that, in effect, the man’s celebrity status meant that his ignorance was to be hidden lest his worshippers lost interest. Celebrities do not have to follow the rules and can manipulate the vulnerable and innocent, and bamboozle others who think that they may be in line for a share.

We must use what shreds of intelligence that we have left to kill off celebrity status. If someone sings well, acts well, scores goals every time they step onto the pitch, let them be well known, but as soon as they start to behave as if they are above ordinary considerations, we should turn our backs.

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