Imagine the following scenario. Ed Miliband visits a town somewhere in England for the purpose of cutting a ribbon to open a parliamentary Labour candidate’s office, then to speak to local people. A group of 40 protesters gathers outside the premises, shouting and blocking Miliband from coming outside. The local police inform him that, for his own safety, he will have to remain inside the building and abandon his plans to speak.
“That’s it, Mr Miliband. You can’t expect the police to control a horde of 40 demonstrators. Nowt to be done about it.” Is such a scenario remotely plausible? Does anyone seriously imagine a small group of 40 hostile protesters would be allowed to besiege Miliband – or Cameron or Clegg – and obstruct them from carrying out a political engagement and exercising the right of free speech with local residents?
Of course not. So, why were a handful of Labour/trade union demonstrators allowed to imprison Nigel Farage inside the office of UKIP parliamentary candidate and MEP Jane Collins in Rotherham last Friday? Clearly, because UKIP is outside the consensus forged by the legacy parties, Lib/Lab/Con, and therefore unentitled to free speech or the protection of the law, in the view of the political and police establishment.
In 2012 it was Rotherham Council that removed three children from their foster parents because they were UKIP members, though the authorities were notoriously less solicitous regarding children’s welfare in other instances.
Nigel Farage has denounced the police in Rotherham as “wilfully obstructive”. He said: “Let me promise you, in South Yorkshire, when it comes to UKIP, the police aren’t interested.” Yes, Nigel, but UKIP is not the only thing in which South Yorkshire Police aren’t interested. There was the small issue of 1,400 girls being abused, over 16 years, by predominantly Muslim men. Presumably any intrusion into their recreation could have been construed as “racist”.
The Jay report into the abuse stated (paragraphs 5.6–5.8): “It is difficult to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that the victims of sexual exploitation in Rotherham have endured over the years. Victims were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the North of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated We read cases where a child was doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, children who were threatened with guns, children who witnessed brutally violent rapes and were threatened that they would be the next victim if they told anyone. Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators, one after the other.”
One would have thought the exposure of such crimes on its manor might have induced a degree of apologetic self-rehabilitation on the part of South Yorkshire Police. But when the political party that has been most outspoken in demanding action in response to this outrage attempts a democratic dialogue with the people of Rotherham, the police refuse to afford it protection from protesters who, according to UKIP candidate Jane Collins, included several former Rotherham Labour councillors.
Rotherham Council has been suspended and replaced by commissioners, in response to a further report by Louise Casey that characterised it as being “in denial” and governed by “institutionalised political correctness”. Yet the supposedly new-broom local Labour MP Sarah Champion tweeted that Nigel Farage’s confinement to the UKIP premises was “hilarious”. If Ed Miliband had been “kettled” by UKIP supporters, would she have found it hilarious or, instead, denounced it as hooligan infringement of liberty?
What do we learn from all this? Quite a lot, actually. We learn that seeking justice for victims of child sex exploitation is to be scorned as “rubbernecking” if it damages the political interests of Labour and the establishment. More importantly, it shows that the culture of entitlement of the PC left remains undiminished by public discrediting.
“Because we can”: the swaggering self-assurance that has emboldened the legacy parties to impose oppressive PC laws and to favour chosen minorities over the bulk of the population remains the hubristic delusion of the establishment. But this time things look different. The Rotherham abuse scandal is vile beyond description. It is also easily understood by the public, in all its enormity.
The champions of Political Correctness – the legacy parties and the media – must be confronted with the consequences of their sick obsession. The one agency that is attempting to do that is UKIP. It must persevere in that duty, regardless of obstruction and intimidation. Rotherham is a concentrated example of what has gone wrong with this country under the Lib/Lab/Con consensus. The PC establishment must be made to take ownership of its own grisly legacy.
Rotherham is a crack in the dam of consensus politics and PC enforcement. If UKIP can attack that faultline effectively, the dam could burst and inundate the legacy parties. Nobody should imagine achieving that result will be easy; but, if the political will is sufficiently resolute, it should not be impossible.