The Rotherham scandal has shown that South Yorkshire Police and social workers are guilty of gross misconduct in a public office and responsible for an outrageous dereliction of duty. Another event has shown yet more failings and misconduct.
When people hail a taxi or minicab they are probably in a hurry, tired after a long journey or under the influence of alcohol. But do they give any real thought about the driver? How much is taken on trust? Surely not just anybody can drive a taxi – there must be rules that govern a person’s suitability. There should be tests, most obviously for driver skills and knowledge of the area – but anything else? How about CRB checks, character references and the like? This is another area where you would think officialdom has the public’s protection at heart, wouldn’t you? Well, think again.
This brings me to the case of Subhan Shafiq, the former Lib Dem mayor of Milton Keynes, who is of Pakistani heritage. His brief term of office came to an abrupt halt recently after it emerged he had helped a friend gain a minicab licence. The man, described by Shafiq as of good current character (note the inclusion of the word “current”), had, in fact, been jailed for rape and other serious sexual offences. The driver had operated in the town for three years and an investigation has now revealed that at least seven other licensed operators, all with convictions, have given Milton Keynes Council cause for concern. Consequently the chair and vice-chair of the licensing committee, Gladstone McKenzie and Stuart Burke, have also stepped down.
It’s time to be honest but also accurate. The recurrence of the word ‘Pakistani’ in many of these events is not a co-incidence. To describe them more broadly as Asian is to denigrate the large Hindu and Sikh communities, who are among many others falling under that heading. Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, scene of a similar sex-crime scandal, has little doubt where the problem lies.
Thanks to the endemic coercion exerted by that community’s senior male figures about how to vote (particularly applied to female family members) and the routine abuse of the postal voting system, we now have pockets within our society where democracy, free will and British law simply do not exist. Thirteen years of Labour, via its hugely irresponsible immigration policy, its obsession with political correctness and multi-culturism, and the cynical creation of a client voter base, must shoulder much of blame for creating the environment in which these incidents can occur.
From up and down the country we are assailed by stories of waste, incompetence, fraud, delay, neglect and corruption but the blame must ultimately be directed at the top of the political ladder, for it is there that the standard is set.
In the hot summer of 1858 there arose a great stink outside the Commons, caused by pollution in the Thames. It offended the nostrils of that era’s MPs. Today we have a great stink but this time inside and all self-inflicted. The expenses revelations and numerous other examples of improper conduct by MPs and lords make it clear that Parliament has become the Houses of ill repute. The true spirit and purpose of that place has been polluted by selfishness, indifference, contempt and the exercise of power for its own sake – the place and its occupants that dare to govern us. It offends the nostrils of today’s electorate. The fifth labour of Hercules was to cleanse the fetid Augean stables. Would cleaning up Parliament and restoring the public (rather than self) service ethic and trust beat even that mythical hero?
Whether it be MPs, the BBC, police, councils, councillors, the public sector seems crippled by political correctness or consumed by self-interest in their secure tax-payer funded jobs or behave contemptuously toward their task comfortable in the knowledge that a disciplinary system, such as might exist, will rarely be invoked. This nation is faced with a huge problem and a big question:
Who, in the public sector, can we now trust? How can we change the dreadful state of affairs in this country?
The time is ripe for a big change. Just a thought…how about voting UKIP?
Photo by alles-schlumpf