In the wake of Rotherham, all we got the boilerplate tub-thumper about "multiculturalism". Politically, Rotherham was a gift Ukip could have used to break out from its racial cul-de-sac, but instead entrenched itself further. Today in light of yet another scandal, we see very little from Ukip, but quite a lot of racist bilge coming from Kippers on Twitter, completely ignoring the real issues.
And what do we see from the Tories (the establishment)? A pretty robust and sensible package of measures which speak to quite a few of the policy ideas I outlined at the time.
New criminal sanctions for those who fail to protect children from sexual exploitation are at the heart of a package of new measures to be announced today by Prime Minister David Cameron. The government will consult on extending the new criminal offence of ‘wilful neglect’ of patients to children’s social care, education and elected members as part of its national response to damning reports by Alexis Jay, Ann Coffey, Louise Casey and others, which found systematic institutional failings and cultures of denial and blame in Rotherham, and elsewhere.
Those who failed to protect them saw no consequences – some got huge pay-offs. We will ensure that exit payments for senior staff, including council staff, can be clawed back where those people are quickly re-employed in the same part of the public sector.How it will work out in practice, we don't yet know. I believe we need a much deeper reform of local government and our relationship with it, but within the existing construct, which Ukip has no proposal to change, it's about as good as we could expect. So much so that even I'm pleasantly surprised for once.
Of the two parties, it's quite obvious who has the handle on the issues, and it certainly isn't Ukip. In the run up to the election, from the Tories we have a set of plausible local government reforms that may just fix an issue Ukip claims to care about, an EU referendum offer on the table, and all the while Ukip just keeps pushing the boundaries into unexplored realms of satire. At the time of writing this post, the Ukip lead story is "James Carver MEP calls for spirited defence of the cider industry". This is the party they claim has professionalised.
That Ukip continues to make this Child Sexual Exploitation a racial issue shows us that it has abandoned any pretence of being a grown up party, and has finally settled into the groove of being a shallow, nasty, thick and singularly pointless party instead. If it wasn't already abundantly clear to Kippers that Ukip is beyond salvation it certainly should be now. I wouldn't mind overthrowing the establishment for a good reason but if Ukip is your suggested alternative, you can keep it thanks.