Wilfred De’Ath, who next, whatever next?
He was one of the posh voices on the radio I used to enjoy listening to. Indeed it is probably true to say that I looked up to him. It seems there are many skeletons in many cupboards just waiting to come out, I suppose. It has been said that society was more tolerant a decade or so towards child molesters. But this is not as remember it. What I seem to remember is that, then as now, there was absolute revulsion towards criminals guilty of sexual crimes. At that time the prisons were less full. But, nevertheless, they were full enough. Of course crime was different. Then there were bank robberies, now there is cyber crime. These days people often get caught out because their computers are found to be full of incriminating evidence. These days there is DNA evidence, there is CCTV.
Whatever next? Who is it going to be next?
Of course much was swept under the carpet in those days, I am talking about the 60s & 70s I suppose. Undoubtedly it was easier for those in positions of power & influence to get away with it because the press just chose to ignore it.
With the Savile case, it seems that not only did loads of people report his actions to the police but the internet was rife with complaints about him. It also seems (or so they claim) that the Mirror almost published a story about him after someone came to them with a specific complaint. But their lawyers advised against in case Savile sued & they lost. So much for published & be damned.
Lloyd George got away with all sorts of things. It was about him it was said he made love & war.
With the onset of the internet, it has become not possible to think that rumours of sexual indiscretions or sexual crimes can be kept secret. Indeed they are ubiquitous & not always true. The BBC have been caught up in a scandal in which apparently they accused some lord nobody had ever heard of, of something. I don’t think it has been disproved. There might be no smoke without fire but I doubt it. That is the main trouble with rumours. They are impossible to disprove.
Rene Cutforth was a gravel voiced contributor to the Home Service & then radio4 which the Home Service became. He was a legendary (& I used that word advisedly) broadcaster. He led a rich & interesting life. He was a regular contributor to From Our Own Correspondent, a programme which has survived & thrived through the ages. I think he was at any rate. He certainly gave talks about his own life & the events in it. For example I remember him saying (I think) that when he was a prisoner of war of the Germans he listened to a record of Beethoven’s Archduke Trio over & over again & this saved him or maybe it didn’t.
I had been under the impression with such as Savile & the others caught up in the scandal that their vice was alcohol but it turns out to have been much worse than that. Savile was a strange person. Growing up in the early I used to listen to him amongst others on Radio Luxembourg.
As for Wilfred De’Ath, it turns out that he had been some sort of criminal who had spent 10 years behind bars. This is a surprise On the radio he sounded like a pillar of the establishment, a voice of respectability, authority even.
Rene Cutforth led an interesting & colourful life. It may well be that some of the things he did would have landed him in trouble these days. He did something in a far away land somewhere. I seem to remember hearing on a radio programme about him that at some point that he married somebody very young. I think he was married 4 times though on the internet it says he was married twice. I spoke to his daughter once on the phone but that is another story. He did what is often called live his life to the full.
I think his main vice maybe was drink. I suspect that he was an alcoholic. He died when he was 75. Not old but not young either. In those days, journalists, amongst many others used to smoke & drink to excess. On the evening of the night before he died, he said to his wife, is that it? When I know that my time is up, I want to listen the Missa Bel Amfitrit Altera by Lassus. If there is life after death, I plan to drift into it with this music. There probably isn’t.
I hope nobody else I have at one time admired turns out to have been a child abuser or sexual predator. I am keeping my fingers metaphorically crossed more in hope than in expectation. I hasten to add though that I never admired Savile.