The moveable feast that is ‘imminent’
Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis was arrested for the second time over alleged sexual offences two days ago. He told the media afterwards that “I have been into a police station and I have had a chat with them and that is it. They have told me they will make a decision in April. I have not been charged with anything and that is it at the moment. I have to wait until they make up their minds.”
Still no charge then. And for the record, DLT isn’t a paedophile: he might be a sad old groper, but he isn’t a paedophile. But the police claim that “eleven new incidents have come to light”, so if that’s what they say let’s wait and see. On the other hand, we don’t need to wait and see, because Plod is promising Big New Developments. My oh my, why on earth would that be? Well, Nazir Afzal, from the Crown Prosecution Service, has now told a child abuse seminar in London that more arrests are imminent. London free newspaper Metro headlined yesterday that ‘Police investigating the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal are preparing to arrest more celebrities within weeks, it has been revealed’.
It recaps on those already arrested and questioned – comedian Jim Davidson, PR consultant Max Clifford and disgraced pop
star Gary Glitter – and then dutifully takes down Plod’s spin as follows: ‘Operation Yewtree was set up last year amid revelations of how the late TV presenter and DJ Savile had escaped prosecution despite decades of allegations against him.’
Right then. So what we have here is a former pop star already convicted of paedophilia, a DJ who is now the most famous paedophile in the world, two others arrested but not charged, and a third arrested twice and still not charged. Bit like the repeats on telly, really.
There’s an air of desperation about all this, a sense of “we have to be seen to be doing something”. Mind you, note how the ‘imminent’ thing is gradually changing its definition: ‘imminent’ used to mean hours, then days, but now it means ‘within weeks’. Sort of manjana without the sense of urgency.
This is what happens when a culture turns to obsession with celebrity: the élite has a ready-made weapon of mass distraction.
Meanwhile, over at Operation Fernbridge, they’re still delving into the activities of the powerful, but not promising further arrests any more. Not even within weeks: ‘imminent’ in Fernbridge circles is becoming the contemporary equivalent of ‘a distinct possibility’.
The Slog, meanwhile, is promising that there will be more on the Elm House Players very soon. Stay tuned.