Friday, January 14, 2011

British police chief: 'We couldn't speak out on Pakistani sex gangs for fear of appearing institutionally racist'

Police could not speak out about Asian sex gangs for fear of appearing ‘institutionally racist’, a senior officer said yesterday. Mick Gradwell, a former detective superintendent, said the targeting of underage and vulnerable girls had been going on for decades.

He added: ‘You have girls being abused and raped and yet the most senior officers are refusing to comment on it. On what other subject would you get that? ‘How many young girls have been abused and raped because of the reluctance of the authorities to say exactly what is happening?’

Mr Gradwell spoke out following a trial in Derby which resulted in Abid Saddique, 27, and Mohammed Liaqat, 28, being jailed for a total of 19 years last week after targeting underage girls. His warning also follows the arrests of a gang of Asian men over claims they plied 14 white girls with drink and drugs before turning them into sex slaves in Rochdale, near Manchester.

In the aftermath of these cases, former home secretary Jack Straw prompted controversy when he described some of the victims as ‘easy meat’ for gangs – often made up of Pakistani men – who trawl the streets looking for sex.

The vulnerable girls in Rochdale – some as young as 13 – say they were forced to work the streets as prostitutes and hand over money to the gang.

The nine men, eight of them Asian, were questioned by detectives after officers swooped on a number of addresses. The arrests took place shortly before Christmas and were the result of a major inquiry into the sexual exploitation of teenage girls by men since 2008.

Mr Gradwell added: ‘When I joined in 1979 one of my first tasks was to police around a Blackburn nightclub where one of the issues was Asian men cruising around in BMWs and Mercs trying to pick up young drunken girls.

‘The main pressure police have is being called institutionally racist if they highlight a crime trend like this. ‘There’s a fantastic reluctance to be absolutely straight because some people may take such offence.’

The comments come just days after a nationwide investigation was launched following a string of disturbing cases.

The two sexual predators convicted in Derby, Saddique and Liaqat – both British-born fathers of Pakistani origin – cruised the streets in either a Range Rover or a BMW looking for vulnerable young girls.

The victims were ‘chatted up’ at the roadside and invited to go for drives in the car where they were plied with vodka or cocaine before being taken to hotel rooms, parks or houses to be sexually abused.


A BBC obsessed with diversity and feminist pieties is gloriously hoist with its own petard

The BBC likes to present itself as the most progressive organisation in the world, a trenchant opponent of sexism, racism, ageism and every other kind of -ism you can think of.

It even has a so-called Head of ­Diversity, whose well-remunerated job is presumably to ensure that there are enough vegetarians, people born under the star sign of Capricorn, single ­mothers with a surname beginning with J and left-handed Methodists on the ­payroll of the BBC.

So it is a rich irony that the ­Corporation should have been accused by an ­industrial tribunal of ‘social ­engineering’ over its sacking of a female ­presenter because she was regarded as too old.

Miriam O’Reilly, 51 when she was fired, now 53, will pocket some £150,000 of licence-fee payers’ money. The BBC spent an estimated further £100,000 fighting the case.

Though I am no fan of interfering industrial tribunals, it is impossible to disagree with the judgment that BBC executives were obsessed with ‘ethnic diversity’, ‘rejuvenation’ and trying to attract younger viewers when they got rid of Miss O’Reilly.

This supposedly high-minded ­organisation, so quick to criticise others who display allegedly reactionary behaviour, turns out to have the morals of a hard-hearted brothel keeper who throws her charges on the street once they reach a certain age.

The irony deepens when we consider that Miss O’Reilly was sacked as a ­presenter of the BBC1 programme ­Countryfile along with three other women to be replaced by younger staff, two of whom were from ethnic minorities.

A revealing email from Teresa Bogan, then Countryfile series producer, spoke of ­finding ‘additional ethnic talent’.

A rather condescending term, I would have thought. In order to put the appropriate ticks against the ‘ethnic talent’ ­boxes, the BBC was prepared to give poor Miriam O’Reilly and her colleagues the heave-ho in a most brutal manner.

She was ­offered £80,000 if she walked away and never spoke about the affair. To her great credit, she chose to fight.

The BBC emerges from this case as a muddled and bureaucratic organisation which agonises over concepts such as ‘fairness’ and ‘diversity’ and prides itself on its feminist credentials — before going on to behave in a nasty and ­underhand way.

This is by no means the first time a female presenter has been ­dismissed for the ‘crime’ of being too old... The BBC worships mindlessly at the shrine of the cult of youth. It seeks attractive young ­presenters, usually though not invariably female, who may be short on talent but are loved by the camera. When they reach a certain age, they are often unceremoniously tossed on the scrap heap.

Not everyone wants to watch only pouting 30-year-old ­lovelies whose main, perhaps only, attraction lies in their features. I have absolutely nothing against 30-year-old lovelies, but I also look for knowledge, experience and talent — qualities by no means lacking in all 30-year-olds, though occasionally in limited supply.

There are, if one thinks about it, a lot of quite elderly men on television, some of them much older than Paxo.

The wildlife expert David Attenborough is 84 and the Strictly Come Dancing ­presenter Bruce Forsyth is nearly 83. Terry Wogan, who has admittedly scaled back his work, is a child of 72.

They and other male oldies still hold the floor because no one can do it better.

It is very difficult indeed to think of ­septuagenarian or octogenarian female television star presenters, and this only confirms the point made by Miss O’Reilly — that the BBC (and probably other broad­casters) discriminate against women of a certain age.

Of course, no one, male or female, should ­expect a job for life come what may. There are old boobies and young geniuses. Stale presenters of either sex should make way for gifted newcomers. We don’t want the BBC to become a gerontocracy.

My proposal to the BBC is that it should stop thinking in terms of age or sex or ethnic ­origin, and set out to employ the most talented people to produce the best possible programmes. It should get rid of this habit of fretting about ­quotas and ticking boxes, and make quality its only concern.


Eek! A Male!

Treating all men as potential predators doesn't make our kids safer

Last week, the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, Timothy Murray, noticed smoke coming out of a minivan in his hometown of Worcester. He raced over and pulled out two small children, moments before the van's tire exploded into flames. At which point, according to the AP account, the kids' grandmother, who had been driving, nearly punched our hero in the face.

Why? Mr. Murray said she told him she thought he might be a kidnapper.

And so it goes these days, when almost any man who has anything to do with a child can find himself suspected of being a creep. I call it "Worst-First" thinking: Gripped by pedophile panic, we jump to the very worst, even least likely, conclusion first. Then we congratulate ourselves for being so vigilant.

Consider the Iowa daycare center where Nichole Adkins works. The one male aide employed there, she told me in an interview, is not allowed to change diapers. "In fact," Ms. Adkins said, "he has been asked to leave the classroom when diapering was happening."

Now, a guy turned on by diaper changes has got to be even rarer than a guy turned on by Sponge Bob. But "Worst-First" thinking means suspecting the motives of any man who chooses to work around kids.

Maybe the daycare center felt it had to be extra cautious, to avoid lawsuits. But regular folk are suspicious, too. Last February, a woman followed a man around at a store berating him for clutching a pile of girls' panties. "I can't believe this! You're disgusting. This is a public place, you pervert!" she said—until the guy, who posted about the episode on a website, fished out his ID. He was a clerk restocking the underwear department.

Given the level of distrust, is it any wonder that, as the London Telegraph reported last month, the British Musicians' Union warned its members they are no longer to touch a child's fingers, even to position them correctly on the keys? Or that a public pool in Sydney, Australia last fall prohibited boys from changing in the same locker room as the men? (According to the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, the men demanded this, fearing false accusations.)

What's really ironic about all this emphasis on perverts is that it's making us think like them. Remember the story that broke right before Christmas? The FBI warned law-enforcement agencies that the new Video Barbie could be used to make kiddie porn. The warning was not intended for the public but it leaked out. TV news celebrated the joy of the season by telling parents that any man nice enough to play dolls with their daughters could really be videotaping "under their little skirts!" as one Fox News reporter said.

This queasy climate is making men think twice about things they used to do unselfconsciously. A friend of mine, Eric Kozak, was working for a while as a courier. Driving around an unfamiliar neighborhood, he says, "I got lost. I saw a couple kids by the side of the road and rolled down my window to ask, 'Where is such-and-such road?' They ran off screaming."

Another dad told me about taking his three-year-old to play football in the local park, where he'd help organize the slightly older kids into a game. Over time, one of the kids started to look up to him. "He wanted to stand close to me, wanted approval, Dad stuff, I guess. And because of this whole 'stranger danger' mentality, I could sense this sort of wary disapproval from the few other parents at the playground. So I just stopped going."

And that's not the worst. In England in 2006, BBC News reported the story of a bricklayer who spotted a toddler at the side of the road. As he later testified at a hearing, he didn't stop to help for fear he'd be accused of trying to abduct her. You know: A man driving around with a little girl in his car? She ended up at a pond and drowned.

We think we're protecting our kids by treating all men as potential predators. But that's not a society that's safe. Just sick.


That convenient scapegoat, Israel

In all likelihood 2011 will see the apogee of Western Israel-loathing, eclipsing even the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Israel's victories over the Arab armies led to the invention of an imaginary country, the Israeli Goliath bullying the Arab David, and to the invention of an imaginary people, the saintly and unstained Palestinians, who forever lie bereft by the side of the road waiting for their Good Samaritan.

Israeli internal politics is becoming ever more bitterly self-divided and mutually intolerant. Ever since the so-called Gaza convoy, Israeli public opinion has resumed its old suspicion - first cemented in the awful days of the 1972 Munich Olympics - that the Western decision-making classes are basically and ritually allergic towards the Jews, and that it is futile and perverse for Israelis to care what anybody else thinks of them.

Hamas, that strange freak of nature which, rather than sustaining its offspring with its blood, actually feeds upon its supporters' blood for its own succour, swells in strength as its international respectability grows. (Why, even now Western activists are assembling funds for a new flotilla in its aid.) And the Iranian nuclear catastrophe inches ever closer, demanding some kind of urgent action. On almost every front, Israel will be compelled to give its opponents new grounds for their never-sated hatred.

Christianity, we are told, bequeathed to the modern secular West a fundamental aversion to the idea of the scapegoat, since Christ, the God-man, freely allowed himself to be scapegoated in order to assume all our sins, and in doing so shamed us forever. And yet in practice almost everybody who claims to be opposed to the scapegoating of particular groups, be they 1950s Hollywood film producers or contemporary Western Muslims, seems compelled to substitute an even greater scapegoat for the lesser one, as if in some act of spiritual compensation.

If Muslims could not have brought down the World Trade Centre in 2001, then surely it must have been Mossad and the CIA in ghostly concert. If the Iraq War cannot be sufficiently explained by American oil-lust, then surely it must have been a dark plan of Jewish White House neocons. Why, in the past couple of days the citizens of Egypt have been told, on the authority of senior intellectual figures in Cairo, that it was not Muslims who bombed the Coptic church in Alexandria, but rather Israeli agents in their usual cunning disguises. The Israeli conspiracy is a well that never empties.

Israeli citizens may perhaps comfort themselves with this small paradoxical thought. Just as it suits Arab governments for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to go on forever, and for the Palestinians to remain the lightning-rod for all the discontents of the region, so it would ill-suit Israel-haters for Israel actually to be wiped from the map. How, after all, could victory for Hamas bring peace in the region any closer? What would the triumphant Palestinian state look like that emerged in Israel's place, and how could Western radicals possibly find the reserves of self-deceit necessary to stay in love with it?

And who else, when all is said and done, could provide a sufficient repository for all that fear and loathing? As Stalin well knew, the most useful conspiracy theories are those that nourish themselves in perpetuity, no matter how many accidental lives might be blighted along the way.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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