The poor girls of Rotherham were victims of institutional anti-racism

by Kevin Meagher

‘Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council – where everyone matters’. It’s an easy boast to emblazon on a corporate logo, but it’s a claim that didn’t stretch to the 1,400 local girls groomed, abused, raped and terrorised by vicious gangs of Pakistani-heritage men in the town.

There is no getting around that central fact. Yesterday’s independent report by Professor Alexis Jay into child sexual exploitation in the town was an indictment of the ‘institutional anti-racism’, that led educated, middle-class professionals in the council and police to ignore the evidence before them.

The report makes clear the perpetrators were overwhelmingly of Pakistani-heritage, although council and police officials sought to “downplay the ethnic dimension” through  a misplaced desire not to stoke community tensions. But denial of reality simply leads to inaction.

And what a sorry tale of inaction this was. Professor Jay quotes the council’s former deputy leader, Jahangir Akhtar, (forced to resign in 2013), who thought a spate of convictions against Pakistani-heritage men for child sexual exploitation in 2010 was “a one-off”. This, Professor Jay concludes, was “at best naïve, and at worst ignoring a politically inconvenient truth.”

The real truth is that Labour wants Pakistani votes, and, as in some many other towns, simply sub-contracts its relationship with minority communities to self-appointed community leaders who ‘deliver’ at election time. There is no interest in exploring problems from within these communities. This led, the report notes, to a “widespread perception” throughout the council that the race of offenders was a no-go area. Yet one of the most telling observations in the 153-page report came from Pakistani-heritage women in the town who believe there is “wholesale denial” of child sexual exploitation within their community.

But the girls of Rotherham were also guilty of shameful indifference by public authorities. Officers from South Yorkshire Police simply regarded these poor young women as “slappers”. This dovetails with the warped view of politically-correct social workers that girls as young as eleven were somehow making “informed choices” about whether to have sex with gangs of men. The net result was the same: this was not abuse as they had consented.

Rotherham is also a classic local government scandal too. As usual, no-one in a position of power thought they should carry the can. Roger Stone, Rotherham’s Leader (until forced out by party high-ups yesterday) said his decision to resign was “not an easy one for me to make”.

Similarly Shaun Wright, now South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, but a former Rotherham cabinet member with responsibility for children’s services from 2005-2010, during a period when it was clear what was going on, doesn’t feel he should go. He won’t last the week.

Most of the abuse occurred in the Rotherham constituency, represented until 2012 by Denis MacShane. The same man jailed for fiddling his expenses as he swanned around Europe, leaving these poor children in his constituency with no-one to fight for them.

Frankly, all of Rotherham’s councillors and MPs, past and present through this period, should be ashamed. There should be a clear-out of everyone involved with any aspect of the mismanagement and cover-up that yesterday’s report revealed.

For God’s sake, why worry about the psychopaths of Boko Haram when we are so willing to tolerate the rape, torture and abuse of girls in own towns?

Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Labour Uncut


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11 Responses to “The poor girls of Rotherham were victims of institutional anti-racism”

  1. Henrik says:

    …and this is unusual for a Labour local authority in what way, precisely?

  2. Tafia says:

    Labour have their sticky fingers all over this as it’s one of their stronghold councils and whether they like it or not they are going to have to expel every single councillor and ex-councillor involved in this – and do it publicly and for life. If they don’t, then sure as eggs are eggs the tories etc ar going to start banging on about it and mention Labour in the same breath – yes they will try and make political mileage out of it, they would be total idiots not to. 1400 victims is 1400 compensation payouts Rotherham Council is going to have to make – the insurance won’t cover it unless people’s heads have rolled and central government won’t increase the grant to cover it so that means to meet those payouts more elderly will go without, more vulnerable children will go without, etc etc – that’s the damage these total halfwits have caused.

    Council Officers involved have got to be dismissed for incompetence – and I mean dismissed – fired, no pay-offs, no early retirement. Likewise prosecuted for conspiracy to allow child trafficing and aiding and abetting child abuse.

    Every single social worker likewise fired – no pay-offs or early retirement. Likewise prosecuted for conspiracy to allow child trafficing and aiding and abetting child abuse

    Every Police Officer of Inspector rank or upwards likewise dismissed. Likewise prosecuted for conspiracy to allow child trafficing and aiding and abetting child abuse

    If this is not done, and very very publicly, quickly and severely then Labour will, by it’s inactions, end up being accused of a cover-up. They need to be so transparent and so whiter than white over this or it ios going to seriously damage them. There are more of these to come from other parts pf Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and several other places. Time to stand up., do what needs to be done and massacre these people or you will end up being massacred yourself and deservedly.

  3. John Reid says:

    Institutional Anti racism
    Haven’t you Heard Bernie Grant said that there couldn’t be such a thing as institutionalised anti racism on a Harringey council,
    And Lee Jasper has said A black person can’t be racist,and when a white person disagrees as they’re white they wouldn’t understand

    And the Rotherham incident on the day when Theresa May, has cut stop and search, as police search more Black people on suspicion of them dealing a drugs, or having knives.

    As our party was quite happy to label the police institutionally racist,and let people go around saying all cops were racist, or repeating Diane Abbotts taken our of context comment ‘all white people are racist”‘ yet the like of Dawn a butler dismissed Trevor Philips 1999 comment ,the Labour Party is institutionally racist as it automatically assumes black people vote labour,

    I’ve been pointing out that the Labour Party is to afraid of this,for fear of being called an EDL sympathiser or islamaphobia,and I got reported to region, as being called A moron, by Livingstones office.

  4. Delta says:

    I see Labour are breaking the barriers and reaching new lows that everyone thought possible. It just gets worse by the day…and there is so much more, such dysfunction and outright corruption along with behind the scenes deals and selections means all sorts of disasters reside behind the political incorrectness and blind bullying culture running the party. After the cocaine Co-Op business and Balls, Harriets involvement with very questionable groups, Milliband’s refusal to reform the party, Tom Watson cashing in over victims of media intrusion, sleaze, sleaze and more sleaze.
    Labour now has a uniform narrative for the next General Election and beyond…one that requires us to be terrified of them having anything to do with children, economic competence, the NHS (Wales and you know which hospital), Law and criminality (Mps going to prison and then trying to cash in as a result of the approx 1400 abuse victims), we can now call it Brown Labour, or in the Brown Labour…the party that will sicken, disgust and appall anyone with the mess it leaves behind!

  5. james says:

    I take it there’ll be no sniggering at the back about the awful Cyril Smith or Hancock anymore. I don’t believe Labour should expel all their Rotherham cllrs.

    What it should do is:

    1. Institute a judge-led inquiry about the whole political culture of Rotherham to report within six months
    2. Say that there’ll be fresh elections at the end of the process

    Labour need to shut it with the smug sniggering about other parties. Labour style themselves as ‘the protectors of the vulnerable’ – who could be more vulnerable than looked after children?

    Labour will just have to suck it up. There WILL be at least a ukip led council there within years. That’s Labour’s fault and their problem. The electoral process has a reckoning of its own.

    It’s time for Labour to stop the smug ‘holier than though’ act .

  6. John reid says:

    Tafia, I assume you mean Inspector and over, and social workers who were involved in this case, plus those who introduced laws in 2000′ that saw Police chiefs dictate to inspectors not to investigate Asians, through fear of being called racist , plus those who introduced such laws in the first place,

    There’s also questions for civil liberty groups who screamed ‘racism’ at every turn ,Everytime this was brought up.

  7. Giles says:

    I was on the left for years fighting a dreary battle against political correctness. For several years I have known about this. I’m pretty sure everyone in the same boat had the same experience. “whataboutery” and “don’t play into the hands of racists” the lefts contempt for free speech has been a constant. Yet Sunny Hundal says PC had no role here, even though the first person to speak about this was prosecuted twice for telling the truth. See how many liberals will condemn that, knowing that man was Nick Griffin. Notwithstanding the many decent folk on the left these double standards and inverse racism have become the “left”‘s DNA. Quote marks here as PC ascended only as the left abandoned the working class (or at least the lighter skinned thereof) and thus ceased to be left in my book.
    This is the only issue for the communities terrorised by these gangs, and don’t imagine it’s stopped. No it’s not just Labour, but what kind of excuse is this for a party founded to defend the working class. It’s over guys. The people as so desperate you have ex striking miners voting for the Thatcherite Farage.

  8. Kevin – I’m afraid I could not disagree with this article more – and especially its headline. The problem was not “institutional anti-racism” but institutional misogyny, and I think you misrepresent the Jay report by suggesting that it was an indictment of ‘institutional anti-racism’.

    There may have been a perception that fear of provoking racist responses underlay council and police failures to respond as they should have. However, as Alexis Jay says in the report, “‘giving oxygen’ to racist perspectives that might in turn attract extremist political groups and threaten community cohesion” was to some extent valid.

    However, that concern should have been outweighed by concern for the treatment of the women and girls abused. That is wasn’t is down to the attitudes such as that you do highlight, namely the police regarding “these poor young women as “slappers””. Those attitudes can be described as misogyny and, as both Diane Abbott and Phil Burton-Cartledge argue coherently at Left Futures.

  9. Dave Roberts. says:

    It was a fear of being labelled racist that was behind the whole thing as some of those who were threatened with the sack will testify. This of course can’t be said on Left Futures as Jon Lansman censors anything he doesn’t like.

    I see he has been silent recently about Lutfur Rahman in Tower Hamlets as he called that wrong as well.

  10. Jenny REynolds says:

    Community cohesion? What the hellis that – young girls bein graped from on e ocmmunity by another community’s men

    yes it is to do with race – I used ot be a lefty – I am still a Labour member but willnot be for mcuhlonger. this case is th eend for meanti racism stinks

  11. missT says:

    Its gets to me when i see newspaper reports and headlines about racism & pakistani men being the main subject in this scandal.

    I am one of these 1400 girls abused while in the care of the local authority and i can tell you that i was physically beaten and abused throughout my life by my psychopath mother who has never even been prosecuted or questioned for her abuse instead i was returned to “HER CARE” repeatedley by police officers and social services when i would run away from home with black eyes and injuries on my body i just couldn’t take it anymore.

    I had to beg social services to help me and take me into care to which i was eventually Accomodated but never the subject of any “Care orders”.
    Two years in the care system and aged 14 me and another 13 year old girl were groomed for sex by two adult white men.

    Both were married men with children and known to the police as child sex offenders with a history of child sex grooming.

    Unknown to me at the time the police visited only one of these men and warned him to stay away from me as i was in local authority care…but that was all.
    No arrests, no questions asked..

    I was given jewelery, cash & alcohol by both men and made to feel special.
    They stole my innocence and my youth.
    This went on for years and then i was physically assaulted by a male social worker who worked at the care home.
    He claimed he just restrained me but i had large cuts and bruises on my arms and legs and a bump on my head.
    I was sent to hospital and a child abuse doctor written notes to say my injuries were consistent of a violent assault on the day in question.
    Witnesses gave statements with the same version of events.
    I went back to the care home after hospital treatment to be told i needed to pack my things because i was being moved to another care home.
    i was just 14 years of age.

    I beleived this was for my protection from this male staff member who was temporarly suspended, but i was wrong i was being moved out so the male staff member could return to his job position at the care home.

    My mother then removed me from care at 15 years old and subjected me to further brutal assaults breaking my nose and blacking my eyes until the day i left school and i found a job and moved out.

    I’m 36 year old now and since my childhood ive been in abusive relationships with one sociopath after another because it was so familiar to me that i beleived this was life and this is how people are. Living hell on earth and im still alone in this nightmare suffering with health issues as the result of a lifetime of abuse.
    All these abusers are still living the good life and free to continue with their despicable ways.
    All i want is justice and some answers for what ive gone through.
    I pray that some day i will get closure.

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