Wednesday 4 February 2015

Rotherham council: not fit for purpose

I warned against simplistic interpretations of events in Rotherham. Unsurprisingly, the most simplistic arguments were put forward by Ukipists who put it all at down to "muzzer pedo gangs", multiculturalism and political correctness. But now we learn that councillors and police were getting in on the act in abusing young girls. Anyone surprised? Not me.

Following this, Rotherham Council has been condemned as "not fit for purpose", according a new independent report into the grooming scandal in the borough. The long-awaited findings were published by Louise Casey, having been commissioned by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, over the child sex abuse scandal that lasted 16 years.

What we find is a multi-agency failure involving the usual public sector slovenliness, hostility, defensiveness and denial and stupidity at all levels. Underpinning it is the usual bureaucratic inertia of large, centralised, unaccountable "local" government.

Sadly, this does not stop right-wing comics like the Commentator spunking out their knee-jerk halfwit conclusions. "Now it's official: A culture of political correctness led to the rape and abuse of thousands of children". Instead of acknowledging the nuances it's all about "the ideological Left's multiculturalist prejudices". This is why we never get anywhere.

When we see this same dynamics replicated in every local authority scandal I start to wonder if any of our councils are fit for purpose and wonder what else has yet to creep up through the cracks. I don't see an end to this until such a time as our CEOcracy faces jail time for failings of this magnitude and we have proper democratic oversight of properly local authorities.

In a very real way, the Muslim communities are the fall guys for municipal dereliction here. If the authorities had been on the ball, small scale criminality would have been nipped in the bud a long time ago, and it would never have escalated to the scale that it did. That it did escalate is entirely a function of the failures of our authorities.

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