As far back as 2007, an official working group identified 50 youngsters at risk of exploitation. Yet such was the guilty men's sense of impunity that, when victims lashed out, causing damage to a taxi and a takeaway, they twice reported them to the police. So what on Earth went wrong?Gosh, who could possibly say? Apart from, you know, people who can see through the media's rhetoric?
The failure of the police to pay serious mind to the complaints of youngsters who came to their attention as miscreants is disturbing, but part of a familiar pattern. What is more baffling is the blind eye turned by social services.Ah, yes. See the knife slipped in there? The police, well, everyone knows they are thugs, vandals and bullies, but how, oh how could sainted social workers drop the ball?
Thinking was warped by a version of a right-on ethos about respecting the individual decisions of teenagers. An approach that might have been appropriate in the context of a sexual health clinic advising girls with boyfriends was misapplied to a scenario of brainwashing and coercion.Ah, but see, that’s like being a little bit pregnant – you can’t advocate the one (because why leave it to stuffy old parents with their bourgeois hangups?) without opening up the door for the other…
This is a shrunken, atomistic notion of decision, which disregards intimidation and peer pressure. It is a no-such-thing-as-society view.See! Somehow, it’s always the fault of Thatcher, no matter what ‘it’ is..!
Another element may have been ethnicity.‘May have been’..?
Caveats are important here…Oh, I’ll just bet..
… because, in discussion of grooming, there is plenty of prejudice and no reliable statistics.Really? Well, there never will be, if everyone’s studiously looking the other way!
We know that the overwhelming majority of sex offenders are white, but it does not follow that the same is true in every criminal sub-category. Different cultures do give rise to different violent pathologies. The fondness of white Britain for alcohol, to take one example, gives rise to forms of thuggery which would be unheard of in Muslim communities.Ummm, no. Actually, thuggery is thuggery, even if the perpetrators haven’t had half a shandy in a pub beforehand.
Arranged marriages and low female employment in Muslim Britain are indicative of – at the very least – different attitudes to gender. There is no proven link between these and the (mercifully rare) cases of the Rochdale type that we have witnessed among South Asian Muslims. But such a connection cannot be ruled out a priori.Try as you might!
If social services feared to tread to avoid causing offence, and perhaps complicating wider work within the Pakistani community, then that has proved a terrible error. For giving offence is as nothing compared with the grotesque offences that eventually transpired.And I might believe your sudden conversion, if there was the slightest bit of evidence that, from now on, you'll be cutting back on the opportunities for people to use your newspaper to foster their own grievances and demand their hurt feelings be assuaged.
But there isn't.
Unless you consider yourself exempt from this disgrace, JuliaM, here is sufficient reason for the rest of us to hang our heads in shame.
Did you read this comment?
27 September 2012 10:26PM
The fear of causing offense opened a doorway for the far right to gain more support.
This stupid socialist doesn't care a whit about what happened, only that his delicate widdle political balance might be upset.
Labour let them in. They abused the daughters of Labour voters. Labour ignored it.
Ummm, no. Actually, thuggery is thuggery,
Quite true Julia , let's ask the Egyptian Copts, Pakistani Christians, the numberless young girls who have had thier genital mutilated, their opinion
In fact I am quite often amazed at the quite awesome levels of non thuggery shown on the TV box all without a sniff of a lager top.
Levels it would take the average British male at least 10 pints of wife beater to achieve
"because, in discussion of grooming, there is plenty of prejudice and no reliable statistics"
And there we have it. All news stories have one core element, like a hinge, that they revolve around. In this one the writer believes that prejudice trumps evidence. That is the 'message' here; so many are prejudiced (that oh so ee-ee-vil word) when there is so few facts.
There are many people though who know that any prejudice in us comes from the evidence already gathered. Most people in the UK tend to be easy going about others, even to the point of a generous tolerance; I may not approve but I don't oppose is our mantra.
However that tolerance gets eroded swiftly when story after story of immigrant criminal activity -- some suppressed or 'doctored' to preserve a idealogical 'community cohesion' -- reveals what is really going on.
Of course, the joy of 'evidence' is that numbers can be distorted and actions classified under a cultural banner. Better still, they can be confused conveniently as moral relativism; nothing like a comparison with how we once were (those Picts were bastards, apparently) to soften how we ought to accept these things without question.
So evidence is mercurial, prejudice rampant and ingrained. How handy. How very modern.
Mind you, if the writer's family was affected directly by any of this then they might lose their grip on non-prejudiced correctness and let some good old-fashioned active dislike get in the way.
Just wondering if some of the Rochdale Social Services Officers had families who came from the same part of the world as the offenders. None so blind as those that won't see..
Just wondering if some of the Rochdale Social Services Officers had families who came from the same part of the world as the offenders.
I would very much doubt that a native of Rochdale could establish much more than a twig from his family tree.
But you might be referring to the sort of people where 800 guests turn up at a wedding and they are not royalty.
Anon said:"Labour let them in. They abused the daughters of Labour voters. Labour ignored it."
Spot on. Yet another reason for Labour never to be trusted again.
Blueknight, I believe that this sort of problem exists in the housing departments of some London boroughs which are in what are now bearded savage rich environments. I know of one place your quality of council service depends on your race or more decidedly your religion (bearded savages need only apply). Disgusting it really is.
"Unless you consider yourself exempt from this disgrace, JuliaM..."
Why wouldn't I?!
"Did you read this comment?"
Yup! What matters is which 'team' gains, only that. Complete lack of moral centre.
"Levels it would take the average British male at least 10 pints of wife beater to achieve"
Quite so. An utterly astonishing thing for the 'Guardian' to claim.
"However that tolerance gets eroded swiftly when story after story of immigrant criminal activity -- some suppressed or 'doctored' to preserve a idealogical 'community cohesion' -- reveals what is really going on."
Indeed. Suppression merely serves to feed the flames.
"Just wondering if some of the Rochdale Social Services Officers had families who came from the same part of the world as the offenders. "
Given the long-held desire to make public services 'representative', I'd say there's a damn good chance.
"Yet another reason for Labour never to be trusted again."
And yet, many will. Probably enough to swing the next election, incredible as it may seem...
She reads like someone who has been mugged by reality but is still reticent about saying what the truth is. All the facts are covered up by sufficient caveats to claim sensitivity if challenged. Nonetheless, this is promising or rather it would be if the Guardian hadn't pulled the page
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