Writing in this week’s Spectator, Margaret Thatcher’s biographer and former Daily Telegraph editor and Policy Exchange chairman Charles Moore has said:

“Isn’t there a single, solitary person who will maintain that Savile devoted himself to charity work for good reasons as well as bad? … Sir Jimmy should keep his knighthood.”

It seems there is such a person, and he’s very solitary in that opinion.

  1. Deborah Pearson says:

    The thing is that it is not exactly easy to remove a knighthood. The Knighthood is only active whilst the person is still alive; when they die the Knighthood goes with them to the grave. He is not a Sir Jimmy anymore because he died. Unless they re-write the laws on titles, which will take time, all they can do is stop calling him the late “sir” Jimmy Saville.

    The only current thing that can be done is that, perhaps out of respect for his victims, that when his family put up a new grave stone they keep it to a small and discreet stone, no flare or fancy and and not put back on the “sir” title. Although it is entirely up to them what they want to do.

  2. @bma
    You are quite correct and shows how “knowledgable” Charles Moore is on “policy”.
    David Cameron’s favourite htink-tank, indeed!

  3. It’s a difficult one.

    On one hand we have a man who, without a doubt, did do a lot of good for charity.

    On the other we have a man who has been accused of some pretty horrible stuff. Accusations that will probably never be proved 100%, and that he will never be able to defend himself against.

    I don’t know whether he did it, although with the number of accusations against him I can see why people will now assume he did. Though I’ve never been a fan of the pitchfork wielding Twitter mob. To me, innocent until proven guilty is something we apply to everyone – it shouldn’t be thrown out the window as soon as someone shouts “paedophile!”

  4. Leaving aside your cheap attempt to smear PX.

    You do realise you’ve wildly misrepresented Moore here right?

    Before you try it, saying someone else also did it is not an excuse.

    Did you even check the quote before you lifted it out of the Standard?


    “Why doesn’t anyone stand up for Jimmy Savile? For decades, thousands said how marvellous he was. I remember thinking myself rather daring for suggesting in this column just after his death that he was frightening and creepy — the BBC had been reporting reverentially that there were plans for his body to ‘lie in state’ in a Leeds hotel. There was a feeling of ‘Santo subito!’ in the air. The tabloids which now almost literally spit on his grave were fulsome in their praise, even though they knew the long-standing rumours against him. Isn’t there a single, solitary person who will maintain that Savile devoted himself to charity work for good reasons as well as bad? Is there no priest who will testify that the man was a repentant sinner, no unmolested child grateful that Jim Fixed It for him? What a dreadful warning all this is about the perils of fame: when you are up, no criticism, when you are down (and dead), no mercy.

    And Sir Jimmy should keep his knighthood. Partly this is a question of evidence: it will be very hard to prove any allegation against Savile. Unless it can reach a legal standard of proof, he should have, in official terms, the benefit of the doubt. Besides, those who confer honours should not be allowed to escape from any mistakes that may subsequently become apparent. An honour is granted unconditionally. For someone dead to be stripped of it is a cowardly act, like the photographic airbrush wielded by dictators after their former cronies fall from grace. Personally, I am not in favour of disc jockeys being knighted, but if you insist on sucking up to these Pied Pipers of our age, you must take the consequences when one of them leads the kiddies off under the hill.”

  5. Umm… Harry Cole, was that an attempt at defending Moore’s comment?

    I’m slightly baffled if it was, because seeing that quote in context only serves to highlight how much more disgusting and loathesome the man’s opinion on this matter is than we were previously aware.

    I mean, honestly, “if you insist on sucking up to these Pied Pipers of our age, you must take the consequences when one of them leads the kiddies off under the hill”? Seriously? He actually thinks this is funny, given the nature of the allegations that he’s referring to? What a sickeningly vile man.

  6. Hitler built some very good roads and created work – Next week in ” The Spectator ” and tomorrows ” Daily Mail “

  7. There are a lot of twitching arseholes in media land, clergy and political circles that someone will blow the whistle and name names– This will not be confined to these institutions alone. Once some leading Thespian or musician gets exposed, someone will sing like a canary. I think an ex-editor of the Spectator has had his gun fully loaded for quite some time. Could this be why senior media figures and the Leveson enquiry itself have allowed lies to go unchallenged by David Cameron and Boris Johnson about meetings, phone calls etc ?

  8. @Jilicious

    Umm, seriously? So the thousands of bodies, photos, statements, etc, puts the level of evidence for the holocaust on par with tens of people’s worth of verbal statements about Saville abusing people?

    I can’t believe you even compared the 2. Go hang your head in shame.

  9. I agree with Harry Cole and Charles Moore. What we have are very serious allegations against Jimmy Saville and, I would also add the BBC, but they have not not been proven and subjected to legal investigation or judgement. The problem is the man is dead and his knighthood expires with him.

    People are complex and we all do bad things as well as good. The point that Charles Moore was making is that whilst Saville is alleged to have done some truly appalling things, this doesn’t mean Saville never did anything virtuous or good, but neither does his charitable works excuse what he did.

    There’s a lot of hypocrisy and double standards in the media. Rumours about Saville’s conduct have been circulating a long time but only now are people speaking up when it’s too late to do anything about them.

    The BBC has a lot of explaining to do and doesn’t come out of this very well either. And while we’re at it, what about cuddly John Peel who admitted to having sex with underage girls whilst he was a DJ in the US. And then there is Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones being involved with 13 year old Mandy Smith which led to Michael Caine exclaiming, ‘I’ve got suits older than her!’


  10. I’ll keep my eye on Charles Moore. These comments are very like Saville’s on Glitter. In his head, there is nothing wrong with poweful Savile molesting voiceless underage girls. But truth be known, lots and lots of men agree. As a women, I am well aware that I am most attractive when vulnerable and this is because very many male female relationships are based in a power imbalance. Dominant/submissive etc. Men like to feel dominant and powerful, especially narcissistic men, sexual desire is often founded in cruelty.

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