Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A missing portrait and the true cost of Rolf and Jimmy


Just a quick update regarding the question I asked yesterday about what would happen to Rolf Harris' portrait of the Queen.
Well, it looks as though someone at the BBC (who no doubt read my blog) has asked the same question:

The BBC article

The BBC doesn't have it.
The Palace doesn't have it.
Apparently, it was last seen in Liverpool in 2012, but then of course an awful lot of things were 'last seen in Liverpool' by their owners…

There is a wider question here though.
There will, in the aftermath of the Harris conviction, be the inevitable clamour for compensation (and the equally inevitable emergence of a mix of genuine victims and those grubby and morally vacant freaks looking to make a quick buck) - and to pay for that compensation, most , if not all, of the Harris estate will need to be sold.
All of which is fine and is something I agree with. People have to pay for their crimes.
What I don't agree with, however, is the worrying precedent set recently with regards to potential compensation for the victims of Jimmy Savile. A High Court ruling has said that victims can make claims of up to £60,000 from either Savile's estate, the BBC or the NHS. Health Secretary Jeremy (rhymes with) Hunt has said that all claims made against the NHS will be paid out of the public purse (and as the BBC is funded by the public through the licence fee, then we'll be paying for any claims against that organisation as well). Savile's estate of £3.3m has already been all but swallowed up by legal leeches, so it's almost certain that claims that would have been made against his estate will be altered so that either the Beeb or the Health Service is seen as culpable. All of which means that Savile, and probably Harris, and maybe countless other paedos who have yet to be unearthed, could add to their list of victims the names of patients denied life-saving medicines or made to wait an extra couple of months for treatment because the NHS has had to fork out millions in compensation for what they've done.

ps I was also going to add a glib remark about the rest of us being victims as well because the BBC will have even less money with which to make half-decent TV programmes; but as they've only been able to produce reality TV shite for the last few years (e.g. The Voice), and would probably have spent that money on pay-offs for top executives, I'm not sure that's anything to get worked up about.