Wednesday 27 August 2014

Rotherham: here we go again

Oh well, I guess I have been sucked into this Rotherham debate. On the one hand you have the likes of Hugh Muir who puts it almost entirely down to systemic failings within the police, and on the other we have the somewhat superficial analysis of Brendan O'Neill saying this kind of obfuscation obstructs any kind of debate on the cultural aspect. Clearly there are serious debates to be had about both. But actually, the cultural aspect is fairly self-evident here as far as the men are concerned and such observations are nothing new.

All that has changed is that some of the more subtle arguments the BNP were advancing back in 2005 are now socially acceptable and accepted theories. This is actually progress. I don't doubt for a second that political correctness was a barrier to having an open and frank discussion on the subject, and no doubt it hampered the police in the course of the investigations, However, the culture aspect in that particular regard ought to be irrelevant since we are all notionally equal in the eyes of the law.

This is where I lean more toward Hugh Muir's position in that the similarities of council and police dysfunction mirror my own experiences trying to advance a complaint with reference to bailiff fraud and police misconduct, and the same culture of denial exists in the NHS which is why we got the Staffordshire massacres and the backlash against the whistle-blower. Not forgetting Baby P.

Not only are our local authorities rotten to the core, the police and health services suffer from the same bureaucratic inertia, where nobody is to blame and we simply expect a head honcho or two to fall on their sword then retire to a gold-plated pension and the systemic faults are never addressed. What follows is the usual boilerplate glib sentiment and we go around once more, moving from crisis to crisis. Nothing ever changes. That is where the serious debate needs to be had and I fear the cultural aspects are a decoy.

One thing O'Neill is right about is the welfarism aspect, in that we ought to be asking serious questions as to why these young girls are so at liberty to consort with these men in the first place. Most of these young girls know their rapists by name. I can make a strong argument as to how the welfare system has undermined parents and lead to an overall abdication from parental responsibility. In fact, I could go to town on the welfare aspect and still not be finished typing by daybreak.

Though there's a rather large hole in that, since it's a large assumption that all of these girls are working class and the product of welfarism. As it happens, many of them have been bright young things from caring, loving families. The stereotype is that it's largely poor working class people who fall into heroin addiction, but we know that isn't true - and the same applies here. I know of plenty bright girls from Bradford who got pregnant to a grown Asian man while they were still teenagers. Bradford Girls Grammar girls as it happens, which is a prestigious fee paying school. That brings us to the old arguments of permissiveness as a product of moral decay from the sixties and blah blah blah.

The bottom line is that stupid girls do stupid things and ultimately the fault lies with the predators (of whatever culture) and the authorities who fail to apprehend them.

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