Andrew Norfolk is the heroic, crusading Times chief investigative reporter who broke the Rotherham child sex story. But admirable though he surely is, does anyone else find something a bit disturbing about this statement he made this week?
“I didn’t want the story to be true because it made me deeply uncomfortable. The suggestion that men from a minority ethnic background were committing sex crimes against white children was always going to be the far right’s fantasy story come true. Innocent white victims, evil dark-skinned abusers. Liberal angst kicked instinctively into top gear.”
The thing that disturbs me is this: that Norfolk was apparently less discomfited by the enormity of the crime itself than he was by the spectre of the “far right’s” likely response. I’m sure he didn’t mean it to come out that way. I’ve no doubt he cares deeply about the suffering of the children he interviewed in the course of his investigations.
But the fact that he even raised the issue speaks volumes about the mentality of the liberal-left: so great is its fear of the Far Right Bogeyman that it will do almost anything avoid incurring its wrath – even, in some cases, if it means turning a blind eye to rape, fraud and worse.
The Far Right Bogeyman has been one of the liberal-left’s favourite preoccupations since at least the days of the Anti-Nazi League (an offshoot of the Socialist Workers Party, ostensibly there to fight fascism, but really so named in order to give its snarling, hard-left boot boys a veneer of ideological righteousness when they went on their demos) in the late Seventies.
It has also long been beloved by BBC scriptwriters. Whenever a shadowy enemy is required for their drama series, impeccably white racists from the far right are invariably the baddies. This plumbed new depths of ludicrousness in the 2008 series Bonekickers when the evil religiously-inspired gang going round beheading innocent people turned out to be – wait for it – a bunch of neo-Nazi-like white Christians trying to rekindle the Crusades.
But as well as being the liberal-left’s bogeyman, the Far Right is also its comfort blanket. Want to show what a decent, caring, right thinking person you are? Simple: just state emphatically how much you hate racism and the far right and fascism and Nazism (which, deep down, you believe are synonyms for conservatism).
This is the game the BBC played on Question Time a couple of years back when it had the British National Party’s Nick Griffin on the show: see the Nasty Right Wing Man in his cage? See how we taunt him with our sticks?
The problem with this game is that by diverting our attentions towards a illusory threat – (When you fly are you worried about bombs planted by far right terrorists? When your daughter goes out, are you worried she might be groomed and raped by far right gangs?) – the liberal left distracts us from many far greater evils and in so doing allows them to thrive unchecked.
One example of this is the wave of anti-semitism now spreading across Europe. These are unlikely to abate any time soon because, as Rod Liddle has noted, we’re so squeamish at identifying the perpetrators. (Clue: not, as the left might prefer you to imagine, neo-Nazis..)
Another, of course, are those thriving Muslim rape gangs. Sure Norfolk did the brave and decent thing and reported on them. But thousands, if not tens of thousands of his fellow liberals – in the police, in the local councils, in the media, in social services, in the charity sector, in the care homes – didn’t.
That’s because in perfervid, warped, paranoid imagination of the liberal-left, the “far right” is like Lord Voldemort. Or one of those Indian graveyards you shouldn’t build on top of, or one of those Egyptian tombs you shouldn’t open: his spectre is so threatening, so ominous, so ne plus ultra of terror-like that almost anything would be preferable to his actually appearing within our midst – up to and including the industrial rape of thousands of white teenagers.