What a complete ……

LondonJason ?@LondonJase

@SteveForbesCEO UK recoiling from a child-sex scandal involing famous entertainer.Ur contributor has written this: https://www.timworstall.com/2012/10/07/can-we-try-and-be-accurate-about-the-late-mr-saviles-sexual-preferences/ …

 

What prompts people to do things like that?

57 thoughts on “What a complete ……”

  1. I like you Tim, but you can’t exactly be surprised by this. He could be doing this because he’s annoyed by you really sexist response to the story…

    You get swear bloggy annoyed when a bureaucracy makes building an extension slightly difficult, but when a bureaucracy
    systematically covers up for a multi-decade campaign of sexual assault you get off your normal high horse and…quibble details and post “funny” videos.

    What else do you think people will think?

  2. Tim is a pendant. And that is why we like him.

    By the way, what is sexist about clarifying the definition of paedophile.

    Also I am glad he resisted the piling on on the BBC that is going on elsewhere and I am no fan of their news and views.

  3. What’s sexist about it?

    Tim’s normal reaction to massive bureaucratic incompetence and malfeasance is a well earned tirade.

    When that bureaucracy screws over young women Tim…is silent… apart from posting a “funny video” and something quibbling about the accusation against Saville. Context matters.

  4. Tim’s normal reaction to massive bureaucratic incompetence and malfeasance is a well earned tirade.

    When that bureaucracy screws over young women Tim…is silent… apart from posting a “funny video” and something quibbling about the accusation against Saville. Context matters.

    But that’s being covered everywhere, and the most normal reaction of Worstall is not to just repeat the same things as everyone else.

    Tim adds: Finally, someone who actually gets the point of this blog. In fact, of all and anything I write about. Except when the lure of filthy lucre is just too, too strong, (hey, it happens, mortgages need to get paid) the aim is always to point out what is being unsaid by others. Might be that Murph is a loon. Could be that a carbon tax is an extremely good idea even if (especially if!) you are a free market loving sorta guy who hates hippies. Or that, whatever vile things and crimes (and it’s certainly getting to that stage, what with his scouring hospitals apparently) Savile got up to he was not, in the technical sense, a paedophile.

    Just as, as I’m sure I’ve pointed out here, gay does not equal paedophile: paedophilia is a very specific sexual desire or preference for pre pubescent children. Same sex attraction no more leads to it than opposite sex attraction does. Just as I’ve pointed out that whatever Abu Hookhand had ever got up to he deserved (and thankfully got) the same due process as any other British citizen.

    The only reason this blog exists (or at least, the reason it continues, it started purely as an “hmm, I wonder, can I do this?”) is because I think there are certain things that need to be said that others are not saying. Murph is a loon, a carbon tax is a good idea and Sir Jimmy Savile might well have been all sorts of things: but paedophile he was not.

  5. Sexist – I do not think this word means what you think it means.

    It’s not sexist to not comment on sexual abuse

    I’d rather not think about such things myself.

  6. Are you not supposed to throw your pinafore over your face and run about saying ‘do something’- or even ‘compensation’. Reasoned comment is very de trop.

  7. Just as, as I’m sure I’ve pointed out here, gay does not equal paedophile: paedophilia is a very specific sexual desire or preference for pre pubescent children.

    This is actually more relevant than one might initially think. How did the association between gay and paedophile get started? Well, the answer is, it was the same Child Saver mob, the first wave feminists, the social purity movement, the same formation who are again in the ascendant.

    Nobody in Victorian times thought that gays were going after five year olds. It was adolescents, teenagers, what have you, who were being corrupted and thus were the object of protection by the Homohysteria.

    So now, it’s hysteria time again. Savile was a dirty old man, apparently, and on occasion appears to have crossed the line into rape. That deserves condemnation. Perhaps he should be erased from every monument, like an unpopular Pharaoh. But that’s not enough for the activists, oh no.

    It appears that a selection of elderly, suitably naff, faded stars of what used to be called “light entertainment” are to be dragged out into the daylight for the satisfaction of the mob. The NSPCC have been apparently handed carte blanche to conduct a witch hunt with full police backing. In the hysterical climate, every claim, every rumour, will be believed, all these years later when actual evidence will be impossible to acquire. There will be true claims, false claims, exaggerated claims, delusional claims. All sorts of issues will be dragged in; for instance-

    Liz Kershaw and her “groping” claim. Let me repeat a bit of a conversation I had yesterday with my sister. See, we both in our younger days worked in theatre. I was a chief electrician. My sister was a stage manager, and a rather good and successful one too. And you know, the entertainment biz it is, or it was, a rather touchy-feely, libertine sort of place. We were being fine with gays when most of the Left were still piling out of their union meetings to go gay-bashing, remember. And she fondly remembered one rather well known performer, quite the heart-throb with, quote, “his tongue right down my ear, trying to put me off while I was calling the show” and [my sister] saying, “there’s girls out there would pay good money for this, ******”.

    There’s a whole universe out there of potential, you see. The gay theatre manager who openly fancied the pants off me when I was working at a rep theatre- from the age of 15. Was he a paedophile? Of course not. Would he have been more happy than a pig in poo if I’d responded to his interest? Of course he would. I was a handsome young chap, after all 🙂

    But, they were more liberal times. Drag all those reminiscences out into a formal setting, an enquiry, or a tabloid expose, and they sound ghastly. But, it’s so easy to retroactively withdraw consent, especially if there’s compensation in the offing, or money from the tabloids, or just a bit of attention.

    The abuse industry aren’t going to be happy with one dirty old man. This is their Steven Lawrence moment. They want a “paedophile ring”. They want show trials. They want to prove an institutional conspiracy. They want to prove the same thing they’ve been trying to prove for two centuries now- that the male gender is a conspiracy to corrupt innocents. The Homo has become the Paedo, but nothing else has changed.

    Yes, I’m venting.

  8. Ian B,

    The abuse industry aren’t going to be happy with one dirty old man. This is their Steven Lawrence moment. They want a “paedophile ring”.

    The Karin Ward interview is just odd. “we loved it when he came” “we knew he was a perv” “he bought us gifts” “we got to hang around with the rich and famous in London and it was fabulous”. Oh but “this is really hard for me to say, because I was a victim”.

    Sorry, but I’m going to draw a pretty big line between slightly more emotionally mature 14 year olds trading sex for money that know what they’re doing, and girls who are facing a threat of violence. I knew two girls who were shagging older guys when they were 15, and they knew what they wanted.

  9. ““Steven Lawrence moment” is a pretty ugly phrase”
    But accurate! We have the same frothing media, the same multi agency witch hunt, the same suddenly perfect and believable witnesses (Duwayne Brooks anyone?) and the same apparent desire to change laws to suit particular cases. Oh, and the same sacrificial victims.

  10. This is not really about whether or not Savile was a sex offender. It’s about the behaviour of the BBC in covering up sex offences allegedly committed by one of its highest-profile entertainers.

  11. @Frances – There seems to be an eagerness to blame the BBC for all of this. Staff at Stoke Mandeville, Broadmoor, Leeds General and at least one care home were aware of his behaviour but no action was taken. Police were made aware of several allegations, but no action was taken. But it’s “about the behaviour of the BBC”?

  12. Keep doing what you’re doing, Tim.

    The normal media does nothing to entertain me because you can quite accurately guess the content of the article from the first few lines. Yawn. This blog is far more interesting and has made me think about the world differently.

    PS. I’m off to the Algarve this afternoon for the weekend. I’m house hunting with the in-laws. If you’re about then I’ll buy you a beer in gratitude for your excellent blog.

  13. Am I alone in thinking that the pitchfork and flaming torch brigade are only too happy to go after a dead bloke and some of his aged BBC management cronies, who may or may not have groped some teenage girls in the 1960’s, yet are only too happy to ignore Abu’s child sex ring operating out of the back of the local curry house?

    And please, let’s not be naive. I know some well known musicians who have all told stories of young girls (12 – 16) who have literally thrown themselves at the moderately famous in the hope of being “touched up” by them.

    Whatever Savile did or did not do, is now largely irrelevant. The man’s dead, I’m only surprised that Childline or Barnados haven’t called for him to be disinterred and reburied upside down

  14. Henry Crun: You’re not getting it – unproven sexual abuse by one (now dead) man 30-40 years ago is a far greater threat to society than the legally proven sexual abuse by multiple members of one section of society in recent times, and that is most likely still continuing today. Come on now, concentrate on the important stuff!!

    /sarc

  15. ““Steven Lawrence moment”

    “flaming torch brigade”

    I’d join those brigades. Rape in any form is repellant and the police force were fecking racist. I remember getting robbed in Nottingham by a black bloke and the cops spent the entire time spouting racist crap. I really don’t think its possible to do that kind of job and hold those beliefs.

    On the paedo definition thing, well pretty much everything on this blog is pointing out how someone is wrong about something. Its damn funny and thats why ya read it

  16. Ian B was right (as always!):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2216453/John-Peel-got-pregnant-I-15-Woman-claims-month-affair-DJ.html?ICO=most_read_module

    John Peel is on the block now.

    I actually think thats a strategic mistake by the pitchfork wielding mob. JS was an obvious oddball, so no-ones going to go and bat for him against such allegations. JP on the other hand was and is well liked so by bringing him in will cause people to think a bit more about the time and the ethos of the age. Strangely enough I think a lot of peoples reaction will be ‘Well if John Peel was up to it as well, it can’t be that bad’.

  17. @Jim

    ‘Well if John Peel was up to it as well, it can’t be that bad’

    On the other hand… what you might be seeing is the emergence of a different morality from that of the ‘liberal’ age (how ‘liberal’ it is to break the law and have sex with 14/15 yr olds is a matter of opinion).

    I suspect – from chatting with yoof – is that the next generation will have different sexual morals from the baby boomers.

  18. @Jim

    Getting a teenage girl pregnant so she has to have an abortion is pretty bad. Ever seen the psychological trauma it causes to an adult never mind a child?

  19. The girl choose to have an abortion. She did not have to do so. She could have told Peel about the baby at the time. We do not know what would have happened. It is unlikely that he would have married her but he might well have supported/helped support his child and and quite possibly had a life-long relationship with that child. He didn’t get the chance. What he writes in the postcard is clearly a joke, predicated on Peel’s belief that the woman has not had a child. The whole article is constructed to show Peel as a callous arsehole who cared nothing about the child when in fact he did not know the child existed. IanB is right and the “morality” of the next generation may well be the po-faced hypocracy so familiar from ages past. Unless the poison of feminism is now so strong that the human race will, at last, decide to give up shagging altogether.

  20. @MakajazMonkee: I made no personal judgement on whether JP was wrong to do what he did. I merely pointed out that in my experience accusing a person of doing X will often result in people thinking its awful if they dislike that person, but find it quite OK if they like them (we might call this the Polanski effect). Hence bringing JP into the whole JS abuse maelstrom might cause some people to backtrack on the whole ‘hangings too good for them’ moral crusade, because they have a regard for JP that they don’t for JS.

  21. Harry Crun,

    Am I alone in thinking that the pitchfork and flaming torch brigade are only too happy to go after a dead bloke and some of his aged BBC management cronies, who may or may not have groped some teenage girls in the 1960?s, yet are only too happy to ignore Abu’s child sex ring operating out of the back of the local curry house?

    Given there was a pitchform and flaming torch brigade after ‘Abu’, who – along with his friends – was eventually convicted and sent to prison, I’m not sure what you are trying to say.

    There are parallels with the Rochdale case and the allegations around Savile, in terms of failures of multiple responsible bureaucracies.

  22. @ Jim noted! John peel was dope but it still takes a bit of a shine of the image for me. “Teenage kicks” just got a Little bit more sinister 🙂

  23. Because Ian B and his sister were fine with a tongue in the ear and flirting, Liz Kershaw should have been fine with being groped while live on-air?

    Like I said, it’s a contextual, cultural thing. There is a long history in entertainment of trying to put people off by doing things that, in other contexts, would be labelled these days as sexual harrassment or abuse. Showbiz has always been tactile, emotional, luvvie dahling!

    *flings arms around ukliberty and gives him a big kiss*

    Okay, another little tale (a very mild one, perhaps, but what you need to do is consider this happening in another context, e.g. an office).

    Middle of a play, the male lead has to go upstage, look dramatically out of the window as if into the middle distance. He does a noticable double take and nearly fluffs his lines, before recovering while suppressing mirth. I ask the DSM via intercom what’s going on, and she tells me one of the female cast members has positioned herself in his line of sight (but out of audience view), stark naked. To put him off. For a joke.

    It’s all context.

  24. I understand that, and thank you for the hug and kiss, but Kershaw’s accusation is that she didn’t like it and when she complained to ‘somebody’ (presumably a line manager or HR) they scoffed and said she must be a lesbian. It wasn’t her culture.

    Suppose she was routinely groped while live, which she didn’t like. It’s not just “oh don’t worry dear, it’s just context” is it? It’s routine sexual assault.

    You’re OK with it, she wasn’t and isn’t.

  25. I understand that, and thank you for the hug and kiss, but Kershaw’s accusation is that she didn’t like it and when she complained to ‘somebody’ (presumably a line manager or HR) they scoffed and said she must be a lesbian. It wasn’t her culture.

    And then we come to the question of whether Liz Kershaw should choose an industry that suits Liz Kershaw, or whether an entire industry should change to suit Liz Kershaw. If you’re a vegan, don’t get a job in a butchers, kind of thing.

    The characteristic of the moralist reform movements that have been plaguing the Anglosphere for nigh two centuries now is the zealous belief that there is only one correct morality, and that everyone should be forced to obey that morality, and that there should be no hiding place. To use another example, take smoking; smoking is immoral, and thus even if a bunch of people are all smokers and want a smoking workplace, they can’t have one, on the pretext that this is denying access to the followers of the One True Faith.

    During the last great Puritist era, showbiz and the arts were a little haven for liberals to be themselves in. Why do you think there are so many gays in entertainment? It allowed them to be flamboyantly “out”, to be themselves when, in the wider world, such behaviour would get them thrown in prison.

    The context of Kershaw’s description is quite clear; it was standard showbiz trying-to-put-her-off. If she didn’t want to work in that sort of environment, she could have found numerous other careers. But no. Much better to drag out this ludicrous allegation into the public sphere where it can be condemned by the New Moralists and used as yet another crowbar on their behalf. Remember the old joke about how many feminists it takes to change a lightbulb?

    “Just one. She stands still and waits for the world to revolve around her”.

  26. Kershaw complained to managers but nowhere in these stories does it say that she told Saville to keep his hands to himself and slapped his face if he didn’t. He could have jumped up and attacked her of course but that would have been a serious matter regardless of the “culture” of the time.
    That of course is the real issue here–so-called male culture. Nobody condones touching a womans breasts/body on a casual basis but that is not where the femmis want to draw the line as to what is “acceptable” behaviour. What they want is a world in which men can never be at ease around a woman for fear she will be upset him looking sideways at her and making a complaint that will lead to him being treated as a sex criminal. They are hoping and working to make this contretemps a wedge that they can use to push their cause even further.

  27. just a thought, but is it a coincidence that ‘the Saville Inquiry’ received blanket coverage and so prevented the BBC having to mention the Conservative Party Conference very much??

  28. Ecks, the Kershaw allegation isn’t against Savile, it’s against some other unnamed DJ.

    That of course is the real issue here–so-called male culture. Nobody condones touching a womans breasts/body on a casual basis but that is not where the femmis want to draw the line as to what is “acceptable” behaviour.

    Like I said, depends on context. I’ve been trying (rather poorly perhaps) to explain the showbiz culture. It’s something you would either take to, or not. I started working at a rep theatre when I was a few months shy of my 15th birthday, and it was revelation. People simply acted differently, and that was both a shock and a delight. In particular it is, (or was) Far, far more tactile than “mainstream” society, at least the mittel-English society I was used to.

    It’s well understood by sociologists (or anthropologists, whatever) that different cultures have different conventions regarding personal space. For instance, arabs seem “in your face” to a Westerner, since their definition of the right distance to stand apart is closer than ours. The theatre culture is all hugs and kisses and behaviour that would, in a staid office environment for instance, be simply unacceptable violation of boundaries. I’ve seen and experiened just as many female “harrasment” of men as male “harrassment” of women. It’s all part of the culture.

    Different workplace cultures will attract different kinds of people. There isn’t one proper rule for how to behave, there isn’t one single moral code. Just as, as a schoolboy, I didn’t dare talk to my friends about the vast quantities of gayness I was experiencing in my theatre job. They wouldn’t have understood. I didn’t understand until I was part of it. I learned rapidly to separate the two worlds; and also knew which of those cultures, those moral codes, I wanted to work in after I left school.

    I am a social liberal. I sometimes think I’m the last one left. I’m watching social liberalism die, just as it died in the Victorian Era, murdered by the same people using the same methods. To fall for something once is perhaps forgivable. To fall for it twice is not.

  29. Ian B,

    And then we come to the question of whether Liz Kershaw should choose an industry that suits Liz Kershaw, or whether an entire industry should change to suit Liz Kershaw. If you’re a vegan, don’t get a job in a butchers, kind of thing.

    Oh come off it, surely it’s fair enough to not want to have your tits groped in the office i.e. be sexually assaulted by colleagues? Christ, even if it was the culture and everyone else was fine with it, men and women alike, surely Kershaw having said, “I don’t like it” should no longer be groped?

    The context of Kershaw’s description is quite clear; it was standard showbiz trying-to-put-her-off.

    But she did not consent to it Ian!

    I am a social liberal

    It doesn’t seem particularly liberal to be fine with sexual assault in the workplace, but YMMV I guess.

  30. I speed-read the Huffington Post article–1st one on Google–and you are right but in my undeserved defence Saville’s name is used several times in the heading/first paragraphs. It says she was groped by “another presenter”–I thought they were refering to Saville in the same way the Batman comics used “the Caped Crusader” to avoid using Batman, Batman all the time.
    Speed isn’t everthing. Still doesn’t alter the point tho’.

  31. Possibly ‘another presenter’ because: defamation law and presumption of innocence. We can say what we like about Savile because “you can’t libel the dead” (generally speaking).

  32. Ukliberty,

    We could go around and around with this. It’s a paradigmatic thing. You are using a conceptualisation (“sexual assault”) which has been deliberately designed by campaigners to condemn merely by terminology. They are experts at this, and Orwell noticed it of course with “Newspeak”. It’s like this; if you only have words like “sodomite” and “pederast”, every gay is instantly condemned (which is why the gays developed a new term, “gay”, to get out of that trap). The well organised campaign that began in the 80s with Satanic Ritual Abuse/The Daycare Panic, via the Survivor Movement, pop psychology, Oprah and Geraldo, repressed memory, et cet ra, et cet ra, is now ideologically hegemonic, so that the only concepts people have are the ones that the campaigners want them to have. Kershaw’s trivial experience becomes “sexual abuse” because that is the only conceptualisation available, and, if there’s any point to my reams of guff on the internets, it’s trying to get people to see that their paradigms effectively generate their conclusions, so it’s the paradigms that need to be addressed.

    If Joe Bloggs is a pederast he is guilty before he even stands in teh dock. If he’s gay he’s in with a chance of being understood.

    The term sexual harrassment was coined and popularised by the legalist feminist Catharine Mackinnon. She has stated what it means quite clearly (e.g. in Towards A Feminist Theory Of State); it is modelled on marxism in which sex is a currency expropriated by men; just as the workers own their labour, so teh capitalists are undeservedly expropriating surplus value, likewise women own sexuality and males expropriate it. There is thus no capacity in the term for recognition of, for instance, sexual harrassment by women. The trivial act of grabbing somebody’s boobs to put them off while on the air becomes an articulation of the male rape conspiracy. Furthermore, no woman can ever freely give away her sexual currency in a patriarchy. All sex, or sexual conduct, is inherently expropriative and thus, to quote the cliche “all sex is rape”. Do you agree with that? Because that is what you are articulating when you use that term “sexual harrassment”.

    So, we leave the delusional world of radical feminism, and return to reality. And what we find is that people actually have different standards of behaviour in different situations. As such, the reaction Kershaw got to her complaint is understandable; she was complaining about a local norm. To people used to that norm-and, as I’ve attested above, it was (if not is, I’ve been out the business for years) a norm, such that people in showbiz felt themselves to be in their own world with their own culture and behaviours- her complaint would quite naturally have come across as rectally enbroomhandled. Just as, if somebody had complained about all the open gayness (another value strongly at odds with outside society until recently) they would have been told, well that’s how we are in this business, get over it, kind of thing.

    It wasn’t sexual assault. It was a practical joke. You can’t apply one context to another. That’s the error of the Zealots. The rest of us must do better.

  33. Ian, the “paradigm that generated my conclusion” is more John Stuart Mill than these feminists you bang on about; essentially, “don’t interfere with people without their consent unless to prevent harm to others”, from On Liberty, which was written about a century before your “well organised campaign that began in the 80s”.

    I (but each to their own) could forgive a one-time “practical joke”, but it is not right to “routinely grope” a woman (or any person) if she has not consented to it – especially if she has made her feelings known about it. (That is the allegation – “routinely groped”, not just once.)

    The “local norm”, “practical joke” thing is a very, very weak excuse.

    Just as, if somebody had complained about all the open gayness (another value strongly at odds with outside society until recently) they would have been told, well that’s how we are in this business, get over it, kind of thing.

    A qualitatively different scenario, given that people being “openly gay” is none of my business (see above), whereas someone groping me is definitely my business.

  34. paul B – ‘“Steven Lawrence moment” is a pretty ugly phrase. Stephen Lawrence was a young man who was murdered.’

    Sure, and his murder was a horrible thing. The failure to detect his killers earlier, or in some cases at all, is a blot on the escutcheon of the Met.

    But the murder is not what is under discussion is it? The bullshit media and establishment reaction, and baseless allegations of institutional racism in the police, are what are being discussed.

    The fact that there was no racism, only incompetence, in the investigation are why MacPherson had to make up a hitherto unknown category of racism.

    From that we have racism which is racism if anyone perceives it to be so, and the relative hands-off approach of police to black youths in London, which has led in turn to the murders of black youths.

    Which murders don’t seem to make quite such a splash.

    It’s a weird thing: get stabbed to death by another black kid, and you’re pretty much forgotten a month later. Get stabbed to death by some white yob racists and you’re never forgotten. But you’re just as dead, either way.

  35. I (but each to their own) could forgive a one-time “practical joke”, but it is not right to “routinely grope” a woman (or any person) if she has not consented to it – especially if she has made her feelings known about it. (That is the allegation – “routinely groped”, not just once.)

    And with all due respect, this is the moral sledgehammer argument. “It’s just not right. It’s just not right. It’s just not right”.

    I can’t keep hammering my head against this brick wall; I’ve explained my position clearly, backed it up with descriptions of the actual culture, shown the context. This will sound rude, and in that sense I apologise in advance, but at times like this I feel like thinking that people deserve what’s coming to them. My last parting shot will just be to say that it wasn’t a happy experience last time, and there’s no reason to think it will be this time either. Enjoy the ruinations, the show trials, the sense of living in fear in case something you did years ago suddenly gets you retroactively condemned. There’s going to be lots of it to enjoy, believe me.

  36. Sally-

    last time women got themselves put on a pedestal, they found that with that privilege came a great deal of loss of personal freedom. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and all that.

  37. Sally: The Macpherson Report’s finding of institutional racism, which was by no means a hitherto unknown concept, has been much misunderstood. The report itself explained carefully exactly what it meant by the term: it’s worth reading.

  38. The failure of the first investigating team to recognise and accept racism and race relations as a central feature of their investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence played a part in the deficiencies in policing which we identify in this Report. For example, a substantial number of officers of junior rank would not accept that the murder of Stephen Lawrence was simply and solely “racially motivated”. The relevance of the ethnicity and cultural status of the victims, including Duwayne Brooks, and Mr & Mrs Lawrence, was not properly recognised.

    and

    The term institutional racism should be understood to refer to the way the institution or the organisation may systematically or repeatedly treat, or tend to treat, people differentially because of their race.

  39. Ian,

    And with all due respect, this is the moral sledgehammer argument. “It’s just not right. It’s just not right. It’s just not right”.

    I provided the axiom from which the conclusion was ‘generated’: don’t interfere with people without their consent unless to prevent harm to others. Therefore the specific behaviour we were discussing is in my opinion wrong. I admit I didn’t go into why I think that principle is a good thing to start with, but I honestly didn’t think that was necessary at Chez Worstall.

    Big sigh.

    (btw, I don’t disagree with you in principle about show trials, lynch mobs and witch hunts.)

  40. UKLiberty-

    So, are you willing to downgrade your description from “sexual assault” to “unwanted interference”? As I explained above, sexual assault/abuse/harrassment as being used here is not derived from JS Mill, it’s derived from post-marxist feminist theory (specifically, by Catharine Mackinnon) and the legal and ideological constructions inherent in the concept rely on that post-marxist definition and, in particular, a sexual motive.

    As Mike Smith has (rather bravely) responded, and as I have illustrated at length above, this kind of behaviour is most certainly best understood as a form of practical joking and japing.

    Now you might well reasonably argue that people shouldn’t be the victims of japery. But it puts us into a much different category to claims that this was the articulation of a male sexist “predatory” culture, which is what she is claiming; that is why I have been at pains above to show that these behaviours were just as commonly performed by women upon men. This is why the conceptual framework matters.

  41. Paul B, I’ve read the report, thanks. Can you show me one instance, just one, from the report which showed that the Met officers in that case did what they did (or didn’t do what they should have done) because of racism?

    There was no racism found. Hence the new definition. (I’m not saying there is no racism in the Met – there is racism in all walks of life. but that’s a different thing.)

    Meanwhile, on the streets of London, in some boroughs the vast majority of acquisitive street crime is committed by young black males. Many carry knives, some firearms. Because the police stop them, on reasonable suspicion, in higher numnbers than the whites who are not there carrying out the robberies, this is ‘racism’. The result is predictable.

    Only those who regularly walk home through Tottenham (to name one borough at random) after dark carrying money or electronics should really be allowed to comment on racism and crime in the Met!

  42. Ian B,

    Now you might well reasonably argue that people shouldn’t be the victims of japery.

    It’s not “japery” from her point of view, is it? It’s not akin to someone leaving a whoopy cushion on your chair or tickling your ear with a feather. It’s something rather more intimate, and she found it unpleasant, she wanted it stopped but it wasn’t stopped. You can’t seem to empathise with this.

    For the sake of argument, let’s say from the groper’s point of view it’s just “japery”, there was no “sexual motive” – he wasn’t interested in feeling her breasts for sexual pleasure, he just knew this would be more likely to distract her from her work than touching her elbow or shoulder or similar. Does that make it acceptable?

    How far can we travel with this excuse justification? What behaviour would be unacceptable as a “local norm” or “japery”? Or should employees put up with anything and everything?

    So, are you willing to downgrade your description from “sexual assault” to “unwanted interference”?

    I called it sexual assault because that’s what the law says it is; when it happened it would have been indecent assault iiuc, of course all these laws may have been written by or because of feminism. Call it what you want, I don’t think it alters the substance of that particular complaint.

    Then of course there is the wider issue of whether there is something going on with male sexist predatory culture, but I can’t see how that discussion will get anywhere if you don’t agree it’s wrong to routinely touch someone’s breasts absent her permission and disregardng her complaint and saying she must be a lesbian to complain.

  43. On tonight’s news, alleged racists deny being racists.

    After the break, how alleged sexists and sexual predators deny being sexists and sexual predators.

  44. Sally: I don’t have anything to add to the report, which is clear enough about what it does and doesn’t find. I’m surprised that after reading it you should repeat the wrong claim that “institutional racism” was a new concept.

    I got into this only to express dismay at the concept of a “Stephen Lawrence moment”. I reject the implication that his murder was primarily an opportunity for synthetic outrage.

    As regards Liz Kershaw’s allegations: once might be merely an unwelcome jape, about which I suppose she would have said no more. If it’s done repeatedly after she’s protested, it’s sexual assault. I take Ian B’s point about the social attitudes among performers, but I strongly disagree that a woman has to be a post-marxist feminist to object to having her breasts fondled.

  45. The same thing might be said of any ‘jape’ culture – the entire point of that form of teasing is to do things the subject doesn’t want you to do. That’s what’s funny. If someone’s short their colleagues put everything on high shelves. If someone’s posh their colleagues bow and tug their forelocks and call them ‘yer lordship’ all the time. If someone is uncommfortable being touched they’re back-slapped and man-handled at every opportunity. It’s *meant* to be annoying, and the more you complain about it the more they do it. It’s a social signal to say you’re not following the group norms, to tell you to fit in.

    When I was a kid I was very shy around girls. And they spotted it, and would find it amusing to behave provocatively around and towards me, causing much blushing and stammering, knowing I couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything about it.

    It was, if you want to be technical about it, sexual harassment. But I made no complaint, and wouldn’t want to, because it was comparatively harmless – it was only *my own* hang-ups that made it distressing. It would also have been counter-productive, since it would have drawn attention, and the cultural expectation was that boys should be relaxed about that sort of thing, and that if it should come to charge-and-counter-charge it was well known even then that boys were generally presumed ‘guilty’ in such matters, or indeed generally. Slugs and snails and puppy-dog’s tails, as the rhyme goes.

    The culturally correct response to ‘japes’ is to jape back even harder. Perhaps pour iced water into their lap while they’re trying to present on the radio. There are generally culturally appropriate responses in any culture, you just have to find out what they are.

    The fundamental problem with criminalising such minority culture behaviours is that always eventually they’ll get around to criminalising yours. Once the precedent is set, you can’t complain, and the tides of social fashion ebb and flow. Never create or bring into common use a weapon you wouldn’t want to see used against you.

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