Grooming Gangs: A State within the UK State
In 2017, the BBC premiered a three-part mini-series entitled Three Girls. The program was centred around the Rochdale grooming gangs, dramatising the abuse and subsequent court case from the perspective of three underage victims. Perhaps even more harrowing than the depiction of sexual violence was the institutional unwillingness of the police and the local council to grapple with the scale of the organised child abuse.
The drama was showered in accolades: the three young actresses portrayed the agony of the abused children with skill and sensitivity, and the decision to show on-screen sexually violent acts hammered home the horror of the Rochdale scandal. I found myself both horrified and relieved — horrified that such a miscarriage of justice had been allowed to happen, yet relieved that the national attention the incidents had received would prevent such repugnant crimes from happening again.
The premiere of Three Girls was not, however, the first time the grooming gang scandals had reached national attention. Warnings from MPs, meticulously detailed enquiries and front-page media stories had already done the job years prior. For the inhabitants of communities such as Rochdale, the abuse was no surprise: after all, they had seen their daughters, sisters, and friends trapped in the cycle of organised abuse dating back decades.
Grooming cases all across Britain shared remarkable similarities. The victims were young girls, some as young as eight years old. They were working-class, white, typically living in deprived areas. Children placed in care homes were particularly vulnerable, as were girls with cognitive disorders. They had been befriended by older men, plied with food, alcohol and drugs, and showered with the affection and kindness they so often lacked in their personal lives. The children were then informed that they had incurred a ‘debt’, and informed that they must pay it back with their bodies. The men would then rape and prostitute the children for financial gain, ferrying the victims from city to city within their own taxi network. If the girls attempted to leave or inform the police, they were threatened and beaten. The men in question were almost universally of Pakistani heritage.
The latest allegations, based within the city of Hull, are no less horrifying for their commonality: children aged thirteen gang-raped in squalid flats, trapped in the cycle of abuse via threats of murder against themselves and their families. Young girls having their abuse filmed and distributed, with the ‘pornography’ videos bearing titles such as “white slag fucked against her will.” There are no special programs for these girls, no smiling photo-ops with politicians or top City internships. There is no day of remembrance for the girls of Rotherham, Hull, Teeside, Bradford and Oxford. In the eyes of the establishment, and in the eyes of their rapists, they remain ‘white slags’.
The white underclass of Britain occupies a liminal space in British politics; at once a backward, lumpen-prole shrinking voting bloc and a useful testing ground for radical political maneuverings. Adrian Pabst, author of Post-Liberal Politics and darling of the credentialed Right, asserts that the white working class no longer exists as a coherent bloc: slum-busting, de-industrialisation and community fracture have all dramatically altered the political fortunes of this subsection of British society. The new working-class Britain is a vibrant one, a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic smorgasbord united under a new banner of prosperity. The eleven-year Conservative premiership has championed this vision far more effectively than any left-wing party could, spinning tall tales of a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the ‘Levelling Up’ of deprived communities. It is understandable, then, that this bright vision of a cooperative future would be threatened by ‘upsets’ such as the Hull victims.
A cursory examination of the ongoing grooming gang abuses paints a very different vision of Britain. Ethnic tensions have not disappeared under the shining light of the end-of-history, instead festering under the twin pressures of cultural barriers and a reluctance to integrate. The undoubtedly impressive funding allocations provided to deprived communities have had little effect on the catastrophic levels of violent crime. And the white working class, rather than joining arms and marching towards Britain’s progressive future, slip out of society altogether. As writer and trade unionist Paul Embery put it, this group has a distinct feeling that they are despised by the establishment.
There were some, of course, who have been raising the alarm about abuses for years. Whistleblowers such as Maggie Oliver, a former detective constable in the Manchester police force, risked their careers and reputation in order to pursue the truth. She joined Operation Augusta in 2004, formed following the death of fifteen-year-old Victoria Agoglia who overdosed after her fifty-year-old rapist injected her with heroin (the rapist was subsequently cleared of manslaughter charges). Oliver became increasingly convinced that social workers were blocking the family members of victims from investigations in order to ‘cover their own backs.’ The official investigation named 96 perpetrators, of which just three were taken to court. One of the three men was an illegal immigrant, and it is unclear whether or not he was deported from the country.
The level of institutional contempt for rape gang victims is laid bare through pages and pages of clinically official police reports and investigations. A thirteen-year-old child raped by the gangs had undergone a termination, and the fetal tissue was kept in police storage for years without her permission. The girl’s sister, a fifteen-year-old ‘procurer’ for the Pakistani perpetrators, was branded a prostitute by the police. When Maggie attempted to reopen the cases of the two sisters, she claims a senior officer told her to “calm down.” “Listen, what would these kids ever contribute to society? They should have been drowned at birth.”
The vast majority of rape gangs operated within Labour-run districts. These de-industrialised zones had undergone rapid demographic change from the 1990s onwards, and made little attempt to culturally integrate new citizens. Politicians became reliant on a shaky coalition of interests, between their classic white working-class base and religiously devout south Asian migrants. The legacy of the Bradford race riots made administrators anxious to be seen as promoting racial harmony, and found themselves pressured by white nationalist groups rapidly gaining in popularity.
Rape gangs were not a consequence of Western sexual libertarianism, or a lack of police resources — or even concerns over ‘political correctness’. They are a consequence of forced social engineering; a predictable outcome of rapid demographic change, cultural alienation and community breakdown. If unrestrained migration continues at a breakneck pace, integration becomes impossible. Gang members show no remorse for the lives they have ruined, because they don’t value the lives of their victims at all. They do not see mass child rape as an evil act, at least not when it is done against English ‘slags’. Just as Bengali women raped en mass by Pakistani soldiers in the Bangladeshi war of independence were targeted for their perceived sexual licentiousness, so too are the girls of countless English towns relegated to subhuman status.
While it is difficult to obtain data on the ethnic makeup of child sexual abusers, we do know that the majority of perpetrators are white. Without a proper breakdown of proportionality, however, this isn’t particularly enlightening: England is a majority white country, after all. Arguments put forward by researchers such as Dr. Ella Cockbain are disingenuous. Asians are not being scapegoated or unfairly maligned in coordinated CSA cases and to suggest otherwise obscures the ethnic dimension behind this form of abuse. Cockbain implies that white men are overrepresented in child sexual abuse cases, but the balance of evidence suggests that the opposite. A 2016 Police Foundation report examining child sexual abuse in Bristol found that those from ethnic minority backgrounds were over-represented compared to the local area.
Particularly galling are Dr. Cockbain’s assertions that ‘anti-racist feminism’ is the only solution to child sex abuse and anti-Muslim hate, thereby conflating the perpetration of crimes with backlashes against them. Sophistry of this kind does not deserve to be taken seriously. Dr. Cockbain is distorting the suffering of thousands of young girls to push her own political agenda.
Talk of national inquiries is also ultimately fruitless. The British public is well aware of what is going on on their doorsteps, as is Parliament. But it is easier to ‘defend heritage’ by sticking statues in boxes or bashing ‘woke students’ than it is to unravel the legislation and bureaucracy that enable crimes like grooming gangs to occur. A preoccupation with international human rights law combined with an increasingly devolved system of legal responsibility ensures that apathetic authority figures can pass the responsibility for properly punishing criminals from department to department.
We must face facts: our country lacks the will to deport criminals who systematically rape little girls. Successive governments have judged the safety of the working class to be subordinate to their social engineering delusions. The grooming gang cases show us a picture, not of random incompetence, but systematic and malicious endangerment of citizens. The local council shrugs their shoulders, the police assert that “nothing can be done,” and Westminster performs pantomime shock at each new allegation.
News organisations waste their time reporting on phoney needle-spiking incidents because the Clapham-located victims match their sympathy profile. Middle-class white-on-white crime is acknowledged, but evidence of migrant crime is suppressed. For all the invocations of a uniquely British awkwardness, it is a revealing picture of our current moment that mass rape goes unsolved in order to prevent any regime embarrassment. “No law-and-order, please, we’re British.”
I doubt that the plight of the Hull victims will be entirely ignored. Perhaps the BBC will commission another mini-series, or an NPR-style investigative podcast. Some respectable pundits will speak of misogyny, and suggest some mandatory consent classes. A few MPs will address half-empty chambers, forcing a tear for the cameras. They will shake their heads, and say it must never happen again. And then wait until the next time.