Watching the news this morning, I first learnt of the controversy surrounding the recent comments made by former Labour minister, Jack Straw.
Following a very high-profile case in which a ring of paedophiles who happened to share Pakistani and Asian heritage were convicted of grooming and having sex with underage girls, Mr Straw seems to have suggested that the perpetrators ethnic background has something to do with this. According to a report in The Guardian, amongst other things :
“Straw said: “Pakistanis, let’s be clear, are not the only people who commit sexual offences, and overwhelmingly the sex offenders’ wings of prisons are full of white sex offenders.
“But there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men … who target vulnerable young white girls.”
Whoa…hang on just one second!
“…overwhelmingly the sex offenders’ wings of prisons are full of white sex offenders.”
Follwed by this:
“But there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men … “
Aren’t you contradicting yourself a little here, Mr Straw? If “overwhelmingly the sex offenders’ wings of prisons are full of white sex offenders” (whose ethnic heritage generally does not hail from Pakistan) then surely there is more likely to be “a specific problem which involves white heritage men” (whose ethnic heritage generally does not hail from Pakistan). C’est ne pas?
Could I be forgiven for having suspicions that you singled out Pakistani heritage Brits and immigrant communities that tend to be of non-white Muslim Asian sub-continent origins because:
a. It’s safer to do so because they are in a minority in comparison to white non-Muslims and therefore the risk of loss of their vote is phenomenally less damaging;
b. A by-product of making such statements might well be to win over some of those people who might have voted for far-right racist groups like the BNP.
There’s a by-election coming up in Oldham soon, isn’t there?
I can well see why British people of Pakistani heritage are upset about your comments, Mr Straw. Also, for such an insult to the intelligence of the electorate, we should all be.
Yes, we’re now all so used to political opportunism and media lies that we’re probably incapable of being shocked as it gets worse and worse. But lending credence to the barmy racist theories of the far right leads to people getting hurt. Yes, people really getting hurt and even killed in hate attacks.
In the short term such tabloid-appeasing may win you a few by-elections but in the long-term it encourages the terrifying likelihood of Britain ending up with a fascist/neo-nazi regime. Remember that Hitler was democratically elected and once people started to get cold feet Germans were living in a dictatorship and it was too late.
So, please do the one thing that politicians never seem able to do and admit that you were wrong. Even admit that you did it out of political opportunism. Please.