In church on Sunday migrants were mentioned in the prayers and there was a call for the churches in Germany to keep hold of ‘justice.’ All very vague and I didn’t feel that the problems of German women living in a new society were being addressed. In the evening I went to a neighbourhood party. I wasn’t intending to talk about politics but somehow over the Ottolenghi salads and Waitrose cheeses, it happened. I made a rather oblique comment about how surprising it is that no feminist voices have been raised about the recent attacks on women in Germany, Switzerland and Finland.
There was no response. I tried again a bit more obviously by asking if it wasn’t odd the way the news about Cologne had been reported. As I mentioned the town, no one could pretend they didn’t know what I was talking about.
‘Well, we don’t know that migrants did it,’ said a former Oxford graduate. I said we did know, and it hadn’t been reported for five days. ‘Well the greater good of the community is more important than the rights of the individual,’ she said. I asked her to repeat that so we could really hear what she’d said and was it was OK then, for migrant men to attack women and get away with it? ‘Yes, there was an argument for that,’ she said quite seriously. Another neighbour, from Romania, opined that on no account should the ethnicity of criminals ever be mentioned because it might stigmatise a community. ‘That is far too dangerous,’ he said.
I could tell that it was even too dangerous to have that very conversation. Talk quickly shifted onto the folly of Tony Blair’s war in Iraq and the lasting evils of the British Empire.
That was the end of a weekend in which I had been regularly hearing that the rule of law, one law for all, and the rights of women to live safely were now all in question, continually questioned by the BBC partly by its silence but also it’s commentary.
As evidence of the attacks in Cologne had mounted and over a hundred women complained to the police, the BBC had been forced to report the events. I spent Saturday listening for their updated reports. At 8.35am the BBC Today programme called in an expert, Dr Andrea Den Boer, a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent who specialises in gender and the causes and consequences of violence against women.
She has studied violent gangs of young men in China and India, where men vastly outnumber women. She did not mention that extreme gender imbalance exists in those countries because of gender selected abortions and infanticide. No one mentioned it. In the UK and presumably Germany similar gender selection is now also going on. Here, the only case brought against two doctors to try to prevent the destruction of female foetuses was thrown out in 2013 by Keir Starmer QC, then Director of Public Prosecutions.
Dr Boer was cagey about her results, refusing to relate them to the culture or religion of the men. She would only say that they were detached from family and society, that was her explanation of their violence towards women. Her theory couldn’t explain why Pakistani husbands and fathers in the north of England and Oxford recently attacked large numbers of young girls, and no one asked her.
At least the point was made about the threat posed by roaming migrant youths. By 10am we were back to BBC equivocations. Radio 4 news concentrated on far-right demonstrations in Cologne, after what they termed vaguely, ‘a night of crime in the city.’ They knew what crime it was but didn’t say, and also knew that it had not just happened in Cologne but right across northern Europe in what were suspected to be co-ordinated attacks.
Then came the Woman’s Hour weekly roundup. The programme aims to, ‘give the female point of view.’ It’s a notoriously hard-left programme, often entering the realms of extreme silliness, but I was interested to hear what their take on Cologne would be. They didn’t mention it. That silence of course spoke volumes. For them, migrants being ‘victims,’ can do no wrong. If they do, it cannot be mentioned.
At 12 noon a news report described the attacks in Europe as, ‘attacks on women by some migrants.’
The main news report was on Mosques in Germany where Imams were inviting non-Muslims in to read the Koran, ‘in the interest of cohesion.’
Later in the day, BBC news reports were taken up by the C of E fighting about gay rights again, this time accusing itself of not being kind enough to gays and trannies in the past. We were into futile historic breast-beating. No mention of events in Germany. Obviously the rights of heterosexual woman are lower in the pecking-order than those with, ‘gender issues,’ at least for the Left.
By the early hours a complete retrenchment seemed to have taken place as a BBC voice referred to, ‘rare incidents such as the events on New Year’s Eve.’
I had breakfast on Sunday to the voice of Vince Cable saying: ‘We don’t know whether North African mobs were instigated by the extreme right.’
As the weekend passed so did the story, which is now largely dead. Today, Monday, the BBC is much happier dealing with the death and canonisation of pop singer David Bowie. A Today reporter told us that he was a ‘genius’ and ‘master of countless innovations,’ without naming one. The programme boasted that it had held an interview with the singer, a very rare thing. This turned out to be made long ago and conducted entirely by email. Jeremy Corbyn was given the chance to comment on air. He told us the star’s success was based on Britain’s ‘diversity,’ rather than the individuality which we might have suspected. Then came memories from a former lover of the singer, who hadn’t seen him since 1973.
‘Was he as electrifying one to one?’ she was asked, as she started to plug her book about their brief encounter. It was teen magazine journalism, well away from anything difficult or demanding firm values or certainties, or even a strict regard for the truth.
That ended a weekend of listening to astonishing gobbledegook and double-think. Shocking because I kept hearing feminists and hard-lefters saying that women being assaulted was no longer important.
In May 2011 Ken Clarke nearly destroyed his long career by saying that ‘Date rapes in my very old experience of being in trials [from his time as a practising lawyer] do vary extraordinarily one from another, and in the end the judge has to decide on the circumstances.’ At Prime Minister’s Questions, Ed Miliband, then Labour leader, said Mr Clarke’s comments had implied there were ‘serious rapes and other categories of rape’ adding: ‘The justice secretary can’t speak for the women of this country when he makes comments like that.’ He suggested that Clarke should quit for effectively suggesting there were ‘other categories of rape.’
Well we all know that there is another category of rape – which might also be called, ‘Muslim’ or Migrant rape. They are in a different category altogether, whether in Cologne or Rotherham.
PS. End on D Bowie. Instead of a reasonable tribute to a great pop star they went into a feast of canonisation.