Before mentioning the fortunes of screen rapist Frank Foster
in ITV's Coronation Street
, there is a serious real life matter that should be addressed. On September 30, a member of its cast was arrested after an allegation that he had raped a 6 year old girl. Michael Le Vell
is one of the longest serving members of Britain's longest running TV soap, having clocked up a staggering 28 years.
Followers of the Strauss-Kahn affair
will recall seeing this “socialist multi-millionaire” banker paraded in handcuffs in front of a New York judge, reading the indictment on-line, and the open allegations and counter-allegations that make for great theatre but poor justice. In Britain, nothing like that ever happens, certainly not in cases of alleged rape, and doubly certainly not where the alleged victim is a child.
Mr Le Vell has been bailed until November 16, when hopefully a decision will be made to either charge him or discontinue the case. It would not be appropriate to comment here in any detail, but a couple of points are worth noting. The complainant is said to have made her allegations only the day before, and he was arrested the following morning. This would be all very commendable if the girl had alleged she had been attacked earlier that week, but about the only piece of information that has been released is that she is now a teenager, which means any alleged offence happened seven years ago, probably more.
If this is the first time this allegation has been raised, then there must be serious doubts as to its veracity; this does not mean necessarily that the girl is lying, but false rape allegations, including delusions by perfectly sincere “victims” are by no means uncommon; an article from an academic journal relating to this matter can be found here
On screen, Mr Le Vell plays a character who although not a sexual predator is somewhat of a Neanderthal; it is by no means impossible that the complainant has built up a fantasy world around this persona. Whatever, Mr Le Vell denies these allegations strenuously, and it would be improper for any publication - tabloid or not - to make any comment that would undermine the presumption of innocence to which even the most odious of individuals is entitled. In the meantime, Mr Le Vell has asked to be written out of forthcoming episodes of the soap until this matter has been resolved; he is supported 100% by everyone with whom he works.
Now to the unreal world of Britain's soaps. Still in Coronation Street
, Carla, who was raped by her business partner and future husband-to-be in a previous episode, is literally falling apart at the seams, but the poor woman has had a rough life. Her first husband was killed in a road crash; her second husband nearly murdered her after murdering her lover and escaping from prison. A body was found buried under her knicker factory, the body of a man who had not
been murdered by John Stape
, but no one will ever believe that now, and not only does Carla still lust for the local recovering alcoholic bookmaker but she still has a drink problem of her own.
Her relationship with said bookie, and his reaction to her rape - punching out Frank's lights - has severely undermined the case against him, and it is about to be dropped.
In the daytime soap, Doctors
, rape is not on the menu, but murder is. Again! If he had reported strangling his victim at once, the police forensics officer might have gotten off with a lesser charge than outright murder, but it is too late for that now. Having made a good job of removing any trace of his presence from the crime scene, he is now about to come undone by dint of CCTV, the same way as did the deranged detective
, who was called in to investigate one murder and ended up committing two more.
It is alas his apprentice who is hot on his trail, and as there is no going back, he can only move forward. This may not have been necessary if the police hadn't lost the knife he planted in the cemetery and then manipulated a detective into finding it. It remains to be seen how even the Keystone Kops could have lost such a vital piece of evidence; all they had to do was bag it up. Having said that, if a police officer or officers had been involved for certain, it is quite likely the evidence would have disappeared anyway. Ask Hamish Campbell
Meanwhile, one has to ask if certain soap operas are not operating a homosexual agenda, because both Coronation Street
are running storylines involving homosexual adoption, although in the former, the potential adoptee in question is actually the biological father of the child concerned.
If the scripts of some soap operas are distinctly homophilic, those of EastEnders
are anything but halal
, indeed, there appears to be a veritable jihad
operating in Albert Square against traditional Islamic values. The Masood family arrived in the soap 4 years ago, and the wayward elder son Syed married his virginal Moslem bride in a big ceremony. This was a family that came to Albert Square with baggage, but no one realised quite how much. While Syed was emphatically heterosexual, something appears to have gone wrong, and before he tied the knot with the lovely Amira
he was involved in a tryst with the inaptly named Christian. Realising he is sinning against his religion as well as his family, he consults a community elder, whose sound advice falls on deaf ears.
Shortly after returning from their honeymoon, he comes clean to a disbelieving Amira. From this point on, the entire family goes downhill, apart from Syed's nerdish younger brother, who although flunking out of university manages to bag himself a catch who while probably not as virginal as Amira is every devout red-blooded Moslem male's dream.
Christian is rewarded by being beaten up by some heavies at the behest of Amira's father - what's a Dad to do? - and he and Syed are now living happily as husband and husband, and planning of all things to adopt. Syed is though shortly to get the shock of his young life when the lovely Amira returns from her self-imposed exile and presents him with a daughter.
In the meantime, matriarch Zainab is cast as the bad guy in all this for telling her son that he has disgraced his family and sinned against God. Curiously, most of Walford's Moslems feel the same way, and Syed is not welcome at the local mosque.
There are further complications caused by the evil Dr Khan, and Zainab's compulsive gambler husband divorcing her; the message of this convoluted plot is all too obvious, Zainab has bad karma, and it's all down to her bigotry, a sentiment that incredibly appears to be shared by Nina Wadia, the actress who plays her. If only Zainab - and by inference those wicked Moslems - would renounce homophobia
, they could be just like the rest of us. The only problem with that is everything; the Holy Qur'an
is not like the Bible
which can be accepted piecemeal, rather the entire book is considered divine, the literal word of God, so while it is open to interpretation - and of course perversion by the Islamist menace - there can be no accommodation with homosexuality, with usury, or with anything else considered haraam
, and it's time the scriptwriters realised this.
Whether or not they succeed in driving poor Zainab over the edge, they may well drive that other recovering alcoholic Phil Mitchell back to drink, because his 15 year old son has just kissed another boy and decides he likes it. Many teens go through such a phase; the youth on whom he developed a crush was everything Ben Mitchell is not: intelligent, extremely good looking, athletic, fun to be with. What he doesn't realise is that such an attraction is not necessarily sexual; there are people of both sexes and all ages who literally fill any room they walk into; Diana, Princess of Wales had that effect. Various leaders from Napoleon through Hitler to Gaddafi have had similar attractions to both sexes, which is why so many of their countrymen have been prepared to follow them to their own ruin in spite of the warning signs.
Alas, Ben Mitchell doesn't see the bigger picture, instead he summonses up all his courage and tells his father, Dad, I'm gay
, an act which reduces the Walford hard man to tears. It remains to be seen if Ben will grow out of his youthful folly, but we may just see Zainab and Phil drowning their sorrows before ending up in bed together and then converting to the Church of Satan; this is about the only twist in the plot the scriptwriters haven't yet considered.