On Wednesday the 14th of November 2012 the London Legal Salon will host a public debate on the Jimmy Savile allegations. We will be meeting at the Old Bank of England Public House on Fleet Street at 1930 on the 14th of November 2012.
Recent allegations of sexual abuse levelled against the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile have caused uproar. Bigwigs at the BBC anticipate a full inquiry. With more and more retrospective accusers coming forward, and apparent evidence of cover ups within the BBC, many think the allegations against Saville are symptomatic of a sexual abuse ‘culture’ which has permeated the institution since the 1960s.
The papers seem convinced of his guilt. Articles around the case speak of ‘overwhelming evidence’ of ‘appalling abuse’. Charities who have named trusts after him are considering donating all the money held to victims of abuse and abandoning their association with the cigar touting oddball. There can be little doubt that Jimmy Savile’s reputation as a philanthropic British institution lies in tatters.
But what does this say about society’s attitude towards the presumption of innocence? Do all the rules cease to apply once an accused has passed away? Should we really be dragging up allegations against a person who cannot defend themselves? Does the manner in which Savile has been discussed betray something deeper about our attitudes to innocence?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space in the debate.
Speaker: Tim Black, senior writer at Spiked Online