First of all, let me make it clear that I'm no fan of Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Born in Uganda, she's a British Muslim columnist who contributes regularly to the left-wing Independent, supports the Liberal Democrats, and has a habit of saying unpleasant things about white men. Her opinions on the issues of the day are, by and large, pretty much what you'd expect them to be given her religious, professional, and political affiliations. (Example: she complained on Question Time that Osama bin Laden hadn't been given a proper burial.)
Still, I had to give her a cheer – not two or three cheers, mind you, but one – for an article that ran in the Daily Mail on Thursday. It was occasioned by a new report from the British government's Office of the Children's Commission (OCC) summarizing the results of an investigation into the sexual abuse of young girls by gangs and groups. The report, noted Alibhai-Brown in her Daily Mail piece, "concludes that agencies that should have helped" many of these abused girls either "didn't hear their stories or look after them as they should have." Yet the OCC itself, Alibhai-Brown charged, was burdened by its own version of the same hear-no-evil affliction: as she put it, the authors of the report, headed up by Deputy Children's Commissioner Sue Berelowitz, "try hard to side-step some difficult facts and even warn the rest of us from going where they have chosen not to tread."