WITH the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, the sins of Britain and its Empire, real or imagined, have inevitably been in the news again. Something called ‘Irish Twitter’ (which one suspects is about as in tune with Irish public opinion as Twitter is with public opinion generally), has been foaming at the mouth about the Irish potato famine of 1845-49 being a deliberate act of genocide, a view of history that even the most rabid Irish republican tends not to believe.
Twitter is, of course, an outrage factory and rarely to be taken seriously in such matters. Still, the Irish famine uncomfortably echoes down the centuries with painful parallels for today, though for our MPs and the political class rather than the monarchy. When one reads about Ireland’s tragedies under British rule and the famine in particular, what shines through is that callous indifference rather than genocidal malice was largely to blame. This was especially true during the year ‘Black 47’, when the Liberal Prime Minister Lord John Russell sacrificed the Irish on the altar of free trade theory, resulting in the starvation and emigration of millions.
Callous indifference. Is it so very different today? A decade after the full horrors of what Pakistani Muslim rape gangs had done to more than 1,600 girls in Rotherham, further incidences of this abomination have been exposed in Telford, where more than 1,000 girls were groomed and abused. Rochdale, Oxford and Oldham report similar outrages. As Mark Steyn said on GB News, extrapolate these figures to the major conurbations and the numbers must be in the tens of thousands.
You would have thought in a democracy that this would be a major matter of concern; Parliament thought otherwise – a debate on the matter this month was attended by just nine MPs.
As with the Irish Famine, what Brendan O’Neill calls today’s ‘evasive elites’ are prepared to sacrifice and ruin the lives of the most vulnerable in society to preserve liberal shibboleths. It isn’t just the ‘institutional blindness’ towards the rape gangs themselves, as Telford survivor and campaigner Samantha Smith calls it, but the multi-decade refusal of the elites to accept that models of family formation in society are not immaterial, no matter how vulnerable and damaged it leaves young people.
Yes, there are exceptions – MPs Lucy Allen (Conservative, Telford) and Sarah Champion (Labour, Rotherham) have fought bravely to highlight the rape gang horror. However, they are just that – exceptions. As far as Parliament and most of the media are concerned, a single rape may be a tragedy, tens of thousands a statistic.
The refusal to tackle the rape gang crisis is surely the most heinous abnegation of executive responsibility in domestic politics since the Irish Famine, the most grotesque indication yet that our purely representative model of democracy has been rendered obsolete by the ossified meritocracy of the Information Age. For some time now MPs have regarded their job as representing the elites to the masses rather than the masses to the elites. Nothing could be more symbolic of their sense of entitlement than their queue-jumping privileges to see the Queen lying in state while the little people stood in the cold for hours. The contrast with our late beloved monarch’s life of Christian duty couldn’t be more stark. Moreover, the system cannot now auto-correct – with its refusal to recognise the legitimacy of the Brexit Referendum, Parliament crossed a psychological Rubicon. For all the sound and fury over Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s Thatcherite tribute act, the really big story last week was that yet again neither government nor Parliament is remotely interested in the far more profound cultural unravelling of our society that now even includes South Asian sectarian violence.
However, do not despair. Sometimes things are so enormous in their horror that it can take society a long time to come to terms with them, but the truth will out. Just as the famine shook the politics of Ireland to its core, the terrible shame and disgrace of the rape of young girls on an industrial scale will one day do for our rotten system of elitist, unrepresentative shamocracy. Parliament must be stripped of the sovereignty it has consistently abused and be humbled by a more direct Swiss-style system of democracy: if we the people were allowed referendums on demand and right of recall, politicians wouldn’t dare to sweep such atrocities under the carpet.
The great paradox of recent events has shown that the monarchy, supposedly a quaint anachronism, deserves to survive and prosper in the modern age, whereas our outmoded, Potemkin sham of a democracy does not deserve to do so – and won’t, if there is any justice at all in this world.