A veteran of the 1968 protest movements once confided what, looking back, troubled him about his generation's rebellion. "All young people rebel." he said. "What is strange is that our parents' generation gave in." It is a sentiment that could just as easily be applied to modern Britain, if not the West. It is not surprising that people do bad things. What is surprising is that so many institutions and authorities allow them to get away with it.
Take the Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal. This is just one of a large number of cases around the UK where groups of men -- whom the media identify as "Asian" but who are almost entirely Muslims of Pakistani origin -- have been found to have selected young non-Muslim white girls, often in care homes, and subjected them to multiple rapes. It is sadly to be expected that there will always be people seeking to prey on the young and vulnerable. But the question that hangs over Rotherham -- and which even the latest independent review could not fully answer -- is why so many people got away with these crimes for so long. Certainly part of the reason, as the latest report explains, was that the police were terrified of being accused of racism. But even this remains only a partial explanation. How could grown men and women have so feared being called a name (in this instance, unjustly) that they were willing to allow literally hundreds of young women to be raped and gang-raped?