By "we", of course, you mean TPTB - which does indeed seem to've remained constant through the years, long before this wretched grand unification of the parties. I imagine the greatest element is simply that of power - those in such positions tend to accumulate a great sense of importance, and power and money tend to like similar company.
Of course, I wish it weren't true - some of these figures were so much a part of public culture at the time, Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris especially.
It seems clear that these activities were known about at the time, and Westminster and Whitehall chose to keep things quiet. I'm hoping that we root out not only the perpetrators of this loathsome abuse, but also those who actively chose to conceal and protect these predators.
Nothing can truly fix the damage they've caused, but we can at least force those responsible into governmentally furnished accommodation for a prolonged duration, both as punishment for their conscious, deliberate, and prolonged actions, and as, I might hope, a deterrent to other such would-be malefactors.
But it's not just TPTB. Families close rank around the touchy-feely uncle and ostracise the dirty little liar who accuses him. Not all families, but some. I was reading an article the other day about how the concept of shame works in Asian families; child rape can be forgiven and accomodated but airing the dirty linen in public gets you thrown out. And it's not just Asian families- as I know from experience. TPTB aren't separate from the rest of us. When David Steel recommends Cyril Smith for a knighthood he's acting in line with the mother who stays with her partner even though she knows he's raping her kids.
It's strange. Some of these girls in the grooming cases would probably say they love these men, at least to begin with. They might not feel exploited. I guess it's to do with feeling unloved at home, seeking affection, being desperate to be grown up. The police and social workers seem to have credited them with an agency they didn't really have. And then when they were threatened or coerced it would have been difficult to tell anyone.
Mind you I doubt whether the Elms Guest House boys felt anything but distaste for the way they were treated.
Yes, a lot of these kids are hungry for love and attention- and the pimps and "boyfriends" exploit this ruthlessly.
I get rather frustrated by the way people muddle up all child abuse cases as though they are all the same. In the Rochdale, Oxford and now Rotherham cases, the girls initially were probably perfectly willing to go with more mature men who had money, fancy cars and who treated them like the adults they wanted to be seen as. I can remember how my classmates behaved at school from 12-13 upwards. Also my daughter (now a sensible adult and mother) was once a rebellious young teen. We went through a hellish year when she was 14, though fortunately she avoided becoming a victim of sexual abuse and/or drug addiction.
There is no One Size Fits All answer and just calling for heads to roll while leaving faulty systems in place is like sticking a plaster over an infected wound. The whole care and reporting system needs looking at from the bottom up and better systems put in place. The teenage girls' freedom was partly a reaction to the horror at how previous generations of "delinquent" girls were locked up in asylums "for their own safety". Somewhere there has to be a happy medium.
That's a good point. We do need to discriminate.
On the other hand, the men who take advantage of the neediness of such girls are criminals and need to be locked up- and the many people in positions of authority who turned a blind eye need to have a change of heart.
The girls might have enjoyed the experience at first - that's what grooming is all about - but the Rotherham report makes it clear that even after many of them complained, they were still ignored.
Indeed, though from at least one article I read, it wasn't the boots on the ground that failed to report these what was happening, it was made light of and forgotten higher up the command chain, possibly due to the perception that any move against the perpetrators would be seen as institutionalised racism.
But we're back up against the general problem that people have the idea that rape is a crime of violence perpetrated by strangers whereas it's most usually committed by someone the victim knows and may be someone they've had consensual sex with previously. Obtaining evidence that will stand up in court is not always easy and prosecuting without evidence is a waste of time and money because the case will be thrown out.
As you know, I worked with abused kids and I'm at the stage of just wanting to throw all the things at someone in authority..........
But who exactly? So many people have failed- from the egregious Mr Wright to the cops who allowed themselves to be intimidated by some street punk pulling the race card.
And you and I know that Rotherham wasn't exceptional.
I doubt that it's the pedophile being protected so much as whichever institution he's associated with. Can't have all of us looking bad now can we?
Nothing to see here; move along please...