Saturday, 27 February 2016

Rotherham Must Come Clean, Get Clean and Stay Clean on Child Abuse. Start with Jahangir Akhtar.

I will try to keep this clear and simple. Clear is hard when Hell is murky.

In Rotherham, for many years, young girls have been sexually exploited, raped, abused and trafficked. They have been ignored and neglected by social services, the police, politicians and the press. We have seen 3 men jailed for a total of 79 years this week and it feels like a tide has turned.

It has ....and it hasn't.

At the time when Rotherham's secrets were first blown apart and much abuse was exposed the whole country centred on who might be to blame. Feminists, myself included, demanded that those responsible at institutional level were held to account alongside those who abused. They allowed it to happen by their inaction. I consider them culpable by their neglect and poor practice (at best) and I want to see them brought to whatever justice is appropriate and available. 

Shaun Wright was the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner and only resigned after extreme pressure after the Alexis Jay report confirmed what many in South Yorkshire had known all along. He had not acted to help young girls who were being raped under his official nose whilst he allowed reports to float across his desk untouched. He was thrown out of the Labour Party but he clung on. He tried desperately to cling to his job but eventually resigned. He had been Cabinet Member for Children's Services at a time when crucial failings were made. Where is he? Why has he not been held to account?

Joyce Thacker was Director Of Children's Services throughout the time investigated and took a £40,000 payoff upon leaving. She only left after extreme pressure following Professor Alexis Jay's report. She was responsible for keeping girls from the hands of abusers like the 3 who have been jailed and she did not. Why was that? Where is she? Why has she not been held to account?

Martin Kimber was the Chief Executive of Rotherham Council and paid £160,000 which he clung onto for dear life until he was forced to leave and took a £26,000 pay off. He CLUNG ON. Didn't they all? Where is he now? Why was he never brought to account for his failings?

Roger Stone was leader of Rotherham Council and highlighted as a bully in the Jay report. He resigned eventually. He had presided over the entire culture of ignorance, neglect and inaction. Where is he now? Why was he never held to account. 

But when Hell really gets dark. When the fires really ignite. It is this man that needs to get his arse burned fastest I think.

Jahangir Akhtar.

Let's take a look at this man. 
  • Jahangir Akhtar was Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council. The council charged with appalling inaction and neglect by the Alexis Jay report. 
  • Jahangir Akhtar refused to apologise for any part he may have played in the child sexual abuse scandal. He refused to apologise to girls that were neglected by a council of which he was Deputy Leader.
  • When Shaun Wright left his post as Children's Services Cabinet Member he was given a place on the Police Authority. This was the body in charge of scrutinising the police. The same police who currently have 54 outstanding investigations into officers who may have been involved in covering up child sexual abuse in Rotherham. The Police Authority was scrapped and replaced (sort of) by The Police And Crime Panel. 
  • In October 2012 Jahangir Akhtar was elected chair of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel. The Police And Crime Panel would be the body that scrutinised the South Yorkshire Police And Crime Commissioner. That would be Shaun Wright. You can see where I'm going with all this?
  • Jahangir Akhtar was investigated for his part in handing over a girl to the police on a garage forecourt after she had been reported missing. The man who had "taken" her was Arshid Hussain. He was a relative of Jahangir Akhtar's. He allegedly "brokered" the deal that she be handed over to police and Hussain would not be prosecuted. This is Arshid Hussain - who has just been found guilty of raping numerous girls in Rotherham and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Briefly let that sink in. If you can. 
  •  Jahangir Akhtar shuffled quietly away from the council and went back to driving taxis in Rotherham. Taxi drivers were a huge part of the investigation into child sexual abuse. Jahangir Akhtar was Leader Of The Taxi Driver's Association at one point. 
  • A girl has accused a Rotherham councillor named Akhtar of rape - this was reported shortly before the recent trial where a trio of his relatives were sent to jail for a total of 79 years. 
  • Jahangir Akhtar has had his taxi license suspended. Not revoked. 

Hell is Murky. So is Rotherham. 

Here is a relative of the convicted men discussing how Hussain could not possibly have committed any abuse .... it is very hard to watch.

Let's be having you Jahangir Akhtar. You need a time being asked a lot of questions. A lot of questions. Why has he not been arrested yet? Let's keep asking. On behalf of raped girls in Rotherham... let's keep asking. 

Relevant articles and reports.....

Saturday, 6 February 2016


Yet another person in my life pointed out to me the other day that I am always saying that I'm sorry.

I'm sorry I haven't cleaned up ...(my own house) I'm sorry I haven't dried my hair ...(my own hair).  I'm sorry I haven't cooked.. (my own food). I'm sorry I haven't bought stuff for the fridge ...(my fridge). I'm sorry I look awful ...(my own face and body). I'm sorry I haven't got changed out of my work clothes ...(my clothes, my work). I'm sorry I need more time ....(my time). 

The person, whom I love, is sort of bemused. I apologise all the time. I apologise for things that just don't matter. I apologise for things that I probably can't or shouldn't change. I start a lot of sentences sorry. 

Well I'm not bemused or amused. I am angry. 

Even after all this time has passed (2 and 1/2 years) since I escaped my abuser, I subconsciously still carry that bloody unbearable memory around of constantly feeling like I have done something wrong. The fear that I will be found out for some unknowable trespass. The fear, really deep inside, that I am going to be punished. The feeling that I have to preempt any possible accusation or attack by countering it first. The fear that I'm not even aware of what I have done wrong but that it is bad. Digging around inside myself to find what it is that I might have said, or done, or misplaced, or forgotten to do. It doesn't seem to go away. It surfaces in "sorry".

Just last week I sent a text apologising for upsetting someone and therefore upsetting the person I was texting. I got back a text "You wally. You haven't!"

I hadn't. Only in my own head. 

If you have been abused you will know.... you are constantly 3 steps ahead in any mind game. You have to be. You work out what you might have said and how it might be misconstrued and you work out in advance how to put right the thing that you think you may have done which will lead to you being accused of something you haven't done or can't remember. 

That sounds very complex doesn't it?

It is. It is a lived nightmare. It is a daily dying. "Walking on eggshells" doesn't cover it and it is worse the longer it goes on. It is like you are wearing lead moonboots 4 sizes too big in a densely packed minefield with millimetres between each one.  You've got no chance. You are going to step on one and it will explode. You just try to work out how to keep both boots raised at all times. You never realise that this is impossible. You just keep trying and falling over. And getting blown up. Have you ever played "Operation" and tried to get the bones out of the little holes without getting electrocuted? Same thing. Except they are your own bones knocking against the electric shock as you try to move them to safety. 

Have you have ever waited and paced a kitchen and wondered...."What is it? Who might have said something against me? What has he found out? What haven't I done around the house? What might he see that he won't like? What haven't I hidden? What haven't I bought? How do I look? What have I forgotten to do? Who has seen me somewhere he won't like?" 

There are other questions. Thousands of them. It paralyses you. You try to focus. You try again. You sharpen the lens you always have trained on yourself. You bend yourself into the shape he likes. All kinds of ways. You try different shapes. You try different jobs. Or 2 jobs. He likes you best with no job. You are of course useless with no job. A drain. A burden. You try different friends. He likes you best with no friends. You are of course not worthy of friends. They don't like you. People don't like you. You should change. You should stop changing. All this whirrs around your brain as you try to think of the next 3 moves. 

Then he comes back. Late. early. Both are bad. Your heart stops. Your children stop. The walls hold their breath and brace themselves. The world outside turns away. You didn't have time to get it all right. You didn't calibrate yourself perfectly. The click of the fridge. The pull of the can. He's cocked and loaded. You're under fire.

This is no way to live. It isn't living. I was dead for a very long time. 

I am living a beautiful life now. I wake up and smile at the sky. No reason. Total happy madness. Clouds drift past and I laugh inside. I can hear the traffic start and know that I can get out in that world and feel it with my fingers and love it. I do love it all so very much. Some mornings a loved one is beside me and we talk and read and laugh and plan. A life. I am planning a life.  Not how to escape a death. I have done nothing wrong and I deserve that future. 

So I am not sorry. I am not sorry for that man's behaviour. I'm not sorry because he broke parts of me. I'm not sorry that it will take time to fix. I'm not sorry that I'm angry at a world that allows men to break women and girls. 

Women. You have done nothing wrong. He lies. You have said nothing wrong. He lies. You have forgotten nothing. He lies. Your friends love you dearly. He lies. Your family think the world of you. He lies. He is not perfect. He lies. He is not good. He lies. You don't deserve his mistreatment. He lies. You aren't ugly. He lies. You aren't stupid. He lies. You aren't crazy. He lies. 

He is a liar and you deserve the truth. 

I am not sorry. 

Peace sisters. 

JH x