Britain Today,  Child Grooming Scandal,  Could Do Better,  Uncategorized

Rape, Lies and Redtape.

The British Prime Minister’s recent announcement of a task force led by the National Crime Agency, to focus on identifying the types of criminals who carry out child sexual exploitation (CSE), including data on the ethnic profile of offenders drew a furious reaction online and in the mainstream media. I am 8 hours ahead  of most of you and read the early reaction of the Times’ online commenters which were surprising for a readership that is often assumed to be centrist if not right-leaning. The most upvoted comments were supportive (even if cynical of the efficacy) of the government initiative but there was a very substantial cohort that sounded like it had just escaped from the Guardian or the BBC. The Tories are being blamed for racist and Islamophobic dog whistling, denounced for doing nothing for the last 12 years, of being desperate to manipulate culture war issues for electoral gain and so on.

The ethnic background of the Prime and Home ministers is ironically suspect.

Sunak and Cruella Suella Braverman were accused outright of communal race baiting on the basis of their indian ethnicity.

A particular comment I captured at the time (now removed) stated :

Ya think?A couple of ethnic Indians whipping up racial hatred.
This can only end badly.


The media class and Labour rehashed the same talking points but with slightly more finesse*: there are more white child exploiters  and there is nothing at all remarkable about the pattern and ethnic profile of a particular kind of organised and widescale child sex exploitation gangs that operated in a score of cities over several decades. The 2020 Home Ministry report on Group-based Child Sexual Exploitation has become a biblical document : every single critic of the government only quotes its rather shabby content as irrefutable evidence while determinedly ignoring rather more detailed and localised reports like the 2014 Alexis Jay Report, 2015 Casey Report on Rotherham, the 2015 Oxford report by Maggie Blyth, the 2022 Telford Report chaired by Tom Crowther KC.

Each of these reports found the same themes repeated and here at HP, we have run several articles on them already. Denial and obfuscation was what greeted the thousands of  victims and families of the grooming gangs and the same attitudes  are very much evident decades later. The media and brahmin caste of talking heads  are emotionally and cognitively removed from the common and popular perceptions of these crimes. The extreme right, the BNP  was among the first to reveal these crimes and later on groups like the EDL were formed expressly on the backs of outrage and tried to fill the vacuum created by an establishment too embarassed to care about its own vulnerable young.  The spectre of a white extremist backlash is raised over and over again but has yet to appear. It must be bewildering for an elite that believes its country to be incontrovertibly and  institutionally racist. Meanwhile the topic moves further into the mainstream via  new media like GB news which ran a documentary on this issue mere weeks ago and new groups supporting the victims in civil law action like Hearts of Oak. Sunak knows there’s plenty of electoral milage in this issue and the frantic cries of outrage from Labour suggest that they know it too.

 It is now a given that the mainstream media is selective about the truth on many issues  and for me, the reliable way to get closer to the truth is to read the primary reports, listen to the  survivors (thousands of them exist!) and other key people closely involved in victim support like Maggie Oliver and her Foundation.


Which Ella?

The Guardian rather predictably wheeled out Ella Cockbain (call me juvenile but my mind sees her surname as Cockbrain and befittingly so) to demolish Sunak and Braverman as racist shitstirrers.

Ella Cockbain  has repeatedly lent her academic expertise and sophistry to minimising concern on these appalling crimes  and her latest effort was much of the same. Nothing to see  but the machinations of the international far-right and misinformation and disinformation, folks. Sound familiar?

This narrative echoes familiar tropes of the international far-right, which play off Islamophobic and xenophobic prejudice. Like many enduring stereotypes, this discourse is based on a core truth – real offenders and victims, and genuine failings in responses – wrapped up in distortions, exaggeration, misinformation and disinformation.

Suella Braverman’s recent claims about “grooming gangs” go well beyond mere dog whistles and into overt racism. She asserts that perpetrators are “almost all British-Pakistani” and reduces victims to “overwhelmingly white girls from disadvantaged or troubled backgrounds”.

I suggest listening to Ella Hill and Samantha Smith in their own words instead. These are the women whom Labour and the Guardian run  from or pretend do not exist. These are the women who bear the scars. These are the women who still take medication to just get through the day.



*Edit : I take back the line about Labour’s finesse. Starmer just stumbled into a trap of  his own making with this advert attacking Sunak. The revulsion is universal, even from Labour’s most fervent supporters. I do think that Labour would never have run such an ad against a politician with a muslim name.