A personal viewpoint from a keyboard warrior!

Parsonage left this piece of personal observations as a comment, too good to miss:

Tom Watson MP, always banging the alleged historic Westminster drum; his constituency has major unresolved issues with Pakistani grooming gangs/groups – along the same lines as much of rest of the Midlands and the North, and further afield. Like so many other Labour MPs he taps into the “vast vote reservoir”. It does not take a genius to understand the political play here.

Tribunal? I did a whistleblowing tribunal once, corrupt appointments in the public sector. That’s one reason I admire the brave anonymous whistleblower whose act of sending the council files to Andrew Norfolk outed Rotherham on a national scale. And I gather that it was Marlene Guest who was instrumental in forcing the police to finally bust a Rotherham grooming gang.

My interest? 10 years ago an acquaintance – friend of a friend – his 14 daughter fell victim to what we now know to be classic Pakistani grooming gang/group tactics. “Befriended” inside school, and then at the school gate she was lured to a rented house a mile or so out of ghetto. Dosed up with vodka and cannabis she was then gang raped by 10 or 12 of them. A suspicious neighbour called the police who eventually turned up. At that point apparently the gang dived out of the back door and windows, over the fence, through gardens and roared away in their cars back to “their area”. Subsequent police investigation was suspiciously ineffectual, which itself is part of the pattern of course. The effects on the family were devastating, her Dad felt a lot of unjustified guilt that he hadn’t protected his daughter, he started drinking heavily; had a bad car accident which left him partially crippled and in constant pain. The girl just withdrew into herself. She rarely goes out of the house now apart from walking her little dog, she has had various labels put on her by professionals, and she takes a cocktail of prescription medication which is regularly adjusted. She’s wrecked.

Obviously I was outraged when I heard this, and through what little was in the media and other sources I could see that this was likely a horrific and quite unprecedented epidemic. Over time I sent out quite a lot of emails to the great and good, MPs, journalists, bishops etc – expressing my concern and outrage and demanding to know what if anything they proposed to do. Generally the response, where I got one, was disappointing. This was especially so from the churchmen, who went on about inter-faith dialogue and working with the Muslim community, anyone could see that they were being taken for a ride. I do recall though that the Bishop of Oxford just seemed stupified and nonplussed after the some of the horrific details of that trial were reported, a lot wasn’t apparently.

I also spent quite a lot of time on newspaper sites and blogs, particularly the Guardian. They were coming out with some deceitful spin and evasion – first off they’d say that the sample size was too small to reach any conclusions, then as their position became increasingly untenable they’d fall back on this diversionary Savile et al red herring bs. So I did, with other posters, what I could to counter their grooming denial. This was anonymous of course, but then anonymity has a certain value in itself. Maybe you’re right and this is just being a keyboard warrior. I think of it as being a little contribution to raising awareness.


16 thoughts on “A personal viewpoint from a keyboard warrior!

  1. Parsonage, Thanks for sharing those thoughts, they ought to strike a chord with many Rotherham folks, and of course those like myself who is not from the area, but from an area blighted by similar events, “wrecked” is a definition that pretty accurately sums up the state of a large proportion of these poor souls in my opinion and from my experience,and of course as you’ve witnessed there are all to often victims other than the one the original crime was instigated against.

    I imagine most of us do our bit, whether that be sending out emails, questioning those who ought to be providing answers, or just generally making sure that awareness of the problem of CSE is spread far and wide so that hopefully more will ask questions.

    So i suppose in our own little way we’re all keyboard warriors, if it wasn’t for them, and us, we’d be a lot less enlightened, The term can also be used as a derogatory one, as we’ve seen, but really there is no small amount of irony in someone tap tap tapping away at their keyboard, the end result being to label another a keyboard warrior.

    I read every post made, by everyone, frankly some of them aren’t worth the energy expended in doing so, and worth even less when considering whether to respond to them,but i come here to learn, and i have, and continue to, to make myself aware, so that i can tap tap tap at my own keyboard and hopefully pass what i’ve learned so that even more become aware, and ask even more questions.

    You know what they say about sticks & stones etc, Keep up the good work, Thanks.


      • One of the serious points about the term ‘keyboard warrior’, is that Rotherham Labour use the term in a derogatory manner.
        Those of us who have little option but to take to the web, in order to exercise our democratic rights should not have to put up with being demeaned in this way!
        This blog is an expression of scrutiny in the digital age, that enables anyone of us to share opinions and to raise areas of concern to us, the citizens!


  2. Great post from Parsonage and Dave Earp.
    Don’t know whether to cry or rage, do both at the same time.
    In the end it will be the paper trails and computer records that demonstrate the failures of ALL the departments, government organisations etc that didn’t do their jobs, didn’t follow their statutory obligations.
    The devil will be in the details but getting to it is going to be difficult


  3. Parsonage.

    I have left you a reply already on the thread on ‘More Problems’ for Mr Bashir’. I don’t want to duplicate. I hope you appreciate.

    SKT xxxx

    PS: Sarah Alice.

    RE paper trails – they should be there and I have still have some. As for computer records I am afraid many of those records may have disappeared naturally as recording computer systems tend to change with ever changing service contracts; ie RMBC took over the YPS contract from private agencies about and a half years ago. Sadly many details are lost when this happens and not all details get transferred over when this occurs. However,I hope their is enough remaining for the inquiries to work with. I truly do.



    • What you say Sally is so true, computer records have a relatively short shelf like – ask RMBC what it’s policy is for the e-mail records of departed staff – and even when the record is there they can be impossible to find – they are not indexed on anything useful – try: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-peter-wanless-and-richard-whittam-qc-review
      I have files created over the years that I can’t read today – the software that was used to create them is no longer available – who today has heard of XyWrite or Javelin – the word processing and spreadsheet systems that I was using 30 years ago. I’d love to have a copy of Javelin running on Win 7 – it was a brilliant product.


    • Sally Kate
      What you say is very true and being an outsider I don’t know what system RMBC Childrens Services and RLCSB used / use.
      What I do know from experience is that many local authorities Childrens Services use Compass systems and Compass themselves keep back-up copies going back donkeys years.
      Sod’s law is RMBC didn’t use Compass


  4. Whether it’s a paper trial or human confessions, the whole sorry story will eventually come out. Yes the Labour Party aswell as others of our great and good civic leaders, have finally been exposed as gubby, self serving people in their positions not for the greater good of the whole community.

    If a few years ago, someone was to tell me that something like this could happen in this Country, nobody would believe it, we know better now and we now know that we can’t trust anything were told by these politicians, Cllrs, Police, Social Workers, Media and Other public agencies. Hopefully justice will prevail, but maybe that’s just a dream.


  5. Great post Parsonage.
    I think the word ‘Failure’ covers most if not all the points raised. Everyone concerned including the Police,Councils,Social Services,Child Protection Agencies,Councillors,MP’s and the Church have failed.
    Ignoring the problem will not make it disappear and the never ending story of horrific crimes against children shows us that the state agencies charged with protecting and safeguarding children have failed on an unimaginable and monumental scale.
    It is simply not good enough for these people to wring their hands, utter platitudes and launch a series of inquiries.
    The Great and The Good. The Good,The Bad and The Ugly, wherever you are ‘You can run but you can’t hide’ and to quote WS.Churchill; We need Action this Day.
    Being a party to a failure of historic proportions is the mark those responsible will carry with them forever.


  6. May I add my own thanks to Parsonage for his “observations” and to others who continue to question, enquire and insist on information from those who seemingly are programmed to keep us quiet. Keyboard warriors united and mostly still standing !


  7. Parsonage, many thanks for your story.
    I thought I knew nothing about it until I first read about what had been happening in Heywood near Rochdale – I was born in Heywood but left in my teens and seldom returned
    But then I remembered something that I had experienced in an hotel in Nottingham in about 1979 when I was on a business trip there, something that previously I had never been able to make any coherent sense of, and suddenly it all fell into place. But for now lets think on your story.


  8. As a person who advocates church involvement in helping the abused of any age I am ashamed at the disgraceful response Parsonage received from church leaders….They need their ass kicked and I wouldn’t mind joining the queue. They need reminding that there is something called the sin of omission …If what you say is correct Parsonage ( and I have no reason to doubt you ) then those churchmen who ‘ walked by on the other side’ need to be disciplined and resign . As a Christian woman I am very aware that there are those who love power in all walks of life including the church.. I have met them frequently over the last fifty years. I don’t like them and they don’t like me. As part of the solution Parsonage …. please make them accountable .


  9. Rothpol, Re your comment at 1:49 pm yesterday, I am in full agreement with you, It’s an unpleasant term in any event, and something of a minor aid in attempting to stifle comment & debate, It appears Rotherham Labour will use any tool to that end, but yes there are people for whom the keyboard is the most convenient tool for communicating, and some for whom it might be the only tool, whatever peoples preferences & circumstances using the term against people whilst utilising the very same method is hypocritical, and generally a sign that the name caller has little left in the way of cohesive argument.


  10. Anon,

    It wasn’t a Labour Party member who used the term it was me. I have never been part of a political party and I take my part of the blame. I don’t hide. (Especially behind Anon tags) I was involved in a temporary and misguided spat with Parsonage on the thread re ‘more problems for Bashir’. Read it please and see how it pans out.

    Parsonage made very personal remarks about me – I was rightly disgusted and offended but reacted wrongly in a similar vein. Very wrongly. I should have sat back and responded better – I didn’t. He should not have used such language against me in the first place – but that’s history and I forgave him. Since then we have both explained our ‘history’ and accepted that. (I think) Neither of us should have done it and I have said that. I have also praised him for his post on this thread. He seems to have also accepted I have good intentions – just different perspectives and opinions too. Those differing perspectives and opinions will continue – on a more civilized manner on my part as well as his I hope,

    As for stifling debate I suggest you read the communications between us – it actually was an open and very frank debate. Too frank at times – and too personal on both counts. I considered he was actually trying to close down debate and had gone too far. I made my point re that. The issue has been rectified and now we both know where we stand and move on to differ or agree on certain points in the future.

    I learned more about him and him me re our work and efforts for justice – so some good came out of the regrettable incident . I also learned a little about myself – and that was as my Dad always said ‘stick to the point Sally don’t get upset or distracted by personal insults – and don’t insult back’.

    Anon – Re the term ‘keyboard warriors’ when used generally. While I have apologized to Mr Parsonage I won’t retract from my main theme. RothPol has many who have opposing opinions and quite rightly too – long may that be the case. But there are too many on here who simply shout – usually accuse and finger point without evidence – but do nothing in reality other than insinuate and insult. The web (and Rothpol) is a useful tool for opinion I agree – but that is all – actions speak louder. I retain my challenge to all – don’t just say it on here – if you can – and I say if you CAN – do something.

    Over the years on here I have received much abuse. There are some who simply debate but many that insult me or others all the time. Most of it is deeply offensive and personal. (Many will recall the ‘keyboard warrior’ who tried to stalk and trace me down thinking I was a Doctors wife – a lot more serious than it sounds) I have also had many try to shut me up – (mostly ANON UKIP but to be fair not UKIP) to no avail. These are what I consider to be ‘Keyboard Warriors’ and I stand by my belief that RothPol – like all sights – has too many of these and that is why many I know simply read – log off – and lose respect.

    And just to be awkward once more.

    Je ne suis pas clavier guerrier;
    Je suis une jolie blonde maladroite et mieux vous y habituer




  11. Thanks for putting this comment up Rothpol, and thanks to all for the generous feedback. It was a positive which emerged from my disagreement with Sally, which had resulted from the aggressive and unwarranted comments that I had directed at her – and for which I have apologised on the Bashir thread


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