Just An Observation Friday May 3rd


And on and on the list keeps growing! Yet more leading figures from the entertainment industry caught up in sexual scandals which may-or may not-be linked to the whole Savile debacle, which is the scandal which seems to keep on giving. This week has seen Stuart Hall admit charges of sexual abuse taking place over a considerable period of time whilst Coronation Street actor Bill Roache-the longest standing member of any soap opera in the world playing slow but steady Ken Barlow whose marriage to Dreary, her of the specs and the wrinkly neck, has seen some ups and downs of its own-has been arrested in connection with rape charges against an underage girl dating from 1967.

With both these latest figures  now in their eighties  it now means I will be eyeing any unassuming octogenarian with a suspicious eye in the coming days. It certainly brings new emphasis to that immortal line uttered by Harold Steptoe to his lecherous father Albert, in one of that era’s better sitcoms Steptoe and Son, ‘You dirty old man’. I am beginning to wonder whether they should just arrest the whole of the nineteen sixties and seventies or perhaps my whole childhood televisual experience.

 What with Rolf Harris, Max Clifford-I would like to see his obnoxious press team attempt to get him out of this one- and Michael Levell (yet another Coronation Street regular begging the question who next? Norris Cole?) among recent public figures arrested for sexual offences on under-agers it just confirms what many have presumed for years; that the entertainment industry is full of rampant egos who believe they can make up their own rules and normal laws don’t apply to them.

 Not that the whole of the industry can be tainted in this way and paedophilia exists in many other spheres apart from this. It would just appear from evidence already presented that some form of collusion and agreement seems to have existed amongst the participants who being in the public eye were rightly or wrongly considered figures to be looked for to moral guidance.

 Therefore whilst my parents may have worried about the effects David Bowie was having on my almost pubescent self-their reaction when I waltzed in with the first New York Dolls album cover clutched lovingly in my black nail varnish adorned hands eclipsed this obsession and had them wondering what could possibly be next and, fair to say, I never disappointed- but in hindsight he may have been the safer option. Attending an episode of ‘Jim’ll Fix it’ would probably have been fraught with more sleaze and unwanted sexual corruption than a Ziggy Stardust concert could ever have conjured up. Likewise Rolf Harris’s catch phrase ‘Can you see what it is yet?’, as he seemingly haphazardly applied daubs of paint to a large canvas now seems inextricably linked to something more sinister in my psyche. What is more disturbing is how overt all this was with the main perpetrators playing out their twisted fantasies- Gary Glitter’s child catcher movements during ‘Leader of the gang’ spring to mind here- very blatantly  before our eyes.   Perhaps the best advice that anyone could have given any young person visiting the BBC centre in the sixties and seventies would have been ‘Run!’ Followed by ‘Fast!’

 And as the country’s top rated show Coronation Street has to rewrite scripts and has lost two of its stalwart characters in as many months – if this continues pretty soon we will be left with a show consisting of Rita singing wartime favourites to Emily Bishop- the whole industry is tarnished and obviously needs looked at and with its archangel publicist, Clifford, at the centre of the maelstrom then at least there may be less places for those who seek to abuse their positions of fame, wealth and success to hide.

 News has emerged this morning concerning by elections in England and Wales showing that the Tories are rapidly losing their vice like grip whilst the Lib Dem’s are no longer a party with any credibility –securing a place within a coalition with party whose parties policies are anathema to most of their supporters has placed them in a place that is almost impossible to came back from- but showing the rise of the dubious UKIP party. This has actually worried me and whilst I usually stray away from politics it would appear that things may actually get worse rather than better. A lot of disillusionment has set in and unfortunately the UKIP policies focus on this and are playing on people’s ignorance and frustrations. Unfortunately their manifesto is very clear-if not wholly revealing- and in a world blighted by mistrust and lies this may go someway in securing them even more votes. This however is not a good thing.

 On a lighter note one of my favourite film makers Pedro Almodovar returns to our screens this weekend with a piece of over the top camp outrage called I’m So Excited And guess what? I so actually am! Moving away from the serious nature of his more recent works this is a return to the style of movie which first drew so much attention and gained him so many plaudits in the nineteen eighties when his star was very much in the ascendant. I will be seeing the film later today and a review will be posted not long after.

Elsewhere the arrival of May did not usher in any summertime weather and I still have to consider whether I will be warm enough every time I leave the house. At least I have managed to lose at one layer and have not made the foolhardy- and tempting fate- mistake of investing in a summer wardrobe. Over the last few years it has proved itself a waste of money and last year’s still hangs in my wardrobe largely unworn so the least I can hope for is it may actually get an airing this year at some point.

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