If you want an insight into how cowardly public debate in Britain has become, look no further than the controversy over the Rochdale Asian sex gang. The discussion about the despicable crimes committed by these eight Pakistanis and one Afghani has revealed extraordinary levels of relativism and self-censorship in modern Britain. Indeed, it seems it is now virtually impossible to have a serious discussion about problematic cultural attitudes, because to do so would apparently offend minorities and, even worse, stir up the passions of the latently racist white masses. And so, in the name of protecting Muslim communities' sensitivities and dampening down white working-class people's alleged savagery, we keep quiet about certain things; we gag ourselves.
One of the most striking things about the Rochdale debate is its competitive scaremongering. It's hard to know which side is worse: those who spread panic about the existence of sinister "networks" and "rings" of sex criminals and paedophiles across Britain, as if gangs like this exist everywhere, in every corner and community in the UK; or the coppers and commentators who stoke up fear about BNP thugs and ignorant white people who will apparently be provoked into violence if they so much as glimpse a headline containing the words "Asian sex gang". One side wants us to view the existence of sex gangs like the one in Rochdale as commonplace in our allegedly misogynistic era; the other tries to convince us that ordinary people are a racist pogrom-in-the-making who must not be told that some Asians did some bad things.