Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/719/14568

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 May 2012

Rochdale: far right attempts to exploit tragedy of abuse

Paul Gerrard and Mike Forster

The conviction of nine Rochdale men on 10 May for child sex offences has been seized upon by far-right groups. The racist British National Party (BNP) organised regular provocative demonstrations both at the Crown Court in Liverpool and in Heywood, a small town in Rochdale, where the offences were committed and where violence and vandalism against Asian taxi drivers has prevented many from working. Now the English Defence League (EDL) has joined in with plans for a demonstration in Rochdale in June.

BNP leader Nick Griffin is an MEP for the North West and clearly sees this as a chance to revive the flagging fortunes of the BNP, who have no councillors in Rochdale and lost their last seats in Burnley this month. His ham-fisted intervention at the trial, tweeting the verdict before it was announced, nearly caused a mistrial and is now being used by one of the defendants as the basis for an appeal.

Press hysteria

These were vile crimes committed against dozens of vulnerable girls and deserve to be punished. But the hysteria in the press about the ethnic background of the men involved has allowed the far right to fan the flames of racism, while obscuring important issues about the police, the legal and care systems.

Tory politicians have reinforced this. Tim Loughton, the Children's Minister, claims the case "raises troubling questions about the attitude of the perpetrators, all but one of whom were from Pakistani backgrounds, towards white girls". Baroness Warsi poured more fuel on the fire with her claim that "there is a small minority of Pakistani men who believe that white girls are fair game".

The outstanding fact is that 95% of sex offenders on the Greater Manchester register are white. Similarly, West Yorkshire police figures show that 47 out of 53 arrests for grooming offences in the last three years were of white people. Yet the white ethnicity of the perpetrators is never commented on.

Care system scandal

As Nazir Afzal, the recently appointed North West regional head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) put it: "It's not race that defines (the perpetrators). It's their attitude to women and young girls that defines them. It's about men wanting to exert their power over young women."

None of the men convicted had been born or educated in this country, and they came from regions where reactionary, feudal views about women are commonly held. Of course the vast majority of Asian men vehemently dissociate themselves from such views.

A major aspect of the scandal is how young and vulnerable girls from dysfunctional families, many of them in care or on the fringes of it, were exposed to sexual predators of whatever ethnic background. Having been horrifically abused they were abandoned by the legal and care systems.

In video footage shown in court a police officer is seen yawning loudly as a young woman breaks down in tears while recounting the abuse she suffered. Physical evidence was ignored; the CPS failed to prosecute for years while the abuse and the identity of the abusers were known. The CPS has admitted that of the 17,000 reported cases of sexual offences involving children aged under 16 years only 4,000 went to trial last year.

The care system itself puts young women at risk. According to Anne-Marie Carrie of children's charity Barnardo's a recent study found that sexual exploitation was an issue of concern for almost two thirds of girls in residential care, and that half of them only became at risk of such abuse after they entered care.

One victim in this case, originally from Essex, was placed in care at age 12, and from 2008 had three placements in privately run children's homes across the UK before ending up in Rochdale. All the homes were run by the Continuum group and her 'care' cost Essex county council 250,000 per year. She was the sole resident of a home employing six staff yet she ran away 19 times in three months for periods up to two weeks.

Staff were unqualified for residential social work according to an Ofsted report in February 2010, yet nothing had been done to improve staff training a year later. Continuum made a tidy operating profit of 2.7 million on a turnover of 29.2 million according to its recent accounts.

Racist trap

Labour is hopelessly divided over this case, with local Labour MP Stefan Danczuk falling into the racist trap by simply blaming a 'sub-culture of Asian men' for the exploitation. And of course Labour does not oppose privatisation and Labour councils have made vicious cuts to services across the board.

This case is only the tip of the iceberg. Sex abuse is endemic in a society which promotes inequality at every level. The agencies put in place to safeguard the most vulnerable stand condemned.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched yet another inquiry into the Manchester Police who have retrospectively apologised and said things would be done differently now. Expect another hand-wringing whitewash.

The trade union movement in Greater Manchester and nationally must take the initiative with a campaign opposing cuts and privatisation in social care, and for socialist measures which promote education, youth facilities and supportive care with fully trained staff which could undercut the far right.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 May 2012:


Fighting the cuts

Hospital jobs scandal - Action now to save the NHS!

Con-Dems' hypocrisy over children's care

Our education under attack

Council workers in Cheshire strike against attacks on pay


Socialist Party news and analysis

We stand 100% with the Greek workers

Rochdale: far right attempts to exploit tragedy of abuse

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: 31 May referendum

Eurovision hosts are top of the charts for repression


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Back to work? How the system fails the unemployed

Mullivaikal 2012 - Solidarity with the Tamil people

Lincolnshire academies in crisis

Profit hungry 'Big Oil' backs climate change deniers

The housing crisis - action needed now

Youth Fight for Jobs Northern Ireland launched in Belfast

Building the electoral alternative in Brent

Stockland Green march for jobs

More attacks on right to campaign


Socialist Party workplace news

Interview with RMT assistant general secretary candidate

AEI Cables: "Thrown out in disgraceful circumstances"

Leadership shows weakness at CWU conference

Workplace news in brief

National Shop Stewards Network


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 May 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Far right:

triangleBending the knee v Trump

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangleRacist EDL humiliated for third time

triangleFar right humiliated in London - but trade unions must organise against racism and austerity

Rochdale:

triangleRacist smears won't stop child sex abuse

triangleRochdale & District Socialist Party: After Jeremy Corbyn's victory, what are the next steps against austerity?

triangleCare home scandal: When profit comes first...

triangleFuture Directions dispute settled

Police:

triangleUndercover policing legal challenge

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

triangleOrgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

Women:

triangleSocialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: 100 years of voting for women of property

Children:

triangleOpinion: foster care is work - carers deserve workers' rights

Asian:

triangleNew play celebrates Grunwick strike

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

17/1/18

Labour

Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

17/1/18

Trump

Victory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests

17/1/18

NHS

NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

15/1/18

Carillion

Carillion crisis: demand action to save jobs and services

10/1/18

Tories

Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

10/1/18

NHS

Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

10/1/18

Education

Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

10/1/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

10/1/18

Teachers

Teacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

3/1/18

Fire service

Fire service victory

3/1/18

Fares

Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

3/1/18

Higher Education

Mobilise against rip-off executive pay

3/1/18

Virgin

NHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off 1bn

3/1/18

Homes

Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

3/1/18

Fat cats

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangle10 Jan Strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

triangle10 Jan Movement of workers and youth challenges Iranian regime

triangle10 Jan Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's...

More ...

triangle18 Jan Waltham Forest Socialist Party: How do we get Corbyn's policies into Waltham Forest council?

triangle18 Jan Southampton Socialist Party: Is there a global nuclear threat?

triangle18 Jan Swansea Socialist Party: Is there a threat of nuclear war?

triangle18 Jan Cardiff East Socialist Party: Building Socialism in Cardiff East

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2