Rochdale-Asian Sex Scandal - TBG member comments
by The Editor
Anyone who has read the papers or watched the news in recent days would have been shocked and appalled at the revelations of the Rochdale grooming scandal. Journalists from the width and breadth of the political spectrum have brought to public attention a story that highlights the most corrupt and depraved instincts of man, and yet above and beyond the warranted condemnation of those convicted, the facts of the case illuminated a far greater malady that has splintered our society.
The spectre of ethno-religious division was documented in a case that magnified the failings of social cohesion in this country: communities that lived parallel lives converged in a way that led to dire consequences. Question Time presented the opportunity to address some of these concerns and issues, however, hemmed by the intellectual paucity of the guests, that opportunity was missed; even worse, facts and morality were fudged for the sake of avoiding uncomfortable truths.
In and amongst the usual low-politics of yesterday's [10.05.12] Question Time, there featured a question on the Rochdale grooming case. What should have been a cathartic discussion ended as an intellectual cop-out. All of the panel had to exercise a big dollop of doublethink and legerdemain to avoid the facts of the case.
Responses to the question, 'was race an issue in the recent Rochdale grooming case', animated all in session, but not in the manner you may have expected. Given the grammar of the question, it was bizarre to hear all responses entirely predicated on the victims and not the perpetrators; the panel, and the audience, obliquely attempted to levy charges against the children, as if to presume that they may share some burden of guilt. This was one of two predominant features of the respondents: obfuscation of victim-hood and a subtle nod to the white mob. Oborne set the standard with this nugget of wisdom:
"One of the things involved was the young girls who accepted the advances of these disgusting men. What does it tell us about what's happened to our society that we have 12 year old girls, 13 year old girls, who are happy to give up their affection and their beauty to men in exchange for a packet of crisps or a bit of credit on their mobile phone?"
Who were the victims here? The power dynamic of rape seems to have completely evaded the ever equivocal Mr. Oborne: these children were powerless; these men, girded with power and authority through their status as adults, forced their will upon these children. They didn't 'give up' anything, as if to say this was some sort of rational voluntary exchange, rather their innocence was greedily snatched from them by the licentiousness of these rapists.
Clearly befuddled by the profile of the convicts, high-minded liberals have to ambiguate who the victims actually are. Oborne, and some in the audience, in their attempt to expand culpability onto these children and wider society, were guilty of a despicable piece of chicanery. It highlights the cognitive dissonance that has encumbered leftist commentators on this case; as Ed West put it when commenting upon the leftwing response:
"Yet if the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of a particular type of crime come from one ethnic group, we can say that this crime has a racial or cultural element; if the vast majority of their victims come from another group, definitely so.
Yet despite several prominent Pakistani-Britons saying as such, the liberal media still see their primary job as dismissing these figures in order to defend their favoured victims."iii
The convergence of favourite victim types has clearly placed coffee-table liberals in a bit of quandary: what narrative should they take? The response has been to ignore the obvious and regale us with a limp-wristed response: bloated with illogicality, and absence of sincerity. Question Time was the forum that gave a human voice to that dishonesty.
The aberrations were thick and fast, but all the responses revolved around the victims, rather than the rapists. Caroline Spelman continued the victim-bashing theme:
"It's not an easy time to be the parent of young teenage girls. You can't just lock them up at 7 o'clock - we don't want to live in a country where we need to lock up young women at 7 o'clock. We try and give them the right values, the right instincts, to keep themselves safe"
As Ed West pointed out, victim-hood has to be blurred in order to substantiate the preferred narrative, but then what are the facts? Was race an issue? Given the evidence at hand, it's pretty clear it was. The Judge, Gerald Clifton, in passing judgement, had this to say:
"Some of you, when arrested, said it was triggered by race."
"That is nonsense. What triggered this prosecution was your lust and greed."iv
Tellingly, that important first sentence was omitted from Question Time. So the defendant's given testimony for motive is dismissed by the presiding judge - why? There is no rational answer as to why he came to that conclusion. However, the Judge was quite happy to recognise that:
"One of the factors leading to that [the abuse] was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion."v
So a clearly demarcated in-group / out-group gave legitimacy for these Pakistanis to rape, abuse and exploit these underage white girls; but no, race was most definitely not a presiding factor. What sort of rhetorical ploys must you play to avoid the syncretism of these points? These girls belonged to a different ethno-religious group; that innate difference gave credence and justification for their exploitation by these Asian men. Their race, or ethnicity, was a defining factor of them being an 'out-group': distinct members of the 'other' in the eyes and minds of these men. We need candour here, not sophistry.
This case has scratched the surface of the enormous gulf between the attitudes of certain men whose culture is predominantly honour based, clan based, and primitively patriarchal, and the wider habits of Westerners, specifically Western women, in Britain.vi It's a gulf that seems irreconcilable in the face of the relativistic fudge of multiculturalism; harrowingly, it's a divergence that gave substance to the perversions of these particular Pakistani men. One of the sentenced men encapsulated this division:
“You white people train them in sex and drinking, so when they come to us they are fully trained”.vii
The polarisation of identity and culture has pitted two world-views against one another. As Brendan O'Neill put it:
“For a variety of reasons – mainly because the attitudes and behaviour of white working-class women are so profoundly at odds with the outlook of conservative Muslim communities – there is a tendency among many Muslims to look upon such women as inferior, as 'sluts'.”viii
This isn't a recondite point; Rochdale's MP, Simon Danczuk, has made it crystal clear what the truth of the matter is:
"I [Allison Pearson] spoke to Mr Danczuk yesterday, and he strenuously disputes claims that this is a one-off case, or even a recent phenomenon. The grooming of white girls by a small sub-section of the Pakistani community was being discussed in Blackburn council 15 years ago."
"Simon Danczuk laughs at the view of Keith Vaz that “this was not a race issue”ix
So these clearly demarcated ethno-religious lines have produced a toxic milieu; it's an odium that has seen the imposition of certain men in the Asian population onto vulnerable white girls. Danczuk tells us that this isn't a rarefied point but has been discussed for well over a decade in the Council.
Voices within the Muslim population have likewise been clear in what the proximate cause was. Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadahn Foundation, had this to say:
"They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought; it is this sort of behaviour that is bringing shame on our community.”x
For his troubles he has been the recipient of numerous death threats and acts of intimidation.xi (That in itself perhaps betraying a disconcerting hue within the Pakistani community of that area).
So these are the facts of the matter. Oborne, however, continued the desultory streak of the debate by attempting to set a red-herring; in typically dishonest fashion he highlighted the statistic that 95% of paedophiles in gaol are white. This is simply missing the wood for the trees: the difference is that in those instances there is no evidence of an ethnic motive; there is in this case. Street grooming itself is a specific trafficking, exploitative and pedoephilic act. Again, what are the facts?
Over four fifths of the men prosecuted for street grooming have been Pakistanis (83%); just over nine tenths have been Asians (94%)xii - the victims have been vulnerable white girls. This correlates with the experiences and concerns of those who have been involved in this specific case, and those who have passed concern on the continuing exploitation of underage white girls by Asians, primarily Pakistanis, in the area.
From the base allusions to complicity on the part of these young girls came the ultimate rhetorical booby-trap: collectivising guilt. Insofar as blurring the narrative is concerned, no other rhetorical device perhaps illustrates the level of fudging that is required to maintain the rosy-hue of the left-wing intelligentsia. Everyone is a victim, nobody is guilty.
The dog-collared Minister on Question Time gave air to this collectivisation: he attempted to share with us, albeit in an incoherent babble, the finer points of the national malaise that led to this 'complicity'. His penetrating observation amounted to this:
"Children are guided by peripheral ideologies and interests, where they feel it is appropriate, at 13, to go out - forgive me for saying this - I'm not saying the victims in this case did that - but it seems prevalent on the streets in the area - where they go out dressed as if they are looking for that sort of issue to take place. They don't give themselves the privilege of growing up any more".
I can't help but wonder why he just didn't go out on a limb and call out the scurrilous white working class, after all, it's the detritus of their anti-culture that inculcated these 'peripheral ideologies'. This subtle, and oleaginously honeyed language, belies the sentiments of these people; as Ed West pointed out, all sorts of intellectual gymnastics have to be employed to carefully mould the 'correct' narrative. The tragedy is that men like this undoubtedly good Minister don't seem to be aware of it.
What the Minister attempted to do of course was to homogenise the blame: instead of it resting solely on the shoulders of these convicts, the blame must rest on the whole of society, and, ipso facto, you and I. This was an intellectual cop-out of the most damaging kind: in order to fudge those annoying facts of the case, the Minister had to expand the scope of blame onto wider society and culture; if he can do that, any singularity of the case can be completely banished. But there is no collective responsibility: ultimate recourse falls upon these men and these men alone, they are the absolute sovereigns of their actions; by attempting to rationalise their behaviour - by almost suggesting that they are victims themselves - the Minister inadvertently absolved them of their crime. If the main culprit is our society as a whole, then these men were mere pawns in a gravitational pull stemming from out decadent culture. This is intellectually sloppy and it's intellectually dishonest.
Collectivising guilt is a standard ploy to avoid specificity, but the fact of the matter is that this case is singular because of the facts involved: there is an issue of certain groups of Asian men, largely Pakistani Muslims, targeting, grooming and raping underage white girls. The Minister flirted with an uncomfortable truth: that the mores and sentiments of English society is at loggerheads with large swathes of the Muslim population, that in itself was the substance that gave rise to these crimes.
This was the calibre of discussion, it amounted to nothing more than intellectual laziness and cowardice of the worst kind. The politics of victimhood and the facts involved were carefully casted in order to fit the prescribed mould. Fudging and victim-bashing was only part of the story; there was one other curious feature of the debate, and it's a feature that has plagued the writings of the literati on this subject: the interposition of the BNP and, by default, fear of the white mob. The panel and the audience occasionally buttressed their answers with reference to the bogeyman of the middle class; clearly the BNP weren't the topic of discussion, so what relevance did they have? None whatsoever, but in the minds of the metropolitan class the prospect of this party, as well as any other political deviants, capitalising on this case is a real and present danger. Ignoring the obvious distraction of citing the BNP, it does reveal the reticent arrogance and snobbery of those chiefly concerned with obscuring the facts of the case - any notion of race, ethnicity or societal division has to be inverted for fear of exciting the irrational, slack-jawed, racist white mob. Blurring the victims, denying the facts: these are the emergent points that need to be set in order to temper the underlying issue of division, and it's a division that our panel feared would leave to chaos on the streets. How little confidence the panel has in the white working-class.
The politics of victim-hood and fear of the white masses: these were the principal concerns, whether explicit or implicit, of the Question Time panel. Massaging them so as to create a coherent narrative was the great story of left-wing commentators on the Rochdale scandal; through the medium of Question Time, that great task was given a personal form, but that did nothing but confirm the betrayal of today's intellectuals in dealing honestly with subjects of race, multiculturalism and societal division - the great sticking points of our age. The facts were plain to see and they deserved serious debate, instead, all we got was a fudging of the issues and a calculated disregard for the facts. It's this dissimulation that highlights a nation and society deeply at unease with itself, and an intellectual class who have abandoned their role as chief arbitrators of stresses, concerns and worries within our society.