Bill Carmichael: Shameless failure as abuse still goes on

Have your say

Forgive me for returning to the issue of Rotherham, but it is one of the biggest scandals in living memory and it keeps on getting worse.

This week 12 more victims of child sexual abuse came forward, in addition to the “conservative estimate” of 1,400 cases already identified in a report by Professor Alexis Jay.

And don’t forget that Professor Jay was emphatic in pointing out that the abuse was not just historic – the child rapes and vile exploitation continue to this day.

The response of the police, senior social workers and councillors is to intone the dead phrase “lessons must be learned” over and over again – and then pretty much carry on as before.

Their only defence so far is to say child protection has improved and things are not quite as bad they once were. Given the total lack of action in the face of child rapes on an industrial scale for more than a decade, it is impossible to imagine that the situation could have got any worse.

No council official has been dismissed or even disciplined. Most astonishing of all Joyce Thacker, the woman paid £115,000 a year to manage what passes as child protection in Rotherham, is still in post. She has blamed parents for the abuse of their children by street gangs and once removed foster children from a loving couple because they supported Ukip.

A Home Office researcher told the BBC this week that when she pointed out – entirely factually – that most of the abuse was being carried out by men of Pakistani descent, a senior official told her never to mention the words “Asian men” again and reported her to the diversity Gestapo for remedial ethnicity awareness training. Such was the toxic dogma of multiculturalism at the council that officials were prepared to condone child rape rather than risk being accused of racism and “Islamophobia”. Thacker is part of this problem, not the solution.

The Labour Party meanwhile has belatedly suspended four councillors who held senior positions when the abuse was at its height, and the rest of them are frantically trying to escape any blame.

I am not sure why they bother. Despite a long list of scandals Labour still dominates the town with 49 of the 63 councillors, and Rotherham has had a Labour MP since 1933.

Labour could roast babies on a spit outside the Town Hall and the people of Rotherham would still vote for them.

Over at the police, Shaun Wright clings to his job – and £85,000 a year pay packet – as Police and Crime Commissioner despite being abandoned by all his Labour comrades. His political career is at an end – so perhaps he simply needs the money, and the blunt truth is that no one, not even the Home Secretary, can remove him from his post.

South Yorkshire Chief Constable David Crompton seems to be slowly waking up to the scale of the scandal. This week he announced an independent enquiry – yet another enquiry! – into his force’s handling of the abuse allegations.

But so far he has failed to respond to incidents – detailed in Professor Jay’s report – when his officers, faced with clear evidence that children as young as 12 were being raped by gangs of men, responded by arresting the victims and letting the attackers go free.

Is this still happening? We simply do not know. How can the people of South Yorkshire have confidence in the competence of their police force while these charges go unanswered?

The conclusion is that the lot of them – police, social workers, the council and the Labour Party – have failed to understand the enormity of what happened in Rotherham, or the anger of the people as a result.

And while they dither and try to deflect any blame, children in Rotherham are being abused and exploited.

Perhaps the only solution is to clean out the Augean Stables and get rid of them all – and start afresh with people prepared to help vulnerable children and apply the law fearlessly, even when the offenders are from one of the Left’s favoured ethnic groups.

Because let’s face it, they couldn’t possibly do any worse than the current lot, could they?

Bill Carmichael