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.