Touched by the Charitable Hand of Jimmy Savile


Dead Savile Still Spoiling The Dreams Of The Innocent

A response from a member of the We All Shot Pudsey Bear facebook group invited to the Burn Pudsey Friday event suggested that we should target the beeb for direct action.

This has been done before and it is not the first call that I’ve heard for the same. I’ve never felt able to lead in this way but I’ve been thinking about things and I am wondering what the interest and commitment would be like.

My first thought was maybe we could add that sad olympic mascot Mandeville to the burning pyres. From this I wondered if we are missing a trick given the Savile outcry.
Some things seem clear to me:
Disabled Activists correctly promote the social model
In doing so we sometimes criticise the tragedy model
We make a link between having no equality and the involvement of charities of disabled people in preserving the status quo, presuming to speak for us when we can speak for ourselves, and the investment that is made in them at the expense of under funded Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO’s).

So it is that a part of our modern movement was made at telefon when we opposed the media and successfully closed it down.
In addition to this:
We are told that Jimmy Savile was saintly for raising funds for charities. We are hearing that he used his links with charity, the media and care institutions including Stoke Mandeville to perpetuate gross indecencies on our people and others. We hear that institutions were even complicit in this and provided rooms and accommodation where these venal acts were carried out. We are hearing of people in the employ of some institutions, particularly the beeb who knew or suspected that this was going on and they did nothing as this was just the way things are; the dominant culture that prevailed.

We know that abuse is fairly common in institutions regardless of the level of that abuse
We know that abusers actively target good works in the community as a means of reaching their targets and we may not be surprised to one day find out that this includes celebrities who embarrass themselves on the night of Burn Pudsey Friday which coincides with the Children In Need telefon.
We also know that the current economic climate is penalising disabled people. We feel that we are being driven back into the arms of the same charities that have let us down throughout our history. We know that the rights to independence that we fought so hard to achieve through our Free Our People and Civil Rights campaigns are retroactive and some local authorities are proposing institutionalised care as a solution. We instinctively believe it is only a matter of time before the next big abuse scandal hits
So, what do we do about it? Do we call for direct action? Are we capable of making the links between charities, institutionalised care and abusers? Should we still be speaking up for the social model, independent living and against cuts to services?

Should we pressurise celebs who are appearing not to do so until the beeb cleans up its act
If so who can we rely on to man the barricades? Who is up for it and how are you going to organise?
Replies to this blog would be much appreciated

This blog was first printed in Disability Arts Online on 11th October 2012

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