These past several years have savagely destroyed any preciously held illusions to the “Great” being nothing more than a prefix to our country’s description. We pride ourselves on fair play and a stoicism that holds us in good stead against any change that the wind can inflict on us… and in a kingdom where four seasons are often felt in one day, people are at the mercy of the elements as well as the whims of their elected leaders.

This year marks 800 years since the signing of Magna Carta. Literally meaning “Great Charter” in Latin, the fervent and often dangerous authority of King John (and the Barons for that matter) were curtailed in one treaty, an agreement that gave credence to the law. A tangible personification, an independent force to be reckoned with that no one – not even the Sovereign – could alter or undermine- the law was beneath no one. So, one finds themselves imploring not just their own sense of injustice, but that of the collective populace too, with the question: “why are instances like Rotherham allowed to persist for the length that they have?”

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In the wake of the Jimmy Saville Scandal, dearly held preconceptions about heroes and villains became injected with the poisonous ink of reality. Saville was widely adored by the media, and equally so by the people. He was revered for charitable work that raised millions and securing a place in the firmament of TV stars, by offering the nation wishes that come true… much akin to Satan. Because like the Fallen Angel, wishes are offset by a dreadful price.

We now know that Jimmy Saville was arguably the biggest, and one of the most vile sex offenders in UK history. His crimes range from paedophilia to necrophilia, abuse of toddlers and the elderly, the disabled and terminally ill, male and female. The litany of his victims now range into the hundreds and a dark cabal of abusers has been unearthed at not only the heart of the BBC several decades ago, but also within the highest echelons of the establishment.

The revelations keep spilling out down a sluice of depravity right into the collective disgust of the British public. Beloved household names, legendary pop stars, even allegations against royalty (Prince Andrew). The accusations and allegations are mounting to a flood, and the admirable work of freelance reporters such as Stinson Hunter, dubbed The Paedophile Hunter in a recent harrowing documentary, highlighted a sickening trend in how such depravity flies often so low under the public radar. The revelations around Rotherham seemingly add to the relentless mound of moral turpitude.

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The news of a sexual grooming ring in the small Yorkshire town that effected up to 1,400 girls has struck a blow to the heart of many with an ounce of conscience or empathy. Anger is also felt keenly by the public, an emotion only increasing when details emerge at how such abuse was covered up by the council, how warnings were routinely ignored and even the fear of upsetting racial sensibilities came before the welfare, safety and protection of girls and young women.

The debacle is so intrinsic that Westminster has needed to step in and assume government of the council themselves, the threat of criminal convictions looms heavily in the crisp winter atmosphere of Yorkshire’s rugged terrain. It’s a decisive intervention and direct, affirmative action from a government usually so reticent to play their hand in such a forceful, ‘governing’ manner. Such a response should be considered laudable, even if perhaps a little late, would there not be some more insidious undertones regarding sexual abuse that didn’t stalk the corridors of power itself, which it does.

News surfaced this week that Margaret Thatcher silenced officials on naming Sir Peter Hayman, a senior diplomat, in his illegal activities. As a member of PIE (Paedophile Information Exchange) he posted other members, regarding sexual fantasies about children. This is the tip of depravity that it is unearthed regarding Thatcher’s government, centred around Elm Guest House in Barnes, south London, known to be frequented by the elite of Thatcher’s government, pop stars and perhaps Royalty (but the rumour tends to get out of hand, repulsion is added to conjecture). The house was the location of many cases of abuse of young boys, even an alleged murder, in the 1980’s. Is such a firm hand merely the actions of a government that has a lot to answer for itself?

Children are among the most vulnerable in society and in the case of Rotherham, it has clashed with misplaced multicultural sensitivity that has been used to mask severe crimes. Those behind the grooming gangs were mainly Pakistani men and there are two reasons why that fact is underscored. One is that it is being used to fan racial distrust and unease, another is that fear of offense has been favoured over the innocence of children. Justice should be blind here, the perpetrators of grooming in Rotherham being Pakistani should be of no consequence, what should matter is their exploitation of underage girls. Sensitivity to ethnic minorities has a worthy place in society, but this matter was not about race, it was about the value of innocence, freedom and our collective human decency. From Rotherham to Barnes, this is something that should be championed relentlessly.

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