Will the Savile saga change Auntie's ways



00:28 GMT, 20 December 2012

True, the Director General stepped down – but not without a 450,000 cheque, double his entitlement, to soften the blow. And, yes, a deputy head has rolled, with the 63-year-old number two in the news department taking early(ish) retirement on a handsome pension.

But though a couple of executives are being shuffled sideways, it seems nobody at the BBC is to suffer after the grotesque sleaze and incompetence of the Jimmy Savile saga.

For decades, remember, our national broadcaster clasped to its bosom a serial sex offender, whose crimes were common gossip at the Corporation.

Exposure: It seems nobody at the BBC is to suffer after the grotesque sleaze and incompetence of the Jimmy Savile saga

Exposure: It seems nobody at the BBC is to suffer after the grotesque sleaze and incompetence of the Jimmy Savile saga

When Savile died, the BBC suppressed an expos of his child abuse, while broadcasting tributes that made him out to be a saint.

As we now know, this was long after the man who was to become DG was specifically warned about the presenter’s ‘dark side’ (though, as so often, the incurious George Entwistle said he hadn’t read the warning).

Compounding its offences, in a bungled attempt to atone for its glorification of Savile, the Corporation went on to vilify an entirely innocent man, falsely accusing former Tory treasurer Lord McAlpine of child abuse.

The upshot After spending 2million of licence fee payers’ money, a tame inquiry tells us what we already knew about the BBC’s labyrinthine bureaucracy, inter-departmental rivalries, dishonest crisis management and critical lack of leadership.

And now Auntie, with her bloated staff (she employs more journalists than all of Fleet Street put together) will just sink back into her subsidy-cushioned, Leftish, politically correct ways, as if nothing untoward ever happened.

Contrast this with the third-degree Leveson treatment meted out to the entire Press, after a scandal confined mainly to one now-defunct newspaper.

Yes, sections of the Press behaved badly. But their misbehaviour was footling compared with harbouring child molesters and accusing a totally innocent man of one of the most disgusting crimes in the book.

More from Daily Mail Comment…

Healing the sick can never be a 9-to-5 job

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Shadow of fear over public's right to know

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Failure to block porn betrays our children

Labour still can’t face facts on immigration

Libya and a stain on Britain’s conscience

Gay marriage must not lead the agenda

Portrait of a nation bursting at the seams

Grotesque legacy of censors who failed us


When the BBC abuses its overwhelming domination of the news market, the worst anyone suffers is a fat cheque. But when a newspaper errs, the full fury of the Establishment turns against the independence of the Press.

What a strange old world.

Great day for decency

This was a hugely cheering day for the Mail, bringing victory for two of our long-fought campaigns. It was a fine day, too, for David Cameron, who showed doubting supporters that deep within him beats the heart of a true Tory.

Victory No 1: the Prime Minister finally honours the heroes of the wartime Arctic convoys, who braved what Winston Churchill called the ‘worst journey in the world’ to keep our Russian allies supplied.

After 70 years, their courage is to be marked with a medal for the survivors and families of the others who took part, including the 3,000 who never returned.

Victory No 2: Mr Cameron sets out his plans to make internet providers place a ‘default block’ on access to pornography and other corrupting websites in households with children.

True, in the age of the smartphone, when the internet is available everywhere, much more needs to be done to protect the young from what the Prime Minister calls this ‘silent attack on innocence’.

But it’s a good start. And it should lay to rest fears that the Government puts the interests of cybertycoons above those of the nation’s children.

All in all, then, a great day for honour and decency.