Tuesday, October 23, 2012
BBC covered up pedophilia among its staff
A typically Leftist lack of moral anchors
The BBC was yesterday plunged into its ‘worst crisis in 50 years’ after damning emails revealed the full extent of its cover-up over the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Newsnight editor Peter Rippon stood down from his role after it emerged that the corporation had repeatedly ‘misled’ the public over why it axed an exposé showing that the DJ was a prolific sexual predator.
A bombshell Panorama investigation to be screened tonight alleges that Mr Rippon was under huge pressure from his bosses to drop the Newsnight investigation into Savile in late 2011, shortly after the star’s death.
This was despite him being warned by journalists that doing so would cause ‘substantial damage to the BBC’s reputation’ and lead to allegations of a ‘cover-up’.
BBC director-general George Entwistle – at the time the head of BBC Vision – was also warned that he might have to change his Christmas TV schedule if the Newsnight investigation was broadcast, because it could undermine glowing tribute programmes to Savile that had already been planned for the festive period.
Veteran BBC journalist John Simpson tells Panorama: ‘This is the worst crisis that I can remember in my nearly 50 years at the BBC.
‘I don’t think the BBC has handled it terribly well. It’s better to just come out right at the start and say we’re going to open everything up and then we’re going to show everybody everything.
‘All we have as an organisation is the trust of the people that watch us and listen to us and if we don’t have that, if we start to lose that, that’s very dangerous.’
Officially, the BBC will wait for the outcome of an internal inquiry into why the Savile investigation was dropped before any decisions are confirmed about Mr Rippon’s future.
But last night it emerged that he agreed yesterday to step down from his role with immediate effect, and is unlikely to return to Newsnight. At the moment he has technically ‘stepped aside’ and it is likely he will take time off for some weeks before returning to the BBC in a different role.
Panorama’s extraordinary revelations will be broadcast tonight, less than 24 hours before Mr Entwistle faces a grilling by MPs over the scandal. MPs are also considering calling his predecessor, Mark Thompson, to give evidence.
Panorama tells how after Savile died aged 84 in October last year, Newsnight spent six weeks investigating allegations that the Top Of The Pops presenter abused pupils from Duncroft school in Surrey at the height of his fame in the 1970s. BBC journalists spoke to women who claimed they had been abused or had knowledge of abuse at the school, which shut in 1980.
The Newsnight reporters who led the investigation told Panorama that Mr Rippon had initially been enthusiastic about the programme, praising as ‘excellent’ their discovery that in 2007 the police had investigated allegations of child sex by Savile.
But Newsnight reporter Liz MacKean said Mr Rippon suddenly went cold on the story, a switch she was convinced was because of pressure from above him at the BBC.
A few days later the BBC’s head of news, Helen Boaden, told Mr Entwistle – who was at that time head of BBC Vision – about the Newsnight investigation and warned that if it went ahead it might affect the Christmas TV schedules.
Newsnight producer Meirion Jones, who was leading the Savile investigation, told Mr Rippon that the BBC would be accused of a ‘cover-up’ if they dropped the story, leading to ‘substantial damage’ to the BBC’s reputation.
But after the Crown Prosecution Service told Newsnight that the reason it did not prosecute Savile in 2007 was because of lack of evidence, Mr Rippon decided to pull the investigation, explaining he did not think the story was ‘strong enough’.
The Newsnight journalists were furious because the story was never meant to be about the police investigation, but about Savile’s abuse.
Miss MacKean said: ‘The story we were investigating was very clear-cut. It was about Jimmy Savile being a paedophile and using his status as a charity fundraiser and television presenter to get access to places where there were vulnerable teenage girls he could abuse.’
She told Panorama that she has also been extremely unhappy about subsequent repeated ‘misleading’ statements by the BBC about their reasons for dropping the programme.
Savile was labelled ‘one of the most prolific sex offenders of all time’ last week after police revealed he may have abused up to 200 victims.
Detectives are preparing to arrest the star’s suspected accomplices as part of the investigation, and plan to question surviving celebrities and former BBC staff linked to him.
Those who face questioning may include paedophile pop star Gary Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, who is accused of raping a girl of 13 in Savile’s BBC dressing room.
Separate and less serious allegations concern comedian Freddie Starr. Starr, 69, yesterday again angrily denied claims he groped a 14-year-old girl after a Savile TV show.
The BBC has announced two inquiries, one into its culture and practices, and another probing why Newsnight dropped its film.
Mr Entwistle, Miss Boaden and Mr Rippon last night declined to comment on the Panorama programme.
British Scout Association to clamp down on the use of nicknames 'because it encourages bullying'
He is the Chief Scout, helping to promote the benefits of the great outdoors to teenagers across Britain. But Bear Grylls will now fall foul of new guidelines from the Scout Association, which has banned all nicknames in a bid to reduce bullying among its young members.
The organisation founded by Lord 'B-P' Baden-Powell believes that giving children nicknames could encourage taunting and bullying.
Training sessions are being offered to new and current leaders, who have also been warned not to use the shortening technique amongst themselves.
It is particularly concerned about the use of nicknames which focus on an individual’s physical characteristics – such as their hair colour, height or weight. So traditional nicknames such as 'ginger', 'lanky' and 'tubby' would be likely to be frowned upon, the Daily Telegraph has reported.
The association’s chief 'safeguarding' officer Sam Marks drew up the plans. He told Scouting Magazine: 'Bullying can advance gradually and can start with something as simple as a nickname.
'Research and experience all highlight that name calling – whether it be nicknames or harmless taunting – is often the largest form of bullying. 'Many nicknames come from someone’s appearance to something they’ve done.
'We don’t have a black and white list of approved nicknames. 'If someone is called Frederick and you call them Freddie then there is no problem with that.
'But you need to ask why that person has a nickname – if it is because they have red hair or are fat or they have a funny face, or because they did something funny and it stuck with them? They might be quite embarrassed by that.'
Mr Marks continued: 'It is in response to industry standards – all the anti-bullying work mentions name calling and teasing as the main form of bullying.
'Nicknames may be slightly different but again the research suggests that often a simple nickname can lead on to further name calling and teasing and that is why there has to be caution.
'It is about getting the adults to think about their behaviour and how they are role models, because what they do, the children may do. 'If adults don’t use nicknames then the children are less likely to do so.'
TV adventurer Bear Grylls, who gained his nickname from his sister when he was just one-week-old, took over as the youngest chief scout ever in 2009, aged just 34.
At the time he explained why he took on the role: ‘In short, because I love adventure and I love hanging out with good friends. 'For me this is what Scouting is about.’
The founder of the movement himself was an advocote of nicknames, gaining a number throughout his life but most famously BP - not only his own initials but those of the scouting motto 'be prepared'.
He also had a caravan and a car nicknamed Eccles and Jam Roll.
Must Religious Organizations Be Required To Admit Non-Adherents as Members?
About five years ago, I had the privilege of making a presentation before the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a European intergovernmental organization established to protect, among other things, international “human rights.” While there, a prominent European atheist group also did a presentation claiming that churches across the world are violating the rights of atheists by excluding them from church membership.
Of course, this was news to me. So I listened.
Their argument went this way: governments subsidize churches directly through tax support, such as in Europe, or indirectly through tax exemptions, such as in the United States (which is false, of course). Since atheists pay taxes, they argued, they can’t be excluded from full church membership and participation, at least not on the grounds that they don’t believe in God. To do so constitutes unlawful discrimination on the basis of religion and a violation of their human rights—again, at least according to them.
Now, at the time, I frankly thought this argument laughable. However, with the passage of just a few short years, what seemed absurd then is gradually becoming reality through the use of so-called “anti-discrimination” regulations targeting Christian ministries. Assuming there are indeed bona fide societal justifications for “nondiscrimination” regulations, their application to churches or Christian ministries turns the essential nature of “Church” on its head. And since we know that ideas expand to the limits of their own logic, any acquiescence to the notion that a body of religious adherents cannot remove non-believers from their membership poses an existential threat to that religious body.
A few actual examples make my point. In the UK, the University of Exeter has sought—unsuccessfully for now—to ban the Christian Student Union from campus on the grounds that it requires members with voting rights and leadership positions to be—drum-roll please—professing Christians. This is a Christian student group founded over 50 years ago for prayer, discipleship, and ministry.
In the U.S., in the state of Washington, I represented a Christian student club named the Truth Club, which was established to promote Christian virtues and moral behavior. Incredibly, a public school banned the club from campus because the club required that its officers and voting members be professing Christians.
More recently, Vanderbilt University has interpreted its own “anti-discrimination” rules as requiring Christian student groups to open their membership and leadership positions to non-Christians. As a result, more than a dozen Christian groups have been denied “on-campus” recognition.
So what’s wrong with this? At a minimum, most Christian religious ministries exist for the purpose worship, devotion, and promoting their religious views. The government’s efforts to coerce such Christian groups to admit to membership individuals whose motives and goals are antithetical to the very religion for which the group was formed will guarantee, over time, the destruction of the religious group.
And what possible governmental interest could be served by requiring Orthodox Jews, for example, to admit non-Jews to their leadership, unless the goal is destruction of the religious group? Could the government require Islamic societies to admit non-Muslims, such as Christians or Jews, to their membership?
Wouldn’t that be an interesting lawsuit?
Yet this is precisely what government “anti-discrimination” requirements are imposing on Christian ministries, particularly at our universities. At bottom, requiring that non-adherents be permitted to lead or vote for leadership sets the stage for their complete loss of identity and utter destruction.
Atheists of whatever stripe certainly have a right to be treated fairly under the law, but they don’t have a special right to invade and destroy religious organizations with which they disagree.
Freedom of Speech Is Never Safe, not even in America
But freedom of speech is never safe, even here. Many colleges now impose "civility codes." Civility is nice, but enforcing a "civility rule" against offensive speech would put an end to lots of useful provocative speech. As a University of North Carolina student put it, "A picture of Mitt Romney would offend 70 percent of residence hall students."
Taping my Fox Business Network show at UNC, I also learned that the college, to "protect" women, had dropped the word "freshman." The PC term is now "first year." UNC also decreed that no student may "implicitly" or "explicitly" ask for sex. (Then how do students get it?)
Since sexual activity on campus continues, it's clear that such rules are often ignored. But there is danger in selectively enforced rules. They let authorities punish those with unpopular ideas.
While in North Carolina, we ran across other assaults on freedom of speech. Steve Cooksey started a blog about low-carb nutrition, which included "Dear Abby"-style advice. The state told him that giving such advice without a license is illegal! Cooksey stopped, but enlisted help from the Institute for Justice, the libertarian public-interest law group. Together they sued the state for the free-speech violation. Unfortunately, a federal court dismissed the suit, saying that since the state took no formal action, Cooksey was not harmed. IJ will appeal.
My staff ran his advice by a Harvard nutritionist, who said it was reasonable. But even if it wasn't -- even if it was stupid -- people know that there's plenty of garbage on the Internet.
"Why is it against the law to tell people to avoid grains?" Cooksey asked. "To tell diabetics to reduce carbs to help them normalize their blood sugar? Why is that wrong?" It's "wrong" when politicians are eager to control everything -- even speech about food.
IJ lawyer Paul Sherman said "it would cost Steve thousands of dollars, and take years of his life, to get the dietitian license."
Not only that, it would take 900 hours of apprenticeship even after Cooksey got his degree.
"Anyone who wants to can write a book about nutrition. What the state of North Carolina has said is that you can write a book about nutrition, but if you want to give one-on-one advice to someone, that's categorically forbidden."
Sherman points out that licensing rules keep getting more intrusive: "Fifty years ago, only 5 percent of the American population needed a license from government to work in their chosen occupation. Now that number is 30 percent."
Often licensing is imposed because established businesses want to protect their incomes.
"The story that we see again and again is that the industry itself is the one who's calling for regulation," Sherman said. "It's not that the public is afraid that people like Steve are giving dietary advice. It's dietitians (who) don't want Steve competing with them."
Sherman says North Carolina is about average in terms of unnecessary regulations. It takes $120 in fees and 250 days of classes -- a total of two years -- to be able to cut hair legally. It takes three years to become a landscape contractor. Such rules are a reason unemployment stays high.
And there's no proof that the rules make us safer. "A dozen states don't have any licensure requirements for nutritionists," said Sherman. "Are people in those states more in danger than people in North Carolina?"
I supported occupational licensing when I was a young consumer reporter. But now I've wised up. Now I see that it doesn't protect consumers. Competition and reputation are better protection. When you move to a new community, do you choose new dentists or mechanics by checking their licenses? No. You ask neighbors or colleagues for recommendations, or check Consumer Reports and Angie's List. You check because you know that even with licensing laws, there is quackery.
Licensing creates a false sense of security, raises costs, stifles innovation, takes away consumer choice and interferes with the right to earn a living.
And now I see another reason to object to it. It collides with freedom of speech.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.