by Kristina Murkett
Thursday, 14
July 2022
Reaction
11:23

Where is the outrage over Telford?

Once again, fear of racism is leading to a muted response
by Kristina Murkett
Credit: Getty

When you think of child sex abuse scandals, you might think of Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Newcastle, Keighley, or now, Telford. An inquiry found yesterday morning that over a thousand young girls had been sexually abused in Telford over generations due to systemic, wholly avoidable failures by police and local councils.

Yet the reaction to the story has been strangely subdued. While many outlets wrote about the inquiry, within hours the stories were no longer on the homepages of The Guardian, The Independent or The Telegraph. None of these sex abuse scandals have generated the level of outrage you would expect given the harrowing realities behind them. Ever since the news of the Rotherham child exploitation scandal, described as “biggest child protection scandal in UK history”, broke in 2012, the media and establishment has been tiptoeing around the issue. For years these awful atrocities have been exposed, one after the other, yet there has been no national conversation, no social media movements, no calls for heads to roll for neglect of duty. Even though they are ongoing scandals on a scale that eclipse other #MeToo controversies like the abuse of the USA gymnastics team, they have received a fraction of the coverage.

We live in strange times when there is more media focus on whether a politician touched a journalist’s knee or whether Stanley Johnson smacked a woman’s bottom than the fact that authorities failed — on multiple occasions — to investigate an extensive network of paedophiles who were often hiding in plain sight.

The pattern is familiar: young girls in Telford were groomed, lured with ‘gifts’ and false affection, and then assaulted, drugged, raped, and threatened by men who were mostly Muslim and of Pakistani origin. Authorities were discouraged from reporting signs of abuse; exploitation was not investigated because of nervousness about race and religion; agencies blamed the children, not the criminals. A review has led to ‘recommendations’ and vague apologies, but no police officers, social workers or councillors have been fired for their incompetence, carelessness or decision to prioritise political correctness over moral instinct.

Just like in other cases, the victims were continuously dismissed by police as ‘troublemakers’, ‘silly girls’, ‘lovesick teenagers’ and ‘little tarts’ for whom having an ‘older Asian boyfriend’ was a ‘fashion accessory’ that they would ‘soon grow out of’. They viewed them as ‘child prostitutes’, despite the fact that children cannot be prostitutes because they cannot consent to sexual acts.

This institutional indifference should dominate the national press, but it doesn’t. Perhaps it’s because the Telford girls were the ‘wrong’ kind of victim, or the grooming gangs were the ‘wrong’ kind of perpetrator. Or maybe the repetition has made readers strangely numb, or an ongoing hesitancy around ‘inflaming racial tensions’ means that the story is not spotlighted by politicians or those in power, who could call for more than just indefinite promises that ‘lessons will be learnt.’

Classism, misogyny and heightened sensitivities around the perpetrators’ ethnicity and religion created a dangerous environment where child sexual exploitation could thrive. Yet the crisis is far from over: in the first six months of 2020 Telford police received 172 referrals alone relating to child exploitation. The relative silence from the establishment in the wake of this inquiry suggests that we are no more comfortable having difficult discussions about where these men’s cultural attitudes come from than we were before the investigations.

As long we continue to tiptoe around these conversations for fear of being branded racist, the harder it will be to condemn the many, many people who wilfully turned a blind eye, and chose to protect rapists, abusers, drug dealers, traffickers — and themselves — rather than children and teenage girls. How can we stay quiet about that?

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denz
denz
1 month ago

“Join the discussion”… Hm.. I was kicked off CIF (the Guardian comment section) the same year Move any Mountain was made Commenter of the Year, 2009. The next year he was also banned for the same crime, trying to initiate an online conversation about so called “grooming gangs”. That chap Nick Griffin was tried in a court of law in 2006 after a BBC mole recorded him talking about it to his supporters. Tommy Robinson (another name to conjure with) has also been persecuted by the state over this topic. In his case, because he filmed muslim men going to a court of law to face charges over vile sex crimes. Yesterday Telford grooming survivor Samantha Smith appeared on GB News, to say that police had appeared at her door to intimidate her because she had gone onto GB News the previous week to talk about her experience of “grooming”. The resistance to people talking about this subject, and the intimidation which follows, comes from the top. The very top.
Why? You may wonder. I believe it’s the scale of it. The numbers are horrifying. The crimes are the vilest things possible. More than a thousand girls in Telford alone. Make no mistake. This has been going on in towns and cities up and down the UK for decades. Tens of thousands of victims. The numbers of perpetrators… well… Pluck a figure and it won’t come close. This thing is rife, in the Pakistani Muslim communities here in Britain. They won’t talk about it, but they all know someone involved. They know they are all tainted by it. The Silence is deafening. Our leaders are terrified of what may happen, yet they seem unable even to deport any of those found guilty of these horrific crimes. Where will all this lead? Maybe the carpet is no longer big enough, and the monstrous truth will be fully exposed. I doubt it. Personally I think this is just another convulsion, before people like Pippa Mills – (The Chief Constable of West Mercia Police) get to bury it deeper once more, at least while they are in office.
Make no mistake. The taxis are still going round, the girls are getting in, the vilest most horrific sex crimes are happening again, today, just down the road from where you live.

Cobbler 91
Cobbler 91
1 month ago
Reply to  denz

This feels like someone trying to stop a boiling pot from overflowing by pushing the lid down only for it to keep escaping each time they ease off. Sooner or later, that lid is going to come off either violently or when the hand gets burned and it will create an almighty mess when it spreads everywhere.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 month ago
Reply to  Cobbler 91

I agree. Some things are so horrible that they become slow burners. It is not the paradox that it might seem. You have to come to the realisation that it is really happening before you react.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  denz

I can’t step in a time machine to check exactly what I knew in the eighties and nineties, but I’m fairly confident that there was common knowledge about the sexual abuse of female children from ‘troubled’ family and especially children’s homes which was widespread in those times. I recall there were some dramas and documentaries about exploited girls, usually from children’s homes as a source of desperate kids to groom as child prostitutes, but only the odd news story – but these didn’t attract much reaction because the public accepted it and didn’t care. This was the underclass, the white trash, the losers and drug addicts, and their children, and nobody cared about them being exploited, even as children.

I say this because the outrage, which I also feel, about the systematic abuse of so many girls, in so many places, seems to suggest we were all surprised it was happening on a pretty big scale before Asians got involved. The Asian (aka Muslim or pakistani) men merely picked it up from white criminals and vastly increased the scale of it. The evidence was there in the eighties, and it was documented and published for us all to see, not just the police, and we accepted the situation.

Jim R
Jim R
1 month ago

Once they find a way to blame it on white supremacy, the appropriate level of outrage will follow.

Ellen Finkle
Ellen Finkle
1 month ago

Muslims are rapists because they venerate a prophet who was a rapist, paedophile, slave trader and torturer. For some reason, people find it difficult to acknowledge these historical facts. The solution is to encourage Muslims to be more open about their traditions.

Vyomesh Thanki
Vyomesh Thanki
30 days ago
Reply to  Ellen Finkle

It’s factually incorrect to assert that (all) Muslims are rapists.

Last edited 30 days ago by Vyomesh Thanki
Michael J
Michael J
1 month ago

People are outraged but dare not say anything for fear of saying something taboo and to avoid being even loosely connected to bogeymen on the right like Tommy Robinson. The BBC, Guardian and other liberal news outlets have made a concerted effort to downplay the incidents. They have grudgingly reported on it but through clenched teeth without really addressing the causes and perpetrators. They deflect by pointing to the church or misuse statistics to downplay what has happened. The reports swiftly departs the front pages to be replaced with some inane outrage piece and the commentariat reminds everyone that the real victims are the communities who are being unjustly accused of having anything to do with these criminal acts.
The truth of the matter and its consequences are so very unpalatable to modern liberal pretensions that it cannot even be talked about freely or honestly. They are therefore willing to sacrifice these young girls on the altar of liberal ideology and so it will continue. It is shameful.

Graham Willis
Graham Willis
1 month ago

Is it simply cowardice or is it a conspiracy of silence?

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Willis

Probably both in varying amounts dependent on the circumstance. “LMF” seems to be contageous these days.

Michael James
Michael James
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Willis

It’s institutional anti-racism, or the triumph of wokery, in which racism is a worse sin than misogyny.

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael James
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael James

Quite so. Or, since they amount to the same thing, it’s institutional anti-white racism.

Samuel Turner
Samuel Turner
1 month ago

Great article. Good that some people are talking about this at least. Stories like this should be front-page news. Instead, feminists prefer to talk about millionaire celebrities and bloody ‘free the nipple’. Politicians as well are absolute cowards for not talking about this. These grooming scandals make me ashamed to be British. It’s a national disgrace.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
1 month ago
Reply to  Samuel Turner

I am pleased that GB News has been covering this story extensively – on the day the report was released they covered it on every single one of their news show.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 month ago

The rape victims were failed by social workers and police and possibly by medical professionals and teachers. Their stories were ignored by the MSM and politicians. Perhaps also by NGOs and lawyers. There is a conspiracy of silence, because if a leader of one of these organisations were to pay the price for his or her complicity in these vile crimes, then there would be a demand for leaders in each of these sectors to pay the price. There are too many top jobs and pensions at stake. Why expect any better from a country where it is forbidden to say that White Lives Matter Too.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 month ago

In defence of social workers, they’re over worked and understaffed, same with care homes and there aren’t enough places in secure units. It’s a terrible situation that shows little sign of letting up. There are more young people needing help than ever before. Not only from the neglect, and physical abuse and sexual abuse in the home/family situation, but now we also have to help young people who are being exploited either criminally or sexually. In many of these cases, the young people in question want to put themselves in danger (whether from fear or naivety) and will repeatedly run away to return to their abuser (hence the need for more secure units). It’s very difficult to protect them in those situations, especially when so severely understaffed.
When the findings criticise the police and council its because they’re the ones who have not taken the abusers off the streets and the courts have failed to deport those who are not native.
Given that the findings into the Arthur Labinjo Hughs and Star Hobson cases also found that the police failed them on multiple occasions, leading to their deaths, I think it’s safe to say that its our police service that needs to be held accountable. Social services and childrens homes need more staff not criticism.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 month ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

“In defence of social workers, they’re over worked and understaffed,”
Oh FFS. That is the “I didn’t really want to be a concentration camp guard” defence.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

When it is the case of one or two rotten apples everyone is happy to highlight an issue and speak of institutional racism.

When crimes are not pursued because of genuine widespread institutional racism and victim blaming the scale of the scandal results in the left establishment closing ranks to sweep everything under the carpet. Hypocrisy is one word that fits the bill.

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 month ago

…I suspect there is a fair amount of outrage about, but nobody in North London wants to talk about it…personally, I’m hoping Kemi Badenoch might benefit sufficently from the Tory leadership election to start articulating it, either as PM or in Cabinet. If not it will continue to simmer…and the next stage of the very necessary “populist” revolt will come a little closer…

D Glover
D Glover
1 month ago
Reply to  R S Foster

I don’t believe in this ‘populist revolt’ that’s always round the next corner.
After the Manchester Arena bombing? No
After Rochdale, Rotherham and now Telford? No
Face the fact; the uprising never happened, and soon the demographics will make it quite impossible.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 month ago

It really is as simple as it looks: white working-class people are viewed by the globalist technocracy and its hangers-on as subhuman, and their daughters are regarded as sl*gs, fully deserving of a bit of enforced training in the ways of diversity.

Last edited 1 month ago by Martin Smith
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Yes, this is more or less what Critical Race Theory aims to bring about: accusing young white people of innate racism so that they passively accept acts of violence perpetrated against them.

Jamie B
Jamie B
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Slugs?

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 month ago

Hopefully one day the state aiding and abetting mass rape by its negligence, on multiple occasions, will be cared about as much as Angela Rayner crossing her legs over was a few months ago.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Watson
Carol Moore
Carol Moore
1 month ago

Well said Kristina

denz
denz
1 month ago

Where is the outrage over Telford?” asks Kristina.
Quite.
Not here, that’s for sure. I spent an hour composing my comment earlier, its the first time I’ve bothered commenting on a public forum about this since getting banned from The Guardian.
I suspect my time was wasted.
There are other articles on unherd today. Hadleys’ got 82 comments for her piece about the rape survivor. Matt Goodwin, 83 for his about the tories, Giles Fraser, 45 comments about Starmer. This piece, 16, At least it has accrued more than Brian Grooms’ entertaining fluff about Billy Butlin, which has 4.
So I’m also asking, where is the outrage? But I know the answer… There is no outrage. What would you do with it if you had it?
A Welsh chap decided to drive his van into a group of muslims leaving Finsbury mosque. Became a “right-wing terrorist”
What an idiot.
There is no outrage because the enormity of the evil is too much to take on board. The nature of the evil too horrendous to hold in your minds” eye and it not destroy you.
I’ll not comment on Unherd again.

Last edited 1 month ago by denzparkin
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 month ago
Reply to  denz

You’re comparing the figures from the bigger/headlining articles to the smaller articles, I suspect there are many UnHerd readers that don’t bother with the smaller articles. Also no-one has disagreed with you or attacked you for your views. While you have stated your disgust over the situation, you haven’t really offered a solution nor engaged in discussion of possible practical solutions.

D Glover
D Glover
1 month ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Unfair. Denz is expressing his disgust over the plight of helpless young girls. It’s not his job to supply a solution.
There is no solution as far as I can see.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago

It’s a class war. The globalist rich vs. the local poor. Many of our politicians and journalists are sponsored by rich third-worlders and so are reluctant to upset the gravy train.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 month ago

Institutional anti-white racism at its starkest.

Aw Zk
Aw Zk
1 month ago

There is outrage over Telford but not much. Spiked Online has published articles about Telford and whenever another similar scandal is exposed it usually publishes articles and discusses it on podcasts. The Telegraph published at least one opinion article about Telford and I remember a particularly scathing Telegraph article by Allison Pearson about a previous scandal. The Spectator has published an opinion article about Telford and it has published articles about previous scandals. GB News has discussed Telford on quite a few programmes and Mark Steyn’s coverage of the story has been excellent (and he said that he may visit Telford and try to get an interview with the police).
There is outrage about Telford but we live in an era when the media and the public have largely divided into echo chambers and the outrage about Telford is largely from the same sources as the outrage about Rotherham, Oldham, Rochdale and Manchester. There was almost no outrage about Oxford, Keighley, Halifax, Sheffield and Bradford and what outrage there was about Huddersfield was largely about bad people (Tommy Robinson and Sajid Javid) saying bad things.
However, whilst outrage is justified what is more important is information and using that information to hold people to account. The Telford report is very informative and it contains stronger criticism than most similar reports but two details struck me most. The first was the statement that teachers and youth workers were discouraged from reporting child sexual exploitation. Some of the people who discouraged the reporting of abuse were council officers. Other people in positions of responsibility in Telford who discouraged victims or people raising concerns about abuse worked for the police or the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
The other detail that struck me was this quote from the report:
“I am certain that the absence of police action emboldens offenders; and I am certain that perpetrators of CSE were bold and open in their offending during the late 1990s and early 2000s.”
In these scandals there is often talk of people in positions of authority “turning a blind eye” or of victims not being “heard” but that is not what has happened in Telford or elsewhere. The authorities didn’t turn a blind eye so that they didn’t see abuse: they covered it up so the general public did not find out about abuse. The victims were heard by the authorities but they were silenced by the authorities who knew that if the victims told a court what had happened to them the general public would find out about the failure to take action against abusers. If the authorities knew that abuse was taking place not investigating and prosecuting abusers was a cover-up.
The cover-up started to fail when the first prosecutions in Rochdale and Rotherham happened after a few police officers went rogue and investigated crimes and then Andrew Norfolk of The Times uncovered what had been happening in Rotherham. Since then a lot more information has come out but no-one in journalism has gathered it together, analysed it and shown the bigger picture of dishonesty, corruption and hypocrisy in politics, policing, local government, journalism and activism. Until someone does that, breaks out of the echo chambers and tries to hold the right people to account the outrage will continue to be inadequate. There are former government ministers who should be in prison for misconduct in public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice for what they did and at least two corrupt chief constables cannot be held to account for what they did because they have died.

Su Mac
Su Mac
1 month ago

Shows how very clever groomers are and how suppressed any warnings must be in the community, that even now – in a town with 100’s of victims – they still succeed in breaking down the barriers of new girls. Shockingly sad. Generations of messed up girls. If you were a respectable Asian living there you would have to worry about a god awful day of reckoning on your community.

Michael Upton
Michael Upton
1 month ago

Thank you for publicizing these crimes. You are an advocate for justice and decency.