Rotherham – Labours reaction

It is interesting to watch the Rotherham child abuse atrocity unfold. All our thoughts must be for the victims and families affected by this dreadful episode.

But it is also interesting to watch the Labour Party and how it is reacting.

Not so long ago Harriet Harman was closely linked to the Paedophile Information Exchange through her work with what is now known as Liberty.

She did not resign nor was she suspended from the Labour Party despite her and her husband obviously bringing the Labour party into disrepute.

The Labour leadership did not appear to threaten suspension from the party nor do I remember any calls for her to resign. Was it because she had been the deputy leader of the Labour Party? It is hard to see how others might have survived.

Now we have the Rotherham scandal, on the watch of a Labour controlled council, with a Labour MP and when most of the repulsive activity was carried out with a Labour government in power.

The Labour Leader of the council has rightly resigned. But now we see the threat of suspension from the Labour Party has resulted in the Labour PCC, Shaun Wright, resigning from the Labour Party. He has clearly jumped before being pushed.

The Labour MP has turned on him as has the Labour Party leadership. What is not clear to me is why? Is it because he was the Cabinet member responsible for safeguarding children a number of years ago? Or is it because he is now the PCC responsible for the police that performed badly in its duty to uphold the law. But of course he is the PCC after the fact.

Or is it the much more likely reason that an election is approaching and the Labour leadership needs to clean this up as quickly as possible?

What needs to happen is a full review of who knew what and who did what with a comparison against what should have happened. Those responsible for the failings and it will involve many, should then take responsibility for the failings. That might mean resignations of politicians or officers both at the council or within the Police Force or elsewhere. Or it might mean disciplinary action.

But, let’s not let Labours attempt to sweep it away quickly, by forcing Shaun to resign, mean that the real issues are missed. Rotherham needs a significant cultural change and that won’t happen if Shaun takes all the blame.

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