Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
The harmful impact of an overzealous, out-of-control, ‘politically-correct' culture continues to emerge. As this spreads, it infiltrates all our institutions, organisations and the legal system. The PC roots dig deep into colleges as ‘no-platforming’ curtails free speech and academic study. These distortions of society, are manifesting themselves in terrible outcomes.
The awful saga of sexual abuse in Rotherham had its origins in foolish tolerance founded on a PC culture. That case, reported in 2014, gained grim headlines around the world. In the faded northern English town about 1,400 girls, white and working class, suffered rape and abuse.
The culprits, all Pakistani men, operated with impunity as the local authorities did nothing. One 14-year-old girl, desperate for help, brought her semen soiled clothes to the police. The police ignored her. The cops, fearful of the racist label, shunned the victims.
This week another similar case came to light. Telford is a significant new town to the west of Birmingham. Again, 1000s of young girls are reporting abuse and raped by grooming gangs. One such band, run by Mubarak Ali, trafficked girls as young as 14-years-old. The victims were, again, mainly white girls. A fact rarely reported in the British press.
What do Rotherham and Telford tell us? The police would prefer to overlook rape rather than jeopardise their relations with sectors of society. This shocking attitude arises on the back of a consistent campaign to demonise the police as ‘racist’.
I saw this attitude developing during training at the Scottish Police College. Attending a command course in 2002, I received two-days of lectures by ethnic minority groups. The idea is to influence senior police officers, making them sensitive to these communities. Of itself, a sensible approach.
Nonetheless, the message I heard was that all police officers are racist. This sentiment arose on the back of the 1993 Stephen Lawrence murder case. The London Police mishandled the investigation with racist attitudes deemed a factor. Speaker after speaker started from that premise. Then went on to say the values of their communities are unassailable. In other words, cops stay out of our business.
In fairness, my Scottish colleagues did fight back. In their dry, laconic style they deconstructed the more extreme arguments put forward. I asked if I was racist. I have a Chinese wife, mixed-race children and position as an ethnic minority in Hong Kong. This status confused the speakers. To them, as a white man, I’m by default racist. I never got a coherent answer because there isn’t one.
Last week, Mark Rowley retired as the head of counterterrorism in the UK. As part of his departure, he spoke at various forums on the threats posed by radical groups. Rowley identified many groups including militant Islam as a challenge. He cited the need for early intervention to forestall radicalisation. All good stuff from a professional officer.
Then he slipped up. He stated that right-wing terrorism is another significant threat. Now here it’s evident he is seeking balance, to avoid the accusation of bias. Why do I say that? Well, there is scant evidence of right-wing terrorism in the UK. Likewise, there is no example of left-wing terrorism. These radical groups, made up of illiterate nutters, are not fostering suicide bombers. They're not attacking young girls at pop concerts or receiving funding from overseas. There is nothing to suggest that these losers travelled abroad for terrorist training. Thus, it's a flawed comparison.
To suggest these people present the same threat as a well-funded terrorist group is hot air. I suspect Rowley doesn’t believe it. Duty bound by the PC world in which he operates to redress the balance, he overstates the case.
You could dismiss his assertions on those grounds, then move on. Except his attitude raises questions relevant to what happened in Rotherham and Telford. With resources stretched, you'd hope that counterterrorism focused on the most significant threat. If Rowley's attitude translates into policy, then no wonder Islamic terrorists are operating under the radar. Layered atop the avoidance of offending specific communities, pushing resources in the wrong direction compounds the failings.
On a side note. Three foster children were removed from a white couple in Rotherham because they had UKIP membership. The agency that did this meanwhile ignored the rape of young girls by Asian men in the town. That’s what an overzealous PC culture does.
One branch of the PC tree is the idea of white privilege. In Canada, this is now a topic for conferences. One professor involved in the debate explained how she ‘de-centers whiteness’ in her classes.
“I will always call on black women students first. The next tier is other people of colour, then white women. And, if I have to, white men.”
Imagine flipping those groupings around. You’d face a lawsuit, and rightly so. As a white kid growing up in Hull, living in a terraced house with an outside toilet, playing on bomb sites, I knew my privilege. Queue the Months Python sketch - ‘Four Yorkshireman.’ Sharing a bed with brothers in a single room without heating, I thrilled at my privilege.
And still, it gathers pace. King’s College London has shut down one of its lecturers. His topic “Free Speech”. Dr Adam Perkins specialises in the neurobiology of personality. His talk was to focus on the importance of free speech to science. Instead, he’s silent. The University panicked, fearing protests by radicals who objected to Dr Perkins work.
His study on the impact of welfare dependency on children offended the left. Thus, he's ‘no platformed’ because a few pinheads object to his legitimate research. Regrettably, this is not an isolated incident, as colleges across the UK are facilitating radical agendas. They dictate who can and cannot speak. Another win for PC culture.
PC served a purpose at one time. It helped foster an inclusive society by shutting down the egregious of behaviours. Thus, it helped the weak and disenfranchised. No sensible person can object to that. Unfortunately, it’s now gone too far.
Now it's deployed as a weapon. It purports to be one thing while being the opposite. It’s evolved into a tool for intolerant bigots; weaponised by radicals for their self-righteous use. It’s mixed with the post-truth world, where opinions trump facts, then rammed home by post-modernists clowns. The result is intimidated police allowing crime for the sake of their image. Meanwhile, I’d invite those ranting about white-privilege to visit the raped girls of Rotherham and Telford.
Walter De Havilland was one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police and Hong Kong Police Force. He's long retired.