I don’t know about you, but Rolf Harris has been a big part of my life since I was a little ’un. To hear him finally convicted and sentenced today sounded a death-knell to yet another part of my childhood, and to a certain degree some of my adult years. The fact that he cried at the demise of animals on ‘Animal Hospital’ and yet he showed no remorse at being found guilty, or even at being found out, is just something I cannot reconcile in my mind. I guess he probably thinks he’s done nothing wrong. Pretty typical of child abusers.
This whole situation raises an awful lot of questions, most of which will probably never be answered. Sometimes I wish I had been trained as a psychologist – it would enable me to understand why a child would go on holiday repeatedly with a family knowing the father of her friend is going to ‘kiddie-fiddle’ as soon as opportunity allows. That must have been like being trapped in a cage in hell.
The bigger social questions extend much further than this. For instance, under Operation Yewtree, not only has that perv, Jimmy Savile, been found at least guilty in the realm of police evidence (unfortunately the dead bastard cannot be brought to trial) but it has brought to light systematic abuse that has been allowed to continue for decades due to the complicity of various institutions such as the BBC, the Police and certain areas of the NHS. The cult of ‘celebrity’ is still alive and well, but back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s it meant that certain people were even being protected by the police. Has that actually changed, or are we destined to suffer déjà vu repeatedly?
For the last couple of years, every time an accusation of abuse dating back thirty years came out in the papers against yet another celebrity, the first thing most of us think is why the victim didn’t complain at the time. The sad truth usually emerged a while later that complaints WERE made at the time but the culture of the world at that time enabled it to be swept under the carpet. Until today, of course, when it appears these same people can feel a little more confident that they will be, at last, listened to. Being part of that same society, it makes me feel a little powerless to do better for victims. Supposedly our modern culture is supposed to be more open, equality a byword, and yet I’m still not convinced.
For those of us not directly involved, thankfully, it has done something quite profound although to describe it I sound positively trivial. We cannot listen to Gary Glitter, see Jimmy Savile, or remember the fun of Stuart Hall’s belly-laugh on ‘It’s a Knockout’ without the memory being sullied by the convictions of recent years. As an Aussie, it is a tragedy that to hear ‘Two Little Boys’, or ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport’, instead of remembering the sunshine of our childhoods it brings us modern memories instead. My father once got Rolf Harris’ autograph for my sister when we were about ten or eleven years old; I am now forever grateful that she wasn’t present for that.
Books by the Author:
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor
The Animus Portal
The second sequel – “The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – California Dreamin’ ”