Sun on Sunday editor Victoria Newton may be watching anxiously this evening as the hated BBC broadcasts its Panorama investigation of the “Fake Sheikh”, Mazher Mahmood, for the inevitable hit to her paper’s reputation. She might also usefully look at the apparent failure of her staff to fact check the rantings of (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
The latest Mensch muddle is hidden away behind a paywall, but a Zelo Street regular has made available a snapshot of the column (see how that works, Rupe?). And the lead item, “Who polices CPS when they act above law?”, once again makes one wonder how she was able to become an MP, such is the crashing ineptitude on show. But let’s start at the beginning – a very good place to start.
“We’ve had ... the shameful scandal of thousands of raped white children being neglected and hurt by the politicised Police” she tells. HOLD IT RIGHT THERE. The Police in South Yorkshire (for it is they) take cases of missing children very seriously, as a BBC documentary from last week showed. It also showed that as many of 60 officers are needed to work on some cases.
In other words, it has sweet jack to do with politicisation, but resources. No Police force has unlimited amounts of officers and backup. But on she goes: “Did you notice [that] once the headlines moved on, nothing was done in Rotherham, where the Asian grooming scandal took place?” How does she know what is being done in Rotherham? What is this, a tinpot dictatorship?
We don’t just go and round up The Usual Suspects: there is such a thing as due process of law, before which there has to be evidence gathering, and if we’re talking about the CPS, that evidence is then considered before any decision to prosecute. But, as the man said, there’s more: “South Yorkshire Police haven’t arrested a single one of their own officers”. Why should they?
Moreover, what has the CPS to do with whether South Yorkshire Police carry out arrests? But back comes Ms Mensch: “The CPS failed to prosecute anyone over the 1,400 Rotherham abuse victims and have pursued just handfuls of grooming gang cases ... they are as much to blame as the Police and councils”. We don’t know what will happen in Rotherham. Did Ms Mensch find out before writing this?
As if you need to ask: no she didn’t. The Police are most likely still gathering and assembling the evidence. As to the “handfuls” of cases, well, each gang tends to have been responsible for rather more than one case each. Often they involve hundreds of vulnerable young people. But we do not just haul folks off the streets in this country for the fun of it. Louise Mensch is merely parading her ignorance.
That Ms Newton doesn’t have it fact checked is doubly unforgiveable.
I get the impression that most 'news'papers have less journalistic rigour than the average student Rag Mag.
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