Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2355

The real scandal is that the authorities failed to protect vulnerable girls

The excellent feature exploding the myths of an alleged “Asian grooming” scandal (Socialist Worker, 25 May) showed how wrong it is to turn sexual abuse into a race issue.

The hypocrisy of the way cases are reported has been exposed by Joseph Harker of the Guardian. 

He stood on its head the argument that “Asian culture” is to blame for for sexual abuse by comparing it to the Jimmy Savile investigation. 

Savile’s ethnicity was never mentioned.

Rotherham, where I work, is one of the allegedly “plagued” Northern towns according to the The Times. 

It claimed that the police and the authorities covered up abuse for fear of being accused of racism. 

The Times’ conclusions were apparently based on press reports not crime statistics. 

But you only have to look at local newspaper articles to see that the vast majority of sex offenders are white.

The complex reality of poverty, damaged relationships, failure of care, increasing social worker workloads and council cuts—did not fit the racialised profile.

As you rightly say, the real scandal is why police and the authorities failed to protect abuse victims. 

There is no evidence to support claims that men chose victims based on race and religion. 

They opportunistically picked on young, vulnerable working class girls who had been abandoned by the authorities. 

The lies have been exploited by the Nazi BNP and EDL and can feed into racism. 

Ukip came second in Rotherham’s by-election last year and won a council seat from Labour last week.

We must unite against the racists. But most of all we must  fight to stop this sort of abuse of vulnerable young people happening in the first place. 

Phil TurnerRotherham

It’s grim in Greece

Once again Socialist Worker readers are urged to take inspiration from the general strikes in Greece (Socialist Worker, 18 May).

The paper has been rightly concerned with an unprecedented onslaught on the people in Greece.

But it is strange to know that the revolutionary left outside Greece is inspired. 

We have not stopped any of the vicious austerity. We now have a fascist Golden Dawn presence. 

For the great majority here it is fear and insecurity that dominates their lives.

Chris JonesSamos, Greece

We won’t let ’em sack us

Workers at Amnesty International UK have coined the slogan “One year—still here” to mark the first anniversary of our ongoing dispute.

Management announced redundancies and refused meaningful negotiations with our Unite union.

We went on strike for the first time in 20 years—not just once but three times.

Amnesty members called an EGM and a temporary halt to redundancy was announced in January.

Cuts were debated again in April, and redundancies were postponed again until September. This shows that fighting back works.

It wouldn’t be possible without the solidarity of trade union branches, Amnesty members and readers of Socialist Worker.

Unite union memberAmnesty International UK

There is no real press freedom in Bangladesh 

Newspapers and television channels have been shut in Bangladesh by the Awami League government. 

Journalists are losing the liberty to expose the government’s mass murder and misrule. 

The media report the government’s misdeeds but in limits set by the state.

Sometimes a few editors want to show bravery, but they also do not want to end up in prison. 

A section of journalists pretend to be brave but only demonise Islam.

Bangladesh needs journalists and editors united against violations of human rights. 

Government forces regularly raid newspaper and television offices and harass those working there. 

In a country of poverty and natural disasters, freedom to speak is being curtailed dramatically. Soon we will only hear what the government wants us to hear. 

Shimul Chaudhuryby email

No, Nigel, we protested against racism

After Ukip leader Nigel Farage got a drubbing from protesters in Edinburgh, he tweeted that they were “anti-English” and “the ugly face” of Scottish nationalism. 

He even called the 100 protesters “fascist scum”. 

The protestors chanted “Ukip scum off our streets”, “Racist scum” and “Homophobe”! 

People weren’t so worried about Europe or Scottish  independence, as about racist scaremongers fishing for votes in a country hit hard by economic crisis. 

Farage said this had “never, ever” happened to him before—we have to make it happen again and again whatever side of the border he’s on 

Stephen McBroomEdinburgh 

It was great to see people standing up to Nigel Farage in Edinburgh.

Politicians and the media do too much pandering to Ukip and its vile policies. Ukip don’t represent me—just racists and the rich.

There wouldn’t be half as much “concern” about immigration if Tories and Labour didn’t keep talking it up. Migrants are welcome here.

I hope Ukip will now get the Edinburgh treatment wherever they try to peddle their filth.

Andrea Butchercentral London

Fertile ideas of socialism

I’m pleased that you paid tribute to Bob Edwards, co-developer of IVF for human infertility (Socialist Worker, 18 May). Bob came from a working class family and described himself as a “very left wing socialist”.

John AppleyardLiversedge

Muslims are not to blame

We wouldn’t blame all Norwegian Christians for what mass murderer Anders Breveik did.

So why should all Muslims be blamed for what happened in Woolwich? It’s a racist idea, and it’s worrying to see so many people going along with it.

Molly DayNorth London

War history needs busting

Coverage this week of the 70th anniversary of the “Dambusters” operation made much of the pilots’ bravery and the “boffins’” ingenuity. 

Little was said of the 1,600 lives lost in Germany, for little more than a propaganda stunt. 

Will the press report the  anniversary of the horrors of the Dresden firebombing with as much flag waving?

Gordon LeggateLanarkshire

Oppose EU in our own way

In a referendum we will have to campaign to get out of the EU—it’s a bosses’ club.

But the voices for a referendum now are  nationalist and racist.

To join that chorus without the left argument is pandering to racists. So criticism of Owen Jones is justified (Letters, 26 May).

Graham HodginWest London

Healthy vote against cuts

I recently stood as an anti-cuts candidate—and SWP member—for patient governor of Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust. 

I got 50 votes—that’s 11 percent. Even in Tory Dorset people are getting pissed off.

Tim NichollsWeymouth, Dorset


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Article information

Tue 28 May 2013, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2355
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