Deep as we are into the new age of wokeism, one may easily forget that the first wave of what can only be described as political correctness gone bonkers actually started much earlier - and met its sharp end in May 2012.
For those who need a reminder, it was in May 2012 that the nine British-Pakistani men who formed the Rochdale child sex abuse ring were sentenced for crimes against white pubescent girls dating as far back as 1993. In subsequent years, more people have come forward and similar gangs have since been exposed. Though well over one thousand cases have now been recorded, each wove the same cursed tale: a vulnerable white girl, an abusive Pakistani man and a local authority that refused to help.
Too often we are told (mostly by The Guardian) that this is a multifarious issue. In reality, the problem is two-fold and disturbingly simple. Firstly, Pakistan is one of the worst countries in the world to be a woman and that level of ingrained misogyny does not humbly melt away when exported to Britain. This should not be a controversial statement.
Secondly, the ethnic makeup of this paedophilic gang should have been largely irrelevant, however race came to influence how authorities handled these cases. Colour should never play a role in justice.
The political left has always insisted that the police failed to act out of sheer incompetence, and not out of fear of increasing racial tensions in the community because the perpetrators overwhelming belonged to one minority group. By now I am sure most can accept that this is categorically untrue.
What other reason could several officers have to purposely overlook the exploitation of vulnerable children? No excuse is good enough, but the fear of inciting a race war is at least rational, albeit totally misguided. If anything is going to fuel hate crime here in the UK, it's brushing these sorts of offenses under the table. That tends to irk people.
There is one notable exception to the performative wokeness embodied by the loony left and that is former Labour Home Secretary, Jack Straw. Though I am no fan of Straw personally, he was entirely right in suggesting that some men of Pakistani origin see young, working-class white girls as "easy meat". His remarks came after two Pakistani men who abused girls in Derby were sentenced. Unfortunately, in a sign of the times, he was immediately shouted down and branded a racist. Its rather difficult to imagine being cancelled for plain common sense today, I know.
We must stop making the mistakes of the past when it comes to 'PC' culture in Britain. It was the Left's failure to tackle the barbed issues surrounding immigration, and the influx of dangerous anti-western personalities, that allowed parties like UKIP to capitalise on it so effectively.
In their efforts to prevent a backyard race riot (that there was never any credible risk of in the first place), police and local authorities created new prejudices in a way that is not so dissimilar to when other underrepresented or marginalised groups are treated more favourably to rectify an historical injustice. The Labour Party's gender quotas and all-female shortlists for its parliamentary candidates, for example.
Today (February 3rd) as MPs debate two petitions about grooming gangs operating in the UK, we have a duty to remember the consequence of ignoring uncomfortable realities. The woke brigade must stop leading this country down the dangerous path of romanticising all ethnic cultures and truly recognise that minorities are not other, but equal.
Wokeism is nothing more than personal crusades masquerading as genuine social concern. Refuting that the UK is a racist country is not the same as denying racism exists within this country. Just because racism is outrageous and wrong does not make it right to filter out cases where people of colour do commit heinous acts. In fact, let's stop reducing people to a colour altogether.
The so-called culture wars (which for the record are about real British culture as much as Jane Eyre is about the life of Mrs Fairfax) will ultimately destroy intellectual freedom and obliterate any chance of true diversity. They also have the potential to recharge the toxic climate of fear that rendered an entire community seemingly unable to protect the very children that needed them most.