Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hallowe'en Horror: In The Woods

It's Hallowe'en and as the main TV channels are refusing to show any horror movies tonight, I decided to make my own:

Most of this footage was shot a couple of years ago, (and yes, I do know that the season keeps switching between Spring and Autumn, there was a long break in filming), on the same locations as The Man Who Stalked Himself. I sat on it as, until now, I haven't had the capability to produce the crude chroma key effect toward the end. However, as you can see, I can now produce special effects of Dr Who circa 1976 quality!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trick or Treat?

OK, I've run out of Jimmy Savile gags, so we're going to have to talk about something else.  How about Halloween?  Have you even noticed that it is Halloween?  This year the mainstream media seem to be doing their best to ignore it.  No horror movies or other related programming on any of the main TV channels and only a handful of lesser istalments of the Halloween and Friday the Thirteenth movie franchises showing on some of the digital channels, (I've just seen that ITV4 is showing The Shining, again).  Oh yeah, BBC 1 did show that woeful Halloween H20 sequel over a week ago!  The main concession to the the fact that it is Halloween on the BBC's part has been the screening of Mark Gatiss' follow-up to his excellent History of Horror series on BBC4 tonight: Horror Europa.  Sadly, this was only a ninety minute special rather than a full series, but was excellent nonetheless.  You know, I have to confess that, despite being a straight guy, I have a bit of a man crush on Mark Gatiss.  He's just so genuinely knowledgable and enthusiastic about many of the same subjects as I am.  He's certainly in my top ten celebrities I'd like to have a pint with.

Maybe they're all being reticent about Halloween because it is also Jimmy Savile's birthday, (I knew there was a connection).  Perhaps the media fear that he is going to crawl out of his grave and go on the rampage tomorrow.  But rest assured, The Sleaze will be acknowleding Halloween.  October has aleady seen the publication of some of our trademark seasonal stories with a vague horror theme and I'll shortly be posting this year's official Halloween story.  I must admit that this year I was somewhat lacking in inspiration.  Plus, the neccessity of squeezing in another story to capitalise on the Jimmy Savile scandal left me with less time than usual to concoct a suitable story.  So, I went back through this blog's archives and rediscovered a piece I wrote about five years ago, expanded and rewrote it.  I must say that it turned out to be a pretty decent little story with a horror theme and plenty of surreal touches.  I'm pretty pleased with it.  So, Happy Halloween!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Wanna Be in My Gang?

Look, isn't it harassment?  Arresting Gary Glitter again, I mean.  For God's sake, he's already a convicted sex offender in two countries.  I think we've clearly established that he's a nonce, do we really need to spend yet more money and resources investigating him because he knew Jimmy Savile?  And what's with the media continuously referring to Glitter as a 'former pop star'?  How do they know tht he's still not a pop star?  OK, he doesn't have a record contract and hasn't released anything for decades, but for all we know, he could be recording and releasing stuff directly to the web.  Perhaps he's invented a whole new genre - peado rap?  Who knows.  But his arrest is sadly inevitable - as I've been predicting, whilst the police and press like to tease us with talk of more celebrities about to be named and shamed as alleged sex offenders as the Savile hysteria, sorry, investigation continues, the reality is that, when push came to shove, they were only ever going to give us stuff we'd already heard.  Glitter is always a safe bet to name in connection with this sort of case - he's already been convicted twice of child sex offences so he's unlikely to sue if the press acuse him of being a peado, which we already know he is.

In the meantime, this continued teasing has only one result - endless web speculation and searches by people trying to link every celebrity they don't like with Jimmy Savile or peadophilia generally.  I know, lots of them end up at The Sleaze, (believe me, I'm more than happy to exploit such media fuelled insanity to generate traffic for my site).  You wouldn't believe some of the names they're trying get dirt on.  Indeed, for obvious legal reasons, I can't name any names.  But believe me, come of them are bloody bizarre.  Actually, my top tip for the dead minor celebrity most likely to turn out to have been a nonce hasn't been mentioned anywhere yet: Rod Hull and Emu.  Yeah, that's right, the popular seventies and eighties children's entertainer.  I've no doubt he used that bloody Emu puppet to grope young girls.  It was the perfect alibi: 'It wasn't me - was Emu!'.  Getting back to Savile, I see the Vatican is trying to strip him of that Papal Knighthood they gave him.  Yeah, that'll show him, the dead bastard!  Apart from being utterly pointless, this gesture also seems more than a little hypocritical coming from an organisation whose priests have pretty much institutionalised the sexual abuse of children.  Surely they should be canonising Savile to make him the patron saint of kiddie fiddlers?  Then he could look after all those Catholic priests, using his influence with God to stop them being exposed...

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Sailing By

The last of this year's holiday videos: a quiet afternoon on the beach watching the cruise liners sail by:

The ships are, in order: Queen Victoria, Balmoral and Queen Elizabeth.   

The location is the same beach as 'Scenes From The Shore' was filmed at and, indeed, was filmed the same day.  I had no idea that the liners would appear and nearly missed the first one as a consequence.  Anyway, that's the last of the holiday films for this year, so you can all rest easy for a while.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jim Fixed Us All

The full extent of Jimmy Savile's sexual abuse is finally becoming clearer.  Whilst early estimates put the number of his victims at around three hundred, police now believe that the true total is much, much higher.  "We now believe that Jimmy Savile sexually abused everyone in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s," Chief Inspector Jim Dibbler of the Metropolitan Police has told a press conference at Scotland Yard.  "It is clear from the numbers of people coming forward to report encounters with Savile since the scandal first broke, that nobody was left untouched by this pervert.  We're not sure how he did it - possibly it involved some kind of hypnosis when he was presenting Jim'll Fix It and Top of the Pops - but he definitely abused the entire nation during this period."  Dibbler himself has now recovered long-suppressed memories of his own ordeal at the hands of the dead DJ.  "It was 1981 and, like millions of others, I was watching Jim'll Fix It one Saturday night," he recalls, sobbing.  "Suddenly Jimmy looked directly at me and told me to get my cock out and wave it at the TV.  Of course I did what he told me - he was Jimmy Savile and I was only nine!"  The police believe that Savile used his hypnotic powers to make his millions of victims forget their ordeals - only now are they remembering and coming forward.  "He's the bastard who buggered an entire nation," sobs Diddler.

The BBC, meanwhile, has announced that it is taking measures to ensure that there can never be a recurrence of the Savile scandal.  "We've taken the 'magic chair' he sat in when he presented Jim'll Fix It out of storage and had it burned," said a spokesperson.  "We're convinced that he transferred his evil spirit to that chair and that anyone who sits in will become possessed and start groping young women."  However, a former prop builder for Savile's TV series has warned that more than one chair was built for the dead nonce's TV series.  "There was a red one and a blue one - only the red one has been destroyed," he has told a popular tabloid.  "The blue one is still out there, probably in some collector or fan's shed, ready to create another monster like Savile!"  The BBC has also confirmed that it is currently having Savile digitally removed from every edition of Top of the Pops that he presented, and replaced with 'Diddy' David Hamilton.  "At least we know Hamilton isn't a nonce," the BBC spokesperson told the press.  "He's just a crap DJ."  Finally, the corporation has refused to confirm that it is planning a Savile sex abuse special episode of popular talkshow The Graham Norton Show, in which the Irish funnyman will interview three celebrity victims of the DJ's abuse, helping them to recover suppressed memories of their ordeals.  A spokesperson refused to comment on reports that one of the guests would be Carol Thatcher, who would recall how 'Uncle Jimmy' had groped her in the cupboard under the stairs at Chequers one Christmas when he was a guest of her mother, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Working Forever?

"Some People Will Have to Work Forever!"  At least, that's what a newspaper headline I saw today claimed.  Apparently it has to do with the 'pensions crisis' which means some people won't be able to afford to retire.  Ever.  Of course, such a headline begs a number of questions.  Most obviously, do they really mean that some people will end up working forever?  I mean, unless someone has sneakily stumbled upon the secret of immortality, the stark truth is that, as mere mortals, we'll all die eventually.  Thereby making working forever an impossibility.  Indeed, if, as the story seems to be claiming, people didn't retire and were forced to work into old age, it would probably result in a fair number dying earlier than they would otherwise have expired.  Which brings us, of course, to another question the headline begs - which people will find themselves in this situation?  Well, we can be sure it won't be wealthy Tory donors, bankers, newspaper owners or members of the cabinet.  So I guess that we have to assume that, as ever, it will be the working classes - most specifically the poorest and worst paid members of society. 

But exactly what is this 'pensions crisis' they speak of?  Do they mean that there's a generation of workers currently too poorly paid to make proper provision of their old age?  Are they speculating that the government's next round of welfare cuts will include the abolition of the state pension?  Who knows.  (I couldn't be bothered to actually read the article accompanying this sensationalism, so we can only speculate).  Indeed, does it matter?  All they want is an alarmist headline with which to frighten the middle classes.  (I've no doubt that Middle England will find the prospect of those hoards of impoverished elderly working class people roaming the land terrifying - no doubt these working class living dead will be forced to turn to cannibalism to survive). There's obviously another big question the headline leaves begging: is it approving of this speculative situation?  Bearing in mind that it was a notorious right-wing rag, one might assume that it would be all in favour of something that forced plebs, (to use the alleged nomenclature of a recently resigned senior Tory cabinet member), to work until they died prematurely, thereby preventing them from claiming benefits, pensions, expensive geriatric health care and the like.  So, is this headline an expression of outrage at at a possible future social injustice, or a celebration of a new Tory policy initiative?  After all, impoverishing an entire generation and forcing them into life-long serfdom is surely a key component of the Tory bastards' masterplan to take this country back to feudal times. 

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Monday, October 22, 2012

War and Peace

War movies, I've talked about them before, mainly in the context of the tanks always being wrong.  Over the past couple of weekends I've caught three of my favourite bad 1960s war movies on TV again, namely Tobruk, Anzio and The Devil's Brigade.  All three take enormous liberties with history and all three feature the usual anachronistic military equipment, but watching them again, it struck me that 1960s war movies have a unique 'flavour', and are distinctly different in style and content to either 1950s or 1970s war movies.  Fifties war movies were, overall, far more serious, more concerned with factual fidelity and keen to portray the participants as honourable soldiers doing their duty.  OK, there were exceptions - particularly movies set in the Pacific theatre, which consistently portrayed the Japanese as fanatical sadists - but overall, the fifties style of war movie liked to give an impression of gravitas.  Fifties film makers also had a slightly easier time recreating the previous decade - the correct equipment was often still available, landscapes, streets, cars, even haircuts and fashions still looked much the same.  But as the 1960s progressed, things seemed to change - war movies increasingly became big scale adventure stories, blurring the lines between friend and foe and eschewing the straightforward morality of the previous decade.  Spectacle replaced historical accuracy as the main attraction, resulting in many films being shot in Spain to take advantage of the availability of the Spanish army to create large scale battle scenes.

Interestingly, with this emphasis on scale and action-adventure, the historical recreations featured in the films became less and less authentic,  Increasingly, it looked as if World War Two had been fought in the 1960s, so poor was the attention to background details, (the post war maps in Devil's Brigade, the sixties hair styles in In Harm's Way or the sixties front door and garage door on Robert Shaw's house in Battle of Britain - a film otherwise characterised by an incredible attention to detail - for give a few examples).  But why the change?  Well, I suspect it was down to a change in the target audience for these movies.  I'm guessing that the lower-key 1950s war movies were both made by and aimed at people who had actually served in the war - to them it wasn't just recent history, it was personal experience.  By the 1960s I'm assuming that the main audience were kids too young to have experienced the war itself and those who were too young to have actually served, but had grown up listening to older relatives war tales.  The same sort of audience the the US men's magazines catered to with their lurid 'true' war stories.  They had no personal memories or emotions invested in the war - they just wanted to be entertained. 

By the end of the decade things were beginning to change again, with more serious war movies like Battle of Britain and Patton either released or in production.  It's notable that as the 1970s wore on, war movies tended to become slightly smaller scale, more serious and character-driven and far more historically accurate.  Even a caper movie like Kelly's Heroes features an array of genuine 1940s US military equipment - even the German's have tanks which are at least reasonable facsimiles of Tiger tanks, rather than the usual repainted US-built M47s and M48s.   Again, I think the change was down to the target audience - by the 1970s you had cinema goers to whom World War Two was purely history.  Not only had they been taught it in detail at school, but they'd seen the new breed of documentaries like The World at War and built the Airfix plastic kits.  They knew the facts and wanted to see them reflected on-screen.  Again, there were exceptions, there always will be, but by and large, war movies have become more historically accurate - not to mention less frequent, as the war recedes further from living memory - just look at Saving Private Ryan, a film almost obsessive in its attention to detail.  I have to say, they've also become a lot less fun.  But then again, there are many who'd say that World War Two is no fit subject for fun...

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Scenes From Another Beach

I have had a lousy day.  In fact, I've had a lousy week.  So, rather than rant about it here, I thought that I'd instead present my penultimate holiday film from the Summer:

Scenes From Another Beach from Doc Sleaze on Vimeo.

We're back on a familiar beach for this one but, in the second half, we see it from a different angle.  Anyway, after such a shitty week, these scenes have brought back some pleasant memories, I'm happy to say.

Don't worry - only one more holiday film to go now!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Hairy Sex Offender?

Will this Jimmy Savile business never end?  Now that the media have seemingly exhausted his depredations, as I predicted a few posts ago, they're now trying to implicate any celebrity who worked for the BBC in the 1970s as possible sex offenders.  First of all it was John Peel, (for God''s sake, can't you bastards allow us to have the memory of Peel left unsullied, instead of repeating the well known fact that his first wife was only fifteen - it was legal in the part of the US they were living in at the time - chronicled in his own autobiography), now it is Dave Lee Travis who stands accused of jiggling a Radio Four newsreader's breasts during a broadcast.  Now, I'm sure someone else must have witnessed that, if it happened.  Still, no newspaper could pass up the opportunity of  having a possible headline about 'The Hairy Sex Offender', could they?  But it does make you wonder who is next - John Craven, perhaps?  Are we going to have farm animals coming forward and accusing him of molesting them on Country File?

But hell, if the right wing press are going to try and bring down some of my heroes (and DLT), I'm going to do my best to implicate some of theirs in this Savile business.  I've already made a start by trying to highlight the questionable links between Savile and the right's idol, Mrs Thatcher, (believe me, there really are questions which need answering with regard to this relationship), and now I'm going to bring the royal family into it.  Oh yes!  Just why is the government trying to avoid public access to the letters Prince Charles keeps writing to government ministers?  What are they trying to cover up?  Could it be that the heir to the throne was trying to intervene to block investigations of allegations against Savile?  After all, after Mrs Thatcher, the royal family were Savile's second favourite target for toadying up to.  Maybe Savile had some dirt on the royals - perhaps some of those hunting or skiing pals of Charles were part of Savile's network of sexual abusers?  Trust me, there are high-level conspiracies in play here!  God, I'm sounding like David bloody Icke!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Elephant in The Room

Amidst all the hypocrisy of the print media trying to get 'holier than thou' with the BBC over the Jimmy Savile affair, one question is still left unaddressed - just who was protecting Savile to the degree that he was able to get away with sexual offences on the scale alleged for so long?  I know the preferred narrative of the right wing press is that he used his wealth and celebrity to intimidate victims and institutions into keeping quiet, but that sort of thing can only go so far in suppressing such a story.  Regardless of his wealth and fame, ultimately Savile was just a DJ, and DJs generally don't have the power to silence institutions, (as he was alleged to have done when questions about his conduct toward patients were raised at hospitals he worked in).  Moreover, how could a DJ, no matter how famous, get themselves appointed to chair a Department of Health 'task force' investigating the treatment of patients at the Broadmoor high security hospital?  That's right, in 1988, a DJ with no experience of mental health issues, no medical qualifications and no official standing, was handed such a role.

The answer to all these questions, of course, was that he clearly had friends in high places.  There's no doubt that Savile was 'connected' at the highest levels.  All those years toadying up to the Tories paid off when his idol Mrs Thatcher finally became Prime Minister.  And that's the key question nobody is addressing: what was Thatcher's role in this whole sordid affair?  Did she, wittingly or unwittingly, protect Savile from awkward questions and possible investigations?  I'm sure that just the very fact that he seemed close to her deterred many would be investigators, but was there anything more sinister going on?  The right wing press and the government are quick to try and castigate the BBC over their failure to do anything about Savile's alleged crimes (despite the Beeb having no actual evidence of wrong-doing on his part at the time), but they're all conveniently ignoring the elephant in the room:  Thatcher.  Did her influence help him get the Broadmoor job?  Did the right-wing press' virtual idolisation of her in the eighties scare them off of investigating her pal Jimmy?  Sadly, with 87 year old Thatcher now reportedly frail and 'confused', we're unlikely to get answers from her.  Still, if I'd been one of Savile's friends in high places, I'd probably pretend to be gaga too in the face of the current shit storm.

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Monday, October 15, 2012


Having been sidetracked by Jimmy Savile last week, I feel I should now address some of the issues raised by the Tory bastards at their conference.  I think Cameron's speech summed up their intent: to get Britain back to where it was. Whilst many commentators take that to mean getting the UK back to its economic position pre-recession, the actual policies they are advocating make it clear that they really mean that they want to take Britain back to pre-World War One times.  Those were the days when the lower orders knew their place, had minimal employment rights, no benefits safety net, only the most rudimentary of pensions and certainly nothing in the way of civil rights.  Oh, and the rich paid less tax and could shoot peasants/burglars at will.  Frances Maude's leaked assault on public sector pay and conditions makes this obvious - and if they succeed in imposing more draconian working conditions on the public sector, you can be sure that the private sector will be quick to follow.  Indeed, so savage are the Tory bastards' continued attacks on workers' rights that I'm convinced that they really want to take us back to feudalism.  Certainly, the likes of Maude and Cameron seem to find the very notion that workers should have rights utterly offensive.

Their law and order 'policies', (if one can dignify the kind of hysteria they promote with such a term), are also fascinating, effectively constituting a 'back door' privatisation of both policing and criminal justice.  After all, who needs the police if you are going to be allowed to kill or maim alleged burglars?  I've no doubt this is a concept the likes of Chris Grayling will happily expand to include alleged muggers, car thieves, fly-tippers and gypsies.  And if, by some chance, the alleged offender doesn't die, why go to all the expense, bother and general inconvenience of a trial?  After all, not only the court system insist upon such trivialities as evidence, fairness and balance, they often return the 'wrong' verdict or impose the 'wrong' sentence.  So why not get the victims involved in sentencing?  Cut out all that justice nonsense and just go for good old fashioned retribution.  There's no doubt that vigilantism is a damn sight cheaper than maintaining police forces and a criminal justice system when the government is fixated on slashing public spending.

On a final note, Cameron's speech contained some extraordinary lapses in logic.  Leaving aside his claim of wanting to spread privileges, (it wouldn't be a privilege if it were universal, obviously), I was fascinated by his continuing attempts to demonise benefit claimants.  According to him it was unfair on people who got up early to go to work, to have to see the still drawn curtains of their benefit claiming neighbours - it devalued the whole concept of work.  Which, of course, implies that claiming benefits is a lifestyle choice, (which, for a tiny minority, it might be), whereas, in reality, many of those claiming benefits are doing so because they are unemployed and unable to find work.  The reason for this is largely down to the global economic crisis precipitated by the Tories' friends the bankers and exacerbated by the policies pursued by their chancellor George Osborne, which are pushing the UK further into recession.  What people on benefits need are jobs, but Cameron's policies are destroying jobs rather than creating them.  Tory bastards.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Scenes From Beacon Hill

As this is in danger of turning into 'Jimmy Savile Week', I thought I'd post another holiday film and resist the temptation to indulge in more celebrity peado speculation.  Anyway, this one covers a visit to Beacon Hill.

For what it is worth, the hills you can see from the highest point at Beacon Hill include the hill fort several of my other films focus upon.  Don't worry, there are only a couple more of this summer's films to go...


Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Jimmy Savile Fingered My Hamster!"

"Jimmy Savile raped the Loch Ness monster and buggered the abominable snowman!"  I'm confidently expecting to see that as a headline very soon, as the media feeding frenzy and Savile hysteria continues to grip the press.  With every passing day the papers seem to be vying with each other to see who can work up the most indignation and print the most shocking headlines, (as if what Savile is alleged to have done isn't shocking enough without such embellishments).   What bothers me is they way that 'everyone' seemed to know what he'd been up to but, amazingly, nobody said anything during his lifetime.  I know all the arguments about Savile using his wealth and fame to suppress allegations and his popularity meaning that victims weren't believed when they tried to speak up, but I really would have hoped that, if his alleged crimes were so extensive, somebody would have had the courage to stand up - with evidence - and expose him.  That said, there were plenty of rumours during his lifetime.  Although, interestingly, they tended to focus on his supposed predilection for necrophiliac activities in the morgue of the Leeds hospital he did volunteer work at, rather than the sexual abuse of living underage girls.

Still, the allegations coming out after Savile had died has been a boon for the media - the fact that you can't libel a dead person means that they print pretty much what they please.  I'm sure that, even now, Fleet Street editors are busy trying to decide which dead celebrities to accuse of appalling crimes next.  Mind you, some people seem to be ahead of them in that respect.  I've been looking at today's visitor stats for The Sleaze and there has been a surprising amount of traffic generated by search queries linking various (mainly dead) celebrities with various forms of sexual misconduct.  The most amusing one was 'Arthur Mullard sex offender', (which got a hit purely because he's mentioned in a story entitled Confessions of a Sex Murderer).  The idea of wheezing and overweight 1970s sitcom fixture Mullard engaging in any form of sexual activity, legal or illegal, really doesn't bear thinking about.  I mean, he surely couldn't have been a kiddie fiddler - he'd never be able to catch any children, we was so out of shape.  He'd have had a heart attack if he'd broken into a trot.  There was also someone trying to link the very much still alive Paul Daniels with bestiality, (again, a story that merely mentioned his name and also included the word 'bestiality' in a different paragraph, got the hit).  Where does that come from?  Are there people out there who think the slap headed magician fancies his pigeons in the wrong way?  I'm surprised Jimmy Savile hasn't been linked with bestiality yet: 'Jimmy Savile Fingered My Hamster', perhaps?

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012


I had this terrible nightmare the other night.  It was so bad it made me wake up in a cold sweat.  To cut a long story short, I dreamt that, for some reason or other, I was forced to meet David Cameron.  Wanting to make the best of a bad situation, I determined to tell the public school pillock exactly what I thought of him and his policies.  And possibly punch him out.  However when, in the dream, I finally came face to blubbery face with the tosser, I found that he was so pathetic that I actually ended up feeling sorry for him.  So sorry, in fact, that I didn't say anything abusive to him, let alone hit the bastard.  Jesus!  How bloody horrifying - feeling sorry for David Cameron!  What next - sympathy for George Osborne over all that shit he's taken over the allegations of hookers and cocaine?  Empathising with Nick Clegg over the fact that everyone hates him?  Like I said, a bloody nightmare!

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Monday, October 08, 2012


They really are a bunch of opportunistic bastards, aren't they?  The Tories, I mean.  Obviously.  For them the fiasco over the West Coast rail franchise is simply an opportunity to once again demonise the public sector and pursue their agenda of 'public service = evil', by trying to blame it all on three civil servants they've suspended.  No admission from the Tory bastards that the whole thing is the result of their own unworkable franchising scheme.  Oh no, it's all about the opportunity to pursue other agendas.  Perhaps the most appalling example of this Tory opportunism is the way that they have seized upon the allegations that the late Jimmy Savile had sexually molested young women as another opportunity to bash the BBC.  Apparently, because some of these alleged assualts might allegedly have taken place on BBC premises whilst Savile was working for the BBC, the corporation is in some way responsible for them.  Really?  So, an employer is somehow to blame for something that has never bee proven to have happened, but if it had, the perpetrator would have done secretly, that one of its employees supposedly did, in secret, in their dressing room?  And even if they aren't, the BBC should be ashamed of having failed to investigate allegations against Savile that the police had already investigated and dismissed.

Incredibly, the BBC has supplicated itself in the face of this onslaught, cringingly apologising to the women involved in the allegations.  For fuck's sake BBC, get off your knees and grow some balls!  Why are you apologising to women over something that has never been proven to have happened, let alone happened on BBC premises?  If there's anybody who has any explaining to do about Savile, it is the Tory party itself!  Let's not forget that he had friends in high places, most specifically Tory darling Maggie Thatcher when she was Prime Minister.  How else could he have gotten away with his alleged sexual abuses for so long, eh?  Clearly all that fawning around Maggie didn't just get him an OBE and a knighthood - it also got him immunity from prosecution!  And what other celebrity perverts did they cover up for?  Are we going to have William Hague confessing that, when he made that Tory Party conference speech as a teenager, he had his arse groped madcap gay DJ and Thatcher groupie Kenny Everett?  Are we going to have hordes of middle aged lady Tories telling us of how in the 1980s they were molested at conferences by various Tory-voting celebrity scumbags I can't name because they aren't dead and might sue me for making such completely unsubstantiated claims?  I demand that they reveal all and make a public apology to every delegate groped by Savile or bummed by Kenny Everett - trust me, he didn't shout 'Let's bomb Russia', he clearly said 'Let's bum Russia'.  The Tories should be bloody well ashamed of themselves for allowing this sort of thing to happen!

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Friday, October 05, 2012

The Eagle Has Landed

I've spent quite a bit of time this past week engrossed in two compilation annuals of the Eagle comic which collect together various strips and features from the publication in the 1950s and 1960s respectively.  It really was a different world back then!  It is the features rather than the strips which I found fascinating, the subject matter and tone clearly indicating the target audience for the comic: middle class or aspirational upper working class children.  Actually, to be accurate,middle class or aspirational upper working class boys.  Although there was the occasional letter from a girl, the focus was firmly masculine.  The letters pages are very strange to read now, full of highly respectful letters about newts, tips on navigating and the like.  The letters pages where readers have been invited to air their opinions on a specific subject now seem very quaint, especially one from the 1960s about Cassius Clay (as he was then), with some readers opining that his world heavyweight title was just a fluke and that all his banter showed that he was of low intelligence!  Thankfully, the issue of race wasn't brought up.

Some of the features seem simply bizarre, none more so than the competition to win a bike, in which all readers had to do was correctly identify the make and model of half a dozen electric ovens from a series of very small photographs.  A long-running feature seemed to be 'The History of Weapons' - every week a new means of dealing death explained in loving detail!  This week: the flamethrower.  I'm pretty sure you'd never get away with such a glamourisation of weapons these days!  You definitely wouldn't get away with offering a jack knife as the prize for the best letter of the week, but apparently back in the 1950s that was considered a suitable thing to give to young readers.  Like I said, it was a different world back then.

Of course, the most striking thing about the Eagle, embodied in both the features and strips such as Dan Dare, was the faith in technological advance and the idea that this could only lead to a better world.  This undoubtedly had its roots in the dark years of World War Two and the subsequent years of drab austerity.  All those gleaming futuristic airliners and pristine cities of tomorrow, full of monorails and moving walkways, were obviously a reaction to these traumatic events and a desire to believe that a better world was possible.  It is this positivity and belief that the future - via the march of technology - could be better than the present that characterised the comic throughout its near twenty year run.  The faith in technology, expressed through all those detailed and lovingly drawn cutaways of ships, power stations and jet planes, seems touching and more than slightly misplaced at this distance in time.  But hell, it was a different world back then.

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

I don't know whether the late Sir Jimmy Savile OBE sexually molested young girls, taking advantage of his position as a popular radio DJ and children's TV presenter to abuse them.  The fact is that, during his lifetime, despite several allegations being investigated, no charges where ever brought, due, apparently, to a lack of evidence.  Which is why I'm slightly uneasy about this sudden rush of post-mortem allegations, taking advantage of the fact that he can't defend himself and the fact that, legally speaking, you cannot libel a dead person.  OK, I know this seems more than a little hypocritical coming from someone who has written countless stories for The Sleaze taking advantage of the non-living status of various ploiticians and celebrities.  In my defence, I would say that I've never accused any dead person of being a peadophile (as far as I can recall) and all of the stories involved had a clear satirical purpose.  As does the story about Savile currently up on the site, in which I accuse him of being a sex offender after he was dead.  Getting back to the point, what makes me uneasy about these allegations is the clear assumption in many parts of the media and public opinion that they are all true.  Where is the assumption of innocence that our concept of justice is meant to be founded upon?

Don't get me wrong - I'm no apologist for Jimmy Savile.  To be frank, I never liked him when he was alive - I failed to see why so many people thought he was so wonderful.  Personally, I always found him somewhat creepy.  Especially on Jim'll Fix It.  However, being a creepy weirdo doesn't necessarily mean that someone is also a nonce.  I'm also not accusing the women who have come forward of lying.  But the fact is that if their allegations couldn't be substantiated when Savile was alive, it is highly unlikely this will change now he is dead.  But getting back to the lack of any presumption of innocence, this case is symptomatic of a growing trend where the guilt of accused parties is taken by the media as a foregone conclusion.  Just recently I was horrified listening to a radio interview with a US academic and former government official in which he airily dismissed the arguments against the deportation of Abu Hamza and several other British citizens alleged to be terrorists.  All through the interview he acted as if they had already been convicted and any US trial would be a formality.  Is it any wonder they oppose deportation when faced with such attitudes?  Again, don't misunderstand me, I carry no brief for Hamza and his fellow accused, but it is important to remember that they haven't yet been convicted of anything in the US, (or, in some cases, the UK).  Just like Jimmy Savile, whether we like it or not.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Bent Blue Line

Apparently Britons have never been safer in their own homes.  At least, that's the opinion of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.  He's undoubtedly right - the real threat is now out  on the street, where you run the risk of being beaten up, fitted up, entrapped and murdered by the police.  When they aren't too busy taking bribes from newspapers, that is.  Obviously, I'm being grossly unfair, tarring all police officers with the same brush.  It's usually the Metropolitan police involved in these things, except when South Yorkshire force are trying to cover up their own failings by lying through their teeth about the Hillsborough disaster.  As far as the Met are concerned, the most disturbing thing is how institutionalised corruption has become - and when I say 'corruption', I don't mean that literally, in the sense of officers taking bribes, I mean it in the wider sense of moral corruption.

Lying seems to have become their default mode: whenever Met officers are involved in some high profile, potentially damaging, incident, their immediate response is to into cover-up mode.  hen members of the public are killed by officers, the Met's first move is to try and defame the victim, so as to try and justify their actions and ensure public sympathies lie with the police.  Just look at the way they reacted to their shooting of that Brazilian electrician in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings.  The press were leaked all sorts of false stories that he was an illegal immigrant (only his work permit had expired), that he had behaved suspiciously by jumping the barrier at the tube station, (he didn't, he went through normally, using a ticket), and so on.  It was the same the newspaper vendor who died after being beaten by that policeman at the G20 demonstrations - I think we all know where the stories about his alleged alcoholism came from.  Bloody disgraceful. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying all coppers are bent bastards.  However, the fact is that some of the largest forces seem to have forgotten that they are there to serve the community and should be part of that community, not some closed institution pursuing its own interests or, worse, the interests of politician or wealthy press barons.  In that respect, I think I preferred the old-fashioned corruption, where the Obscene Publications Squad would take backhanders from well-connected pornographers to raid the shops of rivals, seize their stock, then sell it to another pornographer on the quiet. At least you knew where you were with that sort of graft. 


Monday, October 01, 2012


Respectability at last.  After years of no official recognition for the contribution to British smut that The Sleaze has made, we're finally being indexed by the British Library.  Yes, you read that right - the British Library.  It seems that The Sleaze is to finally take its rightful place amongst the UK's literary greats.  Well, we're being indexed by the British Library, although their web archive isn't yet accessible to the public.  Apparently the British Library has had its remit extended to include the indexing and preservation in a digital archive of websites.  At the moment they are running a pilot scheme to asses the feasibility of the operation and, for whatever reasons, The Sleaze has been indexed by their crawler as part of this.  Clearly, this an important development as it is high time that the digital world was recognised as being just as important as the printed word for its contribution to British popular culture.  That said, because it has taken this long for the British Library to have been given this digital preservation remit, many good sites will already have vanished without trace, lost forever.

Sadly, this has long been a problem with the web - I've lost count of the number of good sites which have simply disappeared.  Unfortunately, digital publications leave no trace behind when they close down, unlike traditional print, which leaves a legacy of already physically published books or back issues of newspapers and magazines.  It's the same with film and TV, which leave behind physical prints, tapes or DVDs.  Likewise, audio leaves behind recordings which can still be accessed and enjoyed.  Hopefully, this new British Library initiative will usher in an era of websites (UK sites, at least) enjoying some kind of afterlife, available for anyone to enjoy long after they cease to be active.  In part, my hopes are driven by sheer selfishness:  the fact is that one day I'll stop publishing new material on The Sleaze and eventually stop paying its hosting and domain registration fees.  I'd like to think that even after that happens, people will be able to access and enjoy an archived version of the site.  Otherwise all the effort and creative energy that went into it would seem wasted.  Perhaps at last web content is moving from being something ephemeral to having some kind of permanence.  

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