The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon
Britain’s Sex Gangs (Channel 4, Monday 7 November) confirmed what unhappily we already knew, that vulnerable white girls some as young as eleven are being sexually exploited by gangs of men of predominantly Pakistani or Bangladeshi extraction. Indicatively, the scale of the problem remains unclear. The going price for the girls in question, who are ensnared in a new form of white slavery, is reportedly as low as ten pounds, rising to thirty for a particularly marketable (i.e. sexually attractive) individual. Virgins are particularly prized in these benighted circles. Assault, kidnap, rape (including gang rape), pimping and paedophilia are just some of the contingent offences being committed, often with impunity.
Why always white girls, wondered intrepid reporter Tazeen Ahmad? Various explanations or pseudo-explanations are on offer here but the most compelling one is that the Muslim communities to which the gangs notionally belong simply would not tolerate their own children being prostituted. The apposite phrase then is soft target. In addition, the perpetrators of these odious crimes invariably have negative and stereotyped attitudes about white culture in general and white females in particular. The upshot is that the victims are deemed to be ultimately responsible for their own abuse not just by the gang members but by other members of the Muslim community. After all, don’t the girls in question drink alcohol, dress provocatively and stay out late at night? In short, they must be asking for it. The father of one convicted perpetrator, accordingly, blamed everyone (police, social services, white culture) everyone that is except his own son.
According to the BNP, the authorities are reluctant to deal with this insidious crime because of its racial component. Although a few gang members have been convicted, this analysis is incontrovertible. Indeed, it seems that only an Asian reporter can currently discuss this question on television without being called a racist. Some time ago the redoubtable Ann Cryer, the former Labour MP for Keighley and a vociferous opponent of forced marriage and “honour” killing, was crucified when she raised this contentious issue. Her fellow Labour MPs, especially those representing constituencies with large Muslim populations, were scared to support her. It is evidently much easier to oppose oppression when it conveniently occurs in a faraway country such as Iraq.
In 1885, W T Stead, the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette and a pioneer of investigative journalism, tackled the taboo subject of child prostitution in the Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon. In order to highlight the severity of the problem, he purchased the “services” of a thirteen year old girl called Eliza Armstrong. Stead is long gone (he went down with the Titanic) but sadly the evil that he exposed lives on.
Leslie Jones, 15 November 2011