Top of the Pops?
This started of as a comment on the ‘Beyond Contempt’ post, but it got rather long, so I’m sticking it up as a stand-alone for whatever it’s worth. I think a word about anachronistic assignment of moral values might be in order. Measuring the behaviour of Kings, Queens and Dictators in centuries with moral, religious, cultural and social outlooks and systems far removed from those of the 21st century might not be appropriate. Shouldn’t their behaviour be measured against the standards of their times?
When you come closer to our own times and behaviour, there might be value in measuring the ‘standards’ of the time to see how far we have come – or not. It is a salutary lesson to point out as Sipu has, that the British invented modern concentration camps – although history is littered with similar examples. I am sure our historians can probably bring some examples to mind better than I can, since I can’t think of any off-hand – mass murder, of course, is a different story, Carthago delenda erat, after all.
Similarly with slavery. I do not mean to denigrate the efforts of Britain, in particular, to end the slave trade, but it is as well to note that slavery, and chattel servitude, existed as a part of civilisation for all of it’s history and was only extinguished, (but, still, not entirely,) coincidentally with the development of technology that made it cheaper to use machines than manpower.
My point is, that we should consider peoples behaviour now against the standards that we all expect from each other, and the behaviour of people then against the standards that might have been expected of them in their own time.
We are what our history has made us and, for example, retrospectively stripping Henry VIII of his title would seem like the re-writing of history in the old USSR.
The Saville saga would seem to be set to run and run as the vultures of the meeja worry the carcass until it is stripped to the bone. Whether that is a productive use of time and resources is a matter of opinion, I guess. As far as I am concerned, I was never a great fan of pop music, though I had my must-have cutting edge technology, the iPod of it’s day, the Dansette ‘portable,’ and listened to Radio Luxenbourg and, in due course, Radio Caroline, but I didn’t watch TOtP – though I do remember ‘Oi’ll give it foive.’ So my own impression of the man was as a well-meaning whacko who, unlike many other well-meaning whackos of the time actually put his money where his mouth was. (Erm, that might not have come out the way it was intended…) Even though I wasn’t a great pop music fan, the behaviour of ‘groupies,’ and ‘wannabees,’ (though that term is also anachronistic ,) was well-known, so the revelations should not come as that much of a surprise, I would have thought?
I’m also not sure that his behaviour shouldn’t be exposed, both for the sake of his victims and to try to ensure that the behavioural habit of exploitation is rooted out of the institutions involved. How effective that will be is, of course, another story entirely.