Paul Vallely has published a blog post – here – called ‘What Jimmy Savile did to me as a young man’ about a different kind of abuse perpetrated by the TV presenter.
He tells how Savile was protected by his status as an entertainer with the apparent ear of people like Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Vallely writes: “The Seventies and Eighties were still, for all the social revolution of the Sixties, an age of deference. As a schoolboy I was once punished by a priest teacher who made me lie spread-eagled on the floor. He then walked over my fingers. When I told my mother of this many decades later she looked astonished and asked why I had not told her at the time.”
To speak out or protest singled you out as a troublemaker. In my school one of the woodwork teachers would make the class stand with their hands on the workbench … and would then throw chisels between your fingers, with an order to put your hand back if you moved it.
Another master would patrol the classroom and flick the bra straps of teenage girls if they couldn’t answer his questions.
Who would have listened if anyone complained?