Real problem is that we see what we want to see

Concerning the ongoing furore and potential witchhunt being mounted concerning the late Sir Jimmy Savile, I feel there is a serious lesson to be learned here, and we need to learn it soon.

I do not feel inclined to jump onto the politically correct bandwagon and say “I always thought he was bit creepy!”

Truth is, I, like most people, imagined that despite the obvious superficiality, flash repartee and gift of the gab, Jimmy Savile was a “serious good guy” as evidenced by his genuine good deeds.

Why did I believe this? Because everyone else did. Everyone else said so, so therefore everyone else must know. This is where the serious lesson and warning kicks in.

What really disgusts people most of all is not his now obviously odious private life, but the fact he managed to con a whole nation into believing he was something that he wasn’t.

But did he? His meteoric rise to national sainthood must have been as much a surprise to Savile as finding out that he was a paedophile now is to the British public! Having got to this exalted position, Savile no doubt used it to exploit his sexual proclivities, as is the case with many pop icons surrounded by hysterical pubescent girls.

But I leave the moral judgements to others. What concerns me is what is happening in Greece and could soon be happening here - financial crash, austerity, discontent and the polarising of national democratic politics towards extremism.

Soon Greece may be communist or even worse fascist with Spain and Portugal following suit. And we naively imagine it could never happen here.

It was an identical situation in a mature and civilised European nation that no too long ago elevated an obscure, eccentric and outlandish confidence merchant, in some ways not unlike Jimmy Savile, to the level of iconic national saviour – with catastrophic consequences for the whole world.

Like Jimmy Savile, Adolf Hitler never made any attempt to hide himself from the world. People merely saw what they wanted to see. Nazism did what it said on the tin. – but no-one ever bothers about the small print. Outweighing reality with perceived benefits, they just took in the rhetoric and hype and marched to the trendy new beat.

We still do. Tony Robinson observed this brilliantly a number of years ago in a kids’ television show – Maid Marian and her Merry Men - where he made the Sheriff of Nottingham so trendy, PC and “supa dupa” that people were queueing up to pay their taxes!

Adolf Hitler? Jimmy Savile? Who’s going to be the next demagogue/demigod who will make our lives better? As the Romans, who knew all about demigod rulers with feet of clay used to say - caveat emptor!

Jim Jarratt, Mytholmroyd.