At last the damned silly awards season seems to be over, which should mean a welcome respite from celebrities lecturing us on how we are all wrong in matters like the environment, gender politics, sexual harassment, MeToo and MooToo – the oppression of defenceless cows for their milk, which believe it or not was highlighted by some twit called Joaquin Phoenix in his Oscar acceptance speech.
And of course there is the thorny issue of racism. It seems that we are all racist now whether we like it or not. At the Brit awards this week, a prize-winning rapper, known only as Dave accused even Bunter Johnson of being a racist.
‘It is racist, whether or not it feels racist, the truth is our Prime Minister’s a real racist,’ this worthy belted out in a ‘song.’ And we have to believe it because this numpty said it was so!
Well I for one am fed up with being ‘guilty’ of everything under the sun, just because jumped up ‘celebrities’ say I am. This ‘woke’ generation with their burnished morals and burning zeal to expose any instance of modern oppression and right every historical wrong in the dankest corners of society is rather beginning to pee me off I’m afraid.
Yet there is one area of widespread persecution and criminality in the UK on which they all remain silent – the abuse of white working-class girls by Asian grooming gangs.
Why is that I wonder? Over recent years, hundreds of vulnerable girls have been traumatised, broken, abused, raped, left unable to get on with their lives – but no high-profile crusader speaks up for them. No actor dedicates his or her trophy to them, no duchess pops a concerned head in to see if they are okay. No one is starting a hashtag or opening a pop-up shop or pleading for justice for them.
In fact, few celebrities have anything to say on the subject, even though this week saw more convictions of Asian men – of mainly Pakistani descent – for what have become known as grooming gang offences. Usman Ali, Banaras Hussain, Abdul Majid, Gul Riaz and two other men were jailed for a total of fifty-five years for what the judge called ‘vile and wicked’ repeated sexual assault and the multiple rape of two under-aged white girls.
These offences took place in Huddersfield, but we have seen it all before – in Rochdale, Bradford, Rotherham, Oldham, Halifax, Nottingham, Telford, Newcastle, Derby, Bristol, Birmingham, Peterborough and elsewhere.
It is a complete disgrace – yet don’t expect the ongoing trauma suffered by these girls to get a mention when there are far more fashionable causes to get angry about.
Causes such as the transgender social justice initiative – whatever that may mean in plain English – currently tearing the Labour Party apart or the insistence by some that the Grenfell tragedy is a race issue. For God’s sake! If you really want a race issue, consider a report published last month into a grooming scandal in Manchester, which concluded that fifty-seven young girls have been exploited by up to a hundred Asian members of a gang, despite the fact that police and social workers knew exactly what was happening.
And in Oxford this month, three Asian men were jailed for a total of forty-nine years for raping and sexually abusing a schoolgirl, the third trial in a series of linked cases going back many years.
Naim Khan, Mohammed Nazir and Raheem Ahmed – all in their forties – were found guilty of thirty-five offences against the girl when she was aged between thirteen and fifteen.
‘My life has been destroyed,’ the poor kid said in her victim statement. In many of these cases, the victims were not believed at first, only to be later left with shattered lives, eating disorders, depression, PTSD and drug dependence.
It is not helpful some say, to think of this national scandal in terms of race because white men are abusers, too. Indeed they are, but on this scale? Operating with such impunity in so many cities? No I don’t think so.
The harsh fact is that these girls and their families have been let down and that there is still little evidence of efforts in British Pakistani communities to confront the problem. The authorities are reluctant to do their jobs for fear of appearing racist but if these victims had been black schoolgirls, targeted by gangs of white men, there would have been rioting on the streets.
This twit Dave or his soul brother Stormzy would be belting out their so-called songs and castigating us all yet again. There would be uproar among the glitterati and twitterati. Perhaps the Royal Biscuit and his Yank, Lily Allen and Oprah Whatever-her-name-is would be sending messages of sympathy as well.
When he was a Labour MP, Tom Watson’s Midland constituency was in the heartland of grooming gang territory, but he never got involved in the scandal. He cared about abuse cases, of course he did, but only if the abusers happened to be members of a Tory paedophile ring – which, in the end, turned out not to exist and were the ramblings and imaginings of a known fantasist.
Meanwhile, the abuse of hundreds of girls went on unchecked. The problem is that they are the wrong kind of victims and the wrong kind of offenders – resulting in few declarations of solidarity from feminists or celebrities and little acknowledgment of their plight elsewhere.
All the so-called stars are too busy being ‘groovy’ to concern themselves with troubled, white, working-class girls from failing families whose tormentors happen to be embarrassingly and overwhelmingly of Asian origin. Their bare-faced hypocrisy is sickening to put it mildly.
There has been quite an outcry over the fact that Bunter J and his popsy have been enjoying a few quiet days in a country mansion while hundreds of people have been flooded out of their homes. I confess to being a little surprised at his reticence. For someone who has such a long track record of shameless self-promotion, he’s been remarkably restrained since winning the election.
By now, I would have expected the old Bunter to have been filmed standing majestically on the prow of a boat floating down the River Wye, like that famous painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware. But he has resisted the temptation and let his ministers, the fire brigade and all the other relevant authorities get on with their jobs, while making money available for flood relief. To me at any rate – and I know from experience how publicity-hungry politicians get in the way of emergency services – his reluctance to be involved has been commendable, especially given the grandstanding of some of his predecessors.
Just imagine if the Blair Creature was still in charge. He’d be helicoptered around the country, ostentatiously consoling flood victims with all the sincerity of an American television evangelist.
Anthony Blair was a master when it came to turning someone else’s misery into a photo-opportunity. If he’d been in No 10 today, he would no doubt have taken it upon himself to issue a tear-stained tribute to the presenter Caroline Flack, who killed herself this week, ‘She was the People’s Presenter.’ I can hear him saying it damnit!
Gordon Brown wasn’t much better. For a while, immediately after he took over from Blair, Glum Gord decided to run the country as a one-man band, trampling over his subordinates as he stampeded towards the nearest television camera. During a suspected outbreak of foot and mouth, he even called a snap press conference about five minutes after a sheep sneezed in Lanarkshire to announce he was taking personal charge. No wonder that emergency went on so long. The man couldn’t organise the proverbial brewery party.
Perhaps though, Bunter probably should pay a state visit to a few of the worst-hit areas. Sufficient time has passed to deflect any accusation that he is indulging in Blair-style knee-jerk exploitation and one man he could call on is Vic Haddock, who has been washed out of his home at Ironbridge in Shropshire.
Mr Haddock runs a canoe hire business on the Severn. He doesn’t blame Boris, but he would like to find out precisely who is responsible for the lack of effective flood protection. He hopes the Prime Minister might be able to help, but he makes no capital out of his current predicament.
‘We live by a river,’ He told the Press. ‘I bought this place of my own choice, my own accord. I’m a staunch supporter of Boris. I’ve supported him, now come on Boris, come and support me. I’ll buy you a pint.’
A sensible fellow but it sounds as though he might appreciate a bit of moral support from Bunter J. The prime minister would at least get a warm, if wet welcome from Mr Haddock. Elsewhere though he might find himself under fire, especially from folk not especially well disposed towards the Conservatives.
Margaret Thatcher found that out during the 1980s. The Iron Lady enjoyed rushing to the scene of every IRA bombing and train crash to console the victims. I’m sure she meant well, but not everyone was pleased to see her.
Private Eye magazine even produced a ‘Thatch Card’ which readers could carry in their wallets, like blood donor cards and hand to medical staff if they were ever admitted to hospital following, say, a nasty motorway pile-up.
It read: ‘In the event of an accident, the holder of this card wishes it to be known that he/she does NOT wish to be visited by Mrs Thatcher under any circumstances whatsoever.’
Bunter doesn’t incite the same kind of visceral hatred that was directed towards Thatcher. He generally manages to put a smile on the faces of even those who would never vote for him. A lot of people would welcome cheering up right now and I reckon Bunter should be the one buying a pint for Vic Haddock
I’m sure Mr Haddock wouldn’t even mind rowing Bunter to the pub.