Yesterday I was watching the television reports of the three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets – apparently their headmaster says that there is no evidence they were radicalised by anything related to his establishment, meanwhile some pundits are attacking the Government or even our Border Control staff for not doing more to check ‘three teenagers’ flying on their own – when some rather unsympathetic (and some might suggest unpalatable in this oh-so-politically correct world) thoughts came into my mind.
I’m no right-winger or anti-immigrant campaigner, and I do understand the scrupulousness with which we must all be careful not to stereotype minority groupings, but do let’s wake up and smell the coffee – and call a spade a spade, if you like.
In some city areas I’m sure – and I know I’m generalising dangerously here – one of the key reasons for the police ever conceiving, let alone implementing, ‘stop and search’ policy initiatives (allegedly in terms of proportion, the accusation goes, discriminately against people of Afro-Caribbean origin) was/is the statistical fact that the overwhelming amount of street crime in those areas was committed by young black people.
Yes, all the subsequent criticisms were probably justified to one degree or another. Whatever happened the presumption of innocent until proved guilty? Many innocent young black people were unfairly affected, to the extent of harassment, by police stopping them, supposedly on the ‘reasonable suspicion’ that there was a decent chance they might be carrying an offensive weapon or worse.
Yes, it was undoubtedly disgraceful that routinely and regularly some law-abiding black guys could be stopped by the police – and treated disrespectfully when they were – however, the rationale behind this police policy (and the law that allowed it) cannot be denied.
In the same way that, I’d suggest – to move immediately to another controversial angle on another difficult subject – when some poor lady is raped, the police naturally begin searching for male suspects, not female or transgender ones.
In the instance of these three girls apparently bound for the ISIS caliphate, when it comes to the Government and/or Border Control being urged to greater vigilance in keeping a careful look out for young teenage girls travelling in the direction of the Middle East on their own, why aren’t the campaigners honest and direct enough to add the descriptive words ‘black/Asian/Muslim’ to the group being described?
Because, in percentage terms and likelihoods – de facto – that’s what we’re really talking about.
Let’s face it, the chances of your average non-Muslim British White European Anglo Saxon female youngster, with her teenage obsessions eternally based around fashion, social media, pop music and the like, becoming groomed or ‘radicalised’ enough to set off into the dark and dastardly world of jihadism are minutely small.
So why pussy-foot around? There are times when standing up and being counted works better than appeasement combined with desperation not to offend.
These were my uncharitable thoughts yesterday.
Having said that, I am slightly ashamed to admit that yesterday I took a conscious decision not to trouble the National Rust or its readers on this subject yesterday, for fear of offending the wider British public, let alone receiving brickbats from the politically-correct brigade.
I’m glad to say that overnight I have discovered two female journalists who have had the balls to go where I feared to tread.
See here for Emma Barnett’s piece today on the website of the DAILY TELEGRAPH
And here for Grace Dent’s on the website of THE INDEPENDENT